Prince George's County

Saturday, April 30, 2022

10:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M.

Site #2 is requiring a vaccination card with a booster shot for interior viewing.

 

Prince George’s County, Maryland is named after Prince George of Denmark (1653–1708), the consort of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, and the brother of King Christian V of Denmark and Norway. The tour focuses on the central part of the county located on the eastern outskirts of the Capital Beltway. This region consists of Mitchellville, Bowie, Glenn Dale, and Greater Upper Marlboro. Mitchellville is named for a wealthy African American family, the Mitchells, who owned a large portion of land in this area of the county. Come travel along the roads and byways and explore these sites to learn about the history, charm, culture, and character of central Prince George’s County.

 

Chairman: Jack Thompson, Junior, 301-237-6249, jthomps577@aol.com.
Co-chair: Sandra Wiseman. Committee Chairs:
House & Properties Selection: Jack Thompson, Junior.
Flowers: Pamela L. Smart and St. Thomas Parish Altar Guild.
Publicity: St. Thomas Parish.
Roadmarking: St Thomas Parish.
Tour Photographer: Tom Buckingham.
Script: Jack Thompson, Junior.
Treasurer: Debbie Richards.

 

Special Project: Interior plaster repairs and painting of the exterior and interior of St. Thomas’ Church. St. Thomas’ Church is an Episcopal church in a rural setting, located at Croom, Prince George’s County, Maryland. The church was constructed between 1742 and 1745, and is one of the earliest Episcopal churches in Southern Maryland. With the adjacent cemetery, St. Simon’s Mission, and St. Simon’s Cemetery, it forms part of the St. Thomas’ Episcopal Parish Historic District.

 

Lunch: A delicious box lunch, from St. Thomas Parish, including drinks and dessert will be available at Holy Family Catholic Church, 12010 Woodmore Road, Mitchellville, Maryland 20721  (Site #5), starting at 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. reservations are suggested. The cost is $13.00 per person and your check will be your guaranteed box lunch of choice. Please mail check, Attention: MHGP Lunch Reservation, payable to St. Thomas Parish, 14300 St. Thomas Church Road, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Please indicate: Turkey, Ham Salad, Chicken Salad, or Veggie Wrap. There will be additional lunches available for purchase at the luncheon location on the day of the tour.

 

ROUTES FROM:

BALTIMORE: I-695 East towards Glen Burnie. In 1.46 miles merge onto I-97 South, via EXIT 4 on the left towards Annapolis/Bay Bridge. In 9.87 miles merge onto MD-3 South, via EXIT 7 towards MD-32 West/Odenton/Bowie. In 9.94 miles stay straight onto Crain Highway/US-301 South. Then in 11.62 miles turn left onto Croom Station Road. Site #1 is on the right.

 

WASHINGTON: I-395 North towards I-695. In 0.32 miles stay straight going onto Southwest Freeway/I-695 South. Continue to follow I-695 South. Merge onto I-395 N towards I-695. In 0.36 miles stay straight to go onto Southwest Freeway/I-695 South. Continue tofollow I-695 South, then in 1.90 miles merge onto I-295 South via EXIT 2A on the left towards I-95/I-495. In 0.79 miles take the Suitland Parkway exit, EXIT 4A, towards the US Naval Station. In 0.14 miles keep left at the fork of the ramp. Then in 0.01 miles keep left at the fork in the ramp. In 0.14 miles keep right at the fork in the ramp, and then in 0.11 miles turn slight right onto Suitland Parkway (Crossing into Maryland). In 8.87 miles take Pennsylvania Ave/MD-4 East. In 5.24 miles take the Old Crain Highway exit. In 0.21 miles keep right, taking the ramp towards US-301 South/Waldorf. In 0.04 miles turn right onto Old Crain Highway. In 0.13 miles, take the first left onto Croom Station Road. Then in 1.17 miles, Site #1 is on the right.

 

FOLLOW PILGRIMAGE GREEN ARROWS AND SIGNS.

 

1. Pleasant Hills, 7001 Croom Station Road, Upper Marlboro 20772. The house was constructed in 1807 for the Sasscer family, who owned the property up until 2012. Under new stewardship, the property is being renovated and revived as a showcase that balances modern-traditional beauty with historic integrity. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, Pleasant Hills is an excellent example of the side-hall-and-double-parlor plan popular among the wealthy planter class of Prince Georges County during the early part of the 19th century. The main house and adjoining outbuildings sit on ten acres of rolling meadows encircled by 350 acres of protected Maryland   National Capital Park and Planning Commission woodlands. The property is filled with a variety of unique trees planted over the course of the past two centuries, and the home is filled with an eclectic mix of old and new. The addition of chickens, goats, and bees help bring life back to the original farm. Owners: Brian Emerson and Christopher Lorence.

