Bowie (//) is a city in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. The population was 54,727 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Bowie has grown from a small railroad stop to the largest municipality in Prince George's County, and the fifth most populous city and third largest city by area in the U.S. state of Maryland. In 2014, CNN Money ranked Bowie 28th in its Best Places to Live (in the United States) list.
|City of Bowie|
Old Town Bowie, as seen from the intersection of Maryland Route 564 and Chapel Avenue in January 2008
"Growth, Unity and Progress"
Location of Bowie in Prince George's County and the State of Maryland
|• Mayor||Timothy Adams|
|• Total||19.25 sq mi (49.87 km2)|
|• Land||19.17 sq mi (49.64 km2)|
|• Water||0.09 sq mi (0.22 km2)|
|Elevation||154 ft (47 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||3,070.69/sq mi (1,185.62/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||0597104|
The city of Bowie owes its existence to the railway. In 1853, Colonel William Duckett Bowie obtained a charter from the Maryland legislature to construct a rail line into Southern Maryland. In 1869, the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad Company began the construction of a railroad from Baltimore to Southern Maryland, terminating in Pope's Creek. The area had already been dotted with small farms and large tobacco plantations in an economy based on agriculture and slavery. In 1870, Ben Plumb, a land speculator and developer, sold building lots around the railroad junction and named the settlement Huntington City. By 1872, the line was completed, together with a "spur" to Washington, D.C. and the entire line through Southern Maryland was completed in 1873.
In 1880, Huntington City was rechartered as Bowie, named for Colonel Bowie's son and business partner Oden Bowie, the former Governor of Maryland and then-president of the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad. In the early days the land was subdivided by developers into more than 500 residential building lots, to create a large town site at a junction of the Baltimore and Potomac's main line to southern Maryland, and the branch line to Washington, D.C.
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By 1902 the Baltimore & Potomac was purchased by the powerful Pennsylvania Railroad. A second railroad entered the community when the Washington, Baltimore and Annapolis Electric Railway electric trolley line commenced service in 1908. The large interurban cars brought rapid transit to the area, with trains running hourly. Bowie area stations included High Bridge, Hillmeade, and the Race Track.
The convergence of the two rail systems induced the Southern Maryland Agricultural Society to build the Bowie Race Track in 1914. The track enabled the Belair Stud to become one of Maryland's premier areas for thoroughbreds. Also in 1914, a teacher-training college, or normal school as it was referred to then, was built for African-Americans, just outside the town. This now has become Bowie State University. The town of Bowie was incorporated in 1916.
Belair at BowieEdit
In 1957, the firm of Levitt and Sons acquired the nearby Belair Estate, the original colonial plantation of the Provincial Governor of Maryland, Samuel Ogle, and developed the residential community of Belair at Bowie. Two years later the town of Bowie annexed the Levitt properties, and then re-incorporated the now-larger area as a city in 1963. The overwhelming majority of Bowie residents today live in this 1960s Levitt planned community, whose street names are arranged in alliterative sections. Levitt & Sons had a long history of prohibiting the sale of houses (including resale by owners) to African Americans which led to protests during the Civil Rights Movement in Bowie in 1963.
The original Belair Estate contains the Belair Mansion (circa 1745), the five-part Georgian plantation house of Governor Samuel Ogle and his son Governor Benjamin Ogle. It was purchased in 1898 by the wealthy banker James T. Woodward who, on his passing in 1910, left it to his nephew, William Woodward, Sr., who became a famous horseman. Restored to reflect its 250-year-old legacy, the Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Belair Stable, on the Estate, was part of the famous Belair Stud, one of the premier racing stables in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Owned and operated by William Woodward, Sr. (1876–1953), it closed in 1957 following the death of his son, Billy Woodward. Belair had been the oldest continually operating thoroughbred horse farm in the country.
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Bowie has an area of 16 square miles (41 km2) and about 50,000 residents with nearly 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) set aside as parks or open space. It has 72 ball fields, three community centers, an ice arena at Allen Pond Park, the Bowie Town Center, the 800-seat Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, a 150-seat theatrical playhouse, a golf course, and three museums.
Bowie's rail town history is on display via the Huntington Railroad Museum, within the local rail station's restored railroad buildings. In 2006, the city reopened the Bowie Building Association building, a small brick and block structure constructed circa 1930, as a Welcome Center; it originally housed the Bowie Building Association, which helped finance much of the community's early development.
