Last updated: May 16, 2023
Information Panel: Harper House: The Mansion on the Hill
From this vantage point, early residents watched Harpers Ferry grow from a tiny village into a thriving industrial community.
In 1775, town founder Robert Harper chose this hillside for his home. The home was completed in 1782. Unfortunately, he died that same year and never lived there. Harper had no children and left his property to his niece, Sarah Harper Wager. On September 6, 1832, Sarah's granddaughter, Sarah Ann, married Noah H. Swayne in this house. Referred to as "The Mansion," this home was owned by the Swayne family for 89 years.
The Harper House is the oldest surviving structure in Harpers Ferry and has undergone many transformations from tavern, residence, rental property, abandoned ruin to restored exhibit.
Photo Caption: Noah H. Swayne. On January 21, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln nominated Noah H. Swayne as his first appointee to the Supreme Court of the United States. Swayne served on the Court for nineteen years. He worked to improve the status of African Americans, and fought to ratify the 15the amendment which guaranteed voting rights for all citizens.