Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

October 16, 1942: Devastating Flood Strikes Harpers Ferry

Oct 16, 2019
Harpers Ferry nestles between two rivers
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Roger Spencer

A devastating flood struck Harpers Ferry on October 16, 1942. Ironically, it occurred on the 83rd anniversary of John Brown’s raid—the event that forever put Harpers Ferry in the history books.

The town’s early history was tied to water. In the 1740s, settler Robert Harper established a ferry there, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, giving the town its name. Then, based on a recommendation from George Washington, one of the nation’s two government armories and arsenals was built at Harpers Ferry.

Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, W.Va. played a pivitol role during the American Civil War.
Mark Frickett / Wikimedia Commons

The small town of Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle is often referred to as a gateway into West Virginia. It was a prominent place during the American Civil War, and it was the site of John Brown’s Raid.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park played host to a naturalization ceremony Tuesday morning for 19 new U.S. citizens.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

By now, you may have heard of a new app for smartphones called Pokémon GO. It was released in the United States on July 6 and has taken the country by storm – including West Virginia. There’s a feature in the game that encourages you to visit historic, unique, or touristy spots in the real world, and West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been exploring the interest in this widely popular game.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This year marks the Centennial Celebration of the National Park Service – 100 years since the system was created. But 2016 is also special for another reason – it marks the release of a new quarter honoring one of West Virginia's best known National Parks.

Hundreds of people gathered in Harpers Ferry for the official launch of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program honoring Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Tracie Peterson

Since the show began almost two years ago A Change of Tune has highlighted some of the best up-and-coming artists out of these West Virginia hills with podcast-y chats ranging from Tyler Childers to Ona, Teammate's Scott Simons to Jordan Andrew Jefferson and beyond.

But those interviews have been a bit infrequent, and since West Virginia Day is coming up (not to mention A Change of Tune’s second birthday), we thought we’d do something special: 30 days, 30 brand new #WVmusic interviews that range from Morgantown alt-rockers and Parkersburg singer-songwriters to West Virginia music venues and regional artist management and beyond, all of which contribute to this state’s wild and wonderful music scene.

Civil War cannon at Harpers Ferry
Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will be the next coin released in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

The Journal in Martinsburg reports an official unveiling and celebration will be held at 10 a.m. June 8 on Hamilton Street in Lower Town Harpers Ferry. Visitors will be able to buy up to $100 worth of Harpers Ferry quarters at the event.

Civil War Era Christmas Celebrated in Harpers Ferry

Dec 24, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll meet Karen Brown-Wilson, an inspiring West Virginian from McDowell County.  Also, reporter Liz McCormick takes us back to 1864 for a Civil War Christmas in Harpers Ferry. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s been 59 years since the Curtis Freewill Baptist Church in Harpers Ferry has been open with a regular congregation. This historical African-American church was the main building of worship during the days of Storer College, a predominantly black school that first began as a place to teach former slaves and eventually grew into a full-fledged degree-granting institution.

Harpers Ferry was the site of the US Armory, and played a vital role before and during the Civil War.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Harpers Ferry, John Brown, US Armory, Robert E. Lee, Civil War

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is a contender for Best Historic Southern Attraction in the USA Today, 10Best Readers’ Choice contest.