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Shepherdstown, WV ( more details)

Shepherdstown, WV from Kyd Douglas place in Maryland Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Shepherdstown, Bridgeport and Ferry Hill

Shepherdstown, as one of the oldest towns in the Potomac Valley and settled as early as 1730, took an active interest in the economic development of the region through the promotion of internal improvements. The town gave its full support to the canal project and subscribed $20,000 of Canal Co. stock. The town received economic stimulus from the canal as the site of lime mills supplying the major portion of the cement to the canal contractors during the early years of construction. After the canal was completed to Dam No. 4 in the spring of 1834, it carried a large amount of the town’s trade (Unrau). The water from the Potomac Mill (also known as Boteler’s Mill) dam allowed boats to leave the canal at the Shepherdstown River Lock and cross the river to Shepherdstown to load up with grain and flour from Shepherd’s Mill, cement from the Potomac Cement Mill, and cattle and other farm products from the region. Shepherdstown declined as a viable river port with the arrival of the Shenandoah Valley Railroad in 1875 and a progression of floods that destroyed portions of the dam and the canal (Conway)

This scene captured by Joel L. Griffith, one of the founders and photography hobbyists of the Cumberland’s Shawnee Canoe Club, is taken from the Henry Kyd Douglas’s house also called Ferry Hill. Ferry Hill was built by John Blackford c. 1813 and was a working farm until the 20th century. Lock 38 was a busy area with traffic from the canal and travelers to and from West Virginia. The large white house was used as a hotel, while down at the lock there was a feed store that was later converted into a bath house before it was destroyed in the 1936 flood.


Joel L. Griffith, Shawnee Canoe Club

Public domain

Mile 88.1

Martin R. Conway. Shepherdstown, an American treasure. Shepherdstown: Carabelle Books, 1991

Collection Location:
C&O National Historic Park

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (Md.); Washington County (Md.), History

Maryland, 1824-1938

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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