The Entler Hotel was used a Union hospital after the Battle of Antietam. Hotel operations continued until 1912 when a downtown fire damaged several buildings, including the Entler.3 The hotel was renovated and reopened in 1914 as the Hotel Rumsey. Hotel operations ceased for the last time in 1917, and the property was eventually acquired by Shepherd College. The college opened the building as a men's dormitory named Rumsey Hall. It was used for a limited time for U.S. Navy and Air Force Cadets before being converted to faculty housing. Concerned locals saved the building from demolition in 1972 and petitioned to have the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 1979, an organization named “Historic Shepherdstown” began renovating the property and opened the museum in 1983.
Historic Shepherdstown and Museum is dedicated to preserving the heritage of Shepherdstown, its history, and architecture. The group worked to have the National Register of Historic Places designation extended to include the Shepherdstown Historic District. Some of the artifacts displayed in the museum include three clocks made by Jacob Kraft in the late 1700s, several Sheetz rifles, and many other items dating from the Revolutionary period. There are also items displaying items from the early 1800s.Many of the hotel’s rooms have been recreated to reflect different periods in the town’s history. The Civil War display has been set to portray the lives of five different people as they lived in 1861, the dawn of the Civil War. The lives reflected represent a child, a slave, a preacher, a soldier, and a matriarch. Each room demonstrates life as it was lived by these segments of society. Another of the museum’s exhibits is the working replica of James Rumsey’s steamboat. The ship is housed in a boathouse located in the Entler’s garden area. This functional replica was built by the Rumseian Society, a group that seeks to preserve and promote the inventive genius of Shepherdstown’s James Rumsey. Rumsey invented his steamboat twenty years before Robert Fulton demonstrated his ship.4