Huntington, West Virginia: A City of Strength and Football

Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington is a city blended with the rich history of the past combined with the excellence of today’s modern town. The atheletic department of Marshall University is the most grounding factor for sports in the area. The Big Sandy Superstore Arena boasts one of the best indoor football stadiums in the country. High tech football scoreboards, plenty of seats for the fans.

Huntington has its roots and history well founded in the railroad. The original settlement of around 1775 was known as Holderby’s Landing. This was a very small town however it was known for their normal school, Marshall College. This school became the springboard for the future of the area, with a focus on education and advancement.

By the 1800’s, railroad magnate Collis P. Huntington reformulated the city and it was named after him. The area expanded with a budding community of stores and shops. The success of the railroad brought prosperity to the Huntington city which included a continued growth for Marshall College. While its origins may have been for attendance of the more wealthy, it eventually evolved into Marshall University.

Marshall University is the cornerstone for the city of Huntington. As the university grew, it also became a center for a number of medical centers. The focus on healthcare became a concentric theme and launched Huntington as one of the top cities for healthcare in the country. Medical schools, cancer center, specialty service medical colleges and the VA Medical Center all found their home in Huntington. Huntington had many teams that have come and gone in the area, but the University was the springboard for the most popular sport: indoor football. Local games don’t suffer the same discomfort as other cities. The stadium offers an escape from the weather with excellence in seating and football scoreboards for the fans.

The area of Huntington has an incredible history with the most well known in the Old Central City. The architecture reflects the city’s past with streets lined with antique shops and stores. There are buildings from the 1920’s that represent an art deco flavor during that time period and are found in beautiful condition. The city’s past in industry is also reflected with the many plants that are still in existence today along the Guyandotte and Ohio rivers. The demographic location of Huntington gives it the ability to continue to be a resource for the industries that originated in the railroad days. Steel, natural gas, oil, biofuel and electric companies use Huntington as their main transportation hub.

Huntington prides itself on the incredible diversity of its population. They celebrate this multicultural base with many festivals throughout the year. From music to the arts to some of the best food around, almost every month has a festival that many of the population attend. Many of these festivals are held in the outdoor parks which include those that are both inland and on the waterfront.

Sports are a major topic and Marshall University brings a variety of athletics to the area fans. The most notable topic in sports is the 1970 disaster of Southern Airways Flight 932. The charted flight held seventy five of the Marshall University football team members, along with staff, coaches and fans. The crash, just short of the airport at Ceredo, West Virginia resulted in the death of everyone on board. Those that died and the resulting devastation of the family and community was depicted in a 2006 movie entitled “We Are Marshall”.

The people of Huntington have experienced tough economic and personal times, but it has been their strength of character which has brought the community together. It is through their stoic efforts that the city will continue and progress will happen.


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