Weverton and Casper Wever
This is the story of an ambitious surveyor/ engineer and a namesake town that never really reached its potential.
Casper Wever was born in 1786 in Lancaster, PA. He worked as a superintendent on both the National Road and the B&O Railroad. His reputation for quick work, tremendous cost overruns, and questionable business practices prompted questions from the railroad’s board of engineers.
The B&O’s president Philip Evan Thomas defended Wever and his work ethic, but when Thomas resigned from the railroad in 1836, Wever quickly resigned as well and returned to his mill and property just south of Harpers Ferry.
With the knowledge that the Potomac River dropped 15 feet as it passed by his property, Wever decided to sell riverfront land to investors in water-powered industries. A ready supply of potential energy and a transportation network in place wasn’t enough, however. General Henderson’s Steel and File Manufacturing Company provided files to the Harpers Ferry armory for a while, and a small marble-cutting operation also set up shop, but the factory town never took hold. Some say it was because the companies were never able to provide an inviting residential community.
By the mid 1800s, Wever’s own company, Weverton Manufacturing Company, also failed. Wever continued living on his adjacent farm property with family until his death in 1861. Once the location of a hotel, store, train station and saloon, Weverton is now a ghost town.
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Photo by: John Gensor