South Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia Kanawha County, West Virginia United States Census Bureau

City of South Charleston
The Criel Mound in South Charleston.
The Criel Mound in South Charleston.
Location of South Charleston in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Location of South Charleston in Kanawha County, West Virginia.
Coordinates: 38°21′9″N 81°42′43″W / 38.35250°N 81.71194°W / 38.35250; -81.71194Coordinates: 38°21′9″N 81°42′43″W / 38.35250°N 81.71194°W / 38.35250; -81.71194
CountryUnited States
State West Virginia
 • MayorFrank A. Mullens, Jr. (R)
 • City9.53 sq mi (24.69 km2)
 • Land8.64 sq mi (22.38 km2)
 • Water0.89 sq mi (2.31 km2)
604 ft (183 m)
 • City13,450
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,394.01/sq mi (538.22/km2)
 • Urban
153,199 (US: 214th)
 • Metro
222,878 (US: 198th)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
25303, 25309
Area code(s)304
FIPS code54-75292
GNIS feature ID1555663[4]
WebsiteCity of South Charleston
Evening on D Street, from the Mound

South Charleston is a city in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States. It is located to the west of Charleston. The population was 13,450 at the 2010 census. South Charleston was established in 1906, but not incorporated until 1917.[5] The Criel Mound (pictured right) built circa 0 B.C. by the Adena Culture is adjacent to the downtown business district.

It is home to the Charleston Ordnance Center, a former naval munitions factory established for use in World World I.

The city is serviced by Interstate 64, U.S. Route 60, U.S. Route 119, West Virginia Route 601 and West Virginia Route 214, and is bisected by the Kanawha River. The city is serviced by the Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority bus system. A general aviation airfield, Mallory Airport, is located off Chestnut Street, approximately two miles south of U.S. Route 60, with the nearest commercial aviation service being at Yeager Airport in Charleston. South Charleston serves as the headquarters to the West Virginia State Police.


South Charleston was established in 1906, but not incorporated until 1917.[5]

It is home to the Charleston Ordnance Center, a former naval munitions factory established for use in World World I.[6][7] It employed over 11,000 workers and produced 130,000 gun barrels for U.S. warships.[8]


South Charleston is located at 38°21′9″N 81°42′43″W / 38.35250°N 81.71194°W / 38.35250; -81.71194 (38.352455, −81.712001).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.51 square miles (22.04 km2), of which, 7.61 square miles (19.71 km2) is land and 0.90 square miles (2.33 km2) is water.[9]


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, South Charleston has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[10]


The median income for a household in the city was $37,905, and the median income for a family was $50,528. Males had a median income of $39,036 versus $25,978 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,928. About 9.7% of families and 12.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.4% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 13,450 people, 6,283 households, and 3,675 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,767.4 inhabitants per square mile (682.4/km2). There were 6,819 housing units at an average density of 896.1 per square mile (346.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.9% White, 8.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 6,283 households, of which 26.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.5% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.77.

The median age in the city was 42.3 years. 20.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.7% were from 25 to 44; 29.5% were from 45 to 64; and 17.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 45.7% male and 54.3% female.


In South Charleston are the headquarters of International Industries, the parent company of a group of subsidiaries founded in 1947 by James H. "Buck" Harless (now its president and CEO), based primarily in natural resources such as coal and timber, but which also include the manufacturing, hotel and real estate industries.[12]


There are six elementary schools in South Charleston: Montrose Elementary, Ruthlawn Elementary, Richmond Elementary, Alum Creek Elementary, Bridgeview Elementary, and Weberwood Elementary. The main middle school is South Charleston Middle School (SCMS), which is located on 3rd Ave. SCMS houses grades 6–8. South Charleston High School (SCHS) is one of eight high schools in Kanawha County. SCHS is located on Eagle Way and houses grades 9–12. There are also two colleges located in the city. A South Charleston campus for BridgeValley Community and Technical College is located at the former Dow Chemical research facility and the Marshall University – South Charleston Campus is a branch of Marshall University.

Arts and culture

South Charleston attractions include Criel Mound (also known as the South Charleston Adena Burial Mound), and the South Charleston Museum. The South Charleston Museum is located in the historic LaBelle Theater on D Street, and features a West Virginia Film Series, Open Mic Night, exhibitions, and other events.

The city is also home to a community center, an ice arena, Little Creek Park, Little Creek Country Club and Joplin Park. The Interpretive Center is located at 313 D street and features the Appalachian trail, the Mound, Indian artifacts, arrowheads, chemical history and artifacts, and a Belgium display depicting the first business in South Charleston also Blenko birthday pieces donated by Pearl Watson.

Notable people


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 2, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ "Charleston Ordnance Center". Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Gardner, Jennifer. "Exhibit showcases history of South Charleston's former Naval Ordnance Plant". Charleston Gazette-Mail. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  8. ^ "South Charleston Industrial Park (Formerly Naval Ordnance Plant)". Clio. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 2, 2012. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  10. ^ Climate Summary for South Charleston, West Virginia
  11. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 27, 2013.
  12. ^