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.
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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

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

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.

Operating as usual

Wishing all of you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!  Today is also PHOTO FRIDAY!  We know many of you enjoyed the beau...
01/01/2021

Wishing all of you a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Today is also PHOTO FRIDAY! We know many of you enjoyed the beautiful light displays and local shopping in Downtown Bel Air this holiday season. Today's Photo Friday gives you a glimpse of Main Street around 1947. The photo was taken looking North from Pennsylvania Ave into downtown Bel Air along Main Street.

Do you have a photo to share with us for an upcoming Photo Friday feature? Email us at [email protected]!

In case you missed it, or if you'd like to watch it again, we have uploaded the recording of the Zoom webinar "Christmas...
12/28/2020
Christmas in Harford in Days Gone By

In case you missed it, or if you'd like to watch it again, we have uploaded the recording of the Zoom webinar "Christmas in Harford in Days Gone By" to YouTube.

Christmas in Harford in Days Gone By – Historical Society board member Chris Potts will share remembrances of Harford County’s “Christmas Past” in the guise ...

Wishing all of our members and friends a very Merry Christmas!  Today we are sharing a special photo of our very own His...
12/25/2020

Wishing all of our members and friends a very Merry Christmas! Today we are sharing a special photo of our very own Historical Society Headquarters, which was the new Bel Air Post Office in 1937.

We are thankful to our community members for your continued support of the Historical Society this year and helping us continue our mission of "Preserving Our Past For Your Future." We have many exciting events planned for 2021and are looking forward to sharing more of Harford County's wonderfully rich history with you.

If you would like to share a photo for an upcoming Photo Friday feature, email us at [email protected].

We would like to wish all of our members, supporters, and our wonderful Harford County community a very happy and health...
12/23/2020

We would like to wish all of our members, supporters, and our wonderful Harford County community a very happy and healthy holiday season!

The continued support of our community has meant so much to us and helped make 2020 a year of expansion and innovation, despite facing unprecedented challenges. We are excited to share that we have a full event calendar planned for 2021, which includes continued virtual presentations and lectures, genealogy workshops, brown bag lunches, and hopeful plans for in-person events later in the year.

Many of our events and workshops are included with your annual membership to the Historical Society! If you would like to renew your membership for 2021 or join us as a new member, we welcome you do so by visiting the link below:
https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/membership/

Our annual giving drive is also underway. Due to the necessary cancellations of many of our annual fundraising events this year, our fundraising efforts were considerably stymied, and contributions fell short of our goal. As such, we invite you to you consider making a tax-deductible contribution to the 2020 Annual Giving Campaign as another avenue to support us! Donations can be made directly on our website at https://www.harfordhistory.org/annual-giving/.

We are grateful for all of the support we receive through both memberships and contributions. Your generosity helps ensure that we can continue maintaining our efforts and fulfilling our mission of "Preserving our Past for Your Future."

Our warmest wishes for a very happy and healthy holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you and sharing more of the history that we love together in 2021!

We've just added many new, vintage, and gently used items to our ongoing virtual yard sale!
12/23/2020
Latest Additions - The Historical Society of Harford County

We've just added many new, vintage, and gently used items to our ongoing virtual yard sale!

Check out the latest additions to our Virtual Yardsale. All items in the Virtual Yard Sale are first come first serve, sold as-is, local pick-up only...

Are you searching for last-minute gift ideas or looking for the perfect gift for someone who doesn't need any more "stuf...
12/21/2020

Are you searching for last-minute gift ideas or looking for the perfect gift for someone who doesn't need any more "stuff?" Share the gift of the history of Harford County with an annual Membership to the Historical Society of Harford County.

Membership includes receipt of society publications and newsletters, use of all research collections, admission to Hays House Museum and Headquarters Museum, advanced invitations to Society dinners, special events, lectures and more.

⬇️ Learn More Here: ⬇️

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/membership/

If you are looking for a wonderful gift idea that will last your loved one all year long, give a gift of  Membership to ...
12/18/2020

If you are looking for a wonderful gift idea that will last your loved one all year long, give a gift of Membership to the Historical Society of Harford County! Membership includes receipt of society publications and newsletters, use of all research collections, admission to Hays House Museum and Headquarters Museum, advanced invitations to Society dinners, special events, lectures and more!

