The Martinsburg Roundhouse offers activities for history buffs and architecture aficionados alike. The center includes three buildings situated on 13 acres in Berkeley County, W.Va., and though these buildings date back to 1866, they are not the originals. Reconstruction took place after Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson had ravaged the area during the Civil War, leaving over 30 miles of train tracks wrecked, 17 bridges left impassable, 42 locomotives and 386 train cars stolen or destroyed and over 100 miles of telegraph wire destroyed.
The main attraction today is an architectural rarity. One of the last of its kind, the Roundhouse’s structure is made up of modular cast iron components. In order to be able to easily rebuild in a remote location, B&O architects and engineers designed a construction method that utilized readily available materials with a design influenced by French architects of that time. The end result is a simple and elegant building and is one of the only iron-framed roundhouses still standing.
Tours are available every Saturday starting the first Saturday in March and running through November. For more information on tours and upcoming events, visit themartinsburgroundhouse.com.
Planning a Visit
Keep the historic architecture vibe going throughout your entire getaway by booking a room at The Purple Iris at Hartwood Mansion. The Neo-Georgian Revival style mansion was commissioned by George W. F. Mulliss, president of the Kilbourn Knitting Machine Company, and was designed and constructed by architect Alexander Merchant in 1929. The mansion was completely restored in 1998 and the Carriage House was completely renovated into a boutique style hotel with three guest rooms. The mansion also houses an intimate restaurant located on the second level.
If camping is more your thing, the options seem almost limitless. From the dog-friendly Wildwood Cottage to more rustic options like primitive tent camping at Sleepy Creek Wildlife and Management Area, there are options to suit those who really want to “rough it”. If “glamping” is more up your alley, The Woods offers cottages and condos with amenities like golf packages, spa services and an indoor heated swimming pool.