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Community Overview

Community Overview

Situated in the heart of the Washington, D.C./Baltimore corridor is Prince George’s County, a progressive community that has placed itself among Maryland’s best locations for residential living, business operations and tourism. There is much to be enjoyed here, from the outstanding educational opportunities and advantageous economic climate to a host of attractions, cultural avenues and recreational diversions. Among the many distinguished features of the county is the University of Maryland at College Park, Six Flags America, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, more than 20,000 acres of parks and recreation facilities, and the wildly popular National

Harbor, to name a few. And no mention of Prince George’s can go without noting the significant historical presence felt throughout the area.

The county’s rich heritage stretches back to the early 1600s. The first Europeans to discover current-day Prince George’s County arrived in 1608. By 1634, the first colony was established in the area and, over the next several decades, expanded immensely along the Patuxent and Potomac rivers and far inland.

Prince George’s County

By 1695, the area was home to approximately 1,600-1,700 people, spurring government to designate new counties. On April 23, 1696 (St. George’s Day), Prince George’s County was created by an act of the General Assembly from portions of Calvert and Charles counties. It received its name in honor of Prince George of Denmark, husband of Queen Anne of England. The county seat was designated at Upper Malboro.

Prince George’s saw much growth through the 1700s, yet remained predominantly agricultural in nature. Tobacco led the economy, even when the agricultural industry began diversifying by the mid-19th century. More towns began springing up near the close of the century, with the population reaching 30,000 by 1900. The county continued to see a major surge in population in ensuing years, reaching 60,000 in 1930, 200,000 in 1950 and 661,000 by 1970. County leaders began investing in industrial and commercial enterprises in the area during the 1970s and 1980s, changing the face of Prince George’s from a suburban bedroom community into a dynamic urban metropolis.

Prince George’s County has come a long way since 1696 and now boasts a population exceeding 860,000 residents and more than 15,000 businesses. Though the county continues to experience growth and development, it has worked hard to preserve its more than 300-year history. Thanks to such organizations as the Prince George’s County Historical Society, local preservation committees and active citizens, many of the county’s oldest structures and historical sites remain intact and open for tours.

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