Wayne County's largest community, with a 2000 population of 3,485, derives its somewhat convoluted name from the three states whose borders converge here: Kentucky, Ohio, and West Va. It lies at the extreme southwestern tip of West Virginia, across the Big Sandy River from Kentucky and across the Ohio River from Ohio. Philadelphia entrepreneurs established Kenova in 1889, and it was incorporated in 1894. It served first as a shipping port for timber floated down the Big Sandy from the mountainous hinterlands to the south, then as a lumber manufacturing center. Beech Street extends alongside the 1939 floodwall-levee that protects the city from Ohio River floods. A number of frame houses, some Italianate, some Queen Anne in style, line its southern side and provide a glimpse of what residential Kenova was like in earlier times.
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