Martinsburg, West Virginia
Martinsburg is a city in and the county seat of Berkeley County, West Virginia, United States, in the tip of the state's Eastern Panhandle region in the upper Shenandoah Valley. Its population was 17,465 in the 2018 census estimate, making it the largest city in the Eastern Panhandle and the eighth-largest municipality in the state. Martinsburg is part of the Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Location of Martinsburg in Berkeley County, West Virginia.
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Location of Martinsburg in Berkeley County, West Virginia.
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Martinsburg, West Virginia (West Virginia)
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Martinsburg, West Virginia (the United States)
|Coordinates: 39°27′33″N 77°58′4″W|
|• Mayor||George Karos|
|• City||6.65 sq mi (17.22 km2)|
|• Land||6.63 sq mi (17.17 km2)|
|• Water||0.02 sq mi (0.04 km2)|
|Elevation||453 ft (138 m)|
|• Density||2,624.64/sq mi (1,013.37/km2)|
|• Metro||260,070 (US: 181th)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1542824|
|Website||City of Martinsburg|
Martinsburg was established by an act of the Virginia General Assembly that was adopted in December 1778 during the American Revolutionary War. Founder Major General Adam Stephen named the gateway town to the Shenandoah Valley along Tuscarora Creek in honor of Colonel Thomas Bryan Martin, a nephew of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.
Aspen Hall, a Georgian mansion, is the oldest house in the city. Part was built in 1745 by Edward Beeson, Sr. Aspen Hall and its wealthy residents had key roles in the agricultural, religious, transportation, and political history of the region. Significant events related to the French and Indian War; the Revolution, and the Civil War took place on the property. Three original buildings are still standing, including the rare blockhouse of Mendenhall's Fort.
The first United States post office in what is now West Virginia was established at Martinsburg in 1792. At that time, Martinsburg and the larger territory were still part of Virginia.
According to William Still, "The Father of the Underground Railroad" and its historian, Robert Brown, alias Thomas Jones, escaped from slavery in Martinsburg on Christmas night, 1856. He rode a horse and had it swim across the freezing Potomac River. After riding forty miles, he walked in cold wet clothes for two days, to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He received assistance there from the Underground Railroad and traveled by train to Philadelphia, and the office of William Still with the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Brown's wife and four children had been sold; he sought help to find them. He had a likeness of his wife, and locks of hair from each of them.
In 1854, ten-year-old Isabelle Boyd, known as "Belle" and later a noted spy for the Confederacy, moved to Martinsburg with her family; where her father Benjamin operated a general merchandise store. After the Civil War began, Benjamin joined the Second Virginia Infantry, which was part of the Stonewall Brigade. His wife Mary was thus in charge of the Boyd home when Union forces under General Robert Patterson took Martinsburg. When a group of Patterson's men tried to raise a Union flag over the Boyd home, Mary refused. One of the soldiers, Frederick Martin, threatened Mary, and Belle shot him. She was acquitted.
She soon became involved in espionage, sending information to Confederate generals Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and J.E.B. "Jeb" Stuart. Often she was helped by Eliza Corsey, a Boyd family slave whom Belle had taught to read and write. In 1863, Belle was arrested in Martinsburg by the Union Army and imprisoned. Boyd's Greek Revival home, which he had built in 1853 and sold in 1855, had numerous owners over the decades. In 1992 it was purchased by the Berkeley County Historical Society. The historical society renovated the building and now operates it as the Berkeley County Museum. It is also known as the Belle Boyd House.
Most residents of West Virginia were yeomen farmers who supported the Union and, during the Civil War, they voted to separate from Virginia. The new state was admitted to the Union during the war. The city of Martinsburg was incorporated by an act of the new West Virginia Legislature on March 30, 1868.
Martinsburg became a center of the railroad industry and its workers. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began July 14, 1877 in this city at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops. After several unsuccessful attempts to quell the protests, Governor Henry M. Mathews called for federal troops. By the time these troops had restored order, the protest of the rail company had spread across the country.
