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Star City in Monongalia County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

The Founding of Star City

May 17th, 1907

 
 
The Founding of Star City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, June 14, 2022
1. The Founding of Star City Marker
Inscription.  
A Name in the Making
Star City was incorporated on May 17th, 1907 by Star City Glass Company workers. The owner of Star City Glass Co., Louis Kauffeld Sr., suggested the name Star City. He was known nationwide in the glass industry for reportedly creating a formula for malleable glassware. He supported these claims by using his glass to hammer nails into wood during an interview in 1902. Although Kauffeld never revealed his recipe, he disclosed that it used neither lead nor lime.

Good Things Come in Threes
Workers at the Star Glass Factory used the offhand method of glass production. This process requires a gatherer to collect molten glass on the end of a pipe, a blower to blow through the pipe and swing the glass to achieve the desired thinness and shape, and a crimper to smooth the edges after cooling the glass and to reheat the ends. Kauffeld's workers used this method to make chimneys for oil lamps known for their quality, durability, and clarity.

Laying the Town's Foundation
Glassmaking requires great skill and is particularly difficult with the offhand method. Star
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Glass Company made one-of-a-kind glassware which added to the complexity. Because of this, Kauffeld was committed to attracting the best workers and making sure they stayed. After he brought Star Glass Company to the Morgantown area in 1905, Kauffeld set out to provide housing near the factory for his workers.

Gaining Momentum
On June 14th, 1907, the first municipal elections were held, and only 30 votes were cast. Three years later, the town's population had risen to 318. By 1918, with Star Glass Co. and a number of other factories recruiting workers to the area from across West Virginia, the United States, and the world, that number had risen to 477.

(Captions):
Blowing Glass, Morgantown, W. Va. (1905)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Ruby Le Pera - West Virginia History OnView

Star City Glass Factory, Morgantown, W. Va. (Date Unknown)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Ruby Le Pera - West Virginia History OnView

Sketches of Some of the Glass Blower's Tools of the Time
(d) "Sugar Tongs" With Wooden Ends (c and e) "Suger Tongs" With Cutting Edges (f) Pincers (g) Scissors (h) Battledore (i) Marking Compass

Star City Glass Workers, Morgantown, W. Va. (ca. 1900)
West
The Founding of Star City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, June 15, 2022
2. The Founding of Star City Marker
Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Meredith E. Kiger - West Virginia History OnView

Star City, Morgantown, W. Va. (1910)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Mrs. Ruby Le Pera - West Virginia History OnView

View of Buildings in Star City, W. Va. (1915)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Dick Duez - West Virginia History OnView

 
Erected 2021 by West Virginia Humanities Council, Upper Monongahela River Association and Laick Design. (Marker Number 2.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is May 17, 1907.
 
Location. 39° 39.567′ N, 79° 59.461′ W. Marker is in Star City, West Virginia, in Monongalia County. Marker is on Frontier Street south of University Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located in Edith Barill Riverfront Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 392 Frontier Street, Morgantown WV 26505, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Star City Veterans Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); John F. Kennedy Memorial Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Pre-Star City
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(within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Mosaic (within shouting distance of this marker); Honor Roll Star City, W.Va. (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Star City Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Recreation (within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Star City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 26, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 16, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 164 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 16, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 1, 2024