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Richard G. Trefry Archives Exhibits

American Public University System’s Richard G. Trefry Archives contain documents and items that represent the history, development, and progress of the institution as its recorded memory.

Local History Collection

Dublin Core


Local History Collection


Jefferson County History; Charles Town, WV


This collection is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of the community where APUS headquarters is located in Charles Town, WV.

Charles Town is the county seat of Jefferson County, West Virginia located in the state's Eastern Panhandle and around 60 miles outside of Washington, DC.

The area around Charles Town falls generally within the Shenandoah Valley, with the Shenandoah River running not far away from the town. Prior to European colonization, the area was mostly used as hunting ground and thoroughfare for the Native American tribes.

European settlers arrived in the early decades of the 18th Century. George Washington and his family took particular interest in the region. They owned a lot of land in the county and built many large houses which are still around.

Charles Washington, younger brother of George, donated the land to build the town of Charles Town, which bears his name.

This collection showcases photographs and images, postcards and other material that document the history of the region. It has been available in large part by generous donations from Paul Rich, of the Policy Studies Organization.


APUS Richard G. Trefry Archives


APUS Richard G. Trefry Archives


19th and 20th Century






Located at the APUS Richard G. Trefry Archives

Collection Items

Jefferson County Court-House and Jail, at Charlestown, Virginia (Now West Virginia), Scene of John Brown's Trial
An illustrated image taken from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper showing the scene outside the courthouse and jail in Charles Town, WV during the John Brown trial.

George Street, Charlestown, W. Va.
Postcard showing George Street in Charles Town, WV. Photograph is taken from Liberty Street intersection with George Street, and appears to have from the 1920s.

"Harewood," near Charles Town, W. Va.
Postcard showing the Harewood estate house. From the postcard, "One of the Old Washington Estates, and contains Mantel presented by Lafayette to General Washington." Harewood was built for Samuel Washington, oldest brother of George Washington. Dolly…

Room in which Dolly Madison was Married. Harewood, Near Charles Town, W.Va.
Photograph taken of hall in Harewood Estate. As the title suggests it was the room where Dolly Madison and James Madison were married. Harewood was the home of Samuel Washington, George Washington's oldest brother.

Picturesque Charles Town, W. Va.
Postcard showing Washington Street looking towards downtown Charles Town. Photograph appears to have been taken near Mildred St. intersection and taken around 1910s or 1920s.

New Opera House, Charlestown, W.Va.
Postcard showing a photograph of the New Opera House in Charles Town, WV. Now known as the Old Opera House and is located on the corner of George St. and Liberty St. The Opera House was built in 1911.

Winter on the Shenandoah River, near Charles Town, W. Va.
Postcard of a photograph showing a winter scene along the Shenandoah River outside of Charles Town, WV.

Along the Picturesque Shenandoah River, near Charles Town, W. Va.
Postcard showing a photograph of the Shenandoah River near Charles Town. Photo has been colorized.

Winter Scene, East Washington Street, Charles Town, W. Va.
Postcard showing a snowy photograph of E. Washington Street in Charles Town. Photograph is looking towards downtown Charles Town.

Millville Dam, near Charles Town, W. Va.
Postcard of a photograph of the Millville Dam situated on the Shenandoah River.
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