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Eastern panhandle
The Eastern Panhandle of West Virginiamarker is a narrow stretch of territory in the northeast of the state, bordering Marylandmarker and Virginiamarker, United Statesmarker. The Eastern Panhandle Board of Realtors and other local civic organizations consider only the three Easternmost counties, Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan as members of the Eastern Panhandle. Others view the region as comprising a total of eight counties.

History

Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties joined the new Unionist state of West Virginia in 1863. Shortly after West Virginia gained statehood, Mineral and Grant counties were created from Hampshire and Hardy in 1866.

The Eastern Panhandle includes West Virginia's oldest chartered towns (1762) of Romneymarker and Shepherdstownmarker. The Panhandle also includes West Virginia's two oldest counties: Hampshiremarker (1753) and Berkeleymarker (1772).

Geography

The Eastern Panhandle also includes both West Virginia's highest and lowest elevations above sea level: Spruce Knobmarker, 4,863 feet (1,482 m), in Pendleton and Harpers Ferrymarker, 240 feet (73 m), in Jefferson on the Potomac River.

The eight counties in the eastern panhandle are:

Population

According to the 2000 Census, the eight counties of the Eastern Panhandle had a combined population of 212,483 giving the region 11.75% of West Virginia's population. Berkeley County is the Panhandle's most populous county with an estimated 99,734 residents (2007). Berkeley also includes the Panhandle's largest city, Martinsburgmarker, with a 2007 estimated population of 16,450.

Population growth

County 2007 (estimate) 2000 1990 1980 1970 1960 1950
Berkeley 99,734 75,905 59,253 46,846 36,356 33,791 30,359
Grant 11,925 11,299 10,428 10,218 8,607 8,304 8,756
Hampshire 22,577 20,203 16,498 14,867 11,710 11,705 12,577
Hardy 13,661 12,669 10,977 10,051 8,855 9,308 10,032
Jefferson 50,832 42,190 35,926 30,311 21,280 18,665 17,184
Mineral 26,722 27,078 26,697 27,159 23,109 22,354 22,333
Morgan 16,351 14,943 12,128 10,696 8,547 8,376 8,276
Pendleton 7,650 8,196 8,054 7,935 7,031 8,093 9,313
TOTAL 249,452 212,483 179,961 158,083 125,495 120,596 118,830


Housing growth

The Eastern Panhandle is West Virginia's fastest growing region in terms of population and housing growth. In July 2005, the United States Census Bureau released a list of the top 100 counties according to housing growth. Berkeley County grew 3.95 percent, from 36,365 housing units in 2003 to 37,802 units in 2004. That growth rate was 86th in the nation among the 3,141 United States counties. Jefferson County was not far behind at 88th in the nation. It grew 3.94 percent from 19,381 housing units in 2003 to 20,144 units in 2004.

Largest municipalities

The majority of the Eastern Panhandle's growing residential developments are located outside of city and town boundaries and therefore are not included in the city or town's official population.

City 2006 (estimate) 2000 1990 County
Martinsburgmarker 16,392 14,972 14,073 Berkeley
Keysermarker 5,334 5,303 5,870 Mineral
Ransonmarker 3,957 2,951 2,890 Jefferson
Charles Townmarker 3,869 2,907 3,122 Jefferson
Petersburgmarker 2,695 2,423 2,360 Grant
Moorefieldmarker 2,426 2,375 2,148 Hardy
Romneymarker 1,971 1,940 1,966 Hampshire
Shepherdstownmarker 1,172 803 1,287 Jefferson
Bolivarmarker 1,087 1,045 1,013 Jefferson
Piedmontmarker 935 1,014 1,094 Mineral


NOTE: This list does not include the unincorporated census-designated places of Inwoodmarker (pop. 2,084) and Fort Ashbymarker (pop. 1,354). The U.S. Census Bureau does not release estimates for CDPs. The population figures listed are from the 2000 census.

Statistical areas

Several counties in the Eastern Panhandle are part of metropolitan, micropolitan, and consolidated metropolitan statistical areas defined by the United States Office of Management and Budget.

MSA/CMSA Population (2000) WV Counties
Cumberland, MD-WV MSA 102,008 Mineral
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA 222,771 Berkeley, Morgan
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA 4,796,183 Jefferson
Washington-Baltimore, DC-MD-VA-WV CMSA 7,538,385 Berkeley, Jefferson
Winchester, VA-WV MSA 102,997 Hampshire


County information

County Named For Founded Seat
Berkeley Norborne Berkeley, Baron de Botetourt February 1772 Martinsburgmarker
Grant Ulysses Simpson Grant February 14, 1866 Petersburgmarker
Hampshire County of Hampshire, England December 13, 1753 Romneymarker
Hardy Samuel Hardy December 10, 1785 Moorefieldmarker
Jefferson Thomas Jefferson January 8, 1801 Charles Townmarker
Mineral minerals located in the county February 1, 1866 Keysermarker
Morgan General Daniel Morgan February 9, 1820 Berkeley Springsmarker
Pendleton Edmund Pendleton December 4, 1787 Franklinmarker


Places of worship





Potomac Highlands

Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, and Pendleton Counties also belong to another geographical region of West Virginia known as the Potomac Highlands of West Virginia.

Notes

  1. Table 4: Annual Estimates of the Population for Incorporated Places in West Virginia, Listed Alphabetically: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007. 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2008-07-10
  2. http://www.karaitejudaism.org/ Karaite Judaism in the area


See also



External links


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