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Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Historical Markers

 
"for the deposit of arms" Marker image, Touch for more information
By Michael C. Wilcox, August 1, 2016
"for the deposit of arms" Marker
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — "for the deposit of arms"
The Small Arsenal building that stood here from 1806—1861 was one of two warehouses for the nearby United States Armory. A Harpers Ferry visitor in 1821 described both buildings as "arsenals for the deposit of arms manufactured, consisting of . . . — Map (db m99508) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Fate of Harpers Ferry was sealed.
A.P. Hill After an exhausting night of dragging 20 cannon along the river and up the ravines to this site on Chambers (Murphy) Farm, General A.P. Hill and his 3,500 men sprang their trap on the unsuspecting Union army. Before dawn on the last day . . . — Map (db m5894) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Dangerous Position
On the dark, moonless night of September 14, 1862, 100 men from the 126th New York Regiment established a skirmish line here. These men were new to the war, having only been in uniform for a few short weeks. After surviving a terrifying afternoon of . . . — Map (db m5397) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Government Factory Town
Harpers Ferry owed its existence principally to the United States armory, which began producing small arms here in 1801. At its height, this factory produced more than 10,000 weapons a year and employed 400 workers. The armory affected the everyday . . . — Map (db m18793) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Government Factory Town No Longer
The destruction of the armory in 1861, followed by four years of Civil War, devastated Harpers Ferry's economy. Attempts at revitalization included a brewery erected here in 1895. When West Virginia enacted prohibition in 1914, the brewery . . . — Map (db m18798) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Land Divided
The struggle of today is not altogether for today - it is for a vast future also. Abraham Lincoln You are standing near what was once an international border. During the Civil War, the peak to your left lay within the Union state . . . — Map (db m70826) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Moving Symbol
In it really began the Civil War. Here was lighted the torch of liberty for all America… For you this is the most hallowed shrine in this country. Henry McDonald, Storer College president The foundations in front of you mark a temporary site . . . — Map (db m8318) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Nation's Armory
You are standing directly across the street from the main entrance of one of the nation's first military industrial complexes. The U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, now covered by an embankment of dirt and rubble, produced the deadliest weapons of its . . . — Map (db m24919) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Perfect Heap of Ruins
Standing here on the night of April 18, 1861, you would have seen billowing smoke as fire raged in the armory workshops upstream. Virginia had just seceded from the United States and Virginia militiamen were advancing on the armory. Vastly . . . — Map (db m20520) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Position Strong by Nature
In 1862 Union Colonel Dixon Miles thought that the ridge in front of you, Bolivar Heights, was the perfect place to defend Harpers Ferry. However, in September of '62, Colonel Miles and 14,000 Union soldiers found themselves surrounded by 24,000 . . . — Map (db m5395) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Union Predicament
"Do all you can to annoy the rebels should they advance on you...You will not abandon Harpers Ferry without defending it to the last extremity." Maj. Gen. John G. Wool, USA Telegraph message to Col. Dixon S. Miles, USA September 7, 1862 The . . . — Map (db m5389) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — A Union Predicament
"Do all you can to annoy the rebels should they advance on you...You will not abandon Harpers Ferry without defending it to the last extremity." Maj. Gen. John G. Wool, USA Telegraph message to Col. Dixon S. Miles, USA September 7, 1862 The . . . — Map (db m19005) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Allstadt HouseJohn Brown's Hostages — Prelude to War
The Allstadt House and Ordinary was the home of John H. Allstadt. On the evening of October 16, 1859, John Brown and his "army" of would-be slave liberators launched their attack on Harpers Ferry from Kennedy Farm just across the Potomac River in . . . — Map (db m103403) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Area History
On April 18, 1861 Confederate volunteers occupied these heights. The threat prompted Lt. Roger Jones, in command at Harpers Ferry, to set fire to the armory and arsenal buildings destroying thousands of muskets needed by the Confederacy. — Map (db m5866) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — 5 — Armory Grounds — Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry
The United States Armory was the main reason Lewis came to Harpers Ferry. He needed dependable weapons and supplies to succeed on his mission. The quality of the armorers' handiwork would also mean the difference between life and death for Lewis and . . . — Map (db m20481) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Armory Paymaster's Residence
Rank has its privileges. The paymaster, second in command at the armory, enjoyed an unobstructed view of the factory grounds and water gap from the substantial brick dwelling erected here about 1800. Soot and noise disrupted the scene with the . . . — Map (db m18664) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Armory Workers
Expanding armory operations in the opening decades of the 19th century resulted in overcrowded and unhealthy living conditions for workers. Families shared inadequate, unventilated housing, while single men slept in the workshops. To alleviate the . . . — Map (db m18797) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Arsenal Square
Two brick arsenal buildings, which once housed about 100,000 weapons produced at the Harpers Ferry Armory, occupied these grounds. Capture of the firearms was the objective of John Brown’s 1859 raid. Eighteen months after Brown’s attack, the Civil . . . — Map (db m12969) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Assessing the Obstacle
