• young visitor petting horse

    Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm


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  • No public programs Wednesday September 17, 2014

    The Park will be open but there will be no public programs on Wednesday September 17, 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.

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?

ranger milking cow

An average dairy cow weighs about 1,400 pounds and can drink an average of 35 gallons of water a day -- the equivalent of a bathtub full of water! There are six cattle that live on Oxon Hill Farm.