The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Martinsburg, WV (map), the county seat of Berkeley County, was originally chartered in 1778, and named in honor of Colonel Thomas Bryan Martin, nephew of Lord Fairfax. Fort Neally was established on a site near present-day Martinsburg perhaps as early as 1755.
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Map of Martinsburg and Vicinity
View a larger version of this map (best viewed full-screen) with links to driving directions and additional mapping options.
Baltimore and Ohio and Related Industries Historic District
Boomtown Historic District
Boydville Historic District
Downtown Martinsburg Historic District
East Martinsburg Historic District
South Water Street Historic District
Tuscarora Creek Historic District
Television (TV) Stations
WWPX (DT 12, Pax TV) : WWPX (TV 60, Pax TV)
The third newspaper published in West Virginia, the Berkeley Intelligencer, was published by John Alburtus in 1799. The Pioneer Press, the first African American newspaper in present-day West Virginia, was published in 1882 by J. R. Clifford, a Martinsburg attorney.
Map of schools in/near Martinsburg, WV
Colleges and Universities
Shepherd University, formerly Shepherd College, is located about 10 miles from Martinsburg, in Shepherdstown, WV.
Berkeley County Schools
Map of Martinsburg, WV showing streets, airports, parks, buildings, churches, cemeteries, trails and other points of interest, with link to driving directions.
Topo map of Martinsburg, WV and vicinity
Photos of historic B&O Railroad structures in Martinsburg, WV
Scale drawings of Martinsburg's railroad roundhouses.
Elevation: 457 feet
Founding of Martinsburg, WV
Martinsburg is situated upon the site of what was once the chief town of the Tuscarora Indians, the little stream on which it is situated still bearing the name of Tuscarora Creek.
The earliest permanent settlers in the West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle entered from Pennsylvania by the "Old Pack-horse Ford," at present-day Shepherdstown. By 1727 Morgan Morgan settled on Mill Creek, in Berkeley County, and Germans began a settlement that later grew into village called New Mechlenberg. Beginning in about 1730, other daring pioneer settled upon the Opeguon, Back Creek, Tuscarora Creek, Cacapon and farther west on the South Branch.
Martinsburg was founded in 1777, by act of the Virginia Assembly, which also appointed seven trustees in whom the titles of the land was vested.
Development of Martinsburg, WV
Martinsburg rceived new life and fresh impetus in 1835 from the large camp of the surveying corps which located the route of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), and in 1841, from the stores of railroad contractors and trade of the Irish and Germans who graded and bridged the rail line.
In 1842, the B&O track layers passed through Martinsburg, soon followed by the first steam locomotive to reach the town. In 1849, the town became a first class railway station point on the B&O, with enginehouse and machine shops under construction. In 1854, Martinsburg became the termius of a turnpike from Winchester.
By 1859, the town's population had grown to 3000, and the town had become incorporated, with hopes of becoming the terminus of the Cumberland Valley Railroad connecting with Chambersburg. In 1872, the Martinsburg & Potomac Railroad was completed through Martinsburg, a rail line leased to the Cumberland Valley Railroad.
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 started in Martinsburg on July 16, after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) announced a 10 percent reduction of wages. At the request of Governor Mathews, 200 federal troops were moved into Martinsburg to suppress the strike. The strike was put down but continued to spread to other areas, gaining in violence and intensity. The strike is generally regarded as the first nationwide strike in the U.S.
Variant Name(s) for Martinsburg, WV
Martins Town, Martins-Burgh, Martinsburgh, and Martinsville
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