GHENT, WV (WVNS) — Southern West Virginia’s beloved Pipestem State Park has a brief but rich history, especially with Native American and early pioneer influence.

According to the WV Encyclopedia, Pipestem’s name is thanks to the Native Americans and early pioneers who used hollowed-out twigs from a plant called meadowsweet, which is very common in the surrounding area of the park. The WV State Parks website also stated the area was mostly known for farming due to its relatively flat land on the plateau, where Scotch, Irish, and English farmers used for generations.

Meadowsweet plant

The West Virginia Encyclopedia stated that development of the park started in the 1960s after 4,027 acres of land was purchased from 56 different landowners. The park was funded with grants by the Area Redevelopment Administration, under President John F. Kennedy’s administration.

The park was opened on Memorial Day in 1970, and is now one of West Virginia’s beloved State Parks.