Park name: Harpers Ferry. 33 contributing buildings. 31 contributing sites. 1 contributing object.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in and around Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The park includes land in the Shenandoah Valley in Jefferson County, West Virginia; Washington County, Maryland and Loudoun County, Virginia. The park is managed by the National Park Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Originally designated Harpers Ferry National Monument in 1944, the park was declared a National Historical Park by the U.S. Congress in 1963. The park includes the historic town of Harpers Ferry, notable as a center of 19th-century industry and as the scene of John Brown's failed abolitionist uprising. Consisting of almost 4,000 acres (16 km2), it includes the site of which Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature" after visiting the area in 1783. Due to a mixture of historical events and ample recreational opportunities, all within 50 miles (80 km) of Washington, D.C., the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The Park's Superintendent is presently Tyrone Brandyburg.
The park was originally planned as a memorial to John Brown, responsible for what is by far the most famous incident in Harpers Ferry's history. "NPS officials in the 1930s focused on John Brown's Raid and the Civil War to justify acquiring parts of Harpers Ferry for a historical and military park." Like the figure of John Brown himself, this proved enormously controversial, with opposition from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Today (2018) there is no mention of John Brown on the Park's home page (http://www.nps.gov/hafe), although the raid is covered in the history section of the website.(read more...)
Significant persons associated with this site:
National Park Service documentation: https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/66000041