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New Flatboat Project in Morgantown Will Promote Tourism and Community Involvement
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on January 13, 2013 @ 12:08AM
Created on January 12, 2013 @ 11:54PM
"We think it's important for people to know about the community they live in. And every community has a history," said Tim Terman, a member of the Morgantown History Museum Commission.

So that's why The Morgantown History Museum is embarking on a project that will help locals understand how the city got started.

They'll be building a replica of a flatboat used in the 1700's. Why a flatboat?

Morgantown in those days was a river town, and Decker's Creek was a stopping point for people traveling down the river, one of the only ways to travel long distances back then. Frontier men and women would haul whiskey into other states. Families looking for a new life in the West would also stop.

"He was what we're calling the first entrepreneur in Morgantown. He had a gristmill here. He built the fort here- Kern's Fort, which still partially remains in town, and he had a boat yard, where he built flatboats. Which his boat yard and Morgantown was a jumping off point for people going West," added Terman.
Building the flatboat will be a history lesson in itself. No power tools will be used, just old fashioned hammers and saws.  And those building it, will be dressing in traditional pioneer garb.
Hopes are high for the flatboat project. 
"We envision having educational type concerts and different events on the flatboat," said Pamela Ball, Morgantown History Museum Director.
The Museum says this will not only be good for tourism, its a chance for community members to get involved.

And for those that do, they'll have hand in building a piece of history, which in turn, will make them a part of history.

Ball added," I see this as a good project to have an eclectic mix of people learning something new and building something that will probably, with using white oak, be there for fifty years."

Even though the flatboat is still in the early stages of production, in a couple of years, when you walk the Rail Trails down by Ruby McQuain Park, you'll be able to get on board the boat, which will be perched on land. 


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