Walking Tour of Historic Beverly, West Virginia
Situated in the heart of the Tygart River Valley, Beverly, West Virginia served as the seat of Randolph County for over a century after its foundation in 1786. The first European colonists arrived to the area in 1753, but it take another twenty years before more permanent communities formed. The town in particularly noteworthy for its role in the American Civil War. Because of its strategic location along the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, Beverly became the focus of much attention from both Union and Confederate forces. After the 1861 Battle of Rich Mountain, Federal troops under General George B. McClellan occupied the town, an occupation that continued throughout much of the war. Later, the town became the center of controversy within the county itself during the Randolph County "Courthouse Wars" of the 1890s, when residents of Beverly and Elkins fought over the location of the county seat. Beverly lost that struggle, but its citizens continued to work to maintain their community's prominence in the area. They were particularly hard hit by the Great Depression, but ultimately recovered with assistance from federal New Deal programs. The Beverly Heritage Center, opened in 2012 as part of a partnership between Historic Beverly Preservation, the Rich Mountain Battlefield Association, and the Staunton-Parkersburg Alliance, currently serves as the centerpiece of ongoing efforts to preserve this history for generations to come.