History & Culture

The history of Harpers Ferry has few parallels in the American drama.

It is more than one event, one date, or one individual. It is multi-layered - involving a diverse number of people and events that influenced the course of our nation's history. Harpers Ferry witnessed the first successful application of interchangeable manufacture, the arrival of the first successful American railroad, John Brown's attack on slavery, the largest surrender of Federal troops during the Civil War, and the education of formerly enslaved people in one of the earliest integrated schools in the United States.

To explore this history in-depth, check out the links below.
black and white image of John Brown

Learn about the people who shaped the history of Harpers Ferry.

Jefferson Rock with Loudoun Heights in the background, in the snow

Explore the many places in Harpers Ferry that offer views, hiking, and history.

sepia tone image from the 1870s showing a group of African American students and their teachers

Discover the more in-depth stories of Harpers Ferry's history.


Studying History and Culture at Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry is an oasis for visitors and for historians and researchers because of its well protected cultural heritage and history. With an archeological record going back millennia and hundreds of years of written history, the story of Harpers Ferry is diverse, complex, and continually being reframed. Research in archives, on the landscape, through oral histories, and through archeology provides information about how to best care for the park and informs how we tell the stories of our park.
Read more in the articles below about researchers studying history and culture at Harpers Ferry.

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    Last updated: April 22, 2024

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
    National Park Service
    PO Box 65

    Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


    304 535-6029

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