Discover Maryland's African-American History

By Jenny Buchet

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Bucktown Store Dorchester City
Bucktown Store Dorchester City

Witness the strength and courage of the human spirit when you tour these historic sites along The Underground Railroad, including authentic slave cabins and “flight to freedom” trails, plus discover the contributions of African-Americans to the maritime history of the Chesapeake.

Dorchester County Courthouse Photo By: Visit Dorcester

1 The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Caroline and Dorchester Counties

With over 30 sites to see along this incredible byway, you’re going to need a map! Get one at the Dorchester County Visitor Center in the waterfront town of Cambridge, which also offers guides and an exhibit about Tubman’s life. Also in Cambridge are the Dorchester County Courthouse, former site of slave auctions, and the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center, which hosts exhibits and educational programming. Kayak through the waterways of Joseph Stewart’s Canal near Parson’s Creek, where Tubman learned vital survival skills, or take the family for a stroll around Adkin’s Arboretum near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely to examine how nature both helped and hindered freedom seekers traversing this 400-acre preserve of wetlands and woodlands.  


More about Scenic Byways-Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad


Type:
Tour Services


Location:
Various Routes
Cambridge, MD 21613


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Button Farm Living History Center Photo By: Heritage Montgomery

2 Button Farm, Germantown

When preparing for Beloved, Oprah toured Germantown’s Button Farm, a living-history center that transports visitors to an 18th-century plantation and the heroic journey of the Underground Railroad. Learn what it might have been like to escape, survive in the woods and elude slave trackers, or help with plantation-era chores, walk through an authentic 19th-century garden and see heritage livestock.


More about Button Farm Living History Center


Type:
African American Heritage


Location:
16820 Black Rock Road
Germantown, MD 20874
301-916-7090


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Frederick Douglass Sign Photo By: Clark Vandergrift

3 Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park, Baltimore

This waterfront museum in Baltimore’s Fells Point neighborhood showcases the lives of Maryland natives Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers, important contributors in African-American maritime history. Through a self-guided tour you’ll learn about Douglass’s time working on the docks as an enslaved child before escaping to freedom in New York, and about Myers, a free-born African-American labor leader and one of the founders of the Chesapeake Marine Railway and Dry Dock Company.


More about Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park


Type:
African American Heritage


Location:
1417 Thames Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
410-685-0295


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Josiah Henson Park Photo By: Montgomery Parks

4 Josiah Henson Park, North Bethesda

Visit this site where Reverend Henson lived and worked until he escaped slavery to Canada, established a community for fugitive slaves and continued to work as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. His true-life stories inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ground-breaking book Uncle Tom’s Cabin.


More about Josiah Henson Park


Type:
African American Heritage


Location:
11420 Old Georgetown Road
Rockville, MD 20852
301-650-4373


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Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park Photo By: Montgomery Parks

5 Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park, Olney

From 1880-1920, this living-history museum on a two-acre tract of land served as the center of an African-American roadside community that housed both black and white residents who sold produce and handmade items to travelers. Today, furnishings depict the various stages of its history, and artifacts that were excavated onsite are also on display.


More about Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park


Type:
African American Heritage


Location:
3610 Brookeville Road
Olney, MD 20832
301-650-4373


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Featured Places
01
Location:
Various Routes
Cambridge, MD 21613
02
Location:
16820 Black Rock Road
Germantown, MD 20874
03
Location:
1417 Thames Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
04
Location:
11420 Old Georgetown Road
Rockville, MD 20852
05
Location:
3610 Brookeville Road
Olney, MD 20832
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