The West Virginia. Cyclopedia

Malden, West Virginia

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Malden is an incorporated community in Kanawha County located along the Kanawha River. The town was originally known as the Kanawha Salines during the early-1800s but came to be named Malden by 1850 during the height of the commercial activity in the salt industry in the Kanawha Valley. During the American Civil War the salt industry was able to function in a very limited capacity. Following the war the Saltines faced increased competition from other salt producing regions. By the 1870s only one salt furnace remained in operation and the nearby town of Charleston, just 6 miles downstream of Malden, began to develop as the major commercial center of the county. Despite its ultimate decline, the early salt industry spawned the development of the chemical industry in the Kanawha Valley, which began to develop in the early 1900's. In 1893, the Kanawha & Michigan Railroad completed its rail line between Charleston and Gauley Bridge, and at some date afterwards established a station at Malden.

Today Malden is primarily a residencial community although many of the town's historic structures and buildings from 1800s have survived. The Malden Historic District was entered in the National Register of Historic Place on July 18, 1980.


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Variant Names

Kanawha Salines, Malden Kanawha Saline, Maldon, Matten, Saltbro, Terra Salias, Terra Salis, Terras Sallas, and The Licks