The world's first federal prison exclusively for women was established in Alderson, West Virginia, in 1927.

Ritchie County, located in the state of West Virginia, has a rich and diverse history that spans back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Shawnee and Delaware tribes, who used the land for hunting and fishing.

In the late 1700s, European settlers began to arrive in the area, primarily from Scotland and Ireland. The first permanent settlement was established in 1780 and was named Harrisville, in honor of Captain Moses Harris, a prominent local figure. As more settlers arrived, the county grew steadily and became officially recognized as Ritchie County in 1843, named after Thomas Ritchie, a prominent newspaper editor.

During the Civil War, Ritchie County found itself torn by the conflict, with residents splitting their loyalties between the Union and the Confederacy. The county saw its fair share of skirmishes and raids, with both sides attempting to gain control of strategic locations. Despite the divisions, Ritchie County managed to survive the war relatively intact.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the oil and gas industry boomed in Ritchie County. The discovery of oil in the early 1860s led to a wave of exploration and drilling, bringing prosperity and economic growth to the county. However, the industry faced challenges such as boom and bust cycles and environmental concerns. Today, Ritchie County continues to rely on its natural resources, as well as tourism, agriculture, and other industries, highlighting its fascinating history and ongoing evolution.

  • 1764: Europeans settle in the area that would become Ritchie County
  • 1800: Ritchie County is established by the Virginia General Assembly
  • 1832: Harrisville is chosen as the county seat
  • 1843: Ritchie County is named after Thomas Ritchie, editor of the Richmond Enquirer
  • 1856: Harrisville is incorporated as a town
  • 1863: West Virginia secedes from Virginia during the Civil War and Ritchie County becomes part of the new state
  • 1875: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reaches Ritchie County, improving transportation and stimulating economic growth
  • 1921: Dadisman is established as an oil and gas boomtown
  • 1923: Harrisville becomes a city
  • 1938: The Ritchie Mines are designated as a state park (now known as North Bend State Park)
  • 1945: The Harrisville Bridge, a historic truss bridge, is built
  • 1963: The Harrisville Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places