June 16, 2022 Blog

The U.S. Civil Rights movement can be said to have been advanced in Harpers Ferry, not only by the famous John Brown Raid, but through Storer College, the state’s first institution to provide secondary education to black citizens. Harpers Ferry – primarily due to Storer – also attracted permanent black residents, vacationers, entrepreneurs, and civil rights leaders like Frederick Douglass and W. E. B. DuBois.

Due to popular demand, the Foundation will once again host the Black Heritage Guided Walking Tour on Saturday, June 26. This walking tour sheds light on the diverse African American community that was concentrated along Fillmore and Washington Streets and in the West Ridge neighborhood from the late 19th through the mid-20th centuries and includes two historic black churches. Presenters at tour stops will include current and former Harpers Ferry residents. We offered this tour last September, and the event was a great success!

The tour begins at 10 a.m. and ends at First Zion Baptist Church, 1030 West Ridge St., Harpers Ferry. A reception at the church property will follow the tour with light refreshments. Tickets are $20, and proceeds support the restoration of the historic First Zion Baptist Church. Reservation/advance ticket purchase required. Storer College alumni and children under 15 receive free admission. Space is limited to 40 adults.

If you can’t make the event, you can actually do the guided walking tour on your own. Check it out here!

On a related note, we are reaching out to residents of Bolivar for historical information about their property with the goal of creating similar walking tours through Bolivar. Our immediate goal is to create another African American heritage walking tour, but we also want to create similar guides of Bolivar but with different historical themes.

If you are a resident of Bolivar or immediately outside of Bolivar (e.g. Prospect Avenue) and you have information about your property that you feel comfortable sharing, please e-mail us at myhouse@historicharpersferry.org.

Happy walking!

Written by Rachel Meyer