Celebrate Black History Month: African American Historic Sites

Oakley Cabin Emancipation Days | Photo by Marilyn Stone

February is Black History Month. With interactive exhibits, historical attractions, and family events, Montgomery County, Maryland is the perfect place to appreciate and celebrate the achievements of African Americans throughout US History. 

Sandy Spring Slave Museum

18524 Brooke Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

Highlighting the heritage of African American families in Montgomery County, this museum houses an extensive collection of historical art and artifacts. You’ll find a cross-section of a clipper ship, an African hut and, an original log cabin on site. (Open year-round, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday.)

Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park

16501 Norwood Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park’s newest attraction is the Woodlawn Museum featuring multimedia exhibits throughout the 19th century stone barn. Interactive exhibits highlight the area’s agricultural landscape, the Underground Railroad, local free black communities and the Quaker experience in Montgomery County, revealed through the lives of the Woodlawn’s residents and enslaved laborers. (April – November, Friday & Saturday 10 am – 4 pm, Sunday 12 – 4 pm, as well as for special events)

February 8: Family Day – Black History Month: Bring the entire family out to celebrate African American Culture. The event will feature presentations and activities to highlight the rich culture of the free and enslaved communities and the connection to contemporary culture.  Buy Tickets

February 22nd: Lyrical Rythms: The Sounds of Freedom Continue to celebrate Black History Month through reflection, expression and art. Create and share your own “sounds of freedom” in the form or original poetry, or step to the stage and share poetry or songs that inspire thoughts of freedom. Light refreshments will be served. The event is an adult program and will take place in the Woodlawn Manor. Buy Tickets

February 23: Black History Month Walking Tour: Take a guided tour of the grounds and buildings of Woodlawn Manor Cultural Park and discover the role enslaved labor played on this 19th century farm. Explore how the enslaved could have nature for escape and evasion while seeking freedom. This guided tour includes exterior space and a natural trail. Participants are recommended to dress to be in the elements. Buy Tickets

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Button Farm Living History Center

16820 Black Rock Road, Germantown, MD 20874

Enter the heroic story of the Underground Railroad through a unique living history experience depicting plantation life of the enslaved in the 1850s. Explore the reconstructed-era barn, historic outbuilding, heirloom garden, heritage breed farm animals, and slave cemetery situated on 40-acres inside of Seneca Creek State Park. (Open from June -November.)

Oakley Cabin African American Museum and Park

3610 Brookeville Road, Brookeville, MD 20833

Step inside Oakley Cabin and immerse yourself in the history of those who have lived there. The main room on the ground floor wraps around an open hearth, and in a small adjoining room, where you’ll find 19th-century tools and artifacts excavated during archaeological digs around the park’s grounds. The grounds and trail is open year round, sunrise to sunset. To view inside the cabin, free guided museum tours occur on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays in April – October from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Boyd’s Negro School

19510 White Ground Road, Boyds, MD 20841

Renovated and restored to its appearance in 1900, this one-room schoolhouse served students in grades 1-8, many of whom walked for miles to attend. You’ll find desks, a blackboard and an authentic potbelly stove, as well as literature about African American education in Montgomery County. (Open by appointment and also on the last Sunday of each month from 2:00 – 4:00 pm from April to November.)

Josiah Henson Park

Discover the remarkable story of Reverend Josiah Henson, whose 1849 autobiography inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s abolitionist novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This internationally significant historic site is the place where Henson lived and worked as a slave from 1795 to 1830 and became the backdrop for his memoir. It is here that the story of slavery in Maryland can be told from Henson’s first-person experience. (Park is closed until further notice, to begin construction on the future Museum & Education Center.)

For more Montgomery County historical sites, visit www.heritagemontgomery.org