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Morgantown West Virginia

historic neighborhoods industry river shipping and personal rapid transit

Morgantown is located just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, 75 miles (121 km) south of Pittsburgh, 208 mi (335 km) north-northwest of Washington, D.C., 204 mi (328 km) east of Columbus and 156 miles (251 km) northeast of Charleston, WV.

downtown morgantownThe History of Morgantown is closely tied to the Anglo-French struggle for this territory. Until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the area was greatly contested by white settlers and Native Americans, and by British and French soldiers. Several forts were built during this time, including Fort Morgan in 1772 when Zackquill Morgan established a homestead near present-day Fayette Street and University Avenue.wharf-districtThe city is comprised of several neighborhoods that were once independent towns, including: First Ward, Woodburn, South Park, Jerome Park, South Hills, Second Ward, Greenmont, Suncrest, Evansdale, Wiles Hill, Sunnyside, Sabraton, the Mileground, and North Hills. While some of these are in part or entirely outside the city limits, they are still considered part of Morgantown as trolley cars determined how far people lived outside of the city.

Development of the DuPont Ordnance Works during World War II resulted in prefabricated homes being constructed in Suncrest, the names of some streets reflected the community’s participation in various service organizations, such as Civitan, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary.

In 2000, the White House Millennium Council designated Suncrest as a Millennium Community

woodburn circle uwvSouth Park is across Deckers Creek from downtown Morgantown. Originally farmland, it was one of the first suburbs of Morgantown. In the early 20th century, South Park experienced a housing boom, with wealthy and influential citizens settling there. The neighborhood is designated a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places.

Following World War II, many new families came to Woodburn, attracted by the parkland, closeness to downtown, community atmosphere, and nearby school. In 1950, Tom and Anna Torch opened the Richwood Avenue Confectionery, a corner store and lunch counter that served beer in large Weiss goblets from the Morgantown Glassworks. When they sold the operation in 1963 to Mario and Rose Spina, the establishment was nicknamed Mario’s Fishbowl in honor of the goblets.

morgantown personal rapid transitTransportation Morgantown relies heavily on the Monongahela River for shipping coal and other products. The river is fully navigable from its mouth at the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, past Morgantown upstream to Fairmont Morgantown Lock and Dam, located in the southern part of the city.

Transit Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit PRT most of Morgantown is accessible by the Mountain Line Transit Authority bus system. The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit PRT system covers 8.65 miles (13.9 km) and has five stations.

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Historic Towns on the Maryland Eastern Shore

Saint Michaels Chestertown Cambridge Salisbury and Oxford

The Eastern Shore of Maryland is comprised of nine counties with a population of nearly 450 thousand. The term Eastern Shore distinguishes a territorial part of the State from the land west of Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Maritime MuseumThe Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was a shallow canal with locks after its construction in 1829; it was deepened in the early 20th century to sea level. The north-south section of the Mason-Dixon Line forms the border between Maryland and Delaware. The border was originally marked every mile by a stone, and every five miles by a crownstone. It was surveyed as a compromise solution to a century-long wrangle between the Penn and Calvert families. Commercial east-west ties between Delaware and Maryland towns were culturally significant in Colonial and Early American periods despite the border line. Trade with Philadelphia was conducted by overland routes to Delaware towns like Smyrna and Odessa; these cultural connections continue to this day.

Downtown Saint Michaels, MarylandSaint Michaels derives its name from the Episcopal Parish established in 1677 which attracted settlers that grew tobacco and engaged in shipbuilding. The town’s tourist industry has roots in the 19th century with steamboats from Baltimore and summer guest cottages opening for weeklong rentals. The opening of the maritime museum in 1965, waterfront activities and historic bay vessels added further impetus to travel and vacations to the town.

