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Roane County

May 15, 2013

Roane County is located in the West Central part of the state and is between the Little Kanawha and Kanawha rivers.

First explored around 1772, there were no significant white settlements in the Roane County area until after 1800.

The county was formed in 1856 from parts of Kanawha, Jackson and Gilmer counties and was named after Judge Spencer Roane who was a member of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia.

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The area had a boom, and then a bust, caused by the development of oil and gas fields in the decades around 1900. The growth of light industry in the area has given the county an economic boost in recent years.

Spencer is the county seat, and is also named for Spencer Roane.

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: 15,446

Land in square miles: 484

Number of people per square mile: 31.9

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