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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Head Gates and Inner Basin

 
 
Head Gates and Inner Basin Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
1. Head Gates and Inner Basin Marker
Inscription. These brick-lined archways, or "head gates," built around 1850, once controlled much of the island's waterpower. From here, a "wing dam" extended across the Shenandoah River, funneling water through the arches and into the inner basin. A gate at the opening of each arch controlled the flow.

After passing through the head gates, the water was stored in the inner basin until dispersed via raceways and tunnels to the mills and factories. Over time, silt and sand accumulated and eventually filled the basin.
 
Location. 39° 19.269′ N, 77° 44.27′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from Shenandoah Street (Business U.S. 340), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located on Virginius Island in Harpers Ferry National Historic Site. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. House Ruins (a few steps from this marker); Railroads (within shouting distance of this marker); River Wall (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Island Mills (about 400 feet away); Jonathan Child House
Marker and Ruins of the Head Gate Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
2. Marker and Ruins of the Head Gate
(about 500 feet away); Island Access (about 600 feet away); Shenandoah Pulp Factory (about 800 feet away); Water Tunnels (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
 
More about this marker. In the upper portion of the marker is a photo captioned Virginius Island's waterpower system in 1882.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Exterior Wall of the Head Gate and Dam Location Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
3. Exterior Wall of the Head Gate and Dam Location
The outside wall of the Head Gate was heavily reinforced. The dam extended across the river from the base of the wall.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 593 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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