Never had "Stonewall" Jackson faced a stronger enemy position. Arriving here on Schoolhouse Ridge on the first day of the battle, Jackson scanned Bolivar Heights (the lower ridge in front of you) and saw a dangerous enemy - 7,000 Union infantry and . . . — Map (db m7843) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Battle of Harpers FerryUnion Stronghold
(Upper panel): Battle of Harpers Ferry Invasion rocked the United States during the second year of the American Civil War. In September 1862 Confederate General Robert E. Lee launched his army into Maryland - the North. Lee's first target . . . — Map (db m5350) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Battle of Harpers Ferry / Jackson Arrives
(Upper Panel): Battle of Harpers Ferry Invasion rocked the United States during the second year of the American Civil War. In September 1862 Confederate General Robert E. Lee launched his army into Maryland - the North. Lee's first target . . . — Map (db m23320) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Bolivar Heights Trail
Union and Confederate soldiers transformed these fields into campgrounds full of dingy tents, smoky campfires and boiling kettles during the Civil War. Shouting officers drilled their troops until Bolivar's grass was trampled into precision . . . — Map (db m5319) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Bolivar Methodist Church
This church built in early 1840s was occupied by both Union and Confederate troops for military purposes during Civil War. — Map (db m2943) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Brackett House
Built in 1858, this house served as the home for the U.S. Armory superintendent's clerk. As an assistant to the superintendent, the clerk's responsibilities included drafting correspondence, filing reports, arranging schedules, and insuring the . . . — Map (db m70779) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Branding the B&O
Passengers in the late 1800s would have instantly recognized this building as the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad station. Known for their distinctive style and red-and-brown color scheme, the B&O designed their stations to give customers a . . . — Map (db m70782) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Butcher Shop and Boarding House
Factory officials believed a ready supply of meat for the community was "decidedly advantageous to the interests of the armory." As a result, the armory permitted local businessman Philip Coons to erect a large butcher shop and smoke-house, as well . . . — Map (db m18792) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — By the aid of these machines...
Beneath your feet lie the foundations of the Smith and Forging Shop. The largest building in the armory, it reflected changing methods of manufacturing. In the armory's early days, gun making was slow and labor intensive. Armorers worked in small . . . — Map (db m23444) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Camp HillDiscover Harpers Ferry

You are in the Camp Hill area of Harpers Ferry. Explore Camp Hill's history with exhibits in front of the Morrell, Brackett, and Lockwood houses and Mather Training Center. Side trails in Harper Cemetery and in front of Mather Training Center . . . — Map (db m103584) HM

West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Camp Hill during the Civil WarHarpers Ferry National Historical Park
Company A, 22nd New York State Militia, photographed near here during the summer of 1862. Note the house with a cannon in front of it behind the soldiers. It is still here today. In May of 1862, during Stonewall Jackson’s Valley Campaign, Union . . . — Map (db m96462) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — No. 1 — Capture of Harpers FerryNo. 1
September 15, 1862 No. 1On September 10, 1862 General R. E. Lee Commanding the Army of Northern Virginia then at Frederick Md. set three columns in motion to capture Harper’s Ferry. Maj. Gen L. McLaws with his own Division and that of Maj. Gen. . . . — Map (db m2579) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — No. 2 — Capture of Harpers FerryNo. 2
September 15, 1862 No. 2 Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, with his own Division and those of Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill and R. S. Ewell, left Frederick on the morning of September 10 and passing through Middletown and Boonsboro crossed the Potomac at . . . — Map (db m2728) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — No. 3 — Capture of Harpers FerryNo. 3
September 15, 1862 No. 3 Col. Dixon S. Miles, Second U. S. Infantry, commanded the Union forces at Harpers Ferry. After Gen. White joined from Martinsburg, September 12 and Col. Ford from Maryland Heights on the 13th, Miles had about 14,200 . . . — Map (db m2914) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — No. 4 — Capture of Harpers FerryNo. 4
September 15, 1862 No. 4 In the afternoon of the 14th Jackson's Division advanced its left, seized commanding ground near the Potomac and established Artillery upon it. Hill's Division moved from Halltown obliquely to the right until it struck . . . — Map (db m2921) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — No. 5 — Capture of Harpers FerryNo. 5
September 15, 1862 No. 5 Capture of Harpers Ferry September 15, 1862 No. 5 At daylight, September 15, three Batteries of Jackson's Division delivered a severe fire against the right of the Bolivar Heights defense. Ewell's Batteries opened from . . . — Map (db m2922) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Casualties of Time
Over two dozen armory workers' dwellings, ranging from modest frame cottages to substantial stone and brick houses, once fronted Shenandoah and Hamilton streets. The wood houses disappeared around mid-century, victims of fire and demolition. The . . . — Map (db m18799) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Casualties of War
"...We enter the barren wast of Bolivar Heights...a windswept deserted moorland...except its populous graveyard." James E. Taylor, war correspondent Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper August 10, 1864 Military discipline for . . . — Map (db m5355) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Casualty of War
German immigrant Frederick Roeder was a prosperous baker, the father of seven children, and a recent widower. Roeder was also about to die. The Fourth of July was normally a day of celebration, but not this year - not 1861. In March Roeder buried . . . — Map (db m99425) HM WM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Church and School
