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Havre de Grace in Harford County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal

 
 
The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, July 1, 2007
1. The Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal Marker
Inscription.  The 45-mile long Susquehanna (PA) and Tidewater (MD) Canal ran from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania to Havre de Grace, Maryland. The canal was built between 1835 and 1839 in order to improve commerce on the Susquehanna River. The new canal would connect the extensive Pennsylvania canal system with tidewater ports—primarily Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The canal opened for business in May 1840. Raw materials such as coal, iron ore, flint, lumber, and grain were taken to navigable water. Products including groceries, dry goods, and agricultural supplies were sent back.

The flat-bottomed canal boats averaged 65 feet in length and hauled as much as 150 tons. A pair of mules walking in single file would pull a boat at a maximum of 4 mph. At greater speeds the vessel’s wake would cause damage to the canal walls.

Sign prepared by the staff of Greenways and Resource Planning. Narrative written by Richard J. Sherrill.

Traffic on the canal was very heavy, reaching its peak in 1864. Unfortunately, the canal was plagued by ongoing problems including lack of sufficient funds, legal disputes, railroad competition,
The Southern Terminius of the S&T Canal image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
2. The Southern Terminius of the S&T Canal
and storm-related damage. Eventually the ravages of nature and the cost of repairs made continuation impractical. Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Canal never reopened after a May 1894 flood. Maryland’s Tidewater Canal continued operation for local traffic until about 1900.

Photo above right: Barge going down the canal from the Deer Creek area. Photo from DNR Scenic River Files.

Photo right: Towpath, mules, and a pair of barges in Lock #4, heading north toward Pennsylvania. Photo by Bertram N. Stump, courtesy Todd Holden.

The Tidewater Canal in Maryland
Section of "Map & Profile of the Canal from Columbia to Tides" (1830s) from the Susquehanna Museum of Havre de Grace

[on right] Section of (1841) "Map of the State of Maryland" by Fielding Lucas, Jr.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal series list.
 
Location. 39° 33.378′ N, 76° 5.606′ W. Marker is in Havre de Grace, Maryland, in Harford County. Marker can be reached from Conesteo Street just from Erie Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Havre de Grace MD 21078, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. How a Lock Works (within shouting distance of this marker);
S & T Canal Lock #1<br>Outlet Lock image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
3. S & T Canal Lock #1
Outlet Lock
Nineteenth Century Travel (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lock House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lafayette Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Under Attack (approx. 0.3 miles away); Susquehanna River Crossing (approx. 0.3 miles away); Susquehanna Lower Ferry (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Susquehanna Lower Ferry (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Havre de Grace.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. Wrightsville, PA Marker
 
Also see . . .  Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal South Lock #1 & Tidewater Canal Toll House. HA-113 & HA-112. Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. (Submitted on October 7, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Related Markers
See "The Lock House" marker and "How a Lock Works" for photos.
    — Submitted July 1, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
 
Lock Master's House image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 4, 2013
4. Lock Master's House
The Lock Master's House, built in 1840, housed the lock keeper and his family and also served as the toll collector's office. Today it is the home of the Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 1, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,978 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on January 18, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on July 1, 2007, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.   2, 3, 4. submitted on October 7, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
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Mar. 6, 2021