The Warren Historic Site is dedicated to preserving three historic buildings erected at this location on the grounds of the Warren United Methodist Church. These buildings served as the nucleus of a small rural African-American community known as Martinsburg, which flourished after the end of the Civil War. Martinsburg began before the Civil War as a crossroads village consisting of a store, post office and blacksmith's shop.
Following the war, free blacks and former slaves purchased land in the area and developed a community of 30-40 homesteads. At the center of the community three principal institutions of historical significance were erected, a church, the Warren Methodist Episcopal Church, a one-room schoolhouse, the Martinsburg Negro School, and a benefit society lodge hall, the Loving Charity Lodge.
On January 22, 1876 this site was purchased for $50. In 1903 the existing church was built at a cost of $150.00 and named in memory of Isaac Warren a member of the first board of trustees of the church. The Martinsburg Negro School was built in 1886 serving grades 1-5 with 40-50 students attending classes. The Loving Charity Lodge Hall was built in 1914. The Loving Charity Society was founded to provide sick and burial events for free blacks and former slaves who were not able to purchase these forms of coverage from insurance companies. The hall served as a community center where plays, dances, and lectures were held, in addition to being the site where the organizational activities of the Loving Charity Society were conducted.
These three building were the anchor for the new thriving Martinsburg community and served as the center for religious worship, educational development, and social interaction for the residents of the area.
The Warren Historic District Site Committee, Inc., takes pride in preserving these valuable historic assets and maintaining the cultural heritage of the African American community which they represent.