UPDATED: 5-23-2022


Vintage Photos of WVU (West Virginia University)

In 1866 the state of West Virginia established the West Virginia Agricultural College on the site of the Monongalia Academy and Woodburn Female Seminary on a bluff in Morgantown, overlooking a bend in the Monongahela River. The college opened its doors on September 2, 1867, with five departments, five professors, six college students, 118 high school students, and 60 primary pupils. The following year, on the recommendation of Governor Arthur Boreman, the college became West Virginia University.

Looking north toward Martin Hall (then called the Preparatory Building) and the original dormitory (left) in 1872. The dormitory was formerly Woodburn Female Seminary, the original school on the site of what is now WVU. It burned down a year later and was replaced by Woodburn Hall.

Looking west toward Martin Hall (left) and the former seminary building circa 1872.
Martin Hall, then called the Preparatory Building, was built in 1869.

The Woodburn Female Seminary in the late 1860s. It burned down in 1873.
(Courtesy of the West Virginia & Regional History Collection.)

Looking north toward the Agricultural Experimental Station at the corner of Falling Run Road (now University Avenue, on the left) and what is now College Avenue (right). The building was originally the Armory, built in 1871.

Looking north on University Avenue toward the Agricultural Experimental
Station in the late 1890s. Martin Hall is on the left.

Looking toward the same buildings in the early 1930s.

Looking down, southwest, from Observatory Hill to Woodburn Circle in 1891-1892. Commencement Hall is under construction on the left. It was torn down in the 1960s.

Woodburn Hall as it looked in 1890. It was built in 1874, and the wings were added later.

The north wing of Woodburn Hall was added in 1900 (above).
The south wing and clock tower were added in 1911.

Excavation begins on the north wing of Woodburn Hall in 1898. Martin Hall is in the background.

Looking at the Agricultural Experimental Station from University Avenue at the turn of the century. It would later be replaced by Oglebay Hall. The building to the right is the original WVU Library. It later became Stewart Hall.

University military students drill along the edge of Woodburn Circle in the
early 1900s. Behind them, across the street, is the Agricultural Station.

Looking west toward Woodburn Circle around the turn of the century.
The building on the right is the Agricultural Experimental Station.

The Beverly Avenue Viaduct in 1904. It was later the University Avenue bridge.

Commencement Hall was built in 1882. Its name was later changed to Reynolds Hall.

The University Library, built in 1902, is now Stewart Hall. On the left is Commencement Hall.

A 1920 view looking north up University Avenue from Wiley Street toward the University Library.

President's home.

The Armory stood where the Mountaineer Lair is currently located.


Looking south across the old bridge toward Woodburn Hall (right), Martin Hall, and Science Hall in the 1890s. Mountaineer Stadium would later, in 1924, be built to the right of the bridge.

Oglebay Hall is under construction on October 15, 1917,
replacing the Agricultural Experimental Station.

Looking down on Oglebay Hall and what's left of the Agricultural Experimental Station.

The Women's Hall is built on Observatory Hill in 1918.

The original WVU stadium is under construction in 1924. Sunnyside is in the background.

Looking southward from the photo above.

Drainage pipe has been laid beneath what will be the stadium, looking north toward Falling Run.

The Delta Tau Delta Frat House in 1907.

Woodburn Circle circa 1938.

The WVU Law Building on University Avenue in the early 1920s.

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