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Commerce, Industry, Science & Recreation

CommerceIndustryScience

Commerce Most of the early commerce in the County was associated with tobacco; the crop even served as legal tender for debts. This commerce in the colonial period is best represented by the Market Master’s House and the George Washington House, which served as a store, both in Bladensburg. Later commerce is represented by the rural general store, e.g., the Coffren Store in Croom.

IndustryThe earliest industry in the County is represented by water-powered mills such as the Adelphi Mill constructed northwest of Hyattsville for the grinding of grain. Iron was mined in the upper Patuxent region, and in the 1840s, Muirkirk Ironworks was established in the Beltsville area. During the Revolution, munitions and uniforms were manufactured at Stephen West’s Woodyard establishment, represented by the Woodyard Archeological Site. Nineteenth-century industry is exemplified by the blacksmith/wheelwright shop at the Trueman Farm.

Agricultural ScienceEarly examples of agricultural science are represented by Riversdale, the plantation of Charles B. Calvert, founder of County and State agricultural societies and of the Maryland Agricultural College. Local scientific interest in agriculture is also represented by the Rossborough Inn on the campus of the University of Maryland at College Park, a building that served as an agricultural experimentation station during the late-nineteenth century, and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), which has played a substantial role in the agricultural sciences since the 1930s.

RecreationPrince George’s County has been in the forefront of sports and recreation from the early eighteenth cenetury, including horse breeding and racing. Several historic sites illustrate this storied tradition, including Belair Mansion and Belair Stables. Today, Prince George’s County is known for its sports and recreation facilities including FedEx Field, home to the NFL’s Washington Redskins.

Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.


Photos are courtesy of their respective websites.


Adelphi Mill
8402 Riggs Road
Adelphi, MD 20783
301-699-2400
Additional Resource
Built in 1796, the Adelphi Mill is Prince George’s County’s only surviving historic mill. It is the oldest and largest mill in the Washington area. The Scholfield brothers built the mill in 1796, and it was later owned and operated by George Washington Riggs. The two-story, rustic stone building features a pine interior with hardwood floors and is situated in a lovely park setting. Small stone storehouse built into slope on nopposite side of road. Brothers Scholfield built mill on Adelphi tract, later owned and operated by George Washington Riggs, founder of Riggs banking house, now owned by M-NCPPC.


Belair Stable Museum
2835 Belair Drive
Bowie MD 20715
301-809-3088
Additional Resource
Owned and operated by William Woodward, Belair Stable was part of the famous “Belair Stud,” one of the premier racing stables in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Belair Stable was home to Gallant Fox and Omaha, father-and-son horses that won the Triple Crown; to Nashua, who was “Horse of the Year” in 1955; and to many other well-known racehorses. Until its closing in 1957, Belair, whose history extends over 250 years, was the oldest continually operated racehorse farm in the United States. Today, the stable has been restored and opened as a museum. Like the Belair Mansion, the stable is supported by the City of Bowie and the Friends of Belair Estate.


Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) National Visitors CenterBeltsville Research Center
Powder Mill Road
Beltsville MD 20705
301-504-9403
Additional Resource
The Henry A. Wallace Agricultural Research Center at Beltsville is the largest research center operated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Visitors can peer into the future of food and farm sciences in plant breeding, animal and human nutrition, products, and inventions of agricultural science.


Chew’s Bridge
6900 Van Wagner Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
1898, 90-foot-long wood and iron bridge supported by upright posts constructed of iron Phoenix sections. Built to span the tracks of the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad, and connect two parts of Judge Chew’s Ellerslie farm; only known bridge surviving from the early years of this railroad line; owned by Consolidated Rail Corporation.


