Jefferson County Museum

Jefferson County Museum Visit the Jefferson County Museum to discover the people and events that helped shape our county's and nation's history.
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The Jefferson County Museum is located in historic downtown Charles Town and shares a building with its partner organization, the Charles Town Library. Since its founding in 1965, the museum has been dedicated to fostering the understanding and love of history. The museum is committed to the acquisition, preservation, and exhibition of objects of historical value and relevance to the county and the region. Our permanent exhibits include Early Settlement and the Washingtons, John Brown's Raid and the Civil War, People and Industries, and Jefferson County Photos: Then and Now. We add new exhibits to our gallery each winter, and reveal these when we reopen to the public in the early spring.

Mission: The Jefferson County Museum is dedicated to fostering the understanding and love of history. The museum is committed to the acquisition, preservation, and exhibition of objects of historical value and relevance to the county and the region.

#FlashbackFriday to a group of women—Mrs. W. W. Coe, Bessie Travers, Sara Coe, and Mrs. Travers Coe—and an unidentified ...
08/07/2020

#FlashbackFriday to a group of women—Mrs. W. W. Coe, Bessie Travers, Sara Coe, and Mrs. Travers Coe—and an unidentified man in front of an Oakland car, ca. early 20th century.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty #historicalspotlight

Our #objectoftheday is a collection of cardboard dollhouses, c. early 20th century. Each dollhouse consists of eight to ...
08/05/2020

Our #objectoftheday is a collection of cardboard dollhouses, c. early 20th century. Each dollhouse consists of eight to ten cardboard pieces taped and folded together to create a three-dimensional structure. Printed on the cardboard are various buildings showing scenes of people, shrubbery, and children playing.

Foldable dollhouses were popular in the early 20th century. Toy manufacturing companies could easily and cheaply produce them and children could easily set up and later safely store their creations at the end of playtime.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! This photo, ca. 1900s, shows an advertisement on the side of a buildi...
07/30/2020

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! This photo, ca. 1900s, shows an advertisement on the side of a building for Brown’s Ice Cream Parlor.

Brothers Theodore and Gus Brown owned Brown’s Ice Cream Parlor located on West Washington Street in Charles Town. It was the only store to make and sell ice cream in a variety of flavors.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

#DYK the museum is currently open by appointment, Thursdays and Fridays! Set an appointment at least 24 hours in advance...
07/28/2020

#DYK the museum is currently open by appointment, Thursdays and Fridays! Set an appointment at least 24 hours in advance by calling 304-725-8628 between 11 am and 4 pm, Monday – Saturday.

Visit our website at https://jeffcomuseumwv.org/ for more information about our operating procedures during COVID-19.

#FlashbackFriday to two men and three boys at Camp Never Again in August 1928. The camp was on the east side of the Shen...
07/24/2020

#FlashbackFriday to two men and three boys at Camp Never Again in August 1928. The camp was on the east side of the Shenandoah River, near a stream and the iron furnace at Shannondale Springs.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty #camp

Need a cold beverage on this hot day? This large tin insulated cooler #fromourcollection has a spigot for dispensing wat...
07/21/2020

Need a cold beverage on this hot day? This large tin insulated cooler #fromourcollection has a spigot for dispensing water or tea. The inside is lined with white porcelain to retain cold.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Then: Page-Jackson High School Now: Jefferson County Board of EducationThe Page-Jackson High School on Mordington Avenue...
07/17/2020

Then: Page-Jackson High School
Now: Jefferson County Board of Education

The Page-Jackson High School on Mordington Avenue opened in 1951 for African American students in grades 9 – 12 and later grades 7 – 8. The school was named in 1966 for two long-time educators in the county, Littleton L. Page and Philip Jackson. The building was renovated with a new brick façade in 1979 as home for the Jefferson County Board of Education.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

This week’s #MysteryObject is made entirely of wood with a small cut-out in the center and notches around each end. Can ...
07/14/2020

This week’s #MysteryObject is made entirely of wood with a small cut-out in the center and notches around each end. Can you guess what it was used for?

#FlashbackFriday to the Ford dealership on Liberty and Samuel Streets in Charles Town. The two houses on the right were ...
07/10/2020

#FlashbackFriday to the Ford dealership on Liberty and Samuel Streets in Charles Town. The two houses on the right were demolished in the 1970s to make way for the current Charles Town Library and Jefferson County Museum parking lot.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty #Ford

Our #objectoftheday is a Smith and Wesson pocket pistol with a decorative ivory handle. If you look closely, you can als...
07/07/2020

Our #objectoftheday is a Smith and Wesson pocket pistol with a decorative ivory handle. If you look closely, you can also see the elaborate scroll engraving on the barrel and frame.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Happy Fourth of July!! We hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day!
07/04/2020

Happy Fourth of July!! We hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day!

