We’ve all read the history books of Harriet Tubman, but I got the chance of a lifetime to visit the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park. This is a brand new NPS site this year (2018) so they are still working on the site and restoring so much of it.
Harriet Tubman is an important historical figure on many levels. At a time period when so much was going wrong, she did something that was very right. At the age of 27, Harriet was able to emancipate herself and escape to freedom.
Harriet Tubman National Historical Park – Auburn NY
Harriet was actually born into slavery but escaped when her enslaver died. Tubman eventually made 13 trips back to Maryland to help friends and family escape, plus she guided several more onto freedom. Many people don’t know that Harriet Tubman actually served in the Civil War, which means she received military recognition at her funeral. She was an amazing woman that spent her life serving others.
The Harriet Tubman National Historical Park is a place where you can join thousands of other people on their journey to learn more about this era in history. They have turned what used to be a hospital for anyone that Harriet ran, into the visitor center.
Related: 3 Reasons to Visit The William Seward House Museum in Auburn NY
Even once the salves were free most hospitals wouldn't serve anyone but white people so Harriet started this one on her property.
As they get the property renovated they are using this building at the visitor center and there is a small museum with the history of the property here too.
The park ranger who did our tour was so much fun. He was interactive and such a great storyteller! On the property, there are currently The red brick building with the wood barn behind it is Harriet Tubman's home.
They are currently renovating the building and bringing it back to it's time when Harriet lived there. I hope to make it back and see it when it is done!
Related: The History of Willard Chapel in Auburn NY – The Tiffany Chapel
Also on the property is the white home that we were told what the home for the caretakers at the hospital. Harriet was known to come in almost daily to help with the cooking of the meals.
Down the road and also part of this site is the Thompson Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. The building is also under repair to be brought back to its former glory.
It’s hard, to sum up, such a special woman’s life in just a few short paragraphs. While visiting this National Historical Park, I enjoyed hearing about her life and learning more than I ever knew. While in this area, you can also visit the Bucktown Village Store and the visitor center. Both locations tell of more history of Tubman’s life and legacy.
In the country alone, where the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park is located, you will find over 100 Underground Railroad Sites, including a prison.
If you’re visiting with your kids, you’ll be excited to know that your kids can become a junior ranger!
Ask for a Junior Ranger booklet when you visit the park, and complete the activities to earn your Junior Ranger badge! There is also an Underground Railroad book you can download and do at home. download the Junior Ranger booklet here to work on the activities before you arrive.
So when you are in NY take a trip to the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park. I'd love to hear about your visit in the comments below!