currents National Park Service
Virginius Island
Historic Overview
Existing Conditions
Assessment & Analysis
Preservation Philosophy
Implementation & Management
Outreach & Education

Dam remnant within the Shenandoah River, 2001. NPS Photo



Historic Context – General

Bartlett, W. H. and Willis, N.P. American Scenery; Or Land Lake and River. George Virtue, London, England, 1840.

Bowen, Eli. Rambles in the Path of the Steam-horse.  Philadel­phia: Wm. Bromwell and Wm. White Smith, 1855. (HFB 52), HFNHP booklet file.  

Bryant, William Cullen, ed. Picturesque America or The Land We Live In. D. Appleton and Company, New York, 1872.

Caldwell, John Edwards. A Tour Through Part Of Virginia, in the Summer of 1808. Rich­mond, Va.: William Dietz Press, Inc., 1951.

Carter, Edward C., II et al., eds. The Journals of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, 1799-1820, From Philadelphia to New Orleans. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980.

Jefferson, Thomas. Notes on the State of Virginia. Chapel Hill: Univer­sity of North Carolina Press, 1954. Includes Jefferson’s description of the view from the high point above the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers.


Historic Context Associated with the Potomac Canal Company, Harpers Ferry, etc. 

Bacon-Foster, Mrs. Corra. "Early Chapters in the Development of the Potomac Route to The West." Records of the Columbia Histori­cal Soc­iety, XV: 128

Barry, Joseph. The Strange Story of Harpers Ferry, (1903). Shepherds­town, West Virginia: The Woman's Club of Harpers Ferry District, 1979.

Bushong, Millard. Historic Jefferson County. Boyce, Va.: Carr Publishing Company, Inc., 1972.

Davis, Julia. Shenandoah. New York: Farrar and Rhinehart, Inc., 1954.

Gutheim, Frederick. The Potomac. New York: Rhinehart and Co., Inc., 1949.

West Virginia Writer's Project. West Virginia, A Guide to The Mountain State. New York: Oxford University Press, 1941.


Historic Context – Modern Sources

Bergstresser, Jack. "Written Historical and Descriptive Data, Water­power on Virginius Island." Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, (HAER No. WV-35, 1988), on file HFNHP manuscript collection.  This report accompanies the measured drawings and large-format photographs that are included in the Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record collection located at the Library of Congress.[link to American Memory/loc]

Candee, Richard M. "New Towns of the Early New England Textile In­dustry," in Wells, Camille, ed., Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, I. Columbia: University of Missouri Press for the Vernacular Architec­ture Forum (1982), 1987

Cochran, Thomas C. Frontiers of Change: Early Industrialism in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981. Examines the history of technology before the Civil War and the cultural forces driving its development.

Gilbert, Dave. Where Industry Failed. Charleston, West Virginia: Pic­torial Histo­ries Publish­ing Company, 1984.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Collection.  Information collected from a history database, manuscripts, photographs, maps found within the parks archival collection, which includes the Grace Jennings Taft manuscript, "A Trip to Harpers Ferry.” A unique park collection that includes an extensive database created from census records, newspaper articles, advertisements and notices, and other original sources, as well as a collection of over 2000 photographs.

Hunter, Louis C. A History of Industrial Power in the United States, 1780-1930, Volume One: Waterpower in the Century of the Steam Engine. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia for the Eleuther­ian Mills-Hagley Foundation, 1979. Overall survey on the continuing use of water power in the nineteenth century.

Kasson, John F. Civilizing the Machine, Technology and Republican Values in America, 1776-1900. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976. Focus on the rise of industrialization in the nineteenth century.

Lewis, Pierce F."Axioms for Reading the Landscape," in Meinig, David ed. The Interpreta­tion of Ordinary Landscapes. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Murfin, James V. From the Riot and the Tumult. Harpers Ferry: Harpers Ferry Historical Association, Inc. 1989.

Noble, Allen G. Wood, Brick and Stone.  Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1984.

Pierson, William H., Jr. American Buildings and Their Architects, Technol­ogy and the Picturesque. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1978. Examines the development of mill villages and early industrial or “corporate” architecture.

Reps, John. Views and Viewmakers of Urban America. Columbia: University of Missou­ri Press, 1984. Reps documents bird’s eye lithographs of thousands of 19th century communities and the itinerant artists who made them.

Stilgoe, John R. Common Landscape of America, 1580 to 1845. New Haven: Yale Univer­si­ty Press, 1982.

