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

Walkway under rail line, 2000. NPS Photo


project credits
Since Harpers Ferry National Historical Park's creation in 1944, the National Park Service has guided all the researching efforts, archeological investigations, stabilization and rehabilitation of structures, and interpretation of the island to visitors.

The project team that produced the Cultural Landscape Report for Virginius Island and guided the initial implementation of the plan from 1992 through 1994 included Maureen DeLay Joseph, ASLA, lead landscape architect; Perry Carpenter Wheelock, project historian; Deborah Warshaw, project landscape architect; and Andrew Kriemelmeyer, student intern landscape architect.

An interdisciplinary team of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park staff and cooperative employees from the University of Maryland (Applied Anthropology and History Departments) researched and investigated the diverse history of the island. They include: Archeologist Paul Shackel, John Eddins, Jill Halchin, Cari Young-Ravenhorst and Eric Larsen; Historians Mary Johnson, John Barker, Pat Chickering, and Michael Jenkins; and Park Rangers Catherine Bragaw, Melinda Day, Todd Bolton and David Fox.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park staff managed the majority of the projects which included the assistance of Steve Lowe, lead landscape architect since 1994 in the continued rehabilitation of the island; Peter Dessauer, Historical Architect, project manager for all the flood recovery projects on Virginius Island; Dennis Ebersole, Roads and Trails Supervisor; Kurt Amacher, Buildings and Grounds Supervisor; Mia Parsons, Archeologist, lead investigator; and John Ravenhorst, principal surveyor.

The rehabilitation work was completed by the maintenance staff from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, staff from the Institute for Preservation Training, and staff from the Historic Preservation Training Center (HPTC). HPTC completed the majority of the structural ruins rehabilitation and included the leadership of the following: Tom McGraff, Doug Hicks, Chris Robinson, Scott Jones, Tom Vitanza, and Paul Neidinger.

Without the support of the HAFE management, this project would not have been possible. They include Don Campbell, Park Superintendent; Tim Fox, Chief of Maintenance; Bill Hebb, Natural Resource Manager, Chief of Interpretation, Matt Graves, and the former Chief's of Interpretation and Cultural Resources Dennis Frye and Bruce Noble.

Initial support from Rebecca Stevens, Regional Historical Architect, National Capital Region, NPS and Vernon Smith, former Harpers Ferry Program Coordinator, NPS, provided the vision to protect Virginius Island's resources.

This case study was researched and co-authored by Maureen DeLay Joseph, Regional Historical Landscape Architect, National Capital Region, NPS and Perry Carpenter Wheelock, Cultural Resource Manager, Rock Creek Park, NPS. Nancy Hatcher and Cari Young-Ravenhorst from HAFE assisted the authors in gathering the historic images for this Current.

Charles A. Birnbaum, FASLA, Coordinator of the National Park Service Historic Landscape Initiative served as the general editor of this Current and also authored the annotated bibliography. Mark Oviatt (.oviatt media) designed the Current. Other reviewers included NPS colleagues Kay D. Weeks, HAFE staff Don Campbell, Peter Dessauer, Steve Lowe, Dave Gilbert and Matt Graves.