Struggle Over Territory

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 among settlers and native Indians, as well as the English and the French. The treaty decided the issue in favor of the English, but Indian fighting continued almost to the beginning of the Revolution.


Several forts were built in the area after this conflict.
  • Fort Pierpont was constructed towards the Cheat River, in 1769.
  • Fort Coburn was built in 1770, near Dorsey's Knob.
  • Fort Morgan was established in 1772 at the present site of Morgantown.
  • Fort Dinwiddle, north several miles at Stewartstown, was built in 1772.
  • Fort Martin was established in 1773, several miles north on the Monongahela River.
  • Fort Burris was erected in 1774 in the Suncrest area of Morgantown.
  • Fort Kern was built in the Greenmont area of Morgantown in 1774, as well as other small forts that served the purpose at the time.

American Goldfinch

The American Goldfinch is Morgantowns City Bird
The American Goldfinch is Morgantown’s City Bird.


Morgantown was settled in 1772 by Zackquill Morgan. The Virginia Assembly chartered the territory in 1785 and the first lot sale was held. Morgan received the charter for the establishment of the town to be called Morgan's Town on October 17, 1785. The direct result of the Virginia Charter is the present city of Morgantown.

Historical Structures

Notable early structures that still stand in Morgantown include the "Old Stone House," built prior to 1813. The structure stood on the street known as "Long Alley," but is known today as Chestnut Street. Another structure that has been well restored is the home built by John Rogers on Foundry Street. This structure was built in 1840 and is now occupied by the Dering Funeral Home. Read about more of Morgantown's historic landmarks.

Morgantown's Current State

Morgantown has seen many changes since the charter of Morgan's Town in 1785. Since that time Morgantown has developed the finest educational, research, industrial, health and transportation facilities available in the area. A healthy business atmosphere and strong community effort assures that Morgantown has a lot of history to come.

History & Organization

The following excerpt is a brief history and explanation of the origin and organization of the City of Morgantown:

Settled in 1772 by Zackquill Morgan, Morgantown has seen many changes since the charter of Morgan's-Town in 1785. Today, Morgantown is a community large enough to offer the many advantages of a modern city while retaining a pleasant, "college-town" atmosphere. Morgantown has a council-manager form of city government. Council is comprised of 7 members who are nominated by their respective wards by petition containing no less than 75 signatures of registered voters, and are elected at large. Council serves as the Legislative Branch, electing one of its own members as Mayor the first regular meeting in July of each year. The Council has the authority to initiate hearings for the purpose of gathering information for ordinance making, airing public problems and supervising the spending of its appropriations.