Historic Sites

Port Towns Community Development Corporation © All rights reserved

* P.O. Box 312, 4930-A Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, MD 20710 * 301-864-1093  * www.porttowns.org

The Port Towns
The Towns of Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, and Edmonston, MD

You could be apart of this great experience!  Come join others in making the future better.  Be apart of change! For more information please contact the Port Towns Community Development Corporation.  Drop by at 4217 Edmonston Rd Bladensburg, MD, or give us a call at 301.864.1093. Or you can sign up here.


Bladensburg Waterfront Park

Dueling Grounds

Free Hope Baptist Church

Bostwick House

Evergreen Cemetery

Fort Lincoln Cemetery

Bladensburg was initially established to increase the economy in colonial Prince Georges County in 1742.  Tobacco, ships, and slaves were three of the most important elements in the 1700s and Bladensburg had all three of them. The Maryland General Assembly established the town of Bladensburg because Bealltown (present day Hyattsville) was slightly too far upstream which couldn’t take larger vessels.  The Port of Bladensburg grew quickly because of its location and became one of the most active tobacco ports in Maryland. The Port began to decline in the 19th century because of the silting in of the Anacostia River.  The Port of Bladensburg is now the revitalized Bladensburg Waterfront Park.  The park features a public boat ramp, fishing pier, picnic pavilion, playground, a B & O Railroad caboose, community boathouse (storage facility) and signage interpreting the rich history of the area.

Built in 1746, the Bostwick is home to Christopher Lowndes, the leading merchant in colonial Bladensburg.  Lowndes came to Maryland in the 1730s, and in 1746 built the Bostwick to start his own business.  Lots of his success is due to the Bostwick because the store was one of the best stocked in Prince Georges County.  The Bostwick was constantly advertised in the Maryland Gazette and assured an assortment of items like rat traps, Dutch ovens, shoe buckles, Irish linen, white jeans, sheep shears, and countless more

Formally called the Presbyterian cemetery, Evergreen Cemetery was once a Presbyterian church.  The plot was originally one of the first Presbyterian churches in Bladensburg.  The church was destroyed and the plot was used as a cemetery, The Presbyterian Cemetery.  It is known today as Evergreen Cemetery and if you want to visit the Bladensburg Police have the key (in exchange for a $10 deposit).

Just on the outskirts of Washington DC lay the Dueling ground of Bladensburg. (Present day Colmar Manor)  Men fought here to settle their issues without the help of the federal law.  Nearly 50 duels were fought here, including one that left naval hero Stephen Decatur killed March 22, 1820.  Now the area is a beautiful park on the edge of Colmar Manor.

Constructed in 1818 as a Presbyterian church, Free Hope Baptist Church was one of the first Presbyterian churches in Bladensburg.  The church was originally located where Evergreen Cemetery now lay; unfortunately the original church was too old so only part of it was moved to Free Hopes location.   (It is said that the original church was once a safe haven for slaves and apart of the Underground Railroad system).  To show their support to Blacks after emancipation, the Presbyterians sold the church to the Colored Baptist Church of Bladensburg in 1872.  For 101 years the Colored Baptist Church of Bladensburg stayed there until 1973 when St. Paul Free Hope Baptist congregation purchased the Church.

Here, at Fort Lincoln Cemetery, masterworks of marble, granite and bronze stand in solemn dignity and provides a tranquil setting for those visiting the final resting places of their loved ones.

Fort Lincoln property consists of parcels from three early land grants: Scotland (1685), Barbadoes (1685) and Chillum Castle Manor (1763). A few of these early land owners were Col. Henry Darnall, William Thompson, Richard Evans, Williams Diggs, Charles Carroll, the Barrister (relative of Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence), George Conn, John Veitch, his descendants, John C. Rives (co-founder of the Globe newspaper), and others.

As an early farm land, three events were to disturb this otherwise pastoral setting: 1) In 1792 a survey was made and the District of Columbia boundary marker NE No. 7 was placed. 2) Near this spot on August 24, 1814, marines and flotillamen under the command of Joshua Barney fought a gallant stand against the British redcoats in the Battle of Bladensburg. 3) In 1861, after the bombardment of Fort Sumter (the beginning of the Civil War), the property was seized by the United States Government for the location of Battery Jameson

Original battle grounds of the Battle of Bladensburg

George Washington House

Market Masters House

Magruder House

Peace Cross

Built around 1760 by Jacob Wirt, the historic George Washington House was once a store, then a residence, a tavern, and a hotel.  After Wirt’s death, the house was rented out to a man named Peter Carnes, who would be responsible for sending off the first hot air balloon in the United States in 1784, here in Bladensburg.  The building is now owned by Aman Memorial Trust, a nonprofit established to restore historic properties in and around Bladensburg

This house is known as the Magruder House for Dr Archibald Magruder and his family, who lived there for many years in the 19th century.  The house was built by William Hilleary in the early 1740s and considered a flea market to most passer-bys.  It is said that on May 9, 1787 George Washington had diner there.  The home also stood as a hospital at the Battle of Bladensburg during the War of 1812.  The house is now home to an accounting firm.

The Market Masters House was built in 1760 by Christopher Lowndes, builder of the Bostwick.  The house stood on the edge of the market square, near a tobacco warehouse and was mainly used for commercial purposes.  The house was built to potentially be headquarters for tobacco inspectors.  The plot was considered unbeneficial by the General Assembly of 1779 because of the poor conditions of the area.

The Memorial Peace Cross is an area landmark that has become synonymous with the historic town of Bladensburg. The Snyder-Farmer Post of the American Legion of Hyattsville erected the forty foot cross of cement and marble to recall the forty-nine men of Prince George’s County who died in World War I. The first enlisted man from Prince George’s to die in the line of duty (WWI) was George B. Farmer.  The cross was dedicated on July 13, 1925, by the American Legion. A bronze tablet at the base of the monument contains the unforgettable words of Woodrow Wilson: The right is more precious than the peace; we shall fight for the things we have always carried nearest our hearts; to such a task we dedicate ourselves. At the base of the monument are the words, Valor, Endurance, Courage, and Devotion. At its heart, the cross bears a great gold star

Historic Sites