How’d I get to WVa? Afternoon in Harper’s Ferry

I have a certain love of ghost towns. Next to Grandma’s was the town of Ward, and everything was gone. Almost all the homes had just been left. Grandma, my mom and dad all went to dig up a plant that someone had left in their yard, which was quite old. The high school and junior high were empty buildings along the road. Yet two smaller towns with residents sat on either side, less affected. I remember a factory behind my other grandmother’s apartment in the Bronx, which had once had about twenty people working in it, abandoned.  Some of the old ivory colored fabric shades and hanging green glass lampshade covers silent.

Don’t plan to bring your gun like you normally do.

In another part of West Virginia, I was taken to a curious historical town, which makes a perfect afternoon when in the DC area. From DC head to Hagerstown, Maryland and then further west. Harper’s Ferry National Park is free. It is a unique adventure to witness history, and generally to be left alone. There are no hokey high-pitched hosts, and building retain a sense of authenticity. A little sentimentality in the old general store, and John Brown, which is why most of the people are there. But my love for rounded eastern mountains, water and a beauty in planes of ordinary buildings make this visit quite thoughtful.

No, the building from the left does not have a shadow. It is where the old building, now gone, butted before they stuccoed it.

Look how the one building just grows out of the slope.

Don’t you love this store interior?

There are buildings to go into, they recreated stores, etc. There is a lot on John Brown, and the Amory that Brown was after, as a piece of pre-Civil War history. The town became less lived in, since

The armory building.

it was an island in a river bed. Ill fortune due to flooding finished off this town. What remains are the buildings, which have been well taken care of. You go there by car and park, and buses run you to that site. You are free to walk and explore. There is a beautiful old church if you want to go. St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, up high after a climb of many original steps, has with an interior that was quite unexpected.

It Since it was July 4th and quite a nice day when we went. It is well worth the ride. You might want to read up on John Brown, and Harper’s Ferry, before you make the trip.

For more information:

http://www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2940.html

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