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. This commerce in the colonial period is best represented by the Market Master’s House and the George Washington House, which served as a store, both in Bladensburg. Later commerce is represented by the rural general store, e.g., the Coffren Store in Croom.
The earliest industry in the County is represented by water-powered mills such as the Adelphi Mill constructed northwest of Hyattsville for the grinding of grain. Iron was mined in the upper Patuxent region, and in the 1840s, 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. Nineteenth-century industry is exemplified by the blacksmith/wheelwright shop at the Trueman Farm.
Early examples of agricultural science are represented by Riversdale, the plantation of Charles B. Calvert, founder of County and State agricultural societies and of the Maryland Agricultural College. Local scientific interest in agriculture is also 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-nineteenth century, and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), which has played a substantial role in the agricultural sciences since the 1930s.
Prince George’s County has been in the forefront of sports and recreation from the early eighteenth cenetury, including 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 including FedEx Field, home to the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
Special activities, programs, and events are held at our Historic sites throughout the year.