Historic Shepherd University
About Historic Shepherd University
In July, 1871, the Jefferson County seat was moved from Shepherdstown to Charles Town, freeing the old courthouse/town hall for use as an educational institution. This imposing Greek Revival structure had been erected in 1859 by Rezin Davis Shepherd, who intended it to be a town hall. According to Historic Shepherdstown, the "clock in the tower, donated to the town by Shepherd in 1842 and originally housed in the old Episcopal Church, was moved to the town hall tower in 1860. Though neglected during some periods, the clock has been maintained in recent decades and still strikes the hour." In 1872 the building became the first building of what is today Shepherd University. According to the article of incorporation signed by a handful of Shepherdstown's city fathers including Henry Shepherd, Shepherd College was to provide instruction “in languages, arts and sciences.” The first 42 students enrolled in September, 1871, under the administration of first principal Professor Joseph McMurran, for whom the building was eventually named. In 1872 the West Virginia Legislature passed an act stating “That a branch of the State Normal School be and the same is hereby established at the building known as Shepherd College, in Shepherdstown, in the county of Jefferson.”
Shepherd began granting the bachelor of arts degree in 1930, when it became a four-year college for the training of teachers, and in 1943 and 1950 respectively, was authorized to implement liberal arts programs and the bachelor of science program. Shepherd now offers baccalaureate degrees in a wide range of fields, encompassing the liberal arts, business administration, teacher education, the social and natural sciences, and other career-oriented areas. In 2014 Shepherd's undergraduate enrollment was just under 3,900, and its graduate enrollment was 286. The Campus, which consists of East Campus and West Campus, includes several historic buildings and sites, and has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two decades, now including 43 major buildings, among them the $9 million Robert C. Byrd Science and Technology Center, the $18 million addition to the Scarborough Library, which also houses the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies, the $10 million Erma Ora Byrd nursing classroom building, and my favorite, the "Little House" pictured below, built in the late 1920's as a project to encourage children to attend summer school.
Shepherd University's dynamic presence and unique blend of the old and the new are part of what makes the Town a great place to live and learn.
sources: Historic Shepherdstown and the Shepherd University Website.
About Historic Popodicon
Popodicon, on Shepherd Grade Road, is a classic Southern mansion style home in the colonial Georgian style. Designed by Stuart Edmonds of Winchester, Virginia, Popodicon was built by S.A. Westenhaver of Martinsburg, for civil engineer Henry Potts and his wife Eleanor in 1907. Potts, of Pottstown, PA, had first visited the area in 1879 with the Norfolk and Western Railroad and decided to retire to his farm, "Popodicon," in Jefferson County (the name "Popodicon" was in honor of an Indian chieftain, Popodick, who was buried on the grounds of the Potts family home). The building is considered a masterpiece of the art of masonry; the main section walls are three bricks thick (the back wing walls are two bricks thick) and the three-storey building features 17 rooms, including a butler’s pantry, a large kitchen, a sewing room, a study adjoining the master bedroom, and numerous closets and linen rooms. The grounds and gardens were designed by Frederick Olmstead associate Oglesby Paul, of Philadelphia, and continue to surprise and delight nature loving visitors to the area. In 1964, the State of West Virginia purchased the estate including 128 acres of land for $125,000 to both provide a home for Shepherd presidents and to allow the University room to grow beyond its original 35-acre campus. In recent years, Popodicon has major upgrades and today groups of loyal local volunteers work hard to decorate and maintain the building and grounds. source: Shepherd University website
Borer Killed Ash Trees Removed At Popodicon
On an unseasonably warm February day in 2017 a crew from Shepherdstown's Valley Trees made quick work of yet another dying Ash. I'm already in mourning for this stately, ubiquitous, and ultimately doomed species.