My first assignment today was to photograph an orientation meeting between Park Administration and the Job Corp. Four young men from Job Corp will be working here at Harpers Ferry National Historic Park for several weeks. It was interesting to hear from the different sectors of the Park Administration, such as Landscaping, museums, volunteer coordination, safety and others regarding their specific responsibilities. Afterward, one of the Rangers took the young men on a short tour of the Lower Town, and explained the mission of the Park.
While I was out in the Lower Town, I stopped in at the Information Center, and got to say “Hello” to Ranger Chuck Dennis again, along with his volunteer, Cody. Chuck will soon have 40 years with the National Park Service, and loves his job.
Later in the afternoon and evening, I climbed the stone steps from High Street, and passed one of the landmarks of Harpers Ferry…St. Peter’s Catholic Church. It is a beautiful structure, and was built after the influx of many Irish Catholic craftsmen to the area in the 1800s. Mass is heard every Sunday at 11:00 am.
Just a little further up the stairs is the site of the first church built in Harpers Ferry, and the current abandoned ruins of the St. John’s Episcopal Church. The remains of the stone structure still have their window openings, and imagination could easily make it a fort or castle, as well. I will be back here to take more photos!
A little further up those steps….(yes, I had to stop for a break….okay, two breaks)…is Jefferson Rock. No, Thomas Jefferson didn’t carry them up here. However, from this naturally balanced rock formation, he surveyed the view of the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, and wrote “The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature…this scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic.”
Ron Gaskins, Artist in Residence
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
(written on March 30; posts are delayed due to intermittent internet access)