The Historical Society of Harford County Inc

The Historical Society of Harford County Inc An organization whose mission is to collect, preserve, present, promote, & interpret the rich and diverse history of Harford County. To help with the societies mission, please visit our webpage and click ‘Donate’ in the top right corner of the page.
The Historical Society of Harford County welcomes individuals, families, and organizations of all backgrounds, ages, and degrees of interest and involvement. The only requisite for membership is a genuine commitment to the county and its people, and the payment of annual dues (a portion of which is tax deductible). The Society encourages all members to become as active as they can. The Society is run mostly by volunteers. Members get the occasional Bulletin, meeting notices, use of the all Society research collections, admission to the Hays House Museum, Headquarters museum, advanced invitations to Society dinners, programs, and activities, and the Newsletter free
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The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc. seeks to be preeminent and most user-friendly source for an individual to obtain historical information about the county and genealogical information about its inhabitants.

Mission: The Historical society of Harford County, Inc. collects, preserves, promotes, and interprets the rich and diverse history of the Harford County area in its regional context from prehistoric origins to the present for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.

The Blue Bell Restaurant in Fallston no longer exists, but for many years this was the place to go for Sunday dinner and...
05/12/2020

The Blue Bell Restaurant in Fallston no longer exists, but for many years this was the place to go for Sunday dinner and other special occasions. The restaurant’s recipes and family secrets were always sought after. The family and business are still remembered fondly by long-time residents.

The Bel Air Race Track brought visitors from all along the east coast.  During the season, Bel Air’s six hotels were ful...
05/11/2020

The Bel Air Race Track brought visitors from all along the east coast. During the season, Bel Air’s six hotels were full and the town bustled. Races of all kinds were held here along with the annual county fair and track meets of local schools. Today the property is the home of the Harford Mall and its surrounding businesses and residences.

The Sheriff’s Home in Bel Air was situated on Main Street near Courtland Street.  In the early days, the sheriff was req...
05/10/2020

The Sheriff’s Home in Bel Air was situated on Main Street near Courtland Street. In the early days, the sheriff was required to live near the jail, and for many years the jail was actually in the sheriff’s residence. This building was demolished when the current sheriff’s office was constructed in the 1960s.

In the 1950s, Reuben’s Drive Inn was the hot spot in Bel Air. Burgers, fries and a place to hang out and have fun.  The ...
05/09/2020

In the 1950s, Reuben’s Drive Inn was the hot spot in Bel Air. Burgers, fries and a place to hang out and have fun. The restaurant was built on the old Irwin Farm property next to Bynum Run. Girls on roller skates served customers and teens came to see and be seen.

The early days in Aberdeen while canning was still king, show a prosperous city.  With new automobiles along a wide Bel ...
05/08/2020

The early days in Aberdeen while canning was still king, show a prosperous city. With new automobiles along a wide Bel Air Avenue. This view changed dramatically. Once the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Edgewood Arsenal were built in 1917 - 1918.

Train coming in to Bel Air on what is now the Ma & Pa Trail.  The Ma & Pa changed the face of Bel Air forever, bringing ...
05/07/2020

Train coming in to Bel Air on what is now the Ma & Pa Trail.

The Ma & Pa changed the face of Bel Air forever, bringing industry to the northern part of the Town, providing farmers with access to Baltimore markets and workers for the canneries and offering a scenic, though slow trip to Towson State Teachers College and the Baltimore Department stores.

As early as 1820 there was a bridge of sorts connecting Harford and Cecil County known as the Conowingo Bridge . The fir...
05/06/2020

As early as 1820 there was a bridge of sorts connecting Harford and Cecil County known as the Conowingo Bridge . The first bridge was carried away in one of the spring floods. A second bridge built in 1859 was the only bridge across the Susquehanna and was the site of several skirmishes between Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War. That bridge was partially destroyed by fire in 1907 and eventually replaced with the bridge shown here in 1910. The bridge, dynamited in 1928 when the new Dam was constructed, now lays beneath the Conowingo Lake about a mile north of the Conowingo Dam.

