MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — If you cross the Cheat Lake bridge from the Morgantown side, headed toward Mont Chateau, look up. There, at that cleared spot on the hillside ahead, is a plaque that honors America’s first president.
The bronze plaque, with a weathered patina, reads: George Washington Crossed Cheat River at this point via Ice’s Ferry September 25, 1784. Tablet placed by The Elizabeth Ludington Hagans Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution 1932.
Growing up in the area, Alex Stockdale went with her father, Tom Stockdale, to keep the plaque clear of vegetation.
“Whenever the new bridge was being built, the hillside grew over, and we couldn’t find the plaque,” Stockdale said.
Once the bridge was completed, though, she and her Dad put a ladder on the hillside to reach the plaque, 20-25 feet above the road, and cleared it so it could be seen again.
“It’s an extremely important part of our heritage as Americans,” she said.