HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — You don’t look a day over 70, doll.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a national park this week, and even though the park itself is known for its Civil War history and contributions to transportation and expansion, the celebration will have a 40’s vibe.
“We’re sort of going to be taking visitors back to 1944,” said Harpers Ferry Park Association Executive Director Cathy Baldeau. “We’re going to have a Marine Recruitment station. In our youth tent, kids are going to be able to make their own little Victory Gardens. We’re going to talk about rationing and really what was happening in the town during that time period.”
When the idea of Harpers Ferry as a national park came to be, the nation was at war. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Public Information Officer Autumn Cook said that in itself is remarkable.
“It was really important that they set aside something because they knew that it would be important later to look back on history; look at the Civil War, look at John Brown’s Raid, look at other things that happened here. So the park wasn’t able to function during the war, but the states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia started setting aside land to be put forward for this park.”
The preserved artifacts and buildings, the walking and hiking paths will be available as usual all weekend long, but from Friday to Sunday it’ll be a step back into the 40’s from a swing band dance Friday night and educational exhibits all weekend to a birthday cupcake reception on Sunday.
The complete schedule of events can be found here.