The Historical Society Needs Your Help! #GivingTuesday is here, and we need your help. Due to the Pandemic, our fundrais...
05/05/2020

The Historical Society Needs Your Help! #GivingTuesday is here, and we need your help. Due to the Pandemic, our fundraising efforts have come to an unexpected screeching halt. The cancellation of our many fundraisers, Brown Bag Lunch Series, teas, workshops, and Hays House events has greatly affected our revenue income.

Please consider making a donation today. Your gift will help to ensure that we are able to continue the work of recording, preserving and (when our doors are once again open), presenting, Harford’s History.

DONATE TODAY!
https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Z5Z8G694GUVVE

#GivingTuesday #LivingHistory

Built in 1854 by William Hensel, a retired ship’s carpenter, Wildfell was the dream house of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Jewett.  ...
05/05/2020

Built in 1854 by William Hensel, a retired ship’s carpenter, Wildfell was the dream house of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Jewett. The 8 sided Darlington residence was built from lumber gleaned from an old War of 1812 clipper ship that was abandoned in Baltimore harbor. The short oaken timbers lent themselves perfectly to short walls an octagonal house required.

The house of Col. John Streett.
05/04/2020

The house of Col. John Streett.

Liriodendron was built in 1898 as a “small country house” by Dr. Howard Kelly, one of the Founding Four physicians at Jo...
05/03/2020

Liriodendron was built in 1898 as a “small country house” by Dr. Howard Kelly, one of the Founding Four physicians at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The property originally included 196 acres, extending from Bel Air Road to Broadway, serving as a summer retreat from the heat of the family’s home in the city.

Initially the property contained a historic house that later became the farm manager’s home. Over time Kelly built the mansion and a swimming pool, orchards covered the area now known as Howard Park. The property included a working farm as well as the beautiful forest and stream that are there today.

Tudor Hall is best known as the home of the Booth family. Built by the Shakespearean actor, Junius Brutus Booth in 1847,...
05/02/2020

Tudor Hall is best known as the home of the Booth family. Built by the Shakespearean actor, Junius Brutus Booth in 1847, the family originally lived in a white washed log cabin that Junius had moved to the site when he originally leased the land in 1824. His lease called for an annual rent of “one cent and one peppercorn…only if lawfully demanded.” Over time the family outgrew the cabin and a new home was planned.

Junius Booth and his second wife, Mary Ann Holmes had ten children, including the famous Shakespearean actor, Edwin Booth and the infamous assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Junius died the year after the house was completed returning from a performance tour in California. The house was sold in 1878 by Trustees acting for the family.

We know that grocery shopping is not the easy task of the past. However, if you are a Giant Food customer please conside...
05/01/2020

We know that grocery shopping is not the easy task of the past. However, if you are a Giant Food customer please consider purchasing one of their multiple use bags. You'll be helping to support the Historical Society and you'll be helping out the environment too!

#GivingTuesday is almost here and we really need your help this year. Due to the Pandemic, our fundraising efforts have ...
05/01/2020

#GivingTuesday is almost here and we really need your help this year. Due to the Pandemic, our fundraising efforts have come to an unexpected screeching halt. The cancellation of our many fundraisers, Brown Bag Lunch Series, teas, workshops, and Hays House events has greatly affected our revenue income.

Please consider making a donation today. Your gift will help to ensure that we are able to continue the work of recording, preserving and (when our doors are once again open), presenting, Harford’s History.

Donate Now!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Z5Z8G694GUVVE

#GivingTuesdayNow #LivingHistory #LiveandLearn

05/01/2020
The Auckland Project

Former Historical Society intern Nicole Six talking about her work in England where she is a student at Durham University.

Meet Nicole, a student from Durham University who is also part of our volunteer team at Auckland Castle.

As well as greeting visitors to the Castle, Nicole has also been involved in archaeological digs on site and has a passion for its history.

The Kenmore Inn stood at the corner of South Main Street and Baltimore Pike from the turn of the twentieth century until...
05/01/2020

The Kenmore Inn stood at the corner of South Main Street and Baltimore Pike from the turn of the twentieth century until 1960 when it was demolished to make way for a supermarket. The site is now the home of Looneys Restaurant. The Second Empire style architecture was unusual in Bel Air. It became popular after the Civil War especially for public buildings.

