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

Operating as usual

Maryland Campaign: Battle of Shepherdstown and the Emancipation Proclamation

#Onthisday the battle of Shepherdstown began. Although a fairly small fight, it would mark the end of Lee's invasion of the North and the Maryland Campaign. With this victory, Lincoln felt able to issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Ranger George wraps up our series on this campaign and how it ultimately changed the nature of the war. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #CivilWar #MarylandCampaign #Shephersdtown #BattleofShepherdstown #EmancipationProclamation #400Years #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Contraband: Prize of War 1862

"Men, women and little children in droves will be carried off." - Matron Goddard
When the largest surrender of U.S. Troops occurred in Harpers Ferry, September 1862, 12,500 soldiers surrendered but were paroled, but close to 4 thousand people of color surrendered their freedom. ~ Ranger Day

Maryland Campaign: the Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862

#Onthisday was fought the single bloodiest day in American history: the battle of Antietam. Coming to you from the grounds of Antietam National Battlefield, Ranger Isaac recounts the story of this horrific day as we continue along with the Maryland Campaign. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #CivilWar #Antietam #MarylandCampaign #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Check out these details of ongoing preservation work at the Lockwood House. (NPS Photos) -sz

Check out these details of ongoing preservation work at the Lockwood House. (NPS Photos) -sz

Let's check in with the plaster team working on the Lockwood House at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The crew applied 3 coats of plaster to select patches and continued with injection grout and crack infill. They also began paint consolidation on the wood trim. What is paint consolidation?Well, we're glad you asked!

Paint consolidation is a method of re-adhering existing paint that may be flaking or beginning to chip with a consolidant. In the case of Lockwood House, the crew usually apply the consolidant with a soft brush through a sheet of tissue paper (considered an intervention layer) so as to prevent the brush from causing any damage to the historic paint finish. Sometimes they use what they refer to as a conservator's spatula that acts like a tiny iron to finish the process.

Fascinating, right? We know this crew won't crack under pressure!

How many children can you find in these historic photos? ~elk#EncuentraTuParque  #FindYourPark

How many children can you find in these historic photos? ~elk
#EncuentraTuParque #FindYourPark

#5: Children Run the Town, Shenandoah St. in 1898

At first glance, this Shenandoah Street scene is a rare view of the town because it depicts structures that no longer exist, and it looks to the West vs. East (towards the river confluence). A young boy collects water at a town pump. And, wait...there is a child in the doorway of the shoe shop, who seems to be talking to another kid hanging out the window next door. And down the street, on the right, two kids are dashing out towards the street. It seems the children are running the town!

Object Details: Catalog # HF-1799 (two detail views showing children inset at top of image)

List #8- Top 10 Details in Old Photos, National Park Service Centennial Digital Feature: 100 Museum Objects in 10 Top 10 Lists!

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is saddened to learn of the passing of Edwin C. Bearss at age 97. A former NPS hi...

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is saddened to learn of the passing of Edwin C. Bearss at age 97. A former NPS historian, renowned Civil War enthusiast, historian, and tour guide, Mr. Bearss was a force of nature when speaking about history. We will miss him. If you have a favorite memory or picture of Mr. Bearss, please feel free to share it. ~ GEB

Petersburg National Battlefield's staff regrets to learn that former National Park Service historian Ed Bearss has passed away at 97 years of age. He was a veteran of the Marine Corps in World War II. Ed wrote extensively and toured Civil War battlefields extensively. His map work is in regular use here as we identify locations of troop movements during the 1864-1865 battles that we preserve, protect, and interpret. We offer our condolences to his family. We are glad that he often visited Petersburg in his post-NPS career, which was busier than most younger people.

Pictured: Edwin C. Bearss in 2014 at Petersburg National Battlefield

#OnThisDay the largest surrender of Union troops in the American Civil War happened in Harpers Ferry. Was the Union comm...

#OnThisDay the largest surrender of Union troops in the American Civil War happened in Harpers Ferry.
Was the Union commander incompetent?
Were the troops cowards?
You decide.....

In March 1862, perhaps the most controversial Civil War commander in the history of Harpers Ferry arrived—Col. Dixon S. Miles (USA). He arrived under a cloud of suspicion that followed him to the grave.

Where did suspicion around Miles begin? Before Harpers Ferry, Miles had over 40 years of US Army service. He commanded a reserve division at the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) on July 21, 1861. Following the battle, another federal officer accused Miles of intoxication during the battle. A court of inquiry convened. Colorful testimony stated that Miles was wearing two hats and fell from his horse. Miles, and those who defended him, claimed he had been ill at the time. The court rendered an opinion that evidence was not sufficient to convict Colonel Miles of drunkenness if the case were to be brought before a court-martial. Miles was given eight months leave of absence.

