HARRIET TUBMAN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

Highlights

​​​​​​​​​​​Photo of a child grasping the hand of the Tubman statue. Photo by Angela Crenshaw

Park Reservations
410-221-2290​
(Note: Groups of ten or more
should make reservations
here.​)​
En español



​​​Photo of a Tubman painting. Photo by Stephen Schatz

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad
4068 Golden Hill Road
Church Creek, MD 21622​

View the DNR Events Calendar


​​Photo of lake near Harriet Tubman Visitor Center. Photo by Dana Paterra.​​

​​Information: ​410-221-2290
Hours: 10am - 4pm Tuesday through Sunday
We are closed Thanksgiving and Christmas day.

Email the Park​





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​Welcome!​

Photo of Tubman event by Stephen Badger. 

The 17-acre Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center invites visitors to experience Tubman’s world through exhibits that are informative and emotive, providing an in depth understanding of Tubman’s early years spent in Maryland's Choptank River region and her legacy as a leader, liberator and humanitarian in the resistance movement of the Underground Railroad.

​The park, which sits on the trailhead for the 125‐mile Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway (an All American Road) also provides an orientation to Tubman and Underground Railroad heritage sites and programs within the county and region.

​The visitor center features a museum store, information desk, research library and an exhibit space. The park and the adjacent Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge visitor centers are physically and intellectually linked to one another through programming, multi-use trails and roads.​​​

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Tubman is Hiring!

Click the flier for details.


Details about the Park

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Information

 

Location:
Dorchester County

4068 Golden Hill Road
Church Creek, MD 21622​

Contact:
410-221-2290​
E-mail: htursp.dnr@maryland.gov​​​​

Driving Directions:
From Annapolis and points north: Take US-301 North/US-50 East towards the town of Cambridge. Turn right on Woods Road. Turn right on Route 16. Turn left onto Route 335 (Golden Hill Road), drive for 4.5 miles and the visitor center will be on your right.

From Ocean City and points south: Take US-50 West towards the town of Cambridge. Turn left on Route 16 (Church Creek Road). Turn left onto Route 335 (Golden Hill Road), and drive approximately 4.5 miles and the visitor center will be on your right.

​From Philadelphia, PA: Take I-676/US-30 East to I-95 South, DE-1 South, US-301 south and US-50 East/Ocean Gateway to Woods Road in Cambridge, Maryland. Follow MD-16 West/Church Creek Road to MD-335 South/Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, Maryland. The visitor center is on your right.

Hours of Operation:
The park is open from 10am - 4pm Tuesday through Sunday.​

Hunting Policy:
No Hunting

Pet Policy:
Leashed pets are welcome in the park. Only service animals can go in buildings.

Welcome Guide

 

Download a copy of our "Welcome Guide" here. Enjoy your visit​!

Visitor Center

 

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center immerses visitors in Tubman’s world through informative, evocative and emotive exhibits. The displays show how the landscape of the Choptank River region shaped her early years and the importance of her faith, family and community. The exhibits also feature information about Tubman’s life beginning with her childhood in Maryland, her emancipation from slavery, her time as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and her continuous advocacy for justice.

The 15,000 square-foot LEED silver rated center includes state-of-the-art green elements including: a green roof, recycled materials, energy efficient lighting and water conservation devices. A museum store rounds out the visitor experience.

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center is managed through a partnership between the Maryland Park Service and National Park Service.


Map

 

Need to Find Your Way?

Download a map to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad here.

Timeline

 
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From "Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero - Bound for The Promised Land"