The school and mission work are inseparably interwoven with each other. Storer teacher - Kate J. Anthony The Curtis Memorial Freewill Baptist Church served as a spiritual anchor in the lives of both the students and the teachers of . . . — Map (db m70814) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Closing the Doors
Resting with his troops in Frederick, Maryland, 20 miles northeast of here, Confederate General Robert E. Lee had hoped the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry would abandon its post when he invaded the North. They did not. Lee decided to attack. He . . . — Map (db m5351) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Confederate Victory
"The Rebels were all around us and our only refuge was the open canopy of heaven." Sgt. Charles E. Smith 32nd Ohio Infantry September 14, 1862 Thousands of Federal soldiers huddled in ravines on Bolivar Heights to escape the Confederate . . . — Map (db m5387) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Confederate Victory
"The Rebels were all around us and our only refuge was the open canopy of heaven." Sgt. Charles E. Smith 32nd Ohio Infantry September 14, 1862 Thousands of Federal soldiers huddled in ravines on Bolivar Heights to escape the Confederate . . . — Map (db m19006) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Confederates Converge
Confederate General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North hinged on eliminating the Harpers Ferry garrison. To do so Lee devised Special Orders 191. He divided his force of 40,000 into four parts. Three columns marched from near Frederick, . . . — Map (db m7839) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Cotton Mill
Once the largest building on Virginius Island, this 1848 four-story brick structure sported steam heat and gas lighting and boasted the latest machinery for making "yard-wide sheeting and shirting at less than Baltimore prices." The cotton mill . . . — Map (db m18812) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Daring Escapes
The boat ramp in front of you was the site of two daring escapes in the Battle of Harpers Ferry. Under the cover of darkness, 1,400 Union cavalrymen fled on horseback down the ramp. crossing a pontoon bridge into Maryland on September 14, 1862. The . . . — Map (db m20532) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Destined for Antietam
Text of the marker is arranged to illustrate the movements of the Confederate Army during the Antietam Campaign of 1862: September 10, 1862 from Frederick, Maryland Confederate commander Lee sends part of his army to capture Harpers . . . — Map (db m7865) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Early Travel
Situated in a gap of the Blue Ridge Mountains and at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, Harpers Ferry, from its beginning, functioned as a natural avenue of transportation. The first mode of travel consisted of a primitive ferry . . . — Map (db m12058) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Facing the Enemy
Union Commander Dixon Miles knew the Confederates were coming. His cavalry reported the Southern troops advancing from three different directions. Ordered to "hold Harpers Ferry until the last extremity." Miles divided his forces to retain Maryland . . . — Map (db m5322) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Fake Attack - September 14th
"Stonewall" Jackson understood the principle of military deception. On the second evening of the battle, he used deception here. To lure the Union attention away from the south end of Bolivar Heights, Jackson faked an attack against the north end of . . . — Map (db m7866) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Federal Armory
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 . . . — Map (db m12964) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — First Major Action
On Sept. 13, 1862 Stonewall Jackson’s forces approaching from the west were shelled by 2 Union artillery guns under Col. Miles from this position. On Sept. 14, Gen. A.P. Hill outflanked these Union troops while Jackson swept past this location. Col. . . . — Map (db m5856) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Five Rounds into the Darkness
The 115th New York Regiment, young and inexperienced, formed a skirmish line here. When gunfire erupted on their left during the night, the men of the 115th must have felt the rush of adrenaline through their veins. Dander was headed in their . . . — Map (db m7816) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Floods
Waterpower built this town, and the power of the water eventually destroyed it. The destruction of the Federal Armory during the Civil War began the town's decline. Many people who had left Harpers Ferry during the war did return, only to be driven . . . — Map (db m12982) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Fortifying Bolivar Heights
"...the heights became dotted with tents, and at night...the neighboring hills were aglow with hundreds of watchfires..." Joseph Barry, Harpers Ferry resident October 1862 After the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862, General Lee . . . — Map (db m5367) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Found Underground
The ground around you hides the remains of the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry. Beneath the surface archeologists discovered walls, floors, pipes, and the base of a massive 90-foot chimney. As the team slowly and painstakingly excavated small pits . . . — Map (db m21124) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Foundations of Freedom
Harpers Ferry, including Anthony Hall (to your left), played host to large and small scenes in the epic human struggle for freedom and equality. In this building, the superintendent of the national armory contemplated how to strengthen the . . . — Map (db m70797) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Foundations of Freedom
Harpers Ferry, including Anthony Hall (behind you to the right), played host to large and small scenes in the epic human struggle for freedom and equality. In this building, the superintendent of the national armory contemplated how to . . . — Map (db m70821) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — From Skirmish Line to Burial Ground
Some of the Union infantrymen who defended this ground on the night of September 14th returned the next day. Even though the Confederate strategy had won the battle for Harpers Ferry, and these Union soldiers were part of the largest surrender of . . . — Map (db m5398) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Gun Position #6
