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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Nancy Kurtz, 01/1990
Havre de Grace Lighthouse
Inventory No.: HA-251
Date Listed: 4/2/1976
Location: Concord Street & Lafayette Street , Havre de Grace, Harford County
Category: Structure
Period/Date of Construction: 1827
Architect/Builder: Builder: John Donahoo
Description: The Havre de Grace Lighthouse structure, constructed in 1827, is a conical structure of stone painted white, 26' high, situated on a plot of land 7' above mean low water. The focal plane of the light was 32' above the base. The stone walls, 3'-11" thick at the base, with an interior diameter of 11', were constructed of Port Deposit granite. A cupola constructed of metal with rectangular glass panes surmounts the stone tower. Access to the cupola is gained by means of a circular granite stairway which occupies the entire core of the structure. This stairway is constructed of triangular granite treads that lead to a quarter-circle stone landing where a ship's ladder provides access to the lantern. The lantern and lantern deck floor are of radially cut solid stone joined together with 5"-long iron keys. The iron mullions which hold the lantern's storm panels are of an uncommon fin shape. The lighthouse originally had nine lamps with 16" reflectors. This was replaced in 1855 with a steamer's lens, which was then replaced in 1869 with a 6th-order Fresnel lens. In 1891 the 6th-order lens was replaced with one of the 5th order. The station was electrified in 1920, and was decommissioned in 1975. The keeper's quarters, 200' from the lighthouse structure, was also constructed in 1827 of Port Deposit granite. A small building originally, with 8/8 sash windows, it had a kitchen wing which has since been removed. In 1884 a second story was added to the building. Significance: The Havre de Grace Lighthouse was built in 1827 by John Donahoo, who was responsible for many of the early lighthouses on the Chesapeake Bay. The lighthouse was built at the junction of the Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River in Harford County, Maryland. The General Assembly of Maryland in 1826 authorized the construction of this lighthouse because of the numerous vessels lost in this area. Although the official name given to the lighthouse has always been Havre de Grace, the local citizenry still refer to this lighthouse as the Concord Point Lighthouse. The name apparently dates back to the 17th century when this area was known as Point Concord. Augustine Hermann on his map of 1670, designates the point at the mouth of the Susquehanna River as Point Conquest and from this the name Point Concord was derived. Havre de Grace lighthouse was attended by Mr. John O'Neill, an Irishman, who was given the job by the city in recognition of his heroism in defending Havre de Grace from the British during the War of 1812. The O'Neill descendents attended the light until it was automated in the 1920s. This dedication on the part of the O'Neills is unrivaled in the history of Chesapeake lighthouses. The lighthouse was discontinued by the Coast Guard as an active light 17 November 1975. The property was purchased by The Friends of Concord Point Lighthouse.


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