Monongah, West Virginia

Monongah, West Virginia
Location of Monongah in Marion County, West Virginia.
Location of Monongah in Marion County, West Virginia.
Coordinates: 39°27′34″N 80°12′57″W / 39°27′34″N 80°12′57″W / 39.45944; -80.21583UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)304
FIPS code54-55276[4]
GNIS feature ID1555149[5]
WebsiteOfficial Website

Monongah is a town in Marion County, West Virginia, USA, situated where Booths Creek flows into the West Fork River. The population was 1,044 at the 2010 census. Monongah was chartered in 1891 based on Chapter 47 of West Virginia code. Its name is derived from the nearby Monongahela River.[6]


The Adena and Hopewell peoples dwelt in what is now northern West Virginia 1,500–2,000+ years ago. By the time of the early European traders and settlers, the native population is thought to have been nil, decimated by the Beaver Wars.[citation needed]

Monongah was known as Briar Town and was part of the Grant Magisterial District in 1886.[7][8]

It was later known as Camdensburg, named after Johnson N. Camden, United States Senator from West Virginia (1881–1887).[8] The Protestant Episcopal Church at Camdensburg described Camdensburg in 1889 as "a new mining and coking town which promises to be a place of some importance in a few years." [9]

Monongah was chartered in 1891 under Chapter 47 of West Virginia code, Of Cities, Towns, and Villages, Incorporation of Without Special Charter; Amending Charter Where Population Less Than Two Thousand.[10][11]

Monongah mining disaster

Monongah suffered the loss of all 358 miners underground and an engineer on the surface when Fairmont Coal Company Mines No 6 and No 8 exploded at 10:30 am on December 6, 1907. The dead consisted of 171 Italians, 85 Americans (including 11 African-Americans), 52 Hungarians, 31 Russians, 15 Austrians, and 5 Turks. Three more people died in the aftermath, yielding a total of 361 victims. This mining accident left approximately 250 widows and 1,000 fatherless children.[citation needed]

Mayor W.H. Moore, along with D.F. Morris, William Gaskins, and John Boydoh served on the Monongah Relief Committee, formed soon after to help manage the aid effort. Mayor Moore headed the Monongah Mines Relief Committee after Monongah and Fairmont decided to merge their committees into a joint effort.[12]

Memorials were erected in the center of town to recognize the centennial of the mining disaster on December 7, 2007. One memorial, titled Monongah Heroine, consists of a statue of a mother holding a baby with a young child beside her. It is dedicated to the widows and mothers of the miners who died. The inspiration for the statue is reported to have come Catarina Davia, a woman widowed by the disaster.[citation needed] Feeling betrayed by the coal company for lack of compensation after her husband's death she vowed to make the 1.3 mile trek from her home to the mine to steal a satchel of coal every day until she died. She didn't only do this once every day but she did it twice. Her house was still standing until an accidental fire burned the house down on September 10, 2010. A second memorial, consisting of an engraved metal bell and plaque, was placed by the Italians to recognize the many victims from Molise in southern Italy.[citation needed]

Father Everett Francis Briggs, a Roman Catholic missionary of the Maryknoll order, oversaw the memorial project and died just a few days after its completion. On February 21, 2002, the West Virginia Legislature (House Concurrent Resolution no. 40) resolved "to name the bridge which traverses the West Fork River in Marion County, located .12 miles west of county route 27/2, the Father Everett Francis Briggs Bridge", in honor of Briggs' dedication to the forgotten victims of the 1907 tragedy and the mine widows.[citation needed]

Other Languages
català: Monongah
Cebuano: Monongah
italiano: Monongah
Nederlands: Monongah
polski: Monongah
português: Monongah
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Monongah, West Virginia
Volapük: Monongah