- Jul 24, 2012
The structure in the background has an interesting history. It was built around 1834 by the U.S. government and was originally designated as Armory Building 23. During the Civil War it was used as an office for the Union Provost Marshal, who acted as the military police, and soldiers were imprisoned here. In the summer of 1862, photographers from Matthew Brady’s studio used the building as a backdrop to photograph members of the 22nd New York State Militia, who were stationed in Harpers Ferry at the time. Many soldiers wrote graffiti on the walls, which survive to this day. There is a rumor that Abraham Lincoln spent the night in the building on October 1, 1862 while visiting the Army of the Potomac, but there is no documentation to prove this claim. When the Civil War ended, the government donated Armory Building 23 to Virginia Lodge No. 1, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Located at 770 Fillmore Street, it is still in use to this day.