John Brown's Fort
Corporation of Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry News and Events

Mayor sends letter to CSX following train derailment

At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, 21 December 2019, a CSX freight train derailed at Harpers Ferry. Some freight cars plunged into the Potomac River, destroying the pedestrian bridge from West Virginia to Maryland. Mayor Bishop subsequently issued a letter to CSX concerning questions raised surrounding safety issues and the rebuilding of the pedestrian bridge. The full text of the letter can be read here.

Residential Parking Permits January 1 – December 31, 2020

It is time to renew annual Residential Parking Permits. Permit decals for 2020 are now available at the Harpers Ferry Police Station. The permit fee is $5.00 per decal. Applicants must complete the Application for Residential Parking Permit, which can be found on the Police tab of this website. Please be sure to use the form revised 11-19-2019 (located on lower right-hand corner of the form). Present the completed form, along with a current driver’s license, vehicle registration, and permit fee, to the Police Department Clerk, Susan Waters, who will process the application. If the address on the driver's license is NOT Harpers Ferry, applicant must provide other proof of residential status (water bill, electric bill, etc.). Applications must be complete for processing. A Guest Pass may also be obtained; see the Police Department Clerk for that form. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., closed for lunch from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

All information regarding the parking program can be found under the Police tab of this website.

Update on 2019 municipal election contest

On 24 August 2019, the Town Council of the Corporation of Harpers Ferry heard testimony and received evidence in the trial of Case v. Johnson, No. 2019-HFTC-01, contesting a previous decision to reject four provisional ballots in the 2019 Harpers Ferry municipal elections. On 11 September, the Town Council issued its majority opinion and order, again rejecting the four provisional ballots. A dissenting opinion was also issued. Following an appeal, the Jefferson County Circuit Court heard oral arguments on Monday, 28 October and issued an order on Wednesday, 6 November reversing the Council's decision. The following is a timeline of the proceedings of the case. Note: Click the links below to access judicial orders and other documents.

SWaN submits economic study documents to Town Council

SWaN Investors submitted several requested economic and fiscal impact documents to the Town Council as part of the negotiations between the two parties on use of public streets and rights-of-way. The following documents have been posted here for public review:

On 7 June 2019, the firm TischlerBise released a "Review of Hill Top House Hotel, Fiscal Impact and Valuation Assessment Data" (click on the link to access). This document, commissioned by Town Council, reviews the estimated fiscal impact study referenced above.

Hard copies of all these documents may be reviewed at Harpers Ferry Town Hall upon request. Additionally, a professional appraisal report is available for review at Town Hall.

Official statement released on Rockwool facility

During a special meeting on Wednesday, 22 August 2018, the Town Council heard from a number of residents of Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, and surrounding areas concerning the proposed Rockwool production facility in Jefferson County. Following action by Council, an official statement was released and sent to stakeholders, including Roxul USA, the Jefferson County Commission, the City of Ranson, the City of Charles Town, the Corporation of Bolivar, the Corporation of Shepherdstown, the Jefferson County Board of Education, and the Jefferson County Development Authority (JCDA). In addition, Council directed the Corporation of Harpers Ferry's official representative on the JCDA Board to vote in opposition to any proposed bonds that would support infrastructure to the proposed facility site.

The official statement from the Corporation of Harpers Ferry can be read in its entirety here. A summary statement has also been released, which can be read here.

Notice of vacancies on boards of Town government

The Corporation of Harpers Ferry is actively seeking volunteers to serve on the following boards of the Town government:

  • Board of Zoning Appeals (one alternate vacancy)
  • Planning Commission (three vacancies)
  • Tree Committee (two vacancies)
  • Water Commission (two vacancies)

Those individuals interested in seeking appointment to any of these committees should send a letter of interest to Recorder Kevin Carden (

Notice of water rate increases

After conducting a public hearing on 22 February 2018, the Town Council approved the second and final reading of Ordinance 2017-09, which increases water rates in two steps. The first step of an increase of 5% on water service rates only (not sewer service) went into effect at the 1 June 2018 billing.

The second step, a 29% increase on water service rates, will take effect 60 days prior to the closing on the USDA loan for the water system infrastructure project, expected to occur in the spring of 2019.

Ordinance 2017-09 can be read in its entirety here.

Information on paid parking in Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry has instituted three paid parking zones to improve safety and better regulate the very limited parking within the Corporation. Two of the zones, 7510 and 7520, are on Washington Street (Alt. U.S. 340). The third is on Potomac Street in Lower Town. The cost for parking is $1.00 per hour in Zone 7510, $2.00 per hour in Zone 7520, and $3.00 per hour in Zone 7515. Parking may be purchased in half-hour segments. Payment may be made using the Parkmobile cell phone app. To use Parkmobile, open the app, enter zone number, select amount of time desired, and pay by major credit card or PayPal. Visitors may find it easier to download the app to their cell phones before visiting Harpers Ferry to simplify their parking experience at the following link:

Paid parking is strictly enforced in all three zones between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. Violators may be fined and /or towed. Parking is free in all paid parking zones after 6:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

All sides streets within the Corporation of Harpers Ferry are parking by residential permit only. Violators may be fined and / or towed. Permits for residents and their guests may be purchased at Town Hall.

Harpers Ferry Water Works Frozen Pipe Policy

Each customer serviced by the Harpers Ferry Water Works should take reasonable precautions to prevent their water pipes from freezing. Frozen lines from the water main through the meter box are the responsibility of the Water Works, while frozen lines from the meter box to the home are the responsibility of the customer. If the pipe freezes, call the Water Department emergency number at 304-676-4659 for assistance.

The full Frozen Pipe Policy can be read here.

How to pay water and sewer bills

Harpers Ferry Water Works customers can pay online.  To learn more, click here.

List of businesses licensed in Harpers Ferry

The Corporation maintains a list of operators and companies licensed to perform business in Harpers Ferry. These businesses have volunteered to appear on this public list. To review the list, click here.

Feedback? Questions? Contact Kevin Carden, Recorder and Webmaster, at

View from Maryland Heights

“The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature... worth a voyage across the Atlantic.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1783

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1000 Washington St
PO Box 217
Harpers Ferry WV 25425

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