States: Maryland: Prince George's
While exploring my Belt roots, I came across W. Seaton Belt (1870-1959) son of William and Ellen Belt of Prince Georges County, MD. I cannot link him to Humphrey Belt, but I think he may have been a descendant of Joseph (1680-1761) and Elizabeth Belt. Can anyone substantiate this? Seaton Belt was a banker who apparently never married. He owned several farms in Prince Georges County (3,200 acres.) When he died 1959, he left the Home Farm to St. Barnabas Church with the provision that the land not be sold and the trees not be cut. The approximately 600 acre tract of woodland and tobacco farms had been in the family since the 1600's. The farm contained the last stand of virgin hardwood forest on the Atlantic coastal plain (Belt Woods). In 1981, the church cut the mature trees in the north woods which triggered the State of Maryland to purchase the south woods, a 109-acre old growth portion which is now the Belt Woods Natural Environmental Area. In the 1990's the church again threatened to sell for development the remaining 515 acres of the Home Farm. National and local conservation groups worked with the State to purchase the remaining 515 acres. It is now a conservation area open only to scientists. Seaton is said to have loved the trees. I think he would be pleased.
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