Littleton is a former town in Wetzel County, West Virginia and has the distinction of having the lowest per capita income in the state at $6,036 – one of the lowest in the United States.1 Over half of the population of 198 are below the poverty line.
Incorporated in 1892, Littleton was a stop along the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O).1 The town quickly boomed thanks to the discovery of oil in the region.2 By 1900, the town reached 1,000 residents who worked at its four hotels, saloons, factories and a mill. There was also a school, several churches, and a few banks.
On February 9, 1906, a fire destroyed most of the town’s commercial structures.1 Littleton’s population never rebounded after the fire, declining to 725. A quarry, which once employed 20, was sold to the American Stone Company in 1916 and closed in 1920.2 By the time the Great Depression took ahold of the region, the town’s banks had closed. Littleton Public School closed shortly thereafter and students were bussed to the nearby town of Hundred.
In 1950, the B&O ended passenger operations on the line and stopped all through freight traffic in 1960.2
The population of Littleton in 1960 was just 324, declining to 207 in 2000.1 It was formally unincorporated on August 3, 2004.