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Celebrate First Fridays downtown, American Legion post

Edgar Allan PoeMuseumsAmerican LegionWorld War II (1939-1945)Nazi PartyAmerican Cancer SocietyAnglicanism

It's June First Fridays, dear readers,

This evening (Friday) in downtown Havre de Grace, 5 to 9 p.m.

In addition, the Joseph L. Davis, Post 47 American Legion, 501 St. John St. will hold a pavilion party this evening, 5 to 8 p.m., with live music and pit beef, ham and turkey $6; steamed shrimp $12 a pound; boardwalk fries $2 and beverages.

As part of the Havre de Grace Arts Commission's Friday Concerts in the Park tonight at 7:30 p.m., enjoy the 35-piece Chesapeake Brass Band performing at Milliard E. Tydings Park. Bring chairs, blankets and picnics. Free. http://www.chesapeakebrassband.org. Next concert is June 13, the Larry Brown Quintet, jazz.

Stroll the Havre de Grace Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday near the Havre de Grace Visitor Center, 450 Pennington Ave. Sponsored by Havre de Grace Main Street, the market features fresh produce and flowers, potting plants, honey, jams and jellies, fresh meats, baked goods, herbs and handcrafted soaps. For information, contact 410-939-1811 or http://www.mainstreethdg.com.

Upper Chesapeake Residential Hospice hosts a regatta Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m. at the Concord Point Lighthouse. Dance and dine under a giant tent and enjoy a live and silent auction and gaming wheel. For tickets, contact 443-643-3469, dhenzer@uchs.org or http://www.uchs.org.

The American Cancer Society hosts a relay for life June 6-7, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., at Havre de Grace High School. The opening ceremony is at 7 p.m. for this overnight event to raise funds for the society. 410-243-2371 or http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY14SA?pg=entry&fr_id=61491.

The Annual Celtic Festival continues June 7 and 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Steppingstone Farm Museum. Seek Scottish and Irish music, food, dancing, sheepherding, living history, storytelling, shopping and more. Admission charged. 410-939-2299 or 888-419-1762, director@steppingstonemuseum.org or http://www.steppingstonemuseum.org.

Grace Place Serving Center at St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 N. Union Ave. in Havre de Grace, 410-939-2107, will host a free, hot lunch to those in need June 10 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Independence Day T-shirts are available at the Havre de Grace Visitor Center for $8 and $9 to benefit the Havre de Grace Independence Celebration July 5.

Stop by the visitor center for the student quiz of the Lafayette Trail, created by the Havre de Grace Historic Preservation Commission for students in kindergarten through fifth grades and sixth to 12th grades to win an oval sticker "I walked the Lafayette Trail." Lafayette Trail T-shirts are available for $10 at the Spencer-Silver Mansion B&B, 200 S. Union Ave., 410-939-1485. A great family fun project!

Take a guided historical walking tour every first weekend through November, Saturdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. or schedule a tour by appointment. Enjoy a 1 1/2 hour walking tour through tree-lined streets. Tickets are available at http://www.mainstreethdg.com, 410-459-3840, 410-939-0565 or hdgmainstreet@verizon.net.

Today the world celebrates the 70th anniversary (1944) of the Allied D-Day Invasion of Normandy, France, during World War II. In part, this military action led to the eventual defeat of Nazism and fascism in Europe and the end of World War II. Thank a veteran!

A museum expo will be held at Bulle Rock Resident's Club Saturday, June 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Public invited. Thanks Margaret Jones, special events coordinator at the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum, 410-939-3739, information@decoymuseum.com.

Happy birthday greetings to Harford County Executive David Craig (June 12); and Michael Mathias (June 14).

Happy anniversary Jim and Nancy Dryden (June 8).

Here is one to put Havre de Grace on the map! Theatermania at the New York Theatre workshop will perform "Red Eye to Havre de Grace," tickets $60. My Manhattan friend sent me details of this musical by Thaddeus Phillips, Jeremy Wilhelm, Geoff Sobelle, David Wilhelm and Sophie Bortolussi; directed by Thaddeus Phillips, 212-279-4200. Charles Isherwood in the "New York Times" wrote "The last, distraught days of Edgar Allan Poe are charted with spellbinding vitality." Adam Feldman in "Time Out New York" wrote "stylish and imaginative."

Bob Magee clued me about a mysterious connection between Edgar Allan Poe and Havre de Grace just days before Poe's death, Oct. 7, 1849 on a Baltimore street.

There are many theories on the death of the famous Baltimore poet. Most people know he died poor. The death of Virginia Clemm, his wife, by tuberculosis on Jan. 30, 1847 sent him into a period of abject poverty and despondency in abnormal mental condition (probably depression), aggravated by alcoholic excesses.

From R.H. Stoddard's memoir of Poe, "Life of Poe", from the works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: A.C. Armstrong and Sons, 1884, I p. 195; Stoddard states about Poe's whereabouts the day before his death: "It was believed at the time by his relatives in Baltimore that he drank with a friend while waiting between trains, in consequence of which he took a wrong train, and proceeded as far as Havre de Grace, whence he was brought back to Baltimore by the conductor of the Philadelphia train in a state bordering on delirium."

The train Poe incorrectly boarded was the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad out of Pratt Street Station that stopped in Havre de Grace before crossing the Susquehanna via ferryboat; there was no bridge. This ferry docked near the President Hotel on St. Clair Street, now Seneca Cannery Antiques at Pennington Avenue. Thank goodness for the helpful PWB Railroad conductor who redirected Poe back to Baltimore.

So whether Poe died from alcoholism or other diseases, it appears that the famous poet visited, although very briefly, Havre de Grace just prior to his death. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Jan. 19, 1809.

Happy trails to you, too, though not quite like Poe's. Please let me know about your travels and winter adventures at 410-939-6562 or by fax at 410-939-1833. A note or a visit at 226 N. Union Ave. always receives a warm welcome.

See ya!

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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