Saturday August 2, 2014 Program Change
Our Meet the Dairy Cow and Chicken Program will be offered on August 2, 2014. However, due to limited staff, the Wagon Ride and Park's Past tour of the historic house will not take place. Please call the park on 301.839.1176, if you have any questions.
No public programs on Wednesday August 6, 2014
Due to staff planning meetings, the Park will be open but there will be no public programs. 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 on Wednesday August 13, 2014
Due to staff meetings, the Park will be open but there will be no public programs. 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
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?
The white farm house at Oxon Hill Farm was known as Mount Welby in the early 1800s. In 1891, Saint Elizabeths Hospital acquired Mount Welby and renamed it Godding Croft. The white farm house is the oldest structure in the park.