Montgomery Parks Emancipation Day Celebrations

Sandy Spring Slave Museum Photo | Montgomery Parks

Sandy Spring Slave Museum
Photo | Montgomery Parks

Maryland’s emancipation of its enslaved population took place nearly 150 years ago in 1864. Each November, Montgomery Parks marks this historic milestone with a weekend of educational activities, tours and demonstrations at various African American historic sites in our parks. This year’s celebrations of freedom from enslavement in Maryland include hikes on the Underground Railroad trail, a tour of a 19th century cabin and a museum, living history demonstrations, live music and food.

A special Emancipation Day event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2, at Oakley Cabin African American Museum & Park in Olney:

Oakley Cabin African American Museum & Park
noon to 4 p.m.
3610 Brookeville Road
Olney, MD 20832
Free

Featuring live music and demonstrations, activities include guided cabin tours, living history demonstrations, hands-on crafts and old-fashioned games for children; and an archaeology dig.
*Parking is only available at Longwood Recreation Center, 19300 Georgia Avenue with shuttle service to Oakley Cabin.

All Emancipation Day activities and tours are open to the public, most are free with the exception of a special night hike on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail Nov. 1, which costs $5 per person. Please find a complete schedule below. More details are available at www.HistoryintheParks.org.

Friday Nov. 1

“Voices of the Underground Railroad: Special Night Hike on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail”
7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Admission: $5.00 (www.ParkPASS.org, Course #249349 to sign up)

Bring your flashlight and journey back in time to the 1800s on this two-mile night hike, where you’ll meet persons of the past (portrayed by re-enactors), including brave fugitives, a Maryland governor, a freedman and minister among others.

*Appropriate for adults and children ages 10 and up.
**Trail is not ADA-accessible. Only therapy animals are permitted on the hike.

Saturday Nov. 2

Underground Railroad Experience Trail Guided Hikes
9 a.m. to noon
(Tours begin 9 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m.)
Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park
16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Free

”Conductors” will lead one-way, 90-minute interpretive hikes of this two-mile natural surface trail from Woodlawn Manor to the Sandy Spring Friends Meeting House. (Shuttle buses will transport hikers back to the Woodlawn Manor.)

Harper Cabin at Brookside Nature Center Tours & Demonstrations
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Brookside Nature Center
1400 Glenallen Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902
Free

Visit the Harper Cabin, dating back to the 1870s, to learn how and where post-emancipation African American families lived in Montgomery County. Two generations of the Harper family (including a total of 21 children) grew up in this small two-room cabin.

Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery Open House
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
18524 Brooke Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Free
For more information visit: http://www.sandyspringslavemuseum.org/

The museum and art gallery will feature exhibits focusing on the heritage of African Americans from their origin in Africa through the Trans-Atlantic passage, participation with the Underground Railroad, the struggle for civil rights, and their accomplishments across the African Diaspora. Lunch will be available for purchase.

Sandy Spring Museum Open House
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Admission charged
For more information: http://www.sandyspringmuseum.org/

The Museum chronicles the history of the families that lived and grew here on farms and in trades, creating one of the oldest sustained communities of African American landowners in the nation.

Button Farm Living History Center Tours & Demonstrations
Time and programming updates will be available soon.
16820 Black Rock Road, Germantown, MD 20874
Free
*Event is organized by Button Farm Living History Center
For more information: http://buttonfarm.org/

Sunday Nov. 3

Harper Cabin at Brookside Nature Center Tours and Demonstrations
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Brookside Nature Center
1400 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton, MD 20902
Free

Take a tour of this cabin dating back to 1870 and learn about its history including its relocation from a post-Civil War African American community (near Poolesville) to Wheaton.

Josiah Henson Park Open House
noon – 4 p.m.
11420 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda 20852
Free

Take a guided tour of the Josiah Henson historic site to learn about the life of Reverend Josiah Henson during his enslavement on this former plantation and as a freedman in Canada. Join park archaeologists on a dig of the site.

*Parking is only available at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center/Wall Local Park, 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda.

Sandy Spring Museum Open House
noon to 5 p.m.
17901 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860
Admission charged
For more information visit: http://www.sandyspringmuseum.org/

The Museum chronicles the history of the families that lived and grew here on farms and in trades, creating one of the oldest sustained communities of African American landowners in the nation.

For more information about Montgomery Parks Emancipation Day programming and to stay informed of upcoming events, volunteer opportunities and training dates, visit www.HistoryInTheParks.org.

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