Telephone service was established in Martinsburg in 1883. In 1889, electricity began to be furnished to Martinsburg as part of a franchise granted to the United Edison Manufacturing Company of New York.
The Interwoven mills began operations in Martinsburg in 1891; it grew to be the largest manufacturer of men's hosiery in the world.
Construction of the "Apollo Civic Theatre" was completed in 1913.
World War I and beyond
Over one thousand (1,039) men from Berkeley County participated in World War I. Of these, forty-one were killed and twenty-one were wounded in battle. A monument to those who fell in battle was erected in Martinsburg in 1925.
During World War II, the Newton D. Baker Hospital in Martinsburg treated thousands of soldiers wounded in the war. In 1946 this military hospital became a part of the Veterans Administration (VA). The VA Medical Center in Martinsburg still provides care to United States veterans.
Due to restructuring beginning in the late 1940s and continuing through the 1970s, many of the mills and factories operating in Martinsburg shut down and went out of business, dealing a major blow to the local economy. Jobs were moved to the Deep South and later offshore.
Location and topography
Martinsburg is located at 39°27′33″N 77°58′4″W (39.459207, −77.967814). Martinsburg is approximately 18 miles (29 km) southeast of Hagerstown, 73 miles (117 km) west of Baltimore, 63 miles (101 km) northwest of Washington, D.C., and 134 miles (216 km) east of Morgantown. U.S. Route 11 runs through the center of town, and Interstate 81 passes along the northern side of the town.
Martinsburg is 212 miles (341 km) distant from the state capital of Charleston. However, it is closer to no less than five other state capitals: Harrisburg PA - 80 miles (130 km), Annapolis MD - 85 miles (137 km), Dover DE - 132 miles (212 km), Richmond VA - 135 miles (217 km), and Trenton NJ - 179 miles (288 km).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.67 square miles (17.28 km2), of which 6.65 square miles (17.22 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.
Martinsburg lies in the transition from a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) to a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool to cold with a January daily mean temperature of 30.9 °F (−0.6 °C) and an average seasonal snowfall of 26.6 inches (68 cm), while summers are hot and humid with a July daily mean temperature of 74.7 °F (23.7 °C) and 27 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ readings annually. Precipitation is moderate, with winter being the driest period and May thru July the wettest. Extreme temperatures at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport range from −18 °F (−28 °C) on January 21, 1994 up to 112 °F (44 °C) on July 11, 1936; an even colder −19 °F (−28 °C) was recorded in the city on January 14, 1912.
|Climate data for Martinsburg, West Virginia (Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport), 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1891−present|
|Record high °F (°C)||80
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||62.9
|Average high °F (°C)||39.5
|Average low °F (°C)||22.3
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||2.3
|Record low °F (°C)||−19
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.44
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||9.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.4||8.9||10.6||10.5||12.6||11.0||10.1||8.7||8.8||8.5||9.3||9.3||117.7|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||3.7||2.1||1.7||0.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.5||2.1||10.3|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 17,227 people, 7,293 households, and 4,106 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,590.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,000.2/km2). There were 8,408 housing units at an average density of 1,264.4 per square mile (488.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 14.9% African American, 0.4% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 2.3% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.2% of the population.
There were 7,293 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.3% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.7% were non-families. Of all households, 35.4% were made up of individuals and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the city was 37 years. 23.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.3% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,972 people, 6,684 households, and 3,689 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,977.4 people per square mile (1,149.2/km²). There were 7,432 housing units at an average density of 1,478.0/sq mi (570.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.7% White, 0.2% African American, 0% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0%% from other races, and 0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.
There were 6,684 households out of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.8% were non-families. 37.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the city, the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,495, and the median income for a family was $36,954. Males had a median income of $29,697 versus $22,212 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,314. About 14.7% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.8% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.
Major private employers in and around Martinsburg include Quad/Graphics, Ecolab, Orgill, Macy's, and FedEx. In February 2015, it was announced that Procter & Gamble plans to build a $500 million facility near the city.
The city also has numerous federal government employers, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Coast Guard Operations Systems Center, U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Martinsburg VA Medical Center.
