Destination Main Streets

Havre de Grace, Maryland

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It's hard to believe that a city as small and quiet as Havre de Grace was once considered for the site of the nation's capital. It lost by one vote. The only remnants from those heydays are the street names of this quaint hamlet, such as Washington, Adams, Congress, and Union. But today, Havre de Grace is known more for its museums, charming Victorian homes, and antiques shopping. Also, many of Havre de Grace's attractions have a focus on a nautical theme, since the city is strategically located at the junction of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay.

Being an important crossroads even during the American Revolution, General Lafayette passed through the city many times and mentioned that it reminded him of the French seaport Le Havre-de-Grâce, which means "Harbor of Grace." You can see why the name stuck. Only a few minutes off Interstate 95, it isn't far from the big cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia, yet this peaceful town feels like an entire world away.

Havre de Grace is located in Harford County, Maryland where the Susquehanna River meets the Chesapeake Bay and is approximately 40 miles from Baltimore, Maryland, 65 miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 77 miles from Washington, DC. The city's Main Streets are Washington Street and St. John Street with some businesses on Franklin Street and Pennington Avenue. The intersection of Washington and St. John form the city's nucleus at Rochambeau Square, a small triangular plaza. Although the city is primarily known for its antiques shopping, there are plenty of other gift and specialty shops. Other nearby Main Street communities worth checking out include Bel Air also in Harford County, and Chesapeake City and North East, in nearby Cecil County.

