Back in August, I posted about Island Park. Today, I’m posting about Circus Hill, another forgotten Bolivar/Harper’s Ferry amusement location.
According to the National Park Service’s Circus Hill National Register of Historic Places site application (don’t know if it was every approved – anybody have information about that?), the land didn’t have a proper deed and was the subject of a dispute between the heirs of George Rowles and Lewis Wernwag. The Chancery court decided in favor of the Wernwag heirs:
“Sometime prior to 1848, Lewis Wernwag, a well-known local bridge builder who lived on Virginius Island, purchased the Union Street lot from George Rowles. No deed was recorded for this transaction unfortunately. and in 1848, both men having passed away, a special commissioner was appointed by the Chancery Court to settle the ownership dispute between the heirs of George Rowles and Lewis Wernwag. The settlement placed the lot in the hands of Wernwag’s heirs, which they retained for 68 years.”
Julia Ann Wernwag sold the property to Scott W. Lightner, a Storer College Trustee, in 1914. He, in turn, sold the property to Storer College. In 1944, the lot was sold to Edward Tattersall. Edward Tattersall’s heirs owned the property until 1995, when Melvin and Dorothy Tattersall sold the property to the National Park Service.
The Mountain Echo, a publication of the Harper’s Ferry Woman’s Club, said that Circus Hill was a site frequented by the famous John Robinson Circus .
Circus Hill appears now to be a storage location for the Park. The house and out buildings are still there. Deer can be seen about the place at dusk. Would be a nice spot for a steampunk convention …
On to the steam calliopes!