WHEN THE WAGER FAMILY – HEIRS TO ROBERT HARPER – SOLD LAND TO THE GOVERNMENT for the Armory in 1796, one of the two parcels of land they retained was the "Six-Acre Reservation" (the other tract was the ¾-acre "Ferry Lot Reservation" at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers).
The "Six-Acre Reservation" extended north from Shenandoah Street between present-day Potomac Street and the site of St. Peter's Catholic Church. As the Armory workforce grew in the early 1800s, both the "Ferry Lot Reservation" and the "Six-Acre Reservation" became the commercial heart of Harpers Ferry. Among the many establishments which operated on the "Six-Acre Reservation" at the time of John Brown's Raid was Philip Frankel & Co.'s Ready-Made Clothing Store, John T. Rieley's Boot & Shoe Manufactory, The Charles Johnson Dry Goods Store, the Great Southern Clothing Hall, White Hall Tavern, and Frederick A. Roeder's Confectionery.
Today, the area comprising the "Six-Acre Reservation" – the heart of what is now commonly referred to as the Lower Town Historic District – includes some of the best-preserved historic structures in Harpers Ferry. [Retrieve a Map and Guide of the Lower Town].