 

Start out going north on Croom Station Road towards Crain Highway/US-301 North. In 0.25 miles turn right onto Crain Highway/ US-301 North. In 2.44 miles turn right onto Marlboro Pike. In 0.38 miles turn left onto Old Crain Highway. Then in 0.05 miles, Site #2 is on the right.

 

Patuxent River Farm is requiring a vaccination card, to include a booster shot, be presented to gain access into the interior spaces. As always, the health and safety of all pilgrims is our top priority.

 

2. Patuxent River Farm, 4700 Old Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772. Built in 1903 as the one-room “Patuxent Elementary School,” Patuxent Farm of 2020 is the result of five separate expansion campaigns. The Bob Hall family added rooms in 1926 when the school ended, and again in 1933, ’38, and ’74. In 1992 after they bought the house, the Roberts made further additions and landscape changes. Today the house serves as the backdrop for the Robert’s collections of furnishings and fine arts that have descended in their respective families. They reflect  their long involvement with art, history and preservation related museums, and Mrs. Roberts’ decades spent as an art museum decorative arts curator. Collections range from Old Master prints, maps, paintings, including seven generations of family portraits, contemporary prints and drawings, sculpture, and a broad range of American and European furnishings, in all media and styles. An interesting group of Maryland furniture on the first floor is a group of Baltimore Empire pieces made c. 1820 for Mr. Roberts’ Bowie family antecedents at “Fairview”: a Sideboard with Knife Boxes, Dining Table and a Cylinder Desk, possibly all made by William Camp; a late 18th. C. Annapolis Side Table; and a Federal Card Table that began its life at nearby “Riversdale.” A New York Gothic Revival half-tester Bed is likely from the firm of Burns and Trainque. A Tea and Coffee Service bearing touch marks of Robert Keyworth, Washington, D.C., made c. 1830 is suspiciously reminiscent of Philadelphia’s Fletcher and Gardiner. Daffodils transplanted 25 years ago from “Fairwood” in Glenn Dale should be making their appearance. Owner: Mrs. Eugene Bowie Roberts, Jr.

 

Start out going north on Old Crain Highway. Then in 1.10 miles turn left onto Village Drive. In 0.02 miles take the 1st right onto Crain Highway/US-301 North. In 1.29 miles turn left onto Leeland Road. In 0.27 miles turn left onto Moores Plains Boulevard. Pass through the roundabout. Then in 0.23 miles the Temporary/Service Driveway for Site #3 is on the left at the large tobacco barn.

 

3. Beechwood, 2301 South West Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro 20772. The original house at Moores Plains was built at the beginning of the 19th century by George Hilleary on a tract known as Moore’s Plains. The name of the farm was changed to “Beechwood” in the late 19th century because of the very old and large champion beech trees that are still in existence. In March 1913, a fire consumed the entire dwelling. Shortly thereafter, the Bowies built the current house on most of the original basement/foundations, which is an outstanding example of an early twentieth century Neo-Classical style dwelling, with a monumental Tuscan portico and Colonial Revival interior detail in its mantels and grand staircase. When Clotilda Bowie died in

1928, she left the house to her niece and god-daughter, Effie Gwynn Bowie who published “Across the Years in Prince George’s County” in 1947, which has become the standard reference on Prince George’s County genealogy. The Bowie family continued to reside at

the property until 1987, when it was purchased by a development company, and finally in 2016 it was purchased by Jack Thompson, Junior, who restored the house and the fine tobacco barn on the property. The interior of the house has all of the original fine features but with modern conveniences that complement today’s lifestyle. The house is also filled with fine American antiques, which includes many Baltimore pieces, as well as a large collection of fine artwork. Owners: Mr. Jack Thompson, Junior and Mr. Michael MacKnight.

 

Turn right onto Moores Plains Boulevard. In 0.11 miles turn left onto Leeland Road. In 1.51 miles Leeland Road becomes Oak Grove Road. In 1.80 miles enter the next roundabout and take the 2nd exit onto Watkins Park Drive /MD-193. Then in 0.33 miles turn right onto Largo Road/MD-202. In 1.92 miles make a U-turn at Kettering Drive onto Largo Road/MD-202 back towards Upper Marlboro. Then in 0.10 miles, Site #4 is on the right. Please note: Follow MHGP

directional signs to parking off of Kettering Drive.

