Posts Tagged ‘Bolivar Heights’

Just received this useful information from the Harpers Ferry Historical Town Foundation . http://www.historicharpersferry.com/articles/Events-July14-29.pdf

For July 12-22, 2012

7th Annual Key West Wine Festival (near Shannondale)
Sat Jul 14, 2012 to Sat Jul 14, 2012 Purcellville, VA *Local* http://www.breauxvineyards.com/scripts/eventPg.cfm/_/458/7th-Annual-Key-West-Festival/

Brunswick Crossing Classic Rock Concert
Sat Jul 14, 2012 to Sat Jul 14, 2012 Brunswick, MD *Local* http://www.brunswickcrossing.com/wordpress/?p=4057

Thunder on South Mountain (Sept 1862 Battle)
Sat Jul 14, 2012 to Sun Jul 15, 2012 Burkittsville, MD *Local* http://friendsofsouthmountain.org/calendar.html

Appalachian Trail Junior Ranger Day
Sat Jul 21, 2012 to Sat Jul 21, 2012 Harpers Ferry, WV *Local* http://appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/events/2012/01/19/junior-ranger-day

Thomas Jefferson & Slavery Drama Presentation
Sat Jul 21, 2012 to Sat Jul 21, 2012 Harpers Ferry NHP Harpers Ferry, WV *Local* http://nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/events.htm

Brunswick Crossing. Blues & Funk Concert
Sat Jul 21, 2012 to Sat Jul 21, 2012 Brunswick, MD *Local* http://www.brunswickcrossing.com/wordpress/?p=4057

Battle of Bolivar Heights (Oct 1861) Artillery Demonstration
Sat Jul 21, 2012 to Sun Jul 22, 2012 Harpers Ferry NHP Harpers Ferry, WV *Local* http://harpersferryhistory.org/educate.htm

Jefferson County and nearby areas

149th Lees Retreat through Williamsport
Fri Jul 13, 2012 to Sun Jul 15, 2012 Williamsport, MD *Area* http://williamsportretreat.com

Wash St Gallery Making Art – Photography
Sat Jul 14, 2012 to Sat Jul 14, 2012 Charles Town, WV *Area* http://wstreetgallery.com/2012/03/27/washington-street-artists-cooperative-launches-making-art-series/

Brady’s Sharpershooters (Antietam)
Sat Jul 14, 2012 to Sun Jul 15, 2012 Antietam, MD *Area* http://nps.gov/anti/planyourvisit/2012-annual-schedule.htm

US Navy Band Country Current (Boonsboro)
Sat Jul 14, 2012 to Sat Jul 14, 2012 Boonsboro, MD *Area* http://www.boonsboromd.govoffice2.com/

Craftworks Landscape Painting Workshop
Sat Jul 21, 2012 to Sun Jul 22, 2012 Shepherdstown, WV *Area* http://wvcraftworks.org

Death in September (Jamieson book)
Sun Jul 22, 2012 to Sun Jul 22, 2012 Antietam, MD *Area* http://nps.gov/anti/planyourvisit/2012-annual-schedule.htm

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On April 28 & 29 there will be an Art Walk from Bolivar to Harpers Ferry’s lower town. This character:

can be seen in Art Walk participant windows.  The print is based on an illustration of Maryland Heights by Granville Perkins for the publication “Picturesque America” published in 1893.

Harper’s Ferry.
With illustrations by Granville Perkins

“After a short but heavy rain the air was fresh and bracing on the October day when we started for Harper’s Ferry. There is no season so glorious in any country as an American autumn, and it is, above all, the time to see the mountains to the best advantage. The atmosphere, bright, clear and bracing, acts upon the frame like champagne ; the forests put on their livery of splendid dyes, and gold and crimson and sober brown are massed on all the hills, or set in a dark background of pine and hemlock. For this reason, seated in the cars of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and with the arriving and departing trains making discordant noises in our ears, we congratulate ourselves on the beauty of the day. …

The first near sight of the mountains is inevitably one of disappointment. Is it not thus withall the stupendous works of Nature ? The man who expects to stand spellbound and awe-stricken before Niagara,will find this emotion very commonplace in contrast to the exalted state of feeling he anticipated. Very seldom, indeed, are the combinations such as to present these scenes in all their impressive grandeur ; and rarer still is the mind that is capable of comprehending at once all that is taught by them. Yet those who have been merely summer sojourners among the “eternal hills,” can understand, if they have used their time wisely, why the mountaineer comes gradually to love them. He can feel, seeing them again, the force of the attachment that animated, thousands of years ago, the Hebrew people, whose strong places of defence they were, and that animates to-day the Switzer, who, far away from his native Alps, grows homesick, even at times unto death, and whose eyes are tear-stained whenever he hears the familiar “Ranz des Vaches.” …

