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Ribbon cutting to unveil historical plaques in Star City

STAR CITY — The Upper Monongahela River Association will be the host of a ribbon-cutting ceremony at which it will unveil 10 plaques commemorating the history of Star City this weekend.

The plaque project is one of many within the overarching project to revitalize the Star City Riverfront. The plaques were approved and created through a grant to the Upper Monongahela River Association from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

Matching donations were provided by the Morgantown North Rotary Club, the River Town Program and the Town of Star City.

The research for the information on the plaques was conducted with assistance from the Aull Center for Local History & Genealogy Research, the West Virginia & Regional History Center, and the Native American Studies program at West Virginia University.

Star City was founded in 1907 by employees of the Star Glass Co. The town was named by factory manager Louis Kauffeld. The city holds a special place in the history of Morgantown, Monongalia County and the state of West Virginia.

The 10 plaques that will be unveiled at Edith B. Barill Riverfront Park pay tribute to that history in great detail from the pre-colonial era to modern day.

Topics of the plaques include:

  • Pre-Star City
  • The Founding of Star City
  • Socialism in Star City
  • Immigrants in Star City
  • The Star City Ferry
  • The B&O Railroad in Star City
  • The Star City Bridge
  • The Lock-and-Dam System in Star City
  • The Monongahela River’s Water Quality
  • Recreation in Star City

Star City Councilmember Sharon Doyle said that the plaque project has been in the works for years.

The endeavor was spearheaded by Mary Wimmer, who dedicated countless hours to the project as well as many other projects to revitalize the Star City Riverfront.

Wimmer has had help from volunteers as well as the Morgantown North Rotary Club, the Upper Monongahela River Association and the River Town Program. Wimmer has also been aided by support from Star City itself.

The plaques are being placed all along the riverfront, where volunteers and others have gone to great efforts to upgrade and maintain the area with the plaques in mind.

Doyle said that the plaques add to the efforts of the town to build up the riverfront, which the town has started to do by introducing its farmer’s market.

The town is now looking into other activities to bring to the riverfront, like movie nights or a flea market.

“There’s going to be good visibility for those plaques,” Doyle said.

She said the plaques will also help to keep the history of Star City alive.

“It’s a rewarding feeling to know that Star City history is not forgotten, and that we have people in the community that were willing to move forward in keeping that memory alive, so that we can always go through Riverfront Park and the history is going to be there for years to come,” she said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at Star City’s Edith B. Barill Riverfront Park at 11 a.m. Saturday. Any and all interested parties may attend. Masks are optional. Refreshments will be provided.

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