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

The "Cold Moon", as it's called, over Maryland Heights. This saffron-colored moon is our last full moon of this decade. ...
12/12/2019

The "Cold Moon", as it's called, over Maryland Heights. This saffron-colored moon is our last full moon of this decade. Enjoy! (Nps photo mday) ~md.

12/11/2019
President's Park (White House)

Park Rangers from across the country sang Jingle Bells to get in the holiday spirit for the 2019 National Christmas Tree Lighting.

Pay close attention so you don't miss our Harpers Ferry NHP park rangers!

-AZB

With smiles, bells, and holiday cheer
national park rangers sing "Jingle Bells" this year!

Park rangers and volunteers across the country helped President's Park (White House) kick off the holiday season at the 2019 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Watch the full show: https://thenationaltree.org/lighting-ceremony/2019-national-christmas-tree-lighting-ceremony/

#NCTL2019 #FindYourPark #Christmas #Music

12/10/2019
Bells on bob-tail Ring

"Bells on bob-tail ring, making spirits bright..." This weekend, 11am to 2pm, Saturday and Sunday December 14th and 15th, enjoy a ranger guided tour by horse and wagon. First come, first served is used to reserve your ride at the Park's historic White Hall Tavern located on Potomac Street. Doors open at 10am. (nps video mday) ~md.

Opening night of the parks Civil War Yuletide event weekend and the return of the Victorian Shadow show, "Santa visits t...
12/07/2019

Opening night of the parks Civil War Yuletide event weekend and the return of the Victorian Shadow show, "Santa visits the New York Herald Newspaper Office 1864."

"The greatest charity on earth." Quartermaster General Meigs on the relief work during the Civil War.  Both the U.S. Chr...
12/06/2019

"The greatest charity on earth." Quartermaster General Meigs on the relief work during the Civil War. Both the U.S. Christian Commision and U.S. Sanitary Commision operated in Harpers Ferry. These national organizations contributed over $70 million in aid and comfort to U.S. soldiers. (Nps photo m day) ~md

Capt Flagg's U.S. Quartermaster City event, December 7th, 8th 2019, from 11-4pm. The public is invited to join this uniq...
12/04/2019

Capt Flagg's U.S. Quartermaster City event, December 7th, 8th 2019, from 11-4pm. The public is invited to join this unique window into the last Yuletide before the end of the American Civil War that will determine the union of the states and the freedom of 4 million enslaved African Americans. Living History soldiers and citizens portray hope for peace on earth and the end of war. Schedule of events available at the park contact stations. (LOC Harpers Weekly) ~mday

Today, December 2nd, is the anniversary of Abolitionist John Brown’s 1859 execution, and in 1864, "French Bill", William...
12/02/2019

Today, December 2nd, is the anniversary of Abolitionist John Brown’s 1859 execution, and in 1864, "French Bill", William Loge, a deserter from the Union Army and known rebel guerilla. Ironically, the Loge execution occurred on the 5th anniversary of Brown’s hanging. Freedom, that Brown's Raid intended, for 4 million enslaved African Americans, later became a goal of the Union's Civil War.

“Dec 1, 1864 [To] "Maj Gen Sheridan: I caught yesterday French Bill, a notorious murderer and bushwhacker belonging to White’s battalion, who was with the party that murdered the surgeon of the 6th Pa Cav. He is a deserter from 61st NY infantry. Brig Gen John Stevenson”

“Dec 1st 1864 [To] "General Stevenson: As soon as you can have fully ascertained that you have French Bill as your prisoner take him out and hang him. This will be your authority. Maj Gen Sheridan”

Dec 2nd, 1864. U.S. soldiers, like Charles Moulton of the 34th Mass, were present to either conduct or to witness a convicted criminal's execution. Moulton reported “I have witnessed the saddest scene this day I ever beheld, in the shape of an execution [,of French Bill,]... notoriously known as a guerilla bushwhacker, murderer and assassin...1st execution in area since John Brown,"...[ French Bill said upon the gallows],..."he was a deserter from the US army, that he had shot in cold blood and robbed many Yankees and was ready to die and he just wanted to see his mother;” the rope broke when he fell, he struggled in agony, he asked to be shot and put out of his misery." Moulton said “poor criminal,I never want to witness another execution of this kind.” (LOC lithograph 1860 John Brown's Career) ~mday.

Who was responsible, during the Civil War, for snow removal? Well, the citizens & merchants, of course, according to Mil...
12/01/2019

Who was responsible, during the Civil War, for snow removal? Well, the citizens & merchants, of course, according to Military Headquarters!
"Division Headquarters orders all residents and merchants to keep the sidewalks clear of snow, townspeople laugh at the order, which was given to keep the precious feet and soles of officers from getting wet!" - Pass Office Clerk, Charles Moulton 34th Massachusetts Regiment. (photo Open Parks Network) ~mday.

