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Nicholas County

May 15, 2013

Nicholas County was formed in 1818 from parts of Kanawha, Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties and is named for Wilson Nicholas, a former governor of Virginia.

Lumbering has always been a major industry in the county. Before the railroads were built, logs were cut and floated down the rivers to downstream mills. Rail lines were laid in 1899 and by 1901 Richwood was on of the state's leading lumber towns.

Coal replaced lumber as the major industry between 1930 and 140. It remains a strong economic force today.

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The Summersville Reservoir and the Monongahela National Forest are strong draws for the recreation industry in the area. The two primary communities in the county, Richwood and Summersville, both have around 3,000 residents. Summersville is the county seat.

Source: The 55 West Virginias: A guide to the State's Counties, by E. Lee North, Published by The West Virginia University Press.

Fact Box

Population: 26,420

Land in square miles: 649

Number of people per square mile: 41

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