Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

Harpers Ferry is located at the confluence of two great rivers, the Potomac and the Shenandoah, and three states, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland. Thomas Jefferson described the scene in his Notes on the State of Virginia: “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, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the Patowmac in quest of a passage also. In the moment of their junction they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder and pass off to the sea‚Ķ This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.” At Harpers Ferry, you can hike up to Jefferson’s Rock to enjoy the view that Jefferson described. If you’re up for a more strenuous hike, cross the river to Maryland Heights, 1,448 feet above the Potomac, for a breathtaking view of Harpers Ferry and the rivers. Explore Virginius Island along the banks of the Shenandoah River, where mills and factories operated until the Civil War and record floods in 1870 and 1889 reduced the island to ruins. And, of course, stroll the Lower Town Historic District, where George Washington built a federal arsenal, and John Brown launched his ill-fated raid in 1859.

Location Map and Directions: Click Here

Links: Harpers Ferry National Historic Park

Belle Boyd House, West Virginia

The Belle Boyd House in Martinsburg was the girlhood home of Belle Boyd, one of the most famous Confederate spies. She provided valuable military information to General “Stonewall” Jackson during the spring 1862 campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. Her exploits are legend in this region, and in 1992 The Berkeley County Historical Society purchased the home, saved it from destruction and preserved it in her memory. Renovations were completed on the Greek Revival home that was built in 1853 by Belle’s father, Ben Boyd. Today, the premises is the permanent home of The Berkeley County Historical Society and the Berkeley County Historic Landmarks Commission and two museums. Visitors are welcome to browse The Boyd Mason Civil War Museum collections that focus on local Civil War events and Belle Boyd. The Berkeley County Museum presents a general history of the area, and The Archives Section is available for genealogical research. Belle Boyd’s birthday is celebrated on the third weekend each May with a full schedule of Civil War activities.

The Belle Boyd House is located at 126 East Race Street in Martinsburg. WV.