The new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center opens to the public on Saturday, March 11, with grand opening events planned for March 11 and 12 and throughout the year.
Harriet Tubman, who grew up in slavery in Dorchester County, lived, worked, and worshipped in places near the visitor center. It’s from this area that she first escaped slavery, and where she returned about 13 times over a decade, risking her life time and again to lead some 70 friends and family members to freedom. To carry out the dangerous missions, she used the Underground Railroad, a secret network of places and people.
Located near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, the visitor center includes an exhibit hall with thought-provoking multimedia exhibits, a theater, and gift shop. The visitor center is on the grounds of a 17-acre state park. The visitor center is a joint operation between the Maryland Park Service and the National Park Service.
March 11 (Saturday) and March 12 (Sunday) marks the official opening to the public and will be two full days of activities with a performance by National Park Service Centennial Poet Laureate Dr. Sonia Sanchez followed by a writing workshop; choir concert with local community churches and nearby university choirs, Junior Ranger activities, performances by Millicent Sparks (Harriet Tubman living historian); interpretive presentations from the senior architect about “The View North” design concept of the Visitor Center; scholars providing Harriet Tubman lectures, ongoing tours of the Visitor Center exhibit and landscape and much more.
The visitor center is one of more than 30 sites of historical significance along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, a 125-mile self-guided driving tour on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Order a free Tubman Byway Map & Guide or download the free Audio Guide.