Bowie is home to the Bowie Baysox, a Class AA Eastern League professional baseball team affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles. The Baysox moved to Bowie from Hagerstown in 1993 and began play at Prince George's Stadium in 1994. In 2015, the Baysox captured their first Eastern League Championship, defeating the Reading Fightin Phils in five games.
The city operates a senior citizens center and a gymnasium for community programs.
Bowie is located at (38.964727, −76.744531).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.51 square miles (47.94 km2), of which 18.43 square miles (47.73 km2) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) is water.
- Glenn Dale (northwest)
- South Laurel (northwest)
- Crofton (northeast)
- Davidsonville (east)
- Queen Anne (southeast)[dubious ]
- Brock Hall (south)
- Kettering (southwest)
- Woodmore (southwest)
- Fairwood (west)
ZIP codes for mail delivery in Bowie are: 20715, 20716, 20717, 20718, 20719, 20720, 20721
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bowie has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $99,105, and the median income for a family was $109,157. Males had a median income of $52,284 versus $40,471 for females. The per capita income for the city was $30,703. About 0.7% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.0% of those under age 18 and 1.8% of those age 65 or over.
- Rank by per capita income in Prince George's County: 7
- Rank by per capita income in Maryland: 65
As of the census of 2010, there were 54,727 people, 19,950 households, and 14,264 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,969.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,146.5/km2). There were 20,687 housing units at an average density of 1,122.5 per square mile (433.4/km2).
The ethnic makeup of the city was 41.4% White, 48.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.9% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.
There were 19,950 households of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.5% were non-families. 23.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.23.
The median age in the city was 40.1 years. 24.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 30.1% were from 45 to 64; and 11.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.9% male and 53.1% female.
The City of Bowie operates under a council-manager government as established by the city charter. This means that the mayor and council are responsible for making policy, passing ordinances, voting appropriations, and having overall supervisory authority in the city government.
The primary law enforcement agency for the city is the Bowie Police Department aided by the Prince George's County Police, the Maryland-National Capital Park Police Department, and the Sheriff's Office as directed by authority.
Bowie is served by several significant highways. The most prominent of these is Interstate 595/U.S. Route 50, the John Hanson Highway, which follows an east–west route through the city. Via I-595/US 50, Bowie has direct connections westward to Washington, D.C. and eastward to Annapolis and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. U.S. Route 301 and Maryland Route 3 skim the eastern edge of the city, providing connections southward to Waldorf and La Plata and northward to Baltimore. Other state highways serving the city include Maryland Route 197, Maryland Route 214, Maryland Route 450 and Maryland Route 564.
According to the City's 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the largest employers in the city are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Prince George's County Public Schools||1,178|
|3||City of Bowie||446|
|5||P.G. County Public Safety Communications Control||195|
Primary and secondary schoolsEdit
Area residents are zoned to Benjamin Tasker Middle School or Samuel Ogle Middle School, and Bowie High School. Some Bowie residents also attend Eleanor Roosevelt High School in their STEM program.
Elementary schools in Bowie include Heather Hills, Kenilworth, Northview, Pointer Ridge, Rockledge, Tulip Grove, Whitehall, and Yorktown Elementary Schools. Elementary schools not in Bowie and serving Bowie include High Bridge and Woodmore. Two special education centers are Chapel Forge and C. Elizabeth Reig. A voc/tech school is located at Tall Oaks High School.
Samuel Ogle was previously a junior high school, then an elementary school; around 2005, PGCPS planned to convert it into a middle school.
Bowie is home to several private schools:
- Ascension Day Care and Kindergarten
- Belair Baptist Christian Academy
- Bowie Montessori Children's House
- Christian Community Presbyterian Church Nursery School
- Cornerstone Christian Academy
- Cresthill Christian Academy
- Grace Christian School (Grades K–8)
- Holy Trinity Episcopal Day School
- Patuxent Montessori School
- Redeemer Child Care Center
- St. Matthew's Early Education Center
- St. Pius X Regional School (Grades Pre K–8)
Colleges and universitiesEdit
Bowie State University, located north of Bowie, has been open since 1865.
