First named “Lewisport” to honor landowner Lewis Maxwell, West Union, on Middle Island Creek, was chosen as the county seat for the newly formed Doddridge County in 1845. The town grew quickly between 1860 and 1900 as a result of its situation on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad among rich coal and petroleum markets, and the quality and style of buildings within its historic district reflects the wealth attracted by these industries. Its downtown is noteworthy in part because early town leaders planned its layout. Ethelbert Bond, a medical doctor and Ritchie County surveyor, platted its streets and plotted the location of public buildings. A mix of Queen Anne, Italianate, Romanesque Revival, Neo-Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival architecture, its 17 growth-period buildings include a mix of civic, commercial, and residential designs.
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