|Archaeology at Melwood Park
by Daniel Tana, Planner Coordinator at Prince George’s County Planning Department and MAHDC Board Member
Melwood Park is a Prince George’s County Historic Site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and protected by preservation easements held by both the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Located in Upper Marlboro and originally patented in 1672, the extant building’s earliest period of construction has been dated to 1714 by dendrochronology (performed by Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory in 2008), making it one of—if not the—oldest buildings in the county. The building is significant for many reasons; in addition to its age, it is also associated with many prominent families from Colonial-era Maryland: the Darnalls, the Carrolls, the Diggeses, and the Lees. But most important for the purposes of this article is the building’s unique architecture…
In the last eighteen months, the Ottery Group has returned to Melwood Park to conduct archeological excavations near the south wall of the house ahead of a major rehabilitation project—funded in part by a Historic Property Grant from the Prince George’s County Planning Board—which, in time, will see the building returned to a habitable level of repair. In that time, Mr. Cochran and their archeologists have uncovered a tremendous amount of new information. Continue reading.