DescriptionA quaint yet diverse college town on the banks of the Potomac River, Shepherdstown has much to offer visitors, including a thriving arts scene. The Contemporary American Theater Festival, held in July, presents works by well-known playwrights annually; phone (304) 876-3473 or (800) 999-2283. German Street is the town's cultural and social hub; Shepherd University's more than 4,200 students find time between classes to take a break at the street's cafés, boutiques and art studios. Catch a flick or live concert on weekends at the restored 1909 Shepherdstown Opera House, 131 W. German St; phone (304) 876-3704.
The town's history is well-represented in Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian homes and other buildings. On German Street are Shepherd University, built in 1871, and the Entler Hotel, built in 1786.
The site of one of the earliest settlements in West Virginia, Shepherdstown was established by English and German farmers who had crossed the river from Pennsylvania into this area before 1730. The legal grant to the land was purchased by Thomas Shepherd in 1732. Originally named Mecklenburg, the name was changed to Shepherdstown in 1798. While living in Shepherdstown in 1787, James Rumsey gave the first public exhibition of his steamboat. A monument on the banks of the Potomac commemorates this successful demonstration.
Visitor InfoShepherdstown Visitors Center 129 E. German St. SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV 25443. Phone:(304)876-2786