Showcasing Marion County HistoryApril 1, 2021
Marion County History
From pioneer life to pepperoni rolls, Marion County’s history is multi-faceted. Dive into 18th-century life on the frontier, our significant railroad and coal history, the role we played in West Virginia’s path to statehood and more. Take a journey through time with our history videos.
Do you have roots in Marion County? Our area has extensive resources available to visitors that can help you uncover your family history through the ages. Whether you are interested in tracing your lineage back to the pioneer days or want to spend some time connecting with your relatives, we have wonderful genealogical tools to assist you in digging up your past.
Pricketts Fort State Park is a nationally registered historic site originally built in 1774 as a refuge fort on the western Virginia frontier. Reconstructed in 1976, the park commemorates life on the frontier during the late 18th-century with third-person interpretation of pioneer crafts such as carpentry, blacksmithing and spinning.
A favorite spot among history buffs and families alike, Pricketts Fort, is an essential stop in any Marion County trip. While visiting this state park, take a tour of the grounds.
Appalachian Root Music
Appalachian root music can be traced back to North-Central West Virginia. The Appalachian dulcimer was forged in the melting pot of wagon roads and river routes of the frontier. The tradition was kept alive thanks to the late Russell Fluharty. Fluharty, known as “The Dulcimer Man,” is often given credit for popularizing the ancient and beautiful hammered dulcimer in West Virginia. Today, you can hear traditional music at Pricketts Fort during the Pricketts Fort Traditional Music Day or during PattyFest, an annual old-time music festival.
Like much of West Virginia, Marion County has a strong connection to coal and contributed significantly to the industry’s early growth in the United States. Whether you come from a strong coal mining ancestry or are just interested in learning about the culture and community of our state, there are plenty of places in Marion County to brush up on your mining knowledge. From museums and memorials to restaurants and miniature golf, coal mining memories are all around.
From its strategic importance in the Civil War to the transportation of natural resources in the post-war era, the railroad has played a significant role in the United States’ and Marion County’s history and economic growth. Today, you can walk along the four rail-trails that cross our county and be reminded of our history through railroad remnants and historic sites. Rail-trails are former railroad corridors/old train tracks that have been re-purposed for recreational public use.
The Civil War
During the spring of 1863, West Virginia and Marion County experienced the destruction of the Civil War first hand. Examine these parts of history by visiting each of the seven historic sites that make up Marion County’s Civil War Trail. Stops include the Battle for Barrackville Bridge, Attack on Fairmont, Beverly-Fairmont Turnpike, Fleming House, Pierpont House, Pierpont Graves and Jones-Imboden Raid: Battle for the Bridge.
Did you know every time you enjoy a pepperoni roll, you’re having a taste of Marion County history? The arrival of Italian immigrants to North-Central West Virginia in the early 1900s led to delicious cuisine and rich cultural traditions that we still celebrate today! Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro, an Italian immigrant and coal miner, opened Country Club Bakery, the first commercial bakery in Fairmont in 1927, and the rest is history!
Our history is full of memorable people, places and events.
Request your copy of our Marion County History Guide to learn more about our storied past.