Potomac Power Plant

  • 1834-1839 – The federal government erects a Tilt-Hammer & Barrel Welding Shop for the Harpers Ferry Armory on this site.
  • 1855 – A new Rolling Mill is completed, described as “146 by 45 feet, one story of 16½ feet, built of brick, on stone foundation, covered with slate.”
  • 1861 – The Rolling Mill is destroyed along with most of the Armory at the outset of the Civil War.
  • 1884 – Thomas Savery of Wilmington, Delaware, acquires the Armory site from the government for $25,100, outbidding the B&O Railroad.
  • 1888 – The Harpers Ferry Paper Company begins the manufacture of “Spruce Ground Wood Pulp,” using water to power 10 hydraulic turbines.
  • 1925 – The paper mill is destroyed by fire on January 15, 1925. A “power plant was immediately rebuilt” on the mill foundations, and two turbines generated electricity for almost seven decades.
  • 1991 – The power plant ceases operation.
  • 1995 – Ownership of the power plant is transferred from Potomac Edison Company to the National Park Service.