**ATTENTION**The Jefferson County Museum is pleased to announce it is reopening by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays,...
06/30/2020

**ATTENTION**

The Jefferson County Museum is pleased to announce it is reopening by appointment on Thursdays and Fridays, starting July 16.

The museum is complying with the Centers for Disease Control recommendations for slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus by opening under the following conditions:

• Visitors set appointments at least 24 hours in advance by
calling 304-725-8628 between 11 am and 4 pm, Monday
– Saturday.
• Up to six visitors are permitted in the museum at a time,
except eight are allowed if from a single household.
• Visitors agree to a safety code of conduct: to wear
masks, distance six feet or more from others, refrain from
touching museum surfaces or artifacts, use hand
sanitizer before entering, and ensure that any
accompanying children adhere to the code of conduct.
• The admission fee of $4 for adults is waived, but
donations are greatly appreciated.
• No public restrooms are available.

Because of the uniqueness of the situation caused by this pandemic, the museum will remain flexible and make changes to its operating plan as needed. Changes will be announced on the museum’s website and social media accounts.

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo
06/30/2020

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo
06/30/2020

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo

We hope your Friday can be as happy as hers! This photograph #fromourcollection shows Catherine Rutherford Packette, 15 ...
06/26/2020

We hope your Friday can be as happy as hers! This photograph #fromourcollection shows Catherine Rutherford Packette, 15 months old, circa April 1919.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Jefferson County Museum
06/19/2020

Jefferson County Museum

Like other fraternal organizations in 1920, the American Legion was segregated. Twelve of the 108 West Virginia Posts were established by African American veterans.

On September 25, 1929, African American veterans established a post in Charles Town called Loyal Afro-American Post 63 (named after an earlier post in Martinsburg active from 1919 to 1925). The name of Post 63 was later changed to Green-Copeland American Legion Post 63 to honor Shields Green and John Copeland, Jr., two of the five African American men who joined John Brown in attempting to capture the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry as a revolt against slavery in 1859.

The Green-Copeland American Legion Post 63 held its meetings at Star Lodge (pictured below) and was active for more than four decades. When membership began to decline, the Post’s charter was cancelled, and remaining members joined the Marshall-Holley-Mason American Legion Post 102 headquartered in Kearneysville.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty #juneteenth

Like other fraternal organizations in 1920, the American Legion was segregated. Twelve of the 108 West Virginia Posts we...
06/19/2020

Like other fraternal organizations in 1920, the American Legion was segregated. Twelve of the 108 West Virginia Posts were established by African American veterans.

On September 25, 1929, African American veterans established a post in Charles Town called Loyal Afro-American Post 63 (named after an earlier post in Martinsburg active from 1919 to 1925). The name of Post 63 was later changed to Green-Copeland American Legion Post 63 to honor Shields Green and John Copeland, Jr., two of the five African American men who joined John Brown in attempting to capture the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry as a revolt against slavery in 1859.

The Green-Copeland American Legion Post 63 held its meetings at Star Lodge (pictured below) and was active for more than four decades. When membership began to decline, the Post’s charter was cancelled, and remaining members joined the Marshall-Holley-Mason American Legion Post 102 headquartered in Kearneysville.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty #juneteenth

This glass beer bottle #fromourcollection is from the Harpers Ferry Brewing Company, c. 1890s. The bottle was donated to...
06/16/2020

This glass beer bottle #fromourcollection is from the Harpers Ferry Brewing Company, c. 1890s. The bottle was donated to the museum after being found in pieces in the stairwell of the old stone building behind St. Peter’s Church in Harpers Ferry. The fragments of the bottle were carefully pieced together, revealing a small bullet hole at the top left of the bottle.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

#FlashbackFriday to an early photo of what would become the Page Jackson High School graduating class of 1953. The schoo...
06/12/2020

#FlashbackFriday to an early photo of what would become the Page Jackson High School graduating class of 1953. The school was founded in 1938 as the first black high school in Jefferson County.

Photo is courtesy of Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

It’s time for the #MysteryObject of the week! Do you know what this apparatus was used for? #localhistory #JeffersonCoun...
06/09/2020

It’s time for the #MysteryObject of the week! Do you know what this apparatus was used for?

