The Baltimore and Ohio Roundhouse, Martinsburg, West Virginia

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad

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Martinsburg, West Virginia is a town located in the eastern panhandle of the state.  It is not a place that is on many lists of places to visit.  It can be overshadowed by nearby Harper’s Ferry that is known for its role in the American Civil War.  Martinsburg also had a role in the war.  The town has a few historic sites, but there is one site that stands out.

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Welcome to the Baltimore and Ohio Roundhouse in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  When the railroad came to Martinsburg in 1842, the roundhouse was built in 1849.  Trains were serviced here as they traveled east and west across the county.  Very few roundhouses remain as they were demolished after they were no longer needed, but historian and preservationist fought to save this one from demolition.  Why?  It is the oldest roundhouse in the world built with iron trusses supporting the roof that…

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