Barbour County Courthouse. Image by

Located in north-central West Virginia you will find Barbour County.  Formed in 184 when the region was still part of the state of Virginia.  A small part of Barbour County was transferred to Tucker County, West Virginia in 1871.  U.S. Congressman from Virginia and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Philip Pendleton Barbour (1783–1841),   is the name sake of both Barbour County and the county seat, Philippi.

June 3, 1861 The Battle of Philippi was fought in Barbour County .  It was the first organized land action of the war.  The battle is generally viewed as a skirmish rather than a battle.  The largely-untrained Confederates had fled the battlefield with barely any resistance. The Union jokingly referred to the engagement as the Philippi Races. The Northern press celebrated it as an epic triumph.This encouraged Congress to call for the drive on Richmond that ended with the Union defeat. The Battle of Philippi also encouraged the western counties of Virginia to form their own Union state.

The Philippi Covered Bridge is the main local landmark and historical icon of Philippi.  The celebrated bridge constructed in 1852.   .  The Philippi Covered bridge has the distinction of being West Virginia’s oldest and longest covered bridges. It is also the only covered bridge serving the US Federal Highway system.

Barbour County is also home of Audra State Park.  Located on 355 acres in southwestern Barbour County is Audra State Park.  The Middle Fork River cuts through Audra.  Deep pools, large flat rocks, and a riverside beach are highlights of Audra.  Alum cave is located at Audra state park also and is accessible by a boardwalk built along a overhanging sandstone ledge.

Barbour County is also the home of Alderson Broaddus University.  Noted for its health science, natural science, education and music programs.  It was the first college in West Virginia to offer a four-year degree in nursing and the first in the country to offer a four-year physician assistant degree.  Today the Physician Assistant program is considered one of the best established programs in the world.

Barbour County has a strong tie to our past with a strong Civil War history, and bond with the present day offering many wonderful recreational opportunities.

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