HARPERS FERRY – Harpers Ferry National Historical Park now has another property with ties to abolitionist John Brown.
On Saturday, National Park Service officials held a ceremony to celebrate the acquisition of 13 acres that once belonged to Jacob Allstadt, the site of a home and tavern where Brown’s accomplice John Cook took Jacob Allstadt’s oldest son John H. Allstadt and eight others hostage at the start of his 1859 effort to seize the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry and launch a rebellion that would bring an end to slavery.
“The events at Allstadt’s Corner shaped our nation,” Superintendent H. Tyrone Brandyburg said. “This generous donation to the American people allows the National Park Service to preserve this important place, its lessons and its stories forever. It’s an honor to be entrusted with its care.”
The American Battlefield Trust, formed in 1987 and based in Washington, D.C., purchased the property known as Allstadt’s Corner and transferred it to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The donation comes amid the park’s year-long 75th anniversary celebration.
Allstadt’s Ordinary dates to around 1790. Besides the property’s ties to Brown’s attack on Harpers Ferry, the surrounding farm also saw action during the 1862 Battle of Harpers Ferry.
“The donation of Allstadt’s Corner is just the latest example of the Trust working alongside Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to protect the critical landscapes involved in some of the most dramatic chapters of American history,” American Battlefield Trust board member Lt. Gen. Richard Mills said.
The American Battlefield Trust purchased Allstadt’s Corner with a grant from the NPS American Battlefield Protection Program, private donations from individuals and an “exceptional” gift from Elliotsville Plantation Inc. in Patten, Maine.
Officials say additional support came via the National Park Foundation, the West Virginia Division of Culture & History and the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission.
“It was particularly rewarding to work with the NPS and the American Battlefield Trust to preserve this unique and fascinating historic structure,” said Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of the Elliotsville Plantation. “I learned a great deal about the era and the story of Allstadt’s Ordinary, and enjoyed having the opportunity to admire the beautiful landscape of the region.”
The American Battlefield Trust has protected 542 acres at Harpers Ferry, including a swath along Schoolhouse Ridge.