Trip Planner: USA / West Virginia / Harpers Ferry / John Brown's Fort
John Brown's Fort was originally built in 1848 for use as a guard and fire engine house by the federal Harpers Ferry Armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (since 1863, West Virginia). An 1848 military report described the building as "An engine and guard-house 35 1/2 x 24 feet, one story brick, covered with slate, and having copper gutters and down spouts…"See John Brown's Fort and all Harpers Ferry has to offer by arranging your trip with our Harpers Ferry trip maker.
The building achieved fame when it became John Brown (abolitionist)'s refuge during his 1859 raid on Harper's Ferry. It is the only surviving building of the Armory; the others were destroyed during the Civil War.
The building quickly became a tourist attraction; the words John Brown's Fort—a new name—were painted over the three doors, to attract tourists. It has been moved four times: in 1891 to the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1895 to the Murphey Farm near Harpers Ferry, in 1909 to the campus of historically black Storer College in Harpers Ferry, and in 1968 by the National Park Service to its present location in lower Harpers Ferry, near its original site. An obelisk stands where it was originally located. The building and obelisk are part of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
In 2016 the building was honored with a U.S. quarter.
John Brown's Fort reviews
Just one of the many buildings to visit in Harpers Ferry. Easy to find, between the main part of town and the bridge.
Just one of the many buildings to visit in Harpers Ferry. Easy to find, between the main part of town and the bridge. more »
Small, but it’s a important historical site. It was very cool to see a piece of history and learn more about it. My dog really enjoyed his walk to the site.
Small, but it’s a important historical site. It was very cool to see a piece of history and learn more about it. My dog really enjoyed his walk to the site. more »
I love history and John Brown is an interesting chapter so must see this. When you get off the shuttle, you'll be at the fort in like 5 min walk and everything to see and do is literally right there..... more
I love history and John Brown is an interesting chapter so must see this. When you get off the shuttle, you'll be at the fort in like 5 min walk and everything to see and do is literally right there..... more »
Such a great place to visit. So much to see and do all in one spot. Perfect for history buffs, photographers, hikers and more. Plenty of shops filled with the most interesting hand made goods. Great restaurants with tasty foods and drinks. Be prepared to walk a bit, parking close by is limited.
It was amazing it’s $20 a car but that gives you 3 day access and you can hike it or ride the bus for free “ don’t forget your mask” and no pets allowed on bus. It was an amazing experience ❤️
Pretty cool town and museum experience, didn't really care for all the reading material just enjoyed looking around
Beautiful day! A lot of history... take a few hours to stroll through the town. FYI - parking is very limited. The National Park runs shuttles every few minutes to the town...but there is park fee
We had an incredible presentation from Ranger Jeff Bowers. That man is, himself, a national treasure. Can’t thank him enough for such a great tour, full of good stories and good humor.
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