Historic Sites
Learn through history by visiting interesting historic sites around the state of Maryland. Historic sites let you put a real face on the history that you've read about, making it more exciting for you and your children.
Historic Sites in Maryland
Monocacy National Battlefield
Known as the "Battle That Saved Washington", the battle of Monocacy on July 9, 1864 between 18,000 Confederate forces under General Jubal Early, and 5,800 Union forces under General Lew Wallace, marked the last campaign of the Confederacy to carry the war into the north. One of the objectives of this campaign was to capture Washington, D.C. Although this battle was a military victory for the Confederates, it was also a defeat. Time spent for battle cost the Confederates a day's delay in marching on the federal capital. General Lew Wallace's defense along the Monocacy bought critical time to allow Washington to be reinforced. Early's raid would be thwarted and the war would be taken to the south for the rest of the war.
Antietam National Cemetery
Antietam National Cemetery is one of the 130 cemeteries of the National Cemetery System, a system that began during the Civil War. There are 4,776 Union remains (1,836 or 38% are unknown) buried here from the Battle of Antietam, South Mountain, Monocacy, and other action in Maryland. All of the unknowns are marked with small square stones. These stones contain the grave number, and if you look closely on a few stones, a small second number represents how many unknowns are buried in that grave. There are also a few of the larger, traditional stones that mark unknown graves. In addition, more than 200 non-Civil War dead are also buried here. Veterans and their wives from the Spanish-American War, World War I and II, and Korea were also buried here until the cemetery closed in 1953.
Baltimore Civil War Museum
Housed in a 1849 train station, the museum features a permanent exhibition that addresses Baltimore during the Civil War and the part that the President Street Station played in this era, Maryland's railroad history and the building's role in the transportation of slaves escaping to the North.
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the Department of Defense and is one of the world's largest office buildings. Tours of the Pentagon are available to schools, educational organizations and other select groups by reservation only.
United States Capitol Guide Service
The United States Capitol is a monument, a working legislative building, and one of the most recognizable symbols of Democracy in the world. Visit the new Capitol Visitor Center, located under the East Front Plaza, which provides a dramatic educational experience for all visitors, an experience enhanced through exhibits, displays of historic documents, and documentary presentations.
Clara Barton National Historic Site
Clara Barton National Historic Site commemorates the life of Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross. The home served as the headquarters and warehouse for the organization. From this house, Miss Barton organized American Red Cross relief efforts for victims of natural disasters and war.
Harmony Hall
Harmony Hall is in the Broad Creek Historic District, the first historic district formed under Prince George's County preservation law. The house is an 18th century Georgian country house that architecturally ranks as one of the great early plantation houses and an outstanding early colonial house of Maryland. The front of the house faces the Potomac River and remains much as it appeared in 1766, the estimated time of construction.
Historic Houses of Hopkins
Tour the Evergreen House and the Homewood House Museum featuring exhibits detailing life of early 19th century Baltimore.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
“O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,” a large red, white and blue banner? “Whose broad stripes and bright stars . . . were so gallantly streaming!” over the star-shaped Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, September 13-14, 1814. The valiant defense of the fort by 1,000 dedicated Americans inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Regardless of the “rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air” the defenders of Fort McHenry stopped the British advance on Baltimore and helped to preserve the United States of America – “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Following the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812, the fort never again came under attack. However, it remained an active military post off and on for the next 100 years. It became an area administered by the National Park Service in 1933, two years after Key's poem became this country's National Anthem. Of all the areas in the National Park System, Fort McHenry is the only one designated a National Monument and Historic Shrine. Fort McHenry is located in Baltimore.
Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm
The primary feature of Oxon Cove Park is Oxon Hill Farm which operates as an actual working farm, representative of the early 20th century. You can see a farm house, barns, a stable, feed building, livestock buildings and a visitor activity barn. It exhibits basic farming principles and techniques as well as historical agricultural programs for urban people to develop an understanding of cropping and animal husbandry. From the 1890's until the 1950`s, Oxon Hill Farm was operated by patients from St. Elizabeth Hospital. It provided therapy as well as food for the patients at the institution. The land area varies from low flat river shoreline to high river terraces with intermediate rolling hills created by a reclaimed sanitary landfill which existed on the site until the mid-seventies.
