Must See Historic Icons in Greater Morgantown
Your journey through Mountaineer Country is a discovery of hidden gems and once-in-a-lifetime experiences . . . so make sure to check out these must see icons!
Home of Don Knotts
A native of Morgantown, Knotts was best known for his portrayal of Barney Fife on the 1960s television sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show, a role that earned him five Emmy Awards. Knotts also played landlord Ralph Furley on the 1980s television sitcom Three’s Company. He starred in more than 40 movies including several with Disney and was recognized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998 Morgantown’s South University Avenue was officially changed to Don Knotts Boulevard and the city honored the actor with a star in front of the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown.
On July 23, 2016, a statue honoring Knotts was unveiled in front of the Metropolitan Theatre on High Street.
Arthurdale, W.Va., “Eleanor’s Little Village”
The community was nurtured by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt when it became the first New Deal project. The living history museum traces the fascinating connection between a West Virginia community and the First Lady in the 1930s.
Visit Eleanor’s Little Village.
Personal Rapid Transit System
The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system is one of five automated urban “people movers” that have been built in the US since the late 1970s. Powered by electric motors, the computer-driven cars carry approximately 15,000 people daily and since its installation in 1975, have moved more than 60 million people.
Hot Rod Hundley Statue
On display in front of the West Virginia University Coliseum Blue Gate, opposite of the Jerry West statue, stands a life-sized statue of former Mountaineer basketball great “Hot Rod” Hundley. Hundley averaged 24.5 points per game during his three-year varsity career at West Virginia University from 1955-57 where he earned consensus All-America honors in 1957. Hundley also led the Mountaineers to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances during what was considered the “Golden Era” of WVU basketball.
Jerry West Statue
A life-sized bronze statue of the retired American basketball player was erected in 2007 outside the West Virginia University Coliseum in Morgantown. West, who played his entire professional career for the Los Angeles Lakers and is the famous silhouette pose on the NBA logo, also led the WVU Mountaineer basketball team to the 1959 NCAA championship game. The sculpture’s running stance height is 6-feet-6-inches. Adding the base, the total structure stands 9-1/2 feet.
Built as a memorial to “A Father’s Love”, this granite and cast bronze structure was dedicated in 2007. Overlooking the Monongahela River, it is adjacent to the Mon River Rail Trail, the Tugboat Depot Playground, and Riverfront Park.
Visit the JFK Memorial.
USS West Virginia Ship’s Bell, Mast and Anchor
The USS West Virginia sunk to the bottom of Pearl Harbor during the Dec. 7th attack, suffering more damage than any other on that day. The ship was refloated five months later and rebuilt, only to be decommissioned in 1947 when the ship was sold for scrap. In 1963, the “WeeVee’s” mainmast was presented to WVU and is on display with the ship’s bell on Oglebay Plaza. The anchor resides on the WVU campus, proudly displayed on the lawn of the Delta Gamma sorority house.
Are you interested in learning more history near Morgantown? Browse all of the historic landmarks and museums in the area.