The Currier House
Our history starts in the 1790s with the central portion of this Federal style cottage, consisting of the kitchen, dining room and three upstairs bedrooms being built.
Photo by Bill Lawson
The original entry to the house was from Lafayette Street, as the main streets in Havre de Grace at that time led to the water. Eventually, an 1830s structure was moved from the end of the block and attached to the central portion. This addition formed the two front porches and two upstairs bedrooms.
Today the house remains structurally as it was, with low ceilings on the second floor and high ceilings on the first floor. A passageway, which runs from the basement to the attic, is evident between the front parlor and dining room walls. Some suspect this passageway was part of the Underground Railroad. A back wing was added to provide a residence for the innkeepers.
Our Family History begins...
... with Matthew Currier, a ferry boat operator. He purchased the house at 800 South Market Street in 1861. Although he died at the end of the Civil War, the Currier family has resided in the home for five generations. The house now operates as the Currier Bed and Breakfast.
The Curriers actually arrived in Maryland in 1648 and for over 200 years owned and operated several farms in Cecil and Kent Counties.
In 1861, Matthew Currier, a direct descendant of those first settlers, lost all of the livestock, grains and produce from his Cecil County farm when Federal Troops appropriated everything to feed the fledgling Union Army. Unable to continue farming, Matthew moved his wife, Adeliza, and their five children to Havre de Grace where he found employment operating the ferry across the Susquehanna River.
Matthew died in 1865 leaving a widow and five children. One son, Oliver Reason Currier - 'O.R.' as he became known - was adopted by the Camerons, cousins who owned the Havre de Grace Livery Stable. In time, O.R. inherited the livery which he operated until his death in 1939. O.R. was elected and served two terms as a City Councilman, served as the Havre de Grace City Treasurer and, in 1902, became the first chief of the Susquehanna Hose Company, a position he held for fifteen years.
Jim Currier, O.R.'s eldest son, in addition to his official duties as the Havre de Grace Postmaster, became known throughout the region as a top notch gunner, a premier guide and famous decoy maker who still found time to teach any local youngster who was interested how to ice skate.
After Service with the 313th Infantry in France during WWI, Oliver Matthew Currier, another of O.R.'s sons, returned to Havre de Grace. He married Grace Jeffers, a Harford County resident whose family lived on San Domingo, a beautiful farm near Magnolia, that is now part of Edgewood Arsenal. Though never elected to public office, 'Ollie' Currier, like his father before him, spent a great portion of his life serving the Havre de Grace community. He operated the livery - now converted to gas - served on the Selective Service Board, was interim Postmaster in Aberdeen during WWII, was Chairman of the Municipal Utilities Commission that built the present water plant, was Chairman of Harford Memorial Hospital during construction of their newer facilities, served on the Capital Improvements Commission and the County Commission on Aging.
Our Home Is...
. . . located at the corner of Lafayette and Market Streets in the heart of Havre de Grace's old residential section.
When Matthew Currier moved his family to this location, the house was a narrow two story building that fronted on Lafayette Street. The house was sold to the Thomas family in 1882. During what is known in Havre de Grace as the Victorian and Late Historical Periods, they substantially enlarged the house, add ed the wrap-around porch and relocated the front entry to its present Market Street position.
Parlor to your left upon entry.
It remained in the Thomas Family until 1937 when Ollie Currier, Matthew's grandson, purchased it from Morris and Mattie Thomas. Over the 60 years that he made it his home, he continually renovated and modernized the structure.
In 1995, Jane Currier, Matthew's great-granddaughter, assisted by her son, John Currier, Matthew's great-great grandson, completed the renovations and additions needed for conversion to a Bed and Breakfast Inn.
The decor of Currier House reflects Havre de Grace's Late Historical period when the town was a regional recreational center that attracted waterfowl hunters who gunned on the Flats and horsemen who wagered at the local thoroughbred track.
This theme is carried through to the breakfast menu. Added to traditional breakfast fare are hearty 'watermen's breakfast' including items such as Maryland Stewed Tomatoes.