Pocahontas County, West Virginia

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Pocahontas County
The quaint station in Durbin, used for scenic trips by Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad
The quaint station in Durbin, used for scenic trips by Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad
Map of West Virginia highlighting Pocahontas County
Location within the U.S. state of West Virginia
Map of the United States highlighting West Virginia
West Virginia's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 38°19′N 80°01′W / 38.32°N 80.01°W / 38.32; -80.01
Country United States
State West Virginia
FoundedDecember 21, 1821
Named forPocahontas
SeatMarlinton
Largest townMarlinton
Area
 • Total942 sq mi (2,440 km2)
 • Land940 sq mi (2,400 km2)
 • Water1.5 sq mi (4 km2)  0.2%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total8,719
 • Estimate 
(2019)
8,247
 • Density9.3/sq mi (3.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district3rd
Websitewww.pocahontascounty.wv.gov

Pocahontas County is a county located in the U.S. state of West Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,719.[1] Its county seat is Marlinton.[2] The county was established in 1821. It is named after the daughter of the Powhatan chief of the Native Americans in the United States from Jamestown, Virginia. She married an English settler and their children became ancestors of many of the First Families of Virginia.[3]

Pocahontas County is the home to the Green Bank Observatory and is part of the National Radio Quiet Zone.

History[edit]

When Andrew Lewis, early American pioneer, surveyor, and soldier from Virginia, came to survey one of the land grants for the Greenbrier Company in 1751, he found Jacob Marlin and Stephen Sewell living where Marlinton later developed. They had come from Frederick, Maryland, in 1749 and are considered to be the first European settlers in this region of Virginia. They built their original cabin where Marlin Run met Knapp's Creek. Lewis had found Sewell living in a large hollow sycamore tree near the cabin. This area is now between Eighth and Ninth avenues and Eighth and Ninth streets of Marlinton.

This area was reserved by the nations of the Iroquois Confederacy as a hunting ground, by right of their conquest of tribes that had been in the area. The American Indians resisted Europeans moving into the area. A treaty of 1758 by Great Britain confirmed the land west of the Allegheny Mountains to the Indians and forbade his Majesty's subjects from settling or hunting here.

But the white settlers continued to encroach onto the Indian land, sparking many raids and massacres between the groups. After the Revolution, the Indian squabbles quieted and the settlers' land claims were secured in an orderly manner.

On June 20, 1863, West Virginia became the thirty-fifth state of the Union. Although part of Virginia at the time, the western area had a different culture and economy than the Tidewater. It had been settled by yeomen farmers who held few slaves. In the east, planters developed a slave society in which the elite lived very well. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, many residents of the western counties, few of whom owned slaves, decided to stay with the Union. Pocahontas was one of fifty Virginia counties included in the new state.

Later that year, West Virginia's counties were divided into civil townships, with the intention of encouraging local government. This proved impractical in the heavily rural state, and in 1872 the townships were converted into magisterial districts.[4] Pocahontas County was initially divided into four townships, each of which was given a patriotic name: Grant, Lincoln, Meade, and Union. They became magisterial districts in 1872, and all four were renamed the following year: Grant District, originally named for Union General Ulysses S. Grant, became Huntersville District; Lincoln, named after the President, became Edray; Meade, named for General George Meade, became Greenbank, and Union District became Academy. In the 1890s, Academy District was renamed again, becoming Little Levels.[5]

The railroads came late to Pocahontas County, as building rails over the mountains was a difficult and expensive project. It was not until 1899 that construction began but after that, the task moved with startling speed. The 1900 census of the county indicates that many European immigrants came to the region as workers on building the railroads through this area.

Commercial timbering quickly began upon completion of the railroads, including a large mill owned by the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company (now MeadWestvaco) at Cass. By the end of 1920, dozens of small railroading towns dotted the landscape along the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway line.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 942 square miles (2,440 km2), of which 940 square miles (2,400 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (0.2%) is water.[7] It is the third-largest county in West Virginia by area, and with a mean altitude of 3,219 feet or 981 metres it is the sixth-highest county east of the Mississippi River and the highest county in this region outside Western North Carolina.[8]

The highest point is Thorny Flat on Cheat Mountain in the northwestern part of the county, elevation 4,848 feet (1,478 m).[9]

Birthplace of rivers[edit]

The county is the site of the headwaters for eight rivers: Cherry River, Cranberry River, Elk River, Gauley River, Greenbrier River, Tygart Valley River, Williams River, and Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. The Monongahela National Forest protects much of the river headwaters, thereby helping to ensure improved downstream water quality.

