Photo credit: Marina King , 03/1988

Property Name: Oxon Cove Farm
Date Listed: 9/2/2003
Inventory No.: PG:76A-13
Location: 6411, Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, Prince Georges County

Description: Oxon Cove Farm is an agricultural complex, encompassing 14 buildings and two structures, which is currently part of a living farm museum operated by the National Park Service. The resources encompassed in the historic district are associated with the property's sequential development as a plantation, an institutional agricultural complex, and a farm museum, during the 19th and 20th centuries. Resources located within the district include a c. 1807 brick house; hexagonal frame outbuilding; c. 1830 brick root cellar; c. 1973 frame hog house; c. 1890 frame horse and pony barn; c. 1991 frame chicken house; c. 1970 steel-frame implement shed; c. 1980 frame visitor barn; c. 1970 steel-frame windmill; c. 1940 frame hay barn; c. 1890 frame feed building; c. 1830 brick stable; c. 1970 frame tool shed; c. 1980 frame "sorghum sirip" shed; and a c. 1980 frame dairy barn and c. 1940 tile silo. The Oxon Cove Farm historic district is located on the crest of a ridge overlooking the Potomac River, north of I-95. The complex is oriented to the south and commands a view of the river valley. The complex is spatially divided into two areas, defined by the farmstead and barnyard. The dwelling and domestic area dominates the complex from the crest of the ridge; a majority of outbuildings lie in a swale east of the dwelling and define the farmyard. The principal dwelling, known as Mount Welby, is a c. 1807 two-story three-bay brick structure sheltered by a shed roof. The house faces south, resting on a brick foundation, and is laid in Flemish bond from the foundation to the second-floor window lintels, and three-course common bond above. Two 6/9 sash windows with louvered shutters flank the central entrance, which is presented in a recessed doorway, with a six-panel door and two-light transom. Three 6/6 sash windows occupy the second floor. Hinges extant on the frames indicate former shutters. Above the second-floor windows, the brick wall exhibits a convex bulge, which dissipates at the building's corbeled brick cornice. The cornice is supported by projecting tiers of stepped brick corbels. All of the tiers project from solely the primary elevation, and alternate in depth of projection. A one-story hip-roofed porch spans the primary elevation, supported by chamfered posts and scrolled brackets. The north elevation is also three bays in width, but is solely laid in 3-course common bond. The northward slope of the ground partially exposes the rear basement level, which is pierced by three pairs of 8-light casement windows. A central entrance on this elevation is flanked by 6/9 sash windows with shutter hardware in the frames. The central entry is recessed, with a four-panel door and four-light transom. Three 6/6 sash windows light the second floor. A course of projecting brick headers defines the building's cornice. A one-story hip-roofed porch covers the first floor of this facade as well, also supported by chamfered posts and scrolled brackets, but incorporating a balustrade. The east end wall, in three-course common bond, exhibits the only watertable course on the building. Two flush brick chimneys stand at this elevation, with two bays between, containing a 6/9 window and basement door with a vestibule on the first floor and 6/6 windows above. The west end holds a single window in the center bay.

Significance: The Oxon Cove Farm historic district is a 16-element agricultural complex encompassing 14 buildings, two structures, and associated landscape features. The complex is an agricultural complex which is significant for its association with mental health care. Buildings included within the district are associated with two time periods and two principal themes. The time periods are c. 1800-1850 and 1891-1943. The historical themes important to the district include agriculture and mental health care. Oxon Cove Farm historic district was among the first agricultural complexes to be used as a therapeutic treatment center for the mentally ill. This innovative approach marked a change in patient therapy for the mentally ill, from the warehousing of patients to treatment within an active work atmosphere. Under the ownership of St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Oxon Cove Farm, then known as Godding Croft, provided innovative treatments for the mentally ill within an active agricultural context.




close