Hancock County, West Virginia, located in the Upper Ohio Valley, was first settled during the Revolutionary War. Over the next century, it transformed from a frontier forest into rolling fields, pastures, and orchards. In the 1830s, investors began building brickyards in New Cumberland, which would become the county seat. Hancock County was still primarily home to farmers and brickhands until the construction of potteries (including the world's largest pottery, Homer Laughlin China), which gave birth to the towns of Chester and Newell. The location of a steel mill near Hollidays Cove created the town of Weirton. The new industries tripled the county's population and provided employment to three and four generations of county residents. Recently tourism and recreation have become increasingly important to the local ecomy, evolving from the bygone days of Rock Springs Park to the ever-expanding Mountaineer Race Track and Gaming Resort of the present.