Photo Gallery Tour

We start our tour of Havre de Grace, Maryland on the northern end of downtown.  We'll work our way south down St. John Street and then south down Washington Street.  St. John Street and Washington Street are the primary Main Streets in Havre de Grace.  This is Coakeleys Pub on the corner of St. John Street and Franklin Street.
We start our tour of Havre de Grace, Maryland on the northern end of downtown. We'll work our way south down St. John Street and then south down Washington Street. St. John Street and Washington Street are the primary Main Streets in Havre de Grace. This is Coakeleys Pub on the corner of St. John Street and Franklin Street.
MacGregor's Restaurant is a local favorite with waterfront views of the Susquehanna River.  The building once housed the Havre de Grace Banking and Trust.  It was built in the Renaissance Revival style with smooth-faced blocks of limestone over a marble foundation.
MacGregor's Restaurant is a local favorite with waterfront views of the Susquehanna River. The building once housed the Havre de Grace Banking and Trust. It was built in the Renaissance Revival style with smooth-faced blocks of limestone over a marble foundation.
If you walk down to the river, you can see many of the newer condos that have sprung up recently that appeal to folks who want to live on the water but wish to walk to the amenities in downtown Havre de Grace.
If you walk down to the river, you can see many of the newer condos that have sprung up recently that appeal to folks who want to live on the water but wish to walk to the amenities in downtown Havre de Grace.
Also down by the water is the Tidewater Grille, another restaurant with waterfront views.
Also down by the water is the Tidewater Grille, another restaurant with waterfront views.
An Amtrak train crosses the Susquehanna River over the Philadelphia, Wilmington, & Baltimore Railroad Bridge.  Built in 1906, the steel-trussed bridge has a movable center portion which rotates to allow passage of marine traffic taller than fifty feet and is opened between five to eight times a year.
An Amtrak train crosses the Susquehanna River over the Philadelphia, Wilmington, & Baltimore Railroad Bridge. Built in 1906, the steel-trussed bridge has a movable center portion which rotates to allow passage of marine traffic taller than fifty feet and is opened between five to eight times a year.
We head back into town to explore some of the shops and businesses in historic Havre de Grace.  Here are some along Franklin Street.
We head back into town to explore some of the shops and businesses in historic Havre de Grace. Here are some along Franklin Street.
Although most of the businesses in downtown Havre de Grace can be found on St. John Street and Washington Street, Franklin Street is one of the side streets with plenty of shops.
Although most of the businesses in downtown Havre de Grace can be found on St. John Street and Washington Street, Franklin Street is one of the side streets with plenty of shops.
Here are some colorful looking shops and buildings along Franklin Street.
Here are some colorful looking shops and buildings along Franklin Street.
On the corner of Franklin Street and Union Avenue is the A.P. McCombs building, built in 1900 by A.P. McCombs.  The building originally had a third floor, but it was destroyed in a fire in the 1970's and was never replaced.
On the corner of Franklin Street and Union Avenue is the A.P. McCombs building, built in 1900 by A.P. McCombs. The building originally had a third floor, but it was destroyed in a fire in the 1970's and was never replaced.
On Union Avenue, the building on the left is known as The Old Pitcock Hardware Building, built around 1890.  Interestingly, the building served as one of the first car dealerships in Harford County for a time.  Today, it is an antiques store.
On Union Avenue, the building on the left is known as The Old Pitcock Hardware Building, built around 1890. Interestingly, the building served as one of the first car dealerships in Harford County for a time. Today, it is an antiques store.
We come back to Washington Street where we will continue heading south, exploring the shops and other businesses along the way.
We come back to Washington Street where we will continue heading south, exploring the shops and other businesses along the way.
This is the First National Bank Building built in 1905.  Notice the smaller similar structure built next door.
This is the First National Bank Building built in 1905. Notice the smaller similar structure built next door.
This courtyard contains some shops and businesses.  In the middle is an interesting collection of nautical themed decor.
This courtyard contains some shops and businesses. In the middle is an interesting collection of nautical themed decor.
Across the street, shops along this stretch include book stores and home design studios.
Across the street, shops along this stretch include book stores and home design studios.
Back across the street next to the courtyard is a Real Estate office and an art gallery.
Back across the street next to the courtyard is a Real Estate office and an art gallery.
We make it to the corner of St. John Street, Green Street, and Washington Street.
We make it to the corner of St. John Street, Green Street, and Washington Street.
This is the Barnes-Boyd house built circa 1820.  With stucco over stone, it is considered a Random Rubble structure, common in Pennsylvania but also seen in Harford County.  This one is divided into two separate buildings, one commercial and one residential.
This is the Barnes-Boyd house built circa 1820. With stucco over stone, it is considered a Random Rubble structure, common in Pennsylvania but also seen in Harford County. This one is divided into two separate buildings, one commercial and one residential.
A row of businesses at the corner of St. John Street and Washington Street.  The blue and pink building originally opened as the Fahey Hotel around 1907 with a tavern and dining rooms on the ground floor and sleeping quarters above.  It eventually became Pohl's Bakery and then Goll's Bakery, which is the longest running bakery to remain in one family in Havre de Grace.
A row of businesses at the corner of St. John Street and Washington Street. The blue and pink building originally opened as the Fahey Hotel around 1907 with a tavern and dining rooms on the ground floor and sleeping quarters above. It eventually became Pohl's Bakery and then Goll's Bakery, which is the longest running bakery to remain in one family in Havre de Grace.
Rochambeau Plaza is a small triangular park made by the intersection of Washington Street and St. John Street.  It was named for the French General whose troops passed through here in 1781 en route to Yorktown.
Rochambeau Plaza is a small triangular park made by the intersection of Washington Street and St. John Street. It was named for the French General whose troops passed through here in 1781 en route to Yorktown.
Look down and notice markers for the Layfayette Self-Guided Walking Tour that runs through the city.  You can pick up a brochure at the Visitor Center at 450 Pennington Avenue.  The tour is named after the Revolutionary War Hero Marquis de Lafayette who named the city.
Look down and notice markers for the Layfayette Self-Guided Walking Tour that runs through the city. You can pick up a brochure at the Visitor Center at 450 Pennington Avenue. The tour is named after the Revolutionary War Hero Marquis de Lafayette who named the city.