Share the gift of Harford's History - purchase online here: ⬇️

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/membership/

It's PHOTO FRIDAY!  Pictured here is the B & O Bridge at Bush River early 1900, which became the location of the Bata Sh...
12/18/2020

It's PHOTO FRIDAY! Pictured here is the B & O Bridge at Bush River early 1900, which became the location of the Bata Shoe Company, and now the Water's Edge Corporate Campus on Route 40.

Do you have a photo to share for an upcoming Photo Friday? Email us at [email protected]!

Historical Society supporter, Eric Richardson, is known for his tribute in honor of the great singer Dean Martin.  Eric ...
12/17/2020
Let It Snow

Historical Society supporter, Eric Richardson, is known for his tribute in honor of the great singer Dean Martin. Eric has performed as Dino in several Society benefits over the past few years. Here he is singing one of the crooner's popular tunes. The timing couldn't be more appropriate!

Part of his Christmas holiday homage to his inspiration, Dean Martin, Eric Richardson recreates this classic Dino tune...The second Mid-Atlantic snowfall in ...

It's PHOTO FRIDAY!  Today's photo is of Forest Hill Methodist Church looking north from Jarrettsville Road, circa 1900. ...
12/11/2020

It's PHOTO FRIDAY! Today's photo is of Forest Hill Methodist Church looking north from Jarrettsville Road, circa 1900.

We want to see your photos! If you have one to share, email it to us at [email protected]!

We are proud to share a virtual event sponsored by the Hosanna School Museum, "Meet Harriet Tubman" on Saturday, Decembe...
12/09/2020

We are proud to share a virtual event sponsored by the Hosanna School Museum, "Meet Harriet Tubman" on Saturday, December 12th at 1:00pm.

“Travel” the Underground Railroad through this adventurous VIRTUAL experience with the courageous Harriet Tubman is brought to “life” by Janice Curtis Greene, the preeminent living biographer of Harriet Tubman.

The event is FREE of Charge ($5.00 suggested donation). Space is limited, TICKETS are required. Click here to reserve your spot: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meet-harriet-tubman-tickets-131629249629

We are honored to have been nominated by Harford Magazine as "Best Charity/Nonprofit" and "Best Museum" of Harford Count...
12/08/2020
Best of Harford County Readers’ Choice poll

We are honored to have been nominated by Harford Magazine as "Best Charity/Nonprofit" and "Best Museum" of Harford County for 2020!. Now, it is time to vote!

If you'd like to support us and cast your vote for the Historical Society, simply click the link below and select the "Out and About" section and then find "Charity/Nonprofit" and "Museum." You can vote once per day from now through December 13th!

https://www.baltimoresun.com/maryland/harford/harford-magazine/bs-mg-ha-best-of-harford-contest-2020-20201025-btlvqzrf4zavlo4ypms6t7vv7q-story.html

Best of Harford County Readers' Choice poll

Support us this holiday season with Amazon Smile!  When you shop AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vas...
12/07/2020

Support us this holiday season with Amazon Smile! When you shop AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the Historical Society of Harford County.

Simply shop at smile.amazon.com/ch/52-6054081 and AmazonSmile will donate to Historical Society of Harford County Inc, at no cost to you!

Today's PHOTO FRIDAY features a threshing machine, which dates back to the late 1700s in Britain.  They followed soon af...
12/04/2020

Today's PHOTO FRIDAY features a threshing machine, which dates back to the late 1700s in Britain. They followed soon afterward in America.

They were used to separate grain from the stalks on which it grows, and they were originally horse drawn as seen in this photograph.

Today, in most of the developed world they are motor driven and known as combine harvesters or "combines."

Do you have a photo to share? Email us at [email protected]!

It's time for holiday shopping! With that in mind we'd like to remind everyone to visit the Historical Society of Harfor...
12/02/2020
Virtual Yardsale - The Historical Society of Harford County

It's time for holiday shopping! With that in mind we'd like to remind everyone to visit the Historical Society of Harford County's online store.

We've just added many new, vintage, and gently used items to our ongoing virtual yard sale. We've also opened our virtual bookstore where you can find some great books, pamphlets, Harford Historical Bulletins, and society memorabilia.

You can avoid the need for in store shopping and will be helping the society out with your purchases!

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product-category/virtual-yardsale/

The COVID-19 situation caused the cancellation of our popular annual summer “yard sale” however, with so many donated items ready and waiting for eager shoppers, we’ve created a virtual store where you can browse a selection of our “fine finds.” All purchase income goes to support the Soci...

