Fort Washington, Maryland

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Fort Washington, Maryland is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Prince George's County, Maryland in the suburbs of the capital city of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., south of the downtown district.[1] It is a prosperous community with an African American majority population. While the red-highlighted area on this map shows areas west of Maryland Route 210, the Fort Washington community additionally includes areas further east as well .[citation needed] Other communities such as Friendly, MD which have no post office, share zipcodes with Fort Washington.

Fort Washington is the site of Fort Washington Park, which was for many decades the only defensive fort protecting Washington D.C. The fort, now maintained by the National Park Service, is a stone structure with a good cannon shot down the Potomac River. During the War of 1812, the Fort was quickly abandoned during a British advance. In 1844, a cannon exploded on the USS Princeton as it was passing Fort Washington[2]. 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[3].

The very extensive park grounds with their Potomac River view and hiking paths are a scenic place for picnicking, fishing and outdoor recreation. (Admission is free to people entering after business hours and before sunset).

Near the fort are many riverfront homes, two marinas, two community pools, and the Tantallon country club and golf course. The area was rural until about 1960 when suburban growth began and is continuing to grow, adding new, oversized homes in small developments next to older existing developments. 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 identifies more instead with the communities Oxon Hill or Temple Hills, MD / Camp Springs, MD but still uses a Fort Washington mailing address.

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 opened in 2005. The 12,000-member Ebenezer A.M.E. Church [2] is also 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.

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