Wardensville, West Virginia historic markers at Visitor Center

301 E Main St,

Wardensville, WV 26851





Wednesday - Saturday 11am - 4 pm
Sunday 12 - 4 pm


The Hardy County Visitors Center provides information about tourism-related businesses and maps for finding your way around the County and across the State. Trail maps for hiking and biking as well as road maps are available. Stop in to check on local events, places to stay the night or eat. You can connect to the wifi at the visitors center, check out our website or book a reservation. The current exhibition featuring the history of Wardensville will change this fall and later will explore our history and current tourism activities available throughout Hardy County.

Crossroads of War

During the Civil War, most of Wardensville's two hundred residents supported the Confederacy. Southern guerrillas found friends here. On May 7, 1862, Union Col. Stephen W. Downey arrived here with a mixed force of infantry and cavalry, searching for guerrilla leader Capt. Umbaugh. He was found and killed.

On May 30-31, 1862, the largest number of troops who entered Wardensville during the war — almost 20,000 men under Gen. John C. Fr?mont — marched by in a steady rain. Fremont and his men were returning to the Shenandoah Valley, from which Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson had driven them earlier in the month, to face him again (and again suffer defeat) at Cross Keys and Port Republic on June 8-9.

Confederate Gen. John D. Imboden's men unsuccessfully attacked a Union supply train moving through here on December 22, 1862, on its way to Winchester with provisions for Gen. Gustave P. Cluseret. Federal forces had recently destroyed Imboden's camp near Moorefield, and he was gathering provisions for the winter.On August 5, 1863, Union Gen. William W. Averell led a column of cavalry and artillery through town. He was beginning a raid to destroy gunpowder and salt  works in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties. Several times during the war, Confederate Capt. John Hansen McNeill led his Rangers through Wardensville to attack union forces in the Shenandoah Valley to the east.Across the road from you is the Wardensville Cemetery. At least twenty-eight Confederate soldiers and one Union soldier are buried here. 

Wardensville, West Virginia historic marker at Visitor Center

"The citizens of Wardensville were warned that they would be held strictly accountable for any future demonstrations of guerrilla warfare, and plainly informed that they only way in which they could save their houses from conflagration was for them to defend their territory against incursions of all lawless bands of guerrillas."— Col. Stephen W. Downey, 3rd Maryland Infantry, US.

Population Center

The population center of the United States was in present West Virginia four times as it moved westward across the nation: near Wardensville in 1820; at Smoke Hole in 1830; west of Buckhannon in 1840; near Burning Springs in 1850. The current population center of the United States is located in Phelps County, Missouri.


George Washington laid off land here for William Wallace Warden, Nov. 11, 1749. Warden built a stockade fort, near which members of his family were killed by Indians, 1758, and the fort burned. Scene of skirmishes in 1862-1863.