Havre de Grace, Maryland
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (May 2011)|
|Havre de Grace, Maryland|
|City of Havre de Grace|
Concord Point Lighthouse, The Iconic Representation of HdG. Sits at the mouth of the Susquehanna River in Havre de Grace
Location in Maryland
|• Mayor||Wayne Dougherty|
|• Total||6.89 sq mi (17.85 km2)|
|• Land||5.50 sq mi (14.24 km2)|
|• Water||1.39 sq mi (3.60 km2) 20.17%|
|Elevation||56 ft (17 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||13,392|
|• Density||2,354.9/sq mi (909.2/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0590437|
Havre de Grace i/ /, abbreviated HdG, is a city in Harford County, Maryland, situated at the mouth of the Susquehanna River and the head of Chesapeake Bay. It is named after the port city of Le Havre, France, which in full was once Le Havre de Grâce (French, "Haven of Grace"). The population was 12,952 at the 2010 United States Census. The city was honored as one of America's 20 best small towns to visit in 2014 by Smithsonian magazine. 
Two railroad mainlines pass through Havre de Grace. More than 80 daily passenger trains on Amtrak's busy Northeast Corridor speed through Havre de Grace at 90 miles per hour (145 km/h) on an elevated line for traversing the adjacent Susquehanna River Bridge. The double track bridge was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad between 1904–1906 for its New York City–Washington, D.C. line. The Philadelphia Subdivision of CSX Transportation, originally constructed by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, carries a heavy volume of freight. The CSX line crosses the river on the CSX Susquehanna River Bridge, rebuilt between 1907–1910, about 1 mile upstream of the Amtrak bridge.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Havre de Grace has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,952 people, 5,258 households, and 3,333 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,354.9 inhabitants per square mile (909.2 /km2). There were 5,875 housing units at an average density of 1,068.2 per square mile (412.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.7% White, 16.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.1% from other races, and 3.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.7% of the population.
There were 5,258 households of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.6% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.02.
The median age in the city was 41.9 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.1% were from 25 to 44; 31.4% were from 45 to 64; and 13.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,331 people, 4,557 households, and 2,870 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,815.1 people per square mile (1,085.6/km²). There were 4,904 housing units at an average density of 1,218.4 per square mile (469.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.24% White, 16.15% African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.80% from other races, and 2.18% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.13% of the population.
There were 4,557 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.07. Over half (54%) of the housing units in the city are renter-occupied.
In the city the population was spread with 26.4% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 32.5% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,218, and the median income for a family was $53,838. Males had a median income of $37,985 versus $27,173 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,176. About 7.5% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.
During the Revolutionary War, the small hamlet known as Harmer's Town was visited several times by General Lafayette, considered a hero of the war. He commented that the area reminded him of the French seaport of Le Havre, which had originally been named Le Havre-de-Grâce. Inspired by Lafayette's comments, the residents incorporated the town as Havre de Grace in 1785.
On May 3, 1813, during the War of 1812, Havre de Grace was attacked by British Rear Admiral George Cockburn. The American Lieutenant John O'Neill single-handedly manned a cannon to help defend the town. He was wounded, captured by the British, and soon released. In gratitude, Havre de Grace made O'Neill and his descendants the hereditary keepers of the Concord Point lighthouse marking the mouth of the Susquehanna River.
The town was the southern terminus for the Proprietors of the Susquehanna Canal and later the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal, which bypassed difficult navigational areas of the lower Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, where it connected to the Pennsylvania Canal. It was built between 1836–1840, but operations on the canal declined after 1855 because of competition from railroads, which could carry freight more quickly. The Lock Keeper's house and remnants of the canal exist today as a museum.
