Buffalo, West Virginia

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Steeples rise along the lower Kanawha River at Buffalo, West Virginia.

Buffalo, WV (West Virginia), is an incorporated community on the Kanawha River in Putnam County chartered in 1837.  Its population in 2010 was 1,236. Its Toyota manufacturing plant is the largest employer in the county. The town is a civic and commercial center for northern Putnam County. Archaeologists have discovered that several paleo-American villages once existed at Buffalo.

Ancient Inhabitants

Village marker near Buffalo, WV

For more than 3,000 years the bottom-land along the Kanawha near Buffalo was the site of several villages. Indigenous peoples are believed to have lived here during three prehistoric periods -- the Archaic (4000–1000 B.C.), the Middle Woodland (A.D. 390–530), and at least two overlapping Fort Ancient periods (1300–1600).

Frontiersman Gabriel Arthur may have been the first European to have seen the valley when, in 1674, he and a band of Yuchi with whom he'd been traveling were welcomed into a large village, said to have been one day’s travel up the Kanawha from its mouth.

However, George Washington reported no evidence of habitation when he surveyed the valley in 1770, nearly 100 years later, though he reported evidence of old clearings. Archaeologists are still unsure what happened to the Monetons or the indigenous inhabitants of much of western West Virginia.

Lodging near Buffalo, West Virginia

Parks & Public Recreation Areas

Presbyterian Church at Buffalo, WV

The following parks and public recreation areas are located within 20 miles of the community.


Buffalo is located approximately 10 miles north of the county seat at Winfield, West Virginia, 10 miles north of Eleanor, West Virginia, and 25 miles southwest of the mouth of the Kanawha River on the Ohio River at Point Pleasant, West Virginia.


Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia is a factory which builds engines and transmissions. The $1.4-billion facility employed approximately 1,600 in 2017 and was the largest employer in Putnam County.

Map of Buffalo, West Virginia

Regional Information

Buffalo, WV, is located in the Metro Valley Region of western West Virginia.