Hidden Gem: Belle Boyd House in West Virgina

Belle Boyd House, West Virgina© 2009 Berkeley County Historical SocietyThe Corning Room museum displays clothing from the years 1860 to 1920.

126 E. Race St., Martinsburg

Regional historians will tell you that Belle Boyd, a colorful Confederate spy, possessed such charm and persuasiveness that she convinced Abraham Lincoln in a letter to pardon an imprisoned traitor—a man from whom she’d wheedled Union military secrets and whom she later married. The Library of Congress has that letter, but the museum in the redbrick house that Belle’s father built in 1853 maintains a trove of material about her, including dramatic pictures and a letter to a cousin describing her own considerable beauty. Herbs that were used to treat wounded Civil War soldiers grow outside, and fashions of Belle’s time are on display. Tribute is also paid here to Martinsburg’s Hack Wilson, the baseball great.

Closed Wed., Sun., and major holidays mid-Apr. – Dec.


(304) 267-4713

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