Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Virginius Island Ruins

Shenandoah Pulp Mill ruin (34K)

Image 1: Shenandoah Pulp Mill ruin. This is a picture of the ruins of the Sheandoah Pulp Mill, which belonged to the Shenandoah Pulp Company. The ruins are southwest of the town of Harpers Ferry, on Virginius Island. The pulp mill was erected in 1888 on the site of a double lift lock gate on the old Shenandoah Canal. The Shenandoah Pulp Company was the only water powered-industry remaining on Virginius Island after The Flood of 1889.

Randolph Bridge (38K)

Image 2: The Randolph Bridge. This quaint foot bridge links the mainland with Virginius Island, crossing over the Shenandoah Canal. It is located west of the pulp mill ruins.

The island is located upstream along the Shenandoah River from the town of Harpers Ferry. Due to the hydraulic power available in the area, Virginius Island became an important industrial hub in the area. By 1859 there were three dozen buildings and 184 residents on the island. The industry consisted of a flower mill, a cotton factory, a carriage factory, a sawmill, a machine shop, a blacksmith shop, and an iron foundry. After the devestating Flood of 1870, which claimed the lives of 42 people on the island, only the cotton factory remained. A pulp mill was built in 1888 (see above) but The Flood of 1889 claimed the cotton factory.

Today, a walking trail takes you around Virginius Island and the various ruins. The trail begins at the Randolph Bridge.

These photographs were taken in August, 1995 with a Nikon F-601 autofocus SLR, using a Nikkor 24mm - 50mm f2.8 wide angle zoom lens. The images were captured on Kodak Royal Gold 400 film.