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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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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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