The walking tour is self-guided. You may follow the numbers or just pick randomly from the guide. Some things to look for as you walk the tour:
- How many “horse stones” or mounting blocks can you discover along the streets? These made it easier to enter or exit a carriage or to mount or dismount a horse. Some are over 200 years old.
- Some businesses on German Street dressed up their store fronts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with decorative cast iron, new wood trim, and leaded glass. Some installed tin ceilings. Can you find the iron fronts? Look for the name George L. Mesker and Company, Evansville, Indiana, the company that manufactured the ornamental iron pieces.
- At one time, Shepherdstown had water pumps on the sidewalks. Users paid a small fee to the homeowner who maintained the pump. Can you find a replica?
- Notice how the buildings are placed on the lots. The earliest lot owners built their buildings on the front so that most of the lot could be used for food cultivation or animal raising. Later, as provisions became available from local merchants, owners built farther back on the lots to make room for porches, flower gardens, and lawns, signs of a more prosperous time.
(The numbers are keyed to the map below. Street addresses are provided for most residential structures. Do not be confused by numbers on some structures that were used in a former walking tour scheme. Simply follow the street addresses or location descriptions. Some public buildings are open, but most of the private buildings are residences not open to the public except on special occasions. PLEASE RESPECT THE PRIVACY OF RESIDENTS).
Historic Shepherdstown produces the online Walking Tour and Historic Shepherdstown: A Brief History and Walking Tour brochure as outreach projects to serve the goals of the organization:
- To promote a greater and better Shepherdstown;
- To bring wider recognition of the unique assets which make it such a desirable community in which to live;
- To preserve the rich heritage of the town, its ancient landmarks, and to record the history of its people;
- To possess by gift or purchase, properties of historic value.
For more information on Historic Shepherdstown and Museum please visit our website at https://historicshepherdstown.com or contact us at:
Historic Shepherdstown and Museum
PO Box 1786
129 East German Street
Shepherdstown, WV 25443
Brief History and Walking Tour revised by James C. Price and Harold Snyder in 1998 and by Jerry Thomas and Robbye Horowicz in 2011 and 2014. © 2014