The Rumsey Monument then and now. Right-hand photo taken in 2015 by James Horn
Soon after the steamboat became a common mode of transport in the 1830’s, Shepherdstown residents began discussing a monument to remind the world of their own inventor. But it was not until 1906 that a local group formed and a project took shape. Local residents pitched in, but most of the money was slowly appropriated by the West Virginia legislature over several years until construction could begin in 1914, by Forbes Granite Company of Chambersburg — which had also recently completed some memorials for Antietam Battlefield. The Monument itself was completed in 1915, and in 1917 Mill Street was connected to the park. George M. Belzhoover, Jr, who led the effort to build the Monument, was the Jefferson County prosecutor. One bronze plaque on the monument has his plea for the inventor, and the other an artist’s rendering of a steamboat that shares a few of the features of the original.