• 1706

    Swiss immigrant Louis Michel traveled along the west bank of the Potomac River searching for land for a Swiss colony. He reported that Indians covered the area.

  • 1719

    Near present day Shepherdstown, Presbyterians founded "West" Virginia's very first church at the site of Potomoke, Virginia. However, it should be noted that the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church refutes this claim, and there is no indisputable evidence either way that I have been able to uncover to date. A small discussion on the Potomoke Church as viewed by Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church (and the history of their own church) can be read here.

  • 1720

    Jefferson County, as it sits today, is considered part of Spottsylvania County in Virginia.

  • 1722

    The Iriquios Nation surrenders all of their claims to land in the Eastern Panhandle, including present day Jefferson County, by signing the Treaty of Albany with Virginia. This treaty allowed whites to settle both to the south of the Potomac River and between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. The Iriquios tribes used the area often as a prime hunting ground. Tuscarora Indians were also present in the area and were admitted to the Iriquios Nation, creating the sixth nation.

  • 1727

    The site of present day Shepherdstown, coined New Mecklenburg, is settled and founded by Germans from Pennsylvania. It was probably named after Mecklenburg, a region in northern Germany.

  • 1730

    Beginning around 1730, the Virginia government began to encourage people to settle in the valleys of "Western" Virgina. By 1832, the valley is settled mostly by German, Scotch-Irish, and Welsh pioneers.

  • Circa 1732

    Peter Stephens, a trader from Germany, settles on the “point” of present day Harpers Ferry, gaining “squatters rights” to the property. The property is nicknamed “the hole” and “Peter’s hole” due to the low elevation of the area, which is only 247 feet above sea level. Stephens builds a log cabin home. Other pioneers begin to arrive and settle in the surrounding areas as well.

    Further Reading
  • 1734

    Jefferson County, as it is today, is very briefly considered part of Orange County, Virginia. Previously, the lands were considered a part of Spottsylvania County.

  • October 3, 1734

    Thomas Shepherd receives a land grant of 222 acres. He selected 50 acres of his original 222 and laid out a town, naming it Mecklenburg, and petitioned the Virginia General Assembly for charter. You can view the original land grant online here.

  • 1738

    Jefferson County, as we know it today, is considered part of Frederick County, Virginia.