Harpers Ferry National Historical Park offers a plethora of historical narratives through the old buildings, markers, and interpretive tools. From Colonial and Federalist Eras to Lewis and Clark to Civil War and beyond, this historic town offers a lot to explore. And there’s plenty of hiking in the area for the outdoor enthusiast, too. (Just ask Sarah or Chris and Terry…)
John Brown and his fight in the streets of Harpers Ferry is one of the violent pages of the town’s history, and one that must be explored to understand the outbreak of the Civil War (officially two years later). You can explore the sites of the old armory buildings, stand at the site of “John Browns Fort”, see a reconstruction of that engine house, and see parts of the old bridges. But to really explore the history of the fateful days of 1859 and how and why they happened, you’ll want to visit the John Brown Museum.
Located in the historic town near the end of Shenandoah Street and within sight of the rebuilt and relocated Engine House, this museum offers interpretation on the man, 19th Century culture, immediate responses, and memory. Presenting in an overview format, the museum galleries follow Brown’s life through displays, artifacts, interactive opportunities, and short video segments. Information about the other men who accompanied Brown is also available.
If you’re looking for a “one-stop” to get an overview of John Brown, what better place than this museum in Harpers Ferry. Then, head outside to stand at the sites or watch the river and ponder the mighty questions associated with Brown and the raid.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is offering several special programs this weekend and for the remainder of the month. Be sure to inquire for further details or see if a “spontaneous event” is happening while you’re in town.
Afternoon Tour of the Day – daily until October 31st; 2-3pm; check with the park staff for details and meeting location of the day.
Harpers Ferry: From The Top Down – a 1.5 mile guided hike every Sunday afternoon through October 27th, starting at the Visitor Center at 11:00am.
Archaeology at Harpers Ferry, A History – hosted on Monday, October 21, at 2 pm, in the 2nd floor of the John Brown Museum.
Drink Your Apples: Historic Cider Making – Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th at White Hall Tavern in the lower town, beginning at 11 am; learn how cider was made!