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Jefferson Rock

West Virginia Historic Site

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Jefferson Rock (up a series of stone steps) offers a panoramic view of the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. The uppermost slab of Jefferson Rock originally rested on a natural stone foundation so narrow that one was able to sway the rock back and forth with a gentle push. Because this natural foundation had "dwindled to very unsafe dimensions by the action of the weather, and still more, by the devastations of tourists and curiosity-hunters," four stone pillars were placed under each corner of the uppermost slab sometime between 1855 and 1860.

The name of this landmark derives from Thomas Jefferson, who stood here on October 25, 1783. His description of the view first appeared in the Notes on the State of Virginia, published in 1785: "This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic." To access Jefferson Rock from Lower Town, first go to the stone steps located between the African American History Museum and the Civil War Museum on High Street. Climb the steps and proceed past St. Peter's Catholic Church to the next set of steps. Continue to follow the path past the ruins of St. John Episcopal Church until you reach Jefferson Rock. Read Grace N.'s review of Jefferson Rock on Yelp

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Contact Information
National Park Service
P.O. Box 65
Harpers Ferry WV 25425