Happy Birthday, Morgantown!
"Good Old Morgantown, WV..."
Happy 237th Birthday, Morgantown!
Morgantown is best known as home to the legendary West Virginia University, but we know it as a lot more than that. Morgantown’s story dates back as early as 1772 when Colonel Zackquill Morgan settled near the Monongahela River, establishing a homestead near the present-day Fayette Street and University Avenue. Morgan fought in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War and rose to the rank of colonel. In 1785, the Virginia Assembly chartered the territory, specifying that 50 acres of his land was to be laid out in lots of a half acre each. Shortly after, Morgan received the charter for the establishment of the town to be called, “Morgan’s Town” on October 17, 1785.
In 1790, the first national census was taken and Monongalia County had a population of 4,768. This made the county the sixth largest in population of the nine counties that existed at the time. Today, what we know as “Morgantown,” is one of the state’s fastest-growing cities. Morgantown’s community continues to thrive year after year with some of the best educational, industrial, financial, commercial and medical facilities available in the area.
Morgantown has seen many changes and come so far since the charter of Morgan’s Town in 1785. Since that time, Morgantown has developed the finest educational, research, industrial, health and transportation facilities available in the area. The healthy business atmosphere and strong community effort assures that Morgantown still has a lot of history to come.
Interested in learning more about the history of Morgantown? You’re in luck! Morgantown is blessed with so many historical sites and museums to explore, but here are just a few fun facts to get you started on your birthday celebration journey:
- Early structures still stand in Morgantown, one of those being the Old Stone House. This structure was constructed in 1795 by Jacob Nuce on a street known as “Long Alley,” now known as Chestnut Street.
- Several forts were built in the area and a few still see visitors. Fort Pierpont was built in 1769 and is near the Cheat River, Fort Coburn was built in 1770 and is located near Dorsey’s Knob, Fort Morgan is located at the present site of Morgantown and was built in 1772. Fort Dinwiddle is located in Stewartstown and was built in 1772, as well as a few more notable ones and a plethora of smaller forts.
- During the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Transportation built an experimental personal rapid transit system in the city because of the area’s changing weather and elevations. Today, this is known as the Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). The PRT has been in use since 1975 and is still used by University students and families as a free way to travel between the campuses.
- Morgantown is made up of several different neighborhoods, some of which had been independent towns that were annexed by the city as it continued to grow. These neighborhoods include; First Ward, Woodburn, South Park, Jerome Park, South Hills, Second Ward, Greenmont, Suncrest, Evansdale, Wiles Hill, Sunnyside, Sabraton, the Mileground, and North Hills. Although the Mileground, Easton, and Sabraton are entirely outside of city limits, they are still considered part of Morgantown.
- During 1885–1888, the land in the Evansdale and Suncrest area was extremely agriculture based. With over 400-1,000 acres of farms, their homes were unreachable to their transportation at the time, trolley cars.
There is a lot more to Morgantown than just these 5 facts, go discover the colorful and rich history of our wonderful city. No matter what brings you into town, whether it’s visiting your alma-mater, West Virginia University, traveling for work, or planning a weekend exploring the outdoor adventures or attending one-of-a-kind events and activities, Morgantown has something to offer everyone!
Plan your visit today and celebrate what Mountaineer Country has to offer! Have a favorite spot in town? Show us your photos by using #VisitMountaineerCountry!
Interested in attending more than one event this weekend? Stay overnight at one of the many hotels and lodgings in Morgantown. Click to reserve your stay.