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Paymaster's Quarters, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV

Paymaster's Quarters, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV



Significance: Prominently located on the eastern crest of Camp Hill at the head of a row of four residences for Armory officials, the Paymaster's Quarters has survived innumerable structural changes. First erected in 1847-49, the Paymaster's Quarters was one of many architectural improvements to the Harpers Ferry Armory designed and executed by Superintendent John Symington. In 1858, extensive modifications were made to the residence of the paymaster, including the addition of a second story. During the Civil War, Generals Lockwood and Sheridan appropriated the house for their headquarters; it subsequently suffered extensive damage. In 1865, Nathan C. Brackett organized a school in the Paymaster's Quarters. Sponsored by the Freewill Baptist Home Mission Board, the school was among the earliest organized educational programs available to African-Americans in Harpers Ferry. From its modest beginnings in the Paymaster's Quarters, the school developed into Storer College, one of the few African-American colleges in the country at the time of its incorporation in 1867. As Storer College evolved, so did the Paymaster's Quarters. Although the building functioned only temporarily as a classroom and dormitory, it housed a summer boarding house and hotel, which was known as the Lockwood House, for almost fifty years. The construction of a Mansard roof on the Paymaster's Quarters ca. 1883 provided ten additional rooms for summer boarders which were occasionally used during the academic year by Storer students. After the addition of former Storer College property to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the exterior of the Paymaster's Quarters was returned to its pre-Civil War appearance in a restoration project which included the removal of its Mansard roof.
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: FN-26
Unprocessed Field note material exists for this structure: N247, N318
Survey number: HABS WV-179



Historic American Buildings Survey, creator


Harpers Ferry39.32538, -77.73888
Google Map of 39.3253786, -77.7388818


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