Phillipi West Virginia
“All American City

Town of Phillipi WV

Phillipi West Virginia is the county seat of Barbour county. In 1861 the city was named after the Battle of Phillipi known as “The Phillipi Races” and one of the first notable land actions of the Civil War. The small town of Phillipi is located in the Northeast hills of West Virginia. A city rich in history, beauty and community. If you are a traveler look for experiences and treasure off the beaten path then Phillipi West Virginia is your destination. From arts festival to chili cookoffs to Civil War re-enactments, Phillipi has unique things to do. Its famous covered bridge leads you to a small town community with locally owned businesses, restaurants, and downtown festivals.

History of Phillipi WV

The small West Virginian town of Phillipi is located along the Tygart Valley River. Formerly named Anglin’s Ford after the original land owner William Anglin. Another early settler was Daniel Booth which operated a commercial ferry called Booth’s Ferry. In 1852 Lemuel Chenoweth, an Appalachian architect and carpenter, built a covered bridge in Philippi to provide a link on the turnpike running between Beverly and Fairmont. The Philippi Covered Bridge spelled the end of the commercial ferry operation and is still the town’s prominent landmark.

Philippi was the scene of the first land battle of the American Civil War, on June 3, 1861. The battle was promptly lampooned as the “Philippi Races” because of the hurried retreat by the Confederate troops encamped in the town. (The battle is reenacted every June during the town’s ‘Blue and Gray Reunion.’)

At daylight on June 3, two columns of Union forces under the command of Col. Benjamin Franklin Kelley and Col. Ebenezer Dumont, with perhaps 3,000 men, arrived from Grafton and attacked about 800 poorly armed Confederate recruits under the command of Col. George A. Porterfield. The Union troops had marched all night through a heavy rain storm to arrive just before daylight. The surprise attack — from the heights of “Battle Hill” to the northwest — awakened the sleeping Confederates. After firing a few shots at the advancing Union troops, the Southerners broke lines and began running frantically to the south.

The Union victory in a relatively bloodless battle propelled the young Major General George B. McClellan into the national spotlight, and he was soon be given command of all Union armies. The battle also inspired more vocal protests in the Western part of Virginia against secession.

Phillipi Covered Bridge

The Philippi Covered Bridge, on the Tygart Valley River, is the main local landmark and historical icon of Philippi, West Virginia. The celebrated bridge was commissioned by the General Assembly of Virginia and constructed in 1852 by Lemuel Chenoweth, a well-known Appalachian bridge builder, to provide a link on an important segment of the vital Beverly-Fairmont Turnpike between Beverly (Chenoweth’s hometown) and Fairmont. The bridge has strong associations with the American Civil War, especially the Battle of Philippi in 1861.

The Philippi Covered Bridge is the oldest and longest covered bridge in West Virginia. It is one of only two remaining in Barbour County. It is also the only covered bridge serving the US Federal Highway system (U.S. Route 250). It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Barbour County Historical Museum

Located in a building that was constructed in 1911 and once served as the Philippi B&O Railroad station, the Barbour County Historical Museum in Philippi is a great diversion for visitors who want to know more about the area. The building is characterized by Mission Revival-style architecture and considered among one of the more unusual examples that style within West Virginia.

In addition to a collection of items that have significance to Barbour County (including Civil War artifacts), the museum holds two cadavers that were mummified in 1888 by a farmer named Graham Hamrick who had an interest in science. Intent on discovering the secrets behind the mummification methods perfected by the ancient Egyptians.

  • Alderson Braddous University
  • Adaland
  • Carrolton Covered Bridge
  • Blue and Gray Reunion
  • Annual Main Street Chili Cookoff

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