Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Welcome to the official page for Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. This page is maintained by National Park Service employees at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/hafe
(2767)

Park Mailing Address: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park P.O. Box 65 Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

The Month of May is Wildland Fire Awareness month. National parks do prescribed burns as a way to control the underbrush...
05/11/2020

The Month of May is Wildland Fire Awareness month. National parks do prescribed burns as a way to control the underbrush, and thereby lessen the chance of out of control wild fires. Battlefield parks, including our neighbors at Manassas, Antietam, and Gettysburg, also use prescribed burns to maintain their historic landscapes. For more on wildland fire go to nps.gov/subjects/fire/wildland-fire-subject.htm ~sm and elk #WildfireAwareness

05/10/2020
Home hearth cooking

Ranger Stan got in on the #QuarantineCooking craze. Here he shows how to use 19th century style hearth cooking. (He's even in his 19th century style living history clothes). Look for special guest appearances by Bark Rangers Quin and Quiggly.

#NationalTrainDay  Since 1834, the people of Harpers Ferry have been able to travel by rail. The Baltimore and Ohio Rail...
05/09/2020

#NationalTrainDay Since 1834, the people of Harpers Ferry have been able to travel by rail. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad arrived just across the Potomac that year, and the Winchester and Potomac Railroad came into the town the following year. In 1837, the B&O crossed the river and the two railroads formed a junction out at the Point. Since that time and with very few breaks, the Iron Horse has carried travelers, tourists, soldiers, coal, automobiles, and so much more through the water gap. To this day, visitors (and a few park rangers) are enamored by these massive machines that come thundering through the mountain. Photographer Carl H. Claudy described the wonder of the trains at the Ferry in a 1907 travel guide: “If you are subject to the magic of the mountains, no words of mine are necessary to make you appreciate Harper’s Ferry, that loveliest of spots where three states meet…where the echoes of the weird screeching train-whistles of demons, single eyed at night, crash from Maryland Heights on the one side, to Loudoun Heights on the other, across both valleys, the plateau of Harper’s Ferry and the town…” Trains have changed a lot since Claudy described them rumbling through the Ferry over a hundred years ago, but their fascination to young and old alike has not. Modern horns still echo off the sides of the mountains, and we might also add the squeal of the trains traveling along the old Winchester & Potomac trestle, creating a sort of music to the majestic scenery.

Did you see the #supermoon last night? Share your pictures here. (NPSphoto/SMcgee)
05/08/2020

Did you see the #supermoon last night? Share your pictures here. (NPSphoto/SMcgee)

For teacher appreciation week, a special shout out from Harpers Ferry NHP to one of our rangers who is also a teacher, S...
05/08/2020

For teacher appreciation week, a special shout out from Harpers Ferry NHP to one of our rangers who is also a teacher, Sam W. A seasonal since 2017, Sam helped lead the park's celebration of Storer College's 150th anniversary—honoring educators at that important institution. Share with us how you #ThankATeacher ~GB & IW

#ThankATeacher "giving light and learning through young minds” - Storer College President Dr. Richard McKinney.This Teac...
05/07/2020

#ThankATeacher "giving light and learning through young minds” - Storer College President Dr. Richard McKinney.

This Teacher Appreciation Week, we honor Dr. Richard I. McKinney. Dr. McKinney was the first African American president of Storer College (1944 – 1950) in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Dr. McKinney once said, “Storer College was a place where the young black men and women in a segregated society could get an education...This school stands for emphasis upon giving light and learning through young minds."

Born August 8, 1908, in Live Oak, Florida, Richard McKinney grew up in the segregated south. McKinney’s determination and thirst for knowledge propelled him to a career of academic achievements from earning an AB degree in religion and philosophy from Morehouse College in 1931 to earning a PhD in the philosophy of higher education from Yale University in 1942. A whirlwind year of post - doctoral work led McKinney through the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.

In 1944, at the age of 38, Dr. Richard I. McKinney accepted an offer to become president of Storer College, a predominately African American school in Harpers Ferry. Storer College was a freedman’s school established by northern missionaries in 1867, just two years after the conclusion of the Civil War. Dr. McKinney was not only the first African American president in Storer College’s history but also the first school president to hold an academic doctoral degree.
Dr. Richard I. McKinney dealt with problems at the school ranging from fund raising to local racist attitudes but worked hard to expand Storer’s curriculum and construct new school facilities. Despite these demands, Dr. McKinney was universally beloved by Storer’s student body. He attended many coed social events, established a local chapter of the NAACP on campus, and formed a Student Government Association to encourage students to take an active role in plotting the future direction of the school.

