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

Laurel: Half-way between Baltimore and Washington

Road, Rail and River Converge

 

—Riverfront Park Heritage & Nature Trail —

 
Laurel: Half-way between Baltimore and Washington Marker image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
1. Laurel: Half-way between Baltimore and Washington Marker
Inscription. Route 1, originally known as the Washington-Baltimore Turnpike was part of the major road between Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.

Laurel, located half-way between Baltimore and Washington was an important and convenient stopping place. A hotel was in operation close to this location across the street by the early 1800s, and early on was known as "Half-Way House." Other names reflecting a succession of owners, including Harrison's Hotel and later Milstead's Hotel. The complex included a livery stable, and blacksmith's shop and undertaker(!) in addition to a hotel.

The B&O railroad, laid out along a path that had earlier been surveyed for a canal, arrived in 1835. Laurel benefited economically from this early and easy access to the important city and commercial port of Baltimore. In later years, the easy access to Washington also became important to the community's many government workers.

Laurel's Francis Baldwin-designed train station was built in 1884. A train station was originally on the other side of the tracks, as shown on this 1878 map. When the Civil War began there was just a single track connecting Washington with the Union states to the north. By the end of the war, rail traffic had increased dramatically and a second track was laid.

Union troops stationed in
Maker at end of trail with US Route 1 in background. image. Click for full size.
By A. Taylor, January 20, 2014
2. Maker at end of trail with US Route 1 in background.
and around Laurel guarded the tracks from sabotage and Confederate attack.
 
Erected by City of Laurel.
 
Location. 39° 6.353′ N, 76° 50.533′ W. Marker is in Laurel, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Touch for map. Marker is on the Laurel Riverfront Park Heritage & Nature Trail. It is just south of the Patuxent River, at the east terminus of the trail, just west of US Route 1. The US Route 1 bridge over the Patuxent River can be seen from the marker. Marker is in this post office area: Laurel MD 20707, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Avondale Mill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Avondale Mill: A Lost Treasure (approx. 0.2 miles away); Laurel Railroad Depot (approx. 0.2 miles away); Riverfront Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First Telegram (approx. 0.2 miles away); Patuxent River (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Laurel's Civil War Hospital (approx. ¼ mile away); An Angel Among US (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Laurel.
 
Also see . . .  History of Laurel (Laurel Historical Society's website). (Submitted on March 3, 2014, by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland.)
 
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 3, 2014, by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 3, 2014, by A. Taylor of Laurel, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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