The Pocahontas County seat of Marlinton was incorporated on April 2, 1900, but its history dates back to frontier days. Jacob Marlin and Stephen Sewell’s arrival about 1749 is generally considered the first white settlement in the Greenbrier Valley. By the early 1800s, Marlin’s Bottom—as it was known—was a transportation crossroads, with turnpikes converging from Warm Springs and Greenbrier and Randolph counties. A covered bridge was built across the Greenbrier River in 1854.
By the 1890s, Marlinton was still mostly farmland. But, at the urging of land developers, the county seat was relocated from Huntersville to Marlinton in 1891. After the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway arrived around the turn of the century, Marlinton boomed. By 1910, it had a tannery, two banks, two newspapers, about 20 stores, a hospital, an opera house, a fire department, a school, a water system, and electric power.
The late 20th century took a toll on Marlinton. The tannery and railroad line shut down, and floods in 1985 and 1996 inflicted significant damage. But the town is on an uptick now as a destination site for heritage tourism.