After leaving Storer College in 1950, Dr. Richard I. McKinney accepted a teaching position at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and founded and chaired the school’s Department of Philosophy. Dr. McKinney retired in 1978 but continued teach philosophy part time at Morgan State well into his nineties. Dr. McKinney died at the age of 99 on October 28, 2005.

Storer College produced many stellar teachers throughout its history but none as trail blazing as Dr. Richard I. McKinney. We salute and thank Dr. McKinney and all educators this week during Teacher Appreciation Week! ~CW & ELK

#ThankATeacher “I am in love with my work” – teacher Sarah Jane FosterDid your teacher ever face death or dishonor just ...
05/06/2020

#ThankATeacher “I am in love with my work” – teacher Sarah Jane Foster

Did your teacher ever face death or dishonor just to teach?

Immediately after the Civil War ended, teachers, like missionary Sarah Jane Foster, rushed to the South to teach the recently freed people. At times, the local white residents’ reaction to her and her students caused Sarah to fear for her safety: “Mr. Hoke seriously advised me to stay away from school tonight. He says that the roughs are terribly exasperated because I walked with Mr. Hopewell [an African American freedman].” Her behavior was questioned and eventually censured. In April, Foster was transferred to Harpers Ferry to finish out the school year at Storer College. The following summer she received word that the Freewill Baptist Home Mission Society had revoked her teaching commission.
In 1867, the American Missionary Association offered her a position in South Carolina in a remote area. One year later, Sarah contracted and died of yellow fever. Sarah Jane Foster, like her fellow teachers, faced severe physical and social hardships while educating freedmen. Despite difficult conditions, she once wrote home, “I am in love with my work.”
Read more about it in “Sarah Jane Foster Teacher of the Freedmen: The Diary and Letters of a Maine Woman in the South After the Civil War”
(Library of Congress image, "[Sarah Jane Foster, Reconstruction missionary teacher to freedpeople at Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia]") ~MD & elk

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. We honor the teachers of Storer College.  From 1867 to 1955 generations of teach...
05/05/2020

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. We honor the teachers of Storer College. From 1867 to 1955 generations of teachers—African American and white—lived and worked together educating Storer College students in Harpers Ferry. #ThankATeacher #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque
(Image information: “Group Portrait of Storer College Faculty, Harpers Ferry, W. Va.”; hosted by the West Virginia & Regional History Center) ~elk

Meteor Showers and a "Supermoon", it's an exciting week for celestial events. In the early morning hours just before  da...
05/04/2020
The Next Full Moon Is a "Supermoon" Flower Moon – NASA Solar System Exploration

Meteor Showers and a "Supermoon", it's an exciting week for celestial events. In the early morning hours just before dawn on Tuesday, May 5th the Eta Aquarid meteor shower could produce between ten and thirty meteors. This meteor shower is caused by rock and debris trailing behind Halley’s Comet. In addition, in the early morning hours before dawn on Thursday, May 7th, the final “supermoon” of this year will be visible in the sky. A large supermoon occurs when the moon comes closest to Earth on its elliptical monthly orbit. This supermoon is also called the “Super Flower Moon” as it is the fifth full moon of the year when flowers start to bloom in the spring. Remember to scan the skies the next few mornings to take in these wonders of nature! ~CW

The next full Moon will be on on Thursday morning, May 7. It's the last in a series of four "supermoons."

#MayThe4thBeWithYou got us thinking about Star Wars, then stars, then moons and finally star parties so we wanted to sha...
05/04/2020

#MayThe4thBeWithYou got us thinking about Star Wars, then stars, then moons and finally star parties so we wanted to share these with you from our 2019 event celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.~ elk

05/01/2020
The United States Army Field Band

Something to inspire you tonight.

Are you ready for some travel? Come with us as we virtually visit some of America's great National Parks. Our Concert Band and Soldiers' Chorus perform music evoking the beauty of the Grand Canyon, craggy New England coastlines, and what it's like to look up at a starry sky!

#usarmybands #songsofcomfort #dontstopthemusic #militarymusic #armymusic National Park Service

Do you see a family resemblance? We received a question from our Stonewall Jackson post on Wednesday that got us digging...
05/01/2020

