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Sunset At Blackwater Falls State Park
Photograph - Photography
A cloudy yet beautiful sunset shot at Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia.
Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County, West Virginia, USA. The centerpiece of the Park is Blackwater Falls, a 62-foot (19 m) cascade where the Blackwater River leaves its leisurely course in Canaan Valley and enters rugged Blackwater Canyon. It is among the most photographed venues in the state and appears on calendars, stationery, advertisements of all kinds and, most famously, on jigsaw puzzles. The River is named for its tannic acid-darkened water.
The name of the first white explorer to stumble upon Blackwater Falls is not known. There was an oral tradition that it was the early hunter/explorer of the Potomac and Youghiogheny River watersheds Meshach Browning (1781-1859), but while this is plausible there is no documentary evidence for it.
Travel writer Philip Pendleton Kennedy described the Blackwater Canyon for a popular readership in 1853, but somehow managed to miss the Falls. The same year however, his companion and cousin, the illustrator David Hunter Strother (Porte Crayon), published The Virginia Canaan about his adventures in the Blackwater Country and the Falls entered the literature for the first time. Strother also published a more lengthy description of his June 1852 visit in an article called "The Mountains". The Dobbin House was built near the Falls in 1858 and provided a popular lodge for visitors to the Falls during the 1860s and '70s. A published account of a May 1879 visit to the Falls by recreationalists further popularized the site.
At least one death has occurred (1933) when a local was accidentally washed over the Falls during a flood. Beginning in the early 1930s, various leases and donations to the state from the West Virginia Power and Transmission Company (WVPTC), later called Allegheny Power Systems, which then owned much of Blackwater Canyon, protected and facilitated tourism at the Falls. The first of these (1934) resulted in establishment and maintenance, by the West Virginia State Forest and Park Commission, of a 446 acres (1.80 km2) scenic overlook at the head of the Canyon which included the celebrated Falls itself. The park was formally established in 1937. Additional donations of land in 1953 and 1955 by the WVPTC, 489 acres (2.0 km2), and by the U.S. Forest Service, 744 acres (3.0 km2), in 1957, brought the total to some 1,679 acres (6.79 km2).
The Park was day-use only until the mid-1950s. The years 1955 and '56, however, saw several improvements to buildings and grounds including construction of 25 cabins, a dammed fishing/skating lake, and a 55 room lodge dubbed "The Lodge in the Sky" (since the park is the highest in the state) which was opened and dedicated in 1957. Annual visitors numbered 240,000 (over 18,000 of them overnighters) by 1960.
In May 2000, West Virginia Governor Cecil Underwood purchased 25 acres (100,000 m2) of Blackwater Canyon for $50,000 an acre and added it to Blackwater Falls State Park. Allegheny Wood Products, the timber company that owns about half of the Blackwater Canyon today, donated an additional 100 acres (0.40 km2). In January 2002, Governor Bob Wise bought an additional 500 acres (2.0 km2) along the River upstream of the Falls from Allegheny Power and added them to the Park.
Courtesy of Wikipedia
May 18th, 2013
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