Hampshire County was first inhabited by roaming bands of American Indians who used it as a hunting ground. There is a large mound, believed to be a burial mound residual of the Moundbuilders of pre-history in the county seat.
The Welsh frontiersman Morgan Morgan and the German frontiersman Joist Hite are among the first known European settlers in the county.
Formation of the county was authorized 13 Dec 1753 by the General Assembly of Virginia, to be effective 1 May 1754.
Parts of the county were included in the land grant given to Thomas Lord Fairfax and surveyed by the young George Washington.
About 1771, the oldest inhabited dwelling in Romney was built in the "St. Mary's county, Maryland" style. G. Washington reports staying in a small log dwelling on this lot during his last visit to Romney in 1770. Known as the Mytinger Place, it is not usually open to visitors except during Heritage Days (early September)
In 1795, a man named Matthew Montgomery bought a lot in the town limits, and as a condition of the purchase erected before 1798 a two-story log house. This house still stands and is known as The Davis History House. It is now open to the public by appointment and during Heritage Days. Docents are all local residents and most are natives of the county.
In 1819, a small group of men formed a debating society and sometime before 1870 but after the War Between the States, the Society built Literary Hall for their home. In 1886, when they disbanded, due to lack of interest caused by modern entertainments, the building was used by the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star. It is today an office building and private museum open by appointment only.