• Sun beginning to set at Harpers Ferry, as seen from Maryland Heights. Photo by NPS Volunteer Buddy Secor.

    Harpers Ferry

    National Historical Park WV,VA,MD

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Change in Park Hours

    The park is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the last shuttle bus departing Lower Town at 6:45 p.m. More »

  • Murphy Farm Closure Sept 2-4, 2014

    The Murphy Farm will be closed to public access Sept. 2-4, 2014 to allow application of fertilizer to the hayfields. For further information please click on the "More" link or contact the park’s Resource Management Specialist at 304-535-6038. More »

Frederick Roeder

Mr. Roeder's home and Confectionery on High Street.

Mr. Roeder's home and Confectionery on High Street.

NPS Photo, Marsha Wassel

German immigrant Frederick Roeder was a prosperous baker, the father of seven children. 1861was not turning out to be a good year for Mr. Roeder. In March Roeder buried his wife, Anna Maria; the following month Civil War erupted, Virginia seceded and soon after Harpers Ferry became a war zone--businesses collapsed and the local economy crashed.

The Fourth of July was normally a day of celebration, but not this year--not 1861. A Union sympathizer, Roeder longed to catch a glimpse of the United States flag flying on the Maryland shore. Venturing out to the Potomac River, he gazed across at the Stars and Stripes, only to be struck down by a ricocheting bullet fired by a Union soldier. He crawled back to his home, where he died.

Roeder was the first townsperson to die during the war. His home, business and other property were confiscated by the Union Army for use as a military bakery, post office and headquarters.

His orphaned children abandoned their home, but returned a year later and lived here until 1881. They filed claims with the government for extensive wartime damage to this house and other family property. They were finally approved for compensation of $504.00 in 1906.

Mr. Roeder’s Confectionery

The enticing smell of bread, cakes, candies, and pies undoubtedly attracted many customers to Frederick Roeder’s Confectionery, making it a prosperous business from 1845 to 1861. In addition to his store, it is reported that he carried small pies to the train station to sell to hungry passengers before the days of dining cars. By 1856 Roeder was so successful that he enlarged this structure by one and a half stories, creating much needed space for his business and family of 7 children. Thriving in his adopted homeland, this German baker turned skills from his native country into sumptious treats for his friends, neighbors and community.

White Hall Tavern
The White Hall Tavern was owned and operated by Frederick Roeder and served as a drinking house for Armory employees.
NPS Photo, Marsha Wassel

Did You Know?

Troops pose for a photo at Harpers Ferry.

Harpers Ferry changed hands 8 times during the Civil War. These Union troops posed for a picture on Camp Hill in Harpers Ferry in October, 1862.