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Fairmont, city (1990 pop. 20,210), seat of Marion co., N central W.Va., where the West Fork and Tygart rivers form the Monongahela; settled 1793 around Prickett's Fort (1774), inc. as Fairmont 1843. Coal mining has been central to Fairmont's economy, but restrictions on the use of high-sulfur bituminous coal have caused an industry decline; other industries make transportation and electrical equipment, fabricated metals, machinery, and glass. A Union supply depot in the Civil War, Fairmont was raided by Confederate cavalry in 1863. In 1907 a mine explosion nearby resulted in almost 400 deaths. Fairmont State College is there.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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