This Java History Trail Guide describes the history of the SERC grounds. Starting with Native Americans, continuing through the colonial history, plantation life, and Java Dairy farm. The story then follows the 1962 bequeathment of the the property owned by Robert Lee Forest to the Smithsonian, when the area became the location for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
Indians of the Chesapeake
Native Americans were the first people to use this land. They did so up until Colonial settlement in the early 1600s.
Colonial Settlement and Plantation Life
As the colonists arrived in the Chesapeake region, lands were cleared and farming was prevalent. This section of the trail includes a re-created tobacco barn, a tobacco prize (press) and panels that discuss the history of the site from about 1600 up to 1900.
Java Dairy Farm
In 1915, the farm was sold and turned into a dairy farm, which supplied milk for the local community and the Naval Academy.
Java's Return to Nature
In the early 1960s, the property was bequeathed to the Smithsonian Institution, which developed a long-term ecological research program on the property. Over the years, the site has continued to be on the cutting edge of Chesapeake Bay research. This section of the trail includes a boardwalk through the marsh so you can get a closer look at the flora and fauna of the tidal wetlands.