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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Riverdale in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Riversdale Dependency

 
 
The Riversdale Dependency Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, March 18, 2006
1. The Riversdale Dependency Marker
Inscription. Large estates, such as Riversdale, had a number of outbuildings. These support structures, or dependencies, were essential to the operation of a large property. Historians and archaeologists have documented that a kitchen, servant quarters, wash house, smokehouse, privy, and garden wall formerly occupied the yard east (this side) of the mansion.

This dependency is the last surviving outbuilding from the Riversdale estate. Structural investigations indicate that it was likely built in the mid-nineteenth century, probably during the occupancy of Charles Benedict Calvert. however archaeological investigation of the dirt and clay floor revealed an earlier foundation, suggesting that there may have been a similar building on this site during the lifetimes of Rosalie and George Calvert.

This structure, approximately 30 feet east of the main house, is a simple two-story building with two entrances. Like the main house, it is constructed of brick and covered with stucco. A central chimney served a fireplace in each of the two side-by-side units and a stair ladder provided access to the second story.

Over the years this building had many different uses. An 1849 fire insurance policy refers to it as a "Servants House of Brick," while a later document suggests it was used as a kitchen. A listing in the 1860 census indicates
The Riversdale Dependency image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, March 18, 2006
2. The Riversdale Dependency
that a family was occupying the structure at that time. With the restoration of the building, the south half (right side) of the structure has been interpreted as a working replica kitchen and the north half (left side) will be used for a variety of exhibits.
 
Location. 38° 57.621′ N, 76° 55.888′ W. Marker is in Riverdale, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from Riverdale Road west of Taylor Road. Click for map. Riverdale Road is parallel to East-West Highway (State Route 410). Taylor Road has an intersection with East-West Highway two blocks north of Riverdale Road. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4811 Riverdale Road, Riverdale MD 20737, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. This Demiculverin (within shouting distance of this marker); Signs of War (within shouting distance of this marker); Riverdale School (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to Riversdale (about 300 feet away); Riverdale Park (about 400 feet away); Eternal Tribute (approx. mile away); The Town of Riverdale Park (approx. mile away); From Plantation to Suburb; a Community Grows (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Riverdale.
 
More about this marker. Park at the mansion's
Riversdale image. Click for full size.
By Tom Fuchs, March 18, 2006
3. Riversdale
The Dependency can be seen to the left of the mansion.
parking lot on 48th Avenue at Oliver Street.
 
Also see . . .  Adam Francis Plummer. (Submitted on October 5, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
Additional keywords. Adam Francis Plummer, slavery
 
Categories. African AmericansAntebellum South, USNotable BuildingsNotable Persons
 
Slavery and the Riversdale Dependency image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, September 8, 2008
4. Slavery and the Riversdale Dependency
African American docents in 19th century attire relate the story of the Plummer family and slavery at Riversdale to visitors, using exhibits and artifacts on display in the "dependency." Rare details about life in the Riversdale slave community have been gleaned from diarist Adam Francis Plummer's writings, now preserved at the Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C.
The Plummer Family image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 24, 2013
5. The Plummer Family
Family Tree inside the Dependency
Adam Francis Plummer Family Group image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, August 24, 2013
6. Adam Francis Plummer Family Group
Standing: Robert Francis, Nelly Arnold, Margaret Jane, Nicholas Saunders.
Sitting: Sarah Miranda, Adam Francis, Henry Vinton,
Margaret's daughter (Nellie).
Close-up of Photo on Family Tree Poster
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,802 times since then and 20 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.   4. submitted on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   5, 6. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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