18th Century & Antebellum Period

18thCenturyEarly Towns Charles Town on the Patuxent was first established in 1683 and became the seat of government when Prince George’s County was established in 1696. Five more port towns (Marlborough, Queen Anne, Mill Town, Nottingham and Aire) were established in 1706, and Piscataway in 1707. Although little remains from the original settlements of these seven port towns, a number of older structures and sites of structures represent them: Piscataway Tavern, Darnall’s Chance in Upper Marlboro, Mount Calvert at the site of Charles Town, and Harmony Hall at the site of Aire.

Agricultural HeritageFrom the period of the establishment of Prince George’s County until well into the twentieth century, agriculture was the basis of the county’s economy and directly or indirectly provided the livelihood of its residents. Tobacco was the principal crop and created wealth for the leading families of the county. The tobacco heritage is exemplified by the barns of early plantations like Concord, Wyoming, and The Cottage. Other agricultural efforts are represented by Seton Belt Barn, the Ashland Hay Barn and the stable at Villa de Sales.

Earliest Plantation EstablishmentsEarliest settlements were along the waterways, near the seven early port towns, and near the parish churches. Large tracts of land were developed into plantations; some surviving plantation houses from this early period are Mount Airy and Harmony Hall.

Colonial ChurchesWhen Prince George’s County was established in 1696, two parishes of the Church of England were already in existence: St. Paul’s Parish on the Patuxent River, and Piscataway Parish on the Potomac. Early churches survive in both of the original parishes: St. Paul’s at Baden and St. John’s at Broad Creek. One Roman Catholic Church survives from the Colonial period: Sacred Heart Church at White Marsh.

Later ChurchesAs the population of the County increased, the Church of England parishes were divided and more places of worship were built. Public places of worship were built for Roman Catholics after 1776, and the nineteenth century saw the rise of the Methodist Episcopal Church. There are fine examples of these nineteenth century churches across the County. New churches were built in the early-twentieth century, often to replace older churches on the same site.

Ecclesiastic Architectural Styles Although none of the earliest churches and chapels, which were most commonly of frame construction, have survived, there are notable examples of a range of architectural styles used for religious buildings throughout the County.

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

Photos are courtesy of their respective websites.

Addison Chapel & CemeteryAddison Chapel
5610 Addison Road
Seat Pleasant, MD 20743
Additional Resource
1810 and 1905, simple rectangular gable-roof brick chapel with Stick-style gable decoration. Built as upper chapel of St. John’s, Broad Creek, replacing earlier frame structure; many prominent individuals from the Bladensburg area are buried in the cemetery.

Adelphi Mill
8402 Riggs Road
Adelphi, MD 20783
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.

Bellefields and Cemetery
13104 Duley Station Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
1720s, 20th-century wings two-story brick Georgian plantation house (Flemish bond) with exterior chimneys and flanking wings. Home of Sim family, including Colonel Joseph Sim, Revolutionary leader; from this site, American leaders observed the approach of British troops in August 1814.

Belair Mansion & Cemetery
12207 Tulip Grove Drive
Bowie MD 20715
Additional Resource
This magnificent structure represents the history of Bowie circa 1745. The beautiful five-part Georgian plantation house was once the home of Samuel Ogle, provincial governor of Maryland. Enlarged in 1914 by the New York architectural firm of Delano and Aldrich, the mansion was also the home of William Woodward, a famous horseman in the first half of the 20th century. Restored to reflect its 250-year-old legacy, the mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

3901 48th Street
Bladensburg MD 20710
Additional Resource
Built in 1746 Bostwick is a 2-1/2-story, Georgian brick house, with a flared gable roof and bracketed cornice, a high buttress at the south gable end, and a kitchen wing to the north. It was built for Christopher Lowndes, merchant and Town Commissioner, and was later the home of Lowndes’ son-in-law, Benjamin Stoddert, first Secretary of the Navy. Probably the earliest surviving building in Bladensburg, Bostwick stands high on a terraced lawn, and is a prominent landmark in the town.

Broad Creek Historic District
Livingston Road between Oxon Hill Road and Fort Washington Road
Fort Washington MD 20744
Broad Creek Historic District derives its significance from the collection of four early- to mid-eighteenth-century landmarks that are the remnants of the eighteenth century port town of Aire. This historic district presents an important opportunity to interpret the architecture and lifeways of the later half of the eighteenth century and the vanished Town of Aire, established by an Act of the Maryland Assembly in 1706.

Darnall’s Chance House MuseumDarnalls Chance
14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro MD 20722
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.

George Washington HouseGeorge Washington House
4302 Baltimore Ave
Bladensburg MD 20710
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
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.

Mattaponi & Cemetery
11000 Mattaponi Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Additional Resource
18th century, rebuilt c. 1820, two-story hip-roof brick house (Flemish bond) with flanking wings; fine interior detail of transitional Federal/Greek Revival period; several barns on property; significantly altered in the 1950s. Country home of Governor Robert Bowie, rebuilt in then-current style after his death in 1818.

