Upper Marlboro | MD
Upper Marlboro was established in 1706 as “Marlborough Town”, after John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, an ancestor of Winston Churchill. In 1744, the town was renamed to “Upper Marlborough.” In the late 19th century, the town’s name changed from Upper Marlborough to Upper Marlboro. The name change is linked to a postal clerk who felt that the last three letters, “ugh”, did not properly fit on the rubber stamps being used at the time. By 1893, postal guides were referring to the town as Upper Marlboro and the name stuck, despite a proposed ballot to have it changed back in 1968. Early in its life, when the western branch of the Patuxent River was still navigable, the town served as a port town for tobacco ships. The town blossomed into an agricultural, social, and political hot spot. Farms, many of which raised tobacco, dominated the surrounding areas. In 1814, Upper Marlboro was seized by British forces under the command of Major-General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral George Cockburn during the campaign leading up to the Battle of Bladensburg and the Burning of Washington.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many prominent merchants, lawyers, and politicians lived and worked in the area. Horse racing came to the town around the mid-18th century and attracted many people from the surrounding areas. Since its initial conception the town has changed quite a bit. It initially boomed as a port town for tobacco trade, but the clearing and cultivation of land for farming would lead to erosion in the area. Over the years this erosion caused sedimentation, leading the Western Branch to become unnavigable. The fields of tobacco that once dominated the area have been converted over to residential developments, with the number of farms dwindling each year.
Upper Marlboro’s economy consists of small businesses, with a majority of employment opportunities in the city in the courthouse. There are 26 shops and restaurants in Upper Marlboro, 22 of which are small businesses. The courthouse makes up a large amount of revenue of the city. The Enquirer-Gazette is the city’s weekly newspaper. Inside the city of Upper Marlboro, there are three bodies of water: Federal Spring Branch, Western Branch Patuxent River, and School House Pond.