This gun protected the south end of the fort and was positioned to fire on flank movements. An outside picket trench, which can be seen ahead of the main embankment, protected the artillery crew. — Map (db m5879) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Harper Cemetery
Passing through this region in 1747, Robert Harper — a Pennsylvania architect contracted to build a Quaker church in the Shenandoah Valley — was so impressed by the beauty of this place and the water-power potential of the Potomac and . . . — Map (db m10203) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Harper House
From this vantage point, a succession of early residents watched Harpers Ferry grow from a tiny village into a thriving industrial community. In 1775, town founder Robert Harper chose this hillside for his family home because it lay safely above . . . — Map (db m18753) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — 7 — Harper House Tavern — Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry
The Harpers House was near the end of a 20-year run as the only tavern in Harpers Ferry when Lewis arrived. Thomas Jefferson may have been among the first guests to stay here in 1783. If Lewis rented a room in 1803, he was among the last travelers . . . — Map (db m18754) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Harpers FerryPrize of War
“It may be said with truth that no spot in the United States experienced more of the horrors of war.” – Joseph Barry, Harpers Ferry resident Trapped on the border between North and South, Harpers Ferry changed hands eight . . . — Map (db m23188) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Harpers Ferry / John Brown’s Fort
(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 . . . — Map (db m82777) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
(First Panel): Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is the story of... Industrial Development and the production of weapons at the Harpers Ferry armory. John Brown's Raid and his attempt to end slavery. The Civil War with Union and . . . — Map (db m19008) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Hayward Shepherd
On the night of October 16, 1859, Heyward Shepherd, an industrious and respected Colored freeman, was mortally wounded by John Brown's raiders in pursuance of his duties as an employee of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company. He became the first . . . — Map (db m10482) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Head Gates and Inner Basin
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 . . . — Map (db m18949) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Heads versus Hands
A national controversy regarding the education of African American students played out in the building before you. Throughout its history, Storer College faced great difficulty attracting funding. Most white benefactors favored trade school . . . — Map (db m70807) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — High Street in 1886
(Photo of High Street in 1886)Map (db m18787) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Historic Heights
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains at the confluence of the Potomac and the Shenandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry thrived as an industrial community during the first half of the 19th century. By 1860, nearly 3,000 residents lived in the Harpers . . . — Map (db m5316) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — History in the Mountains
"I will pledge myself that there is not a spot in the United States which combines more or greater requisites...." George Washington May 5, 1798 Harpers Ferry's history and geography have influenced each other for more . . . — Map (db m12065) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Holy Ground
Here on the scene of John Brown’s martyrdom we reconsecrate ourselves, our honor, our property to the final emancipation of the race which John Brown died to make free… Thank God for John Brown!... and all the hallowed dead who died for . . . — Map (db m8316) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Home Becomes Battlefield
The Civil War affected not only the soldiers who fought but the families whose homes and towns became battlefields. Edmund H. Chambers bought this farm in 1848 and lived here with his family until the Civil War. Although Chambers was a loyal . . . — Map (db m5885) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — 6 — Home of Joseph PerkinsArmory Superintendent — Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry
Armory Superintendent Joseph Perkins lived in a converted warehouse on this spot from 1801-1806. The day Lewis arrived, March 16, 1803, he hand-delivered a letter from the Secretary of War directing Perkins to provide "arms & iron work... with the . . . — Map (db m18804) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — 1 — Home of Samuel AnninArmory Paymaster — Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry
The U.S. Armory Paymaster's house stood here. Completed in 1802 as a home for the armory's senior administrator, this building was probably the best house in town when Meriwether Lewis arrived in 1803. Lewis may have stayed here and he certainly . . . — Map (db m18662) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — House Ruins
An island entrepreneur or owner likely resided in this 2 1/2-story house which once stood on this foundation. Owners and workers both resided on the island. Other dwellings included four large 2-story structures, five 2-story brick tenements, and . . . — Map (db m18951) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — In Honor of Private Luke Quinn
United States Marine Killed 18 October 1859 During the capture of John Brown Flagpole and gravesite rededicated by Marine Corps League Detachment 1143 13 0ctober 2012 — Map (db m104281) HM WM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Infantry Positions
Infantry troops occupied positions along these fortifications. The low height of the earth embankment at this location permitted the defending troops easy passage to and from the abatis without exposure. — Map (db m5878) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Island Access
Bridges spanning the canal, like the one to your left, provided access from the island to the mainland for residents and factory workers. During floods, they were paths to safety. To delay departure could spell disaster, as in 1870, when swiftly . . . — Map (db m18987) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Island Mills
