Some Dates Relating to Hampshire County History:


Note: this is an ongoing project.
  • 1716 Gov. Spotswood and Order of Golden Horseshoe cross Blue Ridge mountains
  • 1729(?) first settlers enter the South Branch River Valley
  • before 1735 fist settlers (Corbin, Howard, Walker, Rutledge, and Forman) settled in Springfield area of South Branch Valley
  • 1736 first stone set at corner of Fairfax grant on headwaters of Potomac
  • March 1748  George Washington begins surveying in county for Lord Fairfax
  • May 26, 1748 Joseph Edwards received land grant for 400 acres on Great Cacapehon
  • 1748  200 persons reside at Pearsall's Flats
  • 1749 French Capt. Celeron sets copper plates and claims Ohio River for France at least as far as the Kanawah
  • Feb. 7, 1751 Christopher Gist sets marker on lands of the Ohio Company
  • July 4, 1751 Robert Dinwiddie appointed Lt. Gov. of Virginia Colony
  • April 1752  Washington does last surveys
  • July 7, 1752 Joseph Edwards appointed overseer for road from Jeremiah Smith's to the North River
  • Gov. Dinwiddie signs act creating the Town of Romney. It is the first town created in what will become West Virginia.
  • 1753 Christopher Gist cuts road for Ohio Company over an old Indian route form mouth of Will's Creek to mouth of the Red Stone Creek on the Monongahela
  • Winter 1753-1754  Washington passes through county on mission to French on Ohio River
  • April 19, 1754 Col. Washington "tarried at Job Pearsall's for the arrival of troops" before his trip to try to capture Ft. Desquene and his defeat at Ft. Necessity
  • 1754  Governor approves establishment of Hampshire County
  • May 28, 1754 George Washington attacks on small French force killing their leader, Jumonville
  • July 3, 1754 Col. Washington surrenders to the French at Ft. Necessity
  • 1755  First Hampshire Court record
  • July 9, 1755 Gen. Braddock's army ambushed at the Monongahela; Washington and the Virginians cover the retreat. The Virginia frontier is now open to French and Indian attacks.
  • April 16, 1756 Apparently, Daniel Morgan wounded near Hanging Rock on way to Winchester; two companions killed; Morgan escapes with neck/mouth wound and makes way to Edwards on the Cacapehon
  • April 18, 1756  Battle of Great Cacapehon; Capt. John Fenton Mercer, Ensign Thomas Carter and fifteen men killed
  • April 22, 1756 Col. Washington writes of Mr. Paris engaging small band of Indians on North River and killing French office with orders in his pocket to harass frontier; Washington sends men to reinforce Ft. Edwards
  • June 30, 1758  Washington visits Pearsall's on way to join Gen. Forbes against Ft. Duquesne
  • November 5, 1762 Hampshire County's request to establish the town of Tucker's Plantation has first reading in House of Burgesses
  • November 12, 1762 petitions to establish towns at both Shepherd's Town and a place called Pearsall's Level were presented to the House of Burgesses
  • November 18, 1762 the bill to establish the Town of Romney is read for the first time in the House of Burgesses
  • November 22, 1762 the bill to establish the Town of Mechlenberg was read for the first time in the House
  • November 23, 1762 the bill for dissolving the Parish of Hampshire and electing a new one is read the second time in the House of Burgesses; the bill for Mechlenberg is read the second time
  • November 24, 1762 the bill to dissolve the Hampshire Parish and establish a new one is passed
  • December 23, 1762 the bill to establish the Town of Romney was signed by Gov. Fauquier; later that day the bill for Mechlenberg was also signed; the bill to dissolve and reelect a Parish Vestry for Hampshire County is also signed that day  
  • 1765  Romney Academy built
  • 1770  Iron furnace built at Bloomery
  • Oct-Nov 1770  George Washington's last visit to Hampshire county; he and Dr. James Craik spend night in Romney
  • 1777  Capt. William Forman's defeat on the Ohio River during Revolutionary War
  • June 7, 1781 Francis Asbury crosses Cacapon on first visit to Hampshire County; stayed at William Rannells before traveling to Richard Williams
  • 1786  State road from Winchester to Romney
  • 1796  Post Office established at Romney
  • The Davis house is built.
  • October, 1777 boundries of Hampshire County changed when Augusta County reformed.
  • Francis Asbury crosses Cacapon on first visit to Hampshire County; stayed at William Rannells before traveling to Richard Williams, June 7, 1781
  • by 1786 a State road was opened from Winchester via Capon Bridge to Romney
  • 1786 Hardy County cut off from Hampshire
  • Dec. 12, 1787 Watson established; later became Capon Springs
  • Dec. 16, 1790 Town of Springfield established
  • ........... 1800
  • 1813 Barnes Mill built on the Cacapon
  • 1816 Tannery established in Fox's Hollow by Col. Vance Fox
  • 1818 merchant mill built on Fox's Hollow by William Fox
  • Feb. 4, 1819 The Polemic Society of Romney established.
  • 1819 General Assembly provides for "Public warehouse for the receipt of tobacco be established at Romney warehouse and at Cresap's warehouse at the confluence of the North and South Branches of the Potomac in Hampshire County"
