The most famous “conductor” on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman was born and lived in Dorchester County for her first 27 years or so. She ended up risking her life again and again to lead dozens of friends and family out of slavery to freedom. With plans to place a likeness of Harriet Tubman on the U.S. $20 bill, interest in this American hero has never been greater.
Experience her story at more than 30 sites along the scenic, self-guided driving tour known as the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. The Byway includes the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center, which will open its doors to the public on March 11, 2017. This 17-acre park and visitor center has been created by the Maryland Park Service and the National Park Service. The visitor center includes 10,000 square feet of exhibit space that will help share Tubman’s story in compelling and interactive ways. There are also nature trails and a large outdoor pavilion.
If you’re short on time, pick one or two places to visit. Below are a few ideas. You can find out more about at the Tubman Byway website.
get an introduction
For a quick introduction to the courageous feats of Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers who used the Underground Railroad, stop by the exhibits in the lower level of the Dorchester County Visitor Center. There you can also pick up the audio guide or the free guide to the Tubman Byway. You can also order the guide online here and we’ll mail them to you. You can also download the audio guide.
make a quick stop off rt. 50
If you have only a few minutes, take a quick detour off of Route 50 in Cambridge and stop by the Harriet Tubman Memorial Garden. Here, one of Harriet Tubman’s relatives has painted murals here to honor her life and legacy. There are also historic markers.
visit the Harriet Tubman museum
The Harriet Tubman Museum was started—and is still run by— dedicated local volunteers who wanted to share Harriet Tubman’s story and preserve her legacy. This small museum offers exhibits and a short film about Tubman’s life. They can also organize tours of the area where Tubman lived and toiled. The museum is usually open Tuesday through Friday, 12-3pm, and Saturday, 12-4pm.
see where Harriet Tubman grew up
Harriet Tubman spent her early years on the Brodess Farm outside of Cambridge. While no trace remains of the original home, there are historical markers at the site.