Bicentennial year shaping up for Morgan County

by Jeanne Mozier

From a life-sized cardboard cut-out of namesake Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan to a series of oral history recordings, themed events and a designated Morgan County Day on July 6, local residents and visitors are spending the year celebrating the county’s Bicentennial.

It all starts with a birthday party at the Courthouse in Berkeley Springs on Sunday, February 9, the date of formation.

In 1820, Virginia established Morgan County from segments of both Hampshire and Berkeley counties.   In 1863, the county voted to join the new state of West Virginia.

Joining with the County Commission, the Museum of the Berkeley Springs is taking the lead on historic features of the Bicentennial, including developing a new exhibit with tidbits of hi

storical activities and an illustrated timeline of key events in county history.

A free monthly lecture series is also scheduled beginning on March 21 with a look at the county’s tomato growing and canning industry and continuing with talks on sand mining, railroads, tanneries, hotels and the Civil War.

Lectures occur at the Ice House. Some funding for Museum activities is provided by a grant from the Two Rivers Foundation.

Exploring the life and accomplishments of the county’s namesake is an ongoing activity highlighted with a lecture on May 16 by Daniel Morgan’s biographer, Al Zambone.

The Morgan cut-out will be available for placement in local businesses and schools through a soon-to-be announced program.

County Administrator, Stefanie Allemong, is co-chairing the Bicentennial event.

“We’re encouraging any county group or business to join in with their own activities,” said Allemong. “We have a special logo and a banner design that anyone can use to brand their


The rivers and mountains logo was designed by local art student Payton Brown. There are plans to mint and sell a limited number of commemorative coins using the logo.

Paw Paw Town Council is working on events and the 47th annual Apple Butter Festival and parade are themed for the Bicentennial.

Cacapon State Park Foundation is holding an opening of new exhibits at the Nature Center on May 2.

Ye Olde Town of Bath DAR has a tea scheduled for the public in Berkeley Springs State Park on June 14.

Berkeley Springs Brewery is making a special Bicentennial beer. Plans are being developed with Great Cacapon, the Master Gardeners, the Delectable Mountain Quilters, Morgan County Library, Landmark Commission and Historical Society.

“There are more than 300 days available for local events,” said Allemong. “ Let us know so we can help promote the activity.”

Archiving all the material is a major goal.

Official recordings of the lectures and a group photo on Morgan County Day are already planned. There’s even a movie in the works.

Celebrating our Bicentennial can help us form a vision of the future worthy of our strong heritage.

Jeanne Mozier is co-chair of the Morgan County Bicentennial effort.