Colonel H. D. Hanway bought the property in 1894 from Captain Richard Bouldin. He then removed the existing eighteenth century house and the Pinckney Law office on the corner of the lot, adding an L-shaped structure with a mansard roof, two story bay windows and an inviting front porch.

The Inn became a popular gathering place for automobile club members, racetrack visitors, and even served to house President Taft on his visit to Bel Air and provided rooms for some of the suffragettes on the 1913 March to Washington. People came for miles around to enjoy its restaurant’s fine food, particularly its signature fried chicken.

“THIS PLACE MATTERS”May is National Historic Preservation Month. The Historical Society, in conjunction with the Harford...
04/29/2020

“THIS PLACE MATTERS”

May is National Historic Preservation Month. The Historical Society, in conjunction with the Harford County Historical Preservation Commission, originally planned to showcase an exhibit during the month of May, entitled This Place Matters at the Society headquarters including photographs and stories of historic properties. Due to the pandemic, this plan had to change.

We still wanted to share some of the stories of Harford’s historic properties and to let you share your memories about these places as well. So, each day in May a picture and brief history of a historic property in Harford County will be posted on the Historical Society of Harford County page.

We encourage you to check the site often and to share your memories of these places with us. The photographs, stories and comments will be archived for the enjoyment of future researchers.

We hope you will join us in the fun of seeing some of these old buildings and remembering your youthful adventures there.

Harford County Cultural Arts Board
04/22/2020

Harford County Cultural Arts Board

Harford County Independent Artist COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants - Apply by April 29, 2020

04/16/2020
WMAR-2 News Baltimore

Something fun!

In February 1995, Robert's wife spotted footprints in the backyard of their Harford County home. They weren't your TYPICAL footprints, so Jamie Costello took the call and went out to investigate. You'll never believe what he found once he arrived on the scene...

Harford Cable Network
04/09/2020
Harford Cable Network

Harford Cable Network

Harford’s Heritage is back on the air, thanks to Harford County author Jack Shagena. Watch “Havre de Grace: A Town of History” on VOD.

https://hcn.viebit.com/player.php?hash=KAtwm3UMAvo9

The Historical Society of Harford County Inc Havre de Grace Explore Havre de Grace Havre de Grace Historic District Visit Harford

The National Archives
04/01/2020

The National Archives

We’re pleased to confirm that we will be giving everyone free access to our digitised collections very soon, but it’s taking our amazing digital team a bit of time to make it happen.

They’re facing similar challenges to the rest of the world with regard to connecting to our various technical systems while working from home, and many of them are also juggling childcare duties. Stay tuned for an update soon!

EDIT: To clarify, we’re referring to digitised collections that are available on our website (and usually chargeable) – at this stage, this doesn’t extend to our collections on other sites.

Harford County Public Library
03/29/2020

Harford County Public Library

Checking on our seniors is critical and Maryland has set up this voluntary program.

A Message from the HSHC PresidentHello,Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has enacted an executive order requiring closure of...
03/24/2020
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

A Message from the HSHC President

Hello,

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has enacted an executive order requiring closure of all non-essential businesses as of 5PM EST, on March 23rd in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Maryland.

We, here at the Society, kept our distance and watched as the events unfolded. As predicted, our fast approach to the crisis paid off. Not allowing volunteers and visitors into the building eliminated the possible transfer of the virus.

To the people that work tirelessly behind the scenes, your hard work is greatly appreciated. These are Historic times! I am focused on doing the right thing for all. I will continue to keep you, our staff, volunteers, visitors and employees at the forefront of my decision making through this crisis.

As we gain information and remain in crisis mode, all events are canceled or postponed. Carol Deibel, Events Committee Chair, and I will be working on postponed dates and or cancellation of future events. [email protected]

Maryanna Skowronski, Society Director, will continue to report to work on a very limited basis. Contact can still be made by email or phone, but admittance will be limited to emergency and maintenance personnel.

Please continue to stay informed through trusted sources such as the Harford County Health Department website at: https://harfordcountyhealth.com/coronavirus/ and the Maryland Department of Health website at: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/ as more information is gathered surrounding this situation.

