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Mannington is located in Marion County on U.S. 250 west of Fairmont, at the juncture of Pyles Fork and Buffalo Creek. First called Forks of Buffalo and later Koon Town, Mannington was named for Charles F. Manning, a Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad civil engineer, in 1854. The arrival in 1852 of the B&O main line, building across Western Virginia from Baltimore to Wheeling, gave Mannington a long-standing economic advantage. Mannington was chartered as a town by the Virginia legislature in 1856 and by West Virginia in 1871. It was incorporated as a city in 1921.

Like the surrounding region, Mannington supported the Union during the Civil War, although a minority of local men served with the Confederacy. The presence of the strategically important B&O brought military attention early in the war, with a Union regiment establishing Camp Buffalo a few miles away in May 1861. Confederates raided nearby Fairmont during the 1863 Jones-Imboden raids but did not visit Mannington. Many Union veterans are buried in local cemeteries.

Mannington is located in the midst of rich oil and gas and coal fields. The town participated fully in the oil and gas boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, serving the industry as a services and distribution center. At about the same time, Mannington developed into a regional pottery center, building what was believed to be the largest toilet ware plant in the world. The town was wired for electricity in 1898, and electric streetcar service arrived by 1905. Soon it was possible to travel by streetcar to Fairmont, Clarksburg, and many smaller communities. Transportation developments later in the century passed Mannington by, as Interstate 79 was built in the eastern part of the county. The population peaked at 3,673 in 1920 but remained relatively steady until starting a more rapid decline in the 1980s. In 2020, the population was 1,961.

Mannington is the site of the annual Mannington District Fair and was home to the late old-time musician Russell Fluharty, recipient of the Vandalia Award, West Virginia’s highest folklife honor. The Mannington Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

Read the National Register nomination.

Last Revised on August 04, 2023


Cite This Article

e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia "Mannington." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 04 August 2023. Web. 02 March 2024.

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