Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Darnallís Chance Burial Vault
Evidence suggests that the vault was built by James Wardrop, a wealthy Upper Marborough merchant who built the large brick dwelling house in 1742. The only archival reference to the vault is a 1788 deed which made mention of “...the small square of ground in the garden which covers the family vault to which vault ... heirs are to have from time to time access.”
In 1990, an archaeological excavation of the vault was conducted in order to gather information for its future restoration and interpretation. During the excavation, it was discovered that the interior of the vault was completely filled with 18th and 19th century household trash and building debris. The trash is thought to have originated from a nearby kitchen midden (trashpot) and was dumped into the vault through two large openings in the collapsed roof.
Forensic anthropologists from the Smithsonian Institution assisted
(Caption to photographs in the lower left of the marker) Thousands of 18th and 19th century household and personal artifacts were recovered from the burial vault. Examples include Pearlware sugarbowl 1790 - 1810, green shell edged Pearlware plate 1800 - 1830, delft jar lid mid 1700ís, bone toothbrushes late 1700ís, white salt-glazed earthenware mid 1700ís and food remains (oyster shells and pig and fowl bones).
(Caption of diagram on upper right side of marker) The interior of the vault is ten feet wide by seventeen feet long and accessed by a stairway that is covered by modern wooden floors.
(Caption of photo on middle right side of marker) Interred in the vault are nine Caucasians including one adult male, two adult females, two children and four infants (under the age of one year). Radioisotope
(Caption of photo on lower right side of marker) The adult male (age 40 - 54) was interred in a wooden coffin and then buried in a brick sub-crypt. The remaining individuals were also interred in wooden coffins and placed on bricks that rested on the clay floor.
Location. 38° 49.168′ N, 76° 44.974′ W. Marker is in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker can be reached from Governor Oden Bowie Drive west of Marlboro Pike (Maryland Route 202). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 14800 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro MD 20772, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tried for Treason (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Schoolhouse Pond (about 500 feet away); John Rogers (1723 - 1789) The Walk of History (approx. 0.2 miles away); William Beanes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dr. William Beanes (approx. 0.2 miles away); Turn of Events (approx. 0.2 miles away); This White Oak Tree (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Upper Marlboro.
More about this marker. This marker is on the grounds of a mansion named Darnallís Chance. Darnallís Chance has a historical society, one of whose members informed the photographer that other markers would be erected on the grounds.
Categories. • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 11, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,992 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 11, 2007, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.