The Surrounding Community

Excerpt from radio broadcast in 1946:

If we drive down to Marlboro over the Crain Highway, continue south seven miles to Cheltenham, and then turn left, we enter a very pleasant and a very beautiful country. Traversing the countless roads of the area, we see many of the old colonial mansions still standing on sites of eminence selected for the charming vistas on every side.

Many persons who do not know Southern Maryland have the impression that it is low and swampy. As a matter of fact, there are two sections known as swamps--Mattawoman and Zechiah. These swamps are narrow marshes or fens lush with animal life and vegetable life, and heavily timbered. They extend from the section with which we are concerned in a southeasterly direction to the Potomac River. This section of Prince George's County is distinctive for large rounded knolls. It is the great tobacco growing center of Maryland and is becoming equally famous for its dairy farms and wheat fields.

We may remember that in the war of 1812 the English General Ross sailed up the Patuxent River, debarked his troops at Benedict, constructed a causeway of oyster shells to the mainland and elected to advance on Washington by a roundabout route through Patuxent City, Aquasco, Horsehead, Nottingham, Croome, and Marlboro. In marching to Washington, the English Army left Marlboro over the present Marlboro Pike, passed Melwood Park, the Digges home, and proceeded to the present Forestville, at that time Old Long Fields, and then detoured to the present Tuxedo, near Cheverly, and the River Road into Bladensburg.

After the burning of Washington, the English Army returned to Bladensburg and ascended the hill to Decatur Heights, over what is now the Defense Highway. The army then turned right on the Ridge Road through the present Landover and Largo and on to Marlboro and back through Croome and Nottingham to Benedict.

With this brief discussion of the topography and the history of Southern Maryland, and of Prince George's County, we may now proceed to our main point of interest--Boone Chapel, the site of which was located two miles southeast of Cheltenham.