Harrison County was created in 1784, prior to West Virginia becoming a state, and was named for Benjamin Harrison, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Divided nearly in half by the West Fork River, Harrison County is situated along I-79, making it travel north or south easy.
Harrison County has a mix of rural and suburban areas, with classic small-town main streets and close-knit communities. In the early 1900s, Clarksburg, the county seat, became home to a large population of Italian immigrants who settled in the area to work in the mines. Today, their descendants remain a strong presence, carrying on culinary traditions and running restaurants serving traditional Calabrese cuisine. The city also offers one of the few Montessori programs in the region.
Clarksburg’s nearest neighbor is Bridgeport, “a vignette of the American Ecoonomy.” Bridgeport is understandably proud of its civic services, high-quality education, and robust recreational opportunities. Nearby Salem is the third-largest city in the county and home to Salem University. Like its neighbors, Salem offers a comforting mix of rich history and modern life.
Among Harrison’s famous natives are renowned college football coach Jimbo Fisher, opera singer Phyllis Curtain, and oil “wildcatter” and philanthropist Michael Late Benedum, founder of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.