Martinsburg West Virginia
“Gateway of the Shenandoah Valley”




Town of Martinsburg WV

The City of Martinsburg, West Virginia is considered the “fastest growing City in the State” and is also known as the “Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley.” Martinsburg is located in the heart of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and the City of Martisnburg serves as the county seat to Berkeley County. The city of Martinsburg is considered small town living near major metropolitan areas such as Washington DC, and Baltimore Maryland.

The City of Martinsburg also provides for several recreational, cultural and arts activities. War Memorial Park, in particular, is host to swimming, entertainment and fairs and festivals throughout the year. Several other parks provide for youth activities as well. The Apollo Theatre, The Arts Centre, Belle Boyd House, Adam Stephen House and the Apple Harvest Festival provide for year-round culture and arts, historic sites and tourism for the community and visitors.


History of Martinsburg WV

The City of Martinsburg started as a settlement founded on the upper Potomac River in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War by General Adam Stephen. He named it in honor of Colonel Thomas Bryan Martin.

Aspen Hall played a huge role in city of Martinsburg. Aspen Hall is the oldest house in the city and was built in 1745 by Edward Beeson, Sr. Aspen Hall and its wealthy residents had key roles in the agricultural, religious, transportation, and political history of the region. Significant events related to the French and Indian War; the Revolution, and the Civil War took place on the property. During the war the prized transportation routes became trails of destruction and bloodshed. Because of its strategic location, Martinsburg changed hands over thirty times during the Civil War and was the site of two battles. In 1861, Martinsburg residents supported the Union while most others in the Shenandoah Valley supported Virginia lawmaker’s decision to join the Confederacy on April 17, 1861.

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) reached Martinsburg in 1842. The B&O Roundhouse and Station Complex was first constructed in 1849. The B&O’s shops employed many locals throughout its 130 years of operation. Martinsburg became a center of the railroad industry and its workers. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began July 14, 1877 in this city and spread nationwide.

Telephone service was established in Martinsburg in 1883. In 1889, electricity began to be furnished to Martinsburg as part of a franchise granted to the United Edison Manufacturing Company of New York.


Bell Boyd House

In 1854, ten-year-old Isabelle Boyd, known as “Belle” and later a noted spy for the Confederacy, moved to Martinsburg with her family; where her father Benjamin operated a general merchandise store. After the Civil War began, Benjamin joined Second Virginia Infantry, which was part of the Stonewall Brigade. His wife Mary was thus in charge of the Boyd home when Union forces under General Robert Patterson took Martinsburg. When a group of Patterson’s men tried to raise a Union flag over the Boyd home, Mary refused. One of the soldiers, Frederick Martin, threatened Mary, and Belle shot him. She was acquitted. She soon became involved in espionage, sending information to Confederate generals Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and J.E.B. “Jeb” Stuart. Often she was helped by Eliza Corsey, a Boyd family slave whom Belle had taught to read and write. In 1863, Belle was arrested in Martinsburg by the Union Army and imprisoned. Boyd’s Greek Revival home, which he had built in 1853 and sold in 1855, had numerous owners over the decades. In 1992 it was purchased by the Berkeley County Historical Society. The historical society renovated the building and now operates it as the Berkeley County Museum. It is also known as the Belle Boyd House.


Adam Stephen House

Built of native limestone in the late 1770s to early 1780s, the Adam Stephen House is a fine example of colonial stone architecture. The land on which the house was constructed was purchased by Adam Stephen in 1770 as part of a 255-acre tract. Stephen also operated nearby two mills, a distillery, and an armory along the Tuscarora Creek in the town that was chartered by the Virginia assembly in 1778 as Martinsburg.  The house was given to the City of Martinsburg in 1959 by William Evers, a former town resident living then in California, and the General Adam Stephen Memorial Association was formed with the purpose to restore it as a memorial to the town founder and to acquire furnishings suitable for the period of its early habitation as a house museum.


  • Chocolate Festival and Book Faire
  • Fridays @ Five Downtown
  • Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival
  • Chili Cookoff
  • Soap Box Derby Race
  • North Mountain Arts Festival
  • Bike Night in Martinsburg


Back to West Virginia Mountains Cities & Towns Travel Guide