Yesterday our neighborhood held a community yard sale during the day, followed by a block party and bonfire in the evening. The yard sale experience, as my wife can attest, resides very, very low on my list of favorite things in which to participate. However, as I sat in the driveway watching a stream of people passing through to see what they could find, I had time to think about a few themes, one of which was the idea of a hometown.
The shopping experience for people at a hometown yard sale is, of course, about as far from the fast-paced world of automated conveyors and e-commerce as one can get. The only conveyor on the premises yesterday was me, conveying our “stuff” to be snatched up by bargain hunters. Sortation technology resided in my wife’s brain. We “cross-docked” every item that sold, and put unsold items back into inventory. Nobody created an account to make a purchase, and cash changed hands without the need for verification. Deliveries were immediate.
The nature of the sale also made me think about Pendant’s own hometown, Havre de Grace. Havre de Grace, a city of just under 14,000 people in northeastern Maryland, in no way resembles a fast-paced modern city where commerce happens at the speed of light. In some ways it’s odd that Pendant, so heavily involved in conveyor automation projects for e-commerce, resides in such a place. But we love it. And here are a few facts about the surprisingly rich history of Havre de Grace that may help you understand why.
Just a Few Things You Probably Don’t Know About Our Hometown
Founded in 1785, Havre de Grace missed becoming the capital of the United States by a single vote in the first Congress in 1789.
The Marquis de Lafayette upon visiting the town likened it to the French port city Le Havre (the Harbor), and so the town took the name Havre de Grace.
Since a Frenchman named the town, you might expect that the name is pronounced the way the French would say it. But Marylanders have a distinctive accent and so you would be wrong. Herein is the preferred pronunciation:
How to pronounce Havre de Grace Can you say Haverty Grace?
Located at the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, Havre de Grace is well-known for its duck hunting history and today houses the Decoy Museum to celebrate the art of carving duck decoys.
The British Army attacked Havre de Grace in May, 2013, during the War of 1812. The British burned the town, but individual acts of heroism prevented total disaster.
The Concord Point Lighthouse, a very brief walk from our offices, was built in 1827 and is the second oldest lighthouse on the Bay.
Havre de Grace has a storied horse-racing history. The track, nicknamed “The Graw”, operated from 1912 through 1950. Multiple Triple Crown winners, including Man ‘o’ War, War Admiral, and Seabiscuit raced at the Graw.
Gangsters frequented Havre de Grace because of the track and the ability to get a drink during Prohibition. The Baltimore Sun wrote that Havre de Grace was known as Little Chicago from the 1920s to the 1940s because of its attraction for gangsters.
Makes You Want to Visit?
We left out a lot of interesting stuff about Havre de Grace. Hopefully we wetted your whistle enough to prompt you to visit. Some of what we shared about Havre de Grace probably surprised you. We think there’s a good chance that Pendant will surprise you just as much.