Berkeley County West Virginia
“Wild and Wonderful”
Berkeley County is located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Berkeley county is only one hour away from Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland. It is close enough for a day or weekend trip for relaxation, recreation, or entertainment. Martinsburg downtown main street is alive year-round with arts, music, festivals, and special events.
History of Berkeley County WV
Berkeley County,WV, one of the first settled areas of the State of West Virginia. Many Quakers and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, along with the English and Dutch, became residents here in the early 1700s. They were followed by the Germans who built many present farm complexes.
Berkeley County was formed from Frederick County, Virginia, in 1772 and named for Lord Norborne Berkeley. The County seat was established in the colonial village of Martinsburg, named for Thomas Bryan Martin, Lord Fairfax’s nephew, and was incorporated in 1778. The arrival of the B&O Railroad in the 1840s gave Martinsburg and Berkeley County a big boost. During the Civil War, Martinsburg and Berkeley County, still a part of Virginia, experienced conflict and much destruction. Many families had divided allegiances. In June 1861 Stonewall Jackson destroyed the railroad cars at the Martinsburg B&O Railroad complex and commandeered the engines, dragging them through Winchester to Strasburg. The Roundhouse and machine shops were completely stripped. The first major conflict in the area occurred on July 2, 1861, when the North’s General Robert Patterson crossed the Potomac River at Williamsport and defeated the South’s General Joseph E. Johnston and General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. On October 18 and 19, 1862 the Martinsburg B&O Railroad complex and Roundhouses were burned. After November 1863, Berkeley County became a part of the new state of West Virginia that supported the North.