How to create an "Oasis in the Great Desert of the War"; 1863?  Offer a Thankgiving Ball at The Lockwood House as rememb...
11/30/2019

How to create an "Oasis in the Great Desert of the War"; 1863? Offer a Thankgiving Ball at The Lockwood House as remembered by the men of the 34th Massachusetts!
"The house was superbly fitted up and ornamented for the occasion. Festoons of evergreen were gracefully and fantastically entwined about every pillar and projection of the architecture, while here and there artistic stacks of polished muskets intervened, the brilliancy of which in the girth lamp light, formed a beautiful contrast with the dark evergreen background. High above the entrance to the hall the American Eagle might be seen, every feather of which was ingeniously wrought of the native arbor vitae, and whose bald head and hooked beak stretching down toward the gay scene below,.. Colors, flags, guidons, trumpets and drums were festooned and arranged gracefully on all sides, reminding the observer that the present gay and festive scene was only an oasis in the great desert of the war. The room looked beautifully. A chandelier, made by a circle of bayonets, suspended from the ceiling, ..."For supper we had three varieties of cake, piled upon broad, shallow, white crockery dishes, sweet water grapes, carefully picked from the stem, stewed oysters, and a whitish, lumpy looking compound, unrecognizable by taste, but announced as chicken salad. This by a fashionable caterer from Baltimore." (photo Open Parks Network) ~mday.

Repost from @paulenki: “Seth Ruhling of Chattanooga, TN wins the 2019 JFK 50 Mile Endurance Run in 5:35:11.0. Seen here ...
11/25/2019

Repost from @paulenki: “Seth Ruhling of Chattanooga, TN wins the 2019 JFK 50 Mile Endurance Run in 5:35:11.0. Seen here cruising on the C&O Canal towpath across from lower town Harpers Ferry with a considerable lead already, at mile 18.5.” (Photo & caption by: Paul Encarnacion, local ultra runner). -sz

Today, the park is closed for Thanksgiving and will reopen on Friday November 29th at 9am.  Enjoy a safe and happy holid...
11/22/2019

Today, the park is closed for Thanksgiving and will reopen on Friday November 29th at 9am. Enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

1784,Statesman Benjamin Franklin on the brave and respectable turkey; today's Thanksgiving icon. "a ...respectable bird, and withal a true original native of America. ... He is, ...a bird of courage, and would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British guards who should presume to invade his farm yard with a red coat on." (LOC lithograph.) ~mday

On October 21, 2019, David Kroese stopped by Harpers Ferry to visit with park staff. David spent his childhood immersed ...
11/13/2019

On October 21, 2019, David Kroese stopped by Harpers Ferry to visit with park staff. David spent his childhood immersed in history and developed a love for the outdoors. Later he set a goal to visit all 417 National Park Service sites. Since then, 2 more sites have been added, and he is now one out of a small group of people who have visited all 419 National Park Service sites. Released in January 2019, David’s book, “The Centennial - A Journey through America’s National Park System” commemorates his experiences along the way.

As a token of his gratitude, David collected the pins that celebrated the 2016 Centennial as well as the Find Your Park pins. Both sets combined include 483 pins that represent 248 sites within the National Park Service. The two framed sets of pins can be visited while on exhibit as they make their way to various park sites.

Do you have a similar goal you want to achieve? How many sites have you visited?

NPS Photo / A. Blalock
Post / AZB

"Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River." According to Bill Danoff, in his  Washington Pos...
11/11/2019

"Almost heaven, West Virginia, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River." According to Bill Danoff, in his Washington Post article about the 1971 John Denver tune, Country Roads "was inspired by a drive to a family reunion in Gaithersburg along Clopper Road -- which back then was still a country road." The tune, and the Park's mission, forever preserves the riverbed in our American memory. (nps image by Beth Wasson) ~mday

This morning, a dawn image of the mighty Potomac River in Shepherdstown as it moves toward the confluence of the Shenand...
11/07/2019

This morning, a dawn image of the mighty Potomac River in Shepherdstown as it moves toward the confluence of the Shenandoah River. Harpers Ferry's 19th century town bard, Joseph Barry, commented on the rivers, "In a gorge of savage grandeur, the lordly Potomac takes to his embrace the beautiful Shenandoah—"The Daughter of the Stars," (photo courtesy of Gay Henderson) ~md

Have you gotten your passport stamped? Your National Parks Passport that is!When you visit Harpers Ferry National Histor...
11/05/2019

Have you gotten your passport stamped? Your National Parks Passport that is!

