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Learn About The History Of Laurel MD

The History of Laurel, MD

Located midway between Washington, DC and Baltimore, Laurel is a city in Maryland in the United States. It is situated on the Patuxent River, which was the source of cotton for the mill factory in the 1820's. Later, the town expanded to become a commuter for Washington and Baltimore workers after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was built in 1835.


The origin of Laurel, MD

In the year 1870, General Assembly of Maryland passed an act to make Laurel, MD a town on its own. It started as a mirror of evolution and growth of small industries across the United States. The grist mill factory that was started in 1811 evolved into a cotton mill producing company that employed more than seven hundred workers. Formerly, this place was called “Laurel Factory”, in honor of its position as a milling town. However, in 14th June 1875 the town name shortened to ‘Laurel.'


Economic activities

Located in the heart of Patuxent River, the potential water source was a significant natural resource for manufacturing. It attracted prominent men like Nicholas Snowden of 1789-1831 who put up a stone flour mill along the river at around 1811. By the year 1820 the flour mill grew to a merchant mill, and afterward, the factory began the production of Cotton Duck.


Religious institutions

Town’s infrastructure and churches arrived with the production of mill. Roman Catholic Church, the St. Mary of the mills, a that was initially served by the Jesuits from the town of George was constructed in 1843 while the Methodist Church was formed earlier in 1840. Later, the St. Philips Episcopal Church was built in 1848. To add to these, the Mill Company launched assembly halls for social gathering and meetings.


Laurel’s African-American residents

Like other Prince George’s Counties, Laurel was a slave-holding town. Before the Civil War, owners of local plantation acquired African-American slaves to work on their farms. These slaves were listed as servant, laborers, and drivers while others were hired as Ironwork Furnace for Muirkirk and Iron workers for Charles Coffins in the south side of Laurel. The Black locals were constrained in a small town called Grove in the 1800's, which later became a center for the African American district. However, by 1894 they were thriving in communities surrounding the city, including Rossville and Hall Town.


Transport sector

The 20th century strengthened Laurel’s position as independent town, that is thriving to serve as a suburb to the rising Capital of Baltimore and Washington, D.C. It added an hourly train and a trolley service that functioned with half an hour schedule from the Treasury Building to the Sixth Street and to the Main, downtown from 1902-1925 to serve the needs of commuters who worked for the government. Besides, one newspaper (Laurel leader) was launched before the turning of the century to serve the locals. This publication carries through to date.


Bottom line

The history of Laurel dates back to the early 1800's where it started as a simple grist-milling factory with a population of about 2000 residents. Laurel is now an extensively residential city with fantastic local attractions and nice places to stay, eat, and drink while exploring its vibrant economy, history, and culture.