National Geographic : 1945 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Star Pnotograpner Wlllara it. tiulver Century-old St. Paul's Church Witnessed Point of Rocks' Heyday Here converged, in the early 1830's, the C and O Canal and the B & O Railroad. Both needed right of way in the narrow gap between the rocky foot of Catoctin Mountain and the Potomac. A long court battle kept Point of Rocks in the news until a compromise squeezed both through. The doorway frames a section of the rich farmland of Frederick County, Maryland. breeding and harboring of pigeons unless they are kept under enclosures. Few American towns so small are as well known as Harpers Ferry. This is because in the early summer of 1859 John Brown, the abolitionist, secretly selected it as a site for a slave uprising, hiding his followers and nearly a thousand pikes in a mountain farm several miles away. Frederick Douglass, the great Negro leader, protested that Harpers Ferry would prove a "trap of steel, and ourselves on the wrong side of it." But Brown paid no attention, with the fateful results known to every American schoolboy. "John Brown's Fort" on College Campus "John Brown's Fort," the ill-fated little arsenal engine house in which Brown and 21 followers sought to take refuge, was never destroyed. It was dismantled in 1892, shipped to the World's Fair, brought back to Harpers Ferry and set up in a near-by field, repurchased in 1909 and removed to the campus of Storer College, where, far above town and rivers, it can now be seen (opposite page). Except for the slow leveling processes of time and weather, the entire ring of Civil War fortifications which filled the two great heights overlooking Harpers Ferry remains in a re markable state of preservation. In fact, the artillery roads are visible from the town. A few miles beyond Harpers Ferry, what is generally considered the bloodiest and most bitterly contested single battle of the Civil War was fought on the banks of Antietam Creek, close to where it flows into the Potomac. The river was of supreme importance dur ing the war, with both armies repeatedly crossing this natural dividing line between North and South.