About Shepherdstown, WV:
Located in Jefferson County along the Potomac River, Shepherdstown is known as the oldest town in the state. It was chartered in 1762 by Colonial Virginia’s General Assembly. Shepherdstown is located 90 miles from Washington DC and Baltimore areas, placing it close to a major urban area, but far enough away to enjoy the peaceful life small towns can afford you. As of the 2010 census, there were 1,734 people and has enjoyed moderate growth over the last six years.
Once British colonial settlers began migrating into the Shenandoah Valley, the Colony of Virginia began issuing land grants in the 1730s. Thomas Shepherd was granted 222 acres on the south side of the Potomac and laid out a town from a 50-acre tract. Thomas Shepherd initially named his new town Mecklenburg. A second charter which allowed for self-government was granted by the Commonwealth of Virginia in and by 1798 the town officially became known as Shepherdstown. After the Battle of Antietam during the Civil War, the town became overwhelmed with 5,000 to 8,000 casualties from the battle, with wounded and dying soldiers filling the town. It was also the site of its own battle, and more than 100 Confederate soldiers are buried in the Elmwood Cemetery. Because of it’s significant contribution to American history, the Shepherdstown Historic District was established and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Homes in Shepherdstown are moving and very well priced in the region. Lovely neighborhoods and access to the wonderfully quaint historic district make buying your home here feel right.
Shepherdstown schools are part of the Jefferson County School District. There is one elementary school, Shepherdstown Elementary, and one Middle School, Shepherdstown Middle School. The middle school feeds into Jefferson High School. Find out more about area schools at Great Schools or School Digger. It is also the home to Shepherd University (formerly Shepherd College.)
DINING AND SHOPPING
There are so many wonderful options for dining and shopping in Shepherdstown. You won’t get bored! At the heart of Shepherdstown is the historic district (German Rd.) where fine and casual dining choices await. Bistro 112 is a French Bistro in the center of downtown, enjoy creative, fresh, local food in a historic location that was once home to a haberdashery and cigar business. If you enjoy a good taqueria, Maria’s Taqueria has you covered. Maria’s is a hot spot with great fresh food at equally delicious prices. For casual dining, look no further than The Press Room. Housed in the former newspaper building (hence the name,) The Press Room offers a wonderful atmosphere, delicious food, and excellent service. For an escape, The Bavarian Inn offers German and American fare in a fine dining setting. The Bavarian Inn offers first-class accommodations as well, so a “stay-cation” may be in order. For shopping, unique, local boutiques and shops await. Grapes & Grains Gourmet is your home for wine, beer, cheese, crackers, and sweets. The Now and Then Shop calls itself “An ‘upcycled’ Country Store, with vintage country furniture, re-purposed originals unique finds, all American-made. Other locally-owned boutiques include Dickinson & Wait Craft Gallery, German Street Coffee, and Candlery, and Shepherdstown Pedal & Paddle.
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
One thing Shepherdstown can definitely boast is its connection to American history. Here’s a fun fact: James Rumsey, who invented the steamboat, conducted the first successful trial of his new invention in the Potomac River at the north end of Princess Street. Tours of historical sites in the area are available, but you can also take in the Shepherdstown Museum, The Shepherdstown Mystery Walk, and many other journeys through the past. Shepherdstown has a thriving arts community, with one of the highlights being the Contemporary American Theater Festival, held every summer. The University also boasts active theater and music departments. The Upper Potomac Music Weekends are always a big draw, and live music at the Shepherdstown Opera House. If fine arts are more your style, the town has a very strong, committed artist community showing their works at galleries year-round, including the Over The Mountain Studio Tour, Sheila Brannan – Stained Glass Studio, and The Bridge Gallery.
PARKS AND RECREATION
Opportunities for outdoor activities abound in and around the area. Local parks include Morgan’s Grove; a 20-acre park with sports and picnic facilities, a children’s playground, a landscaped walking path, and an exercise area. Points on the Appalachian Trail run along nearby Harpers Ferry, making some of the most beautiful scenery in the country easily accessible. The C&O Canal Trail runs 185 miles from Washington D.C. to Western Maryland, and Shepherdstown is along the route, making hiking, biking, and camping available, practically in your backyard. Head over to the boat launch at the end of Princess Street, and drop your kayak or canoe in for a day on the Potomac. Both the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers are a fisherman’s delight, with muskie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and walleye ready for you to catch.