When you visit Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, be sure to stop by the Harpers Ferry Bookshop in Lower Town. Here you’ll find several different stamps from the park and the surrounding areas such as Chesapeake & Ohio Canal NHP, Underground Railroad, and Potomac Heritage NST.

NPS Photo
Post / AZB

With the days getting shorter, the Harpers Ferry NHP shuttle bus system has adjusted their hours. Starting today, the la...
11/04/2019

With the days getting shorter, the Harpers Ferry NHP shuttle bus system has adjusted their hours. Starting today, the last shuttle will leave Lower Town at 5:45 pm. The shuttles will still begin their hours of operation at 9 am, 7 days a week.

For more information, talk to a ranger or volunteer at the Information Center or the Visitor Center during your next visit!

NPS Photo / A. Cook
Post / AZB

A time warp of different people, same places, "people or objects of one period can be moved to another."  Here are both ...
11/04/2019

A time warp of different people, same places, "people or objects of one period can be moved to another." Here are both of my former collegues, 46 years ago, Jesse Engle, standing in the park's newly minted dry goods store exhibit surrounded by squash, pumpkins. He liked to discuss with visitors what everything in the dry goods... was. Fast forward, 2019, my supervisor of 30 plus years, John King, standing in the same place with his pumpkin retiring on Halloween day, after 38 years of service. King's approach; to tell visitors what objects in the dry goods store... means, to establilsh relevance, a reflection of servicewide NPS public history philosphy of interpretation.
(Open Parks Network and NPS photo by Mday) ~md

Then and now. The black and white image is from 1973 with Nps staff at a newly installed tavern exhibit. The color photo...
11/02/2019

Then and now. The black and white image is from 1973 with Nps staff at a newly installed tavern exhibit. The color photo is today, the park's White Hall Tavern staffed by living history volunteer Christine. In the 1850s, the Tavern was run by German immigrant Frederick Roeder. While every town in America had taverns, these "watering holes" also served as a nerve center for locals to test their political leanings, discussions of immigration & religion, and places to advertise sales of the enslaved or to take up a "cup of encouragement" in order to organize slave patrols following Brown's 1859 Raid. (black and white image open parks network. NPS color photo by Mday) ~md

The historic scene at the park's masonry bee hive oven. (nps photo mday) ~md
11/01/2019

The historic scene at the park's masonry bee hive oven. (nps photo mday) ~md

Happy Halloween.  19th century photographers experimented with "Spirit" photographs to entertain and create a suspension...
10/28/2019

Happy Halloween. 19th century photographers experimented with "Spirit" photographs to entertain and create a suspension of disbelief; to believe something surreal for the sake of enjoyment. These photos were often made into 3-D stereoviews so the impact, or realism, would give you "goose bumps!" (LOC photo) ~md

10/27/2019

A "crush" of 1000 visitors stopped by today at the cider making historic trades demonstration of preserving fruit by making it into juice. Stop over to white hall tavern to see us on Sunday. ( nps video mday) ~md

This fall scene is along Confederate General A.P. Hill's route to Antietam after Harpers Ferry's ill fated 1862 surrende...
10/25/2019

This fall scene is along Confederate General A.P. Hill's route to Antietam after Harpers Ferry's ill fated 1862 surrender. This is near the Civil War marker at Engle Moler's crossroads. (Nps photo mday) ~ md

Many of you are calling the park to check on the fall colors. A picture is worth a thousand words! Here are the trees on...
10/24/2019

Many of you are calling the park to check on the fall colors. A picture is worth a thousand words! Here are the trees on arsenal square. Come out to see us and enjoy the cool temps and splendor of fall. (Nps photo mday) ~md.

Drink Your Apples! : Apple Cidering and Fall Food Preservation. Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th 2019 from 11am ...
10/20/2019

Drink Your Apples! : Apple Cidering and Fall Food Preservation. Saturday and Sunday, October 26th & 27th 2019 from 11am to 4pm at Roeders White Hall Tavern. Learn the art and mystery of making the 19th century's favorite beverage of man, woman, and child! (nps photo mday) ~md

It's all about the wildlife!While Harpers Ferry is known for its history, the wildlife is amazing too! Help us choose ne...
10/18/2019

It's all about the wildlife!

While Harpers Ferry is known for its history, the wildlife is amazing too! Help us choose next year's annual pass photo by liking your favorite photo(s).

All of these animals are part of the Harpers Ferry story. Whether you see them on a trail or in the historic Lower Town, the park is their home.