We are all in this complicated, uncertain and rapidly changing situation together, and we encourage everyone to look out for each other. Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones. We encourage you to consult www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html for information and updates.

I hope that all of you are remaining safe in this uncertain time. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at [email protected]



Thank you,
Bill Walden
President

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

Online Research - The Historical Society of Harford County
03/16/2020
Online Research - The Historical Society of Harford County

Online Research - The Historical Society of Harford County

Past Perfect (Online Catalog) The Historical Society’s record keeping system is called PastPerfect. This is an online KEYWORD search database providing researchers the ability to search our records without having to travel to our Headquarters. Library books, vertical files and AV materials are ind...

03/16/2020

**Donations are currently NOT being accepted for our upcoming Rummage Sale in JUNE due to the society currently being closed for safety measures for the Coronavirus.

Ladies from the Bel Air Cheveux Salon and Day Spa just stopped by! Welcome to the neighborhood!
03/12/2020

Ladies from the Bel Air Cheveux Salon and Day Spa just stopped by! Welcome to the neighborhood!

The Historical Society of Harford County Inc. is pleased to assist Harford Community College with its ongoing exhibit Ha...
03/02/2020

The Historical Society of Harford County Inc. is pleased to assist Harford Community College with its ongoing exhibit Harford County: Our Land & Environment, which will be open to the public March 3 – May 29. The exhibit tells the story of Northern Maryland’s history in the nascent agro-environmental movement and the part local residents, Russell and Kate Lord played in this endeavor. Stop by and enjoy the Society’s exhibit materials and the beautiful exhibit prepared the college staff.

Feels like spring out there! Our spring exhibit opens tomorrow at 12 pm, and will be on view until the end of May. Join us for the opening!

Good Morning Everyone! The society is open until 2:00PM today and four of our best historians and genealogist are volunt...
02/22/2020

Good Morning Everyone! The society is open until 2:00PM today and four of our best historians and genealogist are volunteering today! Members Free / Non-Members $5.

01/20/2020

Address

143 N Main St
Bel Air, MD
21014

General information

Hours: Tuesday COURT RECORDS 9AM-3PM - Wednesday ARCHIVES 9AM-3PM - Thursday RESEARCH LIBRARY 9AM-3PM & Open the fourth Sat of the month from 10AM-2PM

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 15:00
Thursday 09:00 - 15:00

