Mannington West Virginia
“Forks of Buffalo”
Town of Mannington WV
The city of Mannington is located in Marion County, in the hills of North-Central West Virginia. Mannington is known for its friendly people and historic houses. There are numerous reasons to visit Mannington. We have a lot of fun events each year including a District Fair, classic car shows, parades. Mannington is rich in history, architecture and museums. The West Augusta Historical Society and Museum and the Round Barn have especially fine collections. The architecture is an attraction in itself, including many fine examples especially of the Victorian style. Mannington is a town where you can still walk to the park, restaurants, shopping and schools. Downtown on Market Street there are many restaurants and unique shops to visit and explore.
History of Mannington WV
One of the first settlers in the area was John Ice, who was born in the valley of the South Branch of the Potomac River. Most of the land now falling within the city limits, some 1,360 acres, was owned by Robert Rutherford, a Revolutionary War financier and an intimate friend of George Washington.
After the parceling of the land around the Forks of Buffalo, interest in the area increased as did the population. A number of log houses began to be built, with the accompanying entrepreneurial activities that one might expect in an early settlement. By 1850 a tavern owned by George and Samuel Koon appeared in the heart of town. Not long after the tavern was opened, the Forks of Buffalo began to be known as Koon Town. While the local inhabitants may have used the newer name, the United States government failed to do so, in 1850 naming their first postal office in the community the Forks of Buffalo Post Office. It was not until 1856 that the village officially became known as Mannington, named after Charles Manning, a civil engineer with the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad.
The coming of the railroad introduced heavier industry to the Mannington area. Industry such as logging, coal, tree bark, sawmills, woodworking plants, along with cattle, sheep, and farm crops.
Mannington really prospered by the impact of the oil and gas boom in 1890 that literally changed the shape of the town.
A new chapter in Mannington’s history began in 1889 with the first oil drilling, following recommendations made by Dr. Israel C. White, a well-known geologist. The first strike for oil was in 1889, and real estate prices soared 100% in two days in a boom-town mentality. The Mannington oil field became one of the largest in the State, with the largest well producing about 1,600 barrels per day.
Dr. White also pushed for natural gas exploration in which was responsible for Mannington’s growth. The population increased from approximately 700 people in the late 19th century to over 4,000 by 1917. By 1900, Mannington was a thriving town, complete with its own trolley system, electricity, theaters, schools, fire department, telephones and other amenities.