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Jefferson County at a glance:
  • Major Cities: Charles Town, Harpers Ferry
  • Landmarks/National Monuments/Parks: Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Jefferson County Courthouse, Charles Town Races & Slots, Zion Episcopal Church Cemetery, Old Opera House, Jefferson County Museum, Historic Shepherdstown Museum
  • Major Industry: Retail, Tourism, Construction
  • Counties: Berkeley

Jefferson County

Located on West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle, Jefferson County real estate covers approximately 212 miles. Its population of roughly 55,000 is divided among a number of small communities and several noteworthy towns, including Charles Town and Harpers Ferry. The charming atmosphere of these small towns attracts many people to Jefferson County real estate.

Jefferson County’s identity is intimately tied to its rich and dynamic history. In 1801, Jefferson County was formed out of the eastern part of Berkeley County, Virginia. Sixty- five years later, shortly after the end of the Civil War, the citizens of both Jefferson and Berkeley Counties decided to join the nascent state of West Virginia. Today, Jefferson County real estate is considered part of the larger Washington-Baltimore Metro Area.

Charles Town is the county seat of Jefferson County. Not to be confused with West Virginia’s state capital of Charleston, Charles Town real estate was founded by Charles Washington, the youngest full brother of George Washington. Despite its prestigious heritage, Charles Town is probably best known for the Charles Town Races & Slots, which features year-round live horse racing and over 3,800 slot machines. However, historians can still take heart: six homes belonging to the Washingtons remain standing and seventy-five members of the Washington family are buried at the town’s Zion Episcopal Church Cemetery. More recent history is also on display at the Old Opera House, a non-profit theater offering a variety of productions and concerts to Jefferson County real estate owners and visitors. Formed in 1910, and re-opened in 1971 after a twenty-three year closure, the Old Opera House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, the town of Harpers Ferry was named after the Potomac River ferry service established by Robert Harper in 1761. Since 1944, however, most of Harpers Ferry real estate has been maintained as a historical park by the National Park Service. Several original buildings house museums celebrating the town as the site of both John Brown’s raid and the largest surrender of US troops until World War II. Costumed interpreters conduct tours, while tourists—easily outnumbering Harpers Ferry real estate owners—partake in a variety of living history events.

Hikers may know Harpers Ferry for something other than its famous history. That’s because the town is recognized as the “psychological” half-way point of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,174-mile marked hiking trail that stretches from Maine to Georgia. The headquarters of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) are also located in Harpers Ferry, about a quarter-mile off of the trail itself. In short, Harpers Ferry real estate is popular among people looking to purchase Jefferson County real estate.

Only 58 miles from Washington, D.C. and 67 miles from Baltimore, MD, Jefferson County real estate offers easy accessibility to big city amenities without the drawbacks of urban living. You can learn more about the Jefferson County housing market, including timely statistics about active inventory and the median sales price of area homes, by visiting the Jefferson County housing market report. And if you’re interested in finding Jefferson County homes for sale or real estate in this quiet historic setting, then contact one of Long & Foster’s West Virginia real estate offices.

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