The Martinsburg IRS Facility, one of the two Enterprise Computing Centers of the Internal Revenue Service (the other is in Memphis, Tennessee), processes most of the country's electronically filed tax documents from businesses, and about one-third of electronically-filed tax returns.
Future Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Hack Wilson began his storied professional career in his adopted hometown with the Martinsburg Blue Sox, a low-level minor-league baseball team. Wilson would go on to set the yet-to-broken major league record for RBI in a season (191) with the Chicago Cubs in 1930.
After his playing career ended in 1935, Hack went back home to Martinsburg, played some ball with the town’s semipro team and opened a recreation and pool hall in town with a partner. He later moved to Baltimore in 1941 where he later died November 23, 1948. Originally scheduled to be interred in Baltimore, Wilson was buried — in a donated plot — in Martinsburg,
- Berkeley Medical Center (formerly WVUH-East City Hospital and City Hospital)
- Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Retail centers/areas in Martinsburg include:
- Foxcroft Towne Center: Walmart, Hobby Lobby and Party City. There was originally a shopping mall there, but it shut down in late 2016 .Location: Foxcroft Avenue, Interstate 81 Exit 12 & 13.
- The Commons Shopping Center: 400,000 square feet (37,000 m2) anchored by Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, T.J. Maxx, Famous Footwear, Books-A-Million, Bed Bath and Beyond, Michael's, Petsmart and Five Below. Opened in 2009. Location: Retail Commons Parkway, Interstate 81 Exit 12.
- Old Courthouse Square: 201,350 square feet (18,706 m2) anchored by Shop 'n Save and Super Shoes. Opened in 1987. Location: Edwin Miller Blvd.
- Apple Harvest Drive: Shop 'n Save, Lowe's and Gabe's.
- North Queen Street: Weis Markets, Tractor Supply, Planet Fitness, Big Lots and Aaron's.
- Other shopping areas in the city are the Berkeley Plaza on Williamsport Pike and Martinsburg Plaza on Winchester Ave.
Elementary and intermediate schools
- Rocky Knoll Adventist School
- Back Creek Valley Elementary
- Bedington Elementary
- Berkeley Heights Elementary
- Bunker Hill Elementary
- Burke Street Elementary
- Gerrardstown Elementary
- Hedgesville Elementary
- Inwood Elementary
- Marlowe Elementary
- Opequon Elementary
- Rosemont Elementary
- Spring Mills Elementary
- Tuscarora Elementary
- Valley View Elementary
- Winchester Avenue Elementary
- Mountain Ridge Intermediate
- Potomac Intermediate
- Orchard View Intermediate
- Mill Creek Intermediate
- Eagle School Intermediate
- Tomahawk Intermediate
- St. Joseph Catholic School
- North Middle
- South Middle
- Spring Mills Middle
- Hedgesville Middle
- Mountain Ridge Middle
- Musselman Middle
Roads and highways
Martinsburg is served by several significant highways. The most prominent of these is Interstate 81, which is the main north-south highway through the region. I-81 connects northward to Hagerstown and Harrisburg, and continues southward to Winchester and Roanoke. U.S. Route 11, the former primary regional north-south highway, now serves as a local service road to I-81, and travels through downtown Martinsburg. The main highway serving regional east-west travel is West Virginia Route 9. From Martinsburg eastwards, WV 9 follows an expressway, connecting the city to Charles Town and Leesburg. WV 9 follows US 11 through downtown Martinsburg. To the west, WV 9 continues to Berkeley Springs and Paw Paw. West Virginia Route 45 is the other state highway serving Martinsburg. WV 45 extends westward into rural Berkeley County, and continues eastward to Shepherdstown.
Amtrak provides service to Martinsburg. The city's passenger rail station is located downtown at 229 East Martin Street. MARC, Maryland's commuter rail system, operates trains on weekdays on its Brunswick Line which terminates in Martinsburg. Service is provided to Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority operates public bus transit routes in Martinsburg, surrounding Berkeley County, and neighboring Jefferson County, West Virginia.
