Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry in 1880
When George and I were on our Virginia/Maryland/West Virginia trip in September,  we visited Harpers Ferry,  West Virginia on 9/26/13.   I had always heard of Harpers Ferry but didn't know much about it.  What I did find out was that there is MUCH HISTORY there.

The National Park Service identified SIX themes which run through the town's history: Industry, Natural Heritage,  Transportation,  John Brown, Civil War, and African American history.  I had heard about John Brown and the Civil War at Harpers Ferry--but didn't realize that it was the place where the first successful American Railroad arrived.  And I didn't know that it had one of the first integrated schools in the United States.

What I did know was the story about John Brown's attack on slavery,  and I knew that at Harpers Ferry,  there was the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War.  If you want to read more about Harper's Ferry,  click HERE.

Today I'll share with you some of our photos from our visit to Harpers Ferry.  Be sure to click on the photos in order to see them larger.




Harpers Ferry in 2013
Compare this photo with the one above.  This is Shenandoah Street in September of 2013.  Harpers Ferry reminded me a little of my hometown of Big Stone Gap,VA   since both towns are surrounded by mountains.  However,  Harpers Ferry not only is surrounded by mountains,  but two very large rivers converge here,  Potomac River and Shenandoah River.




Here is a photo taken from the other end of the street --looking back down,  where we had just walked. 




I was fascinated by this church sitting on top of a big hill---ABOVE town... I have 3 pictures of the church in today's post---from 3 different angles!  Here is the first photo--taken from Shenandoah Street,  looking up at the church and steeple.  Beautiful location UP there,  don't you think????




George is standing in front of the armory fire engine house (now known as John Brown's fort).  John Brown believed he could free the slaves and chose Harpers Ferry as his starting point.  He wanted to seize the 100,000 weapons at the arsenal,  so a group of men including 3 of his sons and 5 free African Americans tried to do so.  Thirty-six hours after the raid began,  most of Brown's men were killed and he was captured. He was found guilty of treason and hanged on Dec. 2, 1859.  BUT--John Brown certainly brought  attention to the country pertaining to the issues involving slavery.

What do you remember MOST about John Brown?????  I remember the old song which we sung (called John Brown's Body) to the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic... Remember that song???  You'll need to google it on You Tube to hear it.




This is the "Point" where two famous rivers merged.   The Shenandoah River was on the right --and the Potomac River was on the left...  We paralleled the Shenandoah River while walking on Shenandoah Street. -- This street joined up with  Potomac Street (turning left)--which paralleled the Potomac River.   There's an interesting fact about Meriwether Lewis on the sign.  You can find more info about Meriwether Lewis by checking out the link I provided above.




Here is my picture showing where the Shenandoah River comes in from the right and joins with the Potomac River on the left.. The river then gets very wide.




This photo show how wide the river becomes after the two rivers merge..  As you can tell,  fishermen are enjoying the morning...  Also,  there are some kayakers in the water.  See them?????




I was surprised to see that the Appalachian Trail goes through here....  Did you know that?  Want to walk to Maine ---or Georgia?????  (Think I'll pass on that offer!)




Here is the footbridge which we took across the Potomac River.




We took the footbridge to get to the other side --and to get an up close and personal look at the railroad tunnel (built in 1931).




After seeing all of that,  we walked UP-UP-UP a series of steps and hills ---and came to the church,  St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church.   This is Photo Number TWO that I took of this church.  I was amazed especially after seeing the location of this gorgeous church.




This is a good view from the church looking back toward the town.  You can see the footbridge and railroad tunnel from here.  Those are the Blue Ridge Mountains straight ahead.




We continued walking UP UP UP---and came to Jefferson Rock.  This huge rock on the top of the hill over Harpers Ferry  is named after Thomas Jefferson.  Jefferson visited here on October 25, 1783 ---and found the view from here impressive.  He reported that the "scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic".    We loved the view from here also.




George took this photo of me near Jefferson Rock.  That is the Shenandoah River in the background.




Finally,  here is my third photo showing the church steeple.   Now---we are at Jefferson Rock looking DOWN on the church.  You can also see the WIDE Potomac River in the distance.

