For 100 years, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) has been a major economic and social force in Harford County. A new exhibit, APG as Catalyst: Harford County’s Changing Landscape, opens on Tuesday, February 7 from 1 to 7 PM in the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College. The exhibit adds to centennial commemorations a scholarly, balanced and humanistic exploration of how APG’s presence has shaped the lives, histories, economy and culture of Harford Countians.

In conjunction with the exhibition opening, Jeff Smart, Command Historian RDECOM, will present “APG: Historical Highlights” at the Hays-Heighe House on February 7 at 2 PM and again at 5 PM. There is no admission fee for the presentation; however, seating is limited. To reserve a seat, call 443-412-2539 or email (and specific time).

Aberdeen Proving Ground was established in Harford County in 1917, just after the United States entered World War I, and is the oldest proving ground still in operation. The military originally used the northeastern end near Aberdeen for testing ordnance, and produced chemical weapons at Edgewood Arsenal on Gunpowder Neck. Over time the work has expanded to research, testing, and evaluation of all sorts of war materiel, and into chemical and biological defense.

Located along the coastline, the proving ground separates most of Harford County from the Chesapeake Bay. While it may have hastened the demise of the local canning industry, from its very founding in 1917 and for its 100 years of history, APG has been a major economic engine for the region. As well as employing more than 21,000 civilians, military personnel, and private contractors, APG has stimulated construction of housing, schools, and roads, and generated demand for local services.

Developed by the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College, the APG as Catalyst exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of APG. Join us in honoring the commitment of the military installations and defense contractors at APG to defending our nation.

This winter and spring, Hays-Heighe House has planned several other events around the APG theme including a living history presentation featuring “Rosie the Riveter” (interpreted by Mary Ann Jung), community discussions, a military tea, a panel presentation, a slide presentation on “The Habitat History of Aberdeen Proving Ground,” and lectures on such topics as “Eminent Domain,” “Stress on the Home Front: Life of a Military Family,” “Casus Belli: The United States Enters World War I,” “The Domestic Architecture of Aberdeen’s Canning Dynasties,” “A Natural Habitat Managed Well: APG & the Environment,” “Chemical Weapons in World War I and Beyond,” and “Gun Clubs and Waterfowling in the Upper Chesapeake Region.”

Visit Hays Heighe House events webpage for dates and times for all events.