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Bladensburg, Maryland
Town of Bladensburg
Bladensburg in 1861
Bladensburg in 1861
Motto(s): 
A past to remember, a future to embrace.
Location of Bladensburg, Maryland
Location of Bladensburg, Maryland
Coordinates: 38°56′29″N 76°55′48″W / 38.94139°N 76.93000°W / 38.94139; -76.93000Coordinates: 38°56′29″N 76°55′48″W / 38.94139°N 76.93000°W / 38.94139; -76.93000
Country  United States
State  Maryland
County Prince George's
Founded 1742
Incorporated 1854
Area
 • Total 1.00 sq mi (2.59 km2)
 • Land 0.99 sq mi (2.56 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
Elevation
52 ft (16 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 9,148
 • Estimate 
(2019)
9,408
 • Density 9,503.03/sq mi (3,668.51/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
20710
Area code(s) 301, 240
FIPS code 24-07850
GNIS feature ID 0597086

Bladensburg is a town in Prince George's County, Maryland. The population was 9,148 at the 2010 census. Areas in Bladensburg are located within ZIP code 20710. Bladensburg is 8.6 miles (13.8 km) from central Washington.

History

Originally called Garrison’s Landing, Bladensburg was renamed in honor of Thomas Bladen, governor of Maryland, 1742–1747. Bladensburg was established in 1742 as a regional commercial center by an act of the Maryland General Assembly. The act also authorized the town commissioners to purchase 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land to be laid out in 1-acre (4,000 m2) lots. The act required that a house covering at least 400 square feet (37 m2) of ground with a brick or stone chimney be constructed within 18 months of the sale of the lot. As of 6 June 1746, only 18 of the lots had been improved according to the stipulations of the act. Christopher Lowndes' house, Bostwick, and those built by David Ross and William Hilleary (the William Hilleary House) were among them.

Port and railroad (1740s-1830s)

With the establishment in 1747 of a government tobacco inspection system, Bladensburg became a designated tobacco inspection and grading port. The Market Master's House is evidence of that role.

A seaport during the colonial period, Bladensburg is best remembered for the Battle of Bladensburg (1814) during the War of 1812, notable because it was the only battle in American history in which a sitting president (James Madison) rode into battle. America's eventual defeat, called "the greatest disgrace ever dealt to American arms", cleared the way for the burning of Washington by British troops. Its role as a seaport faded as the Anacostia River silted up and larger ships could no longer reach the port.

However, the town remained an important crossroads of routes north to Baltimore and Philadelphia, south and east to the towns of Annapolis and Upper Marlboro, and west to the District of Columbia. The original terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was Bladensburg, forcing all passengers intended for Washington to board carriages to continue on into the city. A sharp decline of passengers was experienced in Bladensburg when an extension of the B&O was permitted into the District of Columbia in 1835.

1840s-present

Bladensburg remained a small town throughout the rest of the 19th century with modest development and infrastructure improvements. A major attraction in Bladensburg from the 18th century through the 20th century was the Spa Springs. Thought to be a cure for various illnesses, the springs attracted visitors from throughout the region and was reachable by the Washington, Spa Spring and Gretta Railroad. Another attraction was the Bladensburg Dueling Grounds or Dueling Creek, the site of many famous duels until after the American Civil War. The town was incorporated in 1854. Schools and churches were constructed, including the first Freedmen's Bureau school for African Americans in 1866. The town experienced its most significant growth in the early 20th century with the construction of the first two residential sections of the town in 1914 and 1917. Named Decatur Heights, the subdivisions had gridded streets platted on the north and south sides of Annapolis Road. The town was enlarged again in 1947 by the Sunnybrook subdivision. The mid to late 20th century brought additional residential construction in the form of single-family houses and apartment complexes, as well as the construction of the Bladensburg Shopping Center. After a history major flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers implemented a flood control system around this time that altered the course of the Anacostia River and added levees.

In 1999, Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, and Cottage City were lauded by the Joint Center for Sustainable Communities for their collaboration with Prince George's County for the Port Towns Revitalization Initiative, which created a common Port Towns identity for the towns; encouraged businesses development through infrastructure and façade improvements; acquisition of historic properties and plans for their reuse; and reconstruction of the Bladensburg waterfront and marina.

