The West Virginia. Cyclopedia
Marlinton, West Virginia
The county seat of Pocahontas County, Marlinton, WV, often pronounced if spelled "Marlington," was settled in 1749 by Stephen Sewell and Jacob Marlin, first white settlers on the Greenbrier River. An old oak in Marlinton marked the corner of the first land survey made west of the Alleghenies, a survey by Colonel Andrew Lewis of lands granted to the Greenbrier Company in 1751, consisting of 100,000 acres of land along Greenbrier River.
Marlinton, WV: Early History
Marlinton is located on the path of the old Indian trail, the Seneca Trail, that once lead from upper New York to deep within Georgia. In 1755, Fort Greenbrier was built and garrisoned by Col. Lewis in Marlinton. During the French and Indian War, 18 settlers lost lives in the vicinity. During Indian raids in 1779, 13 were killed and many taken captive.
Development of Marlinton, WV
For many decades the development of the vast timber lands of northern Pocahontas was retarded due to lack of transportation. Due to the extremely rugged terrain of the region it was not until the turn of the 20th Century that the railroad reached the area of Marlinton.
In 1899, the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company purchased a large tact land on Cheat Mountain in Randolph and Pocahontas counties, and decided to build a new paper mill at Covington, Virginia (VA). Soon afterwards, the construction of the Greenbrier Railway began, primarily to serve the the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company's logging operations in the area of Cass and Durbin. The Greenbrier Railway was a subsidiary of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway (C&O), eventually taken over by the C&O and named the Greenbrier Division.
The Greenbrier Railway Company's 59-mile-long rail line from the C&O mainline at Ronceverte to Marlinton was officially opened October 26, 1900. By December of the same year the line was completed to Cass. In January of 1901, the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company shipped the first carload of pulpwood from its operation in Cass to its new mill in Covington.
As a result of the railroad and logging operations, Marlinton experienced a boom during the early-1900's. By 1906, the town had two banks, several lumber plants, a tannery, two newspapers, a hotel, and numerous retail shops.
In 1942, the logging operations at Cass were sold, and reduced profits led to its closing in 1960. In early-1960's, the old logging railroad at Cass was purchased by the State of West Virginia, becoming Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. In 1981, most of the C&O's Greenbrier Division was converted into a 75-mile-long rails-to-trails route from Caldwell, WV to a point 1-mile south of Cass, known as the Greenbrier River Trail.
Topo map of Marlinton, WV and vicinity
Population: 1,204 (2000 Census)
Elevation: 2130 feet
Variant Name(s) for Marlinton, WV
Marlin's Bottom, Marling Bottom, Marlings, Marlington, Marlins, Marlins Bottom