Historical Markers in
Clarke County, Virginia

1750 A.D. Appalachian Trail and Bears Den Ashby’s Gap Audley Bank of Clarke County Battle of Berryville Battle of Berryville Battle of Cool Spring Battle of Cool Spring Battle of Cool Spring Battle of Cool Spring Benjamin Berry Berryville Berryville Berryville Berryville Wagon Train Raid Blandy Experimental Farm Buck Marsh Baptist Church Buck Marsh Fight Carter Hall Castleman’s Ferry Fight Clark County / Fauquier County Clark County / Frederick County Clark County / Frederick County Clark County / Loudoun County Clarke County Clarke County Courthouse Col. George D. Wells Leads the Way Col. Morgan's Lane Colonial Highway Confederate Counterattack and Union Retreat Confederate Dead Crook and Early Double Tollgate Double Tollgate Fight Fight at Berry's Ferry Fight at Gold’s Farm Forerunner of Wireless Telegraphy Greenway Court Greenway Court Greenway Historic District Harry F. Byrd Sr. Historic Districts James Ireland Josephine City Josephine School Community Museum & The African-American Experience Judge Parker's “Retreat” & the Battle of Cool Spring King Wheat, Millwood & The Burwell-Morgan Mill Lee's Bivouac, Gettysburg Campaign Long Branch Long Marsh Run Rural Historic District Lucy Diggs Slowe Millwood Milton Valley Cemetery Mt. Airy Fight Mt. Carmel Fight Old Chapel Saratoga Signal Station Stewardship & Conservation The Briars The Burwell-Morgan Mill The Retreat The Schools of Josephine City Thoburn’s Rescue Town of Boyce Traveler Was Tethered on This Spot Vinyard Fight White Post Wickliffe Church
The first Thanksgiving in North America was celebrated in Virginia in 1619, a year before the Pilgrims celebrated their first Thanksgiving in Massachusetts.

Clarke County, Virginia, located in the northern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back to the 18th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Iroquois. European settlers began arriving in the mid-18th century, and the county was officially established in 1836. It was named after General George Rogers Clarke, a Revolutionary War hero.

In the early years, agriculture was a primary industry in Clarke County, with tobacco, wheat, and corn being the main crops cultivated. The county's fertile soil and favorable climate made it an ideal location for farming. Slavery thrived in Clarke County during this time, with many farms relying on enslaved labor. The Civil War had a significant impact on the county, as it was situated near several major battlefields. The Battle of Cool Springs and Battle of Berryville took place in Clarke County, leaving lasting scars on the landscape.

After the Civil War, Clarke County experienced a period of economic decline. The decline of the agricultural industry led to a shift in the county's economy, with a focus on manufacturing and trade. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century played an important role in the county's development, boosting trade and commerce. The county also saw the rise of limestone quarries, which became a major industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In the 20th century, Clarke County underwent a period of suburbanization, with more residents commuting to nearby cities for work. The county's rural charm and proximity to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area attracted residents looking for a slower-paced lifestyle. Over the years, Clarke County has preserved its historical heritage through the establishment of historical landmarks and museums, allowing both residents and visitors to learn about its rich past. Today, the county continues to embrace its rural character while also managing growth and development to maintain its unique charm.

  • 1738: Clarke County, VA is established as part of the Colony of Virginia.
  • 1818: Berryville becomes the county seat of Clarke County.
  • 1861-1865: Clarke County is heavily affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1870s: The arrival of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad spurs economic growth in Clarke County.
  • 1930s: Clarke County is hit hard by the Great Depression.
  • 1938: Shenandoah National Park is established, including parts of Clarke County.
  • 1952: The creation of the Appalachian Trail brings increased tourism to Clarke County.