The West Virginia State Soil
A state soil is represented by a soil series that has special significance to a particular state. Each state in the United States has selected a state soil, fifteen of which have been legislatively established. These "Official State Soils" share the same level of distinction as official state flowers and birds. Also, representative soils have been selected for Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
West Virginia passed the state soil resolution in April 1997. Mr. Bill Dawson of Huntington, a well known area artist, painted the original oil painting you see here. This painting now hangs in the WV State Capital with all the other state symbols. The painting was later professionally scanned so that the image could be reproduced.
"Monongahela soils occur on more than 100,000 acres in 45 counties in West Virginia. These very deep, moderately well drained soils are on alluvial stream terraces that are not flooded. They are used extensively for cultivated crops, hay, pasture, woodland, and homesite development. Monongahela soils are considered prime farmland where slopes are 3 percent or less. The soils are well suited to crop production.
The Monongahela series was designated the official state soil by the West Virginia Legislature in April 1997. The name “Monongahela” is derived from a Native American word meaning “high banks or bluffs, breaking off and falling down in places.” The mean annual precipitation is about 45 inches, and the mean annual temperature is about 51 degrees F."