Travel Tuesday: Step Back in Time With Harriet Tubman


Along Maryland’s Eastern Shore is a story of courage and inspiration from none other than the historical Harriet Tubman. We suggest taking a detour on your next trip down the ocean and soaking up a bit of American history. Here are a few suggested stops to check out.

 
Image courtesy of harriettubmanbyway.org

Tubman’s story begins in Dorchester County, where she was born into slavery near Bucktown, Maryland. It was here that she grew up working on several farms in the area, and suffered a life-altering injury from a local slave-owner. 

While she worked hard, she also learned a lot during her time in Maryland. Tubman’s father taught her outdoor skills including how to navigate the waterways. The local canal, which is seven miles long and was dug by enslaved residents, is now part of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

 
Image courtesy of the National Park Service

Today, the refuge is home to 1/3 of Maryland’s tidal wetlands and provides a diverse home for the local animal population, including marshland, shallow water, and forest. Some consider it the “Everglades of the North” for its vast ecosystem, and it’s also known for being a large breeding ground for bald eagles. This spot is not-to-be-missed by locals, visitors, and nature-lovers alike.

 
Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and WIldlife Service

Eventually, Tubman escaped to freedom, but frequently returned to Maryland to help fellow enslaved African Americans achieve independence. Visitors can learn all about Tubman’s journey at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, featuring exhibits, a theater, nature trails, a library, and more. The visitor center, which opened in spring 2017, brought in more than 100,000 visitors its first year.

 
Image courtesy of harriettubmanbyway.org

The latest addition to Tubman Country is the painted mural that recently went viral. Located outside the Harriet Tubman Museum & Educational Center, Tubman’s life-like portrait reaches her hand to visitors—similar to how she bravely lent a hand and led slaves to freedom. The official ribbon-cutting for the mural will be held on September 7, known as A Day Of Resilience, in Cambridge.


Image courtesy of mural artist Michael Rosato/Baltimore Sun

Whether you choose to explore the area on a bus tour, hit the water in a kayaking adventure, drive the 125 mile scenic byway, or simply take a stroll around the town, you are sure to experience the area that Harriet Tubman herself once walked through, and find a new appreciate for Tubman’s heroic actions in Maryland.

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