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Harper Cemetery, Harpers Ferry

#9 of 10 in Historic Sites in Harpers Ferry
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Harper Cemetery dates to 1782 and is named for Robert Harper, founder of the town of Harpers Ferry, who also deeded the land for the cemetery.

It is situated high above the town and has breath-taking views of the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

Among the notable residents are Robert Harper; soldiers and Officers of the Revolutionary War, Civil War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War as well as more recent wars; witnesses of John Brown's raid on the Federal Armory; Founders, Presidents and teachers of Storer College; and prominent town citizens.

Inquiries about the availability of burial sites may be directed to the Trustees of Harper Cemetery at Spaces for traditional burials or cremains burials are available in the North Hill section.
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Harper Cemetery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
12 reviews
  • Cemetary is on hill and you can see good views of the river and mountains. They are in the process of redoing some of the older headstones.  more »
  • We reached this from a hiking trail. Its large and on hill with a beautiful view. If you have a trail map it's clearly marked.  more »
  • A wonderful old cemetery with a great view. Even though it has graves dating back to the late 18th Century, new burials still take place there. It’s important to remember that other visitors you see may be visiting the recently deceased so please be respectful. Likewise, many of those buried are the family members of local residents. Like much of Harpers Ferry, the cemetery is living history. Some interesting things about the cemetery: - There’s a Revolutionary War soldier buried there. His grave was lost for many years and only recently rediscovered during ongoing preservation work. - There are a number of graves belonging to members of several fraternal orders and many of their gravestones feature highly detailed symbolism that makes them very interesting to study. While some of the symbols are still in use, others have been forgotten. Take the time to look carefully as many contain hidden details that may surprise you. - You can be buried at the cemetery. The cemetery website has information about the plots for sale. The trustees of the cemetery also ask that temporary visitors refrain from standing, sitting, leaning or rubbing on the monuments. The exposed location of the cemetery combined with the winter weather and frost heaves cause unseen damage causing some monuments to break very easily. There are efforts underway to stabilize the monuments, but it’s a time consuming and expensive process. While visiting you may see some monuments laying flat on the ground and broken into several pieces. The monuments sometimes break and fall to the ground in one or two large pieces. However those in many pieces are the result of people standing on the fallen parts. Really. Please don’t do that. The restorations cost thousands of dollars and are paid for by donation. Please report any vandalism you witness to the police immediately. The cemetery is NOT part of the National Park and is maintained by volunteers. Please practice Leave No Trace in the cemetery.
  • It’s nice to walk around, read the grave stones and take in the view. It’s a quiet and peaceful place to escape the crowds and ponder the history of Harpers Ferry and the people who came before us. See if you can find the gravestone for the town’s founder.

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