Fort Washington is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in Prince George’s County, Maryland, United States. It borders the capital of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., situated just south of the downtown district. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 23,717. Fort Washington is a prosperous community with an African American majority population. The Fort Washington community is located west of Maryland Route 210, with some additional area to the east of the highway.
The community is named for Fort Washington. The first Fort Washington was completed in 1809, and was the only defensive fort protecting Washington, D.C. It consisted of a small earthwork near the Potomac River shore. The failure of that fort to stop a British fleet from invading the national capital during the War of 1812 led to the construction of the current, larger, stone fortification. In 1844, a cannon exploded on the USS Princeton as it was passing Fort Washington. During World War II, the US Army’s Adjutant General’s School was located at the fort, and had billeting for 362 officers and 2,526 enlisted persons.
The site is now part of a very extensive park with views of the Potomac River and hiking paths. It is a scenic place for picnicking, fishing and outdoor recreation. (Admission is free to people entering after business hours and before sunset.)
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