Jefferson County, West Virginia

         "The Land
           Where We Were
           Dreamin'"
                   - Daniel Bedinger Lucas






copyright, 2001, James T. Surkamp
Design by Bad Dad Design
Photos credit Dana Spitzer, the McDonald Family,
Edwin Fitzpatrick heirs
Duke University Manuscript Collection,
the Funkhouser Family.
Thanks to Bune Carter
To order posters for your school or library, or for more information: jim@jimsurkamp.net
Quarter billion years - Continents collide, make Appalachians

25,000 BC - Ice Age, tundra with elk, Mountain streams, water power; Mountaintops become upland soils;

10,000 BC - Settlements along Opequon; Warming, trees taller, smaller wildlife; Legends of tribes from north;

800 AD - Corn, palisaded villages

1000 AD - Beans as food

1400 AD - Cold, tribes leave

1670 - John Lederer sees Valley.

1707 - Louis Michel sees Harpers Ferry

1707? - Catarina Beierlin killed

1719 - Shepherdstown as "Potomoke"

1729 - John Smith begins Smithfield

1730 - John Van Metre's 30,000 acres

1730s - Piedmont

1731 - Joist Hite comes with families

1734 - Thomas Shepherd's land, builds mill

1734-1790s - Scollay Hall

1735 - Fairfax Grant Stock Farm

1740(circa) - Stone House, Morgan's Spring

1742 - White House

1742 - Wm Vestal's iron works, Shenandoah

1748 - Spring flood, Potomac

1748 - Young George Washington surveys

1748 - Robert Harper at Harpers Ferry

1753 - "Pumpkin Flood"

1750-52 - GW buys first lands here (2314 acres)

1750(circa) - Beverly

1751 - New Light Baptists demand freedoms

1755 - GW visits

1759-60 - Smallpox

1760 - Springdale

1762 - John Augustine Washington builds Prospect Hill house

1769 - Old Episcopal Church, Shepherdstown

1769 - GW visits

1770s - Prato Rio

1770 - Samuel Washington's Harewood

1770(circa) - Glenburnie

1771(circa) - St. George's Chapel

1773(or sooner) - Traveler's Rest

1770s - Eastwood

1773 - Bellevue, Shepherdstown

1774 - GW visits

1774 - Calico Cottage, Kearneysville

1775 - 200 men's 25-day "Beeline" march 600 miles

1776 - "Hessian fly" harms wheat

1779 - GW at Bullskin

1780(circa) - Charles Washington's Happy Retreat

1780(circa) - Mantipike

1780s - Mt. Ellen

1781(circa) - Selby-Hamtramck House, Shepherdstown

1783 - Mt. Hammond

1783 - Thomas Jefferson visits, extols Harpers Ferry

1784 - GW at Happy Retreat

1786 - End of 50-year Fairfax-Hite suit

1786 - Locust Hill

1787 - James Rumsey tries steamboat, Shepherdstown

1787 - Elmwood

1788(circa)- Aspen Pool

1789(circa) - Landsdale

1789 - T. Jefferson on Rumsey: "The most brillant and original mechanical genius I have ever seen."

1790 - Pop. (est.) 9,500, 1,700 enslaved

1790 - Shepherdstown/Sharpsburg as Nation's Capitol

1790 - Strider Farm

1791 - Head Spring, Summit Point

1793 - Cold Spring

1793(circa) - Chapline-Shenton House

1793(circa) - Linden Spring

1794 - James Madison marries Dolly Payne, Harewood

1794 - Adam Livingston's house exorcised (Legend of Wizard Clip)

1795 - Caledonia

1796 - Kearsley House

1797 - Academy's first of 50 years, Charles Town

1799 - Arsenal/armory completed, John Hall's inter-changeable parts, Harpers Ferry

late 1700s - Rockland

1800 - Pop.(est.) 1,357 families, at least 1,451 enslaved

1800 - 1 tavern per 71 families; 1 store per 42 families.

1801 - Jefferson County formed, 211 sq. miles

1810 - Pop. 11,851, 3,532 enslaved

1810 - Flood, Potomac

1812 - Martin Robison Delany born Charles Town

1820 - Pop. 13,087, 4,132 enslaved

1820 - Claymont

1820s - Shannondale Springs Pres. Monroe's "Summer White House"

1820 - Blakeley

1824 - Highway bridge to MD, Harpers Ferry

1830 - Pop. 12,927, 3,999 enslaved

1831-32 - Cholera

1832 - John P. Kennedy's book "Swallow Barn" on "The Bower"

1833 - C&O canal, Harpers Ferry to Georgetown

1836 - Winchester-Baltimore train via Summit Point, Harpers Ferry

1840 - Pop. 14,082, 4,127 enslaved

1840 - #2 wheat (517,000bu) of 118 counties

1842 - RR links farms to Baltimore, stifles local mfrs.

