Deer Creek & Mountain Prospect/Pipe Creek
Learn more about Deer Creek, Mountain Prospect/Pipe Creek, & Coffee Run
These three estates were intended to provide shelter and financial support for missionaries in remote locations, difficult to reach from the existing plantations. Each operated as a working plantation. Almost no private records survive for these plantations.
Mountain Prospect was a 600-acre plantation purchased by Rev. Thomas Digges in 1745. Three men were documented living there in 1755, and in 1780, Judy and Clem (enslaved) were sent to live there. Read more here.
The 105-acre plantation known as Deer Creek or Paradice (another tract was known as Arabia Petraea) was acquired in 1750. A total of 690 acres was added between 1764 and 1793. The site had an iron forge, grist mill, and oil mill. Seven people were enslaved there in 1765, including David, who was later sent to White Marsh and St. Joseph. They built a stone residence and mass house, measuring 43×25 feet, during the eighteenth century. Known as “Priest Neale’s Mass House,” today it is privately owned.
Coffee Run, also referred to as Mill Creek Hundred or White Clay Creek, was a 208-acre plantation purchased in 1772. A small log church was built at the site, but little else is known about the property.
Mismanaged and unprofitable, plantations at Mountain Prospect, Coffee Run, and Deer Creek were sold in parcels in order to pay off debts: Mountain Prospect around 1800, Coffee Run in 1810 and Deer Creek between 1814 and 1822. Coffee Run remained a Catholic mission run by Rev. Patrick Kenny.
In 1804, Rev. Pasquet—who managed Deer Creek—was given permission for older enslaved persons from Deer Creek to be “disposed of to humane and Christian masters”. Some enslaved Africans from Deer Creek may have been sent to Bohemia in 1808. The fate of the plantations’ enslaved laborers is otherwise unknown.
An archaeological survey of Coffee Run was directed by LuAnn DeCunzo in 2011. The survey provides probable evidence of a late 18th-century dwelling, as well as a kitchen where activities like dairying took place. The site appears to be preserved well archaeologically.
Mountain Prospect and Deer Creek have not been surveyed archaeologically.
Learn more about the history of Deer Creek at the Georgetown Slavery Archive and through the Maryland Province Archives at Georgetown.
Today, portions of Coffee Run are owned by Trinity Community Church (Assembly of God, Protestant). The remainder of Coffee Run, as well as Deer Creek, and Mountain Prospect are owned privately.