College Park Aviation Museumaviation museum
1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive
College Park MD 20740
301-864-6029
Additional Resource
The College Park Aviation Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is located on the grounds of the world’s oldest continuously operating airport. The airport, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was founded in 1909 when Wilbur Wright came here to give flight instruction to the first military aviators. Visitors to the museum step into an open one-and-a-half-story exhibit space, which highlights the display of unique aircraft and artifacts and tells the story of the airport’s many aviation firsts. The museum gallery contains historic and reproduction aircraft associated with the history of the airfield, as well as hands-on activities and interpretive areas for children of all ages. Changing exhibits and new programs every month keep visitors coming back for more.


Darnall’s Chance House MuseumDarnalls Chance
14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro MD 20722
301-952-8010
Additional Resource
Darnall’s Chance was built in 1742 by James Wardrop, a Scottish immigrant who amassed a fortune as a merchant and entrepreneur in the bustling port town of Upper Marlboro. In 1745, he married Lettice Lee, daughter of Phillilp Lee, ancestor of the Maryland branch of the illustrious Lee family of Virginia.


Duvall Tobacco Barns
North of Marlton Avenue within Rosaryville State Park
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
301-856-9656
Additional Resource
Late 19th, early 20th century; the Duvall Barn Complex consists of two barns, a silo, two hay pens, and a shed. The barns were constructed for George T. Duvall; the property on which the barns are located was later deeded to the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources for the creation of Rosaryville State Park; the barns exhibit different types of traditional agricultural forms and materials and are excellent examples of Late 19th and early 20th century agricultural structures.


George Washington HouseGeorge Washington House
4302 Baltimore Ave
Bladensburg MD 20710
301-699-6204
Additional Resource
c. 1760, 2 1/2 story side-gabled brick structure with two-story porch, and rear wing of frame construction. Built originally as a store, part of commercial complex including tavern and blacksmith shop; served as tavern from mid-19th to mid-20th century. This old building, dating back to 1732, was once an inn along a major north-south route in the town of Bladensburg, Maryland. It was reported to be a stopover for George Washington when travelling between his Mount Vernon home and Philadelphia or New York.


Harmony Hall
13551 Fort Washington Road
Fort Washington MD 20744
301-763-4600
Additional Resource
A two-and-one-half story eighteenth century Georgian country house of red brick set in Flemish bond. Sixty five acres of wooded areas surround the house. Broad Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River, is part of Harmony Hall’s vast and varied agricultural, cultural and natural histories.


Laurel Historical Society and Museumlauel historical society
817 Main Street
Laurel MD 20707
301-725-7975
Additional Resource
Discover the rich history of Laurel, Maryland, an historic town located on the Patuxent River half way between Baltimore and Washington. Learn about its mill town roots, railroad connections, African-American community, and early suburban experiences.


Marlboro Hunt ClubMarlboro Hunt Club
5902 Green Landing Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
410-268-6969
Additional Resource
c. 1855, 1880 and 1920s, two-story board-and-batten structure expanded from original central three-bay section to nine bays in length; 19th-century French hunt-scene wallpaper. Originally a small domestic structure at mid-19th century steamboat landing on Patuxent River; became hunt club in 1880s, visited by Theodore Roosevelt and other prominent gentlemen hunters”.


Montpelier Arts Center
9652 Muirkirk Road
Laurel MD 20708
301-377-7800
Additional Resource
Montpelier Arts Center is a dynamic, multifaceted arts destination located on the grounds of historic Montpelier Mansion in northern Prince George’s County. The Montpelier Arts Center enriches the communities of central Maryland by providing quality visual, literary, and performing arts programs.


Montpelier Mansion & CemeteryMontpelier Mansion
9650 Muirkirk Road
Laurel MD 20708
301-377-7817
Additional Resource
A fine example of the Georgian architecture popular in Maryland in the late 1700s, Montpelier Mansion sits on approximately 70 acres of beautiful parkland. Architectural and building construction details, as well as historical research, suggest that the house was constructed between 1781 and 1785. Major Thomas Snowden and his wife, Anne, original owners of Montpelier Mansion, welcomed many distinguished guests into their home, including George Washington and Abigail Adams.


