Mannington, first named Koontown after landowner Samuel Koon, prospered in the midnineteenth century as a trading center for surrounding farmers and lumbermen. The B&O arrived in 1852, and the town was incorporated in 1856 as Mannington, its new name honoring one of the railroad's engineers. After 1889, when an oil well was drilled, the community became a boomtown as the Mannington field developed into one of the state's largest. Natural gas was also plentiful. Stores, churches, schools, and houses remaining from the flush times give Mannington an overwhelmingly Victorian character. Adding to the flavor, period light fixtures have been installed, and a number of houses have been restored and painted in authentic period colors. Except for the commercial area, most of the historic core is contained within a peninsula surrounded by the meandering Buffalo Creek. While the street pattern tries hard to be rational, it is, at best, a lopsided grid. Mannington's population hovered around 3,000 through most of the twentieth century, but the 2000 census counted only 2,124 residents. The Mannington Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.
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