Historic sites

The following is a partial list of historic sites in Bladensburg identified by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission:

Site name Image Location M-NCPPC Inventory Number Comment
1 Bostwick Bostwick Dec 08.JPG 3901 48th St. 69-005-09 Added to the National Register of Historic Places, 1975-08-19
2 George Washington House George Washington House Nov 08.JPG Baltimore Ave. at Upshur St. 69-005-02 Added to the National Register of Historic Places, 1974-08-07
3 Hilltop Manor Hilltop Manor Entrance Dec 08.JPG 4100–4112, 4200–4214 53rd Ave., 4100–4210 53rd Pl., & 5300–5304 Annapolis Rd. n/a Added to the National Register of Historic Places, 2007-12-21
4 Market Master's House Market Masters House June 2009.JPG 4006 48th St. 69-005-08 Added to the National Register of Historic Places, 1990-03-29
6 William Hilleary House or Hilleary–Magruder House Hilleary House Dec 08.JPG 4703 Annapolis Rd. 69-005-07 Added to the National Register of Historic Places, 1978-07-20

Geography

Bladensburg is located at 38°56′29″N 76°55′48″W / 38.94139°N 76.93000°W / 38.94139; -76.93000 (38.941428, −76.930053).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.01 square miles (2.62 km2), of which, 1.00 square mile (2.59 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.

Bordering areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 410
1880 466 13.7%
1890 503 7.9%
1900 463 −8.0%
1910 460 −0.6%
1920 597 29.8%
1930 816 36.7%
1940 1,220 49.5%
1950 2,899 137.6%
1960 3,103 7.0%
1970 7,977 157.1%
1980 7,691 −3.6%
1990 8,064 4.8%
2000 7,661 −5.0%
2010 9,148 19.4%
2019 (est.) 9,408 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 9,148 people, 3,542 households, and 1,960 families living in the town. The population density was 9,148.0 inhabitants per square mile (3,532.1/km2). There were 3,826 housing units at an average density of 3,826.0 per square mile (1,477.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 12.6% White, 65.6% African American, 0.5% Native American, 2.0% Asian, 16.6% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.9% of the population.

There were 3,542 households, of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.7% were married couples living together, 22.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.7% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.39.

The median age in the town was 31.5 years. 26.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 11% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 32.7% were from 25 to 44; 20.3% were from 45 to 64; and 9.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.

Religion

  • In June 2011, it was announced that Bladensburg's local St. Luke's Episcopalian Church would be the first Episcopal church in the United States to become a Roman Catholic parish.

Education

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

Bladensburg residents are zoned to schools in the Prince George's County Public Schools district.

Public elementary schools serving the town include:

  • Bladensburg Elementary School
    • Bladensburg Elementary established an English as a second language (ESOL) program years prior to 2004. By that year about 33% of the students were designated as ESOL. As of that year special ESOL teachers visit classrooms and provide support to regular teachers.
  • Port Towns Elementary School
  • Rogers Heights Elementary School
  • Templeton Elementary School

The zoned middle school is William Wirt Middle School. Bladensburg High School is the sole zoned high school of the town.

International High School at Langley Park: a special high school for students who are new immigrants to the United States.

Private schools

Elizabeth Seton High School, a private high school, is located in Bladensburg.

Transportation

2016-09-02 16 55 31 View south along U.S. Route 1 Alternate (Baltimore Avenue) near Tanglewood Drive in Bladensburg, Prince Georges County, Maryland
US 1 Alt approaching MD 450 in Bladensburg

Several major surface roads serve Bladensburg. U.S. Route 1 Alternate is the only U.S. Highway serving the town. It follows Baltimore Avenue along a northeast-southwest alignment on the west edge of town. Major state routes serving Bladensburg include Maryland Route 201, which follows Kenilworth Avenue on a general north-south alignment, and Maryland Route 450, which follows Annapolis Road on an east-west route. Maryland Route 202 reaches its northern terminus at MD 450 in Bladensburg, while Maryland Route 769 follows the old alignment of MD 201 along minor surface roads through town. The nearest freeway is the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which passes just east of the town limits.

Notable person

  • Caleb T. Bailey, born in Bladensburg in 1898; Brigadier general, USMC
  • Robert M. Wright, born in Bladensburg in 1840; one of the founders of Dodge City, Kansas

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