6900 Green Landing Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
301-627-0730; TTY 301-446-3302; Fax 301-627-7085
Billingsley land, patented in 1662 as "Billingsley Point," was named after Maj. John Billingsley, the original owner. Although the property has changed hands 27 times over its lengthly history, the name "Billingsley" remains.
Built on the land by subsequent owner Dr. James Weems around 1740, Billingsley is one of Prince George's County's oldest historic homes. Originally, Billingsley was a one-story brick plantation house of the Tidewater Colonial Style. The 20-inch thick brick walls are laid in Flemish Bond. The original interior plan consisted of a central hall with two unequal parlors on each side. The original interior kitchen fireplace is still evident in basement.
Major Billingsley received the 1662 original land grant for 700 acres from Lord Baltimore as payment for having transported 14 servants in 1650. Billingsley never lived on the tract, he permitted local Indians to camp on the property. In 1674, the Maryland General Assembly proposed that the Indians pay Maj. Billingsley's heirs a yearly rent while they remained on the land.
In 1687 Billingsley's heirs conveyed 500 acres of the land to Col. Thomas Hollyday, who built a home of unknown structure just southeast of the present dwelling. When Prince George's County was established in 1696, Hollyday, a lawyer, became the first Chief Justice of the County Court at the new County Seat of Charles Town, located just across the Western Branch.
Thomas Hollyday died young in 1704 leaving the estate to his son James Hollyday who was only seven at the time. Because James' mother died the same year, he was raised by his uncle, Sheriff Thomas Greenfield, who lived nearby.
Young James held onto the land until 1740 when his desire to live on the Eastern Shore prompted him to sell the property to Dr. James Weems.
Four generations of the prominent, wealthy Weems family owned the estate during the next 100 years, beginning with Dr. James Weems in 1740 and ending with Mary Weems Mullikin in 1840.
It is likely that James Weems, a medical doctor, businessman, and office holder, was responsible for building the present brick structure around 1740. Upon his death, James' son, William Lock Weems, who operated a store at Green Landing, inherited the property. William was wealthy and entertained often.
The last Weems to hold the tract was Mary Weems Mullikin who along with her husband, John, actually lived at Mount Oak and subsequently sold the property in 1841.
The property passed through a succession of owners until it was sold in 1917 to the Meloy family. The Meloy family maintained the property as a tenant farm until 1941 when son Samuel Meloy and his wife Frances moved into the house. In 1947 Samuel and Frances obtained title to the farm and raised a family. Samuel Meloy was a well known judge in Upper Marlboro.
In 1989, in order to preserve the natural and historical setting of Billingsley, Samuel and Frances Meloy sold the property to the State of Maryland. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has a 99-year lease for the property.