Roundhouses and Shops. The B&O Railroad reached Martinsburg in 1842,and by 1849, a roundhouse and shops werebuilt. These first buildings were burned byConfederate troops in 1862. The present westroundhouse and the two shops were built in1866. The east roundhouse was built in 1872.These buildings represent one of the lastremaining examples of American industrialrailroad architecture still intact and inuse. These structures serve as importantreminders of the status of the railroad inthe mid-19th century and the role it playedin the economic development of Martinsburg,the county, and the state.
Railroad Strike of 1877. On July 16. 1877, workers of the Baltimoreand Ohio Railroad went on strike and closedthis railroad yard to protest a cut in wages.Their action sparked the largest nationwidestrike the country had seen. Extensive damagewas done to company property at Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Wheeling, and over 50 workers were killed before the strike was crushed. Federal troops were used for the first time in a labor dispute. As the country's first general strike, it focused national attention on labors grievances and made workers awareof the power of collective action.