12/01/2020
#GivingTuesdayNow

#GivingTuesday Due to the Pandemic, our fundraising efforts have come to an unexpected screeching halt. Your gift today, 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.

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/donation/

#GivingTodayNow #LiveandLearn #FutureGenerations

It's that time of year when leaves are falling! Fortunately, today's rakes are much easier to handle than the one this y...
11/27/2020

It's that time of year when leaves are falling! Fortunately, today's rakes are much easier to handle than the one this youngster is using in this late 1800s/early 1900s photo!

If you have a photo to share in an upcoming PHOTO FRIDAY, email us at [email protected]!

PHOTO FRIDAY - Grace M.E. Church, South, and ParsonageMethodism moved into what was to become the town of Aberdeen with ...
11/20/2020

PHOTO FRIDAY - Grace M.E. Church, South, and Parsonage

Methodism moved into what was to become the town of Aberdeen with the forming of the Aberdeen Methodist Episcopal Church in 1856. The original building was located at the corner of Franklin Street and Route 40. This congregation grew to need a larger facility, and in 1893 a new Aberdeen M. E. Church was erected at the present site of Grace UMC. The land and building were provided for by five Baker Brothers - successful businessmen in the canned food industry. Several descendants of the Baker Brothers remain as active members of the present congregation.

The advent of the Civil War, rooted in the issue of slavery, led to a division in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Although John Wesley and Francis Asbury both preached against slavery, there remained sympathizers for both sides of the issue in the Aberdeen area - Maryland being a "border" state. Thus in 1866 a group of Methodists left the original Aberdeen M. E. Church to form the Grace M. E. Church South. This building was located at the corner of West Bel Air Avenue and Law Street. The second building on this site remains vacant today but it has served several other congregations since the early 1940's. In 1939 the divided Methodist Conferences voted to merge back together. This merger was largely overseen and directed locally by Rev. Allan Gillis, the forefather of several members of Grace Church today. The merger service took place in May, 1942 when the church was renamed Grace Methodist Church. Following the merger of the congregations a master plan for new facilities had to be designed. From 1945 until 1965 the present buildings were constructed and consecrated. The present Sanctuary walls contains five cornerstones; Bush Forest Chapel; 1856 Aberdeen M. E. Church; Grace M. E. Church, South; 1893 Aberdeen M. E. Church; Grace United Methodist Church 1964 – tracing the history of it’s founding in 1769 as Bush Forest Chapel on Stepney Rd at Route 22.

The present Sanctuary was consecrated on 30 January 1966 in a service with Bishop John Wesley Lord presiding.

Do you have a photo to share in an upcoming PHOTO FRIDAY? Email us at [email protected]!

It's PHOTO FRIDAY!  In honor of Veterans everywhere, we remember all those who served.We believe this is a photo of the ...
11/13/2020

It's PHOTO FRIDAY! In honor of Veterans everywhere, we remember all those who served.

We believe this is a photo of the late Lt. Col. Benjamin H. Byers of Aberdeen. The image is simply labeled- Col. Byers, VFW 10028.

If anyone can confirm this we will add the information to our records. Email us at [email protected].

REMINDER: Registration will close at 9 am on Tuesday, November 10th.Virtual Brown Bag Lunch SeriesWriting your Memoir: W...
11/09/2020
Writing your Memior: What’s Your Story? - The Historical Society of Harford County

REMINDER: Registration will close at 9 am on Tuesday, November 10th.

Virtual Brown Bag Lunch Series
Writing your Memoir: What's your Story?

November 10th at 12:30pm. Register at the link below!

Presenter: Debbie Jennings, aka D.A. Jennings

The presentation will cover the historical significance of memoirs, selected readings from memoirs and autobiographies of current and past Harford County residents, and practical considerations for writing a memoir.

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/writing-your-memior-whats-your-story/

The presentation will cover the historical significance of memoirs, selected readings from memoirs and autobiographies of current and past Harford County residents, and practical considerations for writing a memoir. Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

The presentation will cover the historical significance of memoirs, selected readings from memoirs and autobiographies of current and past Harford County residents, and practical considerations for writing a memoir. Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

IT'S PHOTO FRIDAY! This is a winter photograph of the historic Grace M.E. Church South and parsonage on the corner of We...
11/06/2020

IT'S PHOTO FRIDAY! This is a winter photograph of the historic Grace M.E. Church South and parsonage on the corner of West Bel Air Avenue and Law Street.

