Bread, called the “staff of life”, was made locally by bakers and Confectioners, like German immigrant Frederick Roeder. Visitors are welcome to purchase (first come first served) fresh baked sour dough, leaven rolls or street corner goods, doughnuts, large soft pretzels and more, all baked in a large masonry “bee hive oven”.
Bread baking was well-established in the town by 1809, when Harpers Ferry boating merchant John Wagner Jr. began a flour shipping business from Harpers Ferry mills into the federal city 60 miles away. Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County Virginia, was part of the early republic breadbasket that fed the bigger cities with local grain and flour. Local flour production and bread on the table proved the town on two rivers was no longer the frontier, but civilized. The citizens no longer needed to hunt, kill or gather to achieve each meal. At its height, 20,000 barrels of flour were staged along the Shenandoah River for shipping.