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John Brown's Fort, Harpers Ferry

#4 of 10 in Historic Sites in Harpers Ferry
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Landmark
John Brown's Fort was originally constructed in 1848 for use as a guard and fire engine house by the federal Harpers Ferry Armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (since 1863, West Virginia). An 1848 military report described the building as "An engine and guard-house 35 1/2 x 24 feet, one story brick, covered with slate, and having copper gutters and down spouts…"
The building achieved fame when it was John Brown's refuge during his 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry. It is the only surviving building of the Armory; the others were destroyed during the Civil War.

The building quickly became a tourist attraction; the words John Brown's Fort—a new name—were painted over the three doors, to attract tourists. It has been moved four times.

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John Brown's Fort reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
144 reviews
  • Main reason to visit the park. Not much here to see except the site and the plaque. Well restored and maintained. Very clean. Must see.  more »
  • There was so much to see here for old town enthusiasts, Civil War buffs, and hikers. I would highly recommend planning to spend a minimum of 4 hours here. Most everything is very walkable.
  • Harper's Ferry is so lovely. We like to go and hike around and get ice cream. They used to have a sit down restaurant with a good menu but it is closed and another opened in it place. I don't remember the names but now the food is more like sandwiches, burgers and bar food. Nothing special. However, we like to pack picnic lunches and eat outside overlooking the water anyways.

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