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Museum open for ‘10 season

By Staff | Apr 9, 2010

The Historic Shepherdstown Museum is located in the Entler Hotel at German and Princess streets.

The Historic Shepherdstown Museum will reopen for its 27th Season for visitors on Saturday, April 10. Museum hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, as well as on special occasions or by appointment.

The Museum is housed in the old Entler Hotel building at the corner of German and Princess Street. The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Sites, dates from the early 1800s and was operated as a hotel until 1921 when it was purchased by Shepherd College. In the early 1970s the building was purchased by the town from the college and restored through the efforts of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission, a group of local townspeople. The museum was opened in 1983.

Items of interest in the museum include three tall clocks made in Shepherdstown in the late 1700s by Jacob Kraft, one of many craftsmen of German ancestry attracted to Thomas Shepherd’s new town shortly after it was chartered in 1762.

Several of the rooms in the museum recapture the feeling of a small town hotel as it must have been back before the Civil War, when the Entler was in its heyday.

Period furnishings, many of them which have strong association with Shepherdstown and its early residents, grace two rooms on the main floor the original sitting Chambers.

The second floor features a traveler’s room as it might have been around 1840, (when a night’s lodging could be had for 25 to 50 cents) as well as new Civil War room focusing on Shepherdstown’s involvement.

The museum also features Sheetz rifles, Rickard locks, textiles dating from the early 18th century and items dating from the Revolutionary War. Of particular interest is a mail wagon from about 1910, given by the Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department.

Housed in the garden area is a half-scale replica of James Rumsey’s steamboat, the first known adaptation of steam power to water travel. Rumsey successfully demonstrated his experimental craft on the Potomac River in December 1787, fully twenty years before Robert Fulton. The more modern craft, built to Rumsey’s patent specifications, is often exhibited steaming under its own power on special occasions.

For more information on the museum, its collection and hours of operation or to arrange special tours or access the museum archives, please call Cindy Schott at Historic Shepherdstown, (304) 876-0910.