Mount WelbyMount Welby
6411 Oxon Hill Road
Oxon Hill MD 20745
301-839-1176
Additional Resource
c. 1800, two-story brick house of Georgian plan with shed roof and corbelled cornice, rebuilt from gable roof; historic outbuildings include brick stable and other farm buildings. Prominently located above the Potomac River on the grounds of Oxon Cove Park (NPS); since 1891, part of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital farm.


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Goddard Visitor Center ICES Drive
Greenbelt MD 20771
301-286-2000
Additional Resource
The hub of all NASA tracking activities, Goddard is also responsible for the development of unmanned sounding rockets and research in space and earth sciences (including NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth). Through interactive educational exhibits, visitors explore Goddard Space Flight Center with a focus on 1958 to the present. Collections include space-flight artifacts and photographs. Model-rocket launchings, a gift shop, and special group tours are available.


National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville MD 20705
301-504-5755
Additional Resource
Established in 1862 under legislation signed by President Lincoln, the National Agricultural Library, along with the Library of Congress and the National Library of Medicine, is one of the three national libraries of the United States. It is the largest agricultural library in the world, with over 2.3 million volumes on 48 miles of shelves located on 14 floors.


National Archives at College Parknational archives college park maryland
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park MD 20740
301-837-2000
Additional Resource
The National Archives at College Park is best known as the current home of the Richard Nixon/Watergate tapes. This state-of-the-art archival facility houses an extensive collection of important and historic documents, tapes, and film.


National Capital Radio and Television Museumradio and television museum
2608 Mitchellville Road
Bowie MD 20715
301-390-1020
Additional Resource
Explore radio from Marconi’s earliest wireless telegraph to the primitive crystal sets of the 1920s, from Depression-era cathedrals and post-War plastic portables to the development of radio with pictures (a.k.a. television). The museum is located in the 1906 Harmel House, an old storekeeper’s residence in the village of Mitchellville, a section of modern south Bowie. In conjunction with the City of Bowie, the Radio History Society presents the history of broadcasting, a medium which so dramatically shaped our lives from the 1920s to today.


National Colonial FarmNational Colonial Farm
3400 Bryan Point Road
Accokeek MD 20607
301-283-2113
Additional Resource
The National Colonial Farm, an outdoor living history museum, was established by the Accokeek Foundation in 1958. The farm depicts life for an ordinary tobacco planting family in Prince George’s County in the 1770s.


National Wildlife Visitor Centernational wildlife visitors center
10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop
Laurel MD 20708
301-497-5580
Additional Resource
The center is located at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s 12,000-acre Patuxent Research Refuge, established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. Explore wildlife and the environment in a Smithsonian-quality experience featuring interactive exhibits. The focus is on global environmental issues, migratory bird studies, habitats, endangered species, and life cycles. Magnificent walking trails are also available. But for those who would rather sit, enjoy the view from the tram tours.


Newton White Mansion, Farm & Cemeterynewton white mansion exterior
Newton White Mansion, Farm & Cemetery
2708 Enterprise Road
Mitchellville MD 20721
301-249-2004
Additional Resource
In 1939, Captain and Mrs. Newton H. White purchased land in Prince George’s County with the intention of creating a model dairy farm. The farm proved to be very lucrative and the couple commissioned architect W.E. Bottomly to build a mansion on the property. He named the two-story brick Neo-Georgian style home and the surrounding 586 acre tract Enterprise Estate, after the U.S.S. Enterprise, the ship he commanded prior to World War II. It included, model dairy farm buildings and cemetery; the land, known as Warington, was owned for over a century by the Waring family, six of whose members are buried in a small fenced plot near the present mansion. Today the mansion is surrounded by Enterprise Golf Course and consists of six large rooms, a contemporary glass-enclosed atrium, two upstairs dressing rooms, and an outdoor brick patio with a central waterfall fountain.


