Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry West Virginia

We are surprised how close Harpers Ferry and even Washington DC is to where Melchor Engle took his family when he moved from Lancaster Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley.

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Map Of Shenandoah Junction & Harpers Ferry relationship

Almost the entire town of Harpers Ferry is part of the Harpers Ferry National Park.  We checked out the website to see if it was OK to take dogs (they are!) and drove from Front Royal where we are camping to the National Park.

Family History Perspective

Jeff’s 5th Great Grandfather moved to Shenandoah Junction about 1753, his youngest son George (my 4th Great Grandfather) 3 years old.  In 1751 Harper bought the land that was to become Harpers Ferry.  George lived in Shenandoah Junction until about 1781 getting married and having his first two children there.

Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington visited Harpers Ferry in the 1780s.

George moved on to Tennessee, but other decedents of Melchor stayed on to see the events of the beginning of the Civil War unfold virtually in their back yard.

The Park

We found a place to park just outside of the town so we didn’t have to worry about taking the shuttle ride.  The town is pretty hilly so we didn’t know how the dogs would do with a long walk.  Access to the park and parking is free with the National Park senior pass.

We are visiting in November during the week so the streets are almost empty.  We walked through the town and checked out John Brown’s fort.

At the point of Harpers Ferry, the Shenandoah River and Potomac River meet.  On the bluff we have a spectacular view of the two rivers.  There are the ruins of railroad bridges, along with one bridge that is still active.

There is a walkway along the bridge, so we are able to walk from West Virginia to Maryland over the Potomac River.  The dogs were not too enthused about it, but everyone made the trip safe and sound.

The Appalachian Trail goes through Harpers Ferry too!


Happy Trails from the Trippin’ Engles

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