  • 1820 by this time Samuel Gard had mill at Capon Bridge
  • Dec. 12, 1824 first Presbyterian Church dedicated by Dr. William Henry Foote on lots 59 & 60 at corner of High Street and Gravel Lane
  • 1825 Bloomery Presbyterian Church
  • by 1830 the Northwestern Pike reached Romney; by 1838 it reached Parkersburg.
  • 1830 1st stage line from Winchester to Capon Bridge est.
  • 1842 Capon and North Branch Turnpike completed; Springfield Grade Road upgraded
  • May 24, 1845 Land deeded for Romeny Classical Institute
  • 1850 Dr. Foote establishes Potomac Seminary
  • October 26, 1851 Methodist Church built in Springfield
  • 1853 Disciples of Christ build church on Sandy Ridge
  • 1854 Land deeded for Springfield Academy
  • 1860 Presbyterian Church built on corner of Marsham and Rosemary Lane
  • April 1861 Committee of Safety meets in Romney and begins to prepare for the coming war.
  • May 18, 1861 the Hampshire Guards and the Frontier Riflemen leave Romney to join other Virginia regiments at Harpers Ferry
  • Col. Lew Wallace with his Indiana Zouaves crosses Romney bridge and captures the town.
  • For Civil War see: Romney in the Civil War
  • June 1, 1866 First decoration ceremony of Confederate graves in Indian Mound Cemetery.
  • September 26, 1867 First Confederate Memorial dedicated to Confederate dead at Indian Mound Cemetery in Romney.
  • 1869 original Methodist Church built on lot 56 in Romney
  • September 29, 1870 The first term of WVSB opened with 25 deaf and 5 blind students.
  • March 4, 1871 Hampshire County resident John Jeremiah Jacob took office as first Democratic Governor of West Virginia.
  • Sept. 1, 1884 the B & O Railroad opens 16.29 miles of track from Green Spring (main line of the B & O Railroad) and Romney.
  • 1885 St. Stephen's Episcopal Church erected
  • 1890 first commercial peach orchard established by G.P. Miller & I.H.C. Pancake about 3 miles east of Romney.
  • John Jacob and William B. Cornwell publish the Hampshire Review.
  • 1893 The Riverside Tannery one mile west of Romney owned by the United States Leather Company burned down. (see: Tidbits of History)
  • 1895 Name of Potomac Seminary changes to Potomac Academy
  • 1897 The Cornwell brothers buy the South Branch Intelligencer and merge it with the Review.
  • 1898 Telephone lines completed from Cumberland to Romney and Romney to Capon Bridge
  • ............. 1900
  • Oct. 1910 Hampshire Southern Railroad Company opens 36.65 miles from Romney to Petersburg
  • May 17, 1916 Helen Keller visited The West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind.
  • 1918-19 One of the worst epidemics of influenza occurred. At the Schools for the Deaf and Blind one hundred ninety pupils and one half of the employees were ill with Spanish Influenza. Two girls and one boy from the deaf school died here after brief illnesses.
  • July 26, 1920 During renovation the east wall of the Courthouse collapses burying a small child, Tom Duncan. The county will finally vote to construct a new Courthouse.
  • Feb. 27, 1922 the new Courthouse opens for business. Literary Hall across the street had been used temporarily.
  • September 16, 1921 All students at Deaf and Blind School attended the laying of the corner stone for the new dormitory for the blind. Some things placed in the corner stone were: New York Point, Braille alphabets, the names of teachers, officers, and the pupils of the School for the Blind.
  • 1928 Route 28 built through Springfield destroying the old town square.
  • 1936 The Great Flood of the Potomac River caused by melting snow and heavy rain in February and March.
  • 1940 The Coca-Cola plant is built.
  • 1959 Hampshire Memorial Hospital opens to patients on Center Lane off Depot Street in Romney.
  • 1962 A fire destroys the Coffman-Fishe clothing store, Western Auto and Hackley's Grocery store in Romney.
  • The Wirgman Building in Romney burns. It had been built in 1825 and later used by the Valley Bank and the Bank of Romney. During the Civil War Lt. John Blue escaped from it while being held prisoner by Union troops. 1985 A great flood on the South Branch River.
  • Jan. 1, 1992 Teachers and students at Capon Bridge Elementary may be bringing in the New Year at a new school. According to superintendent of Hampshire County Schools Gerald Mathias, construction on the building is complete and students may be having class there by Jan. 10. The elementary school consists of 25 classrooms plus an art/music room, computer area, media center and a multipurpose room.
  • . . . . . . . . . 2000
  • September 2008 The new Hampshire County Judicial Center is dedicated by Gov. Joe Manchin.
  • 2010 The new bridge over the South Branch at Romney opens.
  • May 2011 The new Hampshire Memorial Hospital opens at Mountain Top.

See also the timeline for the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind

Please email corrections or suggested additions to nrmsaadk@historichampshire.org