Pendleton County is nestled in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, bordered by Virginia to the south and the Allegheny Mountains to the west. Although it is a relatively small and rural county, Pendleton is steeped in rich history. Here are 7 interesting facts about Pendleton County in West Virginia history:
1. Pendleton County was established in 1787 and was named after Edmund Pendleton, a prominent Virginia statesman who served as president of the Continental Congress.
2. During the Civil War, Pendleton County was a strategic location for both Union and Confederate troops. The town of Franklin, the county seat, was occupied by both sides at various times, and several battles were fought in the surrounding area.
3. During the 19th century, Pendleton County was known for its thriving timber industry. Oak, hickory, and chestnut trees were harvested for their valuable wood, which was used to build houses, furniture, and even railroad ties.
4. In the early 1900s, Pendleton County became a popular destination for tourists seeking rest and relaxation in the mountainous countryside. Many wealthy families from Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and other East Coast cities built summer homes in the area.
5. Pendleton County is home to two major rivers: the South Branch Potomac River and the North Fork River. These rivers have provided a source of water, transportation, and recreation for local residents for centuries.
6. Several famous Americans have ties to Pendleton County, including General "Stonewall" Jackson, who taught school in the town of Franklin in the 1840s. Other notable residents include Brigadier General William Lowther Jackson (no relation to Stonewall), poet Louise McNeill, and West Virginia Governor William W. Barron.
7. Finally, Pendleton County is known for its unique cultural traditions, including old-time music, barn dances, and quilting. The county hosts several festivals and events throughout the year to celebrate these traditions, including the Mountain State Forest Festival and the Appalachian String Band Festival.
In conclusion, Pendleton County may be a small and rural corner of West Virginia, but it has a rich and fascinating history. From its role in the Civil War to its contributions to the timber industry and its unique cultural traditions, Pendleton County has left a lasting mark on the state and the nation as a whole.
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