My first Sunday as “Artist in Residence” has been a little slower than my first Saturday! I did some additional photographs of the Living History event, “Necessity: Mother of Invention.” This featured several members of the Frederic Ladies Relief, the Atlantic Guard Soldiers Aid Society, and Shepherd College students. They were portraying citizens and soldiers of Harpers Ferry, especially the role that women had in the growing industries of the time. This time, I was able to find the ladies that were baking bread, and it did smell delicious!
I also had time to “hike” a short section of the Appalachian Trail! Very short! I walked across the footbridge adjacent to the CSX Railroad bridge that crosses the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry. After crossing the bridge, I descended the spiral stairs down to the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath, another National Park. I had also crossed from West Virginia to Maryland!
While taking in the views of the old, abandoned bridge piers, and the stone walls that had formed the canal, I was glad I had brought my infrared camera along. I took a few photos, and then returned to the “Lower Town” and walked further, and crossed another bridge to Virginius Island. You can see some of my new infrared photos at www.WVFinePhotography.com .
Virginius Island was a site for many industry start-ups, during the industrial heyday of Harpers Ferry. There were grain mills, firearms manufacturing, cotton mills, wood pulp mills, and others. Entrepreneurs were able to utilize the potential water power from the Shenandoah River along the islands banks to power their machines.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is full of the history of our state and nation. This is not just a story of the Civil War, but so much more.
Ron Gaskins, Artist in Residence
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, WV
(written March 29, 2015; intermittent access to internet for posting.)