Eastern Panhandle News

July 21, 2016

Jefferson County WV Fair 2016

Annual Fair in Jefferson County, WV

August is almost here and with it brings the moment we've been waiting for all summer--the 64th annual Jefferson County Fair! If you're new to the area, you'll quickly learn that the fair is a highly anticipated event, and for good reason. Find out more below! 

Running an entire week from August 21 to August 27 this year, the fair includes a plethora of fun activities for young and old alike. Perfect for families, date nights, and meeting up with friends, the Jefferson County Fair has everything from a livestock show, mud bogging, and monster truck show to sports competitions, a horse show and a tractor pull show. You can enjoy the fairgrounds where there are tons of exciting rides like a ferris wheel and win prizes by playing games. Munch on funnel cake and kettle corn while you walk around! 

In addition, there is the Miss Jefferson County Fair Contest, which begins on Sunday, August 21. Listen to great high school and middle school bands from Harpers Ferry, Shepherdstown and Charles Town, or stop by the rabbit judging, sheep dog demonstration, or kiddie tractor pull. 

Want to get involved? There are a variety of hilarious eating games to participate in! Join the apple eating, marshmallow eating, or bubble blowing contests. On another day, try your hand at watermelon eating, doughnut eating, pudding eating, ice cream eating, and more. There's even a bull riding show! 

Support local through the Jefferson CEO's Bake Sale, or the Ruritan Roast Beef Lunch. On Wednesday, August 24, the carnival is open all night for one price for families. For seniors, there is a free matinee, and kids and teens will love listening to the live bands, playing the water balloon toss, or watching the cornhole tournament. 

Stop by the Jefferson County Fair website for a complete list of activities and events. Interested in buying a home in the area? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today:304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
July 7, 2016

Charles Town WV: Fitness

Gyms and Fitness Centers in Charles Town, WV

If you love working out or are trying to get fit for summer, consider joining one of the many great fitness centers in the area! There is a mix of fun programs available to you from trained professionals. Take a look below! 

Gold's Gym: If gyms are your thing, sign up at Gold's. There is something for everyone here, whether you're looking to lift weights, run on the treadmill or elliptical, or participate in a class. They have martial arts, zumba, and studio cycle, among others!

Curves: Designed for women, Curves is a great option to get toned and strong. They're known for their 30-minute targeted workouts, for all ages and fitness levels. You can even choose a focus, like Boxing or Body Balance.

Renew Yoga: Channel your zen and participate in a relaxing yoga session at Renew. Although it seems simple, yoga is an intense practice that requires strength and balance. They have hot yoga, yoga for kids, and even meditation classes on Sundays. Check it out! 

Crossfit 304: Be a part of a great community and test your endurance at Crossfit. With powerful programs, team spirit and lots of weight lifting, you'll get fit fast. 

Bros and Bras: Describing themselves as a social and fitness movement, Bros and Bras is for beginners and experienced athletes alike. Their motto is, "no judgement, no expectations," and they stick to it! They are a welcoming group that organizes weekly runs during Saturday's farmers market downtown, and participate in various runs and other fitness events in between--along with social outings, of course. 

Whatever your preference and desire, you'll be happy with the plethora of options available here in Charles Town! Get fit and healthy and find your best self. Interested in buying a home in the area? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
June 23, 2016

Eastern Panhandle WV: Transportation

Transportation Options in the Eastern Panhandle 

When you decide to buy a home, it's important to look at your options when it comes to transportation. Some people prefer traveling by car, while others are used to public transit systems. Which do you prefer? If you're considering a move to the area, take a look at some of the great transportation options in the Eastern Panhandle!

1. Take a bus - While the bus system throughout the Panhandle is not as large as that of an urban city, it's easy to get from one place to another by bus. 

2. Call a taxi - If taxis are your preferred method of transportation, don't fear! You'll find a number of great taxi services in the area. No need to hail one from the street--just call at your convenience, anywhere, anytime! Or, check out Uber for the Eastern Panhandle.

3. Buy or lease a car - Typically the easiest and most convenient mode of transit in both Berkeley and Jefferson counties, buying or leasing a car (or truck!) is no problem. There's a plethora of dealerships around the area to satisfy all of your car-buying needs, whether you prefer used or newToyotas or BMW's

4. Use the train - Planning a trip to the city or somewhere east of West Virginia? Avoid the commotion and traffic by taking the train into D.C., Maryland or Virginia with ease. Both Amtrak and the Marc lines are a great option for those who want to sightsee, and they run daily, with Amtrak also available during weekends. Relax and let someone else do the driving for you!

5. Ride a bike - If speed is not a concern or you love the fresh air, consider buying a bike. While the towns in the Eastern Panhandle are spread out, they're close enough to reach by bike in 30 minutes to an hour. You may even want to hit up the bike trail between Ranson and Martinsburg for the ultimate workout! 

