The Barbour County Development Authority (BCDA) was established by a resolution of the Barbour County Commission on April 6, 1981. Our purpose is to promote, develop and advance the business prosperity and economic welfare of Barbour County, its citizens and its industrial complex.
We encourage and assist new businesses through loans, investments or other transactions and by rehabilitating existing companies and industries within Barbour County. Our goal is to stimulate and promote economic expansion to advance the development and stability of the region increasing opportunities for employment and improving our standard of living.
The BCDA works in conjunction with other organizations, Federal, State or Local, in the promotion and advancement of industrial, commercial, agricultural and recreational developments within the County. Aid is provided in the form of money and credit, land and industrial sites, technical assistance and such other assistance to approved applicants for the promotion, development and conduct of all types of business activity within Barbour County.
The Barbour County Development Authority is committed to improve both the economic and community development in the County and will continue in the future to concentrate on the creation and retention of jobs as its primary target.
The Barbour County Development Authority continues to work diligently to promote community and economic development for our community. We strive to attract new businesses, retain existing businesses and promote entrepreneurial development. We are partnering with local, regional and state organizations in an effort to support the employability of all local residents and improve the ethic of our workforce. While our challenges are significant, we believe strongly that our opportunities will lead to a stronger economy for the future of our community.
The Barbour County Development Authority (BCDA) envisions a future where there is shared economic prosperity coupled with a lifestyle that makes the county a desired residence for its citizens and welcomes visitors and future citizens. From the natural resources industries to technology start-ups, the county will be diversified and employing our people. From thriving businesses to active communities, the county will be collaborative and always improving. From strong educational opportunities to a proven workforce, the county will be ready to act on opportunities and meet the challenges both today and tomorrow.
Meet our Team
Mr. Mike Cvechko - President
Mr. Roger Nestor - Vice President
Mr. Mike Isner - Secretary
Ms. Valerie Hurst - Treasurer
Mr. Brian Talbott - Member at Large
Mr. Josh Koepsel
President Richard Creehan
Mr. Tim Ferguson
Mr. Mike Masterson
Mr. Ben Propst
Delegate Danny Wagner
Mr. Jeff Powelson
Ms. Melody Jones
Commissioner Phil Hart
Mr. Jeff Woofter
Ms. Karen Weaver
Mr. Jeff Goff
Mr. Chris Phillips
Mr. Craig Bolton
Barbour County was created by an act of the Virginia General Assembly on March 3, 1843, from parts of Harrison, Lewis, and Randolph Counties, all of which had been settled earlier than Barbour. It is likely that the delayed settlement resulted from the fact that major trails such as the Seneca ran north and south of the area. Furthermore, the closest easily navigable waterways were the Cheat and Monongahela Rivers, both well to the north. Also, this territory was subject to raids from the Indians who through many centuries had used it as a spring and summer hunting ground. In 1744, Virginia officials purchased the land now called West Virginia from the Iroquois nation, and from then on raids were sporadic. Killings were recorded, however, as late as 1782.
The earliest settlers known to reside in what became Barbour County were Richard, Cotteral and Charity Talbot and their mother. They arrived in 1780 and others soon followed.
The new county and, later, its’ county seat were named after Philip Pendleton Barbour, statesman, educator, lawyer, and philanthropist from Orange County, Virginia. President of the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1829, he eventually became a member of the United States Supreme Court, holding that office until his death.
Meeting on April 6, 1843, the first county court session was held at the home of William Wilson. Major items of business included naming of various county officials and the appointment of a committee to recommend a site for the courthouse. A building following the plan of the Hampshire County courthouse was constructed, along with a jail, for some $3500, and they remained in use until 1905. The same site holds the present combined courthouse and jail, the cornerstone of which was laid in 1903.
Handwritten records still available indicate that major items of business carried on by the county included not only major and minor infractions of the law but also the establishment of the infrastructure of the county and the building of bridges, roads, water systems, telephone lines, and public education facilities. Constant attention was also given to caring for the poor and infirm. Total cost for the first year of county affairs was $559.79.
Before it became the county seat, Philippi was known as Booth’s Ferry, later to be called Anglin’s Ford. This was the most heavily used crossing between Beverly and the Monongalia County line. However, in 1852, a covered bridge was built to cross the Tygart River in Philippi, and the ferry was discontinued. The first bridge captured in the Civil War, the Philippi bridge was used by both Union and Confederate troops. The exterior of the structure burned in 1989, but was reconstructed using the original plans of Lemuel Chenoweth. It reopened in 1991.
This bridge was involved in the first significant land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861. Interestingly enough, there were at the time two political parties in Barbour County, one of which was Unionist, and the other loyal to Virginia, whether or not that state seceded. There is no record that a secessionist vote was ever taken in Barbour County. During “The Philippi Races”, thirty men died as a result of the battle.
According to the history of Barbour County written by Hu Maxwell in 1899, the county seat of Philippi was virtually deserted following the battle, the Confederates having left and the Unionist being back on their farms. The county court proceeded to vote several taxes to support Union soldiers from Barbour County.
In the years since the Civil War, Barbour County has enjoyed periods of prosperity as a result of the timber and coal industries. Schools have been built, a clinic and hospital and college have been established, and many small businesses have enjoyed success. More recently, however, and especially because of reduced demand for coal, the economy of the county has suffered. Coal companies have left or greatly reduced output. Private businesses have closed. School populations have decreased. The average age of the population has risen dramatically while the average per capita income and valuation have fallen.
Current leaders of Barbour County continue to work hard to reverse these trends. We are striving to bring businesses to the area, to encourage young families to stay, and to improve living conditions and opportunities for all county residents.