Fort Washington, Maryland

Coordinates: 38°44′37″N 77°0′37″W / 38.74361°N 77.01028°W / 38.74361; -77.01028
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Fort Washington, Maryland
Fort Washington Park's main gate in October 2004
Fort Washington Park's main gate in October 2004
Location of Fort Washington in Maryland
Location of Fort Washington in Maryland
Coordinates: 38°44′37″N 77°0′37″W / 38.74361°N 77.01028°W / 38.74361; -77.01028
Country United States
State Maryland
County Prince George's
 • Total16.57 sq mi (42.92 km2)
 • Land13.79 sq mi (35.73 km2)
 • Water2.78 sq mi (7.19 km2)
105 ft (32 m)
 • Total24,261
 • Density1,758.81/sq mi (679.08/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
20744, 20749
Area code(s)301, 240
FIPS code24-29525
GNIS feature ID0598313
Fort Washington[2]

Fort Washington is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. It borders the Potomac River, situated 20 miles south of the downtown Washington, DC.[3][discuss] As of the 2020 census it had a population of 24,261.[4] The Fort Washington community is located west of Maryland Route 210, with some additional area to the east of the highway.


The Fort[edit]

A group of historical reenactors at Fort Washington in April 2008

The community is named for Fort Washington. The first Fort Washington was completed in 1809, and was the only defensive fort protecting Washington, D.C.[citation needed] It consisted of a small earthwork near the shore of the Potomac River. The failure of that fort to stop a British fleet from invading the national capital during the War of 1812 led to the construction of the current, larger, stone fortification. In 1844, a cannon exploded on the USS Princeton as it was passing Fort Washington.[5] During World War II, the US Army's Adjutant General's School was located at the fort, and had billeting for 362 officers and 2,526 enlisted persons.[6]

The site is now part of a very extensive park with views of the Potomac River and hiking paths. It is a scenic place for picnicking, fishing and outdoor recreation. (Admission is free to people entering after business hours and before sunset.)

War of 1812[edit]

During the War of 1812 Fort Washington, built to protect the capital from enemy advances on the Potomac River, was captured by the British under the command of Admiral Gordon, three days after the burning of the capital.[7]

Civil War[edit]

Upon the outbreak of the American Civil War, fearing for the safety of Washington in case of attack, Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey ordered a detachment of US Marines to garrison the fort.

In May 1865 Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered the Potomac Flotilla reduced to half strength due to cessation of hostilities. This included the removal of the Marines from Fort Washington.[8]

Twentieth century to present[edit]

Near the fort are many riverfront homes, two marinas, two community pools, and National Golf Club. The area was rural until about 1960 when suburban growth began and is continuing to grow, adding new, large family homes in small developments next to older existing developments.[citation needed] Until the founding of the Oxon Hill post office about 1960, the Fort Washington area generally used the mailing address Washington, D.C., except for the few years that Friendly had a post office. About 1980 the postal service split the Fort Washington area from Oxon Hill, defining it as a separate town name. At that time, to make mail sorting easier, they drew the boundary between the two communities to conform to already existing zip code boundaries. The end result sometimes confuses people, since the northern end of the Fort Washington postal area (near the Beltway) identifies more with the communities Oxon Hill or Temple Hills / Camp Springs but still uses a Fort Washington mailing address.


Fort Washington is located at 38°44′37″N 77°0′37″W / 38.74361°N 77.01028°W / 38.74361; -77.01028 (38.743481, -77.010383).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.57 square miles (42.9 km2), of which 13.79 square miles (35.7 km2) is land and 2.78 square miles (7.2 km2), or 16.8%, is water.[10]

First-time visitors are often confused by the several "Livingston Roads" which repeatedly crosses Route 210, as well as by the two separate "Old Fort Roads", causing them to make wrong turns off of Maryland Route 210. Eventually all roads intersecting Route 210 in the Fort Washington area (from the Beltway as far south as the highway 210 curve at Piscataway Creek) are planned for upgrading to controlled-access interchanges (eliminating all traffic signals) gradually during the 2020s decade.

The fort's land originally included 347 acres, which was last surveyed in June 1944.[6]

Community institutions[edit]

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) maintains the Harmony Hall Regional Center [1], including the John Addison Concert Hall, site of community theater ("Tantallon Community Players"), art shows, frequent concerts, and a variety of classes for all ages. A YMCA fitness center operated from 2005 until 2016, and a community center facility opened in 2013 in Fort Washington Forest. The 12,000-member Ebenezer A.M.E. Church is noteworthy, as is a large nursery/landscaping business and a popular motorcycle shop. There is a small 50-bed hospital (Fort Washington Hospital). Many highly successful African-Americans live in Fort Washington; there are also some Ethiopian residents and a large, long-established ethnic Filipino population.[citation needed]


Prince George's County Police Department District 7 Station in Fort Washington CDP serves the community.[11][12]

The U.S. Postal Service operates the Fort Washington Post Office in Fort Washington CDP.[13]

The Interagency Training Center, a training center for the National Security Agency is based in Fort Washington CDP


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
2010[15] 2020[16]

2020 census[edit]

