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Transcript of Marshall Hall
Eventually, colonists began settling along the Potomac in the vacant lands between Piscataway villages.
The first plantations were near St. Mary’s City, but the natural tendency was to follow the shore of the Potomac River.
The actual 66 acres of the land was inherited by Thomas Marshall from his grandfather William Marshall. In 1728, Thomas laid the foundation for the development of the estate that would eventually become Marshall Hall.
He proceeded to build a mansion on the bank of the Potomac, Marshall Hall was primarily a tobacco plantation. Through the labor of tenant farmers and slaves, production of tobacco was the principle source of income between 1750 and 1850.
Inventories and executors’ accounts show that Thomas Marshall produced a tobacco crop of 11,000 pounds in 1758. In 1884, Marshall Hall became owned by partnerships interested in commercial ventures.
In 1889 it was sold to the Mount Vernon and Marshall Hall Steamboat Company.
The steamboat “Charles Macalester” was built in 1889, in Wilmington, Delaware, for the Mount Vernon traffic. This boat left twice a day and during midsummer evenings from Washington to Mount Vernon and Marshall Hall.
Marshall Hall became an area attraction with the construction of a small Victorian amusement park.
From the beginning of the park’s history, jousting tournaments took place each year as well as the crowning of a local beauty - the predecessor of today’s Maryland Renaissance Fair. The Park Service tore down all parts of the amusement park in 1980 because its popularity had declined. A fire destroyed much of the colonial house soon after.
It is now part of Piscataway Park operated by the National Park Service. The architectural style of the actual mansion was Colonial because of the following features:
Symmetrical with equally sized windows
Chimneys symmetrically positioned
Elaborate use of columns