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Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Harpers Ferry / John Brown’s Fort

 
 
West Facing Side - Harpers Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
1. West Facing Side - Harpers Ferry
Inscription. (West Facing Side): Harpers Ferry
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.
 
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
East Side of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 10, 2006
2. East Side of Marker
U. S. Armory fire engine and guardhouse, located near the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, was used by John Brown and his men during the 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.
. Touch for map. Located in front of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters. Marker is at or near this postal address: 799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry WV 25425, United States of America.
 
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 Movement (about 400 feet away); Foundations 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
Marker in Front of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
3. Marker in Front of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
. 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.)
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCivil RightsWar, US Civil
 
Lower Town Harpers Ferry image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, September 22, 2007
4. Lower Town Harpers Ferry
Situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, along side the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and astride the path of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad with spur lines extending south into the Shenandoah Valley, Harpers Ferry was a transportation hub during the first century of the United States. The city is truly one of the crossroads of American history.
Monument for John Brown's Fort image. Click for full size.
By Michael Stroud, circa July 2000
5. Monument for John Brown's Fort
This stone obelisk marks the original location of the armory building used by John Brown. The original structure was a brick engine and guard house. Brown barricaded his raiding party within the structure.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 13, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 6,149 times since then and 178 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 North Arlington, 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.
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