Cottage City is a small, quiet community lying between Eastern Avenue (the border with Washington, D.C.), the Anacostia River, Bladensburg Road, and he CSX Railroad. Its history dates to pre-revolutionary America; old records indicate that the area was home to several of the Potomac River Indian tribes. With the coming of European settlers, the area became noted for its deep-water Anacostia River port, known then as Harrison’s Landing. Contributing to the economy of Harrison’s Landing was Moyer’s Grist Mill located in Yarrow, he very first mill of its type between Baltimore and Alexandria in Virginia. Yarrow was renamed several times, but today we know Yarrow as Cottage City.
Cottage City and Moyer’s Mill played a key role in the Battle of Bladensburg during the War of 1812. The mill acted as a hospital for wounded American militia, as well as an artillery battery. American forces were repulsed in a bitter fight in Mr. Moyer’s orchards, an event that resulted ultimately in the burning of the nation’s capital.
During the post-Civil War years, President Grant stayed at a summer retreat known as the Friendship House located in Cottage City. Friendship House is long gone, replaced in the 1940s by an apartment house located on 38th Avenue and Parkwood Street.
Today, Cottage City is a small, ethnically mixed community of about 1,250 citizens, with old “cottage” style homes that sit comfortably on tree-lined streets. The community is an active and enthusiastic partner with the county in the Port Towns Redevelopment Plan, an effort to revitalize the neighborhoods while preserving their historic heritages. The riches that the town hopes to regain by this effort are an improved environment and an improved quality of life for its citizens—the people who define Cottage City, who take pride in what they are, where they have been, and where they are going.