We'll now continue walking south down Washington Street.  Home of the Rodgers House Tavern, the brick Georgian townhouse on the right was built in 1788 and is thought to be the oldest building in Havre de Grace.
We'll now continue walking south down Washington Street. Home of the Rodgers House Tavern, the brick Georgian townhouse on the right was built in 1788 and is thought to be the oldest building in Havre de Grace.
More shops along Washington Street, one of the two Main Streets in Havre de Grace along with St. John Street.
More shops along Washington Street, one of the two Main Streets in Havre de Grace along with St. John Street.
Originally known as the Flat Iron Building when first constructed in 1906, the Susquehanna Lodge 130 A.F. & A.M. still occupy the third floor of the Masonic Temple, renting out the bottom two floors to offices and shops.
Originally known as the Flat Iron Building when first constructed in 1906, the Susquehanna Lodge 130 A.F. & A.M. still occupy the third floor of the Masonic Temple, renting out the bottom two floors to offices and shops.
The Laurrapin Grille has recently undergone new management and has changed its name to Lagom, which is a Scandinavian term that means "being happy with just enough."  The executive chef had even appeared on the Food Network's show "Chopped."
The Laurrapin Grille has recently undergone new management and has changed its name to Lagom, which is a Scandinavian term that means "being happy with just enough." The executive chef had even appeared on the Food Network's show "Chopped."
We make it to the corner of Washington Street and Pennington Avenue.  Railroad tracks once ran down Pennington Avenue.  As the sign says, there are more shops down this side street.
We make it to the corner of Washington Street and Pennington Avenue. Railroad tracks once ran down Pennington Avenue. As the sign says, there are more shops down this side street.
Across the street is the Maryland House, built in 1903.  Known for its gilded turret, it contains shops on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors.
Across the street is the Maryland House, built in 1903. Known for its gilded turret, it contains shops on the first floor and apartments on the upper floors.
If we go down to the east side of Pennington Avenue, we see Seneca Cannery built around 1880 by Stephen J. Seneca.  This was a perfect site since the cannery backed up to the water's edge and railroad tracks once ran down Pennington Avenue.  Today the large building is home to an antiques mall.
If we go down to the east side of Pennington Avenue, we see Seneca Cannery built around 1880 by Stephen J. Seneca. This was a perfect site since the cannery backed up to the water's edge and railroad tracks once ran down Pennington Avenue. Today the large building is home to an antiques mall.
Havre de Grace is also known as the Decoy Capital of the World.  Here you can purchase duck decoys that are hand carved and painted.
Havre de Grace is also known as the Decoy Capital of the World. Here you can purchase duck decoys that are hand carved and painted.
Across the street is this brightly colored house turned toy store.
Across the street is this brightly colored house turned toy store.
We make it back to the corner of Pennington Avenue and Washington Street.  Here we see stores selling gifts, jewelry, and even sports memorabilia.
We make it back to the corner of Pennington Avenue and Washington Street. Here we see stores selling gifts, jewelry, and even sports memorabilia.
This is the Sawyer Building, built in 1840.  A wine shop is on the bottom floor with apartments on the top two floors.
This is the Sawyer Building, built in 1840. A wine shop is on the bottom floor with apartments on the top two floors.
Washington Street Books & Antiques takes up more than one building and sells a wide selection of books, antiques, and other collectibles.
Washington Street Books & Antiques takes up more than one building and sells a wide selection of books, antiques, and other collectibles.
Here is a view of various shops looking up Washington Street.
Here is a view of various shops looking up Washington Street.
Take a break from the shopping and stop in for a coffee or a cold smoothie.
Take a break from the shopping and stop in for a coffee or a cold smoothie.
More businesses and colorful signs along Washington Street.
More businesses and colorful signs along Washington Street.
A row of shops and businesses along Washington Street.  We make it to the south end of the business district where Washington Street meets Congress Avenue.  At this point in the afternoon, we can see some storm clouds are starting to form in the distance.
A row of shops and businesses along Washington Street. We make it to the south end of the business district where Washington Street meets Congress Avenue. At this point in the afternoon, we can see some storm clouds are starting to form in the distance.
After shopping we can walk through the residential area and view the architecture it has to offer.  Along Union Avenue we have the Vandiver Inn, a Bed & Breakfast and an example of a large Queen Anne Victorian residence.  It was named after Murray Vandiver, State Secretary and Treasurer of Maryland as well as Mayor of Havre de Grace.
After shopping we can walk through the residential area and view the architecture it has to offer. Along Union Avenue we have the Vandiver Inn, a Bed & Breakfast and an example of a large Queen Anne Victorian residence. It was named after Murray Vandiver, State Secretary and Treasurer of Maryland as well as Mayor of Havre de Grace.
This is the Spencer-Silver Mansion built in 1896 and is one of the largest historic houses in Havre de Grace.  Today it is a Bed & Breakfast.  This Random Ashlar Port Deposit granite structure is the only High Victorian stone mansion in the city.
This is the Spencer-Silver Mansion built in 1896 and is one of the largest historic houses in Havre de Grace. Today it is a Bed & Breakfast. This Random Ashlar Port Deposit granite structure is the only High Victorian stone mansion in the city.
We've now made it down to Concord Point, the site where the British attacked Havre de Grace in 1813.  This is the Concord Point Light Keeper's House.  Today it is a museum, but for many years it was a restaurant and a nightclub.
We've now made it down to Concord Point, the site where the British attacked Havre de Grace in 1813. This is the Concord Point Light Keeper's House. Today it is a museum, but for many years it was a restaurant and a nightclub.
Along Concord Point is the Havre de Grace Promenade.  This Promenade wraps around Concord Point and connects scenic nature walks, museums, and the Concord Point Lighthouse.
Along Concord Point is the Havre de Grace Promenade. This Promenade wraps around Concord Point and connects scenic nature walks, museums, and the Concord Point Lighthouse.
This is the Concord Point Lighthouse, built in 1827.  Once marked for demolition, it was eventually saved.  A good thing as it is notable for being the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the country.
This is the Concord Point Lighthouse, built in 1827. Once marked for demolition, it was eventually saved. A good thing as it is notable for being the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the country.
We conclude our tour at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, also located along the Promenade.  It houses an Environmental Center and Boat Shop.
We conclude our tour at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, also located along the Promenade. It houses an Environmental Center and Boat Shop.

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