West Virginia Department of Commerce Metro Valley

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Metro Valley

Cabell County
Created in 1809 from Kanawha County and named in honor of William H. Cabell, governor of Virginia, from 1805 ‑1808. The chief agricultural and industrial products are tobacco, dairying, fruit, poultry, sorghum, glass, alloys of nickel, railway and mine cars, clothing, steel, rails, chemicals, shoes, lumber and natural gas.

The county seat of Huntington was incorporated in 1871 and named for its founder, Collis P. Huntington. Huntington was a civil engineer and president of the C&O Railroad. He laid out the town to be the western terminus for his railroad. In 1884, he became the first man in the United States to ride his own railroad car from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean over tracks he either owned or controlled. 

Heritage Village was built from the old Ohio River Railroad Depot as a memorial to 
Huntington's railroad history. It features an old steam locomotive, pullman car, warehouse and boxcar filled with shops.

The Old Bank of Huntington is located in the village and features the original tellers cage grillwork. This bank was robbed on September 8, 1875, only two months after receiving its charter, by the notorious Jesse James gang. 

Barboursville, originally the county seat, was chartered in 1813 and named for James Barbour, governor of Virginia, from 1812‑1814.


Kanawha County
Formed in 1788 from parts of Greenbrier and Montgomery Counties, this county was named for the Great Kanawha River, which received its name from the Indians that once lived in the area. The leading industrial and agricultural products are chemicals, brine, petroleum, natural gas, axes and tools, electric power, enamelware, lumber, mine machinery, dairy farming, poultry, hay, grain, fruit, vegetables and livestock.

The chemical industry is such a force that the area is known as the "Chemical Capital of the World." Union Carbide Corporation founded the petrochemical industry in 1920 when it purchased a small natural gas plant in Clendenin and transformed it into a combined ethylene and chemicals plant. By 1925, the manufacturing of chemicals had grown so that another plant was needed. Expansion continued into the 1940s throughout the valley. Some of the end uses of products manufactured in the county are car seats, furniture, chewing gum, paint primers, food moisturizers, cosmetics, brake fluid and several agricultural products including Sevin.

George Clendenin, one of the earliest settlers, named Charleston for his father, Charles. Daniel Boone settled at Fort Lee, a frontier post located here.

The state capital was here from 1870 to 1875 and has remained in Charleston since 1885. Charleston is considered the largest city in West Virginia and most populous.

The Creil Indian Mound located in South Charleston was excavated by the Smithsonian Institute in 1883‑1884 and revealed 14 skeletons, a copper headdress, arrow heads, shells, flint lance heads and shell beads, all of which are now housed at the Smithsonian. 

Nitro, at the western end of the county, was incorporated in 1932. The town was established by the federal government and selected in 1914 for the site of the world's largest gun powder plant. Ground for the plant was broken in December 1917. World War I ended before any gun powder was ever shipped.


Mason County
Formed in 1804 from parts of Kanawha County and named for George Mason, author of the Constitution of Virginia and a member of the convention that framed the Constitution of the United States. This county comprised part of the proposed colony of Vandalia, the capital of which was to be Point Pleasant. Among the earliest visitors to the area were LaSalle in 1669 and Washington in 1770.

The leading industrial and agricultural products are electric power, coal, polyester resins, plastic film, flame retardant plasterizers, synthetic hydraulic fluids and lubricants, salt, hay, grain, tobacco, livestock, dairy products, poultry, fruit and vegetables. 

Point Pleasant, the county seat, was named for Camp Point Pleasant, established by General Andrew Lewis in 1774.

Located at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, this is where Lewis and his men fought Chief Cornstalk during Lord Dunmore's War. This was the bloodiest battle ever fought between the Indians and white settlers and many claim this to be the first battle of the American Revolution. Point Pleasant Battle Monument State Park is the burial ground of Chief Cornstalk and frontierswoman "Mad" Ann Bailey.


Putnam County
Created in 1848 from parts of Kanawha, Mason and Cabell Counties, this area was named for General Israel Putnam, New England soldier and patriot. The chief agricultural and industrial products are tobacco, hay, grain, livestock, dairying, coal and chemicals.

The first Civil War battle of the Kanawha Valley was fought at Scary Creek on July 17, 1861.

The county seat of Winfield was incorporated in 1868 and named in honor of General Winfield Scott of Mexican War fame. 

Eleanor was named for Eleanor Roosevelt when it was incorporated in 1966. This “new deal” town was the site of the first vocational technical center in West Virginia.