< Back

Laurel

  • 8103 Sandy Spring Road Laurel, MD 20707
  • P. (301) 725-5300

LAUREL, 19.7 m. (156 alt., 2,532 pop.), is on land once owned by Richard Snowden, an officer in Cromwell's army, who came to Maryland late in the 17th century. The Snowdens had extensive holdings and played an important part in the development of this entire section of country. The town apparently derives its name from the fact that mountain laurel in profusion covers the hill back of the town. In its early history, the town was known as Laurel Factory. LAUREL RACE TRACK, on the northern outskirts of the town of Laurel, is one of the best patronized tracks in the United States. The grandstand, seating about 10,000, is usually well filled each day of the fall racing season, which lasts a full month. The track was opened in 1912, and is the only one of the four one-mile tracks in Maryland that takes its full quota of racing days consecutively. The other tracks divide their quotas into spring and fall meets of two weeks each. At the eastern edge of Laurel, along the Patuxent River, have been found TRACES OF AN EARLY INDIAN SETTLEMENT (L). Here are abandoned quarries that were worked long before the coming of the white man to this section. The quarries, from which was obtained stone especially adapted to the fashioning of cooking utensils and ornamental jugs, have yielded many fine products of Indian work-manship. In pits and in fields nearby have been found bits of pottery,arrowheads, and grooved axes. The fondness of these Indians for oysters is also plainly manifested by the presence of huge piles of oyster shells, uncovered in the course of digging operations. That the Indians who once inhabited this site knew how to extract copper from ore and work it is evidenced by the many pieces of crude plates, shields, and ornamental bangles found in the vicinity.