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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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May 30, 2018     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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May 30, 2018
 

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PAGE C2 Wednesday May 30, 201.8 SPIRIT of ,JEFFERSON LIFE and EARMER'S ADVOCATE DOUG PERKS Ford es, trains got folks from Charles Town to Harpers Ferry i )n a good day, a trip to Harpers Ferry involves a 10-minute automo- bile ride, dependent, of course, on traffic and road conditions. A bi- cycle ride would take a few minutes longer, but you have to be willing to tackle Allstadt's Hill either going up or coming down, and both direc- tions are a challenge. You could cer- tainly make the trip on foot, if and ordy if you were willing to take your life in your hands as you walked the shoulder along U.S. 340! Howev- err one thing is for sure - today you can't travel from Charles Town to Harpers Ferry on a passenger train. The Winchester and Potomac Railroad was the first rail line built in the Lower Shenandoah Valley. Chartered by the Virginia General ASsembly in 1831, the line left Win- chester, Va and headed down the Valley to Harpers Ferry - remember that the Shenandoah Valley slopes downhill from Lexington, Va to its lowest point where the rivers meet at Harpers Ferry. Arriving in 1836, the Winchester & Potomac had to wait one year for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to steam into Harpers Ferry. The B&O crossed the Potomac River on a bridge that they owned, built under the supervision of engineer Benja- min Latrobe Jr. By 1855, a journey by train from Winchester to Harpers Ferry cost each passenger $2 - equivalent to $53.99 in today's money! The trip took three hours, with seven stops before reaching the end of the line :: at Harpers Ferry. : i Of course, the $2 fare was pro- The Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road Depot at Charlestown - back when Charlestown was still one word. The building con- structed in 1880 burned in the early 1970s. Today, the site is an enclosed parking area for Creamer's Tire & Auto Center. rated depending upon your desti- word in 1855)added just 12 cents from Winchester to Harpers Fer- nation. If you intended to leave the for a total fare of $1.12 . Getting ry was reduced to one hour and 22 train at Stephenson's, the first stop off at Halltown brought the cost of a minutes, except during peak travel headed south from Winchester, you ticket to $1.37 . Stopping at Key's times when stops at one of now four paid just 37 cents. The next stop, Switch (present-day Millville) cost stations to allow passengers on or Wade's, would cost you a quarter you $1.62 . off the train added another hour to more, making your fare 62 cents. After the Civil War, the Win-the trip. The fare to Summit Point, Stop 3 chester & Potomac Rail Road was Mail trains headed east and west from Winchester, cost an additional sold to the B&O. Eventually, the came through Harpers Ferry around 25 cents bringing the total to 87 rail line was extended up the Valley noon each day, and the 9 a.m. de- cents. Cameron's was the halfway to Harrisonburg and was renamed parture from Winchester guaran- point of the trip, thus the fare was the Winchester, Potomac and HaT- teed that you could make it in time $1. risonburg Division, B.&O. Rail- to post your letters. If you needed A trip to Charlestown (still one road. By 1874, the three-hour trip something in a hurry, there were two fast freights daily - No. 8 left Harpers Ferry at 11:10 p.m. and ar- rived in Strasburg at 3:58 a.m.with a stop at Charlestown at 12:24 a.m. and No. 7 leaving Strasburg at 8:30 p.m stopping in Charlestown at 12:24 a.m and steaming into Harp- ers Ferry at 1:20 a.m. In 1880, the B&O' announced plans to erect a new depot. Designed by the architect for the B.&O. Rail- road, E. Francis Baldwin, the new structure was built by Chafes Town architect and builder Julius Caesar Holmes. The new depot was built on the north side of East North Street adjacent to the present day CSX rail line situated near the intersection of North and Mildred streets - today an enclosed parking area for Cream- er's Tire & Auto Center. When work got underway, the lo- cal B&O agent, Albert D. Barr, was present to throw out the first shovel of dirt. Work was completed by the fall of 1880 and for many decades the depot served the Charlestown community. After World War II, more and more people owned their own automobiles. That fact coupled with ever-rising costs forced the B. & O. to gradually phase out passen- ger rail service and the depot be- came obsolete. A fire in the 1970s destroyed the old building and it was removed. - Doug Perks is the historian for the Jefferson County Museum in Charles Town SHENANDOAH JUNCTION - Matt Hol- formed in Orlando, Fla, and the 2017-2018 Ensemble and the Charles Washington Sym- mes, an accomplished musician who gradu- National Jazz Workshop All-Star Jazz Or- phony Orchestra. He has also played with the ated from Jefferson High earlier this month, chestra, which has performed at the Kennedy Shepherd University Preparatory Orchestra. has been awarded a $500 scholarship from the Center and other venues. He has a jazz ensemble of his own that has Friends of Music. He won the principal bass chair in the West played frequently around the region. The scholarship was presented during the Virginia All State Orchestra in his sophomore He has worked as an intern at Ellsworth sc.hool's music awards program on May 16. year. He picked up other awards for musical Music in Ranson since he was 13 years old. Holmes, who lives in Harpers Ferry, last year excellence during the May 16 program, in- In the fall, Holmes will attend William Patter- was chosen as the sole bass player for two eluding the school's Louis B. Armstrong and son University in Wayne, N.J where he will prestigious student ensembles - the Nation- John Philip Sousa awards, pursue a degree in jazz studies. allAssociation for Music Education's 2017 While at Jefferson High, he has been the The Friends of Music is a Shepherdstown- National Jazz Honor Ensemble, which per- principal bassist with the Jefferson High Jazz based nonprofit founded in 1999. Matt Holmes stands with Friends President Linda Walker. of Music PROUDLY SERVING JEFFERSON COUNTY FOR OVER 56 YEARS May 24 Legislative Town Hall Recap Epic Buffet at Hollywood Casino Noon to 1:30 p.m. june 12 Sislers Stone Mixer 165 Bradstone Ln, Harpers Ferry Time T.B.D. sAVE THE DATE! June t9 Annual Chamber Celebration Location T.B.D. Time T.B.D. Locally crafted potten2 foll art, baskets, jewe boo] s, T-sllArts and much.more! 200 E. Washington St. in Charles Town Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday ALL SHOP PROFITS BENEFIT THE JEFFERSON COUNTY MUSEUM Now through May 31, start (or renew) your subscription to the pirit and you'll get a reward - your choice of a delicious handcrafted pastry from M Street Bakery FR ! Call office manager Cara Young 304-725-2046, ext. 221 618 N. Mildred St. in Ranson J4 l/ 304-930-1 363