When Miles returned to service, the army assigned him to Harpers Ferry; a backwater of war. Department commanders did not expect a major campaign to arise at Harpers Ferry. This assignment was suitable for Miles where a fighting officer was not needed. Harpers Ferry contained thousands of U.S. troops known as the “Railroad Brigade.” Many of these men were green troops not experienced in warfare. The Railroad Brigade’s purpose was to protect the vital rail lines of the Union Army. These rail lines went from Baltimore, Maryland to the western limits of the Department of the Potomac. Throughout his time at the Harpers Ferry, Miles expressed his dissatisfaction with undisciplined recruits. He called Harpers Ferry nothing more than a “fortified camp of instruction.”
In the summer and early fall of 1862, Miles clashed with his department commanders in Washington, D.C. They argued over several issues, including the number of soldiers and the location of the outer defenses around Harpers Ferry. These disagreements came back to haunt Miles on September 13, 1862. On that day, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson led Confederate troops in an assault on Harpers Ferry. The enemy outnumbered and outmaneuvered Miles. The Confederates lined the higher elevations around Harpers Ferry with light artillery and fired at will on the blue-coats for a day and a half.

On the morning of September 15, 1862, Miles gave the order to surrender. A short time later, an artillery shell exploded behind him near Bolivar Heights. A fragment ripped into his left calf mortally wounding him. Soldiers carried Miles to his headquarters at the Master Armorer’s House in downtown Harpers Ferry, where he later died. Over 12,500 Union soldiers surrendered later in the day—marking the largest surrender of United States troops in the American Civil War. The surrendered and paroled troops were labeled the “cowards of Harpers Ferry.”

A couple of months later, the Union Army formed a military commission to investigate. Almost all commission members found Miles at fault. This final verdict served as a tragic ending for the maligned and complicated Col. Miles.~CW
#EncuentraTuParque #FindYourPark

Maryland Campaign: Colonel Dixon Stansbury Miles, Defender of Harpers Ferry

#Onthisday Colonel Dixon Miles was mortally wounded by a Confederate artillery shell. But who was he? Unlike his opponent, the famous "Stonewall" Jackson, Dixon Miles has not been well remembered by history. Join Ranger Jeff as he relates the life of Dixon Miles. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerry #CivilWar #MarylandCampaign #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Maryland Campaign: The Surrender, September 15, 1862

#Onthisday General Thomas J. Jackson won what is often considered his greatest victory: the capture of the Harpers Ferry garrison. Ranger Isaac wraps up the Battle of Harpers Ferry, describing the final moments of the battle and the surrender as we continue through the Maryland Campaign. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #HarpersFerry #CivilWar #BattleofHarpersFerry #MarylandCampaign #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Maryland Campaign: A Grand Escape and a Sealed Fate, September 15, 1862

#Onthisday in the early hours of the morning, the Union garrison at Harpers Ferry was both suddenly nearly 1,600 soldiers fewer and threatened by even more Confederate cannons from multiple directions. Join Ranger George as he describes how Colonel Benjamin F. "Grimes" Davis leads the cavalry to safety, and how General A. P. Hill seals the Union garrison's fate. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #CivilWar #HarpersFerry #BattleofHarpersFerry #MarylandCampaign #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Maryland Campaign: A Profile of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson

Ranger Creighton gives you a brief profile of the famous Stonewall Jackson and his prior experience at Harpers Ferry before being ordered to capture the Union garrison there during the Maryland Campaign of 1862 ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #HarpersFerry #BattleofHarpersFerry #CivilWar #StonewallJackson #MarylandCampaign #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry
[Audio Description: Man in park ranger uniform standing in front of stone wall.]

