Compton Bassett : balancing preservation and change : a cultural landscape report.
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Situated along the Patuxent River in eastern Prince George’s County, Maryland, Compton Bassett is a former plantation site now owned by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The site began as a tobacco plantation in 1699, before broadening into wider agricultural use in the nineteenth century. After the Civil War, the site was shaped by the transition from enslaved to free labor, and in the twentieth century by the decline of the region’s large-scale tobacco cultivation. Throughout its history, relationships between natural and cultural resources have shaped the site. This report seeks to understand these connections, which have defined the Compton Bassett landscape. In order to accomplish this we employed a cultural landscape approach. We researched the history of the site and conducted an inventory of existing conditions, including physical resources on the site, demographics, and the planning and regulatory framework. From this research, we developed site themes, rethought the statement of significance, and developed recommendations for the site’s immediate and long term future. Our hope is that this report will inform future stewardship of the property.