Ferguson History

Alice and Henry Ferguson on a buggy

Alice and Henry Ferguson

In 1922, Alice Ferguson and her husband Henry purchased Hard Bargain Farm as a summer and weekend retreat from their busy life in Washington, D.C. Henry was a geologist at the Geological Survey. Alice was an art student at the Corcoran, an archaeologist, builder, hostess and budding environmentalist. During World War II, Alice purchased a neighboring site to Hard Bargain Farm, some 850 acres known as Bonds Retreat. Here, she subdivided the land into 5-acre home sites for others who shared her concern and appreciation for the land’s unspoiled, natural beauty. This was a very successful idea, so Alice purchased another large parcel known as Cactus Hill.


Moyaone Reserve: Preserving Beauty, Memories and Ideas

When Alice died in 1951, she left most of the land to the residents. On her behalf, they formed the Piscataway Company, a non-profit organization that received and managed the land as Alice had envisioned. As development crept nearer and nearer, the Piscataway Company purchased more and more land, first in Apple Valley, next in Auburn, then in Poplar Hill. With Alice as its catalyst, the Moyaone Reserve became a community designed and developed by its residents. Today many people live in the woods surrounding Hard Bargain Farm in a residential community called the Moyaone Reserve.

Fergie canoeing on the Potomac River