Earlier this Spring we spent an afternoon visiting Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, West Virginia. Sitting at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers is a quaint, historic community.

IMG_2976It happened to be the opening weekend of National Park Week allowing us free entrance, many hands-on activities for the kids and a visit with Smokey the Bear.

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Harper’s Ferry was established in 1763.


In 1859 abolitionist John Brown came to Harper’s Ferry to arm an uprising of slaves. The 100,000 weapons at the Armory were seized as well as several other strategic points in Harper’s Ferry. Thirty-six hours later Brown was captured by the U.S. Marines.

Harpers Ferry changed hands eight times during the Civil War.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed legislation creating Harpers Ferry National Monument on June 29, 1944.


“The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature. You stand on a very high point of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah…On your left approaches the Patowmac… In the moment of their junction they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder and pass off to the sea.”
– Thomas Jefferson