The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center
Construction of this visitor's center began in 2013 and was part of a larger effort by the state of Maryland to create the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The Byway includes thirty-six sites related to Tubman's life, including this visitors center which offers exhibits, programs, and a research library dedicated to preserving and sharing Tubman's journey from slavery to freedom and many accomplishments as a leader within the abolitionist movement. The visitor center is one of thirty-six historical sites along. The visitor center is surrounded by a 17-acre state park with walking trails and a picnic pavilion. The exhibits in the visitor center are extensions of the historical sites along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
Backstory and Context
Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in 1820. Tubman grew up to become a conductor on the Underground Railroad, in which she helped other slaves escape to freedom in the north. During the Civil War, she worked as a nurse, cook, scout, and even a spy. After the Emancipation Proclamation, she lived the rest of her life in Auburn, New York.
The Harriet Tubman Railroad Visitor Center features multimedia exhibits and a theater to share Tubman's story. There is a research library, theater and gift shop visitors can explore along with the multimedia exhibits. A slideshow about Tubman’s journey and accomplishments is shown as an overview and starting point for the exhibits within the visitor center. There is also a picnic pavilion with a stone fireplace for guests to use at the visitor center. Guests can continue to explore Tubman’s journey through a ranger-led program or a self-guided tour of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway.
Young visitors may connect to Tubman even more through a self-guided activity book available at the visitor center information desk. Once completed, they may take the Junior Ranger pledge with a park ranger, and they’ll be gifted a patch and historical trading cards. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center has park rangers available to assist you as an introduction to the park and the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway trail. Groups may request a ranger-led tour through the park and interpretive programs.
2. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park. Maryland.gov Department of Natural Resources, http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/PublishingImages/HTUGRR_JuniorRanger.jpg
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