West Virginia's oldest county was formed in 1754 by partitioning portions of Frederick and Augusta counties, which remain in Virginia. Subsequently, its area was reduced as other counties were formed from it. Hampshire County's rolling hills are particularly suitable for orchards and pastures, and agriculture has always dominated the economy. Because there are no urban centers, census takers tallied its 2000 population of 20,203—the highest figure yet recorded—as 100 percent rural. Even so, buildings of major architectural interest cluster in two small villages, the county seat of Romney and Capon Springs.
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