Climb the Maryland Heights, as we are to do to-day, and pause on the ascent and look back. Fair and open lies the northern landscape, bounded by its semicircle of mountains. How the mind expands and feels a sense of delight and power as the eye takes in, at one sweep, the glorious scene! The feeling that pictures us as slowly transversing the huge mountains, insignificant atoms on its vast surface, ants that crawl over an ant-hill, vanishes. And then to this first exhilaration, this flush and glow of pleasure, succeeds the softer, calmer mood that sees, in the still and marvellously beautiful vsion, but one of the least of the wonderful works of the Creator. There is no disappointment in a mountain. …

The town of Harper’s Ferry is built at the foot of the narrow tongue of land that thrusts itself out like a cutwater, separating the Potomac and the Shenandoah, and known as Bolivar Heights. It lies in Jefferson County, West Virginia. … Including the little town of Bolivar, on the heights, the population of Harper’s Ferry is about two thousand. The principal street runs parallel with the Shenandoah, with a side-street ascending the hills to the right, perpendicular to which numerous stairs, cut in the solid rock, lead upstill steeper ascents. …

We are now on our way to Jefferson’s Rock. Perched high up to the right are the bare walls of the Episcopal and Methodist churches, whose joyous bells, in other times, aroused the echoesof the mountains on the calm Sabbath, while the worshippers wound their slow way up the steep hill, and perhaps paused at the church-door to take a last look at the glorious scene below, the wooded heights, the shining river, the sleeping town, and to thank God that their little home, secure among its sheltering peaks, was so peaceful and unthreatened. …

Before visiting Maryland Heights and the superb panoramic view that there sweeps around almost from horizon to horizon, a few moments will be well spent in seeing the less striking scenery of the Heights of Bolivar. Unless the traveller be a remarkably good pedestrian, a carriage and horses will have to be procured for part of the ascent of the former, and the drive around Bolivar over a good road can easily be made a part of the day’s programme. If dismayed at the board-signs that,projecting from dilapidated shanties, announce them to be livery-stables, he expresses doubts as to procuring a respectable team, he forgets one thing – he is in Virginia, and on the boarders of the Valley. The man that is surprised, therefore,to see a pretty woman or a fine horse is strangely unacquainted with the latitude. Our landlord, upon being consulted, promises us the horses in a moment, and in little more than that time, they are at the door – a sorrel of mustang blood, and the prettiest three-year-old Black Hawk we had set eyes upon for many a day. …

The evening falls among the mountains, calm and peaceful. The huge shadows of the dusky heights overcast the town and river. If it is in the season – for artists, like migratory birds, have their time for appearing in different places, and for disappearing – some wandering artist from Baltimore, Washington, or, in rarer cases, New York, may stroll in with sketching-portfolio and camp-stool, and exhibit to the wondering natives the counterfeit presentment of familiar scenes.

The night darkens, and the Ferry puts on another aspect, both noveland singularly beautiful. The mountains, dimly seen, close upon the murmoring river and the quiet town. They rise, still sombre and black, unrelieved bya single gleam of light, and shut out the sky, except immediately overhead, or where the long reach of the river has made a break in their continuity, which the eye follows, and down which the twinkling stars, reflected in the water glitter brightly.”

Enjoy the walk!

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What a wonderful starting point for our Community Art Walk!  Unless I hear otherwise, the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Library will be the first stop on the walk!  Gretchen Fry is the new librarian and she provided this summary for me to post:

The Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Library will be participating on Saturday April 28th from 10am-5:30pm.  View our permanent collection of photos of Harpers Ferry.  Books on Arts and Crafts will be on display and available for checkout.  Light refreshments served.



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The Village Shop featuring Earl D. Mills
180 High Street
Harper’s Ferry, WV



Artist Statement/Bio

Photography has been an interest, hobby, and now a profession over the last 35 years. During that time, I attended a number of college and technical courses and have used many types of photographic equipment. Until a few of years ago, my profession utilized computer graphics in software design and photography was just a natural projection of that experience for me.  One notable employer was National Geographic where I studied the techniques and styles of various photographers.  Their historic photographic archives are an inspiration for what I photograph today.

I have created and perfected my own unique blend of photography and art.  Using this technique I capture and then interpret timeless images of our American heritage.  My work reflects the struggles and triumphs that America has weathered, from the commonplace to the legendary.  I reside in a renowned region for Civil War history, and have photographed many of these legendary sites.  This “Hallowed Ground” includes numerous battlefields, historic buildings, monuments, famous churches as well as presidential homes to rustic log cabins.  Rivers, mountains, and meandering byways provide a peaceful backdrop for these historical treasures as well.

Currently all photographs are taken using professional Canon cameras and lenses. The photographs are then transformed using a digital darkroom technique until they take on the desired artistic appearance. There are no preset conditions; every photograph takes on its own unique style.  I strive to make the end result one that is an interpretation of the history that I see.

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I have to admit that I have not read the Edgar Rice Burroughs series about John Carter of Mars, and didn’t know what to expect from the movie, but I thought “why not?” and went to see it a few weekends ago.

