Rossville Community, Muirkirk District in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Three Sisters: Close Knit Communities of the Laurel Area.
Children from all three communities attended the Muirkirk Freedmen’s Bureau School, which was supported by Charles Coffin. The school taught White pupils in the morning and African American students in the afternoon. In addition to the school, Abraham Hall opened its doors to members of Rossville, Bacontown and the Grove. The Groves’s annual Emancipation Day celebration was sponsored by St. Marks Church, the Benevolent Sons and Daughters of Abraham and other fraternal organizations, and attracted participants from the surrounding communities.
These institutions and events helped to foster a larger community spirit among African Americans in Laurel that did not vanish after the ironworks closed in 1920. Eventually the old ironworks was converted to a paint factory that made use of iron ore as an ingredient in paint pigment. Many former ironworkers
Certificate of Freedom for Maria Bacon, founder of Bacontown, who inherited land from her former owner, Achsah Dorsey. Bacon did not work at Muirkirk, but Bacontown’s residents had strong ties to the Muirkirk Ironworks and the communities of Rossville and the Grove. Courtesy Maryland State Archives.
Photograph of St. Mark’s United Methodist Episcopal Church, circa 1980.
Photograph of Laurel’s Emancipation Day celebration, circa 1910.
Erected 2008 by Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince George's County.
Location. 39° 3.552′ N, 76° 52.397′ W. Marker is in Rossville Community, Muirkirk District, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Touch for map. Marker is off the parking lot at the entrance to the recently restored Abraham Hall community center on Old Muirkirk Road, a block north of Muirkirk Road, across the street from the Muirkirk West Neighborhood Park, and about half a mile east of Old Baltimore Pike. Note that Muirkirk Road is not directly accessible from U.S. 1 (the area's primary north-south thoroughfare). Travelers on U.S. 1 should turn east at Powder Mill Road (MD 201) in Beltsville, crossing the B&O RR tracks, to reach Old Baltimore Pike and then proceed north to Muirkirk Road. Marker is in this post office area: Beltsville MD 20705, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Abraham Hall: A Historic African American Benevolent Lodge (here, next to this marker); Iron Production: Maryland's Industrial Past - The Iron Making Process (here, next to this marker); When the Iron was Hot: African America Ironworkers of Muirkirk (here, next to this marker); Queen’s Chapel Methodist Church, Established 1868 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dinosaurs in Maryland! (approx. 0.8 miles away); Dinosaur Alley (approx. 0.8 miles away); Welcome to Dinosaur Park (approx. 0.8 miles away); Dinosaur Park's Industrial Heritage (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rossville Community, Muirkirk District.
Additional keywords. Reconstruction; Jim Crow; Laurel, Maryland.
Categories. • 20th Century • African Americans • Churches & Religion • Civil Rights • Education • Notable Places • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 17, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,345 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 17, 2009, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.