Havre de Grace History
In 1658 Godfrey Harmer obtained a warrant for a 200 acre tract of land he called Harmer's Town located in what is now the center of the Havre de Grace Historic District.
In 1695 ferry service began across the Susquehanna and the town came to be known as The Susquehanna Lower Ferry to distinguish it from other operations up river. This ferry formed a key transporta-tion link for Washington's troops during the Revolutionary War and for Union troops during the Civil War.
No one is quite sure how the name Havre de Grace came into use. The romantic theory credits the Marquis de Lafayette with giving the town its name. Certainly, it is reasonable to believe that some French soldier in Washington's Army passing through on the way to battle found a similarity between Havre de Grace and Le Havre (France). We do know the Compte de Rochambeau used the name in a diary entry of his dated August 29, 1782.
Though the town was attacked and burned by the British in 1813, there are over a hundred buildings of historic significance that form a National Historic District to attract present day visitors.
In 1827, about the time the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal opened, the Concord Point Lighthouse was built. It is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the East Coast and is open to the public, offering a spectacular view of the Bay.
The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal was completed in 1839. Through a series of 29 locks it linked Havre de Grace with Wrightsville, PA - 45 miles away. The Susquehanna Museum at the Lockhouse is the Canal's restored entrance and first lock.
Decoys and beyond...
With the approach of the 21st Century, Havre de Grace has bloomed again as a recreational center. Its four full-service marinas and easy access to Interstate Highways coupled with a distinct sense of history have mad ethe city's quiet, tree-lined strets and relaxed atmosphere a sanctuary for visitors arriving by land or water.