"Caught in the Middle" Harpers Ferry National Historical Park by Toughluck

The Historic Town remains largely unchanged

Located in the vallies of the Potomac and Shennandoah Rivers, Harpers Ferry had little room to grow. In the days of river and foot travel, it remained a vibrant town, serving as a way station along the routes westward into western Virginia (now West Virginia) and Pennsylvania. With the onset of the American Civil War (1860-1865), the down lost it's viability as a place of business.

Caught in the middle between the north and south, Harpers Ferry could not survive the Civil War with it's business' intack. Located along the Potomac side of town, was one of the largest federal armories in the nation. With transportation links to the nation and access to the raw materials needed to produce weopons, Harpers Ferry grew in renown as a manufacturing center.

With the onset of the Civil War, the town could not be adequately protected. Overlooked from across the rivers by the Maryland Heights (Maryland) and the Loudon Heights (Virginia), the town was difficult to protect. To the west, Bolivar Heights could be fortified, but it was overshadowed by Schoolhouse Ridge just to it's west.

The town changed hands many times during the war and the Armory was finally moved to protect the production of arms for the northern armies. From that time on, Harpers Ferry slowly became a backwater community, which has allowed the historic buildings to remain intact for over 100 years.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:You get to step back to another time
  • Cons:Becomes overcrowded on summer weekends
  • In a nutshell:More than John Brown's story
  • Last visit to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park: Feb 2005
  • Intro Updated Feb 12, 2007
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