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Storer College
Entry 5 of 9

The Bird-Brady house was probably constructed between 1895 and 1897 and was owned by several faculty members of Storer College. The house is named for Elizabeth Brady Bird and Mabel S. Brady who owned it between 1944 and 1964 when they sold it to the National Park Service. It now serves as offices for Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.


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The Bird-Brady House was constructed between 1895-97 as a residence for faculty of Storer College and their families. The plot was first sold into private ownership in 1868, but it seems that house was not built on the property until 1895-97 when the land was owned by Josiah Stoddard and Addison DuBois. The house was purchased by Lura B. Lightner, who was a teacher at Storer College, in 1899 and another Storer teacher, Celeste Newcomer, bought the property in 1929. In 1944 Newcomer sold the house to Elizabeth Brady Bird and Mabel S. Brady, who both worked for Storer College. Brady Bird was Storer’s counselor and house director and Brady was the head of the Alumni Association in the 1950s. It is likely that Bird and Brady rented out rooms or floors to Storer College faculty or staff because Jim Crow laws and segregation typically restricted the places that African American educators could live around campus. Bird and Brady sold the property to the National Park Service in 1964 but continued to live in the house as lessees until the early 1970s. 

Description from the 1980 National Register of Historic Places Nomination for Harpers Ferry National Historical Park:

“The Bird-Brady House (Park Bldg. No. 69) was erected during the last quarter of the 19th century on the brow of Camp Hill south of the Anthony Industrial Building. A stone basement above grade at the rear carries two stuccoed frame stories and a hipped roof. Built as a Storer College faculty residence, it is the only such structure remaining on the campus. The interior has been rehabilitated for National Park Service offices.”

Description from the 2000 National Register of Historic Places Registration for Storer College:

“Located south of the Lewis W. Anthony Building, the Bird-Brady House fronts onto an access road and is built into the hill overlooking the Shenandoah River. The front elevation is two stories, three bays wide. The frame structure is covered with stucco and rests on a one story stone foundation (visible from the side and rear), and is three bays deep. Windows are two over two sash with pointed architraves. The front entrance is covered with a recent flat roofed enclosed three-bay porch. A sealed entrance on the second story shows evidence of sidelights and a pointed architrave. The asphalt shingled roof is hipped with two interior chimneys in the peak, one large brick chimney and one small stuccoed chimney. West of the house is a one story, two bay, stone garage with enclosed front and replacement door, c. 1920s.”

"Historic American Buildings Survey: Bird-Brady House." Library of Congress. Accessed August 23, 2021. https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/master/pnp/habshaer/wv/wv0500/wv0547/data/wv0547data.pdf.

"National Register of Historic Places Inventory--Nomination Form: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park." Accessed August 23, 2021. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/jefferson/66000041.pdf.

"National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Storer College." Accessed August 23, 2021. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/jefferson/01000781.pdf.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

"Perspective view looking southwest - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Photos from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"View looking west - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Photos from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Perspective view looking northeast - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Photos from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Oblique view of west elevation, showing stone retaining wall - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Photos from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Interior view of center hall on first floor, looking north - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Photos from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Interior view of center hall on third floor, looking south - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Photos from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Interior view of attic, looking east - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Photos from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Cover Sheet and Section - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Drawings from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Basement and First Floor Plans - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Drawings from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Second Floor and Third Floor Plans - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Drawings from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Roof Plan and Attic Plan - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Drawings from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"East and North Elevations - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Drawings from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.

"Door and Window Details - Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV Drawings from Survey HABS WV-304." Historic American Buildings Survey, Creator, Elizabeth Brady Bird, Mabel Brady, and Storer College. Bird-Brady House, Camp Hill, Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, WV. Jefferson County Harpers Ferry West Virginia, 1933. Documentation Compiled After. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/wv0547/. Accessed August 23, 2021.