North Brentwood
5008 Queensbury Road
North Brentwood MD 20722
301-699-9699
Additional Resource
North Brentwood was the first African-American incorporated Town in the Prince George’s County. It is situated six miles northeast of the ellipse between Mt. Rainier and Hyattsville, Maryland. North Brentwood was originally part of the “Castle Tract”, later known as the “Highlands”. In 1887 Captain Wallace Bartlett formed Holladay Land and Improvement Division. He sold plots of land in the low area, subject to flooding, to African-Americans. He dedicated this land in memory of the black regiment which served under him in the civil war. Land was designated for churches and a school.


Northampton Plantation Slave Quarters & Archaeological ParkNorthampton
Lake Overlook Drive
Bowie MD 20721
301-627-1286
Additional Resource
Historians and archaeologists are working together to reconstruct the lives of the many slaves and tenant farmers who lived at Northampton Plantation. This historic site features reconstructed foundations of two slave quarteres from the former Northampton Plantation (1673-1860). Archaeological excavations have recovered artifacts and information about the lives of African American slaves and tenant farmers who lived there from the late 18th through the mid-20th century. Interpretive signage describes the site’s hisotry and ongoing research.


Nottingham Myers Church & Cemetery
15601 Brooks Church Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
1939, 1983, vernacular wood frame and wood clapboard sided church; connecting wing and hyphen constructed in 1983. Focal point for the black population in the Croom-Nottingham region; strong historical connections to the Mansfield plantation and to the work of the Freedmen’s Bureau.


Old Town College Park Historic District
College Park, MD 20740
Additional Resource
The Old Town College Park Historic District extends from the dates 1889 to 196 5 and is a representative example of the many residential subdivisions that emerged as the suburbs of Washington, D.C., expanded with the advent of the streetcar and automobile at the end of the nineteenth century and in the early- to mid-twentieth century.


Patuxent Rural Life Museums at Patuxent River Park
1600 Croom Airport Roadpatuxent rural life museum interior
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
301-627-6074
Additional Resource
The Patuxent Rural Life Museums, located within the 7,000-acre Patuxent River Park, are a collection of museums and farm buildings dedicated to preserving the heritage of southern Prince George’s County. There are seven buildings at the site: the Duvall Tool Museum, the Blacksmith Shop, the Farrier and Tack Shop, a Tobacco Farming Museum, and the 1880 Duckett Log Cabin with its privy, chicken coop, and meat house.


Piscataway Parkpiscatawaypark
3400 Bryan Point Road
Accokeek MD 20607
301-283-2113
Additional Resource
The view from Mount Vernon will continue to be protected thanks to the Accokeek Foundation’s efforts to develop a public-private partnership to create Piscataway Park. Piscataway Park, part of the National Park Service, was established in 1961 as a pilot project in the use of easements to protect park lands from obtrusive urban expansion. Today, Piscataway Park covers approximately 5,000 acres and stretches for six miles from Piscataway Creek to Marshall Hall on the Potomac River.


Piscataway Park Archeological Site
3400 block Bryan Point Road
Accokeek MD 20607
301-283-2113
Additional Resource
Prehistoric to present, the site lies within 4,000 acres of parkland in both Prince George’s and Charles Counties, including Accokeek Creek Site and National Colonial Farm. Principally significant for its role in maintaining the historic vista across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon.


Piscataway Tavern
2204 Floral Park Road
Clinton MD 20735
c. 1750; 2 1/2 story gable-roof frame house, attached to older 1 1/2 story section. Operated as tavern and store by Thomas Clagett; important element in 18th-century town of Piscataway.


