History & Culture
It Happened Here!

The Lower Susquehanna Heritage Area is dotted with historical sites and stories of our Nations History. You can walk through history in the great out doors. Beginning around 1,600 AD with rock carvings left by an indigenous Indian tribe the story of Early America unfolds. Captain John Smith under orders of the Virginia Company explored and mapped this area in 1608. Today various historical sites and structures stand a testament to our forefather’s struggles to tame this new land and build a young nation.

By 1776 this area had grown into a transportation center for Colonists. Goods and services were transported along Old Post Road (MD Route 7) and places like Rodgers Tavern became a favorite resting point for George Washington, Lafayette and Colonial forces.

Cannon Fire exploded at Concord Point where today you can visit the Keeper’s home who defended Havre de Grace against invading British Troops. Major industry such as The Principo Iron Works Factory, Susquehanna and Tidewater Canals systems had all developed into critical infrastructure for our nation’s commerce. The City of Havre de Grace was burned by the British Royal Navy during a failed attempt to seize the valuable commodities of Principo Furnace.

Throughout the 1800’s our market culture flourished, as this was a popular trade route and major producer of wheat and corn to be traded through the Ports of Baltimore and Philadelphia. Gristmills are still visible throughout the area and the process of grinding corn into flour is regularly demonstrated at Rock Run Mill.

The Civil War created local unrest, as we are located along the Mason Dixon Line. The stakes were high and the river crossing dangerous at this last stop before freedom on the Underground Railroad. While some people of this community fought for the Union and others the Confederacy, they all lay in places of honor throughout this heritage area. You can visit the Gravel Hill Church graveyard and see the resting place of Negro Union soldiers or the Restored Perryville Train Station that received supplies for staging Troops. John Wilkes Booth, the Assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, grew up near by.

Cultural Resources and Museums
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