• young visitor petting horse

    Oxon Cove Park & Oxon Hill Farm


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  • Meet the Cow Program - canceled July 29 and 30, 2014

    Our Wagon Ride and Meet the Chicken Program will be offered on July 29 and 30, 2014. However, due to work on the Dairy Barn, the Meet the Cow Program will not take place. Please call the park on 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?

mt. welby

During the War of 1812, the Debutts family found three congreve rockets on the Mount Welby (19th century name of the Oxon Hill Farm property) grounds. The British Navy was not aiming at Mount Welby. They were sending a signal to other British ships anchored 20 miles away in the Patuxent River.