The Rose Mount site (18PR754) is the remains of a brick farmstead ruin and plantation grounds spanning the late 18th through mid 20th century. 

Archaeological Investigations

The Rose Mount site includes the remains of a large brick dwelling house and at least nine outbuildings situated on a high ridge with extensive artificial terracing and landscape modification.  This complex is believed to be "Rose Mount," the historic home of James Kent, who was the Governor of Maryland from 1826 to 1829, and a United States Senator from 1833 until his death in 1837.  Documentation (MIHP #PG:73-9) also suggests that Governor Kent was buried on the property.  Throughout the area large piles of rubbish, including appliances, automobiles, tires, building materials, bottles, clothing, and other household items, were scattered about the ground surface.  This trash was the most significant disturbance to the area, as most of the other cultural disturbances likely date to the period of historic occupation.  

Phase I testing at Rose Mount was conducted by R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., and included excavation of 448 shovel test pits which were used to delineate the extent of the historic occupations at the site and to identify areas of artifact concentration.  The large quantities of modern debris dumped on the surface of the survey area complicated the separation of artifacts related to the 19th century occupation of the site and those in a secondary depositional context.

Phase II archaeological evaluation, archival research, and remote sensing at Rose Mount (also by R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.) was conducted in advance of residential development plans for the Balk Hill Village development project.  The Phase II study was focused on assessing the site’s National Register eligibility, evaluating the its archaeological integrity, and identifying the unmarked grave of Governor Joseph Kent.  Field investigations included excavation of 11 test units and the completion of a remote sensing study across a selected portion of the plantation’s domestic core area.

Goodwin & Associates’ assessment concluded that Rose Mount site did not meet the relevant applicable criteria for National Register inclusion.  The evaluation also determined that archaeological deposits on the property lacked archeological integrity.  The limited remote sensing investigations failed to locate any burial shafts.

Archeobotanical Studies

Phase II investigations included the study of archeobotanical remains recovered from areas associated with the main house and a small outbuilding.  Soil samples were secured from two discrete features (4-01 and 6-01), collectively measuring six liters in volume, and were flotation processed and submitted to Justine McKnight for macro-floral analysis.

A total of 10.03 grams of carbonized plant material (an average of 1.67 grams per liter of soil) was recovered.  The assemblage was composed of wood charcoal and non-carbonized seeds.  Wood remains totaled 470 fragments (10.03 grams).  The wood assemblage was dominated by maple and pine, with minor amounts of oak and hickory.  Non-carbonized seeds from the Rose Mount excavations totaled 37 specimens.  Yellow poplar, poke, raspberry or blackberry and grape seeds were identified.  It is unclear if these seeds were interred concurrent with historic artifacts, or if they represent recent seeds which may have been cached by rodents.  All species represented in the seed assemblage are important food plants for wildlife. 

The two features sampled for plant remains yielded markedly different wood remains, which may point to differences in building construction and/or fuel use at Rose Mount.  Feature 401 (associated with the main house) contained pine and oak charcoal.  Feature 6-01 (within the small outbuilding) contained maple and hickory charcoal


Williams, Martha R., Kathleen M. Child, and Joshua Roth
2005 Phase IB Archeological Investigations of the Balk Hill Village Development Property, Prince George’s County, Maryland. R. Christopher Goodwin and Associates.
Williams, Martha R., Joshua Roth, and Jean Pelletier
2007 Phase II Archeological Evaluation and Remote Sensing at Rose Mount (18PR754), Prince George’s
County, Maryland.
R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates for D.R. Horton, Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland.
McKnight, Justine W.
2007 Report on Flotation-Recovered Archeobotanical Remains from Rose Mount (Site 18PR754), Balk Hill Village Development Phase II Archaeological Evaluation, Prince George’s County, Maryland. Appendix II in Phase II Archeological Evaluation and Remote Sensing at Rose Mount (18PR754), Prince George’s County, Maryland. R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates for D.R. Horton, Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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