Place:Hedgesville, Berkeley, West Virginia, United States


Coordinates39.554°N 77.995°W
Located inBerkeley, West Virginia, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

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Hedgesville is a town in Berkeley County in the U.S. state of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. The population was 318 at the 2010 census. The Town of Hedgesville was laid out in 1832 along the old Warm Springs Road (now West Virginia Route 9) and named for the prominent local Hedges family. Hedgesville is a National Register Historic District.

Hedgesville is located in what is known as Skinners Gap in North Mountain, seven miles north of Martinsburg. As a political entity, Hedgesville is older than the State of West Virginia.

In 1836, the Virginia General Assembly passed an act establishing the town of Hedgesville. It was originally platted in 1830 from land owned by Josiah Hedges and Mary Claycomb. These plots came from the Lord Fairfax and Westenhaver grants. The town grew out of a trading village in a gap of the North Mountain used by settlers moving west. The town was located at the site of a natural limestone spring which had been an Indian meeting place before the white man came into the region.

George Washington, while a young man and a surveyor came into the area and worshipped at the site of what is now Mt. Zion Episcopal Church. John Marshall, a founding member of the U.S. Supreme Court, had a sister who likewise attended the church.

According to William Still, "Father of the Underground Railroad," three freedom-seeking slaves made a famous escape from Hedgesville on the Underground Railroad in 1854. Reuben Bowles, alias Reuben Cunnigan, fled from the John Sabbard farm; he was joined by Daniel Davis, alias David Smith, who was a slave of Congressman Charles J. Fortner, hired out on the Hedgesville farm of Adam Quigley; and accompanied by Adam Nicholson, alias John Wynkoop, who fled forced labor under Alexander Hill. The three African Americans made their escape from Hedgesville on foot, crossing the Potomac River, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, the National Pike, and several mountain passes, all the way to Greenville, Pennsylvania. They then went by train to Philadelphia, and the offices of William Still at the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society. Still documented their accounts, and further assisted them by sending them on to freedom in Canada.

The little village was much crossed by invading armies of both the North and South in the Civil War. A mile east of the village the Battle of North Mountain was fought that resulted in the capture of 1,500 Union soldiers who were marched into the south to prisoner of war camps.

From the 1880s through the 1920s, it was a summer resort town with a large Victorian hotel, Mt. Clifton, and a smaller Summit House, providing summer lodging for guests from Washington, D. C. and Baltimore, MD. The town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U. S. Department of the Interior as the Hedgesville Historic District.

On August 17, 2004, President George W. Bush made a re-election campaign stop and photo-op at Hedgesville High School.

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