Clarke County, named for revolutionary war hero, George Rogers Clark. For some unknown reason during the legislative process, an “e” was mistakenly added to Clark’s last name, and this misspelling remains to this day. Clarke County was formed in 1836 from part of Frederick County. The area was originally part of Lord Fairfax’s 5 million acre land grant. A young George Washington surveyed the area for Lord Fairfax. In the latter part of the 18th century many descendants of Tidewater Virginia’s most prestigious families moved here, bringing with them their plantation lifestyle and love of fox hunting.
During the Civil war, Clarke County was in the midst of Col. John Singleton Mosby’s theater of operations. There are many well-marked sites of his skirmishes within the county. Confederate General Jubal Early’s army fought the Battle of Cool Spring along the Shenandoah River and General Robert E. Lee, whose wife was born in Clarke County, camped here on his way to Gettysburg. The Civil War devastated the area, but many of the old plantation homes survived and still stand today. Open fields dominate the landscape and preserve the rural setting that the people of Clarke County cherish.
Come visit with us and enjoy the rural beauty, history, and charm of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley. Whether you are taking a walking tour of Berryville, or a driving tour of the countryside, you will find something for everyone in Clarke County.
See our historic sites and homes, go cycling on our scenic roads, canoe and fish on the Shenandoah River, go horseback riding, play golf, take a balloon ride, or hike the Appalachian Trail. There are a wide variety of restaurants in the County – From country cooking to fast food, ethnic cuisine to fine dining – that are sure to please everyone. Perhaps your more lingering memory of the area will be the people you meet … people who ask “how are you doin” and listen when you respond.
You will find Clarke County to be a truly unique experience. The bustling air of the built-up areas to the east seems to soften as you cross the Blue Ridge. The Shenandoah flows serene, and tensions ebb as you watch it’s stately progress. Come visit with us in Clarke County, Virginia’s best kept secret!