Havre de Grace was a primary town on the Eastern Route of the Underground Railroad in Maryland, as slaves could cross the Susquehanna to havens in the free state of Pennsylvania, traveling on to Philadelphia and New York. Prior to 1840, escaped slaves from communities along the western short of the Chesapeake Bay came to Havre de Grace and often took the ferry across the Susquehanna River to safe sites in Lancaster and Chester counties in Pennsylvania. When "vigilance increased at the ferry", slaves were guided upriver to cross from Columbia, which had been established by Quakers. The town's different transportation routes enabled slaves to make their way to safe haven in the North.
Havre de Grace became known for duck hunting, and was a seasonal destination for hunters. They stayed at the town hotels and hired local guides to escort them hunting on the river and along the bay. Local artisans became known for their high quality decoy making, which is honored in the Decoy Museum of the city.
By the 1860s, a large population of free African Americans had settled in the town, as its concentration supported independent artisans, as well as jobs associated with shipping on the river and canal and, increasingly, with the railroads. The town was one of seven sites for the recruiting of "U.S. Colored Troops" during the American Civil War. Although in the tidewater area of Harford County, which had large plantations and slaveholders, the city's river and canals tied it to northern industry and trade in Pennsylvania and beyond. These provided urban jobs for free blacks, and the town had a strong proportion of Northern sympathizers among whites as well.
In 1878, the town became a city and established its own government.
Shortly after 1878, Stephen J. Seneca opened a fruit-packing factory in the S. J. Seneca Warehouse with a tin can factory next to Havre de Grace Waterfront. Seneca made improvements to canning with his patents; 1889 Can-soldering machine 1891 Can-soldering machine By 1899, Seneca had become a canned goods broker. Since the original railroad had run down St. Clair Street (now Pennington Ave.) to the river the location of the factory was advantageous for both water and rail shipping. Up until the Second World War many farmers in Harford County brought their produce to the Seneca Factory later run as Stockhams Cannery. S.J. Seneca lived at 200 North Union Ave. was Mayor of Havre de Grace 1893-1894 and donated the Methodist Church.
The Seneca cannery, which is currently in use as an antique shop, is a very good example of a late 19th century brick industrial building. with its severally classical facade and massive stone buttresses on the rear.
Many patents followed the opening of the S. J. Seneca Cannery. 1901 The Baling-press. 1905 The Cooker 1905 The Tomato-scalder. 1917 Improved Tomato-scalder. 1917 The Can-opener. 1918 The Machine for peeling tomatoes.
Havre de Grace was known as "The Graw" from 1912 through the 1950s, and it prospered as a stop for travelers. These included gangsters and gamblers en route to New York City from the South following the "pony routes". The Havre de Grace Racetrack operated from 1912-1950. Al Capone was reported to have spent some time at the former "Chesapeake Hotel" (now known as "Chiapparelli's Restaurant"). At the end of the 1950s, the state removed the horse track, and its race and betting rights were bought by the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.
An incident during 1949, when the city denied a license to use a city park and arrested a Jehovah's Witnesses preacher, led to the US Supreme Court case of Niemotko v. Maryland (1951). The court ruled that Jehovah's Witnesses were protected by constitutional rights to the free exercise of religion and the city should have granted them the permit to speak in the park.
A few tenant farmhouses remain from the large Mitchel plantation that overlooked the city. In the 1980s, Havre de Grace began to undergo extensive redevelopment, with renovation of historic properties and adaptation for new uses, as well as construction of new houses and townhouse communities on former farmland. It was becoming a destination for people with second homes for vacations on the bay and retirees. Historic lands and older forests are being cleared, and upscale homes are now extending and growing along Chapel Road northwest towards Webster Village. The city has benefited through development of new properties, antique stories and retail venues since the late twentieth century.
In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel destroyed the promenade and flooded the city about 2 blocks into downtown. In 2004, with very strong efforts from Americorps NCCC, the promenade was reconstructed. It serves as a waterfront boardwalk and nature walk from Tydings Park to the Maritime Museum, and on to Concord Point Lighthouse.