 

Whatever you like, find it here in West Virginia. There is something for everyone when it comes to transit! Interested in purchasing a home in the Eastern Panhandle? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
June 8, 2016

Jefferson County WV: Fashion

Fashion, Clothing, & Wearable Goods in Jefferson County 

If you love to shop, living in Jefferson County will offer you a wide variety of amazing options! Whether you're looking for clothes, shoes, or accessories, take a look below at some noteworthy shops in the area. 

The Good Shop - Located in downtown Shepherdstown, this is a prime place for quality fashion. They carry mostly natural fabric clothing like linen, cotton, and wool from name brands, including Transparante, Flax Linen, and more. The atmosphere is relaxed and fresh-feeling, with lots of light and wood floors. If you like loose, bohemian silhouettes, you'll love The Good Shop! 

The Vintage Lady - This "unique boutique" located in historic Harpers Ferry is a real gem! You'll find beautiful made in America pieces here. Browse their artisan jewelry and other accessories (not to mention the lovely home decor like candles and mugs). Everything has a vintage-inspired flair to it that is sure to please.

Two Rivers Treads - If you are the outdoors type, stop in at Two Rivers Treads to browse their collection of high quality shoes, activewear and outdoor accessories, all inspired by a minimalist aesthetic. The owner is a doctor and avid runner who is happy to help you find the best shoes and answer any questions you may have. 

Wear It Again, Kid - For the younger ones, hit up this thrift store in downtown Charles Town for the best clothing finds. The collection is extensive, with name brands and quality pieces galore. Spend an afternoon digging through the racks for that perfect piece--if you love thrift shopping, you'll really enjoy the fun atmosphere. 

Spend the day around Jefferson County hitting up these great shops, among others! You won't be disappointed. Interested in purchasing a home in the area? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
May 18, 2016

Berkeley County WV: Libraries

Libraries in Berkeley County WV

One of the great things about every community is the library! Thankfully, Berkeley County has a number of great libraries in the area, as part of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library System. See below for a brief look at each of them.

Martinsburg Public Library - The central library in the county, this is also the largest of the four. It is located in downtown Martinsburg within walking distance of neat restaurants and shops, as well as the local high school. Founded in 1926, this location is open from 10am-8pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10am-5pm on Wednesday, Fridays, and Saturdays. They offer everything from yoga classes to game days.

Musselman - South Berkeley Community Library - Located in Inwood, WV, this branch library is a great resource for local high school students, as it is actually located on the Musselman High School property. You'll find a ton of children's storytime options throughout the week, as well as special events for kids, reading clubs, and book sales. 

North Berkeley Public Library - Located in Falling Waters, WV, this branch location is one of the smallest in the county, but it offers a variety of multimedia resources, including audiobooks, CD's, and DVD's. Like all of the libraries, you can access the interlibrary loan system and request anything that is not available locally from another library in the county. 

Hedgesville Public Library - Formerly called the Naylor Memorial Public Library, this new location is a great place to spend an afternoon. Not only do they offer a vast number of materials, they also have meeting rooms and exhibit space for local artists and crafters. 

No matter where you live in Berkeley County or which library branch you choose to visit, you're sure to find just what you need at all of these locations--free wifi, access to computers, printing & faxing services, books, movies, music, and more! There is so much to be found in a library. 

Interested in buying a home in the area? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
May 3, 2016

Harpers Ferry WV: History of C&O Canal

The History of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Near Harpers Ferry 

The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (also known as the C&O Canal or the "Grand Old Ditch") is located at the confluence of West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia states. It is a prime tourist spot and outdoor enthusiasts locale, with many flocking to it throughout the year to explore its beauty and that surrounding it. But how did the C&O Canal first come about? Find out more below!

Connecting the Country 

After the Revolutionary War, President George Washington was looking for a way to connect the Eastern Seaboard to the Great Lakes up north, through the use of waterways. Washington was aware that the Potomac River provided the most direct pathway to connect them, and he spent much of his time dedicated to troubleshooting the difficult landscape to create a viable waterway for a canal. 

Originally called the Potowmack Canal, it was completed in 1802, just three years after the President's death. The rights were transferred to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Company in the 1820's. Their goal was to connect the Chesapeake Bay to the Ohio River.

Innovative Engineering

The Potomac River was often quite rough and dangerous. However, George Washington's efforts made 218 miles of it navigable. The lift lock system that was created was believed to be an "engineering marvel," and the C&O Canal Company developed things further in hopes to initiate a system that would finally make the full journey. Their ideas was to eliminate the need for boats to actually enter the river, and instead take them along the towpath tied to mules. 

