Historical Pictures of Charles Town

The following pictures and text are reprinted with permission from Charles Town, by Dolly Nasby. Available from the publisher online at www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling 888-313-2665.

Charles Washington.
Charles Washington, youngest brother of President George Washington, founded Charles Town. He grew up in Fairfax County, Virginia, and moved to the Charles Town area between April 20 and Octoer 6, 1780, after he inherited land from his half-brother Lawrence Washington, who had died in 1752. Charles Town was established on 80 acres laid out by Charles. Both Charles and George Washington died 1799. (Courtesy collection of Bill Theriault, Bakerton, W.V. )


Law Office of Charles Washington.
Pictured here is the law office of Charles Washington. Located on North Lawrence Street between Liberty and Washington Streets this smal brick building was constructed during the last quarter of the 18th century. It was built to be used as an office. (Courtesy collection of Bill Theriault, Bakerton, WV.)
Jailhouse in Charles Town.
This 1900 photo shows the jailhouse where seven people who participated in th Harpers Ferry raid were held. They were all sentenced to hang for for treason, conspiring slaves to rebel, and murder. Located on the corner of George and Washington Streets on one of the four lots set aside for community use, the jail was torn down in 1919to make roomfor a new post office. (Courtesy of the Thomas Featherstonhaugh Collection, Library of Congress.)
First Meeting.
This photo shows the first Charles Town Horse Show Association. Sponsored by Thornton T. Perry, the first meeting took place August 7, 1913. While no racing took place, the event was both a social and a financial success. It continued to have horse shows for the next 50 years. Horseracing as we know it today, began in 1933. This photo was reprinted in the Spirit of Jefferson-Advocate on April 3, 1987. (Courtesy collection of Bill Theriault, Bakeron, WV.)
Charles Town Race Track.
This 1945 arial view shows the Charles Town Race Track. Fifty years later, the same arial shot would be very different. The press box at the Charles Town track was unusual because it hung out directly over the finish line. The design of the clubhouse itself was similar to the Spanish style of the Hialeah Track in Florida. Edwin Fitzpatrick took this photo. (Courtesy collection of Bill Theriault, Bakeron, WV.)
Old Charles Town Hospital.
In this photo we see the Old Charles Town Hospital on Congress Street in Charles Town. On the steps are at least four nurses with two doctors standing behind them. There appears to be another nurse on the right. A new hospital was built in 1948. The physicians did the best with what they had, which is typical of hard-working Americans yesterday and today. (Courtesy of Jefferson County Museum, Charles Town, WV.)
Downtown Charles Town.
This photo was taken from one of the upper floors of a building along W. Washington Street looking east. Down the street on the right, at the next corner, you can see the building where the city hall is located today. A streetlight is visible on the near corner, as is a telophone pole on the other side of the street. The street is not paved. On the right side of the photo can be seen a board that extends from the sidewalk over the ditch into the road to prevent people from stepping into muddy puddles. Vehicles can be seen going in both directions up and down the street, creating what appears to be dust trails behind them. Horses are also visible, so it is evident that cars had not become the sole mode of transportation. The way pedestrians look at the cars, makes one think that cars were still a curiosity. (Courtesy of Jefferson County Museum, Charles Town, WV.)
Brown's Ice Cream Parlor, Front.
Theodore and Gus Brown owned Brown's Ice Cream Parlor on W. Washington Street, a favorite gathering place for locals. This photo was taken in the early 1920s. Brown's Ice Cream Parlor was the only place in the county that both made and sold ice cream in a variety of flavors. It had an attractive interior with a sizeable fountain on one side and seating in the back. (Courtesy collection of Bill Theriault, Bakerton, WV.)