There are many individuals who shaped the past and present Prince William Forest Park. Click on the links below to learn more about these fascinating lives.
Spies in the Park (Office of Strategic Services)
From 1942-1945, the Office of Strategic Services occupied Prince William Forest Park. Beneath the cover of a vast forest, America's fledgling spy agency trained thousands of men how to win the hidden front of World War II - the clandestine war.
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps built Prince William Forest Park from scratch. From 1936 to 1942, the CCC used locally harvested materials to turn farmland into an outdoor playground for D.C. area residents.
Generations of families lived, farmed, and died on lands that today make up Prince William Forest Park. Remnants of their lives are scattered beneath this forest preserve. They are our park families, and their stories should not be forgotten.
African American History
The African American story in Prince William Forest Park is as diverse as the wildflowers in springtime. Learn more about the African American experiences of workers at the Cabin Branch Pyrite Mine, farmers in Hickory Ridge and Batestown, and summer camp kids who left D.C. during the great depression to enjoy the great outdoors.
Washington & Rochambeau
The great Revolutionary War Generals George Washington and the French Comte de Rochambeau marched together toward Yorktown and toward victory. They used a historic road trace that now passes through Prince William Forest Park.
Chopawamsic means 'by the small isolated lodge' in the language of the Algonquian people who once inhabited this land. Learn more about their lives and livelihoods on this land before European contact.