Sounds of turning mill wheels and workers filling bags with freshly ground flour once filled the air here. The foundation of Island Mills, one of the earliest (1824) industries on the island, lies before you. Each fall the railroad brought wheat . . . — Map (db m18983) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Jackson at Harpers FerryThe Stonewall Brigade
As you explore Jefferson County’s Civil War sites, you will learn about some of the notable exploits on the native soil of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, one of the wars most famous figures. Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now . . . — Map (db m59416) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Jefferson County / State of Maryland
(East Facing Side): Jefferson County Formed in 1801 from Berkeley. Named for Thomas Jefferson. Home of Generals Gates, Drake, and Charles Lee. Here four companies of Washington's men organized. Shepherdstown was strongly urged as the seat . . . — Map (db m2947) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Jefferson Rock
"On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the Patowmac [Potomac], in quest of a passage also. In the moment of their junction they rush together . . . — Map (db m10662) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — 8 — Jefferson Rock — Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry
Twenty years before Lewis came to town, his mentor, Thomas Jefferson, wrote about the view from this rock. Jefferson's comments on the landscape were published in Notes on the State of Virginia. That book provided a model for Lewis as he . . . — Map (db m18791) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — John Brown
Here John Brown aimed at human slavery a blow that woke a guilty nation. With him fought seven slaves and sons of slaves. Over his crucified corpse marched 200,000 black soldiers and 4,000,000 freedmen singing “John Brown’s body lies . . . — Map (db m12952) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — John Brown
That this nation might have a new birth of freedom, That slavery should be removed forever from American soil. John Brown and his 21 men gave their lives. To commemorate their heroism, this tablet is placed on this . . . — Map (db m99510) HM WM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — John Brown Fort
Here is a building with a curious past. Since its construction in 1848, it has been vandalized, dismantled, and moved four times - all because of its fame as John Brown's stronghold. The Fort's "Movements" 1848 Built as fire-engine house for . . . — Map (db m4420) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — John Brown Monument
Commemorated here is the original location of the "John Brown Fort"--the Federal Armory's fire engine house where abolitionist John Brown and his raiders were captured by the U.S. Marines on October 18, 1859. If you look to the south, you will see . . . — Map (db m10900) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — John Brown's Last Stand
You are in the line of fire. The stone marker in front of you identifies the original site of the armory fire engine house - now known as John Brown's Fort. Barricaded inside the fort, abolitionist John Brown and his men held off local militia and . . . — Map (db m23413) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Jonathan Child House
Jonathan and Emily Child owned the house that once stood on this foundation. Along with partner John McCreight, Child bought Virginius Island from Abraham Herr after the Civil War and moved here with his family in 1867. Three years later, on . . . — Map (db m18982) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Keyes Gap
Formerly Vestal’s Gap. Historic gateway through the Blue Ridge into Shenandoah Valley. It was oftern used by Washington and by armies of the Blue and Gray, 1861–65. Here passed part of Braddock’s army, 1755, en route to Fort Duquesne. — Map (db m981) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Large Arsenal
Serious problems plagued the weapons stored in this two-story structure built in 1799. Floods and high humidity posed constant threats. Sparks from wood-burning locomotives presented a fire hazard. Inadequate storage space caused overcrowding and . . . — Map (db m18691) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — 3 — Large Arsenal Foundation — Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry
Completed in 1800, the 2 1/2-story, brick arsenal building stored weapons made for the security and survival of a young United States of America. Lewis procured 15 rifles from this stockpile. They were the first and most essential weapons his . . . — Map (db m18752) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Lewis and Clark
Meriwether Lewis arrived March 16, 1803. Oversaw building of collapsible iron framed, skin-clad boat and acquired supplies, tomahawks, and rifles. Left for Pennsylvania on April 18; returned July 7 to gather materials and left next day for . . . — Map (db m2149) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Lockwood House
With its commanding view of Harpers Ferry and the Potomac River gap, this house has witnessed significant chapters in Harpers Ferry's history. It was built in 1847 as quarters for the U.S. Armory paymaster and later served as headquarters for Union . . . — Map (db m10180) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Market House
Armory workers purchased fresh vegetables, meat, and fish every Wednesday and Saturday here at the Market House. Constructed by the government near mid-century, the building that once stood here architecturally resembled the refurbished armory . . . — Map (db m18800) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Mere Machines of Labor
Work in the Smith and Forging Shop that stood here was dirty, smoky, noisy, and dangerous. Worse still, in the early 1800s armorers changed from skilled craftsmen - creating unique handcrafted weapons - into wage laborers tending machines for less . . . — Map (db m23491) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Morrell House
This house was built in 1858 as quarters for the U.S. Armory paymaster's clerk and his family. This clerk helped the paymaster manage the armory's complex budget and payroll, and assisted also with the collection of government quarters' rent and . . . — Map (db m70750) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Mountains, Men, and Maneuvers
