The Lock House Museum in Havre de Grace opened for the season this afternoon with several informative new exhibits. One, a working model of the lock and surrounding area as it appeared in 1840, drew clusters of curious visitors all afternoon as Joe, one of the volunteers, capably demonstrated operations at the lower end of the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal. The working display, with water flowing, gates opening and closing, and barges passing from the lock into the Chesapeake Bay clearly showed the process of locking through the canal gates. The replica was built by artisan craftsman Dave Wood at his Perryville shop. It was designed to be as historically accurate as possible using the museum’s documents, photographs and a set of restoration blueprints drawn up in the 1980s.
There are also new exhibits One tells the story of the racetrack era in Havre de Grace, while the other illustrates the story of the War of 1812 in the town. These are professionally designed exhibits and do a fine job of visually depicting the story of these aspects of the community’s past.
In recent years, the Lock House Museum has undertaken some ambitious goals from improving fundraising efforts to upgrading exhibits and improving the building and grounds. The institutions success with these significant challenges is obvious when visiting the site. The Harford County Historic Preservation Commission also took note of the accomplishments when they awarded the keeper of the town’s heritage the commission’s preservation project award for 2011. The institution is to be congratulated on the creating these engaging new exhibits, the success with their broader organizational goals, and on having a fine opening day. Be sure to check it out this season and also enjoy the grounds with the excellent view of the waterfront at the mouth of the Susquehanna River. Here’s the link to the homepage, which contains the operating schedule.