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Charles Town WV

Charles Town West Virginia
“Eastern Gateway of Wild and Wonderful West Virginia”

City of Charles Town WV

The town of Charles Town is located in Jefferson County surrounded by the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in West Virginia. Charles Town is rich history and culture, scenic beauty, unique architecture, eclectic artwork and galleries, performing arts theaters, casino gaming entertainment, thoroughbred racing, live concerts, historic downtown and landmarks, original shops, local restaurants, outdoor adventures, and many attractions to explore. Charles Town is within 1-hour drive of Baltimore and Washington DC.

History of Charles Town WV

Charles Washington, the founder of Charles Town, was born in Hunting Creek, now Fairfax County, Virginia on May 2, 1738. He was the youngest full brother of George Washington. The estate of Charles Washington, Happy Retreat, was erected in 1780. In 1786, on 80 acres of his adjoining land, Charles laid out the streets of Charles Town, naming many of them after his brothers and one after his wife, Mildred. Jefferson County was formed in 1801 as Charles Washington had anticipated. The county court house stands on one of the lots he donated.

On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and his followers raided the Federal arsenal at nearby Harpers Ferry, seven miles east of Charles Town. The insurrection was ultimately put down and John Brown was tried for treason in the town’s Jefferson County court house. On December 2, 1859, he was hanged in Charles Town at the Gibson-Todd House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

During the first two years of the American Civil War, Charles Town frequently changed hands during the military engagements in the surrounding areas with the town first occupied by Confederate troops, then Union troops, then back to Confederate until 1863 when Union troops occupied the town on a permanent basis for the remainder of the war.

The Charles Town Race Track first opened in 1933. It was built on land purchased from the Charles Town Horse Show Association.

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