At some hazy point in the not-too-distant future, Harriet Tubman—escaped slave, Underground Railroad conductor, Civil War spy/nurse/cook—will take up residence in your wallet by giving the heave-ho to ex-President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. The federal government further honored Tubman by establishing the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway and National Park on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 2014. Now comes the related Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, which presents affecting and educational exhibits that probe and illuminate Tubman’s remarkable life, as well as serves as a trailhead, of sorts, for exploring the 125-mile byway and 17-acre national park.
“The visitor center is located in the heart of Dorchester County, the rural farmland and tidal marsh where Harriet was born, lived and traveled,” notes Dana Paterra, park manager for the Maryland State Park Service. “The design concept, the architecture, interpretive exhibits and an orientation film tell the story of her heroic feats to escape slavery and later return to her homeland to lead relatives and friends to freedom.” The new center, located adjacent to the 28,000-acre Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, opens March 11 in Church Creek. Bird watch and experience history in one fell swoop. harriettubmanbyway.org