Plans for a railroad from Baltimore into Southern Maryland began to develop after the Civil War. In 1872, the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad (later integrated into the Pennsylvania Railroad System) opened the Bowie Station.
Developer Ben M. Plumb seized that opportunity and developed “Huntington City” around that railroad station. Shops, hotels, and comfortable Victorian houses filled the tree-lined streets of Huntington City, renamed “Bowie” in 1880 to honor Governor Oden Bowie, who was instrumental in bring the railroad here. The station remained a busy stop until 1989, when it closed to make way for a new station at Bowie State University. The City of Bowie, in recognition of the station’s important role in its history, restored the buildings in the early 1990’s.
The Bowie Tower is the home of the National Railroad Historical Society’s Martin O’Rourke Railroad Research Library.
The Bowie Railroad Museum complex and the O’Rourke Library are open to the public according to the hours listed on this page and for groups of 10 or more by appointment. The station is accessible for people with disabilities. Admission is free; donations are welcomed.