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

This National cash register #fromourcollection was used in C. T. Shugart’s store at the corner of Charles and West Washi...
06/05/2020

This National cash register #fromourcollection was used in C. T. Shugart’s store at the corner of Charles and West Washington Streets in Charles Town in the early 20th century. Note the four wooden drawers marked “A, B, D, and E.” The “C” drawer was not used to avoid confusion, since typically the letter C stood for cash or cash drawer.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Then: German Street in Shepherdstown, circa 1920. Now: German Street in Shepherdstown, 2014 #DYK you can view our Then &...
06/03/2020

Then: German Street in Shepherdstown, circa 1920.
Now: German Street in Shepherdstown, 2014

#DYK you can view our Then & Now photo exhibits featuring public businesses, churches, schools, and more in Jefferson County at http://jeffcomuseumwv.org/virtual_exhibit/index.htm

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Time for some fun and games! This tin seesaw #fromourcollection operated by pouring sand in the funnel in the center. Sa...
05/27/2020

Time for some fun and games! This tin seesaw #fromourcollection operated by pouring sand in the funnel in the center. Sand would fill up one side, drain out, and then fill up the other side. The toy was made by J. Chein & Co., circa 1930.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

#FlashbackFriday to the Spirit of Jefferson printing office, located at 110 East Washington Street in Charles Town. Aisq...
05/22/2020

#FlashbackFriday to the Spirit of Jefferson printing office, located at 110 East Washington Street in Charles Town. Aisquith & Company Pharmacists can be seen on the left. Photograph undated.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo
05/20/2020

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo
05/20/2020

Jefferson County Museum's cover photo

History sleuths! Can you guess what today’s #MysteryObject was used for?
05/19/2020

History sleuths! Can you guess what today’s #MysteryObject was used for?

Congratulations to all the graduates of Jefferson County this year!Let's #FlashbackFriday to two graduates of St. Hilda’...
05/15/2020

Congratulations to all the graduates of Jefferson County this year!

Let's #FlashbackFriday to two graduates of St. Hilda’s Hall. Margaret Beverley Taylor or Julianna Taylor on right.

St. Hilda’s Hall was a school for girls opened by the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese in 1915. The building formerly housed the Powhatan College for Young Women (between 1900 to 1913) and Hotel Powhatan (between 1891 to 1900). St. Hilda’s closed in 1931 and the building burned to the ground in 1937.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

#DYK though the museum may currently be closed due to COVID-19, you can view our collection online! Search the museum’s ...
05/12/2020
Jefferson County Museum : Online Collections

#DYK though the museum may currently be closed due to COVID-19, you can view our collection online! Search the museum’s collection of objects, images, documents, and publications through our online collection database at http://jeffcomuseumwv.pastperfectonline.com.

Browse through uniforms, business products, household objects, weaponry, photographs, and documents, including business and legal records, correspondence, deeds and plats, maps, diaries, pamphlets, newspapers, and school yearbooks.

This database provides access to the Jefferson County Museum's collection of objects, photographs, archives, and published material related to the history of the county.

Shaken not stirred!  This silver-plated cocktail shaker and accompanying tumblers belonged to Franklin Waters Trapnell, ...
05/08/2020

Shaken not stirred! This silver-plated cocktail shaker and accompanying tumblers belonged to Franklin Waters Trapnell, who ordered the set while working undercover for the CIA. His job was to ferret out scientists from behind Iron Curtain countries and send them to the United States.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Paradise was an antebellum home located on the west side of the 100 block of North George Street in Charles Town. Built ...
05/05/2020

Paradise was an antebellum home located on the west side of the 100 block of North George Street in Charles Town. Built before the Civil War, the house had a number of amenities including a cistern, wood-house, stable, carriage house, and corn crib. In addition to its amenities, someone built a two-story stone office building on the north side of Paradise, known locally as the Paradise Law Building.

In 1860, attorney Lawson Botts owned Paradise and operated an office in the Paradise Law Building. Botts established a precedent. When attorney Isaac Fouke purchased Paradise, he also took an office at the Paradise Building. In 1874, Fouke decided to offer office space to professionals other than attorneys. He made repairs—replaced the old leaking roof and laid a brick sidewalk along George Street to the corner of Liberty Street.

Paradise made it to the 20th century, but new brick walls and the mansard roof could not hide its lack of modern conveniences. After Fouke’s death in 1887, the house passed hands between family members until eventually the property was sold to Captain Henry Clay Getzendanner who tore down Paradise in 1910.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty #Paradise

05/01/2020
African American Women's Experiences in Jefferson County: 1930s to 1960s

Did you miss our panel discussion, “African American Women’s Experiences in Jefferson County: 1930s to 1960s,” last October? You can watch a recording of the event below. And explore our YouTube page for more videos!

Recording of panel discussion, "African American Women's Experiences in Jefferson County: 1930s to 1960s," at the Jefferson County Museum on October 26, 2019.

