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Historian speaks about Potomac River

By Staff | Apr 8, 2011

(Submitted photo) Doug Perks, the featured speaker at the Potomac River Workshop, is shown above with ‘The Grand Idea’ book by Joel Achenbach at the Old Charles Town Public Library, where he serves as director.

A Potomac River Workshop was held last Saturday, April 2, at the Entler Hotel.

Douglas Perks, a native of Jefferson County and historian, spoke on the culture of the river, and later naturalist Jack Wennerstrom presented on 20 beautiful places near the upper Potomac River.

Nearly 40 people were in attendance, and Donna Northouse, event coordinator, said that it was the most attended of any previous workshop.

“I was very pleased. We couldn’t have had a more enthusiastic audience to the lively slide presentations given by both Doug Perks and Jack Wennerstrom,” she said.

Northouse said this was the fifth local history workshop sponsored by the Historic Shepherdstown Commission over the past two years.

“It couldn’t have happened without their support and the major assistance of two of their board members, Vicki Smith (head of its Museum Committee plus the publicity director) and past board President Edward Moore,” she said.

According to Northouse, the purpose of the workshop was two-fold.

One was to promote the opening of the Shepherdstown Historic Museum on weekends during the spring and summer of 2011.

The other was to offer teachers and other members of the public a deeper understanding of the rich local history associated with the Potomac River.

“I, like many Shepherdstown residents, moved here because of its beautiful natural landscape and rich history and culture,” Northouse said. “Nearly everyone I’ve met has one thing in common – a desire to learn more about this area.”

A mix of teachers and citizens were in attendance.

“We promoted the workshop with the Jefferson County Public Schools, as we have the previous four local history workshops sponsored by the Historic Shepherdstown Commission,” Northouse said. “In fact, the district has been very supportive in giving teachers staff development credit and special thanks go to Arthena Roper, staff development coordinator.”

According to Northouse, the Shepherdstown community also gives a lot of support to the Shepherdstown Historic Commission, including many people who are leading efforts to improve the Potomac waterfront near Shepherdstown.