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Upcoming Events

We have a few exciting events coming up in the near future. Make sure to buy your tickets and mark your calendars!

Lantern Cemetery Tour

December 2 and 3, 6 p.m.

The Foundation’s own Bonnie Zampino will lead a lantern tour of Cedar Hill and Pine Grove Cemeteries. Cedar Hill is the historic African-American cemetery that serves as a final resting

place for former…

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A Heartfelt Thanks for the Step Up

All of the Foundation’s good work is thanks to the generous donations of time, funding and supplies. We would especially like to highlight Panhandle Paints for donating primer and McCormick Paints for donating paint for the front steps of First Zion. When we approached these two businesses with our mission, they were eager to help, and we are thrilled with the results! See the dramatic before and after below.

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Warrior Expeditions

This past summer, the Trail and Town Alliance, a standing committee of the Foundation, coordinated the hosting of 15 veterans hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT) through Warrior Expeditions. Warrior Expeditions is a veteran nonprofit outdoor therapy program that helps veterans transition from their wartime experiences through long distance outdoor expeditions. The Warrior Expeditions veterans who chose to hike the AT required support with a place to rest and…

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Taking Our Work to New Heights

We are making great progress at First Zion! Water damage to the ceiling revealed a tantalizing peak at a handsome wooden bead-board underneath the drywall. We could not evaluate the condition of the bead-board without pulling down the drywall, so the Foundation hired Brad Chandler to remove it. As anyone involved with historical restoration knows, surprises are par for the course, and usually those surprises are bad. However, while…

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Jane Rissler

The Harpers Ferry-Bolivar Historic Town Foundation is honored and deeply grateful to have received a significant bequest from the estate of the late Jane Rissler. She was a dear friend of board member Delores Jackson Foster and an advocate for local African American history. Her generous contribution will significantly bolster our efforts in preserving First Zion Baptist Church and promoting the rich historical heritage of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar.


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A Cool Picture

Check out this picture of Harpers Ferry taken by the Army Air Force in 1930! Our town has undergone some drastic changes in the last 90+ years, hasn’t it?

If you are interested in seeing more photographs, check out the National Archives Catalog. There are a number of fascinating aerial photos to scroll through.

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The Schilling Family

A friend of the Foundation, Chris Schilling, reached out to us with his family history in Bolivar and some delightful photos from the past. He wrote to us:

“My 2nd great-grandfather (Joseph Paul Schilling) was a grocer from Bolivar. His father came over from Bavaria and settled there around 1840. Joseph was married to Mary Cavalier, one of the daughters of Joshua Cavalier who was a prominent farmer in Bolivar….

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William A. Saunders was the longest serving Black professor at Storer College in Harpers Ferry, but his fascinating life story includes a sweet love story with a tragic ending.

Back when Saunders was a 29-year-old in his senior class at Bates College, the class prophet predicted he would never marry. Perhaps it because he was so much older than his classmates or because he seemed such a serious missionary for…

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Woodpecker Woods

The Trail & Town Alliance of Harpers Ferry-Bolivar is a standing committee of the Foundation. The Alliance now serves as the steering committee for our two towns’ participation in the Appalachian Trail Community Program and the Canal Town Partnership. As such, we build coalitions among towns, partner with the National Park Service, trail organizations, and the business community.

Over the past year, the Trail and Town Alliance has made great…

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Our foundation vice chair, Lynn Pechuekonis, published a book! Man of Sterling Worth: Professor William A. Saunders of Storer College details the life of William Saunders, a professor at Storer College here in Harpers Ferry. We are so proud of Lynn, and we wanted to learn more about the book, so she was happy to answer some questions.

Q:  Who was William Saunders and what prompted you to write his…

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