Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
Harpers Ferry / John Brown’s Fort
Named for Robert Harper, who settled here in 1747 and operated ferry. Site purchased for Federal arsenal and armory in 1796. John Hall first used interchangeable gun parts here. Travel route thru Blue Ridge gap, and river, canal, and railroad connections added growth. John Brown's raid and Civil War brought national attention. Post-war site of Storer College for blacks, and National Park, created in 1944.
(East Facing Side): John Brown's Fort
U.S. Armory fire engine and guard-house located near the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, was used by John Brown and his men during his 1859 raid to free enslaved blacks. Exhibited in Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair, Brown’s Fort returned and in 1909 was erected on the campus of Storer College. WV’s first African American college (1867-1955). Moved to present site in 1968. .
Erected 2004 by WV Celebration 2000 / West Virginia Division of Archives and History.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Abolition & Underground RRAfrican Americans • Civil Rights • War, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities 🎓, and the West Virginia Archives and History series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1747.
Location. 39° 19.537′ N, 77° 44.433′ W. Marker is in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, in Jefferson County. Marker is at the intersection of Washington Street (Alternate U.S. 340) and Storer College Place on Washington Street. Located in front of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 799 Washington Street, 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. The Appalachian Trail and Benton MacKaye (here, next to this marker); The Black Americans (within shouting distance of this marker); Camp Hill (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Virginia Lodge No. 1 (about 300 feet away); Storer College Veterans Memorial Gate (about 400 feet away); Church and School (about 400 feet away); The Niagara MovementFoundations of Freedom (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Harpers Ferry.
More about this marker. The East facing inscription as listed in "Marking Our Past: West Virginia's Historical Highway Markers," published in 2002, which denotes this as a "missing" marker, is as follows:
"The United States building in which John Brown and his companions were captured was exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, and now is on campus of Storer College above the town. This school, established, 1866, was one of the first Negro colleges."
Also see . . .
1. Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on October 13, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
2. Harpers Ferry Town Website. (Submitted on October 13, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 13, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 6,497 times since then and 25 times this year. Last updated on April 30, 2015, by John Rudy of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Photos: 1. submitted on October 13, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 2. submitted on October 25, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. 3, 4. submitted on October 13, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on December 20, 2007, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.