______. Metropolitan Corridor. New Haven: Yale Univer­sity Press, 1983.

Smith, Merritt Roe. Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology. Ithaca: Cornell Universi­ty Press, 1977


Preservation Planning and Treatment Issues

Ashurst, John and Nicola.  Practical Building Conservation. Vol. 1: Stone Masonry.  New York: Halstead Press, a Division of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1988.  Provides information on repair and maintenance of stone, including: maintenance and repair of ruined masonry buildings, cleaning, removal of salts and biological growth, repointing and grouting, and stabilization of ruins.

Brennan, Ellen. "[Re] Capturing a Ruin". Common Ground. 3(2/3), pp. 32-34. 98.
Describes project that developed data on the conditions of ruins throughout the National Park Service with assistance of students from Northern Arizona University.

Fiero, Kathleen. "A Legacy in Danger". Common Ground. 3(2/3), pp. 28-31. 98.
 Treatment for Square Tower, a prehistoric landmark of the Pueblo Indians, at the Hovenweep National  Monument site in U.T.

Francaviglia, Richard. "Learning from America's Preserved Historic Mining Landscapes: Some New Perspectives on Community Historic Preservation". Small Town. 25(1), pp. 8-21. 94.
Stabilization, preservation, and interpretation of mid-western ghost towns. Lessons learned from preserving this type of landscape. Examples include: Bodie, Calif.; Cokedale, Colorado.; Virginia City, Nevada., and more

Fry, Bruce W. "My Life is in Ruins: The Limitations of Stabilization as a Presentation Technique". CRM. 15(8), pp.7-8. 92.  Presentation, interpretation at sites of stabilized masonry ruins.

Goeldner, Paul K. Dr. "Plant Life at Historic Properties". APT Bulletin. 16(3&4), pp.67-69. 84.
Vegetative threats to historic structures, cemeteries, industrial ruins, historic battlefields.  Eighteen sites surveyed by National Park Service Capital Region in 1982. 

Holliday, Gary. "Ancient And Modern". Landscape Design. (No.185), pp.16-17. 89. 
Problems in Side, Tukish Mediterranean coastal town, in reconciling tourism with the need to protect ancient ruins.

Mack, Robert C. and Anne Grimer. Preservation Brief #1: Assessing Cleaning and Water-Repellent Treatments for Historic Buildings. November 2000, 16 pp. Strategies for cleaning and coating. Project preparation, planning, methods and materials, water-repellent coatings and waterproof coatings.

Mack, Robert C. and John P. Speweik. Preservation Brief #2: Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Buildings. October 1998, 16 pp. Methods for removing deteriorated mortar from the joints of masonry walls and replacing it with new mortar. Useful discussions on the components of mortar, mortar analysis, visual examination and undertaking work.

Matero, Frank. "Managing Change: Conservation of Surface Finishes at Mesa Verde's Cliff Dwellings". CRM. 20(10), pp. 39-42. 97. In-situ preservation and interpretation of extant plasters at archaeological sites. Documentation and survey using several computer programs, including PhotoShop, CAD, Spittin-Image, and Access. Treatment techniques and monitoring system discussed. illus.

McClelland, Linda Flint, et al. Guidelines for Evaluating and Documenting Rural Historic Landscapes. National Register Bulletin 30. U.S. Depart­ment of the Interior, National Park Service, Interagency Resource Division, 1990. Prior to the publication of Preservation Brief 36, the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for the Treatment of Cultural Landscapes, and the Guide to Cultural Landscape Reports, Bulletin 30 served as the NPS standard for the analysis and evaluation of vernacular landscapes.

Neidinger, Paul. “Virginius Island Ruins Assessment and Stabilization Plan.” Williamsport Preservation Training Center, 1993, on file Harpers Ferry National Historical Park manuscript collection. Outlines the preservation work scheduled for the structures and ruins on Virginius Island before the 1996 floods.

Purcell, Donovan. "The Repair and Preservation of Stonework". Garden History Society: Occasional Paper.  #1 , pp.11-14. 69.  Excluding water-carrying salts is most effective way to protect outdoor stonework; need to determine cause of damage before starting repair; types of stone, use of artificial stone discussed.

Matero, Frank G. and Bass, Angelyn. "Orphans of the Storm: The Preservation of Architectural Plasters in Eastern Ruins". CRM. 17(4), pp. 21-26. 94. Contemporary treatment offers new possibilities for in situ stabilization, interpretation.  Documentation, treatment descriptions.  Glossary of technical terms.  Case studies: Fort Union National Monument, N.Mex., Fort Davis National Historic Site, Tex. 

Sinha, Amita. "The Conservation of Sacred Sites: Sarnath, a case study". Landscape Research. 16(3), pp.23-30. 91. Sarnath, in northern India, said to have been the Buddha's first sermon site: research issues, environmental qualities of Indian and other sacred spaces, treatment of ruins, protection of natural areas.

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