• Accokeek Foundation

A Farm, a View, and an Amazing Woman


A Maryland farm was for sale. To protect it from development, she bought it. A simple act, but one that marked the beginning of a series of events that led to the founding of the non-profit Accokeek Foundation, designation of the first national park created to protect historic vistas, and using the landscape of that historic vista to engage generations of visitors in the natural and cultural heritage of Piscataway Park. As soon as Congresswoman Frances Payne Bolton bought this farm, she set out for Africa on a six-week journey to explore the development of health care programs. The year was 1955. Frances Payne Bolton was 70 years old.


Bolton Act of 1943, she was instrumental in seeing that over 124,000 nurses were trained during World War II, including several thousand African American women.

Frances Bolton first came to Washington D.C. with her family during World War I when husband Chester served on the War Industries Board. During the war, she inherited a trust fund from her uncle, one of the founders of Standard Oil, making her one of the richest women in the world and giving her personal resources that she would use throughout her life to support initiatives that were important to her.

After returning to Ohio, Chester served in the state legislature until his 1928 election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Frances once again moved the family to Washington, D.C. In 1938 she was elected to the