Between 1918 and 1919, an influenza pandemic spread around the world infecting approximately one-third of the world’s on...
04/29/2020

Between 1918 and 1919, an influenza pandemic spread around the world infecting approximately one-third of the world’s one and a half billion inhabitants. Jefferson County was not immune to this infection.

In October 1918, the Shepherdstown Register reported that “the influenza seems to have first appeared in our community.” Town mayors quickly responded in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. Mayors shut down local schools. Churches suspended conducting funerals. Businesses closed early.

The health system was overwhelmed. Charles Town General Hospital, serving all of Jefferson County, was full of sick people. But most who were stricken stayed at home, forcing doctors and health care workers to navigate mostly unpaved roads as they traveled from house to house tending to dozens of patients daily.

Just as quickly as the influenza appeared, it seemed to diminish. After four weeks of quarantine, schools reopened. Churches opened their doors. Merchants could stay open on Saturday nights as long as they wanted to. Things returned to normal.

However, just a few weeks later, the influenza swept through the county once again. Instead of a general quarantine for the entire county, the Board of Health asked only for those sick to quarantine in their homes. Nevertheless, by the end of 1918, almost every household in Jefferson County was touched by the influenza.

Photograph shows an emergency hospital during influenza epidemic, Camp Funston, Kansas. Courtesy of Otis Historical Archives, National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Our #ObjectoftheDay is a small, bound notebook, ca. 1890. Do you notice anything odd about the front cover? It’s actuall...
04/28/2020

Our #ObjectoftheDay is a small, bound notebook, ca. 1890. Do you notice anything odd about the front cover? It’s actually a wooden engraving that has been cut and textured to appear like natural wood! The engraving overlays the original red leather cover of the notebook.

Celebrate #EarthDay with a nice picnic under the trees! This watercolor, ca. 1825, shows a view of Shannondale Springs a...
04/22/2020

Celebrate #EarthDay with a nice picnic under the trees! This watercolor, ca. 1825, shows a view of Shannondale Springs and the Shenandoah River.

#localhistory #JeffersonCounty

Address

200 E Washington St
Charles Town, WV
25414

General information

JEFFERSON COUNTY MUSEUM CLOSED In light of recent federal and state emergency declarations regarding COVID-19, the Jefferson County Museum is closed indefinitely. We regret not being able to welcome you to the museum and hope you will visit again once restrictions are lifted. In the interim, to contact museum staff with research questions or other matters, please use staff email addresses posted here. To view our collection, visit our Online Collection Database. Open Tues through Sat 11am to 4pm Regular admission: Adults - $4 Children (under 18) - Free Students (with ID) - Free Members of the Charles Town Library - Free

Opening Hours

Tuesday 11:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 11:00 - 16:00
Thursday 11:00 - 16:00
Friday 11:00 - 16:00
Saturday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(304) 725-8628

Alerts

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Category

About the Jefferson County Museum

The Jefferson County Museum is located in historic downtown Charles Town and shares a building with its partner organization, the Charles Town Library. Since its founding in 1965, the museum has been dedicated to fostering the understanding and love of history. The museum is committed to the acquisition, preservation, and exhibition of objects of historical value and relevance to the county and the region. Our permanent exhibits include Early Settlement and the Washingtons, John Brown's Raid and the Civil War, People and Industries, and Jefferson County Photos: Then and Now. We add new exhibits to our gallery each winter, and reveal these when we reopen to the public in the early spring.

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Comments

#tdih (Oct. 16, 1859) Remembering John Brown’s raid on the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. His soul is marching on!
I am coming for a visit Friday...can't wait to see the new layout!
His soul is (still) marching on! John Brown musical tribute- https://soundcloud.com/user660132316/glory-glory-john-brown-tribute
Thanks for inviting me to join. The "sometimes" boyfriend has a second home in Shepherdstown. We really like it up there. 💞😇
Thanks for hosting a wonderful evening for us last night, and for everyone who attended. Two of our guest speakers collaborated on this delightful rendition of "Cotton Eye Joe."
Info on Vestal Bloomery:
CALL FOR EASTERN PANHANDLE COMMUNITY INFO 100,000 Poets For Change Sat, Sept 30th, 10AM-3PM The Timber Frame Folly, Shepherdstown ...is providing a COMMUNITY TABLE for info - brochures, rack cards, flyers... Please submit the your organization’s material with a ROCK to hold secure against breezes (business cards can be placed in baggie) DROP OFF: PANERA, Ranson, Thursday, Sept 28th, 4 -5 PM Or CONTACT: for other arrangements - [email protected] Thanks.