National Geographic : 1945 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Once part of Virginia, it is still as much Virginian as West Virginian, which is not surprising in view of the fact that the West Virginia capital, Charleston, is farther away than Richmond and almost as far as New York City. One of the most picturesque migrations into this region was that of two brothers and other relatives of George Washington. Charles Washington, youngest brother of George. founded Charles Town (not to be confused with Charleston), 7 miles from Harpers Ferry. The supposed exact location of John Brown's hanging is marked by a tablet on the corner of a residence, and the courthouse where he was tried is still in daily use. At the time of my visit, sign painters were engaged in an activity now so common throughout the land. They were adding many new names to the already long honor roll in the courthouse yard. Homes of the Washington Family Staff Ihotographer Willard i. (ulver Rumsey Monument Soars above the Potomac On a high bluff at Shepherdstown rises this column in honor of James Rumsey, an inventor of the steam boat. In 1787 Rumsey's boat achieved four miles an hour. It operated on the jet principle, using a steam pump to force a stream of water from the stern faster than it took it in at the bow. The same year John Fitch demonstrated on the Delaware a boat propelled by steam-driven oars. Several of the comfortable homes of the Washington family still dot the quiet, pleasant little southern town and its near-by country side. Nearly all the original streets bear the Christian names of members of the family. Still standing is Harewood, one of the Washington houses, in which the famous couple, Dolly Payne Todd and James Madi son, later fourth President, were married (Plate IX). Even Martinsburg, industrial center of the Eastern Panhandle, has about it a picturesque, placid quality that is inseparable from long established landmarks. On East Burke Street stand two adjoining houses in which were born respectively Sena tor Harry F. Byrd and the late Newton D. Baker, Secretary of War in World War I. A great new Army general hospital near Martinsburg is named after Mr. Baker. Only a few miles from where plodding mules once pulled canalboats at 4 miles an hour, air borne casualties were being brought in from foreign theaters of war. The next time your train stops at Martins burg, remember that from this station Col. Thomas R. Sharp, of the Confederate Army, acting on Stonewall Jackson's orders, con fiscated B & O locomotives and by the use of 40 horses and jacks moved more than a dozen of them over dirt roads 38 miles to Strasburg, Virginia, the nearest Confederate railroad (opposite page). President John W. Garrett of the B & 0 so admired this amazing engineering feat that after the war he made Colonel Sharp his mas ter of transportation and right-hand man.