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Washington Heritage Trail
Jefferson County, WV
About Jefferson County
Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Jefferson Rock
Shenandoah Canal
Entler Hotel
Rumsey Monument and Tobacco Warehouse
Morgan's Grove Park
Peter Burr House
Charles Town
Jefferson County Courthouse and Museum
Zion Episcopal Church
Happy Retreat
St. George's Chapel Ruins
Cedar Lawn
Claymont Court/Blakeley
Middleway Historic District
Berkeley County, WV
About Berkeley County
B&O Roundhouse & Station Complex
Belle Boyd House
Berkeley County Courthouse
Triple Brick Museum
General Adam Stephen House
Green Hill Cemetery
Van Metre Ford Bridge
Bunker Hill Mill
Morgan Chapel
Morgan Cabin
Gerrardstown Historic District
Hays Gerrard House
Mill's Gap
Sleep Creek Wildlife Management Area
Hedgesville Historic District
Mt. Zion Episcopal Church
Snodgrass Tavern
Morgan County, WV
About Morgan County
Spruce Pine Hollow Park
Berkeley Springs
Dutch Cemetery
Throgmorton's Inn
Bath Historic District
Berkeley Springs State Park
George Washington's Bathtub
Roman Bath House & Museum of the Berkeley Springs
Washington's Lots
Sir John's Run
Panorama Overlook
Great Cacapon
Camp Hill Cemetery
Paw Paw
Paw Paw Tunnel
Coolfont Manor House
Cacapon State Park

Washington Heritage Trail


Jefferson County Courthouse


Built in 1836 on the site of the 1803 original, the Greek Revival Jefferson County Courthouse dominates the public square in the heart of Charles Town. It has been the setting of two major American treason trials.

John Brown and his men were brought to the Charles Town jail, now site of the Charles Town Post Office, following the raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859. All were tried in the courthouse; John Brown and six of his men were hanged nearby following their trials. During the war, Union troops occupied and gutted the building.

In 1922, William Blizzard was tried here and acquitted of murder and treason, charges brought for his leadership of 7000 coal miners in their battle against mine owners and federal troops at Blair Mountain in southern West Virginia.

The Courthouse was renovated in 1872 when the county seat returned after a brief post-Civil War sojourn in Shepherdstown. The first floor county commission room is the only untouched remnant of the famous John Brown courtroom. Five flights up the 80-foot belltower is the four-faced clock with its bell installed circa 1885.

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, it continues to be a working courthouse.

The Jefferson County Museum chronicles the history of Charles Town and Jefferson County. It contains artifacts from early Native Americans to World War II. Among its George Washington Jefferson County Museumcollection are one of the last letters he wrote and one of only three copies of the first printing of Washington’s will. The Civil War period is represented with a Battle Flag of Stuart’s Horse Artillery, a large document collection, papers of Confederate Colonel R.P. Chew, and pottery and porcelain of the period.

Among the artifacts are the wagon which carried John Brown to the site of his execution and the cot on which he slept in the Charles Town jail as well as a collection of old guns including rifles produced at the Harpers Ferry Armory. The museum is open seasonally. There is an admission charge.

Upstairs above the Museum is the Old Charles Town Library. Its Perry Room is filled with an extensive collection of regional diaries and books.

Museum: corner of Washington and Samuel streets, Charles Town
Courthouse: corner of Washington and George streets, Charles Town
For More Information:
Museum: 304-725-8628 • www.jeffctywvmuseum.org
Courthouse: 304-725-9761

Copyright © 2010, Washington Heritage Trail, Inc. Funded in part by the Federal Highway Administration.