Berkeley County in West Virginia is a beautiful place with a rich history. Here are seven interesting facts about the county's history:
1. Berkeley County was formed in 1772 from parts of Frederick County, Virginia. It was named in honor of Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, the governor of Virginia at the time.
2. During the American Revolution, the county was a major center of activity. General Horatio Gates and his army encamped near Martinsburg (the county seat) before their victory at the Battle of Saratoga. The county also saw skirmishes and raids by both British and American forces.
3. The county was home to many prominent figures in American history, including James Rumsey, who invented the steamboat; Adam Stephen, a brigadier general in the Continental Army; and Belle Boyd, a Confederate spy during the Civil War.
4. Berkeley County played a significant role in the Civil War. Confederate troops occupied the county for much of the war, and the Battle of Shepherdstown was fought just across the river in neighboring Jefferson County. The Civil War-era Berkeley County Courthouse, which still stands today, was used as a hospital during the conflict.
5. The county's population grew significantly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to the development of the railroad. Martinsburg became an important railroad hub, connecting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with other lines.
6. Berkeley County was the birthplace of several notable figures, including baseball legend Hack Wilson, Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan, and actress Gretchen Mol.
7. In recent years, Berkeley County has become a hub for technology and commerce. The Eastern Panhandle Technical Innovation Center, located in Martinsburg, helps entrepreneurs and small businesses develop and grow their ventures. The county is also home to several large employers, including Procter & Gamble and Macy's.
Berkeley County's history is a fascinating one, filled with important events and notable figures. Whether you're interested in the American Revolution, the Civil War, or the modern economy, there's something for everyone to discover in this beautiful part of West Virginia.
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