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Hays-Heighe House


Hays-Heighe House
Phone: 443-412-2539

TUESDAY | 1 — 3 PM
FRIDAY | 10 AM — 12 PM


Picture of a large stone house.

Click HERE or on the picture to learn more about the history of the Hays-Heighe House.


Blending modern with historic, the Hays-Heighe House connects the past to the present, and the future.

Come for an exhibit or an event, stay for the architecture! The rooms encourage more familiarity and intimacy than a lecture hall, and the fine historical structure provides more gravitas than a classroom. Peer up the old staircase, find the half-moon windows, and count the fireplaces. Imagine life a century ago, when the house became headquarters for a thoroughbred horse breeding and training operation, or two centuries ago, when a large family-and the enslaved people they held—lived and worked here. The architecture and the way people lived in it are part of Harford County’s history and culture, and we welcome you to experience it.

We offer a variety of events each semester to complement our current exhibit. Program types often include teas, living history portrayals, book discussions, debates, musical performances. We also hold lectures on a wide range of topics, including art, history, ethics, literature, technology, medicine, the environment, political movements, and journalism. These events are all free, unless otherwise noted.

Click HERE to see all of our upcoming events.

Pre-registration required for all events.
To reserve your seat today, or to be added to our mailing list, call 443-412-2539 or email


Irish flag with people in the background.


ON VIEW Thursday, February 17 | 12:30-3 PM

1922 was a revolutionary year for Irish and Irish-American national identities. It was the culmination of a six-year-long guerilla war to win Irish freedom from British rule and the start of a civil war. It was also the year that Irish writer James Joyce’s controversial masterpiece, Ulysses, turned literary conventions upside down. Both reflected battles being fought worldwide, and both left deep and lasting marks on Irish and Irish-American society.

Thursday, February 17 | 1:00 PM

Presentation by Dr. Andrew Kellett, exhibit curator and Associate Professor of History at Harford Community College

ON VIEW MARCH 3-MAY 29, 2020 | September 8 – December 17, 2021

Take an agro-environmental look at the particulars of our local geology and ecology that have shaped our growth, and how our growth in turn has remade our landscape. To face the coming challenges of climate change, we look back to explore northern Maryland’s history of innovative responses, and forward to the changes we can all make today. Join us for poetry readings, science talks, nature walks, discussions about agricultural and environmental preservation and regional planning, and practical demonstrations of household and community preparation projects. Look forward to a full week of activities surrounding the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Women of the Turf logo


ON VIEW October 4 – December 20, 2019

Our Women of the Turf exhibit pays homage to the many women in Maryland and beyond who have left their marks in a wide variety of equestrian disciplines. Curated by Maryanna Skowronski, director of the Historical Society of Harford County, the exhibit highlights the lives and careers of many prominent and often overlooked horsewomen. It also features an historical overview of women’s participation in equestrian sports. Images by photojournalists Cappy Jackson and Lydia Williams, the 2019 recipients of the Robert & Anne Heighe Award for Excellence in Equestrian Journalism, will be on display in galleries that focus on their lives and work.
ON VIEW February 7 – June 1, 2019

This exhibit was inspired by the campaign for women’s suffrage in the United States, the 100th anniversary of the final pushes in the Senate for the 19th Amendment, and the ratification nationally of women’s right to vote. Alliances formed for and against women’s suffrage reveal important divisions in American society in the first part of the 20th century, with roots before the Civil War, and branches that
continue to this day. Votes for Women explores women’s sphere as it expands to include political office, considers the changing understandings of civic virtue, and reveals difficult choices that political movements must make in pursuit of their goals. Throughout, it highlights topics with a contemporary resonance: women’s position in society, social protest, racial divisions, and political engagement.
Four men sitting in chairs atop a map of the world.


ON VIEW August 23 – December 21, 2018

The “war to end all wars” cast a long shadow across the twentieth century, serving as cause, catalyst, or key moment in all manner of modern messes. This exhibit will take us through the resulting seismic shifts in the global balance of power, including World War II and the Cold War. It will also highlight dislocations of borders and people—for example, in the Middle East and the countries that formerly comprised Yugoslavia—some of which continue to present day. Movements and ideologies in both politics and the arts that grew out of World War I will be explored as well.
Cultures & Disease logo. Yellow circle atop a light green background.


ON VIEW March 1 – June 2, 2018

A century ago, Spanish flu swept across the world and killed 50 million people—more people than the infamous Black Death in the fourteenth century. Epidemic diseases have been with humans about as long as we have had organized societies. Although today we are better armed against them—with vaccines and antibiotics, respirators and IV fluids—our sense of a more interconnected world (the global village) stokes our fears of the next pandemic.

We don’t just die from epidemic diseases; we live with the knowledge of them, we try to prevent them, we care for those who have fallen ill with them, we live through them, and we face the difficult decisions that arise from them. The Hays-Heighe House will explore aspects of that wide-ranging experience both through its exhibit and through related programming.

Logo of The Wider World of Jim McKay


ON VIEW November 10, 2017 – January 30, 2018

This exhibit chronicles sports broadcaster Jim McKay’s life from his Philadelphia childhood through his early journalism career and into his national and international work. It focuses particularly on his reporting on equestrian sports, and will include photos, memorabilia, and personal stories of his life and of his career. McKay hosted ABC’s iconic "Wide World of Sports" and also anchored the international broadcasts of 12 Olympic Games. His dignified coverage of the 1972 Munich Games, which included the massacre of Israeli athletes, was emblematic of his style and professionalism.
ON VIEW September 11 – October 27, 2017

From its beginning as a small night college in the local high school, Harford Community College has grown tremendously. Flip through yearbooks, learn about the theater in the barn, and relive the glory of our champion football team. While much has changed on campus, the students have always been at the center of what we do.
A tank logo featuring men standing up on it.


ON VIEW September 7 – October 27, 2017

Over its 100 years of history, Aberdeen Proving Ground has seen and been part of numerous technological advances. Much technology originally developed for the military eventually finds its way into everyday civilian life. Learn about the surprising origins of a host of innovations, from computers to jeeps.
A picture of Harford County, MD. Atop the county is a tank logo with men walking down it.


ON VIEW February 7 – June 30, 2017

For a full century, Aberdeen Proving Ground has contributed mightily to national defense, testing ordnance and training soldiers in its use, studying chemical weapons and developing protections from them, and much more. It has also contributed mightily to growth and change in Harford County, employing local residents, altering the environment, and stimulating construction of housing, schools, and roads. This exhibit offers a scholarly and humanistic exploration of how APG’s presence has shaped the lives, histories, economy and culture of Harford Countians.
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