Keyser West Virginia
“Friendliest City in the USA”

Town of Keyser WV

The city of Keyser is the county seat located in Mineral County on the North Branch of the Potomac River in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Keyser, the county seat of local government, is 150 miles from Baltimore, 120 miles from Pittsburgh, 140 miles from Washington, but 254 miles from Charleston, the West Virginia state capital. Visitors and residents alike enjoy Keyer’s many opportunities for recreational activities including fishing, golf, hunting, boating, and canoeing.

History of Keyser WV

The city of Keyser was first called Paddy Town, for Patrick McCarty, an early landowner who operated a nearby iron furnace. Soon after, Keyser was called New Creek Station, for the creek that joins the North Branch of the Potomac at this location. It was finally named after William Keyser, a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad official.

The first white men to pass through present Keyser are believed to have been William Mayo and George Savage, sent by Lord Fairfax in 1736 to seek out the source of the Potomac River. The first local land grant was issued by Fairfax to Christopher Beelor on March 20, 1752. Early industry included an iron furnace and foundry, a salt well, and a salt-making plant. The town received an economic boost with the arrival of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1852.

The Civil War came to Keyser in 1861. Fort Fuller was built on the present site of Potomac State College of West Virginia University. Keyser changed hands 14 times during the Civil War due to the importance of the railroad and its location.

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