Poplar Hill on His Lordship’s KindnessPoplar Hill
7606 Woodyard Road
Clinton MD 20735
301-856-0358
Additional Resource
1784-1787, five-part brick Georgian mansion (Flemish bond) with 2 1/2 story hip-roof central block, hyphens and wings, and elegant decorative detail; rare surviving group of historic outbuildings includes smokehouse, wash house, privy, slave hospital and pigeon cote. Home of Darnall, Sewall and Daingerfield families; outstanding example of elegant and carefully detailed Georgian plantation house. Poplar Hill on His Lordship’s Kindness as an institution within a community that reflects the human spirit and the history of nation within the telling of stories about families, both black and white, from the late 17th century through the time of 20th century. Poplar Hill is currently closed.


Prince George’s Bank, Hyattsville
5214 Baltimore Avenue
Hyattsville MD 20781
1926, 1948-49 Neoclassical brick and limestone bank. One of the bank’s directors, T. Howard Duckett, a local attorney and businessman, helped form the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission in 1918 and The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in 1927.


Ridgeley Rosenwald School
8507 Central Avenue
Capitol Heights MD 20743
1927, vernacular wood frame shingled school building with hipped roof. Built in 1927 as part of the Rosenwald program, later used as a special center and since 1960 served as the bus management office for Prince George’s County Public schools. Most intact of the 9 remaining of the original 23 Rosenwald Schools in the County.


Riversdale House Museum
4811 Riverdale Road
Riverdale MD 20737
301-864-0420
Additional Resource
Riversdale, a National Historic Landmark, is a restored, five-part, stucco-covered brick plantation home built between 1801 and 1807. 2-story hip-roof stuccoed brick, late Georgian mansion, with flanking hyphens and wings, and fine interior plaster detail; stuccoed brick servants’ quarter on immediate grounds, unique mansion patterned after Belgian chateau. Built for Henri Joseph Stier, finished by his daughter Rosalie and her husband George Calvert; home of Stiers and Calverts, including agriculturist Charles Benedict Calvert, founder of Maryland Agricultural College (University of Maryland).


roosevelt-center-thtrRoosevelt Center
131 Centerway
Greenbelt, MD 20770
301-982-0044
www.greenbeltmuseum.org
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenbelt_Historic_District
Roosevelt Center, which opened in 1937, is one of the first planned shopping areas in the country.  During the New Deal Era, it was built as the centerpiece of Greenbelt, one of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Resettlement Administration’s three “greentowns” (the others Greenhills, Ohio and Greendale, Wisconsin).  A precursor to the modern shopping mall, the planners of the City of Greenbelt positioned the center to be within easy and safe walking distance from all the town’s inhabitants.  It served as a major community/commercial hub and Greenbelt residents cooperatively owned all of the center’s commercial businesses. This included a grocery store, variety store, gas station, drug store, tobacco shop,  barber shop, beauty shop, movie theater, and valet shop.  The center continues to flourish and support the residents of Greenbelt.  And, several of the cooperative businesses remain operational including the grocery store and New Deal Cafe.  The elegant Old Greenbelt Theatre re-opened in 2015.  The City of Greenbelt name the center after Roosevelt in 1982, in commemoration of his 100th birthday and the key role he played in the founding of Greenbelt.


Site of Columbia Air CenterSite of Columbia Air Center
Croom Airport Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
301-627-6074
Additional Resource
In 1941, aviation history was made when the first black owned and operated airfield in the state of Maryland was licensed on the site at the end of Croom Airport Road. John W. Greene Jr., a pioneer in black aviation, was instrumental in developing the airfield in the state of Maryland which was originally called Riverside Field. It was occupied by the U.S. Navy during World War II and used for training missions. After the war, Greene reopened the airfield as Columbia Air Center. It offered a flying school, charter services, and facilities for major and minor repairs. The first black Civil Air Patrol squadron in the Washington, D.C. area, called the Columbia Squadron, was formed here. The site is located within Patuxent River Park which is owned anad operated by The Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission. This site is currently used for agricultural purposes and none of the buildings or runways that once stood on the site are extant; interpretive signage tells the story of the historic airport and provides a map of the airfield when it was in use.


