Posts Tagged ‘Harper’s Ferry’

Last week I took a weekend vacation to Gettysburg, PA and Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

harpers ferry

Although I had never planned on traveling to Gettysburg, I figured I would sneak it in since it is a big part of Civil War history.

But my main purpose of the trip was to see Harper’s Ferry.

Harper’s Ferry has been on my radar for a while.  If you are not familiar with the town, it’s a really small city in West Virginia where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet.

But what is so unique about the town, is the amount of history in such a small area, especially civil war history.

It was the scene of the famous John Brown raid.  If you are not familiar with this, I highly recommend you read the wikipedia page, it’s a good read for any history buff.

john brown

Basically, John Brown was a big abolitionist (anti-slavery) before the U.S. Civil War started. Whether his anti slavery ideas came from his devotion to religion or from his business failures is debated, but what is not debated is that towards the end of his life he gained a “militaristic” hatred of the institution of salary.

Although the civil war did not start yet, it was slowly starting to develop.  John Brown had already led some successful slave insurrections and came up with the idea of raiding a federal weapons armory.  The idea was that he could arm many of the slaves in the South and start a major slave uprising.

Long story short, his plan backfired.  He was caught pretty quickly, several of his son’s  were killed on the scene and he was tried and hung in the nearby town of Charlestown (named after George Washington’s brother).

Although John Brown was not succesful, his raid on the armory was big news and helped fuel the anger on both sides which started the Civil War shortly after.

The town itself was also taken over by the confederacy and the union several times during the war.

Like I stated, small town, big history.

It’s hard to explain Harper’s Ferry.  It’s basically a town on a river bank, with a railroad, pedestrian and car bridge, along with some small shops and historic area’s.

harpers ferry 3

They have parts of the original fort that John Brown was captured in, along with a ton of hiking trails.

Overall, I give Harper’s Ferry a “C+/B-”  It’s not bad, just not a lot to do.

It is limited on hotels, but there are a decent number of good restaurants near the water front.

harpers ferry 2

Outside of town, Charlestown has a nice horse track and casino about 10 minutes away.

You can basically make a day out of it or maybe stretch a weekend trip.

Check out the John Brown fort area, walk over the pedestrian bridge, pick some hiking trails and then hit the casino.

Not a horrible trip, but not sure if I would go again.

-John Andre

Check out my book on amazon.com! Book 3 is coming out soon!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

Advertisements