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Fort Washington, Maryland
—  CDP  —
Location of Fort Washington, Maryland
Coordinates: 38°44′37″N 77°0′37″W / 38.74361°N 77.01028°W / 38.74361; -77.01028
Country United States
State Maryland
County Prince George's
 - Total 14.0 sq mi (36.3 km2)
 - Land 13.6 sq mi (35.2 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 105 ft (32 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 23,845
 - Density 1,756.4/sq mi (678.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 20744, 20749
Area code(s) 301
FIPS code 24-29525
GNIS feature ID 0598313
A view of the main gate of Fort Washington from a nearby hill.
Historical re-enactment at the fort

Fort Washington, Maryland is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland in the suburbs of the capital city of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., south of the downtown district.[1] It is a prosperous community with an African American majority population. While the red-highlighted area on this map shows areas west of Maryland Route 210, the Fort Washington community additionally includes areas further east as well . Other communities such as Friendly, MD which have no post office, share zipcodes with Fort Washington.

Fort Washington is the site of Fort Washington Park, which was for many decades the only defensive fort protecting Washington D.C. The fort, now maintained by the National Park Service, is a stone structure with a good cannon shot down the Potomac River. During the War of 1812, the Fort was quickly abandoned during a British advance. In 1844, a cannon exploded on the USS Princeton as it was passing Fort Washington[2]. During World War II, the US Army’s Adjutant General's School was located at the fort, and had billeting for 362 Officers and 2,526 Enlisted Persons[3].

The very extensive park grounds with their Potomac River view and hiking paths are a scenic place for picnicking, fishing and outdoor recreation. (Admission is free to people entering after business hours and before sunset).

Near the fort are many impressive luxury riverfront homes, two marinas, two community pools, and the Tantallon country club and golf course. The area was rural until about 1960 when suburban growth began and is continuing to grow, adding new, oversized homes in small developments next to older existing developments. Until the founding of the Oxon Hill post office about 1960, the Fort Washington area generally used the mailing address Washington, D.C., except for the few years that Friendly had a post office. About 1980 the postal service split the Fort Washington area from Oxon Hill, defining it as a separate town name. At that time, to make mail sorting easier, they drew the boundary between the two communities to conform to already existing zip code boundaries. The end result sometimes confuses people, since the northern end of the Fort Washington postal area identifies more instead with the communities Oxon Hill or Temple Hills, MD / Camp Springs, MD but still uses a Fort Washington mailing address.

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) maintains the Harmony Hall Regional Center [1], including the John Addison Concert Hall, site of community theater ("Tantallon Community Players"), art shows, frequent concerts, and a variety of classes for all ages. A YMCA fitness center opened in 2005. The 12,000-member Ebenezer A.M.E. Church [2] is also noteworthy, as is a large nursery/landscaping business and a popular motorcycle shop. There is a small 50-bed hospital (Fort Washington Hospital). Many highly successful African-Americans live in Fort Washington; there are also some Ethiopian residents and a large, long-established ethnic Filipino population.

As explained above, some Fort Washington addresses are actually many miles north of the historic Fort and closer to the Capital Beltway or to Allentown Road, where there are also some apartment projects. Fort Washington teens generally attend Friendly High School, but some attend Crossland or Oxon Hill High Schools. The Henson Creek hiker-biker trail extends 5-1/2 miles along a stream valley, partly in the Fort Washington area.

First-time visitors are often confused by the several different busy "Livingston Roads" which are disconnected and wind in different directions, as well as by the two separate "Old Fort Roads" causing them to make wrong turns off of Maryland Route 210. Eventually all roads intersecting Route 210 in the Fort Washington area (from the Beltway as far south as the highway 210 curve at Piscataway Creek) are planned for upgrading to controlled-access interchanges (eliminating all traffic signals), but not until far into the next decade (2010's).



Fort Washington is located at 38°44′37″N 77°0′37″W / 38.74361°N 77.01028°W / 38.74361; -77.01028 (38.743481, -77.010383).[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 14.0 square miles (36.3 km²), of which, 13.6 square miles (35.2 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (3.00%) is water.

The fort’s land originally included 347 Acres, which was last surveyed in June 1944[3].


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 23,845 people, 8,245 households, and 6,505 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,756.4 people per square mile (678.0/km²). There were 8,621 housing units at an average density of 635.0/sq mi (245.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 18.70% White, 67.17% African American, 0.36% Native American, 10.35% Asian (mostly Filipino), 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.97% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.30% of the population.

There were 8,245 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.4% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.1% were non-families. 17.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.22.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 23.8% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 32.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $81,177, and the median income for a family was $88,374 (these figures had risen to $105,475 and $111,227 as of a 2007 estimate[6]). Males had a median income of $46,656 versus $42,450 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $30,871. About 2.8% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over.

Civil War Incidents[7].



Fearing for the safety of Washington, D.C. in case of war, Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey ordered a detachment of US Marines to garrison the fort.


Secretary of the Navy Giddeon Wells ordered the Potomac Flotilla reduced to half strength due to cessation of hostilities. This included the removal of the Marines from Fort Washington.

Notable people


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Fort Washington, Maryland
  2. ^ "Fort Washington Park – Mammoth Guns". National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-02-10.  
  3. ^ a b Stanton, Shelby L. (1984). Order Of Battle: US Army; World War II. 31 Pamaron Way; Novato, California: Presidio Press. pp. 621. ISBN 0-89141-195-X.  
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  6. ^
  7. ^ Toomey, Daniel Carroll (2004). The Civil War In Maryland; 11th Edition. P.O. Box 122; Linthicum, Maryland: Toomey Press. pp. 183 w/index. ISBN 0-9612670-0-3.  

External links


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