About Havre de Grace


(2010 Census Data)

Population: 12,952
Population percent change, 2000-2010: 14.3%
Median Household income 2005-2009: $59,489
Median Value of Owner Occupied Housing Units: $249,700


The history of Havre de Grace begins with the voyage of Captain John Smith in 1608. The area was inhabited by the Susquehannock Indians. Maryland enacted a treaty with the Susquehannocks in 1652. A 200 acre tract of land in the present historic district was called Harmer’s Town. After a ferry across the Susquehanna was established in 1695, the area became known as Susquehanna Lower Ferry.

There were no buildings here until 1782, when Robert Young Stokes established the town, laying it out in a grid pattern modeled after Philadelphia, and giving the streets Revolutionary and French names. The name Havre de Grace is attributed to the Marquis de Lafayette. Approaching our shores shortly after the Revolutionary War, he admired the location from the river. He was said to exclaim, “C’est Le Havre!” for it reminded him of the French port city Le Havre (originally called Le Havre de Grace). The city was incorporated in 1795, making Havre de Grace the second oldest municipality in Maryland, after Annapolis.

In 1813 Havre de Grace was attacked by the British and nearly burned to the ground. Only a few structures survived, which are now marked with bronze plaques. By 1840, with the Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal and the railroad, Havre de Grace was a bustling commercial location. Businesses included fish-packing and ice houses, a flour & feed mill, a carriage factory, and canning and textile industries. From 1912-1950 The Graw Racetrack brought notoriety to Havre de Grace. In the 1920’s the City became known for its double-decker bridge - the only bridge of its kind in the country.

During the 1950’s – 1960’s Havre de Grace became a bedroom community for Aberdeen Proving Ground and Bainbridge Naval Training Center. During the 1970’s the City began to appreciate and capitalize on its history, small town ambience and exceptional waterfront location.

In 2014 Smithsonian Magazine voted Havre de Grace one of the 20 Best Small Towns to Visit.


Most of downtown Havre de Grace is a National Register Historic District, offering an eclectic mix of architecture from the Colonial, Victorian, and Arts & Crafts eras. Also a designated Arts & Entertainment District, there is an array of art galleries and studios showing a wide variety of styles in all mediums. The waterfront downtown is a designated Main Street, offering a variety of activities throughout the year, as well as unique locally owned shops and restaurants.

Tax Information:

Havre de Grace residents pay City property tax as well as Harford County property taxes.

Property Taxes in Havre de Grace are $0.58 per assessed $100.

Harford County property tax rate is $0.896 per assessed $100.