Eastern WV Regional Airport, south of the city, handles general aviation and Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base is located at this airport. The closest airport with commercial air service is Hagerstown Regional Airport, that is about 25 miles (40 km) driving distance north. The closest international airport is Washington Dulles International Airport near D.C., which is about 60 miles (97 km) driving distance east.
- Martinsburg has one daily community newspaper, The Journal and also is regionally covered by The Herald-Mail (Hagerstown, MD)
- Martinsburg has a bi-monthly magazine, Around the Panhandle magazine.
- Martinsburg is home to W08EE-D Channel 8 (West Virginia Public Broadcasting) and (WWPX 60 (ION), all part of the Hagerstown sub-market that is further grouped under the Nielsen-designated Washington, D.C.-Hagerstown, Md. market, the ninth largest market in the nation.
- Martinsburg, WV was the setting of the X-Files episode "Small Potatoes" (Season 4, episode 20). However, the filming did not take place in the vicinity.
- Martinsburg is the setting for the reality television series Gypsy Sisters on TLC.
- Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War and Mayor of Cleveland
- Harold H. Bender (1882–1951), professor of philology at Princeton University
- Charles Boarman (1828–1880), physician
- Belle Boyd (1844-1900) Confederate spy in the American Civil War
- Scott Bullett, former outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs
- Vicky Bullett, Olympic gold medalist in women's basketball
- Kathe Burkhart, artist, writer, feminist
- Summers Burkhart (1859–1932), attorney
- Harry Flood Byrd, Sr., U.S. Senator and Governor of Virginia
- Robert Lee Castleman, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter
- Danny Casolaro, committed suicide in Martinsburg
- Charles James Faulkner, U.S. Representative from Virginia
- Karl Hess, former D.C. insider turned Libertarian and appropriate technology activist, relocated to the Martinsburg area in the 1970s.
- Corey Hill, UFC fighter
- Joseph Howard Hodges, (1911-1985), fifth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling
- Charles Porterfield Krauth (1823–1883), Lutheran theologian
- Shannon Larkin, drummer for the hard rock band Godsmack
- Edward F. McClain, member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
- Walter Dean Myers, author
- John Quincy Adams Nadenbousch, colonel in Confederate States Army
- Mary Elizabeth Price (1877–1965), impressionist painter
- Ronald Radosh, ex-New Left, ex-libertarian, now neoconservative author
- Absalom Willis Robertson, U.S. Senator from Virginia
- David Hunter Strother (aka Porte Crayon), artist
- Fulton Walker, former football player for the Miami Dolphins
- Garland Wilson (1909–1954), jazz pianist
- Hack Wilson, Hall of Fame baseball player
- Mary Ann Shaffer (1934-2008), writer, editor, librarian and noted for her posthumously published work The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
- Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the expected highest and lowest temperature readings at any point during the year or given month) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
- Records have been kept at Eastern WV Regional Airport since 1926.
- "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Mar 27, 2019.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "An act for establishing the town of Martinsburg, in the County of Berkeley, and for other purposes". VAGenWeb. Vol. 9, Chapter XXXII. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- "Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Virginia". The Online Books Page. 1828. p. 71. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 201.
- "Martinsburg Roundhouse – 304-260-4141". martinsburgroundhouse.com. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- Bellesiles, Michael A. (2010). "1877: America's Year for Living Violently. The New Press, 2010. p 149. https://books.google.com/books?id=rf4q5LjLbHIC&pg=PA149 Retrieved November 27, 2012.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
- "Station Name: WV MARTINSBURG EASTERN WEST VIRGINIA REGIONAL AIRPORT". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Procter & Gamble to bring $500M plant to Berkeley County". The Journal. February 10, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- The Norwalk: Martinsburg's Motor Car
- "Hack Wilson". National Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- "Lewis Robert "Hack" Wilson (1926-31)". Chicago Cubs. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- Thomas E Schott. "Hack Wilson". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- Local Television Market Universe Estimates, Nielsen, 27 September 2008. Retrieved 02 November 2008.
- "Ensign Frazer, Hugh Carroll". Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Retrieved 2014-August-23
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