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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Agricultural History Farm Park – Farm Buildings & Areas

The Farm Buildings

  • The Bank Barn: The Park’s original bank barn, constructed in 1895, represents typical barns found in Montgomery County at the turn of the century. Farmers utilized the bank barn to milk dairy cattle, house draft animals in the basement, store hay, and thresh grain, making it the most valuable asset on the farm. The barn is open year-round; it is accessible on the upper level only.
  • Magruder-Bussard Farmstead: The Magruder-Bussard farmhouse presents a fascinating view into early 20th century farm life. The house was the heart of the farm and the center of family life. The birth of children, washing of laundry, preparation of food and many other activities of daily life all took place here. Several additions to the house show how it expanded as the family grew. The farmhouse is open for house tours during special events.
  • Historic Outbuildings: Visitors can see each of the historic outbuildings, including a granary, a maintenance shed, an equipment shed, a water tank house, a corn crib, a woodshed, a smoke house, a chicken coop, a broody house, a carriage shed, a hay barracks, and of course, the privy. Each of these buildings played an important role in the operation of the turn-of-the-century farm.
  • The Activity Center: The Activity Center houses federal, state and county government agencies and is not open to the public for tours.


The Park includes a 39-acre parcel on the western edge of the farm that was once home to a kinship-based African American community begun in 1879. Albert and Mary Newman purchased a part of the “Cook’s Inheritance” and constructed a house and several outbuildings. Two of their sons built houses on the property as well, Morton in 1885 and Fenton in 1914. None of the houses or outbuildings survive today.

A small group of houses and outbuildings comprised the grounds, not unlike several free Black communities, such as Mt. Zion near Brookville, founded prior to the Civil War.

The Orchard

Orchards were typical of many turn-of-the-century farms. Fruits were picked, canned and consumed throughout the year by the farm family, and the fruit was sold at markets for additional income. In 2006, 24 apple trees were planted at the farm, and five different species of apples now grow successfully.