Bostwick House – Bladensburg, Maryland - Atlas Obscura

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Bostwick House

Bladensburg, Maryland

This Georgian-style house built in 1746 is the oldest surviving structure in Bladensburg. 


Charles Lowndes was an English merchant who arrived in Maryland in the 1930s as a representative for Liverpool merchants Henry and Edward Trafford.

Lowndes established himself as a prominent figure in the early days of Bladensburg, scooping up several of the 60 lots, one acre each, purchased by the Town Commissioners in 1742. His estate, the Bostwick House, was constructed on the property.

Lowndes had numerous business interests, including his own trading company, and a shipyard. He also took part in importing and selling enslaved people.

Following Lowndes’s death in 1785 and the death of his wife Elizabeth in 1799, the house was passed onto his son-in-law, Benjamin Stoddart, who had the distinction of being the first Secretary of the Navy. The house remained in their family until 1813.

In 1822, the Bostwick House was purchased by lawyer John Stephen and remained in his family for three generations. It was passed onto his son, Nicholas, and then Nicholas’s daughter, Juliana. Landscape wall murals painted by her husband can still be seen in the house’s parlor. They lived at Bostwick until 1901.

In 1904, the house was purchased by American Civil War veteran and railroad investor James Kyner. He added the grand porch that still exists to this day and made several other changes to the outbuildings of the house.

In 1997, the house was sold to the Town of Bladensburg, who are working on an ongoing restoration project with several organizations, including the University of Maryland who offers several programs that dovetail with the Town’s efforts.

Know Before You Go

Two particularly interesting features of the house are the long, terraced yard, and the appearance of original owner Charles Lowndes initials, and the year of Bostwick House's completion inlaid in black lead paint high on a chimney on the southern side of the house.

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October 6, 2021

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