Mixed Success

Unfortunately, they would never see their idea come to full fruition. Due to the rapid speed of new inventions, technology and other discoveries, the canal became obsolete. However, its initial creation and throughout its heyday, the canal did provide many people with reliable jobs and opportunities to work along the river. The canal helped develop the surrounding area into a desirable place to live. 

Interested in learning more? Check out the National Park Service website for more information, or visit the canal yourself. You can walk along the towpath, hike through the trails, enjoy the beautiful scenery, or immerse yourself in the rich water sport activities offered there. Want to purchase a home in the area? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
April 24, 2016

Eastern Panhandle WV: Live Eco-Friendly

How to Live Eco-Friendly in West Virginia 

Last Friday was Earth Day, and what better way to celebrate than by remembering to reuse, reduce and recycle! Here are some easy ways you can live a greener lifestyle in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

Reuse

Reusing is all about giving things a second life! Visit your local bent-n-dent grocery, where special discounts are abundant on canned goods and packaged boxes of foods that are imperfect--literally, they might just have a bent or a dent in them, but are still perfectly okay to consume. 

Consider shopping in secondhand, vintage, antique, consignment, and thrift stores in the area, such as Needful Things, Goodwill, Wear it Again Kid, Refinements of Shepherdstown, B.Vintage, and more. Buy products that are made with up-cycled materials, such as recycled toilet paper and notebook paper. 

Reduce

Be conscious of your daily habits, and ways you can reduce the amount of trash you produce or energy you consume. For example, use cloth instead of paper towels to dry your hands. Turn your electric a/c off on cool nights and open the windows instead. Shut off the sink when you're brushing your teeth. Only put the lights on in the room you're in. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store to cut down on the number of plastic bags going in the trash. 

Getting a cup of coffee somewhere? Have leftovers? Need to take your lunch to work? Mason jars, stainless steel containers, and glass instead of plastic are also ways you can reduce waste during mealtimes. Be creative, the possibilities are endless!

Recycle

Apple Valley Waste, our local waste provider, offers great recycling services for the area. Get your own recycle container for plastic cartons, cardboard, metal cans, and more. See the full list of acceptable items here.

For special waste removal needs, you can schedule a time for pick-up, whether its yard trimmings or very large boxes that won't fit in your weekly recycle container. Request a HandyBag for those jobs that don't need a full dumpster.

When you tackle your closet for spring cleaning this season, consider dropping up bundles of old clothes to the local Goodwill drop boxes, or the Salvation Army. These are clothes that can be put to use rather than tossed in the landfill, where they'll take up space and pollute our environment for many years. 

One man's trash is another one's treasure, the saying goes!

Take care of your community through these thoughtful tactics, and you'll truly be making an impact on the environment. Interested in purchasing a home in the Eastern Panhandle? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
April 19, 2016

Jefferson County WV: History

Jefferson County WV: Then & Now 

When it comes to history, the state of West Virginia has no shortage. In particular, Jefferson County itself has an abundance of historical treasures in its background. Take a look at some of these rich details from the county's past, and where it is today. 

A Presidential History 

Originally part of its northern neighbor, Berkeley County, Jefferson County was formed due to distance constraints for traveling residents. By splitting the county in two, people did not have to travel as far to the county seats--in this case, Martinsburg. 

Charles Washington, the founder of Charles Town, named the county after Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and also America's third president. This was the highest honor in 1801, when the county was officially formed. 

Conflict & Turmoil 

Like many counties during its time, Jefferson County experienced much trouble; its formation was only decades before John Brown's Raid and the Civil War. The Jefferson County Courthouse in Charles Town was the sight of John Brown's trial after his raid in Harpers Ferry. Likewise, his hanging occurred just down the street. Only two years later, the county would be swept up in the conflict of the Civil War, as both Union and Confederate troops moved through the Shenandoah Valley. The county's towns were constantly shifting between control by the Union or the Confederates. 

In 1863, Jefferson County officially became part of West Virginia, and slaves were legally free due to the Emancipation Proclamation. 

A Prime Spot in the Country 

During the 20th century, Jefferson County became a hotspot for artists on retreat. These folks could escape the hustle and bustle of big city life and immerse themselves in the beauty of West Virginia--yet still be close to the cities they fled. Today, Jefferson County provides vibrant towns still rich with artists that pay tribute to its historical background. You'll find a variety of galleries, art events, theaters, and studios, as well as historical landmarks like Happy Retreat and the C&O Canal. 

Due to its geographical position, Jefferson County gets the best of both worlds--or in this case, many worlds! It's the easternmost county in West Virginia, but is also in close proximity to Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, as well as Washington D.C. Residents can enjoy the slower pace of life in a small town while being within driving distance of big cities, popular historic landmarks, lakes, oceans, and more. 