Havre de Grace is a small city but in recent years, it has expanded by annexing land. Housing development is moderate but steady. Per capita income has doubled over the 1990-2000 era, with the arrival of wealthier residents to the newer suburban projects around and in the city. Some commute to jobs elsewhere; others are retirees. New suburban developments since the 1990s have brought thousands of middle-to-upper-class residents to the town. As a result many working-class citizens who used to live in the city have relocated due to rising land values and changing neighborhoods.
Havre de Grace has recently grown related to the BRAC activities of the Department of Defense. DOD recently relocated activities and personnel from various bases to the Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), a few miles away.
Havre de Grace's location at the head of the Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of the Susquehanna River makes it popular for recreation and tourism. There are marinas and service operators along the shore line. The city yacht basin and park sponsors various events each year. The restored promenade and boardwalk that runs along the shore from the Concord Point Lighthouse to the yacht basin is a favorite place for locals and tourists to walk and enjoy views of the bay.
In 1987, the central business district was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Havre de Grace Historic District, which recognizes its architecture and historic fabric. A variety of museums help explain and interpret the city's rich maritime past and present: the Decoy Museum, the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, Concord Point Lighthouse, the Lockhouse Museum, the Lantern Queen paddle steamer, and the skipjack Martha Lewis. Havre de Grace also claims a renovated seaplane port. The city has five public schools and Harford Memorial Hospital, the first to be established in Harford County. Havre de Grace is also the first city in Harford County to incorporate a Police Officer, called a School Resource Officer, into each one of its schools.
Notable natives and residents
- Charles Bradley (born May 16, 1959), National Basketball Association player for the Boston Celtics and Seattle SuperSonics, 1981–1984
- David R. Craig (born June 12, 1949), Harford County Executive, 2005–present
- Nella Dodds (born January 25, 1950), Singer, actress
- Barry Glassman (born March 24, 1962), Maryland Delegate, 1999–present
- David Hasselhoff (born July 17, 1952), actor and musician
- Ultra Naté (born November 2, 1968), house music singer, song writer, and record producer
- Billy Ripken (born December 16, 1964), Major League Baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers; brother of Cal Ripken, Jr.
- Cal Ripken, Jr. (born August 24, 1960), Major League Baseball player and Hall of Famer for the Baltimore Orioles
- Frederick Rodgers (1842-1917), United States Navy rear admiral
- William Sleator (1945-2011), author of young adult science-fiction novels including House of Stairs and Interstellar Pig
- Millard Tydings (1890-1961), U.S. Senator 1927–1951
- Havre de Grace Patch
- The Record, St. John Street, Havre de Grace
- The Aegis, Bel Air
- The Sun, Baltimore
- Baltimore Examiner
- The Dagger Press (electronic)
In popular culture
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-26.
- John Kelly's Washington Live
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Volin, Rudy (2006-07-06). "Perryville and Havre de Grace, Md.". Trains. Retrieved 2009-03-10.
- Climate Summary for Havre de Grace, Maryland
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Switala, William J. (2004). Underground Railroad in Delaware, Maryland, and West Virginia. Stackpole Books. pp. 83–85. ISBN 9780811731430. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Siebert, Wilbur Henry (1898). The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom. Macmillan Company. p. 121. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- Calarco, Tom (2011). Places of the Underground Railroad: A Geographical Guide. ABC-CLIO. p. 363. ISBN 9780313381461. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
- From Within at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2010-12-26.
- Thompson, L'Oreal (June 23, 2010). "HdG misses the boat on cruise ship visit". The Aegis (Explore Harford). Retrieved March 10, 2011.
- Welsh, Sean (May 10, 2011). "American Spirit Cruise Ship Docking in Havre de Grace". Havre de Grace Patch. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Havre de Grace, Maryland.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1879 American Cyclopædia article Havre de Grace.|
- City of Havre de Grace official website
- Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce
- Havre de Grace Tourism
- Havre de Grace Seafood Festival
- Havre de Grace Decoy Museum
- Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House
- Havre de Grace Farmers Market