NW corner of German and Duke Sts. In the early 1800s the Weis family began turning out a reddish brown pottery in a wooden house on this site. In 1815 a fire spread from the kilns behind the house and destroyed the wooden structure. The Weis’s then built the large brick house. The smaller brick structure attached to the west side of the house became a shop for the display of Weis pottery ware, now prized by collectors. Like many of the products of early artisans, examples of Weis pottery may be seen at the Historic Shepherdstown Museum.
SW corner of where Duke (Route 480) and New Sts once intersected. The log cabin in which James Rumsey lived (1785-1788) stood on this spot where now stands a brick house built in 1860. A plaque on the side of the house identifies the site. The town’s first jailhouse, a limestone structure, stood in the middle of New Street adjacent to the Rumsey house site from 1794 to 1865.
SW corner of New and Church Sts. The original building, constructed of wood, also stood here, but burned in 1854, leading to its replacement by the current brick structure. Differences over slavery caused a split in the Methodist Church in the antebellum era, and the Northern Methodists retained control of the building. In 1868, Southern Methodists built what is now known as the War Memorial Building on German Street. Northern and Southern Methodists reunited in 1940 at the New Street site.
NW corner of Washington and Church Sts, one block south of the United Methodist Church. Dedicated in 1891 in honor of Agnes Gibson (1853-1941), a lay person who played a major role in raising funds for the building of the church. It is now the St. Agnes Chapel. On July 28, 2008, the St. Agnes congregation dedicated a striking new church edifice located at 106 South Duke Street, behind the parish house.
204 Washington St., built c. 1790 and home to the Miller family for over a century. Solomon Miller and his wife Sophia Cookus Miller were both children of Revolutionary War veterans and produced a family of artisans including weavers, carriage makers, painters, cabinet makers and needle crafters. Eleazer Hutchinson Miller was a painter of watercolors and oils, etcher, and illustrator whose work is on display at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington and at the Historic Shepherdstown museum. Mid-twentieth century owner Edmund Jennings Lee IV (great grandson of Edmund Jennings Lee, the uncle of Robert E. Lee) was born in Shepherdstown, became an Episcopal priest and spent 25 years as a missionary in China as well as several years as headmaster of Chatham Hall girls’ school in Virginia. He and his wife retired to “the Crooked House,” a name he coined.
104 W New St. The large federal style brick house, constructed in 1814, was purchased by Thomas Van Swearingen in 1815 and sold to John Baker in 1817. It has served as the rectory since 1846. The Shepherd burial ground, inside the adjacent stone walls, was established in 1776 upon the death of Thomas Shepherd and is said to contain his unmarked grave. Over thirty family members are interred here, the last in 1941. On the opposite side of the street, a boys school known as the “Salt Box School” operated in the decades before the Civil War under a New England trained schoolmaster, John Pierce.
100 W New St., built as a log house c. 1786 by Christian Clise, who purchased the lot from Abraham Shepherd in 1785. Clise sold the house in 1790 and moved to Lexington, Va., where he and his son built and operated an ordinary. Succeeding owners including the Cookus and McCauley families enlarged the house, adding a center hall, siding, and unique architectural details. On January 21, 1892, near the front steps, a rejected suitor shot a popular town belle. Removed to the parlor of the house (then owned by Methodist minister A.A.P. Neel), the victim died, as outraged townsmen sought the killer. Sentenced to hang by a Charles Town court, the killer was found dead in his cell before the execution. Some allege that the house is haunted by the ghosts of that long ago tragedy.
S side of E New St, between King and Princess Sts. The long two-story building has been called Stone Row for generations. Built in the early 1790s, it began as Philip Shutt’s Brewhouse. Irish workingmen building the C&O Canal in the 1830s enjoyed “Shutt’s Cream Beer.”