History

Mission

Marietta House Museum is dedicated to exploring, elevating, and transforming awareness of the interconnected relationships of the people and their descendants who lived and labored at Marietta.

As a public history steward, Marietta is committed to co-curating discussions, exhibitions, and programs with broad community input to promote universal social equity. Marietta interprets the historical architecture and landscape across Prince George's County, Maryland, through inclusive American history.

Our Vision

Marietta House Museum, in Prince George’s County, is a community-driven historic site committed to nurturing social justice advocacy through understanding current social inequities and their historical origins.

History

Marietta is a 2 1⁄2-story brick Federal house, begun in 1813, in a traditional I-house plan and is an important example of a late Federal-style brick house. The main block is five bays by two, and the entrance is through the central bay of the south facade. Attached to the north of the main block at right angles is a two-story rear wing, built 1832, and attached to the west gable end is an L-shaped wing added in 1968. Marietta stands on terraced, landscaped grounds with two contemporary outbuildings: a brick law office and a stone and brick root cellar/harness storage room.

Marietta was built for Gabriel Duvall, one of Prince George's County's most outstanding citizens. Born in 1752, Duvall pursued a career of public service which lasted for more than 60 years. After serving in several positions during the Revolutionary War, he served in the Maryland House of Delegates, the United States Congress, the Maryland Supreme Court, and as Comptroller of the Treasury under Thomas Jefferson. Soon after 1812, when he was appointed by President James Madison to the U.S. Supreme Court, Duvall began the construction of Marietta. Over the next 20 years, he developed the 325-acre plantation and constructed a substantial rear wing for added living space. He served on the Supreme Court until 1835; in January of that year, he retired to spend the rest of his life at Marietta, where he died in 1844. Marietta remained the residence of his heirs until 1902.

The property now consists of 25 acres of lawn and woodlands, and the grounds boast two County Champion trees and lovely old boxwood. The Society of Mareen Duvall Descendants has relocated the family graveyard from its original location to the serene surroundings at Marietta.

Marietta is open to the public as a Prince George's County history museum and offers exhibits, lectures, events, and programs covering 300 years of county history. Marietta is also home to the Natural and Historical Resources Division Library of County History.