Nestled on a hill overlooking the Monongahela River, Star City, West Virginia is a community of roughly 1,800 people with a rich history of glass-making. (River communities are ideal locations for glass production, with access to water and sand for production, as well as a transportation route for shipping.)
Star City takes its name from the first established glass factory, Star Glass Company, opened in 1905. The Seneca Glass Company produced handblown lime tumblers here until 1931. Davis & Lynch Glass is an active factory today, specializing in hand-decorated and painted lamps. Starting in the 1920s, Star City also served the Scott’s Run coal mine, connecting across the river by a hand-operated ferry that operated until 1951.
For more on local history, visit the town’s website, which hosts fascinating local histories – one by 1922 school teachers and students, and another student report written in 1986 complete with interviews of town residents. The same site includes a history of a 1917 fire that destroyed the Star Glass factory.
Popular annual events include The Shack Duck Race in August which raises funds for The Shack Neighborhood House. In early December, the Star City VFD sponsors its annual Christmas Parade. And, if you’re really hardy, join the February Polar Plunge into the river!
The Edith Barill Riverfront Park is very much the heart of Star City. The park is used by residents as well as visitors biking on the Caperton and Mon River North trails. The park features the stunning John F. Kennedy Memorial, complete with a bronze statue of John, Jr. saluting his father. A Veterans’ Memorial is also in the park, as well as the beloved Tugboat Depot playground. Appropriately situated along a former rail corridor, the playground is loads of fun and gives kids a trail-side view of passing runners and cyclists.
A glass museum featuring local glass pieces is located at the Star City Municipal Building, 370 Broadway Avenue. (Glass connoisseurs may also be interested in the nearby Morgantown Glass Museum, open by appointment.)
Star City is a place where trails meet. Land trails include the 6-mile Caperton Trail and the Mon River Trail North, also six miles. Caperton Trail is paved and has parking at Edith Barill Riverfront Park. This trail follows the Mon River south to Morgantown, also accessing the WVU Arboretum. To head north along the Mon, follow the Mon River Trail North. This crushed limestone trail will soon connect to the Sheepskin Trail at the WV/PA state line. Trails aren’t limited to land in Star City. The Upper Mon River Water Trail (68 miles from Fairmont, WV to the Maxwell Dam in Fayette County, PA) is accessible from Star City (view map).
A public boat ramp is accessible from Edith Barill Riverfront Park.
Fishing is a popular activity along Star City’s riverbanks.