The toast of West Virginia
At the turn of the 20th century, Bramwell, W.Va., boasted more millionaires per capita than any other town in America, said Kathy Legg in The Washington Post. Today it remains “a tiny Victorian testament to a time when coal was king.” Bramwell’s Bryant Pharmacy used to be the only place other than Paris and New York where Chanel No. 5 was sold. The town’s electric street lamps were among the nation’s first, and “the originals are still here.” In December and May, the grand mansions open their doors for tours: The star is the turreted Cooper House with its “vast copper roof” and yellow bricks imported from England. The train station serves as a museum, where mementos on display recall an era “when 100,000 miners worked the rich and dangerous coal seams without benefit of modern machinery and safeguards.” In nearby Pocahontas, visitors can walk deep into an old mine for “a chilly look at the real thing.”
Where the Nez Perce roamed
The Nez Perce “never practiced nose piercing,” said Pia Hallenberg Christensen in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, even though the tribe’s name loosely translates as “pierced noses.” Before French settlers arrived, this Indian tribe called itself Nee-Mee-Poo, or Children of the Coyote, and roamed an area covering parts of present-day Idaho, Oregon, Washington state, Wyoming, and Montana. Federal treaties in 1855 and 1863 reduced Nez Perce land from 17 million to 750,000 acres; war with Washington, D.C., broke out in 1877; and Chief Joseph’s tribe eventually surrendered. Today visitors can follow the 1,170-mile Nez Perce Trail from Wallowa Valley, Ore., to Bear Paw, Mont. The trail identifies 26 historical sites that are on or near the Nez Perce reservation. The Nez Perce National Historic Park Museum in Spalding, Idaho, is filled with Nez Perce artifacts, and nearby are the original Indian Agency cabin and a former trading post, Watson’s Store.