Another structure of great historic significance is the Rodger's House, located at 226 North Washington Street. Built in 1787, it is the oldest structure in the city. Its most important attribute is the ownership by members of the naval Rodgers family for almost 100 years. George Washington, in his diary noted two stops at this house in 1787 and 1795. The original modification for commercial use occurred in the early 1900's. It was restored in 1981 to permit continued commercial use of its ground floor. Don't miss it like I did (while looking at the Maryland House's golden turret). The picture here was taken looking up St. John and Washington Streets to get a perspective of Rochambeau Plaza and the Masonic Temple in the center. Rodger's House is the house with the flags on the right, just past the red awning.
The Havre de Grace Self-Guided Tour tells us that Stephen J. Seneca built this building in 1885 for his fruit packing and can manufacturing operation that sold under the Red Cross label. It is located at the water's edge, and with adjacent railroad tracks to facilitate shipping, this was a perfect site for a canning industry. The railroad tracks were from the days when, prior to having any bridges spanning the Susquehanna River, trains were ferried across the river at this site. Boats with foods to be processed could dock at the cannery piers. Finished products could be shipped by boat or train. During the Spanish-American War (1898), the U.S. Government bought Red Cross canned goods from the Seneca Cannery. Today the building houses the Goldfish Gallery and the Seneca Cannery Antiques store.
Here is another picture of the Muffler Man at Lynch's Service Station. I have also included a link to a site that lists other Muffler Men and a brief history on them.
This small pier is located at the east end of Alliance Street. It gives a unique view of the Concord Point Lighthouse and Chesapeake Bay. Locals also like to fish there. Several large apartments/condos are being built just north of it.
The Jean S. Roberts Memorial Park is a small city park with a boat ramp located on the north side of the west end of the Amtrak Susquehanna River Bridge. There are also a couple of covered picnic tables and plenty of parking. If things are busy, you could park here. MacGregor's is a long block south and Price's Seafood is about a block northwest on Water Street. You may have to share the park with a couple of Canada geese and their babies (as I did).
The marker at Rochambeau Plaza says that it was named for the French general whose troops passed through this area on the way to Yorktown in 1781. Records of the French Army indicate that plans were underway for a town at this place when the troops returned from Yorktown in 1782. The plaza is located next to the Masonic Temple at the three-way intersection of Washington Street, St. John Street and Green Street. This is across the street from the Rodger's House which was built in 1787.
The Havre de Grace Self-Guided Tour tells us that the block facade of the Maryland House was built in 1903 and became a rooming house. The gilded turret on this 4-story building is one of the signatures of downtown Havre de Grace. The Maryland House was restored in 1989 and now contains apartments. Immediately north, the adjacent 4-story frame section is of an earlier date as noted on the 1885 Sanborne map. The old Chat N Chew Restaurant and Bar used to be across Pennington Avenue from the Maryland House. It is gone now (May 08) but it was a great name.
The Havre de Grace Self-Guided Tour tells us that the Seneca Mansion is a Victorian-style residence built in 1885 by Stephen J. Seneca, a local entrepreneur. He was mayor of Havre de Grace from 1893-94, and had a major influence on Havre de Grace architecture through his relationship with noted architect, William Lewis Plack. The Mansion is located on the northwest corner of Union and Pennington Avenues and is the largest of the Victorian homes of the Grand Style in town. Note the copper-covered turrets, the design of the brick chimneys, bay windows, the porches, and the dormer windows. Originally, an open second-story porch, with spindles and rails, sat atop the first-floor porch. In its original layout, the Seneca Mansion had 22 rooms. Today it is offices for a doctor and a dentist.
The Havre de Grace Self-Guided Tour tells us that this building was built and added to during the early 1800's (1809-1814). The lot itself was first leased in 1782 by Gabriel Peterson Van Horn from the town's founder, Robert Young Stokes. Van Horn was a partner in the first (1781) overland-stage line from Baltimore to Lower Ferry (one of Havre de Grace's early names). The structure has a French Colonial appearance due to the wrap-around porch, and hipped roof with gabled dormers. There is an old picture shown in the Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage Collection from the 1930's when it was a tavern. Old Ordinary now houses a real estate office.
Muffler Men were giant statues built in the late 1950's - early 1960's all over the United States. Most of them are modeled from the same concept and appeared at various gas stations all over the highways in the continental United States. This muffler man has been in Havre de Grace since I was young. He is located at Lynch's Car Service on US Route 40. Originally he was on top of the garage building and dressed as a cowboy. If my memory serves me correctly he held two tires in his hands. At this time the station was a gas station and had Philips 66 brand gas. So the cowboy went along with the Phillips 66 gas that won the west theme.
Lynch's Service Station has since gotten rid of its gas pumps and is only open by appointment for car repairs now. The Muffler Man is no longer dressed as a cowboy. During Operation Desert Storm in the late 1980's he was repainted in military camoflage colors to commerate the solders of Desert Storm. He still wears these colors todoay although he has fallen to some disrepair. These giant roadside creations are disapppearing. I hope this one gets restored someday soon before its gets damaged beyond repair.
Enjoying the scenic beauty of the wetlands is part of the Havre de Grace experience. Here is a picture that is taken from the city Boardwalk that winds through the wetlands between Tydings Park and the Corcord Point Lighthouse. Of course you will see ducks. After all Havre de Grace is the Decoy Capitol of the World.