Three Sisters: Close Knit Communities of the Laurel Area.

Three Sisters: Close Knit Communities of the Laurel Area. (HMCKG)

Location: Beltsville, MD 20705 Prince George's County
Buy Maryland State flags at!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at!

N 39° 3.552', W 76° 52.397'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
Other enclaves of African American ironworkers in the Laurel area include Bacontown and the Grove. Bacontown was named for Maria Bacon, a former slave freed in 1860. In 1880, the plot of land she inherited from Achsah Dorsey, her former owner, became the basis for the Bacontown Community. The Grove was the home of St. Mark's Church, which for several years shared a pastor with Queen's Chapel. Snowden heirs Elizabeth and Mary Jenkins donated the land for St. Mark's to the community.

Children from all three communities attended the Muirkirk Freedmen's Bureau School, which was supported by Charles Coffin. The school taught White pupils in the morning and African American students in the afternoon. In addition to the school, Abraham Hall opened its doors to members of Rossville, Bacontown and the Grove. The Groves's annual Emancipation Day celebration was sponsored by St. Marks Church, the Benevolent Sons and Daughters of Abraham and other fraternal organizations, and attracted participants from the surrounding communities.

These institutions and events helped to foster a larger community spirit among African Americans in Laurel that did not vanish after the ironworks closed in 1920. Eventually the old ironworks was converted to a paint factory that made use of iron ore as an ingredient in paint pigment. Many former ironworkers found jobs at the factory, the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center or the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.


Certificate of Freedom for Maria Bacon, founder of Bacontown, who inherited land from her former owner, Achsah Dorsey. Bacon did not work at Muirkirk, but Bacontown's residents had strong ties to the Muirkirk Ironworks and the communities of Rossville and the Grove. Courtesy Maryland State Archives.

Photograph of St. Mark's United Methodist Episcopal Church, circa 1980.

Photograph of Laurel's Emancipation Day celebration, circa 1910.
Year Placed2008
Placed ByDepartment of Parks and Recreation, Prince George's County
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 337918 N 4325016
Decimal Degrees39.05920000, -76.87328333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 3.552', W 76° 52.397'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 3' 33.12" N, 76° 52' 23.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 202, 410
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 7612 Old Muirkirk Rd, Beltsville MD 20705, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. This marker needs at least one picture.
  9. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  10. Is the marker in the median?