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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #1
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150 years of John Brown: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry is a town at the confluence of the Shenandoah River and the Potomac River, at the far eastern end of the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. The population is around 300. Harpers Ferry was settled in 1732 by Peter Stephens, who set up the first ferry crossing in 1733. In 1747, Robert Harper bought the squatter's rights from Stephens, and began operating extensive ferry services across the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

Due to the strategic location at the meeting of the two rivers, Harpers Ferry was selected as the site for an armory and arsenal by George Washington in 1794. The town was also strategic for commerce, and the first bridge over the Potomac was built in 1824. In 1833, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal reached Maryland Heights, across the Potomac from Harpers Ferry. In 1834, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, one of the nation's first railroads, also reached Maryland Heights in Maryland.

On October 16, 1859, John Brown launched a raid with 21 men on the arsenal. Brown planned to capture the arsenal and other buildings in order to get the weapons. He would then arm slaves in the area and form an army with them, moving through the South to start a slave rebellion. After taking the arsenal easily, word of the raid spread throughout the countryside when a doctor who heard gunshots and went to check on the wounded then rode to Charles Town to warn the citizens. Farmers, townspeople, and citizens began firing on the arsenal from the surrounding hills, and eventually, John Brown and his men were cornered in an engine house in the front of the arsenal. By October 18, U.S. Marines had arrived, and the surviving men were captured. They were later put on trial, and John Brown was executed.

In 1944, most of the town became part of Harpers Ferry National Monument. The National Monument became Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in 1963.

A house on Zachary Taylor Street in Harpers Ferry's Uppertown neighborhood.

Houses on Washington Street.

Camp Hill Wesley United Methodist Church, on Washington Street.

A house on Jackson Street.

A house on Ridge Street in the Uppertown neighborhood.

The Hilltop House Hotel, on Ridge Street. The resort hotel was established in 1888.

Looking up the Potomac River, with Maryland on the other side, from the Hilltop Hotel.

The Hilltop Hotel is closed to undergo renovations, and will re-open in 2011.

The view down the Potomac River, from the Hilltop Hotel.

A house on Fillmore Street.

Houses on Washington Street.

Houses on Washington Street.

A house on York Street.

The Lockwood House, on Fillmore Street. The Lockwood House was the home of the U.S. Armory's Paymaster, and was later used by Storer College, a historically Black college.

The Brackett House, on Fillmore Street. The house was used by the Reverend Nathan Cook Brackett, and was then used by Brackett as a building for Storer College.

The Morrell House, on Fillmore Street.

A building on High Street.

A house on High Street.

A house on High Street.

A house on High Street.

The Terrace Garage, on High Street.

A house on High Street in the historic Lowertown neighborhood.

A train car restaurant on Potomac Street.

The Harpers Ferry Train Station, on Potomac Street.

Buildings on Potomac Street. The old White Hall Tavern, which is now a demonstation center for Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, is on the left.

Piers for the old Bollman Truss Railroad Bridge, built in 1868.

The Hilltop Hotel from a footbridge that crosses over to Maryland Heights, in Maryland.

Harpers Ferry's Lowertown section, from the footbridge over the Potomac River.

Looking down the Potomac River from an 1893 railroad bridge that is now used mainly as a footbridge.

John Brown's Fort, which was a fire engine house from 1848 that Brown and his men were pinned down in during the fighting. The fort is in Arsenal Square, along Shenandoah Street. After being moved around severl times, including to Chicago for an exhibit, the building is now 150 feet away from its original location.

Buildings on Shenandoah Street.

Looking up High Street from Shenandoah Street.

Buildings on Shenandoah Street.

Old businesses on Shenandoah Street.

Historic buildings on Shenandoah Street. The building on the left was built in the late 1820s or early 1830s.

Buildings on Shenandoah Street.

The Master Armorer's House, on Shenandoah Street.

Historic buildings on High Street.

Buildings and pathways tucked into the hill in Harpers Ferry's Lowertown neighborhood.

Tiny rowhouses on a hill above High Street.

Looking down at buildings on Shenandoah Street, with railroad bridges and Maryland in the distance.

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, on Church Street. The church was built in 1833 and was remodeled in 1896. St. Peter's was the only church in Harpers Ferry not to be burned down during the Civil War.

The Harper House, on Public Way. The house was built in 1775 and is the oldest house in Harpers Ferry.

The ruins of St. John's Episcopal Church, on a hill above High Street. The church was originally built in 1852.

Loooking at the Potomac River Valley from Jefferson Rock, located abouve the Lowertown section. The rick outcropping was named after Thomas Jefferson, who visited the site in 1783 and noted the wonderful view of the area from the rock.

Businesses on High Street.

Houses on High Street. The Riley House, built in 1826, is on the right.

Buildings on High Street.

Houses on Public Way.

Businesses on High Street.

Historic buildings on High Street.

The African-American History Museum for Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, on High Street.

Looking up Hog Alley from Potomac Street.

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Old October 16th, 2009, 07:49 PM   #2
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Amazing photos from this place, thanks for the photos
Urban Showcase: Athens Kalamata Trikala Thessaloniki
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Old October 26th, 2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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