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  • During the Revolutionary War the small hamlet known as Harmer's Town was visited several times by General Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La FayetteLafayette, who commented that the area reminded him of the French seaport "Le Havre." His comment was the source of the name "Havre de Grace," meaning Harbor of Grace, which became incorporated as a town in 1785. On May 13, 1814, during the War of 1812, Havre de Grace was under siege by the British, after they had burned Washington and been held at bay by the defenders of Baltimore in the siege of Fort McHenry and the Battle of North Point. Lieutenant John O'Neill single-handedly defended the city of Havre de Grace by firing a cannon at the British fleet as they approached on the Susquehanna River. He was wounded, captured by the British, and eventually released. The city of Havre de Grace was sacked and burned, with only two houses and a church spared destruction. Havre de Grace was rebuilt, and in 1878 the town became a city with the establishment of its own government. Around that time, Havre de Grace had a number of citizens who honorably participated in the activities of the Underground Railroad in the forwarding of former slaves to safe haven. The early industry of Havre de Grace included oyster and crab harvesting and fruit orchards. It was also the southern terminus for the Proprietors of the Susquehanna Canal and later the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal which carried freight up the Susquehanna River to destinations inland. The Lock Keepers house and remnants of the canal exist today as a museum. Havre de Grace was also known for duck hunting and its hotels were full of hunters who used local guides to escort them on hunting trips. A strong cottage industry of decoy making soon sprung up. Havre de Grace was known as '"The Graw'" from 1912 thru the 1950s, and prospered as a stop off for travelers. These included gangsters and gamblers en route to New York City from the south following the pony routes. Havre de Grace had a horse track into the late 50s. Alphonse Capone was reported to have spent some time at the former "Crazey Swede" (now known as "Kens Rib and Steak House"). Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Havre_de_Grace%2C_Maryland

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