There’s an undeniable charm that comes with pre-World War II American architecture, characterized by high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, and ornate details. In fact, 12.8% of all housing units in America were built in 1939 or before, showing the popularity of the preservation of these units. Owning a piece of history can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize. However, with more and more modernized pre-war homes on the market, generally located just outside bustling downtown metros, investing in property that has withstood the test of time is an attractive prospect.

Stacker compiled a list of the counties in West Virginia with the oldest homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by median year the structure was built according to 2020 5-year estimates. Ties are broken by the highest percentage of homes built before 1939.

The country’s domestic architecture is perhaps best characterized by a rugged individualism as opposed to the hybridization of disparate architectural elements. As Maya Angelou once perceptively observed, “the ache for home lives in all of us,” a phrase that has meant very different things to different people.

Modest or palatial, there is no shortage of noteworthy homes in the U.S. Log cabins constructed by industrious pioneers have dotted the landscape alongside traditional Native American dwellings ever since immigrant Swedes introduced them to the New World in 1638. The unprecedented personal fortunes amassed by the so-called “Robber Barons” at the close of the 19th century gave way to the construction of a staggering number of Gilded Age estates.

The ravages of time spared neither the sumptuous nor the humble. Stately mansions, often prohibitively costly to maintain in the modern era, were frequently neglected; simple structures were forgotten, discarded by their owners, and damaged by natural elements. However, the tireless efforts of architectural preservationists and local historical societies have saved many of these homes from demolition, leading to their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and thereby safeguarding them for future generations.

Keep reading to learn more about which counties in West Virginia have the oldest homes.

Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#55. Berkeley County

– Median year homes built: 1994
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.1% (4,992 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 40.1% (19,850 homes)
– Total homes built: 49,466

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#54. Jefferson County

– Median year homes built: 1989
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.1% (2,367 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 32.4% (7,569 homes)
– Total homes built: 23,391

Roger B Wise // Wikimedia Commons

#53. Putnam County

– Median year homes built: 1987
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.7% (1,141 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 21.9% (5,322 homes)
– Total homes built: 24,262

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#52. Hampshire County

– Median year homes built: 1985
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.1% (1,565 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 17.1% (2,403 homes)
– Total homes built: 14,047

Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#51. Morgan County

– Median year homes built: 1985
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.2% (1,216 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 26.0% (2,606 homes)
– Total homes built: 10,004

You may also like: Best places to live in West Virginia

Canva

#50. Mingo County

– Median year homes built: 1984
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.5% (831 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.9% (2,047 homes)
– Total homes built: 12,879

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Wirt County

– Median year homes built: 1983
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.2% (406 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 22.3% (744 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,330

Zverzver // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Monongalia County

– Median year homes built: 1983
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.9% (5,822 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 27.1% (12,191 homes)
– Total homes built: 45,047

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Lincoln County

– Median year homes built: 1982
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.3% (825 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 16.9% (1,691 homes)
– Total homes built: 9,978

Antony-22 // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Hardy County

– Median year homes built: 1982
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.1% (1,011 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 17.0% (1,423 homes)
– Total homes built: 8,351

You may also like: Best colleges in West Virginia

jpmueller99 from Shenandoah Valley of VA, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Pocahontas County

– Median year homes built: 1982
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.0% (1,158 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 16.9% (1,503 homes)
– Total homes built: 8,914

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Pendleton County

– Median year homes built: 1981
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.4% (961 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 16.2% (850 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,233

Canva

#43. Tucker County

– Median year homes built: 1981
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.3% (1,089 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.8% (845 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,360

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Grant County

– Median year homes built: 1980
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.9% (999 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 16.1% (1,081 homes)
– Total homes built: 6,725

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Jackson County

– Median year homes built: 1979
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.7% (1,030 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 18.2% (2,436 homes)
– Total homes built: 13,397

You may also like: Lowest-earning counties in West Virginia

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Logan County

– Median year homes built: 1979
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.7% (2,305 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.4% (2,600 homes)
– Total homes built: 16,861

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Preston County

– Median year homes built: 1979
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.0% (2,885 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 18.0% (2,731 homes)
– Total homes built: 15,149

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Nicholas County

– Median year homes built: 1978
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.6% (1,530 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.6% (1,791 homes)
– Total homes built: 13,140

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Clay County

– Median year homes built: 1978
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.9% (553 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 19.2% (891 homes)
– Total homes built: 4,642

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Braxton County

– Median year homes built: 1978
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.8% (1,327 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.8% (1,175 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,438

You may also like: Most popular baby names for boys in West Virginia

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Summers County

– Median year homes built: 1978
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.8% (1,452 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.8% (1,064 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,715

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Wyoming County

– Median year homes built: 1977
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.1% (988 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.1% (1,421 homes)
– Total homes built: 10,884