We're excited to feature one of these beautiful creatures on our 2020 park pass - so, don't wait, vote now! 🐦🐢🦋

Please vote for your favorite photo. The image with the most likes/reactions as of Oct. 21, 2019 will appear on the 2020 Annual Pass for Harpers Ferry NHP. Photos were taken by park staff and volunteers, and these ten were the favorites in the staff vote. It is now time for our virtual audience to pick the pass photo. Thanks for helping us decide! ~ahc

This group of students and advisors from Waynesburg University, worked an hour and a half, with historic trades Ranger D...
10/17/2019

This group of students and advisors from Waynesburg University, worked an hour and a half, with historic trades Ranger Day, to clear the parks 1810 era kitchen garden of weeds.
This allows the garden to be prepped for next spring's plantings that are used in historic foodways demonstrations. A hearty thank you for volunteering today! (nps photo mday) ~md

From the epic poem, John Brown's Body, by Stephen Vincent Benet, 1927. "John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave...
10/16/2019

From the epic poem, John Brown's Body, by Stephen Vincent Benet, 1927.
"John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave.
He will not come again with foolish pikes
And a pack of desperate boys to shadow the sun.
He has gone back North. The slaves have forgotten his eyes. ...
Already the corpse is changed, under the stone, ...
Cotton will grow next year, in spite of the skull,
Slaves will be slaves next year, in spite of the bones.
Nothing is changed, John Brown, nothing is changed." (image loc) ~md

Please vote for your favorite photo. The image with the most likes/reactions as of Oct. 21, 2019 will appear on the 2020...
10/14/2019

Please vote for your favorite photo. The image with the most likes/reactions as of Oct. 21, 2019 will appear on the 2020 Annual Pass for Harpers Ferry NHP. Photos were taken by park staff and volunteers, and these ten were the favorites in the staff vote. It is now time for our virtual audience to pick the pass photo. Thanks for helping us decide! ~ahc

Please vote for your favorite photo. The image with the most likes/reactions as of Oct. 21, 2019 will appear on the 2020 Annual Pass for Harpers Ferry NHP. Photos were taken by park staff and volunteers, and these ten were the favorites in the staff vote. It is now time for our virtual audience to pick the pass photo. Thanks for helping us decide! ~ahc

A sea of visitors attending the park's U.S. Marine Corp Historical Company living history John Brown Raid public history...
10/14/2019

A sea of visitors attending the park's U.S. Marine Corp Historical Company living history John Brown Raid public history event. (nps photo mday) ~md

Performing today, at the park's John Brown Raid event, The Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum.  (Nps photo mday) ~md.
10/13/2019

Performing today, at the park's John Brown Raid event, The Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum. (Nps photo mday) ~md.

"At All Times Ready: The U.S. Marines." Stop down to the Fire Engine House to see the John Brown Raid living history pro...
10/06/2019

"At All Times Ready: The U.S. Marines." Stop down to the Fire Engine House to see the John Brown Raid living history programs Sat and Sun October 12th and 13th at 11 and 2pm. (nps image Jim Wassel) ~md.

#OTD in 1870, the Shenandoah River flooded Harpers Ferry. The post below from the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Co...
09/30/2019

#OTD in 1870, the Shenandoah River flooded Harpers Ferry. The post below from the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission gives more details of the event.

Check out the park website for dates and information about memorable floods in Harpers Ferry:
https://www.nps.gov/hafe/learn/historyculture/memorable-floods-at-harpers-ferry.htm

On this day in 1870, one of the worst floods in Jefferson County history swept through the area from the Shenandoah River. With river levels 30 feet above normal, the water rising at a rate of 2 feet per hour, and with little to no options of safety, 40 people died as a result, taking businesses, houses, and resources along with it.(WV Geoexplorer Project)

One area that surprisingly withstood the onslaught of water was the cotton mill turned flour mill on Virginius Island near Harper's Ferry. The building was erected in 1848 but was turned into a flour mill in 1867. While the flood of 1870 washed away just about everything else on the island, the mill itself witnessed minor damage and was able to resume operations. The technology of the mill quickly became outdated though and other industries were proving more profitable, leading to the mills closure and abandonment in 1889 after yet another hard hitting flood.

Source: "A Nineteenth-Century Mill Village:Virginius Island, 1800-60" By Mary Johnson

Today, the foundations of the mill can still be seen and restoration efforts have been carried out by the National Park Service including stabilization and digging out intake tunnels that would have powered the mill itself.

#westvirginia #westvirginiahistory #floods #cottonmill #flourmill #thisplacematters #ruins

Address

171 Shoreline Dr
Harpers Ferry, WV
25425

General information

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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

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