You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

Harriet Tubman gets a new home along the Underground Railroad


If Harriet Tubman were to magically reappear in Dorchester County on Maryland's Eastern Shore, she might think she had time-traveled back to her childhood. The area's grassy marshes, sparkling rivers and flat farmland look much as they did when she lived there in the early 1800s. 

She knew these fields and waterways well, both as a child born into slavery as Araminta "Minty" Ross and as a woman who married and changed her name to Harriet Tubman. She escaped to freedom at age 27 and risked capture and even death by returning to the area a dozen or more times to help about 70 others, including her parents and brothers, escape, too. They used a secret network of people and places called the Underground Railroad. Tubman was one of its most famous "conductors." She earned the biblical nickname "Moses" for freeing her people.  

That much about Tubman is pretty well known. But other parts of her amazing, long life (she lived into her 90s) are not. A new visitor center in Dorchester County aims to give a fuller picture of this remarkable woman. 

 

The first item visitors will see is a bronze bust of Tubman. Mounted on a column, it shows how tall (or short) she was - 5 feet. Sculptor Brendan O'Neill was putting the bust in place last week. He said he wanted to show the strength and grit Tubman displayed, despite her small frame. Preteen visitors may feel it as they face her eye to eye.  

Statues and exhibits in the two main halls round out Tubman's life story. One of nine children, she was taken from her mother at age 6 and forced to work. One statue shows her hunting muskrats, valuable for food and fur. Another honors her Civil War service as a cook, nurse, scout and spy for the Union. During an 1863 raid in South Carolina, Tubman helped free more than 700 slaves.  

In her later years, she opened a home for the elderly on land she owned in New York. And she worked for women's rights as well as for minorities and the disabled.  

"I like to think of Harriet Tubman as a normal person who did extraordinary things," said Angela Crenshaw, assistant manager of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad State Park, home to the new visitor center.  

Tubman never learned to read or write. She suffered all her life from a severe head injury she received as a girl. She had a $100 reward placed on her, yet returned time after time to Maryland to help more slaves escape.  

"She just never quit," said historian Beth Parnicza of the National Park Service. She thinks Tubman's message for kids is in "seeing how a person can truly live their ideals no matter what their circumstances are. ... By doing what's right, everybody can change the world. Tubman's life proves that."  

Her tombstone sums it up best. It reads: "Servant of God, Well Done."  

---  

IF YOU GO  

What: The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center  

Where: 4068 Golden Hill Road in Church Creek, Maryland. A free shuttle bus is available from 421 Academy Street in Cambridge, Maryland, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. On-site parking will be available Sunday.  

When: Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program includes a kids' workshop on games that enslaved children played. Drop in between noon and 4 p.m. to make a yarn doll, shoot marbles or build a candy-corn campfire. Kids can also sign up for the Junior Ranger program and collect eight Tubman-related trading cards. After opening weekend, visitor center hours will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  

How much: Free. Note that no food or beverages are sold there.  

For more information: A parent can go to dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/tubman.aspx or call 410-221-2290.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Family Travel: under the spell of sunny Puerto Rico

You know things are going pretty well when the big family argument is over whether to splash in the rain forest waterfall or loll around on the white-sand beach.  You know things are even better when you realize you can do both in a single day and not tax the patience or interest of three children.   From our weeklong base at a rental...
Encountering true luxury in St. Moritz
Encountering true luxury in St. Moritz

You are always alone atop a mountain, even in a crowd. At a beach — any beach — a solitary figure standing at the edge of your vision can make you feel intruded upon. On the summit of an Alpine mountain, a chairlift dumping out bystanders six at a time will offer you no companionship. I stand next to my wife at nearly 11,000 feet of altitude...
'I could never live in Texas. This is Austin.'
'I could never live in Texas. This is Austin.'

AUSTIN, Texas - With a Texas-size shiny, red boot kicking up its heel on the roof, Allens Boots was hard to miss. Inside were more than 10,000 pairs of cowboy boots, silver belt buckles ranging from merely shiny to massive statement and stack after stack of Stetson hats.  Not to be outdone, Lucy in Disguise with Diamonds, a few doors down on South...
Celebrity Cruises’ new ship has floating bar and ‘infinity’ cabins
Celebrity Cruises’ new ship has floating bar and ‘infinity’ cabins

Inside Royal Caribbean Cruises’ new Innovation Center called “The Cave,” executives, designers and architects can walk through a virtual cruise ship, granted their 3D goggles are on of course. The VR technology allows them to fine tune new features as simple as where to place tables in the rooftop garden and as radical as redefining...
U.S. travel industry fears a 'lost decade' under Trump

Like many Washington lobby groups, the U.S. Travel Association was quick to congratulate the new president on his victory last November.  "We are encouraged that Mr. Trump's extensive business and hospitality background … will make him a ready and receptive ear," the trade organization said. Upon the Republican's inauguration...
More Stories