BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Harriet Tubman will become the first woman on U.S. currency. She’ll be the new face on front of the 20 dollar bill by 2020. And as we gear up for this historical moment, a state park in Maryland is named in her honor.
Marcus Washington reports on the opening of The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park and Visitor Center.
Tubman’s legacy has stood as strong as her strength as she helped free hundreds of slaves more than 160 years ago. These are honors many will say are long over due, but these are honors the entire world acknowledge and enjoy.
On 17 acres in Church Creek, Maryland, sits a place honoring one of Dorchester County’s most revered daughters.
“She worked in the timber fields with her father, Ben Ross, who was a respected timber foreman. That’s where she learned all the skills,” says Maryland Park Ranger Angela Crenshaw.
Those skills helped Tubman forge a legacy of leading hundreds of slaves to freedom.
“She speaks that regardless of your disadvantages, you can make decisions and chooses that have a positive impact of your community, and in Tubman’s case, the nation. Tubman is timeless,” says park manager Dana Paterra.
“We have a museum store, a library, an information desk, an orientation theater and classroom, as well as permanent exhibits that focus on the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman,” says Paterra.
The 10,000 square foot building sits less than 4 miles from where Tubman was born on the Eastern Shore. Still surrounded by an area largely reminiscent of the landscape of the 19th century.
“So we are surrounded by the same agricultural fields that Tubman saw, the same forest, the same wetlands. This is what Tubman saw,” says Paterra.
“Right now I’m walking through our legacy garden and it wraps around out visitor center. It’s a place for people to reflect on what they’ve seen, what they’ve experienced in our exhibition hall,” says Crenshaw.
It’s a capsule of history, holding on to our nation’s story and a woman who help find equality for all human beings.
“Harriet Tubman was just a regular person born into horrible circumstances,” says Crenshaw. “She just did extraordinary things to improve the lives of her friends and family members and you don’t have to be a super hero to save the world.”
A number of tours are on the books for 2017. Outside tours are also available with weather permitting.
The center is opening to the public on Saturday, March 11 with a weekend of planned events. Once open, the park and visitor center will open seven days a week, from 9 a.m -5 p.m.
It’s located at 4068 Golden Hill Road, Church Creek, Maryland.