The community of Fort Washington is located in one of the most diverse and affluent counties in the nation. Prince George's County is progressive and modern, with strong traditions forged in the area's nearly 300 years of history. More than 200 years of military presence at Fort Washington have endowed the area with a diverse group of historic structures and a unique place in our nation's past. Originally part of the Harbor Defenses of Washington, D.C., the first Fort Washington was built in 1909. It was intentionally destroyed in 1814 to prevent British capture. The British continued upriver, however, and burned the capital. The current Fort Washington was built on the same site in 1824.
The history of Prince George's County began much earlier. The county was established in 1696 following heavy exploration and colonization by Captain John Smith and settlers from England and continental Europe. It was named for Prince George's of Denmark, husband of Princess Anne, heir to the throne.
Today, Fort Washington and Prince George's County are just minutes from the political, social and cultural life of Washington, D.C. While it is a progressive and modern place, it has not lost touch with its rich past. Farmers harvest tobacco as they have for 300 years right next to the modern research facilities of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. College Park Airport – where Wilbur Wright once gave flying lessons – is minutes from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The 18th-century Montpelier Mansion of Georges and Martha Washington is now a cultural arts complex.
Local students are served by Prince George's County Public Schools – a technologically advanced district recognized for its innovative programs. The district's "magnet" program – featuring a choice of curricula in visual and performing arts, foreign languages, science, math, technology and other areas – has become a national model for excellence.
The area also offers numerous exciting recreational and cultural destinations in the heart of the vibrant Washington, D.C., area. The Fort Washington Lighthouse, built in 1836, is now a museum depicting the story of the Potomac River lighthouses. One of the most popular national venues is the Six Flags America theme park. The Patuxent Wildlife Research Center features the magnificent whooping crane and bald eagle. Other attractions include the National Air & Space Museum, the County Equestrian Center and Oxon Hill Children's Farm. Also nearby are FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins, and Prince George's County Stadium in Bowie, home of the Bowie Baysox, an AA minor baseball league affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
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