The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Keyser, West Virginia

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The seat of Mineral County, Keyser was established in 1811 on the Potomac River at the mouth of New Creek but wasn't incorporated until 1874, more than 20 years after completion of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The town was named in honor of William Keyser, first vice president of the B&0. It first settler was Patrick McCarthy, for whom the community was previously named "Paddy Town." Its post office, New Creek, was established in 1852 when the B&O built through the region. Potomac State College was established at Keyser in 1901.

Keyser, WV
Keyser, WV Hotels

Keyser, WV

Keyser, WV is located about: 5 miles southeast of Piedmont, WV; 23 miles northwest of Romney, WV; and 23 southwest of Cumberland, MD .


Allegheny Wildlife Management Area


Mineral County Library Association


Public Schools
Mineral County Schools

Colleges and Universities
Potomac State College was originally established as as the Keyser Preparatory Branch of the West Virginia University in 1901, opening in 1902 as the West Virginia Preparatory School. In 1921 it became a two-year college, later becoming a regional campus of West Virginia University (WVU). The land on which the school is built came to be known as Fort Hill because it was the former location of Fort Fuller, a Civil War fort.



180px-Keyser_West_Virginia.gif Map of Keyser, WV showing streets and highways, and nearby airports, parks, hospitals, buildings, churches, cemeteries, trails and more; with link to driving directions.

Topo Map of Keyser, WV and vicinity

Census Data

Population: 5,303 (2000 Census)


Elevation: 810
Longitude: -78.9742
Latitude: 39.4408

Keyser, WV During the Civil War

The site of Keyser was merely developed as a farm before the Civil War. Due to its strategic position, the site of present-day Keyser was the scene of numerous miltary engagements, changing hands between Confederate and Union forces 14 times during the war. Here, Fort Fuller, a Union stockade, was erected during the conflict at a location that would later become the grounds of Potomac State College.

Development of Keyser, WV

In the 1870's, when the B&O needed to build a large rail yard, Keyser was the logical choice, due to the availability of flat land along the railroad.

Keyser, established largely through the energy of Henry G. Davis, received its first stimulus to growth through its selection as the county seat of Mineral County, which was formed from Hampshire County in 1866.

When the B&O began experiencing a rapid growth in freight traffic during the 1870's, the railroad found itself in need of additional shipping and repair facilities and freight yards near the Northern West Virginia coalfields. Because the B&O's facilities at Piedmont lacked suficient room for expansion, the railroad decided to build its new shop, yards, and locomotive servicing facilities at the present-day location of Keyser, WV.

Variant Name(s) for Keyser, WV

New Creek, New Creek Station, Paddy Town, Paddys Town, Paddytown