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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Agricultural History Farm Park – Bussard Farmstead

The Magruder-Bussard farmstead is located within the 455-acre Agricultural History Farm Park. Past farming practices are interpreted for the public in a historic farmhouse, barn, assorted farm buildings and a modern activity center. Programs include several annual events such as Harvest Days in October. The park also has a champion Nordmann fir tree with a 9-foot trunk circumference.


The Magruder-Bussard farm is a well-preserved example of a Montgomery County farmstead at the turn of the 20th century. In 1898, the Bussards built the large frame bank barn with the help of Frederick County barn builders. The barn features square louvered windows, German siding, a stone foundation, and a half-open fore-bay.

Ten years later, they remodeled the farmhouse to a 2-story frame dwelling, saving the foundation and the original log and stone structure. The house features a 19th century east kitchen wing and an 1864 rear ell. This late example of a one-room-deep, center-hall, center-cross-gable house is tangible evidence of the persistence of traditional building forms in the county.

Other buildings in the historic core of the farm include a large log smokehouse, a frame granary, and a water tower (tank house) which was moved in 1998 from Etchison’s Dorsey Farm, to replace a similar, previously demolished structure. In addition, the farm features a chicken coop, corn crib, broody house, carriage shed, hay barracks, equipment shed, granary and the privy – all of which played important roles in the operation of a turn-of-the-20th-century farm.

The Bussard family owned and operated the farm until the 1970s, when they sold their property to the County to preserve it as a park.