Hope you enjoyed seeing my photos from Harpers Ferry.  There's alot more history here including some happenings during the Civil War---and MORE.    If you haven't made a trip there,  add this place to your list of places to visit!!!!  You will enjoy it!

Have a great day.  Be sure to check out my Photo Blog today.  Click HERE.

Hugs,

48 comments:

Ginny said...

O.K. I have to start talking to you before I am even done looking!!!! I will go back and forth. I love that you showed BOTH ends of the street, because there Is a difference! Also the kayakers on that big expanse of green water. Also the cliffs with the green water and that unique bridge!! And St.Peters, what a gorgeous little church, and right up against the mountain, so safe nestled there. And then looking down on the whole town with the railroad tracks, wow!!!! I could go on but just love it all!!!

Our photos said...

Beautiful are your photos , Betsy!
Greetings, RW & SK

Ms. A said...

I LOVE that church! The actual ground part of the street itself looks to be in much better shape in 2013, nice and paved.

Tabor said...

I live a few hours drive from there and have been there many times. It is a place with lots of contrast.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful tour of Harpers Ferry, Betsy! Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing your visit!

Eva Ason said...

Another nice area, beautiful pictures. I like that church

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

We so enjoyed exploring this area when I ran the marathon there last year. It is so pretty and the history is fascinating. You got excellent shots!

From the Kitchen said...

It has taken me an entire cup of coffee to get through your post!! I LOVE it!! I've been there a few times--the first as a child. I remember the rivers merging and the hills and steps and....... I've got to go get another cup of coffee!

Best,
Bonnie

linda m said...

Thank you so much for taking us on a historical tour of Harper's Ferry. It is on my list of must see places as my hubby and I are history buffs.

The Furry Gnome said...

Great photos; interesting area.

Donna said...

This is like a trip down memory lane for me. I used to go up to Harpers Ferry now and then for a visit when I lived down in Rockville and the Aspen Hill area of Silver Spring. It is a beautiful area and very rich in history. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Wowza....I've never been to this area, but it is sweet. What a history lesson.
XOXO

I Am Woody said...

Due to my National Park passport stamp obsession, it's definitely on our list of places to visit! But it looks like a a place well worth some extra exploring time!!

Sandra said...

i like the footbridge and that is one i would walk across to see that tunnel. love the view from the church, they sure built it right on the edge. it is a beautiful church,

Sylvia K said...

Such a beautiful and historic place and your captures are -- as always -- the next best thing to being there myself! Thanks for sharing, Betsy, as always!

Joy said...

What a wonderful place and thanks for the history about this place. Defenitely worth visiting. I love travelling with you both. By your blog, I see places that I wont be able to see in my lifetime if not for you.
Thanks and hugs from me too:)

Small City Scenes said...

What a journey you just took me on. Love it. You and George are so fortunate to be able to travel and go to these historic places so close to home. I mean I am across the whole country...........
That church is amazing. I see a lot of buildings are brick---reason??
I love seeing the rivers too. Thanks again. MB

SweetMarie said...

Love the footbridge! This is such an interesting post. I would enjoy exploring that area. :)

SweetMarie said...

you got some great photos!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I loved this tour of Harpers Ferry via your beautiful photos! Betsy, you keep making me add to my bucket list, you know!! I don't know that I'll ever get around to all these places, but thanks to your wonderful photos, I can take the armchair tour!
Have a great day!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I like how you do your research on the places you visit.That church is spectacular.

Daisy said...

I enjoyed seeing these photos of your trip to Harpers Ferry, Betsy. Interesting to hear about all the history there. Looks like a beautiful place to visit.

Sandra said...

Hi Betsy!
great pics and I have learned who John Brown was (I am British, so I don't have an enormous knowledge of American History! but I'm learning!)
but 'the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia' had me singing! I used to watch Laurel and Hardy a lot! Mr F has just informed me the Appalachian Trail was the one Bill Bryson, the author, wrote a book on- great post! x x x

David said...

