Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Harpers Ferry

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On our way to D.C., we made a stop at Harpers Ferry, W.Va. This historic site is famous for the slave uprising led by abolitionist John Brown. It’s a 2 1/2 mile walk from the park entrance to the historic part of Harpers Ferry. The lady at the entrance said it takes her only 30 mins to walk.

“Ugh, I don’t think she’ll let us walk that fast,” I told her, indicating Sidney’s reluctance to walk. It’s tough being an old dog!

The woman told us about the River Access parking lot that was a lot closer to the town. We thanked her, did a U-turn in the drive and headed to the lot. What a blessing the woman was!

We started out walking around Virginius Island. It has several historic sites where homes and mills used to stand. No one has lived on the island since a flood in 1936. The island sits between the Shenandoah River and Shenandoah River Canal. The coolest part was the water tunnels along the shoreline.

Where the Shenandoah Pulp Company mill used to stand.

Where the Shenandoah Pulp Company mill used to stand.

The Shenandoah River

The Shenandoah River

Water tunnels on Virginius Island.

Water tunnels on Virginius Island. The Shenandoah is behind it.

Next up was Lower Town, which represents 19th century Harpers Ferry. It includes abolitionist John Brown’s Fort, which is a historic armory fire engine house where Brown was caught after his raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859. There are several small museums and historic sites in Lower Town, including Storer College, a Meriwether Lewis Exhibit, an African American history museum and Jefferson Rock. We spent a long afternoon walking around the historic district and took a short drive through neighboring Boliver.

View of St. Peter's Catholic Church and Lower Town.

View of St. Peter’s Catholic Church and Lower Town.

The main street in Lower Town. The town was filled with small restaurants, stores, living history sites and museums.

The main street in Lower Town. The town was filled with small restaurants, stores, living history sites and museums.

The armory fire engine house where John Brown was captured in 1859.

The armory fire engine house where John Brown was captured in 1859.

St. Peter's Catholic Church

St. Peter’s Catholic Church

historic building

A tour group and interpretive guide next to John Brown's Fort.

A tour group and interpretive guide next to John Brown’s Fort.

Another street in Harpers Ferry.

Another street in Harpers Ferry.

There are miles of trails in this national park, including the Appalachian Trail (AT) and a place where three national park trails meet — the AT, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal trail and the Potomac Heritage Trail. Harpers Ferry sits on a peninsula that juts out into the meeting of two rivers — the Shenandoah and the Potomac. Lots of breathtaking views from many areas around the town!

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Church ruins on way to Jefferson Rock.

Church ruins on way to Jefferson Rock.

View over Lower Town.

View over Lower Town.

View of hills and rivers surrounding Harpers Ferry.

View of hills and rivers surrounding Harpers Ferry.

Sidney was quite the star, as usual. A few people stopped us to ask about her eyes, of course, and her breed. Some even snapped a few photos. One guy, who said he was taking photos for a marketing campaign for Jefferson County (W.Va.), snapped a few shots of Sidney drinking lhassi at a local cafe. So if you see a Jefferson County marketing campaign in the near future you may see a photo of our little dogher!

Sidney enjoy a lhassi.

Sidney enjoy a lhassi.

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