1842 - Kearneysville: B&O, Kearney brothers

1843 - Flood

1846 - Free public schools

1849 - Winchester-Harpers Ferry RR telegraph

1849 - Bridge, Shepherdstown

1850 - Pop. 15,357, 4,341 enslaved

1850 - B&O to Columbus, OH

1850 - C&O Canal, D.C.-Cumberland, MD

1851 - 124-ft Bollman bridge, Harpers Ferry

1851 - Pres. M. Fillmore, Shannondale Springs

1852 - Spring flood

1859 - John Brown's raid on arsenal, Harpers Ferry; tried, hanged in Charles Town

1860 - Landless white males 21+ years vote

1860 - Pop. 14,535, 3,488 enslaved, (775 "fugitives")

1860 - #1 wheat county in Va.(422,514 bu.)

1861 - We vote vs. secession, then reverse when war starts

1861 - Harpers Ferry armory burned

1861 - About 1600 enlist from South, about 200 from North

1861 - Mt. Vernon heir killed at war

1861 - Gen. Jackson takes 42 locomotives, 386 cars

1861 - Skirmish, Harpers Ferry

1861 - County Clerk Moore saves records

1861 - Skirmish, Beller's Mill

1861 - Skirmish, Shepherdstown

1861 - Skirmish, Pritchard's Mill

1861 - Skirmish, near Harpers Ferry

1861 - Skirmish, Bolivar Hts.

1862 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1862 - Gen. Jackson captures 11,000 Union troops, Harpers Ferry

1862 - Confed. Lts. Baylor & Rouss rob train, Summit Point

1862 - Up to 8,000 Antietam wounded, Shepherdstown

1862 - Skirmish, Boteler's Ford, Shepherdstown

1862 - 269 Union soldiers lost, Boteler's Ford, Shepherdstown

1862 - Lincoln at Harpers Ferry

1862 - Gen. Stuart's men a month at "The Bower"

1862 - Gens. Stuart vs. Humphreys 2X, near Kearneysville

1862 - Skirmish, Union Gen. Hancock, Harpers Ferry to Charles Town

1862 - Skirmish, Charles Town to Halltown

1862 - Skirmish, Cockrall's Mills

1862 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1862 - Skirmish, Halltown

1863 - Skirmish, near Charles Town

1863 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1863 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1863 - County declared part of WV

1863 - Gen. Lee's army from Gettysburg, Shepherdstown

1863 - Skirmish, Harpers Ferry


1863 - Skirmish, Halltown

1863 - Skirmish, near Shepherdstown

1863 - Action, Shepherdstown

1863 - Skirmish, Smithfield (Middleway)

1863 - Skirmish, Summit Point

1863 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1863 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1864 - Raid, B&O RR, near Bardane

1864 - Skirmish, near Charles Town

1864 - Skirmish, Mosby, Mechanicstown

1864 - Skirmish, near Charles Town

1864 - Skirmish, near Kabletown

1864 - Skirmish, Smithfield

1864 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1864 - Skirmish, Mosby, Duffield's Stn.

1864 - Skirmish, Leetown, Ransom vs. Mulligan

1864 - Skirmish, Bolivar Hts.

1864 - Union Gen. Hunter burns 3 homes, Charles Town & Shepherdstown

1864 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1864 - Skirmish, Kabletown

1864 - Skirmish, near Shepherdstown

1864 - Skirmish, near Charles Town

1864 - Engagement, Sheridan vs. Early, Summit Point

1864 - Skirmish, Middleway

1864 - Engagement, Locust Hill

1864 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1864 - Skirmish, Kearneysville

1864 - Skirmish, Halltown

1864 - Action, near Shepherdstown

1864 - Action, near Kearneysville

1864 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1864 - Action, Halltown

1864 - Skirmish, Duffield's

1864 - Skirmish, Leetown

1864 - Skirmish, Smithfield

1864 - Engagement, Smithfield Crossing

1864 - Skirmish, near Charles Town

1864 - Mosby takes $173,000 from train, Bardane

1864 - Skirmish, Mosby vs. Blazer, Kabletown

1864 - Skirmish, Baylor vs. Payne, Charles Town

1864 - Skirmish, Kabletown

1865 - Skirmish, Charles Town

1865 - Skirmish, near Charles Town

1865 - Charles Town's John Yates Beall hanged as terrorist

1865 - Skirmish, Baylor captures men, Charles Town

1865 - Lincoln on M. Delany: "Most brillant and extraordinary"

1865 - About 67 local Confederate war dead

1865 - 1st black free school in WV, Harpers Ferry

1867 - Storer College, Harpers Ferry

1868 - Black males 21+ years vote

1869 - Halltown Paper Mill

1869 - Jefferson Security Bank, Shepherdstown

1870 - Robert E. Lee, Shepherdstown

1870 - Harpers Ferry's most deadly flood

1870 - Pop. 13,219, 3,488 African-Americans

1870 - Bollman Iron Truss bridge, Harpers Ferry

1871 - County ruled as WV's

1872 - Shepherd College begins, Shepherdstown

1874 - Littleton Page begins 40 years as black educator, Charles Town

1876 - 1st commercial apple orchard, Kearneysville

1878 - 1st RR bridge in Shepherdstown

1879 - SVRR Berryville- Hagerstown(NYC)

1884 - 50-year Morgan's Grove Fair, Shepherdstown

1880 - Pop. 15,005 , 4,045 African-Americans

1880s - Lime, manure help exhausted soil

1888-90 - Bakerton, Standard Lime & Stone Co.

