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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Shepherdstown in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

River Crossing

Chesapeake and Ohio National Historical Park

 

— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —

 
River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, September 17, 2012
1. River Crossing Marker
Inscription.  Shepherdstown was established near a natural ford used by American Indians and early settlers to cross the Potomac River. A ferry service, begun in 1775, reliably connected Shepherdstown with communities throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania for almost one hundred years.

Today, nothing remains of the ferry service and stone pilings - island sanctuaries to plant and wildlife - are reminders of many subsequent bridge-building efforts. The present Rumsey Bridge was completed in 2006.

From this location you can see Ferry Hill Plantation, built by John Blackford sometime after the War of 1812. Two of Blackford's slaves ran the ferry beginning in 1816.
 
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1775.
 
Location. 39° 26.152′ N, 77° 48.189′ W. Marker is in Shepherdstown, West Virginia
Ferry Hill image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, September 17, 2012
2. Ferry Hill
Close-up of the photo of Ferry Hill.
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, in Jefferson County. Marker is on North Duke Street / Shepherdstown Pike (State Highway 480), on the right when traveling north. Located on an overlook of the Potomac River, next to the Rumsey Bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Shepherdstown WV 25443, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The James Rumsey Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Shepherdstown (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Shepherdstown (within shouting distance of this marker); Jefferson County / Maryland (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Waterfront Commerce and the Mecklenburg Warehouse (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Shepherdstown (approx. 0.2 miles away in Maryland); Blackford's Ford (approx. 0.2 miles away in Maryland); A View into the Past (approx. 0.2 miles away in Maryland). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Shepherdstown.
 
River Crossing Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, September 17, 2012
3. River Crossing Marker
Looking over the Rumsey Bridge at Ferry Hill image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, September 17, 2012
4. Looking over the Rumsey Bridge at Ferry Hill
Stone Pilings: "Island Sanctuaries" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bradley Owen, October 20, 2020
5. Stone Pilings: "Island Sanctuaries"
The stone piers in the Potomac River at Shepherdstown are all that remain of the bridge destroyed by Confederate soldiers at the beginning of the Civil War.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 597 times since then and 44 times this year. Last updated on August 1, 2020, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 30, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on March 14, 2021, by Bradley Owen of Morgantown, West Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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May. 20, 2022