Piscataway Park takes its name from the Piscataway peoples who have historically occupied the territory now known as the State of Maryland and who maintain a contemporary presence here. The Park is made up of approximately 5,000 acres oriented around Piscataway Creek and the Potomac River, in Prince George’s County. Native communities have lived in this area for more than 5,000 years and Moyaone, a site within Piscataway Park along Piscataway Creek, was the location of the largest Piscataway community at the time of European contact. For these reasons, the Park area is considered the ancestral homeland of the Piscataway, and Moyaone, their historic capital.
Moyaone was vacated in 1680 when the Piscataway relocated to Zekiah Manor in order to seek safety from Susquehannock attacks. Almost 100 years later, in 1754, George Washington, the first American President, moved to his Mount Vernon estate, which sits directly across the Potomac and can be seen from Piscataway Park. On November 11, 1979, Philip Sheridan Proctor, also known as Turkey Tayac, was buried at Piscataway Park by an act of Congress. Tayac was a respected Piscataway leader who played a crucial role in Indigenous activism and the cultural revitalization movement on the East Coast. Today, the Accokeek Foundation maintains a 200-acre outdoor living history museum dedicated to environmental preservation and Piscataway culture.
Image: Piscataway Park (National Park Service)
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