Montpelier Mansion & CemeteryMontpelier Mansion
9650 Muirkirk Road
Laurel MD 20708
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 Airy MansionMount Airy Mansion
8714 Rosaryville Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Additional Resource
c. 1740 and late 18th century, complex three-part brick structure, incorporating early 18th-century gambrel-roof dwelling; rebuilt after 1931 fire, and recently renovated as a country inn; historic outbuildings include stable and greenhouse. Home of Calvert family during Provincial period, later frequently visited by George Washington; in this century, home of Matilda R. Duvall and Eleanor “Cissy” Patterson. The original part of the house was built as a hunting lodge by Charles Calvert, the Third Lord Baltimore, when he came from England around 1660. The dwelling then consisted of one 50 foot room with fireplaces on each end. This room is one of the loveliest in the house, which now consists of 13 large rooms. Parties, great and small, weddings, births, deaths, visits from seven Presidents all have left their mark, leaving a wonderful feeling of expectancy to the lovely old home.

Mount Calvert Historical & Archaeological ParkMount Calvert Historical & Archaeological Park
16302 Mount Calvert Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Additional Resource
Mount Calvert is one of the most significant historical and archaeological sites in Prince George’s County. Ten interpretative wayside signs and the exhibit “The Confluence of Three Cultures” describe the archaeology of 8,000 years of American Indian presence, the development of colonial Charles-Town (the county’s first seat of government from 1696-1721), and an early American tobacco plantation.

Mount WelbyMount Welby
6411 Oxon Hill Road
Oxon Hill MD 20745
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 part of Oxon Cove Park (NPS); since 1891, part of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital farm.

National Colonial FarmNational Colonial Farm
3400 Bryan Point Road
Accokeek MD 20607
Additional Resource
The National Colonial Farm, an outdoor living-history museum, was established by the Accokeek Foundation in 1958. Located on 200 acres of Piscataway Park directly across from Mt. Vernon on the Potomac, the farm depicts life for an ordinary tobacco-planting family in Prince George’s County in the 1770s. Skilled interpreters lead tours of the farm, highlighting the colonial structures, fields, gardens, and animals. Structures located within the colonial site are open to the public and include a circa-1770 farm dwelling, an 18th-century tobacco barn, a smokehouse, and an out-kitchen. The National Colonial Farm is a recognized leader in the field of historic plant preservation.

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
Additional Resource
Owned and operated by the John M. and Sara R. Walton Foundation, Inc., Poplar Hill on His Lordship’s Kindness is one of three structures in Prince George’s County designated as National Historic Landmarks. Originally named “Poplar Hill,” its present name is derived from a 7,000-acre land grand from Charles Calvert, the third Lord Baltimore, to Col. Henry Darnall in 1703. The current mansion was built between 1785 and 1787 by the colonel’s great-grandson, Robert Darnall. He replaced the earlier residence of his father, Henry Darnall III, with this beautiful Georgian home. Since its construction, Poplar Hill has been home to many families, including the Darnalls, the Sewalls, the Daingerfelds, U.S. Senator John S. and Susan Daingerfeld Barbour, the Hales, the Dunhams, U.S. Ambassador David Bruce and his wife, Evangeline Bruce, the Sayers, and the last owners, the Walton family. Poplar Hill on His Lordship’s Kindness is 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.

Riversdale House MuseumRiversdale House Museum
4811 Riverdale Road
Riverdale MD 20737
Additional Resource
Riversdale, a National Historic Landmark, is a restored, five-part, stucco-covered brick plantation home built between 1801 and 1807. Construction of this elegant manor house was begun for Henri Stier, a Flemish aristocrat, and was completed by his daughter Rosalie and her husband, George Calvert, grandson of the fifth Lord Baltimore. The mansion blends both Flemish and American architectural styles and has particularly fine interior plaster detail. The site is also home to a gift shop.

Saint John’s Church & CemeterySt John's Episcopal Church
Saint John’s Church & Cemetery
9801 Livingston Road
Fort Washington MD 20744
Additional Resource
1766, rectangular brick church, Flemish bond, with flared hip roof; rebuilding of 1722 church structure. Fourth church built on this site in Piscataway (King
George’s) Parish; oldest church site in Prince George’s County.

Saint Thomas Episcopal Church & CemeterySt. Thomas Episcopal Church
14300 St. Thomas Church Road
Upper Marlboro MD 20772
Additional Resource
1742-45 cruciform, brick church with Gothic Revival stained glass windows; apse added in 1859, and three story entry tower added in 1888. Built as chapel-of-ease for northern St. Paul’s Parish; home church of Thomas John Claggett, first Episcopal Bishop consecrated in United States; focal point of
Croom community.

Site of NorthamptonNorthampton
10900 block Lake Arbor Way
Mitchellville MD 20721
18th and 19th centuries, site includes foundations of 18th-century Northampton plantation house, and ruins of one frame and one brick two-family slave quarter Archaeological site of unique importance, particularly for the early 19th century brick quarter, one of only three known brick quarters in Southern Maryland, owned by M-NCPPC.

Site of Queen Anne Bridge
Queen Anne Bridge Road
Mitchellville MD 20721
c. 1890, only surviving example of Pratt through truss built w/Phoenix sections in Prince George’s County. First bridge built at this location in 1755, replacing ferry. Second built in 1797 but swept away.

Snow Hill ManorSnow Hill Manor
13301 Laurel-Bowie Road
Laurel MD 20708
Additional Resource

Originally built in 1755, Snow Hill Manor was destroyed by fire in 1764 and rebuilt in 1798. One of the many homes in the Laurel area formerly owned by the distinguished Snowden family, Snow Hill Manor is situated on 15 acres of land. The two-story brick plantation house boasting late-Georgian architecture has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974.

Steed Family Cemetery
3308 Tinkers Branch Way
Fort Washington MD 20744
Additional Resource
The only remaining feature of Belleview, 1792-1830, house built for Lowe family; destroyed by fire October 1996.

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