Friday, May 28, 2010

Harpers Ferry, WV

We were up early, early today. Remember the nice level, shady, quiet spot at the Casino? Well what we didn’t know was there’s a railroad spur right out front of our truck. Around 2:30 last night a freight rolled by, wheels squeakin’, shakin’ the whole rig. I heard it but must have been asleep sound enough to dismiss it and roll over and go back to sleep. Until around 6 this mornin’ when another freight rolled by, not so much squeakin’, but much more shakin’ it seemed. So that was the end of my sleep. I thought it was comin’ through the side of the camper. I couldn’t believe we didn’t see the tracks yesterday when we chose this spot. It was daylight, what happened? Later after breakfast I investigated and couldn’t see the tracks at first. Then I walked up the parkin’ lot a little and found that the tracks came down the side of the property, straight at us and turned 50’ to the right of where we were parked. So much fer’ the perfect parkin’ spot!

We stopped to get some pics of the horse track this morning since we couldn’t get get any yesterday.


Charles Town Race Track

We drove up the road to Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and parked in the lot. There is no place to park in the town & the streets are very narrow, so the Park Service provides shuttle buses from the Visitors Center.


Typical Street in Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry lies on a narrow peninsula of land at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. It is also an intersection of several railroad tracks of the B&O railroad, not my favorite thing right today. There is a railroad bridge with a foot bridge attached where three tracks combine to cross the Potomac River. The Appalachian Trail also crosses on this bridge.



We started our tour at an exhibit that gave a background history on the town. It was a place steeped in the Industrial Revolution. The Harpers Ferry Armory mass produced rifles and pistols for the government, these weapons were the first of their kind to have interchangeable parts. It must have been massive for it’s time covering several blocks.

What Harpers Ferry is most famous for is ‘John Browns Raid’. John Brown and his supporters attacked the armory in an attempt to capture the 100,000 rifles housed there and held up in the Fire Company’s station. His objective was to call attention to the abolition of slavery by arming the south’s blacks with weapons from the armory. Word of the raid spread and the local militia was gathered from surrounding towns to rout the invaders. They were soon replaced by a company of Marines who stormed the building were John Brown and his raiders were held up. John Brown was wounded and captured while most of his men were killed. He was later taken to Charles Town, the county seat and charged with treason, tried and hanged. His raid and more so his death served to speed up the conflict between the states. Harpers Ferry was such a strategic stronghold that it changed hands eight times during the Civil War.


This was the Fire Company, now known as John Browns Fort

We are spending the night in a Passport park, Keystone RV in Greencastle, PA. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Hope to see ya down the road as we’re;

Dancin’ on the Wind.

No comments: