Random (but not really)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Weekend Travels: Harpers Ferry

This weekend we drove to Harpers Ferry.

For those of you not familiar with American History and/or the Civil War, Harpers Ferry is where John Brown seized the US Armory and Arsenal that was one of the events that brought the issue of slavery to, perhaps, a boil.

Of course, other things happened in Harpers Ferry, and the Appalachian Trail cuts through Harpers Ferry.

This is the building where John Brown and his group holed up. However, this is not the original location–the building has been moved multiple times, including, at one point, to Chicago.


Facing west.


Facing east, towards the Potomac River.

This monument marks the original location of the building.


The national park has images from the time of the Civil War posted about the city/park, and the fact this building was moved made it hard–initially–to orient the current city to what was in the pictures.

The fact that the two arsenals are ruins now, but were in the pictures, made it even more confusing to me.

But I eventually figured it out.

There are a LOT of ruins around Harpers Ferry. The ruins of St. John’s Episcopal Church particularly fascinated me, and I spent a lot of time wandering around them taking pictures. Enough pictures they’ll be a separate post.

Arsenal ruins: the park has signs with a picture showing the archeological dig of the foundation. The ground level here is about three feet higher than when the building was built.


Virginius Island is an abandoned area. There are ruins there of a water powered cotton mill and other water-operated machinery.


Ruins of bridge footers across the Potomac River.


Ruins of bridge footers across the Shenandoah River.


Stone stairs (here’s a picture that might give you a better idea of the steepness of the stairs.)



It was a gorgeous day, and the advantage of going in November, is there weren’t huge crowds of people.

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