Confederate Major General “Stonewall” Jackson could not see this view. His lower vantage on Schoolhouse Ridge, 1000 yards upriver, blocked his sight of this strategic position. Yet Jackson remembered this farm from his time as . . . — Map (db m5892) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — My Favorite Boat
The metal boat frame to your right is a replica of a collapsible boat built here for Lewis and Clark. Menwether Lewis came to the armory in 1803 to prepare for an epic cross-continent journey and oversee the construction and testing of the boat. . . . — Map (db m20526) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Nathan Cook BrackettJuly 28, 1836 - July 20, 1910
Founder of Storer College — Map (db m70760) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Pilgrimage
In July 1896, members of the National League of Colored Women traveled here from Washington, D.C. and posed for their picture in front of John Brown’s Fort. The women came to pay homage to Brown and his raiders, establishing a pilgrimage tradition . . . — Map (db m8317) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Power of the Potomac
The Potomac River races east past you with enough mountain-carving power to punch through the entire Blue Ridge to your right. Such energy easily powered the entire national armory from the early 1800s until 1861. Diverted by a dam upstream, river . . . — Map (db m20536) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Prize of War
Harpers Ferry was much sought by North and South, 1861-1865. Its garrison of 12,000 Union troops was captured by an army of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson, Sept. 15, 1862, on way to join Lee at Antietam. The Catholic Church was used as Federal hospital. — Map (db m2935) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Protecting the Supply Lines
"...make all the valleys south of the Baltimore and Ohio [rail]road a desert as high up as possible...so that crows flying over it [Virginia] for the balance of the season will have to carry their provisions with them." Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. . . . — Map (db m5370) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Pvt Luke QuinnIn Memory Of
Only Marine killed in John Brown's Raid - October 18, 1859 Pvt Luke Quinn came from Ireland in 1835, and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1855 in Brooklyn, NY. He was sent to sea duty, then transferred to Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. He . . . — Map (db m70780) HM WM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Racing West
On this spot in 1838 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) pulled into the lead in the race for transportation industry dominance with the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (C&O). Denied across to the Maryland side of the river, the B&O struck a deal with the . . . — Map (db m23415) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Railroads
Trains clanking along iron rails have echoed through Virginius Island since the Winchester & Potomac Railroad arrived here in 1836. It extended from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad junction at Harpers Ferry 32 miles southward to Winchester. The W&P . . . — Map (db m18981) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Rats in a Cage
The Union army refused to give up. Frustrated by the Federals' stronghold on Bolivar Heights, "Stonewall" Jackson ordered cannons to the mountain tops and nearby plateaus. Pounded by a day and a morning of Confederate bombardment, Union soldiers . . . — Map (db m5391) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Revolutionary War Soldier
Revolutionary War Soldier William Broadus Born 1755 Died October 5, 1830 Lieutenant in the First Virginia Regiment Commanded by Colonel George Gibson Marker placed by General Adam Stephen Chapter, NSSAR and Virginia Society, NSSAR . . . — Map (db m103454) HM WM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Riley House1826
Built in 1826 as a private residence, this Federal style house was acquired by the War Department in 1837 and became U.S. Armory dwelling No. 55. Jefferson Davis signed the deed in 1852 when the government sold the house to Armory worker James . . . — Map (db m103455) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — River Wall
The Harpers Ferry & Shenandoah Manufacturing Company built this stone wall about 1848 as part of the hydraulic system for its two cotton mils and other shops downstream. This extensive retaining wall formed part of the berm separating the inner . . . — Map (db m18944) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Shenandoah Canal
In 1806, workmen with hand tools widened and deepened this channel for cargo boats to bypass, or "skirt," the rapids in the Shenandoah River. Linked with many other skirting canals" en route to Washington, D.C., this passage became part of the . . . — Map (db m18988) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Shenandoah Pulp Factory
In 1877-1888, on the former site of the Shenandoah Canal's lower locks, Thomas Savery erected this large mill to provide wood pulp for the paper industry. Ten turbines, arranged in pairs in the mill's five massive sluiceways, powered wood grinders, . . . — Map (db m18985) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Shenandoah River
The power of the Shenandoah River once made Virginius Island valuable real estate. Armory Superintendent James Stubblefield purchased the island in 1824 for $15,000. Two months later he almost doubled his investment by selling the island as four . . . — Map (db m18816) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Shenandoah Street about 1880
(Photo of the buildings along Shenandoah Street about 1880)Map (db m18788) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Sheridan Dug In
In August 1864 Harpers Ferry was again a Union stronghold. Union General Philip Sheridan and his men built this redoubt—the earthwork in front of you—as fortification against the Confederates. Sheridan’s objective was to stop the . . . — Map (db m5896) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Sheridan Fortifications
In August 1864, Gen. U.S. Grant ordered Gen. Phillip Sheridan to construct earth fortifications on Bolivar Heights. These forts faced northwest to protect against Confederate movements down the Shenandoah Valley to Harpers Ferry. This Sheridan . . . — Map (db m5863) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Short-lived Sanctuary
Thousands of enslaved people fled to the Union lines at Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. Some of them found shelter in the "contraband camp" located near here in the shadow of John Brown's Fort. Their freedom and safety were always in jeopardy. . . . — Map (db m20491) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Six Acres That Changed the World
