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The last edition of the Proceedings and Papers of the Monongalia Historical Society, Morgantown, WV, featured an article by Dr. John Kent Folmar I of California Borough.

Entitled “The Monongahela River: A Brief History,” its subject is a survey of the steamboat packet trade on the Mon River with special emphasis on the last 20 years of their activities from 1890—1910.

“My interest in the Mon River began when I met, accidentally, a group in Greensboro, Pa. who were organizing the Monongahela River Buffs Association,” said Folmar. He then began attending meetings and it changed his career; he began to study local and river history and made it a part of his courses at Cal U of Pa. The preparation and deliverance of dozens of articles and lectures on the topic followed. With the coming of the railroads, this study tells the story of the last hurrah for the packetboat era: the trade by the last packet companies to Morgantown and Fairmont, WV.

Photographs of six of the steamboat vessels that plied the Mon River are featured from the author’s collections in the 14-page commentary, which appeared in the December 2018 issue.

Dr. John Kent Folmar I is professor emeritus of history at California University of Pennsylvania. He was president of the Monongahela River Buffs Association from 1980 to 1981, and again from 1990 to 2015; he was also the editor of MRBA newsletter from 1981 to 2015. The author of four books on local and transportation history, Dr. Folmar resides in California Borough. Contact him by phone at 724-938-7856, or email: folmar@zoominternet.net.

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