West Virginia Department of Commerce Mountaineer Country

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Mountaineer Country



Barbour County
Named in honor of Philip Pendleton Barbour, distinguished jurist of Virginia, this county was created in 1843 from parts of Randolph, Harrison and Lewis Counties. The chief industries and agricultural products are coal, lumber, buckwheat, dairy farming, livestock, fruit, poultry and grain. The county seat of Philippi was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861. Union troops under General B.F. Kelly surprised the Confederate troops of Colonel George A. Porterfield.

The Philippi Covered Bridge, originally built in 1852 by Lemuel Chenoweth and destroyed by fire, has been reconstructed to its original form. This twin‑barreled bridge is the longest two‑lane covered bridge still in use on a federal highway (U.S. Route 250).

Doddridge County
Formed from parts of Harrison, Tyler, Ritchie and Lewis Counties in 1845, the county was named for Philip Doddridge, a distinguished statesman of western Virginia. It was the home of J.H. Diss DeBar, who designed the great Seal of the Coat of Arms of West Virginia. The chief agricultural and industrial products are livestock, poultry, lumber, petroleum and natural gas. West Union, the county seat, was incorporated in 1881. The town's name was suggested by Nathan Davis, who owned the land. The town, located across Middle Island Creek from Lewisport, was trying to have its name changed to Union; thus the name West Union.

Harrison County
Created in 1784, this county was formed from Monongalia County and named for Benjamin Harrison, a Virginian who was the father of William Henry Harrison, ninth president of the U.S. and great‑grandfather of Benjamin Harrison, twenty‑third president. The leading industrial and agricultural products are glass, coal, chemicals, petroleum, natural gas, lumber, chinaware, pottery, Italian‑style foods, livestock, hay, grain, poultry and dairy farming.

Clarksburg, the county seat, was chartered in 1785 and named for George Rogers Clark a Virginia soldier. Clarksburg is best known as the birthplace of General Thomas J. "Stonewall” Jackson. Every Labor Day weekend the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival celebrates the settling of the area by Italian immigrants.

The first Baptist Church (Simpson Creek Baptist Church) west of the Allegheny Mountains was organized in 1774 in Bridgeport
. Michael Late Benedum, philanthropist and founder of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, was born in Bridgeport.

Marion County
Created in 1842 from parts of Monongalia and Harrison Counties and named for General Francis Marion, "the Swamp Fox” of the Revolutionary War. The chief agricultural and industrial products are livestock, hay, grain, dairy farming, poultry, coal, glass, petroleum, natural gas, aluminum sheets, mining machinery, fluorescent lamps, plumbing fixtures, electric power, fiberglass, hydraulic pumps and motor parts. The county seat was chartered in 1843 as
Fairmont, a contraction of Fair Mountain, the first name considered for the new town. 

Fairmont was the home of Francis H. Pierpont, governor of the Restored Government of Virginia in 1861 and birthplace of Mary Lou Retton, 1984 U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist in gymnastics. The worst mining disaster in West Virginia history occurred at Monongah in 1907, when 361 men lost their lives.

Monongalia County
Formed in 1776 from the District of Augusta in Virginia, this county was named for the Monongahela River which flows to Pittsburgh. The leading industrial and agricultural products are chemicals, coal, glass, petroleum, lumber, livestock, hay, grain, dairy farming, fruit, vegetables and poultry.

Morgantown, the county seat, is home to West Virginia University and the Personal Rapid Transit System, the world's first totally automated transportation system which connects WVU's two campuses with the downtown area. The computer‑directed cars travel over nine miles of concrete guideways. Morgantown was founded in 1766‑1768 by Colonel Zackquill Morgan, son of Morgan Morgan, the first white settler in what is now West Virginia. Morgantown is home to the Mountaineer Balloon Festival, Mountaineer Country Glass Festival and the Mason‑Dixon Festival.

Preston County
This area was formed from Monongalia County in 1818. The name is in honor of James Patton Preston, governor of Virginia, from 1816‑1819. The chief agricultural and industrial products are buckwheat, hay, grain, poultry, maple sugar, coal, lumber and cement.

The incorporated area of Arthurdale was built through the federal homestead program of the early 1930s. Eleanor Roosevelt took a special interest in this area and it became known as Eleanor's New Deal Dream Community.

Kingwood, the county seat, was established in 1811, though not chartered until 1953. The name comes from the location of a forest of unusually tall trees: forest king.

Taylor County
Created from parts of Harrison, Barbour and Marion Counties in 1844. The name is in honor of Senator John Taylor, distinguished soldier and statesman of Carolina County, Virginia. The leading industrial and agricultural products are coal, lumber, plastics, clothing and Grafton Manufactured Housing, Inc.

The only 
national cemetery in West Virginia is located in Grafton, the county seat. Mother's Day originated in Grafton at Andrews Methodist Church on May 10, 1908 when Anna Jarvis instigated the service in honor of her mother, Anna Reeves. Jarvis was responsible for the proclamation of Mother's Day as a national holiday in 1914 and the church is now known as the International Mother's Day Shrine. Bailey Brown, the first Union soldier killed in the Civil War, died on May 22, 1861 at Fetterman.