Indian Head in Charles County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Railroad at Naval Proving Ground
—Indian Head Rail Trail —
Naval Proving Ground circa 1900 - The first railroad tracks for Indian Head were laid out during construction of the proving ground during the early 1890s. The railroad followed a curvilinear design to allow traveling cranes and flat cars to transport materials back and forth. As the proving ground expanded to include the production of smokeless powder, the railroad grew to connect to new areas of use.
World War I - As the United States entered World War I, demands for the production of smokeless
World War II and 1950s Development - At the beginning of World War II, Indian Head was one of two military installations equipped to produce explosives. As a result, Indian Head proved indispensable to the mobilization effort of World War ll. The Powder Factory grew to include an Extrusion Plant in 1943, which housed rocket propellant production for small rockets, as well as hundreds of new research and development facilities. The Korean War led to another period of increased activity at Indian Head. Old facilities were reactivated, and new facilities were established. With the increased activity and the addition of new facilities at Indian Head, the need to expand the railroad became
Above: 6-inch gun mounted on rail car, Indian Head, ca. 1918
Above: Ammunition storage building, Indian Head, ca. 1900
Above: Electric engine transporting a test rocket, Indian Head, ca. 1960
Indian Head Railroad, ca. 1955
Left, Center and Bottom: Railroad construction at Indian Head, ca. 1919
Inset: Indian Head railroad system overlaid on 2009 aerial imagery.
This sign was produced to support compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended) and serves as one of the measures taken to mitigate the removal of railroad lines.
Location. 38° 35.822′ N, 77° 10.076′ W. Marker is in Indian Head, Maryland, in Charles County. Marker can be reached from Mattingly Avenue 0.2 miles south of Indian Head Highway (Maryland Route 210), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Indian Head MD 20640, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Navy Railroad (a few steps from this marker); Saint Charles of Cornwallis Neck (approx. 1.8 miles away); Christian Temple Manor (approx. 2.8 miles away); Rich Resources (approx. 2.8 miles away); The Story (approx. 2.9 miles away); Smallwood's Home (approx. 3 miles away); Araby (approx. 3.1 miles away); General Smallwood's Gravesite (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indian Head.
Also see . . . Indian Head Rail Trail. Charles County (Submitted on October 9, 2016.)
Categories. • Railroads & Streetcars • War, World I • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 9, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 173 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on October 9, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.