Settled at the triangular intersection of three roads in the early 19th century by workers from the nearby DuPont Black Powder Mills, this village consisted initially of only 2.4 acres. The Wilmington and Northern Railroad established tracks through the vicinity in 1869, leading to a period of sustained growth in population and area. The village, known as DuPont Station, became a major shipping point for the mills, and warehouses and rail sidings were built nearby to facilitate transport of the powder. in 1889, a new railroad station was constructed, and a post office was established to serve the surrounding countryside. These signs of enduring settlement were commemorated with a new name for the village. Montchanin was chosen in honor of Anne Alexandrine de Montchanin, who was the mother of Pierre Samuel duPont de Nemours, the founder of the American duPont dynasty. The range of architectural styles and the history of the hamlet were recognized when the Montchanin Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.