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Clendenin Town

Kanawha County, West Virginia

Clendenin Town Hall is located at 103 First Street, Clendenin, WV 25045.
Phone: 304‑548‑4192.


Beginnings [1]

Clendenin was originally a small settlement from which a village called "Chilton" was founded on the opposite side of the Elk River. This was a community of timber and coal mining, the area's first important industries. At nearby Falling Rock one of the first channel coal veins, discovered in 1846, became a rich source in the manufacture of artificial gas. Its name is a corruption of "candle coal" because it burns with a bright flame.

There were two significant events which occurred in 1893 and around 1900; these were the coming of the railroad and the drilling of the first gas well. With the development of one of the largest oil and gas fields in the state, the town developed into a boom town almost over night. Banks were established, stores built, oil and gas offices opened and industrial plants constructed. These conditions fostered the construction of many of the town's commercial buildings.

The Coal and Coke Railroad was built up Elk River in 1890. The timberland attracted logging operations. A tram-road was built across the Elk River at Clendenin up through Cobbs Bottom and on up to Left Hand. A small engine called a "dinkey" hauled the logs down to Clendenin. A large lumber industry developed on the south side of Clendenin, as a result.

  1. Rodney S. Collins and Karen F. Stover, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Clendenin Historic District, Kanawha County, WV, nomination document, 1995, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.