Bitmapped // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Monroe County

– Median year homes built: 1977
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.1% (1,152 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.1% (1,153 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,628

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Upshur County

– Median year homes built: 1977
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.1% (1,847 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.8% (1,695 homes)
– Total homes built: 11,442

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Wayne County

– Median year homes built: 1976
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.8% (1,702 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.1% (2,723 homes)
– Total homes built: 19,378

You may also like: Counties in West Virginia where people spend most of their paycheck on housing

Bitmapped // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Mason County

– Median year homes built: 1976
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.3% (1,352 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 17.0% (2,225 homes)
– Total homes built: 13,079

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Calhoun County

– Median year homes built: 1976
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.7% (511 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 15.5% (621 homes)
– Total homes built: 4,015

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Lewis County

– Median year homes built: 1976
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.2% (1,930 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 19.7% (1,574 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,976

Tim Kiser // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Raleigh County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.9% (4,299 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.5% (4,876 homes)
– Total homes built: 36,143

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Boone County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.0% (1,341 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.6% (1,630 homes)
– Total homes built: 11,193

You may also like: Increased rainfall and flooding: How climate change has affected West Virginia

Canva

#25. Pleasants County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.4% (557 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.8% (503 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,406

Richie Diesterheft from Chicago, IL, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Roane County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.1% (1,273 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.4% (996 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,438

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Randolph County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.9% (2,555 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.0% (1,279 homes)
– Total homes built: 14,271

Taber Andrew Bain // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Greenbrier County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.0% (3,479 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.6% (2,825 homes)
– Total homes built: 19,306

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Gilmer County

– Median year homes built: 1975
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.4% (734 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.4% (339 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,591

You may also like: The Black homeownership gap in West Virginia

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Mercer County

– Median year homes built: 1974
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.3% (4,586 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.8% (3,252 homes)
– Total homes built: 30,007

Valerius Tygart // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Barbour County

– Median year homes built: 1974
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.8% (1,728 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 14.4% (1,140 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,926

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Taylor County

– Median year homes built: 1974
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.8% (1,941 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 13.0% (980 homes)
– Total homes built: 7,513

Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Mineral County

– Median year homes built: 1973
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.4% (2,414 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.2% (1,213 homes)
– Total homes built: 13,128

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Ritchie County

– Median year homes built: 1973
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.2% (1,552 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 12.6% (747 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,917

You may also like: Highest rated beer in West Virginia

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Webster County

– Median year homes built: 1972
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.3% (832 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.2% (553 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,445

Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Fayette County

– Median year homes built: 1972
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.6% (4,199 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 11.4% (2,447 homes)
– Total homes built: 21,470

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Doddridge County

– Median year homes built: 1970
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.8% (1,126 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.3% (363 homes)
– Total homes built: 3,915

Canva

#12. Wood County

– Median year homes built: 1969
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.8% (6,384 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 12.6% (5,094 homes)
– Total homes built: 40,288

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Cabell County

– Median year homes built: 1968
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.5% (7,647 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 11.1% (5,153 homes)
– Total homes built: 46,340

You may also like: Highest NFL draft picks from West Virginia

Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

#10. Tyler County

– Median year homes built: 1966
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.2% (1,522 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 8.1% (408 homes)
– Total homes built: 5,043

O Palsson // Flickr

#9. Kanawha County

– Median year homes built: 1965
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.8% (11,833 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 9.1% (8,419 homes)
– Total homes built: 92,339

OZinOH // Flickr

#8. Wetzel County

– Median year homes built: 1965
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.6% (2,099 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 6.0% (491 homes)
– Total homes built: 8,193

Jimmy Emerson, DVM // Flickr

#7. Brooke County

– Median year homes built: 1961
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.3% (2,081 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 4.6% (495 homes)
– Total homes built: 10,778

Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Harrison County

– Median year homes built: 1961
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.1% (7,973 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.1% (3,211 homes)
– Total homes built: 31,721

You may also like: Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in West Virginia

Generic1139 // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Hancock County

– Median year homes built: 1960
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.9% (2,139 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.5% (1,072 homes)
– Total homes built: 14,328

Coal town guy // Wikimedia Commons

#4. McDowell County

– Median year homes built: 1959
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.6% (2,980 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.1% (789 homes)
– Total homes built: 11,182

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Marion County

– Median year homes built: 1959
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.1% (7,414 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 10.3% (2,718 homes)
– Total homes built: 26,371

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Marshall County

– Median year homes built: 1959
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.1% (4,743 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 6.8% (1,077 homes)
– Total homes built: 15,750

Brandon W. Holmes // Wikicommons

#1. Ohio County

– Median year homes built: 1954
– Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.1% (7,120 homes)
– Homes built since 2000: 7.3% (1,523 homes)
– Total homes built: 20,882