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Heritage/Historic Sites

Montgomery Parks owns several historic sites that are currently open to the public (some with limited access), often through partnerships with non-profit groups.

Agricultural History Farm Park
Visit this 400-acre Agricultural History Farm Park within Rock Creek Park during special events including the fall Harvest Festival (dates), the Gas and Steam Show (April 12-13), Springtime on the Farm (March 26), and Close Encounters with Agriculture (sponsored by the Montgomery County 4-H Club).The Friends of the Agricultural History Farm Park sponsor special events and conduct volunteer improvement projects. The farm serves as the host site for the popular Harvest Festival, which takes place on the first weekend in October each year.

Battery Bailey
Located at Westmoreland Hills Local Park in Chevy Chase, Battery Bailey was a man-made hill constructed to support cannons aimed at protecting the reservoir of water for the City of Washington. It was located between Fort Sumner and Fort Mansfield, constructed during the Civil War as a part of a circle of forts to protect the city. The site was named for Col. Guilford Dudley Bailey of the 1st regiment New York artillery, who was killed on May 31, 1862 at the Battle of Seven Pines. Battery Bailey is located in Westmoreland Hills Local Park, which also features a playground, softball field, multi-use field and two tennis courts. If you plan to visit, why not pack a sandwich and enjoy lunch in the picnic area? The 10.1-acre park was acquired by M-NCPPC in 1951.

Oakley CabinOakley Cabin.

Blockhouse Point Trails
Walk along the Potomac River bluffs in Blockhouse Point Conservation Park and imagine the strategic fortification that lined the river and protected the Union from attack by Confederate forces. Imagine Union soldiers who camped in horrible conditions at nearby Muddy Branch. Walk on a self-guided tour rooted in archaeology. Contact the Park Archaeology Program at 301-840-5848 for more information.

Bussard Farmstead
This 1908 farm of the Bussard family includes a large bank barn, water tank house and other outbuildings. The Bussard Farmstead is located within the Agricultural History Farm Park, a 455-acre complex with an historic farmhouse, barn, assorted farm buildings and a modern activity center situated along Rock Creek in Derwood. To interpret past farming practices, 70 acres were set aside as an historic area. The farmhouse is currently being furnished to reflect the home of an average turn-of-the-century family. Programs to interpret the typical Montgomery County farmer's lifestyle are planned for the future.

Hyattstown Mill
Located at 14920 Hyattstown Mill Road, Hyattstown. Built in 1918, the Hyattstown Mill is a large grist mill that sits on the site of a 1780s mill. The mill is part of an arts center operated by the Hyattstown Mill Arts Project (HMAP). HMAP is a membership-based non-profit cultural arts organization dedicated to preserving the cultural and historical heritage of the region. HMAP hosts exhibitions in the Mill Gallery from April through October. The gallery is open weekends and holidays and for special events.

Kingsley Schoolhouse
Of the late 19th century one-room schoolhouses still existing in Montgomery County, the Kingsley Schoolhouse is one of the few that remains in an entirely unaltered state. This site is currently under renovation, and open to the public only for special events conducted by the Department of Parks. At this time, no events are planned for 2008.

Oakley Cabin
Located at 3610 Brookeville Road, Oakley Cabin is a museum furnished to depict various periods of its history and development and is the only publicly-owned African-American historical site in Montgomery County that is open to the public. The site provides hands-on experiences for visitors and researchers. Built in the early 1800's, it was likely home to slaves from the Oakley/Dorsey farm and later to free black families. The site hosts special events and is operated by the Friends of Oakley Cabin and the Underground Railroad. The cabin is open for free tours on Saturdays from mid-April through October from noon - 4:00 p.m. For information about volunteering at the cabin, please call 301-563-3405.

Paint Branch Trail
Walk in the woods beside the Paint Branch stream and experience the setting of some of the county’s oldest mills. Find traces of mill dams and races. Start at Valley Mill Park on the grounds of the 1795 miller’s house and ruins of the original mill. Contact the Park Archaeology Program at 301-840-5848 for more information.

The Riley House/Uncle Tom's Cabin
The Riley House/Uncle Tom's Cabin is a historic resource of local, state, national and international significance because of its association with Reverend Josiah Henson, whose 1849 autobiography inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe's landmark novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin. The house is locaed on 11420 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20852. It'll be open for regular public viewing tentatively in 2010.

The Silver Spring
Located in Acorn Park (8060 Newell Street, Silver Spring) the Silver Spring is a focal point of this .12-acre park is its Acorn Gazebo and its wonderful shade trees. M-NCPPC acquired part of this park in 1942 and the remainder in 1997. The park is the site of the original spring for the Silver Spring estate owned by Francis P. Blair.

The Underground Railroad Experience
The Underground Railroad Experience Trail (formerly the Rural Legacy Trail) allows one to experience what it might have felt like to be an enslaved person fleeing along the Underground Railroad. The trail commemorates the involvement of Montgomery County residents in the Underground Railroad and celebrates the Quaker heritage and traditions of Sandy Spring. This 2.0 mile trail is natural surface and includes interpretive sign markers keyed to the map that may be downloaded from this site. Trail stops include Woodlawn Manor and Barn and The Sandy Spring itself.

Waters House
Located at 12535 Milestone Manor Lane, Germantown, the Waters House is a park of a park that comprises a 1790s dwelling and barn that represent farm life in the mid-1800s. The Waters House features changing exhibits and is available to rent for special events. The house is open on a limited basis and is operated by the Montgomery County Historical Society.

Woodlawn Manor
Located at 16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring. Travel back in time at Woodlawn Manor, a Georgian-style Manor House where you will enjoy the charm of richly restored furnishings along with the quiet bucolic setting. Woodlawn Manor has five uniquely designed rooms that are perfect for small meetings or intimate social affairs. It sits on several acres of land that include a unique stone barn, four original outbuildings and several champion trees. There is a trail connected with the Underground Railroad that leads from the barn about one mile to the Sandy Spring. The Woodlawn Manor Barn is the future site for the Underground Railroad/Quaker Heritage Visitor Center.

You may also view an alphabetical list of historic sites in M-NCPPC parks.

Date of last update: June 23, 2010