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Copy to clipboard. Request Permissions View permissions information for this article. Article information. Article Information Volume: 16 issue: 42, page s : First Page. Sign Out. Email required Password required Remember me Forgotten your password? Need to activate? Institutional Access does not have access to this content. Open Athens.


Sign in here using your membership username and password. Purchase Content 24 hours online access to download content. Subscribe to this journal. Recommend to your library. Rent with DeepDyve. The Downtown Huntington Historic District is a national historic district. The original district encompassed 59 contributing buildings; a boundary increase added 53 more contributing buildings.

It includes the central business district and several municipal and governmental buildings. It contains the majority of the historic concentration of downtown commercial buildings. A boundary increase occurred in Arguably, the most famous attraction in Huntington is Keith-Albee Theatre , a former Vaudeville palace in the "Art Deco" style from the s and one of the architectural masterpieces of Downtown Huntington, on Fourth Avenue. The theater was designed by Thomas W. Lamb who designed approximately theaters around the world. Unfortunately, only forty-three of these grand theaters are still open, and seventy-one have been demolished.

Thankfully, "the Keith" has been undergoing a full restoration since The signature achievement in the restoration of the Keith was the restoration of the famous front sign in After standing watch over Fourth Avenue for decades and being featured in hundreds of pictures and postcards, two Hollywood movie premieres, and being struck by lightning numerous times; the sign had to be taken down in A massive "Save Our Sign" effort was organized that funded the full restoration of the sign, which was reinstalled in May The district encompasses 68 contributing buildings and 5 contributing structures, including the Ritter Park municipal park.

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The city purchased the park property in It is loosely bound by 3rd Avenue to the north, 5th Avenue to the south, 10th Street to the east, and 6th—7th Streets to the west. The building has been renovated several times. The renovation is the earliest section of Old Main to survive to the present. The Huntington Museum of Art , in the hills above Ritter Park, features numerous collections and exhibitions; it is also home to the C. Fred Edwards Conservatory. The Touma Museum of Medicine in downtown Huntington was established in to preserve the history of medicine, and to allow visitors to review a comprehensive regional medical museum.

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The collection houses thousands of pieces collected over a year period by Joseph B. Touma, M. Heritage Farm Museum and Village is an open-air village and series of museums relating to Appalachian Culture and History from the 19th century onward. The Museum of Radio and Technology is near the west end of the park in a renovated elementary school. One block south, 5th Avenue is noted for its many historic church buildings.

The city is also the site of an Adena Native American burial mound. Traditional "drive-in" restaurants and hot dog stands are popular in the city.

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As of the census [2] of , there were 49, people, 21, households, and 11, families residing in the city. The population density was 3, There were 25, housing units at an average density of 1, The racial makeup of the city was Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1. There were 21, households, of which The average household size was 2. The median age was The gender makeup of the city was As of the census of , there were 51, people, 22, households, and 12, families residing in the city.

The ethnic makeup of the city was Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0. There were 22, households, of which In the city the age distribution of the population shows For every females, there were For every females age 18 and over, there were About The current mayor is former at-large councilman Steve Williams , a Democrat who is currently in his second term.

Mayors in Huntington are term-limited to three terms [45] and have the authority to veto acts of the city council. The city also serves as the county seat of Cabell County. Within the building are the offices for all of the county's elected officials and their employees, including the sheriff , county commissioners , county clerk , magistrates , and Circuit Court judges.

Huntington's city council members are elected to four-year terms at the same time as the mayor. There are eleven members of the council, nine of whom represent single-member districts, while the other two are elected at large. The city council has the authority to draft and debate ordinances and can override a mayoral veto with a two-thirds majority.

