Wanting to fill in a gap, we’ve had our eye on visiting several residential museums in the northern part of Prince George’s County. In order, they are Riversdale, Bel Air, and Marietta.
I thought for sure we would visit the former first. I’ve been attracted to Riversdale story because of its connections with Alexandria and the Custis family, and the fact that “Mistress of Riversdale” by Margaret Law Callcott provided great insight into Rosalie Stier Calvert’s life at and stewardship of the home.
Located about two miles south of Bowie, Marietta is a 2 and ½ story late Federal-style brick home built in 1813 for U.S. Supreme Court associate justice Gabriel Duvall. It remained under the ownership of the Duvall family until 1902. Although suburbia knocks on its eastern front, the home is surrounded with space and green beauty - 25 acres of lawn and woodlands.
Born at Darnell’s Chance in Upper Marlboro, Duvall served his county and country for over 60 years, including the Revolutionary War, Maryland House of Delegates, Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court from 1835. He supported Thomas Jefferson in 1796 and 1800.
The National Register for Historic Places nomination form points out several features of Marietta, which Duvall built as his country home. Described as “sufficiently elegant in a restrained way,” it is the finest surviving example of its type in PG County and unique among the late Federal-style plantation houses in the county. Duvall’s brick law office is a unique feature.
One of the living history groups calls themselves The Das Teufels Alpdrucken Fahnlein. They portrays mercenary soldiers during the 15th-century. I learned about the War of Roses, feuds, landsknechts, and retinues. Game of Throne fans would eat this stuff up. Me? I so don’t know Medieval European history.
This young lady was kicking her male counterpart’s butt in a game of ring toss.