in PDF Format
Home of the Yellow Jackets,
, is a place where people say that “everybody knows each other,” yet
there are 13,900 vehicles that enter town daily. The residents are
described as “real,” and the area draws many weekend visitors and
retirees from the
region. The town is expanding, yet holds tightly to its historical ties.
Moorefield’s landscape is a quirky mix of old buildings, modern
facilities, and farmland that is practically adjacent to downtown. It is
an interesting one-and-a-half miles from one end of town to the other on
, crisscrossing generations of growth.
, Moorefield is named for Conrad Moore, who owned the land where the town
was laid out. It was chartered in 1777 and is the second-oldest town in
Moorefield is known for its friendly
people, historical sites, and state-championship football.
High School, a Wes Virginia School of Excellence.
The Moorefield High School Yellow
Jackets participated in eight straight state-championship football games,
from 1996-2003. The Yellow Jackets have won the state title six times,
from 1996-1999, and again in 2001 and 2003. The pride that the town has in
its high school is evident in the Yellow Jacket flags flying from many
houses both on
and the streets surrounding
Besides its successful football
history, Moorefield High was one of 17 schools designated by the state
school superintendent in 2005 as a West Virginia School of Excellence.
County Courthouse, built in 1792.
Of historical interest in Moorefield
is the Hardy County Courthouse, which was built in 1792 to replace the
original log structure. It is located on
just off of
, and there is a stone memorial with names of local people who served and
lost their lives in various wars and conflicts.
Another historical location is the
S.A. McMechen House, which was built in 1853. According to information
posted on the side of the building, officers from both sides of the Civil
War occupied the home, “as the fortunes of the war changed.” The
McMechen House is also a restaurant, and is known as both “The McMechen
Inn” and “1853.”
The McMechen House may have been
welcoming to soldiers during the war, and the town continues that
tradition today. “The people are mostly friendly,
and there is a low crime rate, that’s what I like about Moorefield,”
says Rick McMillion, a resident
Real People, Local Charm
The townspeople are described
by their own as friendly and down-to-earth. “The
people of Moorefield are real,” says Carol See, director of the Hardy
County Library. “That’s one of the things I like to say about people
from Moorefield and
. If you want to meet real people, they’re here.”
The town is growing, and with it,
grows a challenge to maintain the
way of life that people are used to. “They try to
keep it old-fashioned, but new-style,” says McMillion. “They want to
bring in new businesses, but keep it ‘old school,’ as they say.”
, several structures give the area an old-time feel: a free-standing
hardware store; the McCoy’s Theater, built in 1927; and various gift
shops. Downtown is alive and vibrant, another characteristic of Moorefield
that is reminiscent of older days.
Hardware has been in operation since 1907.
“We want progress,” says See.
“But also want to maintain that small-town feel.” New restaurants and
coffee shops have established themselves, and seem to fit right into the
niche that Moorefield offers.
O’Neill’s, located on
, opened in June of 2005. It is a full-service restaurant and also offers
catering. The business is family-owned and operated by Michael and Jammie
O’Neill, who relocated from
. Jammie’s mother, Gladys Funkhouser, makes the home-made pastries,
cakes and pies. “She’s our food background,” says Michael.
He is enthused about the direction
Moorefield is taking. “I’m excited about Moorefield; it’s growing,
and it’s a quality place to raise a family. The pace of life is a little
slower than what I’m used to. I’ve embraced it,” he says.
In addition to the restaurants, the
historical stops, and the gift shops along
, there are also flea markets at each end of town. “If you like poking
around in estate stuff, that’s the place to go,” says See.
Growth on the horizon
For a growing number of folks from
, Moorefield also seems to be the place to go for weekending or
retirement. To enable easier access to Moorefield and the area, planning
for Corridor H started in 1965 with creation of the Appalachian Regional
Commission as well as the Appalachian Development Highway System, which
was created to, “... open up an area or areas where commerce and
communication have been inhibited by lack of adequate access.” Corridor
H will connect the Potomac Highlands to the central part of the state,
more specifically from the
border near Wardensville to
W.Va. “Locally, old Rt. 55 was always considered a dangerous highway,
and we’ve taken care of that problem,” says See.
When traveling to Moorefield from the
east, hitting Corridor H at Baker is the best way to go. The views along
the corridor are gorgeous, especially during the fall, and the drive is
easy, with wide, four-lane roads and a speed limit of 65 mph.
Restaurateur O’Neill says many
have bought property and retirement homes in the Moorefield area. Corridor
H will open the way for easier access to the area. “Construction of the
corridor will impact tourism and residential [growth],” says Rick
Freeman, the office clerk for the town of
. “People from D.C. are moving to the area for weekend homes.” Freeman
adds that currently, about 400 townhouses are in the works for the very
near future. He said that some are being planned for both north and
south of town.
Growth seems inevitable to the
Moorefield area, but it’s been slow coming. “In
1977 we had one stoplight,” long-time resident Rick McMillion says.
“In 2006 we have two [on
].” According to some residents, the people of Moorefield are accepting
the growth graciously.
“You used to know everybody, or be
able to connect everybody with somebody, but now we have newcomers and you
can’t do that,” See says. “It’s not a bad thing, it’s just