Clarksburg, also called the "Jewel of the Hills", is a city of 16,000 people (2020) in West Virginia. It is the county seat of Harrison Count in the North Central West Virginia region, also known as 'Mountaineer Country' and the 'I-79 Technology Corridor'.
Clarksburg and Harrison County have a large percentage of residents of Italian ancestry, their families mostly arriving during an industrial boom in the early 1900s, making Clarksburg a natural location of the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival held every year in downtown Clarksburg since 1979, and many Italian restaurants can be found in the area.
Clarksburg is almost 1,000 ft above sea level in a region of steeply rolling hills along the West Fork River.
Established in 1785, it was named for General George Rogers Clark, an important military leader in the Revolutionary War and the brother of William Clark, who was half of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was the birthplace of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.
Clarksburg, along with Fairmont 20 minutes north, has a fairly large population descended from Italian immigrants, many of whom came to the area to work in the coal mines and the glass factories. While Fairmont claims to be the place of origin of West Virginia's official state food: the pepperoni roll; Clarksburg also has a large proportion of bakeries specializing in the dish. Many Italians initially settled in the Glen Elk neighborhood, located between the train station (now a CSX office) and downtown on the other side of Elk Creek.
Clarksburg has suffered significant population loss within its city limits, as of 2020 half of its 1950 peak. Additionally, the historic downtown business district has suffered an apocalyptic vacancy rate with many grand buildings from Clarksburg's wealthy heyday at risk of demolition. While some of this is directly due to de-industrialization, more has to do with suburbanization and lack of civic motive to invest in the city center, evidenced by the fact that the suburb of Bridgeport to the east of Clarksburg has grown significantly during this time, and the retail nucleus of Harrison County has transitioned to a long string of big-box style development on Emily Dr. (paralleling I-79) between Clarksburg and Bridgeport.
Get in Edit
By car Edit
Clarksburg is at the intersection of US-50, between Parkersburg in the west and Grafton in the east, and US-19, between Fairmont in the north and Weston in the south. Clarksburg is just west of I-79 (exit 119); Bridgeport is just east of the interstate.
By plane Edit
There is one airport serving Clarksburg.
Get around Edit
- Central West Virginia Transit Authority, 208 N 4th Street, +1 304-623-6002. Bus service for Harrison County, covering Clarksburg, Bridgeport, Shinnston, Adamston, Anmoore, Despard, Hartland, Northview, Nutter Fort / Stonewood, Stealey, West Milford and Wolf Summit / Salem. Fares $0.50-1.
- Tom's Central Taxi, 528 Philippi Pike, +1 304-622-0590.
- The downtown Clarksburg historic district includes hotels (the Waldo Hotel), homes (the Waldomore, at the corner of 4th and Pike, the Nathan Goff Jr House and the Stealey-Goff-Vance House on Main Street), and the art deco Harrison County Courthouse. A plaque at 324 W Main Street now marks the site of Stonewall Jackson's former home site, and there's a statue of him astride a horse in the Harrison County Courthouse Plaza.
- The Glen Elk Historic District is Clarksburg's historic Little Italy; located across Elk Creek north of downtown
- Ten Mile Creek Covered Bridge, Marshville - Camp Rock Road off US-50 (exit 5). A 58-foot-long covered bridge over Ten Mile Creek, built in 1891 and restored in 2002.
- 1 Watters Smith Memorial State Park, ☏ . Duck Creek Road in Lost Creek (exit 110 off I-79). A farm from the late 1700s, complete with an 1876 home turned into a museum, a reconstructed log cabin. Guided tours available from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Visitors can also go swimming, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
- Scottish Festival & Celtic Gathering. Held the first weekend in May. Bagpipe and drumming competitions, kilted golf outing, dog and sheep herding exhibits, harp workshops, historical presentations, Scottish vendors, food, live music and dancing.
- Greek Food Festival, 1010 Factory Street, ☏ . At the St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church. Held in early June. Greek food, music and dance.
- Greater Clarksburg 10K Race[dead link], 10K starts at 8:30AM on Main Street, followed by the 2-mile race and the Kids K. Information: +1 304-624-4100, or visit their website.
- Glen Elk Wine, Music and Arts Festival, 2-day street festival with local wineries, free live entertainment, covered wagon rides and crafters. Held in the historic Glen Elk Village district. Information: +1 304-622-0711.
- West Virginia Blackberry Festival. Clarksburg city park on WV-20 in Nutter Fort. Held the first weekend in August since 1996. Blackberry pie and cobbler baking contest, food vendors, handmade crafts, golf tournament, talent contest, parades, carnival, live entertainment, fireworks. Lots of blackberry desserts available.
- Jesus Fest[dead link], food, free movies, music, speakers, entertainment, and children's entertainment. Located at the new amphitheater at city's Veteran's Memorial Park. Information: +1 304-623-1362 or visit their web site.