By Kate Clifford Larson


  • 1785-1790: Harriet Tubman’s parents, Ben Ross and Harriet “Rit” Green, are born in Dorchester County, Maryland. Both are enslaved but by different masters. Ben is owned by Anthony Thompson; Rit is enslaved by Atthow Pattison.
  • 1797: Atthow Pattison dies and leaves Rit to his granddaughter Mary Pattison.
  • 1800: Mary Pattison marries Joseph Brodess of Bucktown, Maryland.
  • 1801: Edward Brodess is born to Mary and Joseph Brodess.
  • 1802: Joseph Brodess probably dies this year.
  • 1803: Mary Pattison Brodess marries widower Anthony Thompson of Madison, bringing Rit and Ben into the same slave community.
  • 1808: Ben and Rit marry about this time.
  • 1810: Mary Pattison Brodess Thompson probably dies during this year, leaving young Edward under the guardianship of his stepfather, Anthony Thompson.
  • 1822: Araminta “Minty” Ross, later known as Harriet Tubman, is born, probably in February or early March on Anthony Thompson’s plantation in the Peters Neck District, south of Madison, near the Blackwater River.
  • 1823-1824: Edward Brodess moves to his ancestral property on Greenbriar Road in Bucktown. He marries Eliza Ann Keene in March 1824. They have eight children over the next twenty years.
  • 1828-1835: Young Minty is hired out by Brodess to various other masters, some cruel and negligent. She is nearly killed when a dry goods store weight is thrown at her head.
  • 1836: Anthony Thompson dies.
  • 1836-1842: Minty is hired out to John T. Stewart of Madison.
  • 1840: Ben Ross is given his freedom through a provision in Anthony Thompson’s will.
  • 1844: Minty probably marries freeman John Tubman in this year. She takes the name Harriet at this time.
  • 1847-1849: Harriet Tubman hires herself out to Dr. Anthony C. Thompson, Anthony Thompson’s son, who lives in both Poplar Neck and Cambridge.
  • 1849: Edward Brodess dies in March, leaving his widow Eliza encumbered with debt. Harriet Tubman runs away from slavery sometime during the late fall after hearing she might be sold.
  • 1850: Fugitive Slave Act is passed. Tubman conducts her first rescue mission by helping her niece, Kessiah, and Kessiah’s two children escape.
  • 1851-1852: Tubman assists several other individuals escape enslavement on the Eastern Shore, including her brother Moses. Returning in the fall of 1851 to bring her husband, John, to Philadelphia with her, he refuses to go. He has remarried and moved on with his life. She rescues several others instead.
  • 1854: Tubman finally succeeds in rescuing her three other brothers on Christmas Day, bringing them to freedom in Philadelphia and then St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. By now Harriet has attracted the attention of abolitionists and Underground Railroad operators Thomas Garrett, William Still, Lucretia Mott, and others.
  • 1855-1860: Tubman makes several more trips to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, trying to bring away her sister and her sister’s children. Though she was unsuccessful, she did bring away other friends and relatives, many of whom settled in Canada. Altogether, Tubman brought to freedom about seventy individuals in approximately thirteen trips.
  • 1857: Tubman brings away her aged parents from Caroline County, Maryland, when she learns her father is at risk of arrest for aiding slaves to run away.
  • 1858: Harriet Tubman meets John Brown at her home on North Street in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
  • 1859: John Brown’s Virginia raid ends in failure in October. Tubman purchases a home and seven acres of land from William H. Seward, President Lincoln’s future secretary of state, in Fleming, New York, in May. It is during this year that Tubman becomes more publicly active, particularly in Boston where she gives many lectures as a heroic Underground Railroad operator. Tubman's sister Rachel dies before she can be rescued.
  • 1860: Tubman is involved in the dramatic rescue of fugitive slave Charles Nalle in Troy, New York, freeing him from the custody of US marshals charged with returning him to his Virginia enslaver under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.
  • 1861: The Civil War starts with the firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, in April.
  • 1862-1865: Tubman begins her work as a cook, nurse, launderer, teacher, scout and spy for the United States Army stationed in the Hilton Head district of South Carolina.
  • 1863: Under the command of Colonel James Montgomery, Tubman becomes the first woman to lead an armed raid. On June 2, she leads Montgomery’s forces up the Combahee River, where they rout rebel forces, free over 700 slaves, and burn buildings, crops, and stockpiles of munitions and food.
  • 1865: The Civil War ends, and President Lincoln is assassinated in April. Tubman is hired to provide nursing services to wounded soldiers at Fortress Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. On her way home to New York, she is violently thrown from a passenger train by a racist conductor, and is severely injured.
  • 1867: John Tubman dies.
  • 1869: Sarah Bradford publishes her first biography called Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman. Tubman marries Nelson Davis at Central Presbyterian Church in Auburn.
  • 1871: Ben Ross, Tubman’s father, probably dies this year.
  • 1873: Tubman is involved in a mysterious “Gold Swindle.”
  • 1874: Tubman and her husband adopt a baby girl named Gertie.
  • 1879: Rit dies. Tubman continues to farm her seven-acre property and run a small brick-making business with Davis.
  • 1880: Tubman's home burns. She rebuilds it with help from the community, using bricks made in her own brickyard.
  • 1886: Sarah Bradford publishes her second biography of Tubman, Harriet Tubman: The Moses of Her People.
  • 1888: Nelson Davis dies of tuberculosis.
  • 1890s: Tubman becomes more actively involved in the suffrage movement, attending both black and white suffrage conventions.
  • 1896: Tubman purchases the twenty-five-acre parcel next to her property to establish a home and hospital for indigent, aged, and sick African Americans.
  • 1903: Tubman transfers ownership of the twenty-five-acre property to the AME Zion Church.
  • 1908: The Harriet Tubman Home is opened by the AME Zion Church.
  • 1913: Tubman dies on March 10 and is buried next to her brother at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn, New York.

