2016 Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Quarter
Thirty-Third in the America the Beautiful Quarters Collection
National Historical Park in eastern West Virginia is featured on the third of
five America the Beautiful Quarters in 2016. It followed the 2016 coins for Shawnee
National Forest in Illinois and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in
Kentucky, and it will be followed by Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North
Dakota and Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) in South Carolina.
National Historical Park occupies 3,645 acres in and around the town of Harpers
Ferry, West Virginia, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers;
parts of the park also extend into neighboring Maryland and Virginia. The town
was the site of a federal armory in the early 1800’s that produced muskets,
rifles, and pistols for the U.S. Army. The armory was one of the first
factories to streamline production by using interchangeable parts, and it
harnessed the power of the rivers to operate the machinery, making it a pioneer
in the industrial revolution.
One of the most
famous Civil War-era events took place in Harpers Ferry in 1859 when
abolitionist John Brown took over the armory in an attempt to lead an uprising
of slaves. Brown was unsuccessful, but the armory is now known as John Brown’s
Fort and Brown’s quest was immortalized in songs and poems.
During the Civil
War, the Battle of Harpers Ferry in 1862 saw 12,500 Union troops surrender to Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson – the largest such surrender of the war. After the
war, Storer College was established in Harpers Ferry to educate former
slaves and the town became a center for anti-segregation activities. Many of
the most historic locations in the town, including John Brown’s Fort, are
preserved in the park.
Ferry National Historical Park Quarter features a view of John Brown’s Fort. The
selected design was one of seven that were submitted by U.S. Mint artists for
One other suggested
design showed a different view of John Brown’s Fort, while three included
Jefferson Rock, a rock formation that overlooks the town of Harpers Ferry from
a vantage point on the Appalachian Trail as it passes the town. Jefferson Rock
was named for Thomas Jefferson, who visited Harpers Ferry in 1783 and who was
impressed by the view. Two additional designs paid tribute to the federal
armory, and the final design was a view of the town.
This is for a Gold Plated Uncirculated quarter from the Denver Mint.