Contact Julie Ruhnke, Main Street Manager, Havre de Grace Alliance
    Telephone (732) 861-4681 or by emailing her at:

    Email coordinator@havredegracealliance.org
    Facebook Havre de Grace Alliance or Main Street: Havre de Grace

    October 14, 2020


    A tradition for many years, the Lafayette Trail is a self-guided walking tour through beautiful downtown Havre de Grace. Until now, following a map and brochure was the only way to enjoy this historic tour. Enter the DISTRX mobile app!  Now you can enjoy the tour through your mobile phone with the voices and pictures of the past.

    While the original tour with 57 building descriptions is still available in text, a new expanded version can now be accessed with your phone through the mobile app “DISTRX.” Once DISTRX is downloaded, you can enjoy the tour as told through the voices of past Havre de Grace citizens. This new audio component introduces characters such as the lock tender and John O’Neill, among others, as they tell their stories.  Historical pictures are included to provide illustrations. Together they tell stories occurring between 1800 to 1950 and cover the city from the Lock House at the north end to the Lighthouse at the south end of the city.

    “We have strived to make the trail, its sites, and its history as ‘tourist-friendly’ as possible.  The mobile app now makes meandering the Lafayette Trail a most enjoyable learning experience for the HdG visitor, resident, and student,” says Ron Browning, President of the HdG Historic Preservation Commission.

    The voices representing the historical figures were meticulously chosen. The general narrator of the trail and voice for many of the stops is Madelyn Shank, who was instrumental in creating a historical trail in 1988.  Mrs. Shank is voiced by her granddaughter, Michi Shank, who said she was able to “channel” her grandmother as she read the stories.  Ms. Shank stated that her grandmother would have been proud of the mobile app.   Other personalities chosen to reflect specific times in our history include Tyler Daniel, radio DJ at WXCY, who voices John O’Neill, the Defender of HdG in the War of 1812;  Steve Gamatoria, Chief of Staff for the City of Havre de Grace voices the lock tender of the Susquehanna and Tidewater canal; Bill Price, Chair of the Arts Collective, voices Steve Seneca, who with his peers built many of HdG’s beautiful Victorian Mansions; and local author Bob Lackey voices Senator Tydings discussing the early 20th century. A key part of our history, decoy carving, is discussed by Pat Vincenti, Harford County Council President, with his memory of the acclaimed carver Madison Mitchell.  This is among other voices and stories.

    The Tour is available by downloading the DISTRX app on iPhone and Android phones.  Instructions on downloading the app and taking the tour are available at the Havre de Grace Visitor Center and many of the downtown businesses.  The trail route is marked with new Lafayette Trail signs at each of the stops.

    The DISTRX Lafayette Trail Mobile App was developed by the HdG Alliance, a Main Street organization dedicated to improving the vitality of the city.  The Alliance worked in partnership with the Historic Preservation Commission, manager of the trail, and the City administration for installation.  The effort was partially funded through a grant provided by the MD Historical Trust and the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway.