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

Immigrants in Star City

ca. 1890

 
 
Immigrants in Star City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, June 14, 2022
1. Immigrants in Star City Marker
Inscription.  
Neighbors from Across the Pond
Many immigrants that settled in Star City after 1907 came from Italy and Eastern European countries. According to the 1920 census, 802 residents were born in Italy, 106 were born in Czechoslovakia (now The Czech Republic and Slovakia), and 246 were born in Poland, reflecting the diversity among residents.

A Refuge for Artisans
The artisans from these countries had a well-established reputation for making quality glassware. While Italy was in a depression, Czechoslovakia and Poland struggled for independence from the Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires, respectively. Because of the upheaval in their countries and high-paying glassworking jobs in West Virginia, the glassmakers of Europe flocked to the factories in Star City within the first few decades of the 20th century.

Leaning on Each Other
Upon their arrival, the new Italian, Czechoslovakian, and Polish residents quickly established strong ties to each other and to Star City. Many lived in multi-family housing. Some worked in the coal mines in Scotts Run; others opened stores, restaurants, and
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hotels. The Star Bus Line was a slow; but an invaluable connection to Morgantown's businesses, high school, and the University.

A Community Comes Together
The Polish and Czechoslovakian populations were particularly close-knit. They shared enough similarities in language and culture to mingle at social events or regularly interact around town. They also shared their faith with the Italian residents of Star City and worshipped together at the Roman Catholic churches of the area. Over time, they assimilated with the local population; many chose to Anglicize their names and pursue educations and career opportunities beyond Star City.

(Captions):

Kitchen Staff for 200 School Children (1932-1933)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Unknown - West Virginia History OnView

Police Chief Louis D'Amico with Children at a Circus in Star City, W. Va. (1962)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Louis D'Amico - West Virginia History OnView

Stone House Built by Old Russian at Scotts Run, W. Va. (Date Unknown)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Dr. Ron Lewis - West Virginia History OnView

Star Bus Company Buses, Morgantown, W.
Immigrants in Star City Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, June 15, 2022
2. Immigrants in Star City Marker
Va.(ca. 1920)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Morgantown Bicentennial Commission - West Virginia History OnView

Construction of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Star City, Monongalia County, W. Va. (Date Unknown)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Morgantown Post-West Virginia History OnView

Star City Roman Cathedral, Monongalia County, W. Va. (Date Unknown)
West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries
Source: Unknown - Dodds Collection

 
Erected 2021 by West Virginia Humanities Council, Upper Monongahela River Association and Laick Design. (Marker Number 4.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionIndustry & CommercePolitical Subdivisions. A significant historical year for this entry is 1907.
 
Location. 39° 39.579′ N, 79° 59.492′ W. Marker is in Star City, West Virginia, in Monongalia County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Frontier Street and University Avenue, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located in Edith Barill Riverfront Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Morgantown WV 26505, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance
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of this marker. Star City Recreation (a few steps from this marker); Socialism in Star City (within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Star City Ferry (within shouting distance of this marker); Star City Mosaic (within shouting distance of this marker); The Founding of Star City (within shouting 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). 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 18, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. This page has been viewed 108 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 18, 2022, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 27, 2024