Reminder: On November 7th at 2pm, Author and Historian Doug Washburn tells the fascinating story of this unique communit...
11/04/2020
Archer Lecture: Douglas Washburn Shares the Story of Jarrettsville - The Historical Society of Harford County

Reminder: On November 7th at 2pm, Author and Historian Doug Washburn tells the fascinating story of this unique community once known as the Land of Nodd. Enjoy the many photographs and tales from this village and the village’s bygone days.

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/archer-lecture-douglas-washburn-shares-the-story-of-jarrettsville/

November 7th at 2pm, Author and Historian Doug Washburn tells the fascinating story of this unique community once known as the Land of Nodd. Enjoy the many photographs and tales from this village and the village’s bygone days.

Shared from Cecil County History's FB  page.  A topic of local interest.
11/03/2020
Cecil County History

Shared from Cecil County History's FB page. A topic of local interest.

PEOPLES OF THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVER -- "In the 1600s, European settlers were drawn to the Susquehanna's fertile river valley and abundant resources. They brought both their hopes and their conflicts with them. But others called this region home long before their arrival. Who were they, and what have they left behind?"

A documentary from WVIA, a PBS Station.

Happy Halloween and PHOTO FRIDAY everyone!We didn't have any photos of pumpkins so we had to make do with this photo of ...
10/30/2020

Happy Halloween and PHOTO FRIDAY everyone!

We didn't have any photos of pumpkins so we had to make do with this photo of an old-fashioned pump in Shawsville. Worked by hand, it pre-dates the days of all homes having indoor plumbing. The photo is by the late David Hodge.

Do you have a photo to share? Email us at [email protected]!

Virtual Brown Bag Lunch SeriesWriting your Memoir: What's your Story?November 10th at 12:30pm.  Register at the link bel...
10/26/2020
Writing your Memior: What’s Your Story? - The Historical Society of Harford County

Virtual Brown Bag Lunch Series
Writing your Memoir: What's your Story?

November 10th at 12:30pm. Register at the link below!

Presenter: Debbie Jennings, aka D.A. Jennings

The presentation will cover the historical significance of memoirs, selected readings from memoirs and autobiographies of current and past Harford County residents, and practical considerations for writing a memoir.

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/writing-your-memior-whats-your-story/

The presentation will cover the historical significance of memoirs, selected readings from memoirs and autobiographies of current and past Harford County residents, and practical considerations for writing a memoir. Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

Here's something a little different for this week's PHOTO FRIDAY post. From the image collection of the Historical Socie...
10/23/2020

Here's something a little different for this week's PHOTO FRIDAY post. From the image collection of the Historical Society of Harford County comes this unknown artist's rendering of the 1858 fire of the Bel Air Courthouse. The building in the background was the original Masonic lodge. The Courthouse and Masonic Lodge were both rebuilt. The Lodge was eventually demolished when the Courthouse was expanded.

Do you have a photo to share for an upcoming Photo Friday? Email us at [email protected]!

On November 7th at 2pm, Author and Historian Doug Washburn will tell the fascinating story of this unique community once...
10/20/2020
Archer Lecture: Douglas Washburn Shares the Story of Jarrettsville - The Historical Society of Harford County

On November 7th at 2pm, Author and Historian Doug Washburn will tell the fascinating story of this unique community once known as the Land of Nodd. Enjoy the many photographs and tales from this village and the village’s bygone days

https://www.harfordhistory.org/product/archer-lecture-douglas-washburn-shares-the-story-of-jarrettsville/

November 7th at 2pm, Author and Historian Doug Washburn tells the fascinating story of this unique community once known as the Land of Nodd. Enjoy the many photographs and tales from this village and the village’s bygone days.

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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Comments

Looking forward to the virtual programs of learning…THanks.
I am doing family research of the Gallion family that settled in the region in 1664. Joseph Gallion was the orginal immigrant. If anybody has information about the family, I would be grateful.
Harford County Public library has a series of three genealogy virtual presentations. September 15, 2020 is the first. Make sure to register!
Does anyone know why the Herald of Hope baptist church is now abandoned in Aberdeen Maryland?
Wondering where I can research Out Pensioner records or applications for Harford County 1870-1875. My ancestor is listed in the newspaper as a recipient in 1870 & 1875. Does Henry Peden's book have more detailed information about the person? ( though I am not sure she is listed in the book). Wish the libraries were open :( Thanks for any help on this topic in general.
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