 

Now you know a bit more about Jefferson County--how it started, what its been through, and how it is today. Interested in purchasing a home here? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News
April 11, 2016

Eastern Panhandle WV: Local Parks

Local Parks & Paths in the Eastern Panhandle West Virginia

Get outside this spring and enjoy some easygoing recreation! No matter where you live in the Eastern Panhandle, this area has a lot of great parks and communal space for walking, biking, and having picnics. Find several below!

Jefferson County Memorial Park: Located just blocks from the center of downtown Charles Town, this park offers pavilions, tennis courts, open fields for sports like soccer or frisbee, a community pool, and small playground. Take a walk along the pathway or enjoy respite from the sun under a shady tree.

Evitts Run Park: A great option for active kids, this park is located in Ranson near the Evitts Run Creek, a stream that runs 10 miles long. The park has a playground, basketball courts, and walking trail. Spend the afternoon fishing in the creek!

Morgan's Grove Park: Owned by the Shepherdstown Community Club, this beautiful 25 acre park has a children's playground, landscaped walking path, soccer fields, volleyball court, barbecue grills, and a covered pavilion. It is also the annual site of the Panhandle Earth Day Celebration.

Sam Michael's Park: This 130 acre park is located near Harpers Ferry, and is often rented out for weddings and other special events. The space  includes a picnic pavilion, a trail system, little league fields, horseshoe pits, and even a sand volleyball court. 

Harpers Ferry Adventure Park: If you're looking for something more energetic than an afternoon picnic, try the adventure park! You can zip line, rock climb, tackle challenging obstacle courses, and more. This park does require paid tickets.

Rooney Park: This county-owned park includes 17 acres with specified baseball fields to support local little league teams. Check their program and facility listings for updated information and rental rates. 

WV Route 9 Bike Path: If you frequently drive route 9, you'll be familiar with this austere bike trail! Winding its way between Martinsburg and Charles Town, the path provides another avenue for transportation surrounded by beautiful forests and fields. The northern end is hilly while the southern end is quite flat. There are interesting stops along the way!

Take a stroll, enjoy a picnic, or just get outside and move this spring! You'll be sure to find what you're looking for at any of these parks. Want to buy a home in the Eastern Panhandle? Contact ERA Liberty Realty today: 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

 

Posted in News
April 3, 2016

Eastern Panhandle WV: Day Trips

Eastern Panhandle's Top Day Trip Destinations

While the Eastern Panhandle itself offers an abundance of activities, sights and shopping, sometimes it's nice to get away for a day or long weekend. Thankfully, Berkeley & Jefferson counties are located in a prime spot for day trips! You really can have it all here in the Eastern Panhandle--enjoy a relaxed, small town feel at home or head down the road for the buzz of city life or beach vibes. 

Small Cities Close to Home

Enjoy a change of scenery without going far from home! Just outside of the Panhandle, you'll find vibrant towns in nearly all directions. These town are slightly larger than those in the county, but still offer a cozy and historic atmosphere. To the south, you'll find Winchester and Leesburg in Virginia, while north you'll run into Hagerstown; west of the area is Frederick, Maryland. Each of these places provide even more dining options, attractions and entertaining excursions and are within 30 minutes of the Eastern Panhandle. 

Urban Life Near the Panhandle

Just 90 minutes southwest of the Panhandle is Washington D.C., the country's capital. Living so close to this remarkable city offers residents a variety of incredible museums, historical monuments, exclusive events, and a chance to experience city life. Baltimore is also just 90 minutes west of the area, where you can enjoy an Orioles game or spend the afternoon around Inner Harbor. Catch the MARC Train in Shepherdstown, Martinsburg or Harpers Ferry and head into the city without the hassle of urban parking. The Amtrak station is also in Harpers Ferry. 

If you head south, you'll find Charlottesville, Richmond, and Williamsburg, among many others. These three cities are known for their vibrant arts, culture, history and food scenes. Spend a long weekend if you'd like--all three of the cities are within a three hour's drive of the Panhandle.

Beaches and Bays

Take a break from the mountains and soak up some sun or surf. The Eastern Panhandle is only two hours from Annapolis and the surrounding Chesapeake Bay area; while popular shore destinations like Ocean City, Maryland and Virginia Beach are a mere four hours from home. Step into a nautical state of mind! It'll feel like a vacation, without the usual headache of several hours (or even days) of beach traffic. You'll be back home in no time. 

No matter what you're looking for or where you look, the surrounding area of the Eastern Panhandle boasts variety, history and scenery that you'd be hard pressed to find living elsewhere. Interested in purchasing a home in the area? Please contact ERA Liberty Realty today 304-728-2000 or 304-596-9372.

Posted in News