Along this path lie the remains of revolutions. Six acres of the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry have been reduced to rubble. Buildings that buzzed with activity and innovation now lie covered with dirt. Train tracks that pushed to the edge of a new . . . — Map (db m20475) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Springhouses and Root Cellars
These small caves carved into the shale cliffside at one time served as springhouses and root cellars for the residents of this block. The cooler subsurface temperatures of a root cellar helped preserve herbs, vegetables, and fruits in the days . . . — Map (db m18755) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — St. John's Episcopal Church
These weathered ruins are all that remain of St. John's Episcopal Church - one of Harpers Ferry's five earliest churches. Built in 1852 with money provided by church fairs, St. John's served as a hospital and barracks during the Civil War and . . . — Map (db m18790) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — St. John's Lutheran ChurchAlarm Bell at Dawn
The Reverend Doctor Josiah P. Smeltzer laid the cornerstone of St. John's Lutheran Church on April 30, 1850. The building was completed two years later and dedicated on August 1, 1852. Little more than seven years had passed when, at dawn on . . . — Map (db m70794) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church
Construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad produced an influx of Irish laborers into the Harpers Ferry area during the early 1830's. St. Peter's Catholic Church, completed in 1833, symbolizes America's melting . . . — Map (db m18789) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Stephen Tyng MatherJuly 4, 1867 - Jan. 22, 1930
He laid the foundation of the National Park Service. Defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done. — Map (db m70831) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters
This residence was used as headquarters by Confederate General T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson while stationed in the area during the Civil War — Map (db m2942) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Storer College
That was the happiest time of my life. Storer alumna Ruby Reeler Female students arriving here at the Cook Hall dormitory were greeted with a welcoming letter that advised them, “Here you will come as a refuge from the . . . — Map (db m70830) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Storer College 1867-1955Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Thousands of blacks seeking refuge from slavery and protection behind Union lines fled to Harpers Ferry during the Civil War. Recognizing the importance of education for former slaves, the government’s Freedmen’s Bureau began a school here in . . . — Map (db m96461) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Storer College Veterans Memorial Gate
. . . — Map (db m70812) WM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Struggle to the Heights
Consider dragging 2,000-pound cannon up this ravine—at night. General A.P. Hill’s Confederates faced that task during the second night of battle. The assignment was essential to “Stonewall” Jackson’s plan to flank the Union army on . . . — Map (db m5889) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Sweets for Harpers Ferry
The enticing smell of bread, cakes, candies, and pies undoubtedly attracted many customers to Frederick Roeder's Confectionery, making it a prosperous business from 1845 to 1861. In addition to his store, it is reported that he carried small pies to . . . — Map (db m25151) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Abatis
During the construction of this fort, many of the trees which were located directly in front of these embankments were felled forming an “abatis”. This timber obstruction slowed the advance of the attacking forces so that snipers, . . . — Map (db m5872) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Appalachian Trail and Benton MacKaye
The American Institute of Certified Planners has designated The Appalachian Trail as a National Planning Landmark and Benton MacKaye as a National Planning Pioneer Conceived by Benton MacKaye in 1921 as a walking trail from New . . . — Map (db m70787) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Black Americans

In memory of The Black Americans who fought here for freedom from human slavery

June, 1976 — Map (db m103575) HM

West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Confederate Perspective
"General J.R. Jones was directed to make a demonstration against the enemy's right." Jackson's official report Confederate Colonel Edmund Pendleton wrote about the night of September 14, 1862, from his perspective across the road on School . . . — Map (db m7796) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The First Line of Defense: The Union Skirmish Line
After sunset on September 14, 1862, the Confederate cannons across the road on School House Ridge vanished in the darkness. The features of the landscape began to blur as the shell-shocked Union soldiers on Bolivar Heights wondered if they could . . . — Map (db m5394) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The First Year of the War
"The people for the most part were tongue-tied with terror...overwhelmed with ruin..." Porte Crayon, war correspondent April 18, 1861 The armory and arsenal's destruction signaled the beginning of the war and the end of prosperity in . . . — Map (db m5393) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Harpers Ferry Bandstand
The Harpers Ferry Town Bandstand or Gazebo was originally one of the structures on Island Park. This amusement park was created and operated by the B&O Railroad from 1879 to 1909 on Byrne Island in the Potomac River just below the Hilltop House. . . . — Map (db m2936) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Iron Horse Wins
Work on the railroad and canal progressed slowly at first, but by 1834 both companies had completed construction to a point opposite Harpers Ferry. The canal had won the race to this point and it continued up the Maryland side of the Potomac. The . . . — Map (db m12062) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The John Brown Raiders
This plaque is dedicated to the John Brown raiders, a group of men led by John Brown who, at Harpers Ferry on October 17, 1859 struck a blow against slavery.

