Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House

817 Conesteo Street
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

410-939-5780

History:

Construction on the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal was begun in 1836 and completed in 1840. The 45 miles of canal ran from Havre de Grace at the top of the Chesapeake Bay to Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. It interconnected with nearly 4,000 miles of other canals throughout the Midwest and Eastern United States and opened central Pennsylvania to convenient trade with Philadelphia and Baltimore. A total of 29 locks, 19 in Pennsylvania and 10 in Maryland, raised or lowered canal boats a total of 233 feet to compensate for the elevation difference. The boats were pulled by mules. Lumber, farm products, and especially coal were the primary cargoes transported via the Canal during its heyday in the 1860s and 1870s. With the advent of the railroad, the role of canals began to decline. Railroads were faster, cheaper to maintain, and could operate 12 months a year. In fact, the Reading Railroad acquired the Canal in the 1870s, eventually selling it to an agent of the Philadelphia Electric Company in 1902 for the future construction of the Conowingo Dam. Thus ended the active life of the S & T Canal and the Canal Era in Havre de Grace.

Mission Statement:

The Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House is a private, not for profit educational institution that collects, preserves, documents and publishes the cultural heritage of the City of Havre de Grace and its surrounding area for the purpose of interpreting this history through educational programs and exhibits.

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