Did you know that…

1. There are eight “Harrison Counties” in the United States—but West Virginia’s is the oldest. It was founded in 1784.

2. It was named for Founding Father Benjamin Harrison V, who served in the Continental Congress and was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He’s also the father of President William Henry Harrison and great-grandfather to President Benjamin Harrison.

3. Population peaked in Harrison County peaked in 1950, when over 85,000 people lived here. Today, about 69,000 do.


The Harrison County Courthouse (Snoopywv/Wikipedia)

4. Simpson Creek Baptist Church is consider the oldest Baptist church in the country. Its records date back to 1774.

5. Levi Shinn’s log cabin, built in 1778 near what is now Route 19, is the oldest standing structure in North Central West Virginia.

6. The FBI Center in Clarksburg is home to the several crime databases including the National Fingerprint identification program, It receives 41,000 requests every single day.

7. Before transferring to Samford University in Alabama, now Florida State head football coach Jimbo Fisher spent his first three years of college at Salem. Before that he attended North View Junior High School and Liberty High School in Clarksburg.

8. Bridgeport got its name from a map-maker’s error. According to one account, 18th century fur traders set up forts in the area and called it Bridge Fort. It was mistakenly deemed Bridgeport.

Bridgeport's Benedum Civic Center (via The City of Bridgeport)

Bridgeport’s Benedum Civic Center (via The City of Bridgeport)

9. The name Stonewood has no special meaning and was invented for the city, incorporated in 1947.

10. The United Hospital Center employs over 1,200 people full time with an annual payroll of over $105 million.

11. In 1931, Clarksburg was the home to a sensational murder trial that received national attention. Harry Powers, a grocer, lured two rich widows there, murdering them and two of one of the woman’s children. He was hanged in Moundsville in 1932 after confessing to the crimes.

12. The annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival routinely attracts 100,000 people to downtown Clarksburg. You read that right: 100,000 people come out for the Italian Heritage Festival.

WV Italian Heritage Festival/Facebook

WV Italian Heritage Festival/Facebook

13. Gypsy, an unincorporated coal-mining community, was not named for roaming people but instead for a relative of a local coal baron.

14. Nutter Fort, home to the West Virginia Blackberry Festival during the first weekend of August, has its own motto: Progress with a Small Town Atmosphere.

15. Author Gray Barker, who is best known for his books about UFOs and other paranormal phenomena, got his start in Clarksburg when he began collecting stories about the Flatwoods Monster from nearby Braxton County.

Simpson Creek in Bridgeport (via Wikipedia)

Simpson Creek in Bridgeport (via Wikipedia)

16. Historians say the Oak Mounds, two earthen, doomed burial mounds found outside of Clarksburg, were probably built between 1 and 1000 AD by the Hopewell culture mound builders, prehistoric indigenous peoples of eastern North America.

17. As early as 1772, settlers began locating their homes near where Clarksburg now stands. And in 1773, Daniel Davisson took up 400 acres, and that is still where the majority of the town is located.

18. Approximately 40 settlers were murdered by Native Americans who used the area for hunting purposes, according to the “History of Harrison County.”

19. The “Minute Book of the Harrison County Court” indicated that the last mention of Indians in county court records was dated May 19, 1795.

20. The first telephone service in the state began in Clarksburg in the mid-1880s.

21. Clarksburg is named for General George Rogers Clark, who rose to fame fighting Indians on the frontier and during the Revolution. His major military success came all before his 30th birthday.

What else should be added to this list? Tell us in the comments!

Featured photo by Astral Will/Flickr

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