Shepherdstown made its way onto my radar when I was flipping through television channels and was intrigued by a show titled, "The Ghosts of Shepherdstown." It occurred to me that I'd never been to that particular area of West Virginia, so my husband and I executed a plan to find out what the buzz was all about.
One thing I especially dislike about winter is that many destinations are closed for the season, so options are somewhat limited. For that reason, we planned a short, overnight stay, with the intention of returning at a later date when more attractions (like the Historic Shepherdstown and Museum) are open.
As we browsed nearby accommodations, we learned about a Bed and Breakfast in nearby Sharpsburg, MD and as luck would have it, we were able to secure a last-minute reservation. The Jacob Rohrbach Inn dates back to the year 1804 and has a rich history. You can read more about the structure and those who once called it home by visiting the website here
|Our room at the Jacob Rohrbach Inn.|
History buffs have been known to spend many hours at the nearby battlefield. Grounds are open for touring from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, year round. The National Park Service provides helpful information on planning a visit via their website. Details are available here.
Dining at the Bavarian Inn
A light snow began to fall as we made our way to the alpine-style Bavarian Inn's Hunt Room for lunch. The cozy restaurant, which features roaring fireplaces and antlered chandeliers, was an ideal respite from the frigid weather.
Perched on a scenic bluff overlooking the Potomac River, the AAA Four-Diamond property is comprised of 72 rooms situated on 11 acres. Additional options include casual dining in the Rathskeller, or more formal dining in the Potomac Room overlooking the grounds.
|The grounds at the Bavarian Inn.|
|Dining at the Hunt Room at The Bavarian Inn.|
|The Bavarian Inn's Hunt Room decorated for Christmas|
After lunch, we decided to drop by the Shepherdstown Visitor's Center on Princess Street to pick up a few brochures. While there, an ambassador recommended a trip to O'Hurley's General Store. When we pulled up to the inauspicious building, we couldn't help but wonder what we had gotten ourselves into, but it turned out to be a very charming experience. A wood-burning stove keeps the place warm and cozy and a big, furry feline oversees operations.
Visitors can choose from a array of merchandise, from books, to tools, to jams, jellies, hats and hardware, some of which I understand dates back to the early 1900s. You can visit their website to see all they offer here, but you may end up scratching your head like I did when you see coffins among the items listed. I'll admit I didn't spot any of those while touring the rooms full of merchandise, but then again maybe I overlooked them since I'm not quite old enough to be in the market for one just yet. Nonetheless, I'll keep the place in mind for later consideration. Maybe I'll get a good deal.
|Come and get yer coffins here at O'Hurley's General Store.|
|The owner of O'Hurley's poses for a photo.|
|Goods sold at O'Hurley's|
|O'Hurley's General Store decorated for the Christmas season.|
|This sign spoke to me--perhaps I was possessed.|
A Stroll through Downtown Shepherdstown
After our visit to the General Store, we headed to the heart of downtown where several blocks of shops offered a variety of merchandise from jewelry, to antiques, wine, crafts and clothing.
|Four Seasons Books is a family owned bookstore dating back to 1991.|
|A helpful employee at Grapes and Grain Gourmet assisted us with a wine purchase.|
|Creative Procrastinations claims to have "a little of everything."|
|The Yellow Brick Bank Building.|
|The George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, Shepherd University.|
Another stop on the walking tour is the Entler Hotel and Shepherdstown Museum located at the Northwest corner of German and Princess Streets. The structure operated as a hotel in 1809 and in later years served as a dormitory for students, WWII Navy and Air Force cadets and college faculty. Today it operates as a museum from April through October.
|The Entler Hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.|
|Bistro 112 is located at 112 W. German Street in Shepherdstown|
|Inside Bistro 112|
|The Press Room|
Another building of note on the walking tour is the old "poorhouse" which tended to the elderly and poverty stricken. Dating back to 1805, the poorhouse started out as a log cabin before being enlarged and upgraded with wooden siding. Iron rings in the attic rafters cause some to speculate that residents may have been restrained.
|"The Poorhouse" where kids of a certain vintage were accused of "putting" their parents.|
Dinner at an Old Inn
For dinner, we headed to Old South Mountain Inn in nearby Boonsboro. People come from miles around to visit the historic restaurant. On the night we visited, the extremely large parking lot was packed, making finding a spot rather difficult. Thankfully, there were only a few people waiting in line inside and we were seated in just a few minutes.
|The exterior of the popular Old South Mountain Inn|
|Interior of the Old South Mountain Inn|
|Bar area of the Old South Mountain Inn where patrons can wait for their table while enjoying a libation.|
|Antique trunk spotted at Market Place Antiques in Boonsboro.|
Trunk aside, the shop was a great place to browse, with scores of vendors under one roof and was a nice way to end our visit to the historic area.
And just in case your wondering, no, I didn't experience any paranormal activity. Oh well, there's always next time.