Tuesday 10 June
Trip Start Apr 13, 2008
163Trip End Oct 27, 2008
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We got up and left before it got too hot and drove to Harpers Ferry. This is a famous place where many say the beginnings of the civil war were rumbling.
It is a beautiful little town that had been left to fall into ruin but has been restored by the National Park service.
It is Most famous for the incident with John Brown who led a rebellion against the pro-slavery people of this town. Although his attempt was unsuccessful and he eventually was executed for this, it did highlight the growing discontent with the slavery laws. Eventually of course war did break out in 1861 and it wasn't until Lincoln finally stepped in and changed the law to made slavery illegal that war was finally over 4 years later
During the war the town found itself in the centre of many battles and was taken over by confederate army and the union army 4 times. The poor townsfolk must have had an awful time. Eventually there was nothing left there to keep people living there so it was more or less abandoned.
So there was heaps of history here. The town was known because it had the first factory using machines to manufacture rifles. It was the first place to manufacture interchangeable parts for these rifles.
It was also a famous place in its time because of its location next to the Potomac river along with a canal and a railroad. It was very well connected with bridges across both forks in the river.
We had a wonderful tour around the town by a girl dressed in costume. Although she was only young she had an incredible way of telling the story of this town and extensive knowledge of the civil war period. We were very impressed.
However it was sooo hot here it was very hard to concentrate and when she had finished we ran into the buildings that each contain a mini museum about different aspects of the town's history. In here it was air conditioned so we were able to cool down!
As we left to get on the shuttle bus back up to the car park it started to thunder. As we left the visitors centre it began to pour with rain! It was such a huge relief from the heat.
We waited for the storm to die down before moving off. We had got some info. On camp sites so we drove off to find the Brunswick family camp ground about 5 miles down the road.
This turned out to be a good find as we had a site with power, under the trees by the river. We also realised that we were very close to a railway with a train going to Washington DC which is what we wanted.
So we made a plan to go to Washington tomorrow.