Commerce, Industry, Science & Recreation
Most of the early commerce in the county was associated with tobacco; the crop even served as legal tender for debts. The Market Master’s House and the George Washington House in Bladensburg, which served as a store, are indicative of commerce during the Colonial Period before the growth of rural general stores, such as the Coffren Store in Croom.
The earliest industry in the county is represented by water-powered mills such as the Adelphi Mill that was constructed northwest of Hyattsville for the grinding of grain. Iron was mined in the upper Patuxent region and in the 1840’s, 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; the blacksmith/wheelwright shop at the Trueman Farm exemplifies nineteenth-century industry.
Riversdale, the plantation of Charles B. Calvert, founder of the Maryland Agricultural College and county and state agricultural societies, represents early examples of agricultural science. Local scientific interests in agriculture are 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-19th century, and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), which has played a substantial role in the agricultural sciences since the 1930’s.
Prince George’s County has been in the forefront of sports and recreation from the early 18th century inclusive of 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 such as FedEx Field, home to the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.