Changes to Visitor Service due to Sequestration
Due to mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts, some visitor services in this park have changed. Please check the Plan Your Visit section for more information.
Chicken Program canceled until further notice.
Our 11 a.m. chicken program is canceled temporarily. Please call ahead for information on 301.839.0503.
10/27/2013, Pumpkins, The Special Squash program canceled.
This program is canceled. Please call the park on 301.839.0503 for further information.
Godding Croft; A Hospital Farm, 1891-1959
For nearly 70 years, the land that is now Oxon Cove Park, was a hospital farm. St. Elizabeths Hospital bought the property in 1891 to produce food for its ever-growing number of patients. The hospital was founded in 1855 to care for the mentally ill people of Washington, D.C. and the U.S. military.
St. Elizabeths was a bold project for its time. It was originally designed to hold 250 patients in the world's most modern hospital for the mentally ill. But, before the first building was completed, the outbreak of the Civil War forced the government to use much of the new hospital for wounded soldiers.
Dr. William Godding, superintendent of St. Elizabeths, established Godding Croft for patients with less severe disabilities to receive therapy from farm work. In turn, these patients produced food for the main institution at St. Elizabeths.
FYI: "Croft" is a Scottish term for a small farm.
Did You Know?
Each year the Oxon Hill Farm draft horses deliver a Christmas tree to the White House that is donated by the National Christmas Tree Growers Association.