• young visitor petting horse

    Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm

    Maryland

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  • No public programs Monday August 25, 2014

    The Park will be open but there will be no public programs on Monday August 25, 2014. Meet the Dairy Cow, the Wagon Ride, and Chicken & Egg programs will not be happening on this day. Please call the park at 301.839.1176 if you have any questions.

  • No public programs Wednesday August 27 through Saturday August 30, 2014

    The Park will be open but there will be no public programs Wednesday August 27 through Saturday August 30, 2014. Programs will resume Sunday August 31, 2014. Please call the park at 301.839.1176 if you have any questions.

Godding Croft; A Hospital Farm, 1891-1959

william godding

William Godding, superintendent of St. Elizabeths during the late 1800s.

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?

OXCO 1891

In 1891, Saint Elizabeths Hospital, acquired the Oxon Cove Park Property, to establish a farm where patients, removed from the confines of a hospital setting, could benefit from fresh air and outdoor work at this new "farm colony." This hospital farm was called Godding Croft.