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Chartered in October 1777 by the General Assembly of Virginia, Moorefield, the county seat of Hardy County, is the fourth-oldest town in West Virginia. Located at the confluence of the South Fork of the South Branch with the main South Branch of the Potomac, Moorefield was laid out on 62 acres of land belonging to Conrad Moore. The town was named for Moore, and his home, the Old Stone Tavern, still stands on Main Street. Early property owners included families with the names of Van Meter, Harness, McNeill, Renick, Hite, Cunningham, Williams, Inskeep, Fisher and Hutton.

Moorefield has always been an agricultural community. The early settlers began farming the rich bottom land that surrounded the town, raising cattle, along with corn and hay for feed. From the 1930s, the poultry industry has been a significant economic factor, and Moorefield became known as the Poultry Capital of West Virginia.

Although Southern in sympathy, the town housed whichever troops were in local control during the Civil War. The Confederate McNeill’s Rangers operated in the area, and the Confederates’ loss at the Battle of Moorefield hampered Southern troop strength during the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign.

In 1985, flood waters devastated Moorefield, taking homes, businesses, and lives. The community rallied back and now boasts a booming economy in which the town’s unemployment is among the lowest in the state. Hester Industries, Summit Financial, and American Woodmark have all expanded. Pilgrim’s Pride operates a large round-the-clock poultry processing plant in Moorefield.

Moorefield is home to Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, which opened in 1999 and serves a six-county region. The Moorefield Examiner newspaper dates its origins to 1845.

In the 21st century, Moorefield is experiencing historic growth due largely to the opening of Corridor H, which traverses Hardy County. Construction on the controversial and long-delayed four-lane highway began in 2000. As of 2020, Corridor H was open from Davis through Moorefield to about seven miles west of Wardensville. In 2020, Moorefield’s population was 2,527, the most in its history.

The Moorefield Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Moorefield is the home of the annual West Virginia Poultry Festival and Hardy County Heritage Weekend.

Read the National Register nomination.

This Article was written by Phoebe Heishman

Last Revised on February 20, 2023


Sources

Moore, Alvin E. History of Hardy County of the Borderland. Parsons: McClain, 1963.

Cite This Article

Heishman, Phoebe "Moorefield." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 20 February 2023. Web. 24 May 2024.

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