Telephone

(410) 838-7691

Alerts

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I am looking for information about the Harford Convalescent Home, located in Street. Family owned it. I can’t find anything on Google.
CONOWINGO DAM In the Roaring Twenties, America buzzed with energy and innovation as an electric revolution swept across the country. Enlisting Mother Nature to lead the charge, the mighty Susquehanna River was harnessed in 1928 by one of the larges hydroelectric works ever seen: Conowingo Dam. This feat of engineering, adorned with an art deco charm, is a landmark known by many but understood by few. The time of the Conowingo Dam construction, 1927 and 1928, was one of tremendous growth for Stephenson Lodge, No. 135 and for Darlington, Maryland. In 1927, our membership grew from fifty-three to seventy-eight members. That year twenty-nine meetings were held, and ninety-three degrees were conferred. While in 1928, thirty meetings were held with eighty-two degrees being conferred. The membership rose to one hundred and six. More Degrees were conferred during those two years than would be in the next twenty years. Stephenson Lodge will present an hour long documentary on the Conowingo Dam created by Maryland Public Television on January 16 at Stephenson Lodge, 2115 Shureville Road in Darlington. Right across from the Darlington Methodist Church. Open to the public. As a bonus for the history buffs, see inside the old Darlington Academy building, built in the 1890's, and see images of the classes that attended. Many of the original architecture elements still exist. If you are a fan of Harford County/Darlington history, you won't want to miss this.
September 23:Junius Brutus Booth & Tudor Hall – 2:00 pm Come to Tudor Hall this Sunday at 2pm for a special talk on Junius Brutus Booth Sr, father of John Wilkes Booth and patriarch of the Booth family. Presented by Jim Garrett, Booth family historian and Lincoln assassination author and speaker. Talk starts at 2:00 pm and lasts about 45 minutes. Located at Tudor Hall, 17 Tudor Lane, Bel Air, MD 21015. $5.00 cash for those ages 13 and older. For more info call 443-619-0008 or email at [email protected]. For other tour dates go to http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com
September 23: Guided Tour of the Historic Tudor Hall – 1:00 pm Tour the grounds and 1st floor of Tudor Hall this Sunday at 1pm, home of Maryland's famous family of Shakespearean actors including John Wilkes Booth‬. Tour starts at 1:00 pm and lasts about 45 minutes. Located at 17 Tudor Lane, Bel Air, MD 21015. $5.00 cash for those ages 13 and older. For more info call 443-619-0008 or email at [email protected]. For other tour dates go to http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Link for "past perfect" and other links connected to website are not working -
Tour the grounds and 1st floor of Tudor Hall, home of Maryland’s famous family of Shakespearian actors including Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth on April 22. Tours start at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and lasts about 45 minutes for each tour. Located at 17 Tudor Lane, Bel Air, MD 21015. $5.00 cash for those ages 13 and older. For more info call 443-619-0008 or email at [email protected]. For other tour dates go to http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com
Currently compiling lists from the Baltimore Sun from 1837 to submit to the Historical Society of Harford County.
June 25, 2017: Junius Brutus Booth and Tudor Hall – 2:00 pm Learn more about Junius Brutus Booth Sr, father of John Wilkes Booth and patriarch of the Booth family. Presented by Jim Garrett, Lincoln assassination author and speaker. Talk starts at 2:00 pm and lasts about 45 minutes. Located at Tudor Hall, 17 Tudor Lane, Bel Air, MD 21015. $5.00 cash for those age 13 and older. For more info call 443-619-0008 or email us at [email protected]. For other tour dates go to http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com
June 25, 2017: Guided Tour of the Historic Tudor Hall – 1:00 pm Tour the grounds and first floor of historic Tudor Hall, home of Maryland's famous family of Shakespearian actors including ‪Edwin Booth‬ and ‪John Wilkes Booth‬. Tour starts at 1:00 pm and lasts about 45 minutes. Located at 17 Tudor Lane, Bel Air, MD 21015. $5.00 cash for those age 13 and older. For more info call 443-619-0008 or email us at [email protected]. For other tour dates go to http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com
Hope to see you tomorrow at the Juneteenth Celebration! Juneteenth is a nationally recognized day that commemorates the ending of slavery in the United States and celebrates African American history and culture. As part of its 150th anniversary, Hosanna School Museum will hold a Juneteenth celebration festival on Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the museum, 2424 Castleton Road in Darlington. The festival is open to the public and free of charge. Hosanna's Juneteenth celebration will feature re-enactors, living history presentations, lectures, craft vendors, special activities for children, food trucks, a gift shop and more. Get your free tickets today!
June 4, 2017: A Long Look Backward: From the Pen of Asia Booth – 2:00 pm Asia Booth, older sister of John Wilkes Booth, was the chronicler of the Booth family’s greatest triumphs and their most heart breaking failures. In her speech, Kate Ramirez will look more into Asia Booth and her myriad of writings. Kate is a 19th century researcher, speaker, and living historian who specializes in the Lincoln assassination. Talk starts at 2:00 pm and lasts about 45 minutes. Located at Tudor Hall, 17 Tudor Lane, Bel Air, MD 21015. $5.00 cash for those age 13 and older. For more info call 443-619-0008 or email us at [email protected]. For other tour dates go to http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com
June 4, 2017: Guided Tour of the Historic Tudor Hall – 1:00 pm Tour the grounds and first floor of historic Tudor Hall, home of Maryland's famous family of Shakespearian actors including ‪Edwin Booth‬ and ‪John Wilkes Booth‬. Tour starts at 1:00 pm and lasts about 45 minutes. Located at 17 Tudor Lane, Bel Air, MD 21015. $5.00 cash for those age 13 and older. For more info call 443-619-0008 or email us at [email protected]. For other tour dates go to http://spiritsoftudorhall.blogspot.com