Taken from a locomotive at the South Branch River Bridge near the confluence with the North Branch of the Potomac a few days after the flood of 1985. Crews work to reopen the main line. The east end of the bridge structure was raised about 12 inches above the concrete embankment.

If you have a picture to share, email it to, mail it to P.O. Box 1036, Romney, WV 26757 or drop it by our office at 74 W. Main St. For more photos from Hampshire County’s past, visit the Hampshire History page on Facebook.


100 Years Ago — Jan. 14, 1920

The lady whose motor car had run down a man called to see the victim in the hospital. “You know,” she said, “you really must have been walking very carelessly. I am a good driver. I’ve been driving for seven years!” The man retorted, “you got nothing on me, ma’am. I’ve been walking for fifty-nine years!”

About a hundred people gathered at the Opera House in Romney on Friday night to witness a boxing match between C. O. Kackley, of this place, and a young man named McFarland, from Meyersdale, Pa., the said match having been advertised as an added attraction to a motion picture exhibit. An admission fee of 75 cents and $1.00 was charged. The picture was shown, but when the time for the boxing match came there was a halt in the proceedings. It being known that the laws of the state were rather strict on such performances, some of those connected with the affair consulted with an attorney who read the law to them. When it was found that all participants in this kind of sport were liable to a heavy fine and a penitentiary sentence, those connected with it swiftly got a bad case of cold feet and the stunt was called off. Those present had their admission fee refunded to them, the management only retaining the regular 15 cent charge for a motion picture exhibit.

50 Years Ago — Jan. 14, 1970

Representatives of the U.S. Army were in Romney on Monday of this week for the purpose of making a survey of proposed sites for the location of a U.S. Army Reserve Center to be constructed here to house the local Reserve Unit. Construction of the center is presently scheduled for the Fiscal Year of 1972.

Miss Tena Willemsma, Box 171, Romney, is sponsoring Michael Louis, a 13-year-old American Indian boy of the Isleta Tribe, through Save the Children Federation, international child welfare organization of Norwalk, Connecticut, it was announced today by Dallas Johnson, Director of the organization’s American Indian program.

Pfc. Michael High, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. High, of Purgitsville, is serving with the U.S. army in Vietnam, where he has been stationed for three months. 

40 Years Ago — Jan. 16, 1980

The South Branch Rabbit Breeders Assn. will hold its regular monthly meeting on Monday, Jan. 21 in the Court House Annex. The program will be “Record Keeping.” This program is intended to show how rabbits will be improved by genetic and environmental tools only through close record keeping. All interested are invited to attend.

Quiltmaking is one of the most creative of the arts. Combinations of fabric, color, and pattern design are limitless. “Quilting Class” begins in the first week of February. Come and join us at the Patchwork Kupboard in Romney, W. Va.

Hampshire County Public Library is featuring an exhibit of homemade “afghans” during the month of January. Over 20 afghans are on display and free directions are available to the public for some of the featured afghans. Stop by the Library today and see this interesting exhibit!

30 Years Ago — Jan. 17, 1990

A year-long Public Service Commission sponsored study on tourism in W. Va. has recommended that the South Branch Valley Railroad, currently a freight hauler owned by the state that runs from Green Spring to Petersburg, be converted to a major tourist excursion passenger operation.

The Friends of the Hampshire County Public Library are currently making plans for the Fourth Annual Silent Auction to be held Feb. 26 through March 10. The auction will feature donated items that are handcrafted, antiques, paintings, jewelry, etc.

Young ladies who are interested in being appointed to compete in the W. Va. Strawberry Festival Queen’s Pageant are encouraged to contact their Senator, Delegate, elected County or State Official, or a Strawberry Festival Board Member as soon as possible. The pageant is open to any young lady who will be at least 18 and under 27 years of age by Feb. 1, 1991, from any county in W. Va.

20 Years Ago — Jan. 19, 2000

Gourmet Central owner Harvey Christie is a man with a company on the move in an upward spiral of ideas and opportunities that translate into business realities. During a recent interview, Christie said the gross income of his business grew by one-third in 1999. The gourmet food production company is located in the multi-tenant building at the Hampshire County Industrial Park just north of Romney.

More than half of West Virginia’s high school graduates are going to college but fewer of them are graduating, according to a state report. About 51 percent of high school graduates are enrolled in college in 1998, according to the W. Va. Higher Education Report Card released Friday at a meeting of the University System of W. Va. Board of Trustees.

Stephanie Brock of Martinsburg was crowned Queen in the 1999 Tiny Miss Berkeley County Schools Scholarship Pageant. Stephanie participated along with 35 other girls, grades K-2. She received awards for perfect attendance and straight A’s. She also received a Sparkling Star Award for her outstanding community service.

10 Years Ago — Jan. 13, 2010

Local pastor and author Dr. Tom Gulbronson has just announced the release of his latest book, “The Complete Person.” It is a practical theological work that overviews pre-conversion through maturity. The book is written in terms that are easily understood.

It is likely that there are more American Bald Eagles in Hampshire County in the winter than there are in the summer. That’s the word from Kieran O’Malley, nongame biologist for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, Romney office. That, O’Malley said, is because eagles are migratory birds, and many of them call Hampshire County home for the winter months.

Too many snow days can turn into makeup days for local students, but school officials say so far, so good. Marianna Leone, assistant administrator, heads up the school calendar. So far, there have been only two full days, Dec. 21 and 22 missed because of snow. There have also been four, two-hour delays, as well, but those don’t affect make-up days. 

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