 

4. Mount Lubentia, 603 Largo Road, Upper Marlboro 20774. The tract of land known as “Norway” was inherited by Enoch Magruder from his father in 1739. It was part of a much larger land grant, “Largo,” originally granted by the Crown to Enoch’s grandfather, Ninian Beall. Enoch later leased the house on the property to Jonathon Boucher, rector of St. Barnabas Church, who tutored and boarded several young men in Magruder’s house. John Parke Custis, the stepson of George Washington, was one of Boucher’s students. Young Custis referred to the house as “Castle Magruder” in his letters to George and Martha. After the Revolution, Enoch Magruder deeded the property to his son, Dennis, who undertook major renovations to the house. Those elements that may have evoked a “castle” gave way to a more formal Georgian plan. By 1820, Magruder changed the name of the property to Mount Lubentia. The house and property continued in the same family until 1998 when it was purchased by Sondra and Andy Wallace, both of whom were active in the historic preservation movement. They sold the home in 2018 to the present owners, Michael Conley and Mark Krikstan, the ninth great-grandson of Ninian Beall.

 

Start out going southeast on Largo Road/MD-202. Then in 0.15 miles make a U-turn onto MD-202. In 2.69 miles turn right onto Lottsford Road. In 2.06 miles Lottsford Road becomes Woodmore Road. In 0.35 miles make a U-turn at Woodvale Lane onto Woodmore Road. Then in 0.01 miles Site #5 is on your right.

 

5. Holy Family Catholic Church, 12010 Woodmore Road, Mitchellville 20721. The Jesuits with their experience as missionaries were needed to begin a church for the black tenant farmers. On Sunday, February 9, 1890, the 1,000 lb. cornerstone was laid which began the construction of the Holy Family Mission. It was completed about 1892. Established as a Parish in 1938, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore and Washington apportioned about 50 square miles to the east of the Nation’s Capital to the care of the Josephites. They were a more residential order, whose primary work was ministering to the black community and better suited to address their religious needs. This area included the Holy Family Mission. The population of the mission had grown so much that Holy Family was given resident parish status. The tenant farmers began to own their farms and settle the community. Designated as an Historic Landmark in 1984 based on its value as part of the cultural characteristics of Prince George’s County; it exemplified the religious heritage of the County in the establishment of a rural Roman Catholic mission for the local black community; it embodied the distinctive characteristics of late Victorian ecclesiastical architecture; and it represented an established visual feature in its rural setting. The Luncheon and Restrooms will be available at this location. The Reverend Joseph Jenkins.

 

Start out going west on Woodmore Road, then in 0.20 miles make a U-turn at Clearwood Drive onto Woodmore Road. In 1.32 miles enter the next roundabout and take the 2nd exit onto Waterford Mill Road. Then in 0.56 miles, Site #6 is on the left.

 

6. Pleasant Prospect, 3300 Waterford Mill Road, Bowie 20721. Once the centerpiece of a 1,095-acre tobacco plantation, it is an outstanding and important example of a Federal style plantation house. The kitchen wing and hyphen are typical of late eighteenth century ancillary architecture in Southern Maryland. The walls are laid in Flemish bond, and the chimneys are typical of Maryland; wide on the side, thin and high above the ridge, rising on the gable ends of the house flush with the building wall. The interior exhibits outstanding Federal style trim, including elaborate Adamesque moldings and composition ornamentation such as garlands, swags, and urns applied to interior doorways and mantles. A pyramidal roof, log meat house stands on the immediate grounds along with a number of ancient tulip poplars, osage orange, and sycamore trees. Evidence of a sunken terraced garden remains to the north of the house. Pleasant Prospect was built c. 1798 for Dr. Isaac Duckett, described as one of the most opulent planters in the State. It is one of only four houses built in Prince George’s County during this period that were valued at $1,500 or more in the 1798 Federal Direct Tax assessment. The house was later deeded to his son-in-law, Captain John Contee, commander of the Marines aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. Records show that in 1839, upon John Contee’s death, the property was deeded to his son, who was later elected Captain of the local cavalry company called “The Planters’ Guard” during the Civil War.

 

Start out going southeast on Waterford Mill Road towards Winding Creek Lane. In 0.53 miles enter next roundabout and take the 2nd exit onto Woodmore Road. Then in 1.03 miles turn left onto Church Road. In 2.44 miles turn left onto Fairwood Parkway. In 1.34 miles stay straight to go onto Bell Station Road. In 0.01 miles take the 1st right onto Annapolis Road/MD-450. Then in 0.62 miles take the 2nd left onto Hillmeade Road. Site #7  is on the left.

