Harford County has a variety of cultural features including an important lighthouse and covered bridge, which connects Harford with Baltimore county. Crossing Gunpowder Falls, the Jerusalem Covered bridge was constructed between 1850 and 1860 and measures 88 feet. Steel beams, tie rods and stringer were installed later. To reach the bridge, take Rt. 24 and turn left onto Jerusalem Road to Jericho Road.
The Concord Point Lighthouse, circa 1827, is the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the East Coast. It is at Lafayette and Concord Streets in Havre de Grace (pronounced as it sounds rather than the French way). The town was named Harbour of Grace by Lafayette during the Revolution and recently began its third century as a chartered city. It almost became the nation's capital (missing by one vote). The light keeper's house is being restored across the street, and a new maritime museum, with long sunny hall for displays looks out on the water near a new park and promenade.
This new complex is near the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum. Havre de Grace is known as the decoy capital of Maryland, and this museum seems to verify that claim. Enjoy the works of decoy carvers from all over the county, organized in glass cases for each artist. Some artists are depicted as wax models, as if working on decoys, in a scale as large as life. Many Havre de Grace artists are represented, such as Robert F. McGraw, Edward Maller, Harry Jobes and James Pierce. Upstairs is a beautiful hall of artists with stained glass decoys on tall windows looking out on the water. Here is the glass case of James Currier, who took the Holly family and Sam Barnes as his mentors. He was postmaster of the town in l916, and the new Currier House bed and breakfast was his brother, Oliver Currier's home. All of his decoys were hand-chopped, and the heads were rounded in profile. A case on the main floor tells what decoys originally were meant to be. A decoy is a lure, and the word decoy comes from the Dutch phrase "ende Kooi," meaning duck cage. Actual wild birds were once used.
Other county attractions are the Steppingtone Museum's antique doll collection and Jersey Toll House near Havre de Grace as well as Ladew Topiary Gardens and Manor House north of Jacksonville. Hays House, at 324 S. Kenmore Ave., Bel Air, built in the late 1700s, is home of the Historical Society, open April - November on the 4th Sunday of each month. Call 301-939-3739.
Harford County: Spencer Silver Mansion
Spencer Silver Mansion
Built in 1896, the Spencer-Silver Mansion offers the perfect lodging while visiting historic Havre de grace and the upper Chesapeake Bay region. The mansion is located in the heart of the historic district just a few blocks from the Concord Point Lighthouse, Havre de Grace Decoy Museum and the Lockhouse Canal Museum.
Guests will find themselves surrounded by Victorian elegance and serenity. The mansions has been restored to reflect late Victorian styles. The parlors with their fancy ornamentation and five fireplaces welcome guests to unwind and ponder the days of a bygone era. A delightful gourmet breakfast is served at a time of the guests' choosing.
The main house has three guest rooms, all furnished with walnut Victorian antiques. The garden room offers a private bath with antique clawfoot tub and features a queen size brass bed. The room has a breathtaking view of the gardens below. Two other spacious kand lavishly decorated rooms, one with a turret, and the other with a bay window, share a beautiful bath, lined with fancy embossed tiles and a marble sink.
The carriage House, a stone, two story cottage behind the mansion is warmly decorated in oak antiques and offers the most romantic and elegant accommodations in Havre de Grace. It features an ornate Victorian staircase, whirlpool bath, living room with working fireplace, TV,VCR, kitchenette, queen size bed and complete privacy.
Innkeepers: Carol and Jim Nemeth and daugher Elizabeth, Address, 200 S. Union Avenue, Havre de Grace 21078. Phone (410)939-1485 or (800)780-1485 Rooms, 3, one with private bath and a Carriage House suite with kitchenette. Meals, gourmet breakfast. Nearby, Susquehanna State Park, Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, Concord Point Lighthouse, Lighthouse Canal Museum. Spencer Silver Mansion Web Page
Liriodendron at 502 West Gordon Street in Bel Air is a Georgian mansion on a property of 196 original acres on the western edge of town. The property now consists of approximately 100 acres which are included in the Harford County park, Heavenly Waters. On October 19, 1897, Dr. and Mrs. Howard Kelly paid $12,000 for the approximately two hundred acres and engaged the architectural firm of Wyatt and Nolting of Baltimore to design the house.
It is of Palladian design with Greek columns, French doors, marble walls in kitchen and bathroom and has 13 fireplaces. Laid out in a "I" shape, the house is situated on top of a knoll to capture both the view and breezes. From the front doors, one enters the center hall, and faces a magnificent grand staircase, which must have been the delight of the nine Kelly children who made this their home for the summer.
Seven bedroom suites are on the second floor and household staff quarters are on the third. To the left of the central hall is the drawing room and to the right, the dining room. The service area of the house forms the "T" and contains a three storey stair atrium plus separate servant stairs, music room, library, kitchen, servant dining room and butler's pantry.
Fireplaces are in every room but one and are faced with imported Italian marble except for the one in the central hall. Many of the original fireplace sets have come back to the mansion through the generosity of Margaret Smith Kelly, wife of the late Friedrich Kelly, the last private owner of the estate. In 1935, Dr. Howard Kelly passed ownership to his son, Fritz, who maintained residence here until his death in 1980. The estate then became the property of Harford County Parks and Recreation, and the Liriodendron Foundation aids in its administration. Call 410-838-3942 to book weddings and other catered events.
Harford County: La Cle D'or Guest House
La Cle D'Or Guest House
La Cle' D'Or Guest House in the historic Henry Harrison Hopkins Home will take you back in time to the extravagant period of the post Civil War Gilded Age. This 1868 home of the renowned Johns Hopkins family of Baltimore Hospital and University fame is a Second Empire Victorian-style edifice, in Havre de Grace's historic district, which offers the extravagance of the Gilded Age with a quaint European hotel ambiance.
Select from exquisite rooms such as the Lafayette suite with private bath and antechanber/sunroom or the Rochambeau and the DeGrace which share a bath. Unusual antiques, Strauss crystal chandeliers, beautiful wallpapers and local artworks are found throughout the inn. Enjoy the original parlor, featuring a domed recessed alcove, bay window and fireplace. Delight in the the sunny garden rooms or stroll in the entrancing brick-walled "secret" garden. A landscaped flagstone terrace, furnished brick portico and lush, outdoor gardens are available to guests. An all-you-can-eat breakfast includes traditional fare, served in the formal blue and yellow dining room, Provence style.
Weddings, small meetings, family reunions and seminars are hosted. A visit to this inn is an inimitable experience. It received the Most Historic Charm Award from Arrington's Book of Lists 2003, Best for Outdoor Sports Enthusiasts 2005, B&B with the Best Garden 2002 and Best Breakfast in the Northeast 2006. .
Innkeeper: Ron G. Browning. Address: 226 North Union Avenue, Havre de Grace 21078. Phone: 410-939-6562. FAX: 410-939-1833. CELL: 410-458-2646. Rooms: 3 with private baths. Rates $128-$148, 50% deposit, no minimum stay. Cancellations: 10 days ahead, $25. MC, Visa, checks or cash. Meals: Full breakfast/ continental breakfast/coffee & tea service/ snacks. Amenities: central air, cable TV. VCRs, ironing board, WI-FI, DVD's, hair dryers, fax, copier, frig, library. Children: over 12 limited. Pets: downstairs or outside. Spanish and French spoken. Nearby:museums, nature walks, antique shops, restaurants, lighthouse, Ripken Stadium, Susquehanna State Park, boating, sailing, golf, fishing.
La Cle D'or Web Site