Killed at Harpers Ferry Jeremiah Anderson • Oliver Brown • Watson Brown • John . . . — Map (db m103497) HM

West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Moler Family
The Moler Family of Jefferson County, West Virginia. In this cemetery are buried George Adam Moler (1714–1783) and his wife Eve. George Adam Moler came to American on Aug. 29, 1730 with his father Ludwig Mohler, settling first in . . . — Map (db m1962) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Mule Falters
As the railroad streaked westward from Harpers Ferry, the C&O Canal fell hopelessly behind in the race for Ohio. Burdened by a lack of building supplies and a scarcity of skilled labor, the canal encountered serious financial problems and did not . . . — Map (db m12064) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Murphy Farm
Established 1869 Alexander Murphy 1840-1931 Mollie M. Murphy 1869-1945 Mary Murphy 1834-1908 William J. Murphy 1872-1931 Historical events on the Farm: Battle of Harpers Ferry September 13-15, 1862 General Philip Sheridan's Fortification August . . . — Map (db m13275) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Niagara Movement
Here, on August 15-19, 1906, on the Storer College campus, the Niagara Movement held their first open and public meeting on American soil. Organized by W.E.B. Du Bois and others a year earlier in Erie Beach, Ontario, Canada, the Niagara Movement . . . — Map (db m2937) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Niagara Movement at Storer College
The battle we wage is not for ourselves alone but for all true Americans. W.E.B. DuBois In 1906, the Niagara Movement held its second annual meeting on the Storer College campus. The Niagara Movement was the first national . . . — Map (db m70829) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — 2 — The Point — Meriwether Lewis at Harpers Ferry
Today's view of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers passing through the water gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains has changed little from Meriwether Lewis' view in 1803. Lewis hoped to find a similar, accessible trade route on rivers passing through the . . . — Map (db m18801) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Race to the Ohio
Rail transportation in the United States began in Baltimore, Maryland on July 4, 1828, when Charles Carroll, the only living signer of the Declaration of Independence, laid the cornerstone of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad On the same day President . . . — Map (db m12060) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — The Trap Closes
"General Hill, charge and give them the bayonet." Major Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson September 15, 1862 Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill's division received orders from Stonewall Jackson to flank the Federal left on . . . — Map (db m12057) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Trail to Upper Harpers Ferry
Townspeople hand-carved these steps into the cliff early in the 1820's to gain easier access to homes and churches in the upper town. The rock cliff is composed of Harper's shale and you will find it scattered throughout the Harpers Ferry . . . — Map (db m13299) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Union Skirmish Line
Union troops on the crest and slope of Bolivar Heights to the East were attacked by Confederates lead by Gen. Jackson from School House Ridge to the West on 14 Sept. 1862. Private Paylor, Co. D., 111th NY, recalled this as "an awful fight." This . . . — Map (db m2944) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Virginia Lodge No. 1The Independent Order of Odd Fellows

The brick house in front of you was once part of the United States Armory complex. Prominent Armory officials lived along this street. During the Civil War, Union soldiers camped and drilled here. Inside the house they scrawled their names on . . . — Map (db m103605) HM

West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Virginius Island TrailA Town Lost in History
In the shadow of the United States Armory at Harpers Ferry, private industry thrived. Across this canal is Virginius Island, site of a town that once bustled with pre-Civil War businesses and the activities of 200 people. Built along the banks of . . . — Map (db m18808) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Water Tunnels
Tunnels increased power. Here water from the inner basin, located off to your right, flowed through a series of underground passages. With openings smaller at the downstream end - like a nozzle on a garden hose - these tunnels increased the water's . . . — Map (db m18942) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — We Began Firing At Will: The 111th New York Regiment
"We went below and formed in line of battle and laid down on our arms. Sleep was out of the question but of course, human nature will succumb and drowsiness was general among the boys. It must have been nine O'Clock or more by this time. All of a . . . — Map (db m5396) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — Welcome to St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church
High above the storied town of Harpers Ferry, with the tranquil waters of the Shenandoah River flowing just below, sits historic St. Peter’s Church. Deeply rooted in the rich history of the Church in West Virginia, the Civil war, and one of the . . . — Map (db m103506) HM
West Virginia (Jefferson County), Harpers Ferry — White Hall Tavern
Located directly across from the U.S. Armory, the White Hall Tavern was an 1850's community gathering place, where white males debated politics; discussed local events; and protested armory management, wages and layoffs. The tavern's close proximity . . . — Map (db m18667) HM

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