Historic Havre de Grace The White House Guest HouseThe White House of Havre de Grace guest house


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 Historic Havre de Grace Maryland



Havre de Grace is located on the Susquehanna River at the point where the Susquehanna River and the tidal flow of the Chesapeake Bay meet. The river is probably the reason for the early existence of the town. Havre de Grace has a connection with the Revolutionary War, reflected in the names of streets today. There is a Washington Street, Lafayette Street, Congress Avenue, Revolution George Washington visited Havre de Grace Harford county MDStreet, Union Avenue and Adams Street.

In 1776 there were only 12,765 persons living in the entire county of Harford County. Havre de Grace, a village of only a few houses in Harford County, was burned by the British in 1777. Havre de Grace was again on the map in the Revolutionary War when in September of 1781 Revolutionary War troops camped in Havre de Grace in route to Yorktown and then once again after Cornwallis' surrender.

In 1799, the year Washington died, Havre de Grace was considered to become the capitol of the United States. A detailed map and survey of the area was drawn, but Havre de Grace lost to Washington D.C. by one vote. The White House might have been in Havre de Grace.

“Washington slept here” stories are told in Havre de Grace and perhaps he did. He would have traveled the Old Post Road. It is known that Washington slept across the river in Perryville. The accepted story of the naming of Havre de Grace is that during the Revolution when the French General Lafayette saw the town he exclaimed, “C'est Le Harve de Grace.” His remark was found in his journal and it was also used in a survey map. The town reminded him of the French seaport, Le Havre. Incorporated in 1785, the name Havre de Grace means “Harbor of Grace.”

Havre de Grace was involved in a war again during the War of 1812. The British burned and plundered the town on the 3rd of May 1813.

The Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace was built in 1827. It is the oldest continuously operated lighthouse in the state of Maryland. It is located the northernmost point of the Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River meets the tidal flow of the bay. Hazardous conditions made the lighthouse necessary at that location.

Because of the location of Havre de Grace, it was a canal Havre de Grace Marylandcenter of early activity. The canal system, important to early industry, ended at Havre de Grace. The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal provided an alternative to the horse drawn wagon for moving freight. They hauled coal, lumber, grain and iron products. The forty-five mile canal was most active around 1870 and ran to Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. Mule-drawn canal boats were raised a total of 233 feet in a system of 28 lift locks.

Another important development in transportation in the early years was the Baltimore and Port Deposit Railroad. It was completed as far as Havre de Grace in 1826. It became the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad and is not AMTRAK. AMTRAK stops in nearby Perryville today.

An interesting river story is that in 1852, the Susquehanna River froze so hard that railroad tracks were run across the ice at Havre de Grace. At the time of the Civil War in 1865, the construction of the first railroad bridge across the Susquehanna River was completed.

Source: Harford County Maryland Historical Society


The White House of Havre de Grace provides private lodging for your historic Maryland vacation. It is located in the historic district, just off St. John Street. Take a tour of the lodging available at the centrally located Havre de Grace vacation house. Make reservations at reasonable rates for a day, the week end, or as long as you'd like to getaway.


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 To make reservations call 443-553-7609
Margaret Barrow, proprietor

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Copyright © 2004-2015 The White House of Havre de Grace
412 Green Street, Havre de Grace, Maryland 21078
Harford County, Maryland
Phone: (443) 553-7609
Site created by Rosalie Sommer June 24, 2015
Updated June 24, 2015