Morgantown is a city in and the county seat of Monongalia County, West Virginia, situated along the banks of the Monongahela River. With a permanent population of 31,073 per the 2015 U. S. Census estimates, the Morgantown metropolitan area has a population of 138,176, and is the 3rd largest in West Virginia. West Virginia University adds several thousand residents to the city. Morgantown is best known as the home of West Virginia University, Morgantown is closely tied to the Anglo-French struggle for this territory. Until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, what is now known as Morgantown was greatly contested by settlers and Native Americans, and by the British, the treaty decided the issue in favor of the British, but Indian fighting continued almost to the beginning of the American Revolution. As well, several forts were built in the area during this time, Fort Pierpont near the Cheat River, in 1769, Fort Coburn, near Dorseys Knob, zackquill Morgan settled the area about 1772 by establishing a homestead near present-day Fayette Street and University Avenue. Morgan fought in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War, rising to the rank of colonel, by 1783, following his wartime duties, Colonel Morgan commissioned Major William Haymond to survey his land and divide it into streets and lots. Colonel Morgan then received a certificate for 400 acres in the area of his settlement near the mouth of Deckers Creek. 50 acres were appropriated for Morgans Town by the Virginia General Assembly in October 1785, on February 3,1838, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a municipal charter incorporating the city, now with a population of about 700, as Morgantown, Virginia. The town became part of the newly created state of West Virginia on June 20,1863, the Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit has been in use since 1975. University students use the system for free to travel between the spread-out campuses. Morgantown is located 75 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,208 mi north-northwest of Washington, D. C.204 mi east of Columbus, Ohio, Morgantown is just south of the Mason–Dixon line. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has an area of 10.62 square miles. Morgantown lies in the transition between a subtropical and humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool to cold with a January daily mean temperature of 31.3 °F, Summers are hot and humid with a July daily mean temperature of 73.2 °F and 12 days of 90 °F + highs annually. Precipitation is generous, with winter being the driest period and May through July the wettest, Morgantown is made up of several neighborhoods, some of which had been independent towns that were annexed by the city as it continued to grow. 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. While some of these, such as the Mileground, Easton, the City of Morgantown contained an estimated 31,073 residents in 2014
Downtown Morgantown from Fife Avenue
Lunch time for two boys employed at the Economy Glass Works in Morgantown, 1908. Photo by Lewis Hine.
Morgantown from the west side of the Monongahela River