"Fort Washington Park & Broad Creek Historic Area" Fort Washington National Park by Ewingjr98

Fort Washington National Park lies along the Potomac River in Maryland, opposite Virginia's Fort Hunt and Mount Vernon. From Mount Vernon Highway you have several scenic overlooks providing excellent views of the fort and the lighthouse across this relatively narrow neck of the river.

The original Fort Washington was completed in 1809 as the primary defensive position protecting the new national capitol. During the War of 1812, the fort was destroyed by its American garrison during the British advance on Washington to prevent its capture. Fort Washington was reconstructed in 1824 with extensive remodeling in the 1840s and 1890s.

The fort is a stone structure with excellent firing lanes down the Potomac River. It was turned over to the Department of the Interior in 1946 after the Army closed the garrison. The park grounds have hiking and bicycle paths and picnic areas.

The Fort Washington Light, located below the fort, was established in 1857. The current tower was constructed in 1882, and it stands 28 feet tall.


Broad Creek Historic District consists of three existing buildings, the ruins of another, and the remnants of an old canal.

Harmony Hall was a plantation house built in 1760. It was restored in the 1930s by a local government worker.

St. John's Church was established in 1692 as one of the original thirty churches of the Anglican Church in Maryland. The current plain square brick structure dates from 1766. This is the most visible and easily visited of the Broad Creek sites.

Piscataway House dates back to about 1750. It was constructed in the nearby village called Piscataway, but was moved to the current location in 1932 to protect it from destruction.

Want Water is the name of a mansion built in the 1730s along the Broad Creek near the Potomac. The owner was a tobacco planter, but he didn't have a port for his goods so he created the nearby Want Water Canal. The house and the canal are both in ruins today, but significant evidence of both remain, particularly the towering stone end walls of the house.

  • Last visit to Fort Washington National Park: May 2009
  • Intro Updated Jun 29, 2009
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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    May 28, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Oh, I really enjoy old forts and this one is exceptional! The historical markers are always a wonderful find! Nice page!

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