The Berkeley County Historical Society


Call Us:  304 267 4713
receives mail at:                                                                                Please visit our offices at:
P.O. Box 1624, Martinsburg, WV  25402-1624                                     136 East Race
Street,                                                                                                                  Martinsburg, WV 25401   




Berkeley County Historical Society  
The Belle Boyd House
Site Map
On February 25, 1853 Benjamin Reed Boyd, father of Marie Isabelle (later "Belle") Boyd,
purchased part of Lot 50 in Martinsburg for $350.00.  The lot fronted on Race Street along
Spring Alley (now Spring Street).  He soon began construction of the family's ancestral
mansion in the Greek Revival style.  By the end of 1853 construction on the home was birthday
in the home.  Shortly after the family moved in, Ben directed that construction begin on a
storeroom on the west-side of the house.  From that location, he operated a general
merchandise store.  Mr. Boyd was a general merchant most of  his life.  He and his brother
were in partnership at varous times and Ben was in charge of the stone warehouse that his
brother, John, built near the B&O station.  The Race Street property was sold out of the family
in 1855.  

The house has had many owners and gone through several interior reorganizations; the last
being that it was divided into apartment rentals.  In 1992 the house was saved officially and
finally from becoming a parking lot, by the Martinsburg City Council.  The Berkeley County
Historical Society then purchased and restored the building and developed it into the Berkeley
County Museum.

From the large stair hall, one can move to the right, into the ballroom where two black slate
mantles (prepared as faux Belgian marble) decorate the twin fireplaces.  Acanthus leaf brackets
of white marble support the mantles; this was a common theme in Greek Revival style.

On the second floor, the room located in the northeast corner is believed to have been the
master's chamber; the small room to the south (now housing baseball memorabilia) is believed
to have been a sitting room or nursery during the time of the Boyd's.  

For details on the displays in the Museum, please see our Museum page.