A short distance from Washington D.C. is romantic, wonderfully historical, Shepherdstown, West Virginia. It's a piece of Colonial America, with some of the best parts preserved. You walk down paths that people traveled in 1770 that are almost unchanged. Situated an hour and a half from the nation's capital, Shepherdstown is a charming, well kept secret.
West Virginia's Oldest
Shepherdstown was chartered in 1762 by Colonial Virginia's General Assembly. It is West Virginia's oldest town, and it is surrounded by equally fascinating places. Follow Shepherdstown Pike north, and in five miles you find yourself in Antietam, where the bloody Civil War Battle of Sharpsburg was fought in 1862. Along the way, stop at the Potomac River and take in the history. The river is beautiful in this part of West Virginia.
Literally, everywhere you turn, is another compelling historical site. Buildings that predate the Revolution are abundant. Of course there are plenty of modern homes, but not in the heart of Shepherdstown.
The history of the Revolution and Civil Wars intertwine here, like the battlefields of France that were trampled during two different world wars. This quaint place and the surrounding areas will serve the historically curious without disappointment. The Shepherd State Teachers College which was built in 1872, occupies the site of a fort built by an early resident named Thomas Shepherd, who lived here during the "Indian days" as a sign by the college states.
Shop and Stroll
Downtown Shepherdstown is packed with interesting shops; many market the work of local artists. Local flavor is everywhere. Politics are a theme here, reminding you that you are in a bedroom community for the nation's capital.
The food and grub are incredible. One local tavern has a torch lit back area with a winding path from the 1760's. You can eat lunch or have a beer where water from the local creek passes through the center of ancient buildings, mostly unchanged for two and a half centuries.
On back streets, see graves from Revolutionary War soldiers. Local church bells ring at the top of each hour, as they have for well over two centuries. Shepherdstown is not only beautiful and charming, it is downright humbling.