For those of you not familiar with the original story, and since it is now out of copyright, I would encourage you to find a free online copy of A Princess of Mars. In summary, the movie version is the movie is told from the perspective of John Carter’s nephew, Edgar “Ned” Rice Burroughs who learns of his uncle’s adventures after he is proclaimed dead. John Carter is a Confederate veteran soldier who finds himself in Arizona and is being “requested” to serve at Fort Grant. He escapes eventually, but not before Apache warriors come after him and the Federal soldiers at the Fort. He and another soldier hide in a gold-filled cave held sacred by the Apache tribe. A being appears to him in the cave and John Carter kills him. He takes a medallion from his victim and is transported to Mars where he comes to the aid of a Martian Princess.

It is an amusing tale and escapist fantasy. I enjoyed it and was sorry to hear that it is considered a “flop.” Nevertheless, it remains interesting to me for another reason.

In 1889, Royal Emerson Whitman purchased land from Storer College in order to build a house. He was yet another Maine native drawn to Bolivar and Harper’s Ferry. He served in the Federal Army during the Civil War and lived many years in Washington, DC. It is called “The Scottish Castle“, but there is nothing other than appearance which explains why it was considered Scottish. At one point it was called “Greystone” and sat perched at Bolivar Heights from about 1890 until 1963.

After the Civil War, Whitman continued serving the in the Army and was Breveted First Lieutenant, United States Army on July 2 1867 for gallantry in the battle of Sabine Cross Roads, Louisiana. He then served at Camp Grant where he became witness to one of the most notorious massacres in United States history.

Apaches settled near Camp Grant at the encouragement of Lieutenant Whitman in 1871 so that they could be clothed and fed. “On April 28, 1871, a group of nearly 150 men, Anglo-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Tohono O’odham,5 set off under stealth with the intent to make war with the Apaches at Camp Grant.”  quoted from The “Camp Grant Massacre” in the Historical Imagination, by Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh, Arizona History Convention, April 25-26, 2003. The group attacked upon arrival and within half an hour, the Tuscon attackers murdered at least 100 Apaches. Approximately 30 children were captured and many sold into slavery.

According to Mr. Colwell-Chanthaphonh’s report, “Although the Tucsonans returned home to great celebration, the reaction in the eastern United States was revulsion. Less than a year later, 100 men were put on trial, charged with 108 indictments for murder, and three misdemeanors. The trial lasted over a week, but focused almost entirely on previous Apache raiding in Arizona Territory. Judge Titus instructed the jury that based on this evidence they only had to decide if the defendants acted defensively or by malice—in other words, if the massacre could be justified. After nineteen minutes of deliberation, the jury read a verdict of “not guilty.” And here, most typically, the story of the Camp Grant Massacre ends.” p. 4.

Royal Whitman was a lieutenant at the Camp and sent numerous dispatches about the impending attack and was questioned about events extensively. He was unable to protect the Apaches and although he sent word to the settlement that they should move within the fort, the message was received too late. Royal Whitman retired in 1879. He had a patent for a horse saddle which was used by the United States Military. The Whitman Saddle was displayed at the Colombian Exposition at Chicago in 1893.  He sold the property to a man named Judge Vail, also a resident of Washington, DC that same year. Colonel Whitman continued to live in Washington, DC and died on February 12, 1913.

Camp Grant was re-named Fort Grant after the massacre, the place where Edgar Rice Burroughs was stationed in 1896, and where he sets the first story of John Carter.

Whitman Avenue joins with Washington Street in Bolivar. It leads to Bolivar Heights, which is part of Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park. A painting by Urszula Andrejczuk of Colonel Whitman’s house can be seen at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

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Two bits of news I want to pass on.

First, check back with this page to see a formal “call to artists” for the Gallery. The theme will be “steampunk travel” and will be opening in late March.

Second, I am working with some folks interested in a Bolivar/Harper’s Ferry Art walk. I will be posting flyers around town and will be posting more information here as I get more information. Nothing is final yet.

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Take a look at these rare Harper’s Ferry postcards. 

The first one has a copyright date of 1911 by W.L. Erwin. In this view, you can see the Island Park bridge.


The next image may be from 1927 because the postmark is August 19, 1927 Luray, Va. and was sent to Walkerton, Ontario, Canada. The sender writes:

Franklin and Mr. Cliwe and myself are on a motor trip, taking in some wonderful signts. Crystal Cave, Pa., Shenandoah Valley, Va., Luray Caverns, Natural Bridge, and then home by way of Eastern Shore.

Anna E. Cliwe

The next two postcards are more recent.

Have you noticed anything? Take a look again at the images. For the most part, the skyline is familiar. If you’ve seen images of Harper’s Ferry before, the train tracks, rivers, lower town are photographic mainstays. But what isn’t there?

Give up?  Look at the first postcard again. Do my eyes deceive me, or is the HILL TOP HOUSE MISSING? Is it hidden by trees? Almost every photograph of the town I have seen from this perspective includes the Hill Top House in the background. I understand that it was burned down in 1912. Does anyone know if that 1912 date is incorrect and that, in fact, Hill Top House was burned down earlier?

What a sad view! 

Come see these and other historic Harper’s Ferry postcards at Steam at Harper’s Ferry.

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