Although Methil's history stretches back for many centuries the town only really came to prominence towards 1900. It was at this time that the first dock was built at Methil and many of the local pits were sunk, most notably the Wellesley, which stood on the site of the present oilrig construction yard.
The sudden influx of mining families from all over Scotland during the first half of this century made Methil the 'melting pot of Fife. Different religions, cultures and nationalities mixed together giving the town a fairly unique identity. This, added to the speed at which the town grew and the presence of the docks inevitably led to conflict (usually on a Saturday night) and Methil gained an unenviable reputation as rough place, full of fighting miners and drunken sailors and with a prostitution problem which rivaled the bigger ports of Dundee and Leith.
Although there were problems many of the stories were exaggerated. Methil was also one of the busiest shopping areas in Fife. The High Street in Lower Methil once bustled with activity and many traveled from all over Scotland to visit the Wonderstore - a huge department store which took up a large part of the high street. The last big house building program was in the mid 1950's. This took Methil to it's present size, bounded in the north by the river Leven and merging with Methilhill in the west.