- National Pasta Cookoff, This pre-WV Italian Heritage Festival event is held at the new Jackson Square Parking 6 Event Facility on W. Pike Street in downtown and is open to amateur and professional cooks. Entertainment, hot pepper eating contest and other activities thru-out the day. Sponsored by the WVIHF. Information: +1 304-622-7314
- West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival, 340 W Main Street, ☏ . Held each Labor Day weekend since 1979. Pasta cookoff, hot pepper eating contest, homemade wine contest, bocce and chess tournaments, traditional Italian music and dancing, 5K run, festival ball, parade, live entertainment. Rated one of the top 100 events in North America.
- West Virginia Black Heritage Festival, uptown Clarksburg, +1 304-623-2335. Held the second weekend of September. Celebrating black history with music, artists, soul food, a gospel sing, a youth showcase and speakers.
- Salem Applebutter Festival, Many fraternal and non-profit groups vie for the best applebutter award. On-going entertainment, talent show, beauty pageant, arts & crafts and food and applebutter in abundance. Also a 5K run will take place. Information: +1 304-782-1518.
- Clarksburg Christmas Parade. Held on Friday the full week after Thanksgiving. Parade with bands and floats.
- Embellishments, 134 S 3rd Street, ☏ . Eclectic housewares and gifts, including gourmet foods, rugs and tapestries, china and artisan soaps.
- Oliverio Italian Style Peppers, 280 N Ohio Ave, ☏ , toll-free: . Freshly made sausage, chopped cherry peppers and pickled vegetables, cracked olive salad.
- Tomaro's Bakery, 411 N 4th St. In the heart of the Glen Elk neighborhood, fresh Italian bread and some of the best Pepperoni Rolls in the state. 'Eat Tomaro's Bread Today!'
- Mr. Taco, 415 Baltimore Av. Also a food truck; excellent authentic mexican food.
- Sabaidee, 139 W Main St. Thai cuisine
- Miskycha, 139 Conference Center Way #105, Bridgeport, WV. Excellent Peruvian food.
- Greenbrier Restaurant, ☏ . 200 Buckhannon Pike. Open daily 11AM to 11PM. Owned by two Italian sisters who learned to make pasta from their mother. Soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, beef, poultry, seafood, homemade and baked Italian specialties. Try the fried meatballs for $1. $4.50 - 40.
- Julio's Restaurant, 501 Baltimore Avenue, ☏ . Italian and continental cuisine. Try the crab cakes. $20 - 30.
- Minard's Spaghetti Inn, 813 East Pike Street, ☏ . Very popular local restaurant serving baked pasta, spaghetti, steak, seafood, salads, Italian specialties. Try the spaghetti with meatballs and their house salad.
- Ritzy Lunch, 456 W Pike Street, ☏ . Serving local favorite hot dogs since 1933. Try them topped with chili and slaw.
- The Wonder Bar Steakhouse, 1012 Wonderbar Rd. Very expensive steakhouse
- Greenbrier Motel, 200 Buckhannon Pike, ☏ . 50 rooms. Sauna and whirlpool suites available. Fried meatball trays available.
- Hilton Garden Inn, 606 Emily Drive (Newpointe Shopping Center beside Walmart; exit 117 of I79), ☏ . Full service restaurant; king rooms with Sleep Number beds; indoor pool and fitness room; Business Center; meeting rooms; local area transportation.
- Days Inn & Suites, 112 Tolley Drive (Exit 119 off I79; turn east on Rt 50; left at light at Lodgeville Rd; left on Tolley Drive), ☏ . 38 suites with complete kitchenettes. Free deluxe continental breakfast daily; free high-speed internet access in all suites; heated indoor pool. Large conference facility.
- Quality Inn Bridgeport-Clarksburg, 115 Tolley Drive (Exit 119 of I79; east on Rt. 50, let at light onto Lodgeville Road; left on Tolley Drive), ☏ . Free continental breakfast; free cable TV and HBO, desks with data phones; guest laundry; high speed internet; Pets permitted.
Go next Edit
- Fairmont - 20 minutes north on I-79, home of Fairmont State University
- Morgantown - 40 minutes north on I-79, home of West Virginia University
- Grafton 35 minutes east on US-50
- Weston - 30 minutes south on I-79
- Buckhannon - 40 minutes away, home of West Virginia Wesleyan College
- Sutton - 1 hr south on I-79
- Elkins - 1 hr away, home of Davis & Elkins College
- Parkersburg - 1 hr 10 minutes west on US-50
- Pittsburgh - The nearest large city, 1 hr 45 minutes north on I-79.
|Routes through Clarksburg|
|Morgantown ← Bridgeport ←||N S||→ Weston → Charleston|
|Parkersburg ← Salem ←||W E||→ Bridgeport → Winchester|
|Morgantown ← Shinnston ←||N S||→ END|