One of the really cool things about living in this area is all of the history!
Pick your era – Colonial era and Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Civil War – the Chesapeake Bay has been significant in all of these.
Since moving in, Bob and I have learned alot about the War of 1812 - and our country is getting ready to celebrate this war's Bicentennial! True, War of 1812 is not as dramatic or bloody as some of our other notorious wars, but this one was central to establishing the United States’ economic independence and military strength.
All of the sites mentioned below are a short drive from the INN.
The Chesapeake Bay region was significant in American History in the early 1800’s due to it’s location on the eastern seaboard, and it’s network of navigable waterways, natural resources and fertile agriculture, and the region served as a hub for trade, industry and government. During the War of 1812, towns along the Upper Eastern Shore endured British attacks in 1813 and again in 1814. British marines in 1813 landed at the twin towns of Fredericktown and Georgetown on opposite sides of the Sassafras River, about 10 miles south of Inn at the Canal. This was an important port that connected to overland routes to Philadelphia and New York, frequented by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Colonel Thomas Ward Veazey, later on to become a Governor of Maryland, erected a fort, “Fort Duffy” at Fredericktown and attempted to repulse the British. The British, however, did land and started burning the town. In one brick building was a sick old woman. Kitty Knight, a local War of 1812 heroine, a beautiful and wealthy young woman who lived in Georgetown, came to the old woman’s defense, standing up to the British and pleading to spare the women’s home and her life. The British turned away, leaving the brick house to stand where it can still be seen today and is known as the Kitty Knight House. Kitty is buried at St. Francis Xavier Shrine, a church founded in 1704 in “Old Bohemia” that can be visited daily, and still has occasional church services throughout the year.
After burning Georgetown and Fredericktown, the British went on to sack Frenchtown, a key Chesapeake Bay port located on the Elk River 10 miles north of Inn at the Canal, a point where cargo would be delivered to be carried across the narrow Delmarva Peninsula to Philadelphia or New Castle, in the years before the Chesapeake and Delaware canal was built. After Frenchtown, the British sacked Elkton which was another busy crossroads town, and then went on to attack Havre de Grace, a port on the western side of the Susquehanna River, named that by the Marquis de Lafayette, as the area reminded him of the French seaport of Le Havre. Lieutenant John O'Neill single-handedly manned a cannon to help defend the town. He was wounded, captured by the British, and soon released. In gratitude, Havre de Grace made O'Neill and his descendants the hereditary keepers of the Concord Point lighthouse marking the mouth of the Susquehanna River. Concord Point Lighthouse is one of the oldest continuously operated lighthouses on the East Coast.
It was in the second year of The Chesapeake Campaign in 1814 that British forces made their assault on Washington, D.C., burning the White House, the Capitol and other public buildings and military targets there. Later in 1814, it was during the Battle of Baltimore that Francis Scott Key witnessed Fort McHenry’s defenders resisting the British bombardment, and prompted Scott Key’s spontaneous lyrics that eventually became our national anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. More information on Maryland’s historic sites can be found at http://starspangled200.org/Pages/Home.aspx