Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Woodburn History

In 1800, John Rogers received a deed from the Commonwealth of Virginia for a large tract of land adjacent to downtown Morgantown which became known as Richwood Farm and today is Woodburn.

George Rogers, son of Thomas Rogers, acquired his brothers’ land and he and his wife Louise developed “East End Addition”  located behind Woodburn Elementary.

Louise Ave., named for Mrs. Rogers, also runs through Woodburn.

The rapid growth in Woodburn was due in part to the Welsh tinsmith immigrants moving in and coming to work at the Sabraton Tinplate Mill.

In 1905, the Sabraton Railway Company established a trolley line from East Prospect St. up Richwood Ave. across Hartman Run Road into Sabraton.

In 1909, the School Board purchased land in Woodburn to build a new school for the growing community.  Woodburn Elementary sits on top of the hill today, welcoming 225 students each morning.

During this boom time, several service establishments appeared, including the Town Hill Grocery and Gas Station in 1935.  Today Town Hill sits on the edge of Woodburn and is owned by Woodburn resident Mark Thalman and is known for its chili dogs and tankers.

In 1948, Tom and Anna Torch opened the Richwood Avenue Confectionary.  In 1963, Mario and Rosa Spina purchased the establishment which today is owned by Woodburn residents, Karen and Mark Fufari and is known as Mario’s Fishbowl.

Once the home of a Studebaker Car Dealership, 318 Richwood Avenue is now home to local, global cuisine restaurant, The Richwood Grill. This restaurant is owned and operated by Woodburn residents Marion Olingher and Alegria Holland .

Other notable structures of the Woodburn community are the massive stone retaining walls along Richwood Ave. and in Whitemore Park built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration.

These stone walls still hold our neighborhood today.