Maryland Campaign: South Mountain and the Collapse of Lee's Plans, September 14, 1862

#Onthisday in 1862 Confederate General Robert E. Lee found himself suddenly facing the Army of the Potomac while his army was still divided. As we continue with the Maryland Campaign, Ranger Isaac relates what George McClellan has been up to during all this time and summarizes the battle(s) of South Mountain (filmed at the National War Correspondents Memorial at Crampton's Gap). ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #CivilWar #MarylandCampaign #SouthMountain #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry
[Audio description: man in ranger uniform standing in front of a small grassy field surrounded by trees]

Maryland Campaign: Jackson's Bombardment, September 14, 1862

#Onthisday General Jackson finally had all three columns converging on Harpers Ferry in position. Ranger George describes the massive artillery barrage Jackson released on the Union garrison and their reaction to it. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #CivilWar #StonewallJackson #HarpersFerry #MarylandCampaign #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Maryland Campaign: A View from the Naval Battery, September 13, 1862

#Onthisday the battle of Harpers Ferry raged, with the focal point being Maryland Heights. Earlier today, Ranger George described the fighting at the crest of Maryland Heights. Now, Ranger Isaac brings you what was going on with Colonel Thomas Ford, the man responsible for supervising the defense of Maryland Heights, all from Ford's headquarters at the Naval Battery, which is still visible along the Maryland Heights Trail today! ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #HarpersFerry #CivilWar #MarylandCampaign #BattleofHarpersFerry #MarylandHeights #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Maryland Campaign: the Battle for Maryland Heights, September 13, 1862

#Onthisday in 1862 raged the fight for Maryland Heights, the bloodiest part of the battle of Harpers Ferry. Our rangers hiked up the Old Stone Fort Trail on Maryland Heights to be one the scene. Join Ranger George as he describes the fighting that occurred atop this mountain. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #HarpersFerry #CivilWar #BattleofHarpersFerry #MarylandHeights #MarylandCampaign #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

Did you see Venus in this morning's sky? Share your pictures with us. If you missed Venus this morning you can still cat...

Did you see Venus in this morning's sky? Share your pictures with us. If you missed Venus this morning you can still catch her just before dawn on the 14th and 15th. (Image info: Venus - Computer Simulated Global View Centered at 0 Degrees East Longitude | Image credit: NASA/JPL) ~elk

Maryland Campaign: The Confederate Advance on Harpers Ferry, September 12, 1862

#Onthisday in 1862 the battle of Harpers Ferry began! Please join Ranger Isaac atop Maryland Heights as we continue with our film series on the Maryland Campaign. ~ GEB
#HarpersFerryNHP #HarpersFerry #CivilWar #BattleofHarpersFerry #MarylandCampaign #MarylandHeights #FindYourPark #EncuentraTuParque #FindYourFerry

The next few weeks will feature a dazzling showcase of planets for skygazers to catch in the heavens above. Mars, Jupite...

The next few weeks will feature a dazzling showcase of planets for skygazers to catch in the heavens above.

Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are in the evening sky throughout September 2020, while Venus rises high in the east in the hours before sunrise. Watch for Jupiter and Saturn at nightfall, Mars in the early evening, and Venus in the predawn sky.

Jupiter and Saturn are the planets to watch in the southern sky as darkness falls in September 2020. One of the brightest objects in the night sky is the large planet Jupiter. This planet outshines all the stars, plus it’s near another bright planet, Saturn. You can’t miss these two. Jupiter and Saturn climb highest up for the night at early evening in early September, and at nightfall by the month’s end. Look first for brilliant Jupiter; Saturn is the bright object immediately to Jupiter’s east.

Mars rises over your eastern horizon by early-to-mid evening. Around the world, Mars rises about 9 p.m. in early September. By the month’s end, Mars will be up around 7 p.m. By October 1 and 2, look for a full “harvest” moon to light up the night sky from dusk until dawn. The brilliant red “star” near the moon is actually the red planet Mars. By October 13, Mars will appear brighter than Jupiter in the night sky.

Venus – The brilliant morning “star” Venus rises about 3 1/2 hours before the sun throughout September in mid Northern latitudes. On the mornings of September 13, 14 and 15, 2020, look for the waning crescent moon and dazzling planet Venus in the east before sunrise. Venus will remain bright and beautiful in the early morning sky the rest of this year.

The coming weeks and months are a great time to observe Earth’s neighboring planets within the Milky Way Galaxy. For more information on skygazing tips and the protection of night skies in our national parks, please visit: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nightskies/index.htm
Happy skywatching! ~CW

Today at 9:45 am Flight 93 National Memorial will hold a live stream of the Nineteenth Anniversary Observance of 9/11 ht...

Today at 9:45 am Flight 93 National Memorial will hold a live stream of the Nineteenth Anniversary Observance of 9/11 https://www.flight93friends.org/
#EncuentraTuParque #Honor93 #September11 #findyourpark

News Release:

Flight 93 National Memorial has partnered with EarthCam to livestream the ceremony on Friday, September 11, 2020 in honor of the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93, which will be attended by President Donald J. Trump, Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt and other dignitaries. After consulting the Families of Flight 93, and in effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the observance will be closed to the public.