Partners

 

Partners

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Park Service thank our partners in preservation:

Picnic Pavilion & Legacy Garden

 

Garden and Picnic Pavilion

Picnic Pavilion at Harriet Tubman Undeground Railroad State Park

There are other opportunities to explore the park, including pathways in the legacy garden and around bio-rentention ponds.

A 2,600 square foot open-air picnic pavilion with stone fireplace and serving area provides a gathering space on the park grounds.​


Pavilion Reservations​


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Park​ Events​

Click the Flyer for Details!

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​​ ​​ ​ ​​
Events for July 9-14 
Events for July 16-21 

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Points of Interest at the Park

​​President Barak Obama issued a proclamation on March 25, 2013, declaring the land on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where Tubman was born, lived and traveled, as a national monument and set the stage for the National Historical Park Designation. On December 19, 2014, the President signed into law H.R. 3979, which was authorized the creation of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. Together, the national historical park and monument will preserve the unique landscape associated with Harriet Tubman's life on the Eastern Shore.

Visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park's website at: https://www.nps.gov/hatu/index.htm.

Harriet Tubman Family portrait​​​​​​​


Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Junior Rangers

Junior Rangers at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park

Understanding and appreciating our history is important for reflecting upon ourselves in the present day. We aim to teach Junior Rangers about Harriet Tubman's life and legacy, and the importance of the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park offers two different Junior Ranger activities: one that focuses on Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy and the second on the art and music found in the Visitor Center.​

Click here​ to view the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center Junior Ranger Activity Book.​

Click here​ to view the Sights and Sounds of Freedom Junior Ranger Activity Book.

The Original Junior Ranger Activity: Start your experience by requesting a self-guided activity book at the Visitor Services desk. Use the exhibits and your personal experiences to complete the booklet and build a personal connection to Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad. The information in the back is neither sanitized nor watered down for our audience. The Original Junior Rangers is intended to help our younger guests learn the information in the exhibit hall. Though its intended audience is primarily that of children, teenagers and adults have completed our award-winning booklet with zeal and passion. The activity book takes you throughout the exhibit space and has you answer questions using the knowledge you gain on y​our journey. Once completed, the new Junior Ranger will get sworn in and receive a patch marking their completion.

Junior Rangers at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State ParkSights and Sounds of Freedom Junior Ranger Activity: Start your experience by requesting a self-guided activity book at the Visitor Services desk. With this activity booklet, the focus is shifting to the sights and sounds that influenced the creation of the park and the Visitor Center. Art and music tell much of Harriet’s legacy in a way that simple words have trouble encapsulating. The Sights and Sounds of Freedom Junior Ranger Activity has guests focus on the many artistic aspects of the Visitor Center and encourages them to open themselves up and feel the energy of the park. Because of the abstract nature of art and music, this activity booklet is intended for a more mature audience. The booklet will guide guests throughout the exhibit hall, and will challenge them to interpret the exhibit in their own way. Once completed the new Junior Ranger will get sworn in and receive a patch marking their completion.

Tubman Experience

The visitor center's exhibit hall is a self-guided experience, however, rangers are available for a ranger-led introduction to the park and groups, as well as a Junior Ranger overview and explanation. With advance notice, groups may request ranger-led tours or interpretive programs. Offer valid only when services are available.

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Tubman Explorer Logo

Eastern Shore Explorers Program

Journey across the Eastern Shore and uncover the storied past of the region's African American community in the new Eastern Shore Explorers program. From the historic city of Cambridge and the vibrant history of its Second Ward to checkpoints of the Underground Railroad hidden in the countryside, learn and explore moving ever toward freedom.

Visit the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center to receive the Eastern Shore Explorers activity booklet, or click below. Once you receive the booklet, you and your team can choose to complete the urban or rural expedition (or both!). Visit historical landmarks pertaining to local African American history assigned in the activity booklet and answer questions. Once completed, return to the Visitor Center and receive your Eastern Shore Explorers certificate, patch, and pin! This activity is free.

Click here to view and print the Eastern Shore Explorers Activity Book

 

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, was designated as one of the best driving tours in the nation in 2009 by the Federal Highway Administration for its scenic beauty and significant history. It is one of only 31 distinctive “All-American Roads” nationwide.

Meandering through 125 miles of countryside and shoreline in Dorchester and Caroline counties, the Byway invites visitors to experience the region’s Underground Railroad stories in a few hours or a couple of days. In addition to recounting Harriet Tubman’s remarkable life story, the Byway reveals the story of slavery and the pursuit of freedom on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. It weaves through a rare landscape, virtually unaltered for more than a century. For more go to http://www.harriettubmanbyway.org/index.php.