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“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 (Appalachia)
 

Federal Armory

 
 
Federal Armory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 20, 2006
1. Federal Armory Marker
Inscription.  In an effort to increase the number of small arms for defense of the United States, George Washington established a Federal armory here in 1794. The rivers provided power for the machinery; surrounding mountains provided iron ore for gun barrels and hardwoods for charcoal and gun stocks.

In 60 years, the armory manufactured more than 500,000 muskets, rifles, and rifle-muskets. At its peak in 1850, the armory employed over 400 workers.

In 1861, Southern forces transported the captured armory machinery to Richmond and Fayetteville, where it became the heart and blood of Confederate ordinance. With the armory destroyed, Harpers Ferry’s economy and fortunes declined.

In 1892, the railroad covered the armory site with a 14-foot embankment. The monument in front of you marks the site of the fire-engine house, better known as John Brown’s Fort.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesWar, US Civil.
 
Location. 39° 
John Brown’s Fort image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 11, 2006
2. John Brown’s Fort
This photo of the Fort was taken from in front of the marker.
19.39′ N, 77° 43.777′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is on S Potomac Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is in the Lower Town at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Brown (here, next to this marker); "The War That Ended Slavery" (a few steps from this marker); A Nation's Armory (a few steps from this marker); Weapons Under Fire (a few steps from this marker); John Brown Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); John Brown Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); John Brown's Last Stand (within shouting distance of this marker); Large Arsenal (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
 
More about this marker. A photograph of the Armory appears at the top of the marker with the caption “Main entrance in 1865. In 1859, 20 brick workshops and offices extended in a double row for more than 600 yards along the Potomac shoreline.”
 
Also see . . .  Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. National Park Service. (Submitted on October 25, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
John Brown’s Fort image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, October 11, 2006
3. John Brown’s Fort
The Federal Armory marker can be seen to the right of the Fort in this photo. The marker is in the Lower Town at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 25, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,449 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 25, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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Aug. 15, 2020