Upper Marlboro is a small city with a lot to offer. It has been the county seat of Prince George's County since 1721. The city is located 14 miles to the east of Washington, D.C., and nine miles south of Bowie, Maryland. The area was named after the first Duke of Marlborough, an ancestor of Winston Churchill, and was settled around 1695. Upper Marlboro is on the West Branch of the Patuxent River and was established as a port town for tobacco ships in 1706.
The town has a population of around 700 and is only 0.4 square miles. However, locals generally refer to Upper Marlboro in terms of the greater metropolitan area, which comprises 20 percent of Prince George's County. This larger region has a population of more than 20,000.
About 67 percent of workers from Greater Upper Marlboro work for companies, 29 percent work for the government and around 1 percent is self-employed. Greater Upper Marlboro is a relatively affluent area and its median household income is well above the national average. The leading industries in Upper Marlboro are public administration, education, health and social services, management, administrative and waste management services.
With a total area of 0.4 square miles, Upper Marlboro accommodates a little more than 300 houses. Out of these, about 290 are occupied, with owners occupying 230 houses.
Upper Marlboro has a downtown area along Main Street, where the Courthouse and County Administration Building are located. The main residential area is to the west of the downtown on several streets, housing around 650 people.
There are several housing developments in an around Upper Marlboro. These include luxury homes in Rose Hill Estates and The Reserve, as well as the gated community of Meadow Gate Estates. Other developments include Cameron Grove, Oak Creek, Perrywood, Melwood Springs, and Woodyard Estates.
The effort to preserve Upper Marlboro's history is a significant one. Darnall's Chance House Museum opened to the public in 1988 and is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of 18th-century women and African Americans. Many of the museum's offerings revolve around the life of Lettice Wardrop Thomson Sim, a former Darnall's Chance House resident, who lived in the home prior to the Revolutionary War. The museum also hosts numerous events, among them:
Other historical sites in the area include:
The site of the former Marlboro racetrack grounds is now the Show Place Arena and Prince George's Equestrian Center. A number of major events are held there, including the Prince George's County Fair, Maryland's oldest fair, dating back to 1842. Other events include:
For more than 30 years, the town of Upper Marlboro has held Marlboro Day. The event is held on Main Street and features a parade, clowns, drill teams, fire trucks, dancers, local politicians, and antique cars.
The annual Park Your Arts sidewalk arts and music festival takes place at the Upper Marlboro Library. The event features a used book sale to raise money for the library, along with music and children's activities.
The annual Cruzin' Main Street Car and Street Rod Show features classic cars, food and oldies music.
The Greater Upper Marlboro area is also home to Six Flags America Amusement Park and Adventure World.
Watkins Regional Park is home to the Watkins Nature Center, the Chesapeake Carousel, Old Maryland Farm, a miniature train and a miniature golf course. The park covers more than 850 acres. Ball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, campsites, a playground and numerous walking and hiking trails are also available. Old Maryland Farm is an educational farm complex with agricultural exhibits, pony and hay rides, livestock and interactive farming gardens.
Patuxent River Park is also located in Upper Marlboro.
There are a number of golf courses within the area, including:
Notable Upper Marlboro residents include:
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