Prince George's County
Saturday, April 25, 2020
10:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M.
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.
Chair: Jack Thompson, Junior, 301-237-6249. Co-chair: Andi Guard.
Committee Chairs: House and Properties Selection: Jack Thompson, Junior. Flowers: Pamela L. Smart, St. Thomas’ Parish Altar Guild. Publicity: St. Thomas’ Parish. Roadmarking: Bob Guard. Tour Photographer: Tom Buckingham. Script: Jack Thompson, Junior. Treasurer: Iona Harrison.
Special Project: Interior plaster repairs and painting of the exterior and interior of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church. St. Thomas’ sits in an ancient, rural setting, located at Croom in Prince George’s County. The church was constructed between 1742 and 1745, and is one of the earliest Episcopal churches in Southern Maryland. It is the burial place of the Calvert Family of Mount Airy. With the adjacent cemetery, St. Simon’s Mission, and St. Simon’s Cemetery, Tayman Tobacco Barn, and the Old Rectory, it forms part of the St. Thomas’ Episcopal Parish National Register and Prince George’s County Historic District.
Lunch: A delicious box lunch, from St. Thomas’ Parish, including drink and dessert, will be available at Beechwood. Moore’s Plains Boulevard, starting at 11:00 A.M. to 2:30 P.M., in the restored tobacco barn, reservations are suggested. The cost is $13.00 per person and your check will guarantee your 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 Beechwood on the day of the tour. Live entertainment will be provided during lunch by the Port Tobacco Pickers—They define traditional bluegrass with a twist.
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/Bowie/ Odenton. In 9.94 miles stay straight onto Crain Highway/US-301 South. In 7.92 miles turn left onto Village Drive. In 0.04 miles immediately turn right onto Old Crain Hwy. In 1.10 miles Site #1 is on the left.
WASHINGTON: I-395 Merge onto I-395 North towards I-695, then in 0.32 miles stay straight going onto Southwest Freeway/I-695 South. Continue to
follow I-695 South, then in 1.94 miles merge onto Anacostia Freeway/ DC-295 North, via EXIT 2B towards US-50. In 0.85 miles take the Pennsylvania
Avenue. East exit, Exit 1A, towards Andrews AFB, then in 0.20 miles merge onto Pennsylvania Avenue (Eventually you will cross into Maryland). In approximately 14.46 miles from DC-295, take Crain Highway/US-301 North towards Baltimore, and then in 0.97 miles turn right onto Marlboro Pike. At the end of Marlboro Pike, at the top of the hill, turn left onto Old Crain Hwy. Site #1 is immediately across and on the right.
FOLLOW PILGRIMAGE GREEN ARROWS AND SIGNS.
Patuxent River Farm
4700 Old Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro 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 Roberts’ collections of furnishings and fine arts that have descended in their respective families. Reflecting 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 c1820 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 century 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 c1830 is suspiciously reminiscent of Philadelphia’s Fletcher and Gardiner. Daffodils transplanted 25 years ago from Fairwood in Glenn Dale should be making their appearance, initiative of the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Bowie Roberts, Jr.
Start out taking the 1st right onto Marlboro Pike. In 0.35 miles turn right onto Crain Highway US-301 North. In 0.82 miles Turn left onto Governors Park Lane. In 0.15 miles enter roundabout and take the 1st right onto Chancellors Drive. In 0.40 miles turn left onto Presidential Golf Drive. Pass through 1 roundabout and then in 0.41 miles turn right onto Finchingfield Way. In 0.07 miles Site #2 will be on your right.
The Grimes’ Residence
The Grimes’ Residence, 15414 Finchingfield Way, Upper Marlboro 20774. This elegant house was built in 2011 and is located on the highest elevation in the Beechtree Development. The house was custom built by Mr. Grimes and takes full advantage of the fantastic view of the 33 acre lake located on the Lake Presidential Golf Course. The interior features a very lovely open floor plan with large windows that take full advantage of the views. The house is built for entertaining on a large scale with the large gourmet kitchen, dramatic two-story great room, and the basement level features a finished recreation room with plenty of space, and a professionally designed theater room. Additionally, the backyard is all about outdoor living
and entertaining with a spacious deck and patio. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Jason V. Grimes.
Start out taking Finchingfield Way towards Presidential Golf Drive. In 0.10 miles turn left onto Presidential Golf Drive. Pass through 1 roundabout. In 1.34 miles turn left onto Beech Tree Parkway. In 0.11 miles take the 1st right onto Humberside Way. In 0.14 miles enter next roundabout and take the 1st exit onto Moores Plains Boulevard. Pass through 2 roundabouts. In 0.50 miles turn right in to the Beechwood service entrance driveway to Site #3.
Beechwood, 2301 SW 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. In March 1913, a fire consumed the entire dwelling. Shortly thereafter, the Bowies built the current house, 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 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 antiques, which includes many Baltimore pieces, as well as a large collection of fine artwork. Owners: Mr. Jack Thompson, Junior and Mr. Michael MacKnight.
