Marlinton, occupying the site previously known as Marlin's Bottom, wrested the honor of becoming the county seat from Huntersville in 1891, just as the timber boom was beginning. The Pocahontas Development Company, incorporated for the express purpose of boosting Marlinton, induced county voters to approve the move and sweetened the deal by promising to assist in building a courthouse. Advertisements promoted the site as a “place where a town would be built” and promised, a bit prematurely, that the railroad would arrive any day. The panic of 1893 sidetracked the proposed extension of the C&O, which finally arrived in October 1900 on its way to Durbin. Marlinton was incorporated the same year. Marlinton soon became a major station on the line, and the U.S. Leather Company established a tannery, a natural concomitant to the timber industry because of the availability of bark. Marlinton also developed as a regional trading center and as the county's only urban hub of any consequence. Its 2000 population was 1,204.
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