Located on the western edge of the Appalachian Mountains, just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, Morgantown was settled before the American Revolution and became the seat of Monongalia County, Virginia. When West Virginia was established during the Civil War, Morgantown was selected as the site for the state land grant university, but in size, it remained a village until about 1900. In the late 1800s, the arrival of railroads and reliable river transportation and the discovery of oil and gas brought new industries to the area. Glass factories were established, and Morgantown became known worldwide for fine glass tableware. Coal mining for the steel and electric power industries was added to the industrial base around 1920. Since 1960, Morgantown has increasingly become a post-industrial city as growing federal laboratories and an expanding university have made research, teaching, and scholarship the primary employment base. Recently several magazines named Morgantown as one of the best small cities in America. The photographs and postcards in Images of America: Around Morgantown illustrate a variety of historic scenes and activities within a 15-mile radius from the courthouse.
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