 

7. Boxlee, 6106 Hillmeade Road, Glenn Dale 20769. Boxlee is a handsome Colonial Revival style house, built on part of the Maple Shade property of the Bowie family. Maple Shade had belonged to the Bowie family throughout the nineteenth century. After the death of Eleanor B. Bowie in 1891, it was divided between her grandchildren. In 1909 Arthur Bowie constructed a new house on his section of the land, built by local carpenter Millard Schafer in 1916. Boxlee is a frame gable-roof house situated on a seven-acre lot. Plantings include azaleas and hollies as well as extraordinary mature tulip poplars that line the driveway. The house consists of a five-bay-by-two-bay side gabled main block, with an enclosed sunporch at one end, and a kitchen wing at the other. Boxlee has Federal style mantels salvaged from Mulliken’s Delight. The resulting house is an excellent example of the Colonial Revival style. Of special note: Box Lee Nursery is located on the property and features the famous Glenn Dale azaleas. These evergreen winter-hardy azaleas were developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1920s. This hybridizing effort in Glenn Dale, whose results were named after the area of Prince George’s County, tremendously increased the number and hardiness range of the species. More than 1,000 azalea varieties are located at Boxlee and are for sale and will be available the day of the tour for purchase. Owners: Mr. and  Mrs. Lee.

 

Start out going southeast on Hillmeade Road towards Prospect Knolls Drive. In 0.22 miles take a right onto Annapolis Road/MD-450. Then in 0.14 miles take the 1st right onto Sir Walter Drive to the end, Site #8 is on the right.

 

8. Grigsby’s Station Log Cabin, 12450 Sir Walter Drive, Glenn Dale 20769. The Grigsby’s Station (Pleasant View) Log Cabin is a small 11/2 story cabin. The Grigsby’s Station Log Cabin is a rare example of an early log structure in Prince George’s County. Once part of a farm near Landover, it was successfully moved in 1983 and thoroughly renovated in its new location. The Grigsby’s Station tract was purchased in 1881 by Amanda M. Best, who was very active in the movement for women’s suffrage; it was at her Landover farm that a rally was held in 1884 to celebrate the nomination of Belva Ann Lockwood for the Presidency of the United States on the Equal Rights ticket. The property was sold in 1938 to Joseph and Ernestine Grigsby, who

renovated the log cabin, adding a new stone fireplace and brick chimney, but leaving intact the decorative Victorian trim. The Grigsbys renamed the property “Grigsby’s Station” after a favorite poem of that title by James Whitcomb Riley. In the early l980s, the owner of the property offered the cabin at no cost to anyone who would move it off of the property. It was transported in April 1983 to its present location in Glenn Dale, and set upon a new basement foundation. The double stack chimney was constructed on the west gable end, two dormers were built into the north plane of the roof, and it remains a rare surviving example in the County of an early nineteenth century log cabin. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Lee.

 

Start out going southeast on Sir Walter Drive towards Annapolis Road/MD-450. Turn right onto Annapolis Road/MD-450. In 0.75 miles turn right onto Glenn Dale Boulevard/MD-193. Get immediately in the left lane and then in 0.37 miles turn left onto Bell Station Road. Site #9 is on the left.

 

9. Marietta House Museum, 5626 Bell Station Rd, Glenn Dale 20769. Marietta is a ​21/2 story brick Federal house, begun c. 1812, in a traditional I-house plan. It is an important example of a late Federal style brick house. The main block is five bays by two, and entrance is through the central bay of the south facade. Attached to the north of the main block at right angles is a two-story rear wing, built c. 1832, and attached to the west gable end is an L-shaped wing added in 1968. Marietta stands on terraced, landscaped grounds with two contemporary outbuildings: a brick law office and a stone and brick root cellar/harness storage room Marietta was built for Gabriel Duvall, one of Prince George’s County’s most prominent slave-owners. The number of slaves at Marietta fluctuated between thirty-five and fifty. Duvall died in 1844 at Marietta. Marietta remained the residence of his heirs until 1902. Marietta House Museum is operated as the

Marietta House Museum of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. It also formerly served as the headquarters of the Prince George’s County Historical Society. The house is operated as a historic house museum, and is furnished to reflect three generations of the Duvall family from 1815 to 1902. Restrooms will be available. Owners: Maryland Park and  Planning Commission.

Return directions:

 

Travel northwest on Bell Station Road towards Daisy Lane. In  0.17 miles make a sharp right onto Daisy Lane. In 0.21 miles turn left onto Glenn Dale Blvd/MD-193. Continue to follow MD-193 to the Baltimore Washington Parkway ramp towards Baltimore or Washington/ Baltimore Washington Pkwy/MD-295 North to Baltimore or South to Washington D.C. and I-95 North or South.

 

Saint Thomas Parish thanks you for visiting the central part of Prince George’s County and these remarkable properties. We trust you have had an enjoyable experience!