Flight 93 National Memorial will close at sunset on September 10, and reopen Friday, September 11, 2020 following the ceremony. The entrance to Flight 93 National Memorial will remain gated. Flight 93 National Memorial Superintendent, Stephen M. Clark said, “After consulting with the U.S. Office of Public Health and the Families of Flight 93, I believe this closure will minimize overcrowding and allow for a safe Memorial observance during this unprecedented time.”

To read the entire release: https://www.nps.gov/flni/learn/news/flight-93-to-offer-september-11-ceremony-livestream.htm

#Honor93 #September11 #findyourpark

NPS Photo B. Torrey

Tomorrow marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Flight 93 National Memorial will hold a commemoration that will...

Tomorrow marks the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Flight 93 National Memorial will hold a commemoration that will be streamed live at 9:45 am EST
#Honor93 #September11 #findyourpark #EncuentraTuParque


The staff at Flight 93 National Memorial are busy readying the park for the upcoming observance. Here, a Park Ranger polishes the Memorial’s two Bells of Remembrance. These two bells were donated to the Memorial by the Franciscan Center of Wilmington, Delaware and were part of a much larger collection gathered by the friars following 9/11. Other bells owned by the friars have wrung at different memorial services and sites across the country, as well as in concert at Carnegie Hall.

The event can be streamed live. The link will be available at https://www.flight93friends.org.

Baby skunk doo do do dood doo Baby skunk (sing it with us) ~elk

Baby skunk doo do do dood doo Baby skunk (sing it with us) ~elk

Baby skunk, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew, pew...⁣

Check out this itty bitty stinky committee! On the move and ready for trouble! How about some skunk facts that don’t stink? ⁣

🦨 Baby skunks are called kits and are actually born blind. Their eyes are sealed shut until around the age of 3 weeks.⁣

🦨 The official name for the skunk family is Mephitidae, which means “stink.” You were thinking “fart squirrel?” Good guess. ⁣

🦨 Skunks are crepuscular which means they come out mostly at dusk and dawn. ⁣

🦨 Skunks can only run about 10 miles per hour and will not try to outrun a predator. (I think we know why)⁣

🦨 💨 Skunks are legendary for their powerful predator-deterrent—a hard-to-remove, horrible-smelling spray.⁣

🦨💨 To employ this scent bomb, a skunk turns around and blasts its foe with a foul mist that can travel as far as 10 feet.⁣

🦨💨 🤢 Skunk spray causes no real damage to its victims, but it sure makes them uncomfortable. It can linger for many days and defy attempts to remove. ⁣

Images: Group of young skunks at Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona.



171 Shoreline Dr
Harpers Ferry, WV

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


(304) 535-6029


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Our Story

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

Nearby museums


We used to sit on the bench by the flag pole at Hill Top. But, we heard there is construction and wonder can we still visit that Flag Pole spot. Does anyone know ? Thanks.
Is the harpers ferry still in operation?
Some of you may know that my wife released a novel in April, 'Along the Red Dirt Road'. Most of the story is set in a fictional town (Hillview) located in the upper Shenandoah Valley. Those of you who are familiar with this beautiful area will see striking similarities with actual geography, towns, culture and history. Some backstory > ashfoard.com Although set in the Civil War/Great Depression era, the tale has very timely implications for Americans today. A quote ~ and without truth, this poor earth is no more than one big, stinking mess of wild apple butter!
We will be visiting soon what should we do and visit with teen kids also best views that we should visit
Anyone know who lives in the little White House , on the road leading into old town Harpers Ferry, across the street from the canal ? It says “private residence on the door and there were lights on inside”
Can anyone tell me if anything is open here. I Am trying to figure out if it is open so I can come and visit.. Like is the restrooms open ext..
What is opened at Harpers Ferry. I tried looking at nps website and got no info.
Have you considered posting something about your park? Like...is your visitor center open? Are you selling America the Beautiful Park passes? Tried calling, but no answer.
First is a photo I took about a year ago of the Cathedral at sundown at the top of the hill. Second is a painting I painted today of the same picture not as great as I wanted it to be but it'll do
Who can I contact to get a stamp for my visit in May?
I took a hike up MD Heights this morning and saw all this and more. On top of that there is trash all over the mountain including beer cans, wrappers, and countless waterbottles. Filled up my pack with as much trash as I could, but there's still so much. I don't know who's in charge, or if there's a clean-up program we can support, or a day we can volunteer for a group but It breaks my heart. Had to tell someone 😥😥