High Street Chestertown MD

Chestertown was founded in 1706 and achieved prominence as one of six Royal Ports of Entry becoming Maryland’s second port after Annapolis and second to the State Capital in the number of 18th century mansions owned by a flourishing merchant class along the Chester River waterfront. In May 1774, five months after the British closed the port of Boston after the Boston Tea Party, the citizens of Chestertown wrote a set of resolves that prohibited the buying, selling, or drinking of tea. Based on these resolves, a popular legend has it that the citizens held their own tea party on the Chester River, in an act of colonial defiance.

The Chestertown Tea Party Festival celebrates Chestertown’s colonial heritage with a weekend of events with colonial music and dance, fife and drum performances, puppet shows, colonial crafts demonstrations and sales, military drills, and a walking tour of the historic district. In the afternoon, re-enactors board the schooner Sultana and tea is thrown into the Chester River.

Cambridge Municipal Building

Cambridge was settled by English colonists in 1684 who developed farming on the Eastern Shore. The largest plantations were devoted first to tobacco, and then mixed farming. The town was a trading center and later a stop on the Underground Railroad, an extensive network of safe houses for slaves escaping to the north. Cambridge developed food processing industries in the late 19th century, canning oysters, tomatoes and sweet potatoes.  Main Street is a comprehensive downtown revitalization process created by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development with a focus on heritage tourism.

Salisbury is the largest town on the Eastern Shore and the commercial hub of the Delmarva Peninsula. The town’s oldest neighborhoods have Federal, Georgian, and Victorian architecture.

Salisbury MD Main StreetOxford traces its start from 1666 when 30 acres were laid out as a town called Oxford by William Stephens, Jr. enjoying prominence as an international shipping center surrounded by wealthy tobacco plantations. Early inhabitants included Robert Morris, Sr., who greatly influenced the town’s growth; his son, Robert Morris, Jr., known as the financier of the Revolution; Jeremiah Banning, sea captain, war hero, and statesman; The Reverend Thomas Bacon, Anglican clergyman who wrote the first compilation of the laws of Maryland. Oxford has the oldest privately-operated ferry service still in continuous use in the United States originally established in 1683.

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The Ohio River

American River Trails

The Ohio River is formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers in Pittsburgh. From there, it flows northwest before making an abrupt turn to the southwest at the Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania border. The Ohio then follows a roughly west-northwest course until Cincinnati, before bending southwest for the remainder of its journey through the US Midwest and joining the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois. The 981 mile – 1,579 km – river flows through or along the border of six states; its basin includes parts of 15 states. The Ohio’s largest tributary is the Tennessee River.

Evansville IndianaOhio means the Good River in Iroquoian

History the Ohio was important to Native Americans as several civilizations formed along its valley and used it as a transport and trading route.  In the five centuries before European conquest, the Ohio Valley was characterized by numerous regional chiefdoms and earthwork mounds. In 1669, French explorers became the first Europeans to see it; later, it became a primary transportation route for pioneers during the westward expansion.

Lawrenceburg IndianaDuring the 19th century, the Ohio was the southern boundary of the Northwest Territory and the western end of the Mason-Dixon Line forming the border between free and slave states; it was the way to freedom for thousands of slaves escaping through the Underground Railroad resistance movement.

Steamboat Morning Star 1858Economy trading boats and ships traveled south on the Mississippi to reach the Gulf coast and ports in the Americas and Europe providing an export route for goods. The need for access to the port of New Orleans by settlers in the Ohio Valley led to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Connections with Eastern states increased with the start of railroad service connecting the Potomac River and the Ohio Valley.

The Widest Point on the Ohio River is One Mile just west of downtown Louisville

Donna York Tug BargeLouisville is your anchor location for travel in the Midwest. Centrally located along the Ohio River, it is one America’s most accessible cities, within a day’s drive of more than half the nation’s population. Louisville was founded at the only major natural navigational barrier on the river. The Falls were a series of rapids where the river dropped 26 feet – 7.9 m. The Louisville and Portland Canal locks were built to circumnavigate the falls between 1825 and 1830.

 Ohio River Itineraries

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