Susquehanna Museum of Havre de Grace

BEHIND THE SCENES

July 18, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To restore, preserve and maintain the cultural history of the city of Havre de Grace and the former Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal, including the Lock House, Pivot Bridge, Canal Lock and Basin; and to interpret the history through educational programs and exhibits. In operation from 1840 to about 1900, the 45-mile Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal connected Havre de Grace with Wrightsville, Pa. Mule-drawn boats traveling the canal had to be raised 233 feet through 29 locks. Historical artifacts of Havre de Grace and the canal era are on display in the Lock House, which was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1982.

Latest accomplishments: A memorial exhibit dedicated to veterans in Harford and Cecil counties opened July 4 and runs through Aug. 1. Establishment of the Ellsworth B. Shank Historical Lectures, a five-part series that is presented annually January through May. Upgrade of the central heating and air-conditioning system. And expansion of public visiting hours.

On the horizon: Installation of gates to the outlet locks to demonstrate how locks work. Exterior and interior work on the Lock House, including painting. Recruitment of volunteer re-enactors for historical events at the Lock House and other Havre de Grace sites, including re-enactment of the Battle of Havre de Grace. Sept. 18, Senior Citizen Reception and Concert with flag ceremony and re-enactment of a War of 1812 military hospital; also demonstrations on 19th-century cooking, spinning, sewing. Dec. 27, the museum's annual fund-raiser, "Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes of Havre de Grace."

About the Susquehanna Museum: Membership: 200. Attendance: 4,000 annually. Operating budget: $57,400.

Where and when: North Park, corner of Erie and Conesteo streets, Havre de Grace. Hours: June-August, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday; May, September, October, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Call 410-939-5780.

Charles Hiner, chairman of the board of directors: "We are proud of our volunteers and docents, now totaling 100, promoting the heritage of Havre de Grace and the Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal in creating public awareness about our past and the role we, as a general public, have in its future."

Members of the board

Alan Aidsmore

Louise Angert

Arthur Coates

Rebecca Fitzgerald

Tom Fitzpatrick

Lois Gilbert

Shirley Graves

Paul Ishak

Lynn Johnson

John Landbeck

Kathryn Lince

Robert Magee

Norma Montgomery

Ellsworth Shank

Steve Sharp

Clarence Vaughan

Steve Williams

Dale Woomert

Pub Date: 07/18/99

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