HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (DC News Now) — There is an effort in this historic community to save James L. “Buck” Weaver’s home.
“He had a horse and a wagon business and when I was a kid I’d help him hook up the horse and bring it up from the stable and ride around time with him and everything like that,” said Norvil Willis, Buck Weaver’s grandson.
Weaver’s great-great grandchildren cling to very special memories.
“He had an ice business here in town,” said April Hamilton, “and stables in the back part of the yard and he did delivery of coffins and so forth. He was also instrumental in recruiting for Storer College.”
Storer College, one of the first schools of higher education for Blacks, is closely tied to Buck Weaver and his family.
“The story is of free slaves who were educated and I think this property would give the town a more holistic, reflective narrative to tell the whole story,” said Jamila Jones with Innovative Community Solutions, a nonprofit dedicated to historic preservation.
Local citizens are rallying to support the family legacy.
“People know John Brown and some know Storer College,” said Storm DiCostanzo, a town councilman. “But few know Buck Weaver, a civil rights leader a hundred years before that term existed.”
Harpers Ferry is hoping for a $500,000 National Park Service grant to help with restoration of the Buck Weaver home.