There are currently nine Democrats and two Republicans on the city council. Mitchell as the first Town Marshal of the city. The citizens of Huntington are protected by sworn officers and a professional support staff of 13 civilians. This protection includes the main campus area including the streets on or immediately surrounding campus as well as all other university owned or managed buildings and property, including the Marshall University Medical Center at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

As the enforcement arm of the Cabell County court system, the Cabell County Sheriff's Office is responsible for the security of the Court House and property, public schools, service of court-ordered writs, protective and peace orders, warrants, tax levies, prisoner transportation and traffic enforcement. Deputy Sheriffs are sworn law enforcement officials, with full arrest authority anywhere in Cabell County granted by the constitution of West Virginia and the county Sheriff.

In addition to both municipal and county law enforcement agencies, Huntington is also home to a detachment of the West Virginia State Police.

Troopers from this detachment are assigned to both Cabell and Wayne counties and can serve as a backup to any neighboring counties. The department currently provides nine fully staffed companies with a complement of support staff and apparatus responding from six strategically located fire stations throughout the city.

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The six stations consist of six engine companies, two ladder trucks, a rescue truck, a marine unit, and several reserve engines, reserve utility trucks, and staff vehicles. Huntington is on the southern bank of the Ohio River and is the river's largest port area. Last departmental evaluation was performed in The problem of organizing for protection against fire was not given much thought until , when A. Young and a group of associates organized a hook and ladder company.

Young was given City Council authorization to contract for a hand-drawn hook and ladder truck.

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It was built locally by M. Jones, and Huntington's first fire company was born. Sexton was named fire chief, and the personnel was all volunteer. To provide a water supply for the department, large gallon cisterns were made in numerous locations in the city. On August 5, , the organization was complete and the department was ready for action. A tower bell for alarms was bought in and more cisterns were placed in Both were Civil War veterans, well known and respected early settlers.

Many of the volunteer personnel composed of well known early settlers, merchants and professional men, many of whose descendants are living in Huntington today. This was the first paid employee of the fire department. In J. Verlander became the first Fire Chief, and J. Boone became chief in until In , four Gamewell Fire Alarm Boxes were installed in the downtown area. These fire alarm boxes were maintained by the telephone company. The system kept growing, and in construction was completed on a new Gamewell Fire Alarm System and Fire Alarm Headquarters were placed in operation in , and remained in service until AM November 1, There never was a loss of life or major disaster because of a system malfunction.

In the department first and only horse-drawn steam fire engine was purchased from the Ahrens-Fox Fire Engine Company of Cincinnati. The engine was brought up the Ohio River to Huntington on a steamboat. Also in the department was reorganized on a part-paid basis, but continued to be largely volunteer until when the department was again reorganized with a paid chief, four paid drivers and a force of firefighters who were paid by each alarm they answered.

Each firefighter held down regular jobs the rest of the time. This was the beginning of Huntington's full-time paid fire department. From to five pieces of motorized equipment were bought for the department.

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This was the beginning of motorization. In April the last two teams of horse-drawn hose companies were led away from Hose Companies No.

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The day of the dashing fire horse was over. The old St. Clouds Fire Station is the city's reminder of the horse-drawn era. The horse-bitten window sills still remain today. In February Huntington's firefighters were issued a charter establishing a local union.


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The Fire Prevention Bureau was established in the early fifties, because of the increasing number of fires in homes and businesses, along with the city's Fire Prevention Week. Early functions of the Bureau included the Fire Prevention Parade and a contest to select Miss Flame, a beauty queen to reign over the weeks activities. All contestants in the competition were required to have red hair in the earlier years. The Fire Prevention Parade was held the first Monday in October, and a tradition that is carried on today since the fifties.

This programs said to be one of the oldest in the nation today. Other events in the mid to late fifties included the establishment of the Tri-State Fire School. The Tri-State Fire School is still used today to train firefighters. In , the city built its first new fire station since The city's th birthday was commemorated when the Centennial Fire Station was placed in service on January 13, , replacing the long-outmoded Central Fire Station.

The Centennial Fire Station is still in service today. In , a new station was opened that replaced St.