A last look at the current Hill Top House in Harpers Ferry before construction work began in late January 2022. Swan Hill Top, the development company, says that the activity of the early stages of the project may not be very visible as workers clean up and deconstruct the interior of the building to salvage wood, stone, and other materials for reuse in the new structure.
Note from the Editor
People have been settling and moving around the region for a long time, as the newly-opened Contributions: African Americans in the Shenandoah Valley exhibition at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley reminds us (see page 6). Nick Powers, Curator of Collections at the museum, emphasizes that the local stories presented in this exhibition are intended to be interpreted in the broader context of American history. A few of the objects from this exhibition are presented in this issue, highlighting how these local stories are connected to our broader national narrative.
Looking back more recently, to 2007, the new owners of the Hill Top House (above) were planning to make some minor repairs and continue the hotel operations. Across the county, the real estate market was booming. By 2008, the Hill Top House was closed after the owners determined that the structure could not be salvaged. Likewise, the housing market sagged by half and stayed down for the next several years. Construction is finally underway at the Hill Top. And new home construction in Jefferson County is again booming, as evidenced by the number of building permits issued and the amount of construction equipment on the ground — a local version of the broader housing trends playing out across the region and the country.
Even closer to home, our community is enriched by the many who volunteer their time. We present two examples in this month’s issue — the Historic Landmark Commission which works to preserve examples of Jefferson County’s past, and CASA-EP, which works to support the “children who are the adults of the future,” as described by Darah Kehnemuyi, a long-time CASA volunteer.By Steve Pearson