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Mount Rainier, Maryland
Official seal of Mount Rainier, Maryland
Prince George's County Maryland Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Mount Rainier Highlighted.svg
Country  United States of America
State  Maryland
County Flag of Prince George's County, Maryland.svg Prince George's
Incorporated 1910
 • Total 1.68 km2 (0.65 sq mi)
 • Land 1.68 km2 (0.65 sq mi)
 • Water 0 km2 (0 sq mi)
Elevation 24 m (79 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 8,080
 • Estimate (2012) 8,226
 • Density 4,799.6/km2 (12,430.8/sq mi)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-6)
ZIP code 20712
Area code(s) 301
FIPS code 24-54275
GNIS feature ID 0597787

Mount Rainier /rˈnɪər/ is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 8,080 at the 2010 census. Bordering Washington, D.C., Mount Rainier got its start as a streetcar suburb. (See Streetcars in Washington, D.C.) According to local tradition, surveyors from the Pacific Northwest named the town, giving the streets names such as "Shasta" and "Cascade". Historic U.S. 1 runs through the center of the town and serves as the main street and central business district.

Bordering areas


Mount Rainier is located at 38°56′30″N 76°57′49″W / 38.94167°N 76.96361°W / 38.94167; -76.96361 (38.941594, -76.963696).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.65 square miles (1.68 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 1,242
1920 2,462 98.2%
1930 3,832 55.6%
1940 4,830 26.0%
1950 10,989 127.5%
1960 9,855 −10.3%
1970 8,180 −17.0%
1980 7,361 −10.0%
1990 7,954 8.1%
2000 8,498 6.8%
2010 8,080 −4.9%
Est. 2015 8,475 4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 8,080 people, 3,344 households, and 1,735 families residing in the city. The population density was 12,430.8 inhabitants per square mile (4,799.6/km2). There were 3,601 housing units at an average density of 5,540.0 per square mile (2,139.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 19.9% White, 52.8% African American, 0.6% Native American, 2.3% Asian, 20.9% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.4% of the population.

Arts District

Located along the Route 1 Corridor, Mount Rainier formed the Gateway Arts District along with its neighboring municipalities of Brentwood Hyattsville and North Brentwood.

Mount Rainier is home to the The Mount Rainier Artists' Lofts.


Bus service in the city is operated by the WMATA Metrobus through several lines along US 1 and Maryland Route 500 (Queens Chapel Road). Additional bus service is provided by the Prince George's County Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPW&T) The Bus, which also has several lines along the smaller roads.

Major highways

U.S. 1 is a major north-south roadway running through Mount Rainier, serving as the main street in the downtown area. It leads to College Park and Baltimore to the north and Washington, D.C. to the south.

History of Mount Rainier

In 1891, the City of Mount Rainier was named by a group of developers after the famous mountain in the state of Washington.

In 1899, the streetcar lines were extended from Washington D.C. through Hyattsville, Maryland. The Mount Rainier stop was located at the intersection of what is now known as Rhode Island Avenue and 34th Street. It was called the District Line Station. With the stop at Mount Rainier, it was easier to attract developers and prospective buyers because now the city offered easy access to get into and out of Washington.

Houses started to be built near the District Line Station after 1902. The homes on Mount Rainier were considered affordable, ranging from $2000 to $5000.

The business district aggregated around the streetcar station. In addition to the station, there were shops, grocery stores, a barber shop, laundry, and dry good stores. The first post office was established in 1904.

In 1910 the residents in the area around the streetcar station petitioned the Maryland State Legislature to incorporated Mount Rainier, and the city was incorporated by Charter granted on April 14, 1910.

In January 1912, the Mount Rainier volunteer fire department was created. The fire department was first located in a frame building and later moved to a brick structure located on 34th at Shepherd St.

In 1913, the Women's Civic League of Mount Rainier formed. In 1923, the first public school of Mount Rainier was constructed. And in the same year the town hired its first paid police officer because of its growing population.

In 1929, the town acquired 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land and in the following year the Mount Rainier High School opened there.

In 1939, a new terminal was built at 34th St and Rhode Island Ave. because of a change in streetcar services.

In the 1940s, Kaywood Garden apartments were constructed along Eastern Ave., raising the population of Mount Rainier.

In 1952, a library was built. In 1956, a privately operated community pool opened. In 1958, streetcar services stopped and was replaced by bus service.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the population of the city declined.

Today, a large area of Mount Rainier is considered an historic district by the National Register of Historic Places.

In the present day Mount Rainier still has many of the charms and attractive features that it had in the early 1900s. The metro stations at Rhode Island Avenue and West Hyattsville and the sense of community are important factors that draw residents to Mount Rainier.

Points of interest

Mount Rainier has been listed as an historic area, due to its history not only as a primary streetcar suburb of Washington, D.C., but also due to the vast number of Sears houses and Craftsman-style homes, many of which have been restored.

There is a lively arts district in the town, which has made a point to provide affordable housing for artists and to showcase their work. Mount Rainier Day, held in May, is one day in which the entire community opens its doors to the public. The town has become a haven for freelance workers in the world of theater, including scenic designers, artistic directors, lighting designers, and stage directors, several of whom have received the highest DC theater honor, the Helen Hayes Award. Mount Rainier is home to the alternative folk music duo Emma's Revolution and Joe Brewer, lead singer of the rock band [velvet] / owner of Brewer's Arcade which is a museum quality private collection featuring vintage 1980's era classic arcade and pinball machines.

A vegetarian, organic food cooperative, Glut, has existed since the 1960s and draws people from all over the area.

According to some sources, in 1949 at 33rd Street and Bunker Hill Road in Mount Rainier lived a child (see Robbie Mannheim) who allegedly became possessed by the devil. A local priest Edward Hughes took part in the exorcism. This incident became the basis for the movie The Exorcist. Local citizens have no recollection of this child being a resident of Mount Rainier, and a journalist eventually traced the youth to nearby Cottage City, Maryland.

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