Do you see a family resemblance? We received a question from our Stonewall Jackson post on Wednesday that got us digging for more information about Jacskon’s family life and descendants. The life of Thomas J. Jackson, his immediate family, and descendants was filled with military service and much grief.
Jackson was married twice in his lifetime. His first marriage was in 1853 to Elinor Junkin (1824 - 1854) who died shortly after giving birth to a stillborn son in 1854. His second marriage was in 1857 to Mary Anne Morrison (1831 - 1915). Thomas and Mary had two daughters: Mary, who died shortly after birth in 1858 and Julia (1862 - 1889).
Descendant from Jackson's daughter Julia was a son, Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian (1888 - 1952) who rose to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army and a grandson, Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian Jr. (1915 - 1944).
Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian Jr. graduated from West Point in 1939 and became a Colonel in the United State Air Corps. Christian Jr. was the commander of the 361st Fighter Group and became the most photographed fighter pilot during World War II.
In 1944, Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian Jr. became the father of daughter, Lou Ellen Christian. He named his P - 51 Mustang fighter plane the "Lou IV" in honor of his daughter that he tragically never had the opportunity to meet. Christian Jr. was killed when his P - 51 was shot down in the vicinity of Boisleux -au - Mont, France on August 12, 1944 and his body was never recovered. Christian Jr.'s daughter Lou Ellen Christian married later in life and died in 2011. It is believed that this family line lives on today.

It's a rainy day here in Jefferson County WV. The eagle cam at the National Conservation Training Center gives us a view...
04/30/2020

It's a rainy day here in Jefferson County WV. The eagle cam at the National Conservation Training Center gives us a view into how eagle parents protect their eaglet in these wet conditions. Can you see the eaglet under the parent? ~elk #AParentsLove https://www.facebook.com/USFWSNCTC/

#WildWednesday As people shelter at home, news reports from around the globe are reporting wild animals exploring cities...
04/29/2020

#WildWednesday As people shelter at home, news reports from around the globe are reporting wild animals exploring cities without people. Share with us any changes you've noticed with animals around you. ~elk

Congratulations to everyone who guessed "Stonewall" Jackson in our Monday challenge. Here's his story. With the outbreak...
04/29/2020

Congratulations to everyone who guessed "Stonewall" Jackson in our Monday challenge. Here's his story. With the outbreak of the Civil War just over two weeks old, Confederate Colonel Thomas Jonathan Jackson commenced his first command of the Civil War at Harpers Ferry on April 28, 1861.
A West Point graduate and veteran of the Mexican War, Thomas J. Jackson was a professor teaching physics and artillery drill at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia when he was instructed by Confederate Major General Robert E. Lee to “...proceed without delay, to Harpers Ferry, Va., in execution of the orders of the governor of the State, and assume command of that post”.
Days before Colonel Jackson’s arrival, local state militia from surrounding counties in the Shenandoah Valley advanced to Harpers Ferry to hold it after Virginia’s secession from the United States on April 17, 1861. These undisciplined “citizen soldiers” filled the streets of Harpers Ferry by the hundreds with no direct command which added to an atmosphere of unchecked merriment and disorganization. This spirit of exuberance changed quickly with the arrival of Jackson on April 28, 1861.
Colonel Jackson immediately instilled military leadership at Harpers Ferry and spent the next few weeks drilling the raw Virginia militia in a well organized camp of instruction. Jackson was also tasked with removing gun making machinery from the federal armory at Harpers Ferry for the Confederacy and surveying the heights surrounding the town for fortification against the Union army. In a letter dated May 7, 1861, Jackson wrote to General Robert E. Lee that “I am of the opinion that this place should be defended with the spirit which actuated the defenders of Thermopylae, and, if left to myself, such is my determination. The fall of this place would, I fear, result in the loss of the northwestern part of the State, and who can estimate the moral power thus gained to the enemy and lost to ourselves?”.
Colonel Jackson was replaced in command at Harpers Ferry on May 23, 1861 by Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston. Although Jackson’s first command of the war lasted less than a month, he conducted yeoman’s work in training an army, capturing and transporting military capital, and laying out defensive positions for the coming years of warfare. Most importantly, Jackson’s early knowledge gained of the surrounding terrain of Harpers Ferry would later pay valuable dividends for his army in future military campaigns in the Lower Shenandoah Valley.
Just weeks after his departure from Harpers Ferry, Thomas Jackson would rise to the rank of brigadier general and earn the nickname “Stonewall” for his discipline under fire at the First Battle of Manassas on July 21, 1861.

Can you guess? This week marks the one hundred and fifty ninth anniversary of the arrival in Harpers Ferry of one of the...
04/27/2020

Can you guess? This week marks the one hundred and fifty ninth anniversary of the arrival in Harpers Ferry of one of the most recognizable commanders of the American Civil War. Who was it? ~elk

Miss Bagging trails & peaks?Always being home wearing on you? Losing Respect for those you're social distancing w/?Know ...
04/26/2020

Miss Bagging trails & peaks?
Always being home wearing on you?
Losing Respect for those you're social distancing w/?
Know that wherever you (can’t) go, BARK Rangers are still there for you!
Who is appreciating their own at home BARK Rangers more now than ever? Share your favorite photos of hiking memories w/ your dog (on leash, of course ;-) ) in the comments below!

