A Look Into the Past
Tucker County lies in the northeastern part of West Virginia, a region commonly referred to as the Potomac Highlands because of its mountainous, rugged terrain.
The area was permanently settled in 1773. The county was officially formed by a prominent jurist and statesman of Virginia, Henry S. George Tucker, in 1856 from Randolph County – at that time, part of the state of Virginia.
In 1860 – just years after its founding – Tucker County's population was approximately 1,428. It quickly grew in the late 19th and early 20th century to over 18,600 residents in 1910 as rapid industrial development as a result of extractive industry and railroad access brought wealth and work to a previously remote community. Large reserves of coal, limestone, shale, and timber shifted the economy away from primarily agriculture. Tucker County was home to two railroads, two paper mills, three tanneries, fifteen sawmills, lime kilns, and almost a thousand coke ovens.
After 1910 the population rapidly declined, with a brief spike in the 1980's, and a small decline ever since. Recreation and tourism took on greater importance with commuting times from the Pittsburgh and D.C. Metro areas decreasing with visitors to Canaan Valley State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park, Monongahela National Forest, and two ski resorts.
The county seat in Parsons was incorporated in 1893.