1889 - Flood

1890 - Pop. 15,553, 4,116 African-Americans

1890 - Coal boom for N&W, SVRR

1892 - Baker Limestone Quarry's first of 30 years, Kearneysville

1892 - 1st electric lighting in Harpers Ferry

1894 - Steel truss bridge tunnel, Harpers Ferry

1895 - Apple business booms

1896 - RFD mail here first in nation.

1898 - 1st telephone in County

1900 - Pop. 15,935, 3,941 African-Americans

1900 - ex-President Grover Cleveland, Charles Town

1900 - Keystone Plant, Millville

1901 - 54.75 inches of rain

1902 - 1st electric lighting in Shepherdstown

1904 - 144 days below 32 degrees

1906 - NAACP ideas debut, Harpers Ferry

1909 - 1324-ft. long, 112-ft. high bridge, Shepherdstown

1910 - Pop. 15,889, 3,499 African-Americans

1911 - 50, 90+ degree days, 10" rain in Aug.

1914 - "Danske" Dandridge dies, writes 4 books, 100 poems

1914 - WV Prohibition

1915 - State shifting to indirect tax methods

1915 - Pres. Woodrow Wilson, Hilltop House, Harpers Ferry

1918 - 548 (1/4 blacks) serve WW I, 30 die

1919 - Flu, 43 die in 4 months

1920 - Pop. 15,729, 3,016 African-Americans

1920 - Women 21+ years vote

1920s - Fed rules & vehicles hurt RRs

1922 - 3 Miners' trials, Charles Town

1920s - RR rates favor western wheat growers

1924 - C&O Canal closes

1922 - 20" snow, Charles Town

1926 - More roads take N&W's passengers

1928 - Charles Town's Roy Hooe main mechanic on "Spirit of St. Louis"

1930 - Pop. 15,780

1930 - U.S. Fish Hatchery, Leetown

1930 - John Peale Bishop's "Many Thousands Gone" on Charles Town Scott Fitzgerald: "thrilling, beautifully written."

1933 - Horse racing, Charles Town

1930-31 - Worst drought

1930s - German Gen. Erwin Rommel visits

1932 - Tax Limitation Amndmnt. caps property taxes

1935 - 18 below zero, Kearneysville & Charles Town

1936 - 109 degrees, Charles Town, hot summer

1936 - Flood

1937 - H. F. Byrd largest continuous orchard in world, Charles Town

1939 - Rumsey Bridge, Shepherdstown to MD

1940 - Pop. 16,762

1940s - American chestnut stands almost gone

1940s - R. J. Funkhouser upgrades Ranson, 6 Washington homes

1940-6 - 1447 inducted, 47 killed in WW II

1942 - Flood

1944 - Harpers Ferry made Nat'l Monument

1950 - Pop. 17,184

1952 - 55.76 inches rain, 4.95 one day

1950s - Patsy Cline in Bill Peer's band

1956 - May 25th freeze

1956 - "Miss Violet" Dandridge dies, Shepherdstown

1957 - N&W's last steam engine curbed

1957 - Dixie Narco, Ranson

1959 - September 18th freeze

1959 - Daisy Fritts retires, closing Poor Farm

1959 - Vote OKs 2nd race track, Charles Town

1960 - Pop. 18,665

1960 - John F. Kennedy, Charles Town

1960s - No-till farming

1961 - 18 inches of snow, Charles Town

1963 - National Historic Park, Harpers Ferry

1965 - Schools finally integrated

1966 - Flood, Hurricane Fran

1967 - All-black Eagle Ave. School closes, Charles Town

1970 - Pop. 21,180

1972 - Flood

1970s - Fed price freeze hits chicken farmers

1971 - Persons 18+ years vote

1972 - "Miss Nina" Mitchell dies, Shepherdstown

1970s - Jimmy Carter fishes, Shepherdstown

1979 - USDA Fruit Research Station

1980 - Pop. 30,302, 2,733 African-American

1983 - 32 inches snow, Shepherdstown 24 hrs.

1980s - 30-year dairy boom fades

1987 - 4,477 pigs sold (12,588 sold in 1910)

1988 - 105 degrees, Charles Town, 60 days 90+

1990 - Pop. 35,926

1996 - Two "100-year" floods

1997 - Penn National racing/video lottery

1997 - National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown

1997 - 225,064 bu/wheat on 3623 acres vs. 522,512 bu. on 29,567 acres (1910)

1997 - 1490 apple orchard acres vs. 3354 (1987) and 4,385 (1913)

1997 - 891,305 bu. corn on 10,374 acres (1860: 358,267 bu.; 1910: 635,697 bu. on 20,465 acres)

1997 - 232,763 bu./soybeans, none in 1982

1998 - Federal training center, Clarion, Shepherdstown

2000 - Israeli-Syrian Peace Talks & Pres. Clinton, Shepherdstown

2001 - 10-year trend toward "farmettes"