75th Anniversary Programs and Events

Black Voices from Harpers Ferry

Saturday February 9 | 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. | Camp Hill, Mather Training Center

Description: Former park ranger Guinevere Roper discusses her four decades of work uncovering the African American story at Harpers Ferry. Ms. Roper’s ground-breaking research shepherded interpretive programs and the first park exhibit honoring the history of Storer College—the first institution of higher learning in West Virginia for African American students.

Reception with light refreshments to follow Ms. Roper's program.


Women in the Ferry

Saturday March 30 | 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Lower Town

Description: Park Rangers Beth Wasson and Autumn Cook lead a walking tour to significant sites within the park that focus on women’s stories in Harpers Ferry. The stories portray women who were writers and artists, slaveholders and those enslaved, young witnesses to John Brown’s Raid and the Civil War, business owners and civilians affected by war-time martial law, and the teachers and students of West Virginia’s first historically black college.

Walking tour is weather permitting; event will be moved indoors if necessary.

Reception with light refreshments follow tour.


The Birds of Virginus Island

Saturday April 27 | 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. | Lower Town, The Green

Description: Step outside onto today’s nature-filled Virginius Island for a bird-watching hike with Deb Hale, a local birding enthusiast and volunteer of the Potomac Valley Audubon Society. Bring your binoculars and see if you can spy a few of the 170 bird species of Harpers Ferry as you follow trails that weave past factory ruins and canals.

Limited to 30 participants. Pre-registration is required be calling 304-535-2908.


The Machine in the Garden

Saturday April 27 | 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. | Camp Hill, Mather Training Center

Description: Explore the drastic differences between the past and present of Virginius Island. Join former Harpers Ferry NHP archeologist Dr. Paul Shackel for a talk about how the 1990s study of Virginius Island informed our understanding of the location’s industrial and social history.


Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology

Saturday May 25 | TBA

Description: Dr. Merritt Roe Smith, the Leverett and William Cutten Professor of the History pf Technology at MIT, examines Harpers Ferry's role in the industrial revolution - specifically John Hall's success in the use of interchangeable parts, which created the "American System of Manufacturing." This program marks the 200th anniversary of John Hall's arrival in Harpers Ferry.


75th Anniversary Weekend Celebrations

June 28 - 30

Description: Harpers Ferry became a national monument in 1944. Join us for three days of special events and programs celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park!


2019 Harpers Ferry Night Sky Festival

Date TBA | 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. | Camp Hill, Mather Training Center and Murphy-Chambers Farm

Description: A core part of the NPS mission is to conserve the scenery of the nation's majestic natural settings and historic landscapes, which includes the night sky. Join us for stargazing and an opportunity to learn more about the importance of protecting the night sky. The festival begins with a guest speaker at the Mather Training Center, followed by star gazing activites after dusk at the Murphy-Chambers Farm.

Outdoor program is weather dependent and subject to cancellation on short notice.


Slave Dwelling Project

Saturday August 17 | TBA

Description: Join Joseph McGill, founder of the non-profit Slave Dwelling Project, for a public talk about the preservation of extant slave dwellings and his work "to bring historians, students, faculty, writers, legislators, organizations, corporations, artists and the general public together to educate, collaborate and organize resources to save these important collectibles of our American history." The park will also host a fireside chat and overnight experience.

Pre-registration and pre-payment are required for the overnight experience.


1862 Siege and Capture of Harpers Ferry

Saturday September 14 | 10:00 a.m. | Bolivar Heights

Description: Historian and former Harpers Ferry ranger Kevin Pawlak leads a battlefield tour on Bolivar Heights, the scene of the largest surrender of US troops on this continent.