John Brown’s Fort was originally used in 1848 as the Armory’s fire engine and guard house. During the Civil War, the Fort was used as a prison and a supply house. John Brown’s Fort was the only armory to survive the civil war. In 1891, the fort was sold, dismantled and transported to Chicago where it was displayed near The World’s Columbian Exposition. However, this exhibit was not very popular, so it was once again dismantled. In 1894,, a campaign was started to return the fort to Harpers Ferry, led by journalist Kate Field. In 1895, John Brown’s Fort was rebuilt on the Murphy Farm, located about 3 miles from the town of Harpers Ferry. In 1909, on the 50th Anniversary of John Brown’s Raid, the building was purchased and moved to the campus of Storer College located on Camp Hill in Harpers Ferry where it was used as a museum. Finally, in 1960 the fort was acquired by the National Park Service, and in 1968 it was returned to the lower town of Harpers Ferry. The fort currently sits approximately 150 feet east of where it was originally built, due to the fort’s original site being covered with a railroad embankment in 1894.
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814 Shenandoah Street, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425, United States