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
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.