Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Introducing the Bostwick House

The Center for Heritage Resource Studies of the University of Maryland began a small excavation at the Bostwick House this morning. It is scheduled to last for about one week. For this post we decided to write a little bit about this fantastic 18th century structure. Its history is closely related to that of the Market Master’s House, having a common owner and builder.
Christopher Lowndes, who we have mentioned in previous posts, was a major merchant, manufacturer, importer, slave trader and postmaster of Bladensburg. He was among the signers of a petition drawn up to commision the founding of the town. He also served as a court justice for Prince George’s County and town commissioner of Bladensburg.
The main body of the house was built sometime between 1742 and 1746, making it one of the first buildings constructed in Bladensburg. The main body of the house is a two-and-a-half story high early Georgian-style house. A long grassy terraced garden runs between the house and 48th street in Bladensburg. Currently, the architecture of the house reflects the tastes and fashions of the long succession of owners that owned and lived there throughout the last 250+ years. Porches, exterior kitchens, and buttresses were added to the exterior. Decorative elements such as plaster wall decoration, stained glass windows, Victorian wallpaper, larger staircases, extra doors and hunting trophies have also added their distinctive style to the building.
The Center for Heritage Resource Studies of the University of Maryland conducted a survey of the property surrounding the Bostwick House in the Spring of 2008 (http://www.gazette.net/stories/08282008/hyatnew173812_32470.shtml). The results of the survey only touched upon the huge amount of archaeological research potential present at the Bostwick House and the other 18th century buildings in Bladensburg.

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