In 1775, Shepherdstown (formerly known as Mecklenburg) was asked to furnish one company (about 100 men) to assist patriots fighting the British around Boston. In July, the company marched in high spirits down German Street with the entire town cheering them off to war.
We can imagine the excitement in Mecklenburg when the weary express rider, his horse drooping and wet with exhaustion, was ferried over the Potomac to the market place in the village and in every settlement all the able-bodied men were formed into militia companies.
The peaceful streets of Mecklenburg resounded to the music of fife, bag-pipe, and drum; the parade ground was the vacant lot behind the old Entler Tavern, still standing on German Street, and the companies marched, paraded and exercised from morning until night.
by Danske Dandridge.
The Rumsey Boat and Boathouse
James Rumsey, encouraged by George Washington, came to Shepherdstown in September 1786 to demonstrate his latest invention, the steamboat. Confident of success, he invited the townspeople to watch the demonstration and asked several of the leading citizens aboard the boat. He launched his 48-foot flat-bottomed boat from the ferry landing on Princess Street and operated the steam engine himself. The boat traveled about one quarter of a mile upstream, at about 3 knots, before turning back to the cheering crowd.
About Historic Shepherdstown & Museum
Incorporated in 1961, Historic Shepherdstown is an active non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving the architectural character of the town and building public understanding of our distinctive history. Volunteers worked to restore this building as a center for public activity.
Established in 1983 the Historic Shepherdstown Museum was founded to preserve and display artifacts, furnishings, and documents of historic interest that might otherwise have been lost for the people of Shepherdstown and Jefferson County.
The first floor of the museum, formerly the ladies' and gentlemen's parlors, is now decorated as a formal reception room. The second and third floors include a room furnished as a hotel bedroom, a Victorian sitting room, and five rooms containing local artifacts including a fine display of American Indian tools.
Today the Entler is the headquarters for Historic Shepherdstown. Reception rooms are available for social gatherings, meetings, art exhibitions and other programs and office space is available for professional and non-profit organizations.
(Sidebar): The Washington Heritage Trail in West Virginia
The Washington Heritage Trail is a 136-mile national scenic byway inspired by the prominent footsteps of George Washington through the three historic counties of West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle. Compelling history, spectacular scenery, geologic wonders, recreation and year round activities and festivals are highlighted by 45 historical sites. The trail meanders across mountains and rivers, through forests, farms, and orchards as it connects five 18th century towns that remain the center of life today and offer comfortable lodging, unique shopping, and fine dining. More information on attractions and services throughout the area is available at each town's Visitor Center.
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