Betsy, Terrific photos as usual! I'm glad that you published this blog... I've been meaning to get up to Harper's Ferry and explore the town and its history and now I have it back on my 'places to go' trip list! You'd asked me if I'd prefer the US Rockies vs. the Canadian Rockies for a trip. The Canadian Rockies are more rugged with ice on top even in the summer. There are fewer towns and less roads to explore but the scenery is spectacular. If you've been to the US Rockies before and you've never been to the Canadian Rockies, you should chose the Canadian Rockies. You need to go there once for sure. I love the back roads and exploration from the road, so the US offers us more opportunity for that... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Marydon Ford said...

Harold would have been the best tour historian guide you've ever had ...
TTFN ~
Marydon

Terry and Linda said...

Harper's Ferry! Stunning a place so full of history it is even hard to imagine!

Thank you so much!

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

Ann said...

what an amazing looking town and so rich with history. I love that church, it's gorgeous

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Love the small town that I see in these photos

Linda@arichtapestry said...

It's good to see places so full of history that I know only from the place names and characters in those familiar old songs. Harper's Ferry is also set in a beautiful and strategic location. When I see buildings or even rock monuments high up in mountains I think of the people who hauled the stones up there. The same with the construction of railroads, bridges and tunnels; how hard that must have been to do.

Sharon said...

Haven't been since I was a child, but have planned two trips in the last couple of years and for one reason or another have had to cancel both trips. One of these days planning to bike the C & O Canal Path from Harper's Ferry to DC.

Arkansas Patti said...

Like you, I have never been there but have read a lot about. If I get the chance again, I will definitely check it out. Very interesting.
Thanks, now I have John Brown's moldering body stuck in my head.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

You had a beautiful day for your visit. What a pretty setting and all the history!!! Thank you for sharing.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

i have always love it a Harper Ferry. one of my favs when n West VA. ( :

Rose said...

Betsy, I really enjoyed your photos. I love that church...it sure is beautiful.

wildlifewatcher said...

Hi Betsy, Thanks for sharing about this interesting place. Maybe I will visit there some day on my travels East. Who can tell. Looks nice. I enjoy seeing historic places. Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Jazzmin said...

So much beauty and history all in one place!! It looks like such an interesting place to visit. And the beautiful river- what a wonderful place to enjoy the scenery, or go fishing :)

Love all of your photos, especially the church shots. Lovely. As is all of the architecture- like a wonderful step back in time.

What a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing it!

Hugs,
Jazzmin

Catherine said...

You sure get too see some beautiful sites Betsy!
Happy Thursday!
xo Catherine

Dorothy Thompson said...

Oooookay, you talked me right into Harpers Ferry after seeing those pictures. I'm off to Google Land to find out how far it is from me!

LV said...

What a pleasure visiting your blog. Makes me feel I have been along on the trip.

Miss Debbie said...

Beautiful river and I love the church steeple!

Linda Gross said...

We have made several visits to Harpers Ferry; love that place! Did you see the ruins of a church on the right, on the way up to Jefferson Rock? If you walk up past Jefferson Rock, there is a cemetery. Did you see the cemetery?

Chatty Crone said...

Last year Andy had a research paper on Harriett Tubman and the underground railroad so a lot of this was familiar. Too bad I didn't have these pictures last year. Another beautiful trip. sandie

ladyfi said...

What an idyllic place! And doubly so in the fall. Gorgeous shots.

Ercotravels said...

Looking the beautiful spot to trip! you have make nice photos.
Interesting post.
Hugs
Erco Travels

Blackberry Lane said...

Fascinating place to visit. That church and also the footbridge are spectacular.

Betty Manousos said...

dear betsy, thank you for this lovely pictorial tour.
what a fantastic and interesting place to visit.
i totally enjoyed your photos.
i love the church steeple.

Betty Manousos said...

...big hugs!
xoxo

Twilight Man said...

Amazing story! You could have turned this post into a mini story book! I loved the neat looking town and your descriptions until I felt I was inside the place.

I have been crooning Bob Dylan's at the karaoke joints and no idea what that town was like.

..."Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear you
Look away, you rollin' river
Oh, Shenandoah, I long to hear
Look away, we're bound away
Across the wide Missouri......"