Hamtramck Home - Mecklenburg Inn
The exterior of this historic downtown building has changed little from the time of the early republic, it might be the only on the south side of town with little renovations. From the late 1790's to the mid 1850's, it was the residence of John F. Hamtramck, one of the town's military heroes. Later it became a business address, and had become a part of the town's tradition of inns and taverns. Today, is home to the Mecklenburg Inn-a popular local tavern.
Built in the early 1800s and spared from the 1912 fire which burned adjacent buildings to the east on East German Street, including part of the Entler property. Charles Harper started an apothecary shop here in 1816. After the Civil War, B. S. Pendleton, a Confederate veteran, bought the property and opened his green grocer store. In the early 20th century, Pendleton was still selling Confederate Generals Lee, Jackson, and Stewart lead pencils, and "Blind John" Lamb operated his roasted peanut stand just off the sidewalk. Across the alley to the right, a brick wall from 1798 survives in a structure built in 1913, after the big fire.
War Memorial Building
SE corner of German and King Sts. Also known as the Men’s Club Building. Built in 1868 to house the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, it was the first substantial building on the eastern half of the block. Until then a large tannery occupied the entire area. Just before World War I, Pearl S. Buck’s uncle served as pastor of the church. In 1940, the Methodists reunited at the New Street Methodist Church. The Shepherdstown Men’s Club purchased the property in 1947 and named it the War Memorial Building. The club, now called the Community Club, holds its dinners and meetings here and makes its large meeting rooms available for many community activities.
This Greek Revival building was constructed by Rezin D. Shepherd in 1859. The building was intended to be a Town Hall, when the center portion of the building was constructed. The building was used as a hospital in the Civil War, and for a few years, it was used as the county seat because of the devastation in Charles Town. When is became the county seat, the two wings were constructed. With the support of Shepherd, this building was leased to the new school and later deeded to the college's Board of Trustees. This became the first building of what later became Shepherd College (Shepherd University today) when it was established in 1871. The following year, the college was incorporated into the state of West Virginia's system of higher education as one of the state's six normal schools.
Old Market House - Shepherdstown Public Library
Located in the heart of Shepherdstown, the Shepherdstown Public Library was built in the 1800s as a market house, offering local farmers a sheltered place to sell their wares. It has also been home to the fire department, the town council offices, a butcher shop, a school, and the local jail. Today, it is the home of a thriving library.
Conrad Schindler House aka Reformed Parsonage
SE corner of German and Church Sts. Likely the second house on lot 17, the original front portion was built by Michael Fouke, Sr., about 1795, and sold by the Fouke family in 1815 to Conrad Shindler, who added the rear wing around 1815. For nearly 55 years, this property served as both family home and the location for Shindler’s coppersmithing business. In 1869, 17 years after Shindler’s death, the German Reformed Church bought the home from the Shindler heirs to use as a parsonage. In 1995, actress Mary Tyler Moore, a Shindler descendent, purchased the property and deeded it to the Shepherd College Foundation in honor of her father. It now houses Shepherd University’s George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War.
Kearsley House aka Presbyterian Manse
NW corner of German and Church Sts. Grew from a dwelling built in 1795 by John and Mary Line. John Kearsley, a Revolutionary veteran, long time Presbyterian elder, substantial property owner, and president of the town board of trustees for 9 years, added the larger front portion in 1814. The back portion, with an entrance on Church Street, housed a general store and from 1869 to 1873, Shepherdstown’s first bank. Later the residence of Presbyterian pastors for many years, it is now a privately-owned residence.
Trinity Episcopal Church
SW corner of German and Church Sts. It features a grey stone spire that rises high above the town. A Gothic Revival structure of native stone, it was completed in 1859 on the eastern end of the old Parade Grounds, where local militia drilled from the French and Indian War until the Civil War. After the Battle of Antietam, town clergymen, realizing their churches would be swamped with the wounded, agreed that one should remain open as “a house of prayer.” Because Trinity had just been consecrated in 1859, it was chosen. The church remained a dedicated place of worship, always open and providing services acceptable to both Union and Confederate troops and their sympathizers throughout the war. The Episcopal Chapel, on the back part of the lot, dates from 1870.
Michael Rickard House
211/213 W German St. Rickard was among the German artisans who settled here in the l8th century. The west side of this two-story brick house provided residential quarters for the family, and the east side housed Rickard’s locksmith shop. In 1795, Rickard crafted the escutcheon that has graced doors of two successive Lutheran churches. Three generations made locks at this location. The screw lock, used as switch locks by railroads, was invented here, and the handcuffs worn by John Brown at his trial in Charles Town (1859) were crafted here.
215 W German St. In 1800 John Baker, a local attorney, purchased this house, adjacent to the Rickard House. He served in Congress and the Virginia legislature as a Federalist. In 1817 he bought the New Street property that would later become the Episcopal Rectory. Elias Baker (no relation) bought the German Street house just before the Civil War and served as federal postmaster 1862- 1867. When his son Newton joined the Confederate Army, the elder Baker refused to speak to him. Newton became a physician after the war and practiced in Martinsburg. There, Newton’s son, Newton Diehl Baker, Jr., was born. He became the Secretary of War in Woodrow Wilson’s cabinet. The Martinsburg Newton D. Baker Veterans Hospital is named for him.