Fort Washington CDP, Maryland – Racial and Ethnic Composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[15] Pop 2020[16] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 2,690 2,170 11.34% 8.94%
Black or African American alone (NH) 16,576 15,334 69.89% 63.20%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 51 32 0.22% 0.13%
Asian alone (NH) 2,154 2,227 9.08% 9.18%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 8 17 0.03% 0.07%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 56 179 0.24% 0.74%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 617 828 2.60% 3.41%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 1,565 3,474 6.60% 14.32%
Total 23,717 24,261 100.00% 100.00%

Per the 2020 census, the population was 24,261.[4]

2000 Census[edit]

As of the census[17] of 2010, there were 23,717 people, 8,135 households, and 6,319 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,719.8 inhabitants per square mile (664.0/km2). There were 8,681 housing units at an average density of 523.0 per square mile (201.9/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 70.6% African American, 13.40% White, 9.2% Asian (mostly Filipino), 0.2% Native American, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 3.3% from other races, and 2.38% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.6% of the population.

There were 8,135 households, out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.9% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were non-families. 18.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the CDP, the population was spread out, with 21.7% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 20 to 24, 21.9% from 25 to 44, 32.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the CDP was $105,475, and the median income for a family was $111,227.[18] In 2000, males had a median income of $46,656 versus $42,450 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $30,871. About 2.8% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.0% of those under age 18 and 4.5% of those age 65 or over. By the end of 2020, the CDP ranks # 5 among top 10 richest black communities in US, with an average family income of $114,234.[19][better source needed]


Potomac Airfield is in Friendly CDP, with a Fort Washington address.[20][21] Several Metrobus routes serve the area.


Fort Washington is under the Prince George's County Public Schools district.[12]

Zoned elementary schools serving the CDP are:[22]

  • Fort Foote Elementary School
  • Fort Washington Forest Elementary School
  • Indian Queen Elementary School
  • Potomac Landing Elementary School
  • Rose Valley Elementary School
  • Tayac Elementary School

Zoned middle schools serving the CDP are:[23]

  • Oxon Hill Middle School
  • Isaac J. Gourdine Middle School
  • Accokeek Middle School

Zoned high schools serving the CDP are:[24]

The following private schools are located in Fort Washington

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  2. ^ Lossing, Benson (1868). The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812. Harper & Brothers, Publishers. p. 939.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Fort Washington, Maryland
  4. ^ a b "Fort Washington CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 15, 2022.
  5. ^ "Fort Washington Park – Mammoth Guns". National Park Service. Retrieved February 10, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Stanton, Shelby L. (1984). Order Of Battle: US Army; World War II. 31 Pamaron Way; Novato, California: Presidio Press. pp. 621. ISBN 0-89141-195-X.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  7. ^ Roosevelt, 'The naval war of 1812:', p.319
  8. ^ Toomey, Daniel Carroll (2004). The Civil War In Maryland; 11th Edition. P.O. Box 122; Linthicum, Maryland: Toomey Press. pp. 183 w/index. ISBN 0-9612670-0-3.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - State -- Place and (in selected states) County Subdivision 2010 Census Summary File 1". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2010.
  11. ^ "District 7- Fort Washington [sic]." Prince George's County Police Department. Retrieved on September 9, 2018. "11108 Fort Washington Road Fort Washington, MD 20744". Beat map.
  12. ^ a b "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP (INDEX): Fort Washington CDP, MD." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 2, 2018. Note that the CDP previously covered a different set of territory: "CENSUS 2000 BLOCK MAP: FORT WASHINGTON CDP" with pages 1 and 2. In the 1990 U.S. Census Bureau maps of Prince George's County, Maryland (index map) Fort Washington CDP is on pages 26, 27, 32, and 33.
  13. ^ "FORT WASHINGTON." U.S. Postal Service. Retrieved on September 11, 2018. "11550 LIVINGSTON RD FORT WASHINGTON, MD"
  14. ^ "Decennial Census of Population and Housing by Decades". US Census Bureau.
  15. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Fort Washington CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau.
  16. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Fort Washington CDP, Maryland". United States Census Bureau.
  17. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  18. ^ "American FactFinder". Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2009.
  19. ^ "10 Richest Black Communities in America". Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  20. ^ "2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: Friendly CDP, MD." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on September 2, 2018. Previously Friendly had a different shape: "CENSUS 2000 BLOCK MAP: FRIENDLY CDP." In the 1990 U.S. Census Bureau maps of Prince George's County, Maryland (index map) Friendly CDP is on pages 27, 28, and 33.
  21. ^ "3rd%20class%20medical%20-%20final%20-%20PUBLIC.pdf." Potomac Airfield. Retrieved on September 2, 2018. "10300 Glen Way * Fort Washington * MD "
  22. ^ "NEIGHBORHOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on September 2, 2018.
  23. ^ "NEIGHBORHOOD MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on September 2, 2018.
  24. ^ "NEIGHBORHOOD HIGH SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on September 2, 2018.
  25. ^ Home. The Beddow Schools. Retrieved on September 8, 2018. "Fort Washington Montessori School 8600 Loughran Road Fort Washington, MD 20744"
  26. ^ Maese, Rick (July 5, 2010). "Boxer Riddick Bowe's Life Since His Boxing Peak". Washington Post.
  27. ^ Wilbur, Del Quentin (August 10, 2011). "Charles L. Gittens, first black Secret Service agent, dies at 82". Washington Post. Retrieved August 18, 2011.

External links[edit]