- Richard (Ricky) Arnold, NASA astronaut
- Michael Bray, convicted conspirator in numerous bombings
- Eva Cassidy, singer and songwriter
- Daniel "Jungleman" Cates, professional poker player
- JC Chasez, singer and former member of *NSYNC 
- Anthony Cowan Jr., point guard for the Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team, 3-time all-Big Ten selection (2018–2020)
- Francis B. Francois, engineer and politician
- Kathie Lee Gifford, television host, singer, songwriter, comedian, and actress
|Bowie Baysox||Baseball||Eastern League||1 (2015)||Prince George's Stadium|
The following is a list of historic sites in the city of Bowie and vicinity identified by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission:
|Site Name||Image||Location||M-NCPPC Inventory Number||Comments|
|1||Belair||Tulip Grove and Belair Drives||71B-004||Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1977-09-16|
|2||Belair Stables||Belair Drive||71B-005||Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1973-05-08|
|3||Bowie Railroad Buildings||8614 Chestnut Ave.||71B-002-09||Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1998-11-04|
|4||Boyden House||6501 Hillmeade Road||71A-034|
|5||Fair Running (Maenner House)||7704 Laurel-Bowie Road||71B-015|
|6||Fairview Plantation||4600 Fairview Vista Drive||71A-013|
|7||Don S. S. Goodloe House||13809 Jericho Park Rd.||71A-030||Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1988-10-13; African American Heritage site|
|8||Governor's Bridge||Governors Bridge Road at Patuxent River||74B-001||Historic American Engineering Record,|
|9||Harmon-Phelps House||8706 Maple Avenue||71B-002-08|
|10||Holy Trinity Episcopal Church||13104 Annapolis Road||71A-009a|
|11||Holy Trinity Church Rectory||13106 Annapolis Road||71A-009b|
|12||Ingersoll House||9006 Laurel-Bowie Road||71A-003|
|13||Knights of St. John Hall||13004 12th Street||71B-002-23|
|14||Melford||17107 Melford Boulevard||71B-016||Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1988-04-06; also listed at Mitchellville|
|15||Mitchellville Storekeeper's House and Store Site||2608 Mitchellville Road||71B-007|
|16||Ryon House||13125 11th Street||71B-002-03|
|17||Sacred Heart Catholic Church||16101 Annapolis Road||71A-019||Site where the Catholic Church in America was first organized, and the first US Catholic Bishop, John Carroll was petitioned, then named by the Vatican.|
|18||Albert Smith House||9201 Laurel-Bowie Road||71A-002|
|19||St. James Episcopal Chapel||13010 8th Street||71B-002-05|
|20||Straining House||13005 7th Street||71B-002-01|
|21||Williams Plains||MD 3, White Marsh Recreational Park||71B-003||Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, 1980-11-28|
|22||Pleasant Prospect||12806 Woodmore Rd.,Mitchellville, Maryland||74A-006||Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, April 30, 1976|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Bowie.|
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- Suburban Legend WILLIAM LEVITT
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- Climate Summary for Bowie, Maryland
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- "NEIGHBORHOOD MIDDLE SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on August 26, 2018.
- "NEIGHBORHOOD HIGH SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on August 26, 2018.
- "NEIGHBORHOOD ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS AND BOUNDARIES SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019." Prince George's County Public Schools. Retrieved on August 26, 2018.
- Moore, Marcus (2005-03-24). "Bowie boundary changes evoke anger". The Gazette. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
- "Fairmont Heights High School History". Fairmont Heights High School. 2018-09-04. Archived from the original on 2005-10-04. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
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- Whiting, Melanie (2016-01-29). "Richard R. Arnold II". NASA. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
- Songbird Sherri Dalphonse, Washingtonian, May 1, 2001. Retrieved on September 3, 2013.
- Jay Caspian Kang (March 25, 2011). "Online Poker's Big Winner". New York Times.
- Cruz, Anne Marie (April 5, 2004). "Hit Single". People. Time, Inc. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
As a kid in suburban Bowie, Md....
- David Driver (December 5, 2018). "Bowie product Cowan steps up his game with Maryland men's basketball". Capital Gazette.
- Diehl, Jackson (October 14, 1978). "The Rise And Fall of Levitt Era". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
- Gleick, Elizabeth (November 2, 1992). "Kathie Lee's Story". People. Vol. 38 no. 18. Time, Inc. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
When Kathie Lee was 4, the family... set up house in Bowie, Md.
- M-NCPPC Illustrated Inventory of Historic Sites (Prince George's County, Maryland), 2006 Archived 2008-07-25 at the Wayback Machine.
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- "Berceto, Cittadinanza Onoraria del Bowie a Lucchi" [Berceto: Lucchi Receives Honorary Bowie Citizenship]. il Parmense (in Italian). June 14, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
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