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Wirt County

May 15, 2013

Located in west central West Virginia, Wirt County was created in 1848 from parts of Jackson and Wood counties.

The largest development the county ever had was following the development of the Burning Springs oil field in 1860. Within a year the town of Burning Springs had 6,000 people living in it. Prosperity for the community was short lived. The town and the oil field were burned by Confederate forces on May 9,1863. Although the county would later see modest growth of the oil and gas industry, Burning Springs never fully recovered from the attack.

Today the area is primarily a county of small farms and villages.

Article Photos

Small farms dot the Wirt County landscape.

In 2003 the small county was thrust in the national spotlight as the home of Jessica Lynch. Lynch was captured during the Iraq War and eventually freed during a dramatic rescue. Her life was the subject of both a book and made-for-TV movie.

Fact Box

Population: 5,873

Land in square miles: 233

Number of people per square mile: 25.2

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