Grand Opening of War of 1812 Visitor Center at Bladensburg Waterfront Park set for this weekend.
- By Donna Walker
- August 21, 2012
It’s a little-know historical fact: Prince George’s County, and the town of Bladensburg, played a key role in the War of 1812, also known as America’s “Second War of Independence.”
A new Visitor Center at Bladensburg Waterfront Park opens this weekend to help re-tell the story of the town’s role in America’s “Forgotten War.” The Battle of Bladensbug Visitor Center commemorates one of the war’s most significant battles which took place in Bladensburg, and highlights Prince George’s County’s involvement.
The Grand Opening of the Center also kicks off Maryland’s 1812 Bicentennial Celebration. Residents are invited to the free festivities, launching two years of events commemorating Maryland’s role in The War of 1812.
The Bladensburg Center will tell the story of dramatic events which took place in Prince George’s County as the British marched to Washington and burned government buildings, including the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress and even the White House. The role of African Americans in the conflict, both free and enslaved, also will be highlighted.
The celebrations begin on Friday, Aug. 24, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony 10:00 – 12:00 p.m. Open houses, walking and boat tours, and appearances by representatives of the Canadian and British Embassies and the Piscataway Tribe are scheduled.
Opening events continue on Saturday, Aug. 25, 12:00-5:00 p.m., with a day of family fun and entertainment, including tours of the new center, costumed reenactments, period music, cannon fire, exhibits, food and more.
Many War of 1812 historic war sites are located in Prince George’s County, including Darnall’s Chance, Mount Calvert, Riversdale House, St. Thomas Church, Bostwick, The Woodyard Site, George Washington House, Market Master’s House, Oxon Hill Farm, the Hilleary-Magruder House, Magruder Spring, Fort Washington and Fort Lincoln, among others.
The Battle of Bladensburg Visitor Center is located at Bladensburg Waterfront Park (2601 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, MD 20710). The facility opens to the public on Aug. 25, and is open daily from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free.