Berkeley County, West Virginia
Berkeley County, West Virginia was created in 1772 and became West Virginia’s second oldest county after the Mountain State was admitted to the Union in 1863 during the American Civil War. There was disagreement by historians as to who Berkeley County, West Virginia was named after, either Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt, or may have been named in honor of Sir William Berkeley.
Berkeley County was of strategic importance to both the North and South during the American Civil War. Berkeley County and Martinsburg, the county seat, was very important because the main line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad ran through the town.
Most of Berkeley County’s residents were loyal to the South during the American Civil War. During the 19th century, Berkeley County was reduced in size twice. Jefferson County was formed out of the county’s eastern section in 1801, and then, in 1820, Morgan County was formed out of the county’s western section.
Berkeley County is home to the highest and most topographically prominent peak in the county, Third Hill Mountain. The Potomac River, as well as numerous streams, flow through Berkeley County, West Virginia.