Harpers Ferry, population 286 at the 2010 census, is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States, in the lower Shenandoah Valley. (Until 1863, it was in Virginia.) It is situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, where the U.S. states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. It is the easternmost town in West Virginia and during the Civil War was the northernmost point of Confederate-controlled territory. (Wheeling, though further north, was Unionist.) It has been called, speaking of the Civil War, "the best strategic point in the whole South".
The town was formerly spelled Harper's Ferry with an apostrophe—in the 18th century, it was the site of a ferry service owned and operated by Robert Harper. According to the U.S. Postal Service, the apostrophe is no longer used.
By far the most important event in the town's history was John Brown's raid on the Harpers Ferry Armory, in 1859.
The main economic activity in the town in the 20th and 21st centuries is tourism. John Brown's Fort is the most visited tourist site in the state of West Virginia. The headquarters of the Appalachian Trail are there—not the midpoint, but close to it, and easily accessible—and the buildings of the former Storer College are used by the National Park Service for one of its four national training centers. The National Park Service is in the 21st century Harpers Ferry's largest employer.
Visitors to Harpers Ferry should be aware that the lower town has been reconstructed by the National Park Service.