The Arsenal Square site is historically significant as the storage facility for arms produced at the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry begun during the last decade of the eighteenth century. The Arsenal was also the target of John Brown’s infamous raid in 1859 and is the current, although not original, location for the Armory Engine House; renamed “John Brown’s Fort” after Brown was captured there during the raid.
Arsenal Square is the location of the earliest NPS archeology in Harpers Ferry, starting in the late 1950s. A significant archeology collection from this early excavation is managed by the park’s museum staff. The site is also managed as a cultural landscape. An interdisciplinary approach has enabled the NPS to protect and preserve the archeology site, interpret the major structures from the Armory period, and provide access for park visitors. The site is far from static and has undergone a number of changes through the years. The decision-making process for the development of the site will be discussed and a question and answer session will be included.
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