The Harpers Ferry-Bolivar Historic Town Foundation was started by former Mayor James Addy in 1999. It was Mayor Addy’s efforts that brought together a group of citizens who wanted to preserve and protect the local history of Harpers Ferry and Bolivar beyond the restricted scope of the National Historical Park and the Harpers Ferry Park Association. In May 2002, the IRS officially recognized the Foundation as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and, in June 2007, the Foundation was incorporated in the state of West Virginia.
Under Addy’s leadership the National Historical Park dedicated a room in the renovated train station to Fontaine Beckham who was the Mayor of Harpers Ferry during the John Brown raid.
Monies raised through the Foundation later supported an Eagle Scout project that created stone steps through the historic Harper Cemetery. Under the leadership of Don Alexander, the Foundation raised funds for the $2.4 million Potomac Street Revitalization Project completed in 2018. In March 2017, the Foundation purchased First Zion Baptist Church with the goal of preserving the building and establishing a community cultural arts center.