About Barbour County
Barbour County is in the north central region of West Virginia located northwest of Elkins, southeast of Clarksburg, and about 78 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was formed in 1843 from parts of Harrison, Lewis, and Randolph counties. The county is named after Philip Pendleton Barbour (1783-1841), a Virginia legislator, member of U.S. Congress, and an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
It is rural with a present territory of 343 square miles and a population of about 15,689. Its county seat and major city is Philippi (pop. 2,870) which is located in the north central part of the county. Other towns are Belington (pop. 1,788) and Junior (pop. 450) located in the south of the county. All are located on the Tygart River, the major watercourse, which flows northward through the central section of the county. The very southern part of Tygart Lake and its Tygart Lake State Park are on the central northern border. Audra State Park is in the southern part of the county. The county has rail connections.
Major employment is in health care and social services, retail, education, accommodation and food services, logging and wood product manufacturing, trucking and construction. A major component of education employment is Alderson-Broaddus College, a private, church affiliated (American Baptist Churches) school of higher education in Philippi. Bituminous coal mining (mainly underground) and wholesale (primarily of wood and wood products) are also distinctive sources of employment. There is seven times as much tonnage produced from bituminous underground coal mining than by surface coal mining. The county is a member of the West Virginia Hardwood Alliance Zone. Agriculturally there is some notable production of eggs and raising of horses, but the major products are livestock and forage.