Snowden HallSnowden Hall
Building 16, Laurel Bowie Road
Laurel MD 20708
1-888-275-8747
Additional Resource
1820s, 1850s, 1936, side-gabled Georgian-plan brick house raised in mid-19th century to full two stories; flanking 20th-century wings added and building
renovated in 1936 to become headquarters of Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Significant as one of the principal homes in Prince George’s County of the prominent Snowden family; last of the neighboring Snowden estates to pass out of Snowden family ownership.


Surratt House MuseumSurratt House
9110 Brandywine Road
Clinton MD 20735
301-868-1121
Additional Resource
Experience history like never before! This historic house museum, built in 1852 as a middle-class farmhouse for the family of John and Mary Surratt, also served as a tavern and hostelry, a Post Office, and a polling place before the Civil War. During the war, it became a safe house in the Confederate underground that flourished in southern Maryland. In 1864, the Surratt family became entangled in a plot by John Wilkes Booth to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln. Instead, Booth assassinated the president in 1865. While fleeing the area, he stopped at the tavern to retrieve weapons and supplies he had hidden there. Consequently, Mary Surratt was tried in military court and convicted of conspiracy. On July 7, 1865, she became the first woman executed by the federal government.


Trinity Episcopal Church RectoryTrinity Episcopal Church Rectory
6112 Ivyridge Court
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Additional Resource
c. 1865, c. 1901, 3 part vernacular frame house includes side porch addition and large rear wing forming a T. Land purchased from Dr. Frederick Sasscer in 1865; served as rectory until 1892, then sold to James I. Coffren who added rear wing; purchased by Anthony Wyvill, whose family lived there until 1992.


Trueman Point Landing
18610 Trueman Point Road
Aquasco MD 20608
Additional Resource
1817 1932, Steamboat landing 1860 1930; remains of pilings still visible; warehouse no longer survives. Served as river port for Woodville (Aquasco) farmers throughout 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries; bought in 1817 by Captain George Weems who established riverboat landing.


Washington, Baltimore & Annapolis Recreational TrailB&A Trail
Route 450 in Glenn Dale
Glenn Dale & Bowie MD 20769
301-699-2255
Additional Resource
The Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail runs along the site of the former Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad. From 1908 through 1935, state-of-the-art electric commuter trains ran along this route through Bowie and Glenn Dale, carrying passengers between Washington, DC, and Baltimore.


West Riverdale
Riverdale 20737
On December 23, 2002, the Town of Riverdale Park was granted two National Register Historic Districts-Riverdale Park (west of Taylor Road and north to Tuckerman Street on both sides of the B&O Railroad tracks) and West Riverdale (west of Route 1 to the Hyattsville border). The two districts were necessary because a historic connection could not be made between the two areas across Route 1.


Wilmer’s Park
15710 Brandywine Road
Brandywine MD 20613
301-751-5074
Additional Resource
1947-1970; 80-acre parcel containing the ruins of a dance hall, motel, ranch house, covered stage, baseball and football fields. As a major stop on the Chitlin Circuit, Wilmer’s Park opened its doors to African-American musicians, entertainers, athletes and fans from the early 1950s through the late 1960s; Arthur Wilmer used his experience and connections developed as the owner of a night club in Washington, D. C. to bring both popular acts and up-and-coming performers to rural Prince George’s County; the bandstand at Wilmer’s Park showcased everyone from Duke Ellington and Otis Redding to the Temptations, Patti La Belle, and a young Stevie Wonder; the former tobacco farm played an important role in exposing emerging musicians to local African Americans during a time of segregation.


Wilson Station Radio Tower
6900 Block of Old Landover Road
Cheverly MD 20785
Early 20th Century Railroad tower on the Washington spur line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Only remaining tower on line; built in same general location as Wilson Station, from which the National Equal Rights party marched in September 1884 when they nominated Belva Lockwood to be President of the United States.


Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.