Fort Foote Park
Eight miles downriver from the capital, Fort Foote was considered "a powerful enclosed work" by its chief engineer, "and the most elaborate...of all the defenses of Washington." The long oval earthwork was constructed on Rozier's Bluff from 1863 to 1865 to strengthen the ring of fortifications that encircled Washington, D.C., during the Civil War. Fort Foote was designed to protect the river entrance to the ports of Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington and replace the aging Fort Washington as the primary river defense. The fort was named for Rear Adm. Andrew H. Foote who died in 1863 from wounds he received in combat the previous year. Over the massive rammed-earth parapets, two 15-inch Rodman guns and four 200-pounder rifled Parrotts had muzzles trained down the Potomac River. With a deafening roar, the Rodman cannon could hurl 440-pound shells for three miles. Siege and field guns were stationed to fire on any party attacking from land. Companies of the 9th New York Heavy artillery worked to build and arm the fort. The last in the ring of forts and batteries to be abandoned when peacetime returned, Fort Foote continued in active status until 1878. It was briefly reactivated as a training site during World War I. Today the National Park Service has cleared paths around the ruins of what is considered the best preserved Civil War fort in the region. Remounted on carriages, two Rodman guns loom in shadows under the trees, the river still in their sights.
Antietam National Battlefield
Established by Act of Congress on August 30, 1890, this Civil War site marks the end of General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the North in September 1862. The battle claimed more than 23,000 men killed, wounded, and missing in one single day, September 17,1862, and led to Lincoln's issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum
The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American railroading through the history and legacy of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, the Western Maryland Railway, and the regional railroads of the mid-Atlantic.
Fort Washington Park
Picturesque Fort Washington sits on high ground overlooking the Potomac River and offers a grand view of Washington and the Virginia shoreline. Today, only one silent gun stands behind the masonry wall-the last armament of the powerful fort that once guarded the water approach to our Nation's Capital. The old fort is one of the few U.S. seacoast fortifications still in its original form. When ocean-going warships had wood sides and carried smoothbore cannons, no enemy would attempt to ascend the river before destroying the fort. But changing technology made the fort useless. Our government built concrete emplacements to meet the threat of iron-sided ships and rifled guns. When they became obsolete the post was turned over to the infantry and finally became a military training facility. Over 200 years of army presence has left the park with a diverse group of military structures and a rich history of service to our country and the Nation's Capital. The 341 acre park offers an assortment of recreational opportunities. Picnic areas can be reserved for group activities and fishermen try their luck along the shore. There are also hiking and biking trails and a playground for children. It is not unusual to see eagles circling the river or deer feeding in the park during morning and evening twilight. You can always discover something interesting at Fort Washington Park.
Hampton National Historic Site
Hampton offers an exceptional opportunity to learn about an important part of American history, our aspirations, our values, and the moral choices we have struggled with through the years. The park preserves a vast estate from the 1700s. Its centerpiece is an elegantly furnished Georgian mansion set amid formal gardens and shade trees. When it was finished in 1790, Hampton was the largest house in the United States. It is the story of a seven generation family business, early American industry and commerce, and changing cultural tastes. It is also the story of the economic and moral changes that made this kind of estate life obsolete. Most of all, Hampton is the story of people -- enslaved African Americans, indentured servants, hired industrial and agricultural workers, and the estate owners -- who made this lifestyle possible.
Thomas Stone National Historic Site
The story of Thomas Stone is not just the story of man who signed the Declaration of Independence. It is about a peace loving man, who only after realizing he had no further options for peace, pledged his life, fortune, and sacred honor toward the vision of an independent America. It is about a devoted family man who took in six other family members upon the death of his father, and when his wife became gravely ill, put his national aspirations on hold to spend more time with her and their children. When you visit Thomas Stone National Historic Site, you are truly taking a step back in time. Whether it is the restored manor house, or the collection of 19th century outbuildings,or just the quiet and solitude, there is something for everyone here. Come spend some time here and learn of this hidden jewel in the national park system. Located in Charles County, Maryland, Thomas Stone NHS is 25 miles south of Washington D.C.
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