ca. 75 minutes
Edited excerpts from this film were included in the NFPF's DVD box set Treasures from American Film Archives, Program 2.
"West Virginia, the State Beautiful is organized as a series of scenic vignettes taken during an auto trip eastward on Route 60, known as the Midland Trail .... This route, first proposed by George Washington in 1783, had been upgraded for automobiles in the 1920s and is portrayed here as a source of civic pride. Rev. Snodgrass probably screened his 75-minute travel documentary for church and civic groups. The five excerpts included here begin with the start of the tour in the border town of Kenova, whose name is laid out in an intertitle (“KEN. O. VA.”) to drive home its derivation from the first letters of the states the town touches: Kentucky, Ohio, and (West) Virginia. In Huntington, Route 60 runs down busy Fifth Avenue and past the International Nickel Company, opened six years earlier and rightly labeled in the titles as the world’s largest nickel alloy plant. Farther east in the higher Appalachians are glimpses of sheer “LOVER’S LEAP” cliffs (before the Hawks Nest Dam was built in the 1930s) and lumber-industry trains geared for the steep hills. Rev. Snodgrass closes with a homemade sing-along slide for the state song, “The West Virginia Hills.”" —Scott Simmon
Scott Simmon [annotator], Treasures from American Film Archives, Program 2 [booklet], Encore Edition (National Film Preservation Foundation, 2005), 17-18.
West Virginia State Archives