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Huntington was created as a hub for the C&O, which, once completed in 1873, fulfilled a long-held dream of the Virginias to have a rail link from the James River at Richmond, Virginia to the Ohio River Valley.
The new railroad facilities adjacent to the Ohio River resulted in expansion of the former small town of Guyandotte into part of a large new city called Huntington.
This location was selected by Collis Potter Huntington as ideal for the western terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, the predecessor of what would become CSX Transportation which still operates CSX Transportation-Huntington Division in the city to date.
The railroad founded Huntington as one of the nation's first planned communities to facilitate the railroad and other transportation-related industries at the railway's western terminus.
Developing fast after the railroad's completion in 1871, the site was previously a collection of agricultural homesteads, and is eponymously named for the railroad company's founder Collis Potter Huntington.
A portion of the city, mainly the neighborhood of Westmoreland, is in Wayne County.
Huntington is commonly divided into four main sections.
A historic and bustling city of commerce and heavy industry, Huntington has long-flourished due to its ideal location on the Ohio River at the mouth of the Guyandotte River.