The Archeology Committee was established to discover and document the history associated with the Chapter’s land and the people who used it before us. The B-CC Chapter is unique in that it is located near the Potomac River and the C&O canal. The river is important because it provided an easy way for early inhabitants to travel through the region. We’ve found evidence that early humans hunted these grounds 5,500 years ago! More recently, in the 1800s, the C&O canal attracted farmers to the area. Two abandoned farms are on our property.
The historic log cabin that’s near the small pond dates from 1825. It housed the overseer of a farm named Piney Hill Farm. Two outbuildings also survive from this era. Of particular interest is the Springbox that used to keep food cold. An even earlier farm located here dates back to 1750. It was called Crossbasket Farm and was owned by the mayor of Georgetown.
1861 brought the Civil War to the region. A large number of Union soldiers were positioned in the Poolesville area. They were here to block southern troops from crossing the Potomac River. They also protected the C&O Canal which supplied coal to Washington DC. We have yet to discover proof of Civil War activity on our land. But there is an unexplained well (or mineshaft) in the West Woods. Local lore tells us of a well dug by troops during the Civil War.
A second abandoned farm is in the Northeast Woods. It’s called The Astlin Farm. The Astlin family began farming there in 1875. By the way, there was a one-room school house nearby (at the bend of Willard Rd.) named Cedar Bend School. Presumably the Astlin children attended school there. But around 1908 disaster struck, and their home burned to the ground. The farm was abandoned and has remained untouched ever since. The stone foundation can still be seen.
You are welcome to join the Archeology Committee. Just contact Don Perino at: