Harford County Historical Society

143 N Main Street, Bel Air, MD 21014
(410) 838-7691 E-Mail Visit Website

The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc., established at the County Courthouse in 1885, is the oldest county historical society in Maryland. Initially, the Society focused on quarterly meetings where members and others presented historical papers they had written and accepted items of historical importance for a growing archive. One of the more interesting items donated in 1886 was a cannon ball alleged to have been fired by the British on Havre de Grace in 1813. In 1995, the cannon ball, used as a door stop at the Society, was found to “be alive”. The Society had it detonated at APG and now stores some of the remaining pieces. Over time, the Society expanded its role, developing a quarterly bulletin, preserving and cataloging County Court Records dating back to the 17th century, establishing a Research Library which includes vast genealogy resources and expanding its archival collection which now includes more than 50,000 photographs as well as paper records, textiles, artifacts and artwork detailing the story of Harford County. These ambitious efforts made finding a permanent location essential. After many years in numerous temporary sites, in 1994, Harford County transferred the old Bel Air Post Office to the Society. This historic building now houses all of the departments that make up the Society – Archives, Artifacts, Art, Textiles, Court Records, Research Library, Genealogy, Exhibits, Gift Shop and special events. Visitors are encouraged to stop by and savor the county’s rich past.