BROOKE COUNTY

            Being a sophomore is a great time to learn to make your own web page.   My name is Sruthi Srinivasan and even though I may not know how to make a web page, I'll do my best to give you as much information as possible on Brooke County.  There are many extracurricular activities going on through out the school year, but the ones that interest me are tennis, badminton, and band.  I'm a student of Mr. Bob Graham and even though he may give a lot of work, I still find time to enjoy my outside activities.  I live in Downers Grove, Illinois, but now I'm going to take you to Brooke County.

Early History of Brooke County

     The first English settlers in the county were three brothers, Johnathan, Israel, and Friend Cox who claimed 1,200 acres in the area which is now known as Wellsburg, in 1772.  Soon after, their cousins staked 400 acres just north of their cousins' claim.  By 1788, the town was named Buffaloe Town, which then became a trading center for settlers.  The town was named the county seat when Brooke County was created in 1797.  The town was named after Charles Prather, who owned the land on which it was built.  There weren't many famous people buried there, but one person who was very important was Patrick Gast.  He was buried at Brooke County.  He was famous because he was on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Brooke County is known for all its parts of land that were claimed by various people and are still known today.

Geography/Geology

    Physically, the region's topography is characterized by extremely steep bluffs along the upper Ohio River.  Most of the existing urban and industrial development is in a series of low terraces running north to south along the river valley.  Much of the vacant flat lands along the river valley lies within the flood plain and, for the most part, is unsuitable for intense development.  In addition, much of the interior land, which is predominately rural and extremely rugged, is also unsuitable for industrial or residential land use.  Brooke County land area is 89.0 sq. miles.  The natural features of the region have played a major role in shaping the development patterns and potential of the Upper Ohio Valley.  While people have changed the landscape of the area to suit their needs for housing and economic development, overall, topography has restricted urban development in Brooke County, as well as Hancock and Jefferson Counties.  Until the early 1900's, the majority of residential, commercial and industrial land use was restricted to the low terraces along the Ohio River.  Then, as land along the river valley became scarce, property value began to increase in prices that only industry could afford.  Industries require land with a slope of less than 5 percent and large acreage.  Locally these conditions exist only along the river and in a few hilltop areas.  From 1970 to 1980 the population has been increasing slowly, but after 1990, the population has been decreasing and in 1994, the population was 26, 782 and they predict that by the year 2020, the population will be 25, 198.  Overall, the service industry represents the largest employer (16, 042) followed by manufacturing (14, 734) and the retail (11, 261).

Politics

    There are three Brooke County Commissioners: Dan Gilchrist, Henry Wilson, and Norm Schwertfeger.  Wellsburg is one of the most popular cities.  In Wellsburg, the city manager is Patrick Comiskey and the mayor is Ernie Jack.  The city council has two representatives (reps) in the first ward, two reps in the second ward, two reps in the third ward, and two reps in the fourth ward.

Sociology

       There are many subcultures that currently live in Brooke County.  Brooke County consits of Italian, African American, Serbian, Greek, Swedish, French, Indian, and German.  Basically, you can find any culture group in Brooke County that you can think of.  I wasn't able to find the most common crime in my county, but I can tell you that the crime rate is very low.  Brooke County has one high school, Brooke High School.  The people from Brooke County are very hard working PROUD people.  Some of the important festivals during 1999 that you should go see is the July 4th Community Celebration that's held from July 2-5.  Another one is the Wellsburg Applefest on October 16.  The best thing about living in Brooke County is the annual 4th of July fireworks.  One place to visit is the Brooke County Cemetery.  It's on Commerce Street in Wellsburg, WV 26070.  This is where Patrick Gast was buried.  Again, he was the one who was on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Also the Highland Hills Memorial Park and Mausoleums, 401 Archer Hill Rd in Follansbee, WV 26037.  I hope that when you visit these places or attend the festivals, that you will not only have a good time, but understand the meaning of Brooke County.

Arts

Miscellaneous

     While you are in the Wellsburg area, stop by some of the restaurants to enjoy great food and impeccable hospitality.  Some of the popular ones is the Anchor Room, 669 Main Street in Follansbee, WV 26037.  The Anchor Room has been popular for 35 years and still if one of the top.  If you want to eat at a new restaurant, you can visit the Longhorn Bar and Grill, 714 Commerce Street in Wellsburg.  And for all you people who enjoy Pizza or ice cream, you can visit their local Pizza Hut on 12th and Commerce in Wellsburg or Dairy Queen Brazier, 1101 Commerce Street in Wellsburg.  This Dairy Queen is a fast food place.  After eating a great meal at any of these places, you can catch the few zzzz's at a Bed and Breakfast or a motel.  A motel that is in Follansbee is the Washington Trail Motel, 1140 Main Street.  You can also reach them at their telephone number which is ( 304 ) 527-0500.  But if you want a slightly upper ranked place, you can come to the Drovers Inn, 1001 Washington Pike in Wellsburg or you can come to the Elmhurst Manor on 1606 Pleasant Avenue in Wellsburg as well.  Both of these places are Bed and Breakfast.

Additional Information

    During this project, I had lots of trouble finding information.  But that's when Mr. Graham told us to try the Chamber of Commerce in our county.  So I called the Chamber of Commerce in Brooke County and got a hold of Kim Chapline - Byers.  She works in the Chamber of Commerce.  She found me every bit of information that I needed, from the county history to the place to find the best ice cream or milkshake.  I am very, very grateful to her for not just saving my project, but also giving me enough information to educate those who don't know about Brooke County.

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