Founded in 1772, Berkeley County is the second oldest county in West Virginia. It is located on the Eastern Panhandle of the state, in the Shenandoah Valley. It was created from a section of Frederick County, Virginia. The county is comprised of the city of Martinsburg, which serves as the county seat, the town of Hedgesville, and many smaller unincorporated communities.
Berkeley and Jefferson Counties were originally part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and did not become part of West Virginia until during the Civil War. In 1863, the Reorganized Government of Virginia voted to annex the two counties to West Virginia.
Visitors to the Shenandoah Valley come to Berkeley County for it's many annual festivals, including the Heritage Festival, Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival, Wine and Craft Festival and OddFest.
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An old farm tanker rusts in a Shenandoah County, Virginia farm field. Photo: West Phillips