Josiah Henson Museum Debuts Friday; Tickets Available Now

The Josiah Henson Museum and park, home to the 19th Century Riley plantation where Henson was enslaved, opens April 23, Montgomery Parks, which is part of Maryland National-Capital Park and Planning Commission, announced. Visitors must register and pay for tickets on line. Walk ins will not be admitted.

Tickets are $5 for adults ages 18 to 54 years; $4 for seniors and children between the ages of five and 17; and free for those under five years.

Located on Old Georgetown Road in North Bethesda, the park and museum is designed to show what life was like in Montgomery County and features Josiah Henson, who was a slave when he lived there. He eventually fled to Canada to obtain his freedom and is said to be the inspiration for Harriet Beech Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

The Riley-Bolten House and log kitchen are now the museum. Ongoing archaeologic excavations enabled researchers to determine where Henson may have lived. Other information was gathered through Jenson’s own writings.

The museum at 11420 Old Georgetown Road in the Luxmanor community features a 2,900 square foot visitor center, exhibits on African American history in Montgomery County and a first-person narrative of Henson. Work began in the fall of 2019. Henson was enslaved from 1800 to 1825, along with 20 other African Americans.

The park is 3.34 acres, but the Riley plantation once covered hundreds of acres.


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