Potomac River park planned
CHARLES TOWN – Another new park could soon be added in Jefferson County, this one with ties to America’s history and access to the Potomac River.
Ed Dunleavy of the Shepherdstown Battlefield Preservation Association came before members of the Jefferson County Commission on Thursday to request support in acquiring a parcel of land near River Road. If purchased, the 13-acre property could be transformed into a park that would have several unique features, he said.
“Currently there is no public access to the Potomac River,” Dunleavy said.
That could change if the park moves forward. He said the property features nearly 150 yards of rocky beach where residents could swim, and nearly 2,200 feet of river frontage.
The site has other unique features as well, he noted. The land is home to a cement plant and kilns that were used from 1829 to 1904. Materials made at the mill were used to construct the C&O Canal, as well as numerous buildings, Dunleavy said.
Several of the kilns still remain on the property, with some carrying the scars of damage they incurred in the Civil War.
Dunleavy said the site was part of the Battle of Shepherdstown. He noted that grant money that has been obtained in the county to purchase battlefield lands could be used to acquire the park, as could nearly $100,000 that was set aside earlier by members of the county commission for such acquisitions.
– Naomi Smoot