An editorial from The Journal
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — All of our thoughts and prayers at The Journal are with the community of Harpers Ferry in the aftermath of Thursday’s devastating fire.
Harpers Ferry’s Lower Town is a destination for travelers from across the country and the globe. While there, those travelers do more than check out John Brown’s fort. They frequent the shops and restaurants that support numerous jobs in the community.
Seven of those storefronts are gone today, lost to the blaze. Many representatives of those businesses gathered in the train station parking lot on Potomac Street yesterday morning and watched their livelihood go up in smoke.
The iconic view from Maryland Heights, hundreds of feet above the Potomac River and the railroad bridges crossing into town, is what most of us locals think abut when it comes to Harpers Ferry. A lithograph of that mesmerizing landscape hangs in our editor’s office.
But what many of us take for granted are the buildings that dot Lower Town as we gaze down from above. Those that were lost to Thursday’s fire maintained precious shops and eateries, vital to the town’s economy.
The Vintage Lady had been in business for 12 years, selling West Virginia-made products to tourists from near and far. Tenfold Fair Trade was coming up on its sixth anniversary of selling eco-friendly products from countries all over the world.
Private Quinn’s Pub was a favorite of visitors looking to squelch their hunger and quench their thirst. Upstairs Downstairs Sandwich Shop provided quick eats for travelers and hikers on the go.
And that’s just to name some of the businesses lost.
It will take Lower Town’s commercial district some time to recover from this devastion. But we are confident it will rally to do just that, and it will come back swinging.
Good luck to all affected by the fire, and God bless you.