Stay safe & be sure to study up on our BARK Ranger guidelines for the next time you join us on the trails.

Bag your poop.
Always wear a leash.
Respect wildlife.
Know where you can go.
BARK! -Ranger Samantha & BARK Ranger Crae Fish
#BarkRanger #HarpersFerry #HarpersFerryNPS

Recreate safely and responsibly! Avoid high-risk outdoor activities, practice social distancing, stay in your local area...
04/25/2020

Recreate safely and responsibly! Avoid high-risk outdoor activities, practice social distancing, stay in your local area and follow leave no trace principles. If you do head out, follow CDC guidance to prevent the spread of infectious diseases: maintain a distance of at least six feet from others, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and stay home if you feel sick.

Park rangers remain on duty and normal regulations still apply. Harpers Ferry NHP reminds visitors of the following closures and open areas:

Closed
🔸 Parking areas
🔸 Park buildings
🔸 Restrooms
🔸 Shuttle bus service

Open
🔹 Trails
🔹 Outdoor areas

Please check the park's current conditions page for the latest information: https://www.nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

#SlowTheSpread #RecreateResponsibly

In this era of social distancing and stay at home orders, how are you finding ways to connect to the outdoors? One of ou...
04/25/2020
EagleCam

In this era of social distancing and stay at home orders, how are you finding ways to connect to the outdoors? One of our favorites is watching the eagle cam located near us in Jefferson County WV. #HealthyParksHealthyPeople #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #NationalParkWeek

Welcome to the 2020 Spring Nesting Season of EagleCam. Come back daily to see what's happening!

Friends! Where would we be without them? They support us in the best of times & the most challenging of times. The Park ...
04/24/2020

Friends! Where would we be without them? They support us in the best of times & the most challenging of times. The Park certainly has some incredible people & organizations who support it. Today, we celebrate and thank our many park friends, in all their forms! -Ranger Samantha (NPS Photos) #FriendshipFriday #FindYourPark #NationalParkWeek

#ThrowbackThursday to the 50th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid in 1909 when Storer College purchased John Brown’s Fort ...
04/23/2020

#ThrowbackThursday to the 50th anniversary of John Brown’s Raid in 1909 when Storer College purchased John Brown’s Fort from Alexander Murphy. The fort, after a sojourn in Chicago, had stood on the Murphy Farm three miles from town since 1895. The college re-built it on their campus in the upper town of Harpers Ferry and used it as a museum. In fact, some of the first historical guides, in Harpers Ferry were the students at the school who gave visitors tours of the John Brown Fort. The African American students and alumni of Storer College remembered John Brown and his men as heroes who gave their lives so that “...this nation might have a new birth of freedom.” #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #NationalParkWeek

Address

171 Shoreline Dr
Harpers Ferry, WV
25425

General information

Page Expectations and Guidelines: We hope this will become a place where fans feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about Harpers Ferry National Historical Park with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also a family friendly one, so please keep your comments and wall posts clean. Please be considerate of other fan's opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines here. If you do not comply, your message will be removed. We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow attempts to defame or defraud any financial, commercial or non-governmental agency. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided. Posting of external links on this site that are intended as advertising (or to drive traffic to websites unrelated to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park), or do not contribute to dialog and discussions about Harpers Ferry may be deleted. People who continue to post such links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. External links do not constitute official endorsement on behalf of the U.S. National Park Service or the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(304) 535-6029

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Harpers Ferry National Historical Park posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park:

Videos

Our Story

Park Mailing Address: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park National Park Service P.O. Box 65 Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

Nearby museums


Comments

Is the park and shops open?
Is Harpers Ferry open for hikers?
Are you getting a virtual visit stamp?
Question from the technical aspect- Does the museum have the ramrod threading dies or know what the ramrods are threaded to for all the Wipers and ball pullers of pre-War and CW shoulder arms?
Do you have any events in July?
Can anyone identify this? My daughter found this growing on the footbridge in the Fall a couple of seasons ago but we had no idea what type of plant it was. I have the print hanging in our home and we jokingly call it a Savannah Flower.
Please explain how parking here prior to hiking Maryland Heights has anything to do with Covid ? If the trails are open as the website says, why are the parking areas off limits? Parking and hiking is far safer than shopping at Walmart.
Could we get an update on the peregrine closure on MD heights?
Harpers Ferry NHP is CLOSED. Please don't disrespect the town I Love by coming here despite this wretched virus and then leaving your trash behind.
On our bike ride yesterday we discovered large bags of trash some inconsiderate individuals tossed off the side of the road. This is between the detour and boat ramp at mile marker 65. 😡
Is the park still open??
Robert and I are working to correct some misleading text on this memorial stone. We have completed 2/3rds of our editing.