Founded upon the homestead of the Banneker family, Benjamin Banneker Historical Park is 142 acres in the heart of Oella. Once known as 'Stout', the original 100-acre lot was purchased in 1737 by Robert Bannaky, Benjamin's father, with the receipts of 7,000 Ibs. of tobacco. Here the Bannekers farmed tobacco, wheat, corn crops, a fruit orchard, apiary, and a small vegetable garden. Much of the vegetables, poultry, fruit, and honey produced here, were sold to the Ellicotts to supply their General Store in the old mill town.
Upon Robert's death in 1759, Benjamin became the sole owner of Stout, where he continued to live and farm the family estate. As his health deteriorated, Benjamin abandoned tobacco farming to concentrate his time and strength on a small garden, his beehives and, of course, his mathematics. In 1799 Benjamin sold 72 acres of Stout to the EIlicotts with an agreement that he would live-out his life on the land. In 1806 Benjamin passed on, and the property was turned' over to the Ellicotts as was agreed upon. The day of Benjamin's funeral, the cabin in which he lived and died, burned to the ground. Thereafter, the land had been subdivided and cultivated by many owners, including the Ellicotts, until 1972.
When, in 1979, his research uncovered some 18th century land records of the area, the County Historian, John McGrain, suspected that he had then found the actual location of Stout. His findings prompted a major archeological investigation by the Maryland Historical Trust in the early 1980's. By 1985 archaeology had revealed the foundations of where stood two Banneker dwellings: suggesting an older, smaller building (probably the parents' original home), and then a larger house (Benjamin's) which had been burned.
The success of the archaeology prompted formation of the Friends of Banneker Historical Park (a community organization for the preservation of the Bannekers' homeland), as well as the initiative of Baltimore County to acquire the various parcels of land needed to re-forge the original Banneker plot Banneker Historical Park in its present form officially opened in 1989, a site dedicated to cultural arid natural history.
Free. Donations accepted. Special Events may require a small admissions fee.
Banneker Artifacts Exhibit -
Changing Exhibits -
Book & Gift Shop -
Multi-Purpose Room - "Molly Bannaky House"
Gardens & Trails