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Old 03-17-2009, 11:09 AM   #189
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WVChrome's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Morgantown, WV
Oddometer: 140
Grabbed another local tag today. The marker is located at the end of Walnut Street. It actually ends in the river. Be wary if you travel to this marker, it's a bit of a rough neighborhood with homeless and degenerates abound.

Above the marker looks like a railroad bridge, but it's actually the Mon River Rail Trail. It was formerly the Fairmont, Morgantown, and Pittsburgh Railroad before being converted to a trail for bikes and walkers. In 1886 the F M & P was completed to Morgantown. Disgruntled herders nicknamed the rails “Sheepskin” as the trains scattered their sheep for miles. The line was later acquired and operated by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.

While the marker gives credit to a few, I've read that James Thompson was believed to have started the pottery. The pottery was started to counter the high price and difficulty of transporting it from the then nearest location, Baltimore, Md. It wasn't long before pottery was big business in northern West Virginia with the goods being sold and traded in several counties around.

While one side of the marker explains the pottery industry, the other side talks about another industry responsible for the development of northern WV. Monongalia County was home to iron making industry from 1800 to 1870. A total of five furnaces were operated along the Cheat River. Near Ice's Ferry (see my previous posts for this marker) Samuel Jackson began operating a furnace which later was acquired by Ellicotts & Co. and employed 1200 men. The Ellicotts were three brothers from Pa who operated flour mills and later expanded into iron works. Around the same time Samuel Hanway began working on Rock Forge which is located on Decker's Creek which empties into the Monongahela river a hundred yards up river from this marker.

Montani Semper Liberi.
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