Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops

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Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Martinsburg West Roundhouse, East End of Race & Martin Streets, Martinsburg (Berkeley County, West Virginia).jpg
B&O Martinsburg West Roundhouse
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops is located in West Virginia
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops is located in the US
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops
Location 300 East Martin Street, Martinsburg, West Virginia
Coordinates 39°27′33″N 77°57′36″W / 39.45917°N 77.96000°W / 39.45917; -77.96000Coordinates: 39°27′33″N 77°57′36″W / 39.45917°N 77.96000°W / 39.45917; -77.96000
Built 1866
Architect Albert Fink; Johann Niernsee
Architectural style Other
NRHP Reference # 03001045
Significant dates
Added to NRHP July 31, 2003[1]
Designated NHL July 31, 2003[2]

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops is a historic industrial district in Martinsburg, West Virginia. It is significant both for its railroading architecture by Albert Fink and John Rudolph Niernsee and for its role in the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. It consists of three contributing buildings. The presence of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in Martinsburg dates back to the late 1840s, when the first engine and machine shops were erected for the expanding company.

The shops were designated a National Historic Landmark and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.[2][3]

Antebellum history[edit]

The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) was founded on February 28, 1827.[4] On May 21, 1842, the first steam locomotive arrived in Martinsburg and, later that same year, November 10, the first passenger train.[4] The first roundhouse complex was constructed from 1848-1850.

Civil War history[edit]

When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the region's social and government institutions were thrown in turmoil. The Civil War decimated both the region and Martinsburg, specifically because of the railroad yards. On May 22, 1861, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops stopped all trains going East at Martinsburg and Point of Rocks during the Great Train Raid of 1861. Once he determined that all of the trains that could be caught were in his trap, he blew up the bridges to the West and blew down the rocks on the tracks to the East, and pirating of the B&O equipment began. In total, 42 locomotives and 386 cars were stolen and destroyed. 36-½ miles of track, 17 bridges, 102 miles of telegraph wire, the “Colonnade” Bridge and the B&O roundhouse and machine shops were destroyed.

On October 19, 1862, the roundhouse complex was burned by Confederate troops under Colonel Jackson.

Postbellum history[edit]

In 1866, the B&O began reconstruction of the site. From 1866 to 1872, the present roundhouse complex was re-built. Other major buildings that were built at this time were the West Roundhouse, East Roundhouse, Bridge & Machine Shop, and the Frog & Switch Shop.

On July 16, 1877, the first nationwide strike, the Great Railroad Strike of 1877, began when rail workers at Martinsburg started an action to protest pay cuts. Their work and traffic stoppage soon spread across the country.1[citation needed]

Modern history[edit]

B&O engines alongside the shops in Martinsburg, W.Va. on March 2, 1969

The Martinsburg facilities were used until March 14, 1988, when all local operations were transferred to other locations. On May 14, 1990, vandals set fire to wooden pallets in the East Roundhouse, nearly destroying the building.

The Berkeley County Commission purchased the roundhouse complex in 1999–2000, and transferred the property to the newly-created Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority. Restoration and renovation of the complex began at this time.

On July 31, 2003, the B&O Roundhouse was designated a National Historic Landmark and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2][3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c "Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-13. 
  3. ^ a b Michael Caplinger and John Bond (October, 2003) National Historic Landmark Nomination: Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Martinsburg Shops, National Park Service and Accompanying 18 photos, exterior and interior, from 2001 and undated.
  4. ^ a b Dilts, James D. (1993). The Great Road: The Building of the Baltimore and Ohio, the Nation's First Railroad, 1828-1853. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-2629-0. 

External links[edit]