Major highways[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18302,542
18402,92214.9%
18503,59823.1%
18603,95810.0%
18704,0692.8%
18805,56136.7%
18906,81422.5%
19008,57025.8%
191014,74072.0%
192015,0021.8%
193014,555−3.0%
194013,906−4.5%
195012,480−10.3%
196010,136−18.8%
19708,870−12.5%
19809,91911.8%
19909,008−9.2%
20009,1311.4%
20108,719−4.5%
2019 (est.)8,247[10]−5.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1790–1960[12] 1900–1990[13]
1990–2000[14] 2010–2019[1]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 9,131 people, 3,835 households, and 527 families living in the county. The population density was 10 people per square mile (4/km2). There were 7,594 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.38% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.05% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 0.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,835 households, out of which 25.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.90% were married couples living together, 7.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.10% were non-families. 29.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.90% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 27.40% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 106.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,401, and the median income for a family was $32,511. Males had a median income of $26,173 versus $16,780 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,384. About 12.70% of families and 17.10% of individuals were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 14.60% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 8,719 people, 3,758 households, and 2,373 families living in the county.[16] The population density was 9.3 inhabitants per square mile (3.6/km2). There were 8,847 housing units at an average density of 9.4 per square mile (3.6/km2).[17] The racial makeup of the county was 97.8% white, 0.7% black or African American, 0.2% American Indian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 0.8% of the population.[16] In terms of ancestry, 23.0% were German, 20.1% were Irish, 12.7% were English, 9.9% were American, 5.2% were Scottish, and 5.1% were Dutch.[18]

Of the 3,758 households, 24.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 9.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.9% were non-families, and 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.75. The median age was 47.1 years.[16]

The median income for a household in the county was $32,161 and the median income for a family was $40,906. Males had a median income of $32,411 versus $25,321 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,763. About 11.8% of families and 15.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.6% of those under age 18 and 11.7% of those age 65 or over.[19]

Politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Pocahontas County, West Virginia[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,895 72.21% 1,047 26.12% 67 1.67%
2016 2,496 67.92% 928 25.25% 251 6.83%
2012 2,182 60.76% 1,303 36.29% 106 2.95%
2008 2,011 55.22% 1,548 42.50% 83 2.28%
2004 2,295 58.58% 1,573 40.15% 50 1.28%
2000 1,970 56.82% 1,392 40.15% 105 3.03%
1996 1,242 35.68% 1,796 51.59% 443 12.73%
1992 1,401 37.05% 1,741 46.05% 639 16.90%
1988 1,876 48.70% 1,958 50.83% 18 0.47%
1984 2,479 56.52% 1,903 43.39% 4 0.09%
1980 2,011 46.18% 2,170 49.83% 174 4.00%
1976 1,740 42.75% 2,330 57.25% 0 0.00%
1972 2,391 59.39% 1,635 40.61% 0 0.00%
1968 2,040 46.01% 1,948 43.93% 446 10.06%
1964 1,716 34.09% 3,317 65.91% 0 0.00%
1960 2,469 46.66% 2,822 53.34% 0 0.00%
1956 2,937 53.69% 2,533 46.31% 0 0.00%
1952 2,841 50.88% 2,743 49.12% 0 0.00%
1948 2,373 46.24% 2,754 53.66% 5 0.10%
1944 2,340 44.68% 2,897 55.32% 0 0.00%
1940 2,886 44.47% 3,604 55.53% 0 0.00%
1936 2,850 40.84% 4,118 59.01% 10 0.14%
1932 2,623 42.34% 3,531 57.00% 41 0.66%
1928 3,141 55.55% 2,487 43.99% 26 0.46%
1924 2,782 49.14% 2,777 49.05% 102 1.80%
1920 2,836 52.32% 2,540 46.85% 45 0.83%
1916 1,550 44.90% 1,849 53.56% 53 1.54%
1912 589 18.42% 1,428 44.67% 1,180 36.91%


Economy[edit]

Tourism[edit]

Countryside off Route 28 near Dunmore, WV

As of 2008, there were approximately 30,000 out-of-towners who own property in Pocahontas County. The tourism industry has continued to be one of the county's largest economic industries. The main tourist attraction is Snowshoe Mountain, which attracts thousands of visitors every summer and winter.[citation needed]

Communities[edit]

Towns[edit]

Magisterial districts[edit]

  • Edray
  • Greenbank
  • Huntersville
  • Little Levels

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 5, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 23, 2001. Retrieved February 4, 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), West Virginia Culture
  4. ^ Otis K. Rice & Stephen W. Brown, West Virginia: A History, 2nd ed., University Press of Kentucky, Lexington (1993), p. 240.
  5. ^ United States Census Bureau, U.S. Decennial Census, Tables of Minor Civil Divisions in West Virginia, 1870–2010.
  6. ^ "Pocahontas County - County History". www.pocahontascountywv.com. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Mean County Elevation Lists". cohp.org. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "West Virginia High Points". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved March 29, 2020.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  12. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  13. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  14. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  15. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  16. ^ a b c "DP-1 Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  17. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  18. ^ "DP02 SELECTED SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS IN THE UNITED STATES – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  19. ^ "DP03 SELECTED ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
  21. ^ "Amnesty: Episode 20". maximumfun.org. January 10, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°19′N 80°01′W / 38.32°N 80.01°W / 38.32; -80.01