The Berkeley County Museum at the Belle Boyd House
Open Seven Days a Week
World War I
Although the Great War had been raging in Europe since 1914, the United States did not enter until 1917. At home in the West Virginia during World War I, as elsewhere in the country, sentiment turned against Germany and German Americans and people turned to supporting the war effort. Coal and food rationing went into effect statewide. War relief work in Berkeley County involved the Red Cross, Young Men’s Christian Association/Young Women’s Christian Association, Salvation Army, Knights of Columbus and the work of various Jewish organizations. Food was conserved and Liberty and Victory bonds were bought along with War Savings Stamps. Local industries were involved in the war effort as well, manufacturing cloth for uniforms and other products for the military. West Virginians and residents of Berkeley County did their fair share for the war effort both at home and in Europe
Prohibition, Lawlessness, Moonshine and Flappers - 1920-1933
When national prohibition took effect in 1919, West Virginia and Berkeley County were already dry for five years under the Yost Act. Now that the Federal government was involved, a third layer of law enforcement was added to that of the state and local revenuers, sheriffs and constables. As in the rest of the country and state, Berkeley County was rife with moonshine stills, bootleggers and rumrunners. Read about and see what Prohibition was like in Berkeley County through photographs, documents, costumes, and objects exhibited on the second floor of the Belle Boyd House Museum.
This exhibit features military uniforms from WWII through the 1970s worn by Berkeley County residents. Featured is a naval uniform worn by Lt. Alice Crowell, a graduate of Kings Daughters’ Hospital Nursing School in Martinsburg. Also on display is a naval life jacket worn by Richard Lowman
Berkeley County has been the home of a variety of industries and businesses through the centuries. Water-powered mills were found on the various streams and creeks from the earliest settlement years. By 1810 there was a textile industry that continued through the next 180 years. Other industries included brick making, wagon and automobile manufacturing, brewing and distilling, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad repair shops, and the first commercial orchard established in the mid-1800s. Visit the exhibit and see photographs, manufactured products and other items used by the various industries in the county and learn about how these industries contributed to the development of Martinsburg and Berkeley County and the world.
Belle Boyd House Archaeology and Architecture
The BELLE BOYD HOUSE MUSEUM is also an artifact by itself. This exhibit tells about the house itself and the various additions and uses through time. Selected artifacts from the 2015 archaeological dig are on display including items from the period when the Boyd family occupied the house.
Jewish History Room
Although several Jewish settlers were in Berkeley County in 1790, the first major wave of Jewish immigration occurred in the 19th century from approximately 1840-1880. This was followed by a second wave from 1880-1930. Events in Russia and Eastern Europe prompted this second wave, and many of the Martinsburg prominent Jewish families were part of this migration. This exhibit tells the story of the Martinsburg Beth Jacob Synagogue and the community’s significant contributions to Martinsburg business, social and cultural life. Various artifacts, photographs, documents and maps illustrate the life of this small Jewish community here in Martinsburg.
Preserving Our Story - Berkeley County, West Virginia
136 East Race Street P.O. Box 1624 Martinsburg, WV 25402 - 1624