The northern and western section of the county, outside
the Tidewater Grant lands, was settled by immigrants
from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Mills and small farms
abounded in this area.
By 1836, the inherent differences between the large
landowners on the East and the German/Scotch Irish
settlers West of the Opequon Creek, created a chasm in
life-styles that caused the new County of Clarke to be
During the Civil War, John Singleton Mosby, "the
Gray Ghost" of the Confederacy, criss-crossed the
county. At Berryville, in the summer of 1864, he raided
Sheridan's 7 mile ling supply train. On the Shenandoah
River, after a foray into Maryland and DC, Confederate
General Jubal Early's forced delayed a Union army from
entering the Valley during the battle of Cool Spring.
General Robert E. Lee, whose wife was born in Clarke
County, camped her on his way to Gettysburg.
The Civil War devastated the area, but many of the old
plantation homes survived and still stand today.
Gradually the agricultural emphasis changed from wheat
growing to fruit production, with immense orchards of
apples spreading over the landscape. Thoroughbred horses
still flourish, and are a major source of income and
prestige within the county. In time, the counties
business base has become more diverse, while still
maintaining the rural nature that Clarke County citizens
Clarke County still seems a 'Separate Place' in time.
The bustling air of the built-up counties to the east
seems to soften as you cross the Blue Ridge. The
Shenandoah flows serene, and tensions ebb as you watch
it stately progress. Come to Clarke County and know a