Posted: March 22, 2017 at 5:08 am
The people of Morgantown take great pride in the history of the town. One way that they remember their history and show their pride is through pictures. Morgantown has a wide variety of restaurants, pubs, and bars that satisfy and replenish the appetites of the town’s students, residents, and visitors. These different establishments try to portray the towns historic culture. One place in particular is Morgan’s High St Diner located on High St. The man behind the diner and its amazing walls is Travis Casey, an alumni of West Virginia University. The many customers that come take great pride in Morgantown and The Mountaineers. Right as they walk into the diner they can see how Travis’ love and pride reflect on the walls full of pictures portraying Morgantown’s history and culture.
After graduating from West Virginia University Travis made the decision to stay in Morgantown and open up a restaurant. His first attempt was a fondue restaurant, which had failed due to Morgantown’s culture that does not support spending a lot of money on expensive food. Because the majority of the population in the area is college students, people do not have a lot of extra cash to spend on flashy meals. His next idea was to create something that was affordable, easy to maintain, and filled with West Virginia history, a diner. The diner fit the needs of the people of Morgantown, from the hungry college students to the hungry average Morgantown family. So the diner was naturally set up for success.
Travis is always in search for pictures of Morgantown’s historic culture so that he can add them to the display. He found many of the pictures that are displayed through posting on Facebook. After making his post many of the Morgantown residents brought in pictures that are now hanging on the walls for people to view. Travis said, “I’m not necessarily a history buff but just a huge fan of Morgantown and its history.”
There are now over 500 pictures hanging on the walls of Morgan’s High St Diner, thanks to the many Morgantown residents. One of Travis’ favorite pictures is of the 1917 Morgantown High School Basketball team. Travis played basketball his whole life and has always been a huge fan. When an old local, whose dad was on the team, brought in the picture, he knew it had to be on the wall. This was the third year that Morgantown High School had a basketball team and it was the first time that they made it to the state tournament semifinals.
Another picture put on display that is a great example of history in Morgantown is a picture of River Bridge, which provides transportation over the Monongahela River to Westover. The picture is very
significant and historic because it shows the evolution of Morgantown. When looking at this picture one could never guess all the changes that have occurred. Students use the new bridge almost every day to get to Westover. Travis felt that these pictures of the bridges would just be something that the students would appreciate.
Travis also has an entire section in the diner dedicated to the history of the students of West Virginia University. This is Travis’ favorite section because of how it brings him back to his college days. Under the slogan “Some Things Never Change” there are multiple pictures of the students being students. When looking at these picture one thing that you notice is, even though the pictures were taken in different era, the students still celebrate in the same ways with similar culture. Many pictures show couch burnings which has been an ongoing tradition in Morgantown for decades. It has been such a big part of the culture that there is now an outdoor furniture ban.
The diner offers a friendly environment for just about everyone to come in and have a meal. Two employees that work at the diner are Kyle Provateare and Hannah Lopez, who had nothing but good things to say. Their description of the diner was a family friendly, fun, and a safe environment for people to come eat. Hannah and Kyle explained that the staff is made up of young energetic college students that boost the morale of the people that come into eat.
Travis hopes to keep receiving and updating his display of Morgantown history. With each year passing there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of material coming his way. The success of the diner comes not only from the residents and students living in Morgantown but from Travis’ display of their culture and history. He hopes to keep the prideful town and state happy with his display of West Virginia pride.