West Virginia June 13, 2016
Here Are The 2 Oldest Towns In West Virginia… And They’re Loaded With History
The oldest town in West Virginia is…Romney! Or is it Shepherdstown? Well, it depends who you ask.
It’s contested whether Romney or Shepherdstown is the oldest town in West Virginia, but both towns were chartered in 1762. Here are some of the places you can visit to learn about the history in each town.
The city of Romney has a number of historic homes, including this mansion and farm named Wappocomo. It was home to the influential Parsons family.
Also located on the property is this home called Washington Place, which is one of the first homes that was built by a freed slave.
The Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad also boards on the farm. Once part of the B&O railroad, it now hosts tours where visitors can get a good look at nearby bald eagles.
Romney was once a location for a Coca-Cola bottling plant, which was open from 1939-1990.
The Romney Indian Mound was a burial site for the Hopewell Indians. It now also serves as a cemetery for prominent West Virginians.
WikiMedia Commons/Justin A.Wilcox
Located in the cemetery is the first memorial for fallen Confederate soldiers from the Civil War. Romney was especially torn by the Civil war, as some of its citizens sided with the Union, and others sided with the Confederacy.
You can learn all about Shepherdstown's past in the Historic Shepherdstown Museum. It's located in the Entler Hotel, which is rumored to be haunted.
Behind the hotel is a smaller museum dedicated to James Rumsey, who built one of the earliest steamboats and launched it in Shepherdstown. A working model of his steamboat is housed in the building.
History and legend are intertwined in the Shepherdstown Mysteries Walk, a tour of the town that runs at dusk on Fridays and Saturdays. Some people have experienced strange events during the tours.
If chatting over a cup of tea is more your style, you can also attend talks about the history and ghost legends at Shaharazade's Restaurant & Tea Room. The talk is called "Tea with the Dearly Departed."
Finally, enjoy a concert or a film at the Shepherdstown Opera House. It was built in 1910, and still retains a classic charm.
What’s your favorite location from West Virginia’s earliest days?