3300 Waterford Mill Road, Bowie 20721. Once the centerpiece of a 1,095-acre tobacco plantation, Pleasant Prospect is now 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 c1798 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 toward Woodmore Road. In 0.55 miles enter the roundabout and follow the 1st exit onto Woodmore Road. In 1.09 miles Site #5 is on the right.
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 Reverend Joseph Jenkins.
Start out going west on Woodmore Road in the left lane towards Pleasant Prospect. In 0.20 miles make a U-turn at Clearwood Drive onto Woodmore Road. Pass through 1 roundabout and then in 2.34 miles Turn left onto Church Road. In 1.92 miles turn left onto Fairview Vista Drive. In 1.01 miles turn left onto Odens Bequest Drive. In 0.13 miles take the 1st right onto Landons Bequest Lane. In 0.21 miles take the 1st left onto Fredericks Bequest Court. Then in 0.01 miles, Site #6 is on the left.
5013 Frederick Bequest Court, Bowie 20720. Fairwood is a classic colonial American home built by the late Governor Oden Bowie in 1941 for his daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Roberts. Nestled among an array of beautiful trees, it sits on 3.35 acres of land. It was positioned to overlook the family’s then thriving turf farm, which spanned several miles. The original 8 bedroom, 8 bath mansion was home to the Roberts family and their servants up until 10 years ago. It was then sold to residential developers who took part in transforming the former turf farm into the Fairwood housing community, one of the largest and most popular developments in Bowie—the city named after its original owner. The home’s current owners, Kyle and Wayna lived in one of Fairwood’s first townhome communities and often walked pass the Roberts home, which had become a shell of its former glory, because of vandals who had broken nearly all of its 63 windows. Boarded up and discarded, it became the eyesore of the gated Bequest subdivision, but nobody could deny the character and beauty of the home still there beneath its dilapidated exterior. After purchasing the home in 2013, a lengthy renovation period followed, and it took nearly 10 months for the home to be made livable. Much renovation is still necessary, but the home is now a gem of the community. Frequently, neighbors or just persons passing by will drop in to say how glad they are to see the home being restored. Many of Bowie’s residents, it seemed, were taken by the home’s character. It is one of Kyle and Wayna’s life goals to complete renovations to this beautiful historic property and restore it to its full beauty—a process that has already caused them to roll up their sleeves and learn about renovation, period architecture, decorating, landscaping, and so much more. The adventure is still underway!
Start out going north on Fredericks Bequest Court towards Landons Bequest Lane. In 0.01 miles turn right onto Landons Bequest Lane. In 0.21 miles turn left onto Odens Bequest Drive. In 0.13 miles turn left onto Fairview Vista Drive. In 0.16 miles turn left onto Fairwood Parkway. In 0.77 miles take a right onto Annapolis Road /MD-450. In 0.61 miles take a left onto Hillmeade Road. In 0.23 miles, Site #7 is on the left.
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 planted with extraordinary mature tulip poplars that line the driveway, along with azaleas, and hollies. 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. These 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. In 0.14 miles take the 1st right onto Sir Walter Drive to the end. Site #8 is on the right.
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, 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 and two dormers were built into the north plane of the roof. It remains a rare surviving example of an early nineteenth century log cabin in the County. 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 Blvd/ MD-193. Immediately get in the left lane and then in 0.37 miles turn left onto Bell Station Road. Immediately on the left, in 0.12 miles, is Site #9.
Marietta House Museum
5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale 20769. Marietta is a 21/2 story brick house begun c1812, 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 2 story rear wing built c1832. 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. The house 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. Owner: Maryland Park and Planning Commission.
Start out going left/northwest on Bell Station Road. In 0.73 miles, Site #10 is on the left.
6320 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale 20769. Sixty Three Twenty began its life as a barn, in the 1920s. During the 1940s, it was sold and moved from the big house at the corner down to Bell Station Road. The new owner converted the barn into a 2 bedroom house. In 1954, Mr. Deener purchased it, without consulting his wife. Mrs. Deener was not impressed, as they had a large family for such a small house. With 6 children (4 boys and 2 girls), they converted part of the living room into a bedroom. It was still a tight squeeze. Rick and Debbie Paquin bought the house during the 1970s and made additional alterations. The landscaping was relatively sparse, mostly lawn, with a few trees and some azaleas here and there. When they bought the home in 1994, they started the gardens. The plantings have evolved over the years while they figured out what was going to flourish and not just be a tasty meal for the many groundhogs, deer, and other creatures. The home has also undergone several modifications over the years. Today there is a spring garden and a summer garden with enough beautiful plants to cover autumn, as well, until Jack Frost arrives. Owners: Mr. and Mrs. Cappello.
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 I95 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!