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Live and Honor Black History in Harriet Tubman’s Hometown

By: Colleen Onuffer

Although this is the chosen month to highlight Black history, the celebration and recognition of the Black history-makers goes beyond the month of February. Their contributions are ingrained in our society and culture, which is something to be acknowledged every day. And here in Auburn, NY – Harriet Tubman’s chosen hometown – residents and visitors have the opportunity to embrace the region’s rich history while uplifting its Black and minority modern-day leaders and entrepreneurs.

We’ve mapped out three days’ worth of activities that will teach you about the area’s historic ties to Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad and more, introduces you to Black and minority-owned businesses, and allows you to explore other local favorite establishments.

Be sure to see how many stops on the Harriet Tubman lantern trail you’ll check off along the way!


Explore the New York Equal Rights Heritage Center

Learn about the New Yorkers who fought for the abolition of slavery through interactive and educational displays, pick up information that will help guide you through the city, and see the Harriet Tubman statue that watches over the courtyard.

Tour the Harriet Tubman Home Property

Tour Harriet Tubman’s property, which includes The Harriet Tubman Visitor Center, the Tubman Home for Aged and Infirm Negroes, the restored Tubman barn and the Harriet Tubman Residence.

Visit Harriet Tubman’s gravesite at Fort Hill Cemetery

Pay your respects at the burial site of Harriet Tubman-Davis. Looking at the map hyperlinked above, Harriet Tubman’s gravesite is located on West Lawn C (#17 on the map).

Lavish Lounge

Enjoy a meal at this Black-owned restaurant and lounge that serves authentic Jamaican and American cuisine in a contemporary setting.


Visit The Auburn Public Theater

Learn more about the theater’s creation, mission and commitment to celebrating diversity in all aspects of audience development, programs, performances, services, staffing and volunteer support.

Café 108

Café 108 was created as part of the Auburn Public Theater’s vision of bringing people together through affordable access to the arts. Part of this vision included creating a community table and gathering space which provides healthy, sustainably grown, delicious food.

Explore the Seward House Museum

Tour the home of William H. Seward and his wife Frances Seward, who invited Harriet Tubman to move to Auburn from Canada and sold her the property that she built her house on. Avid abolitionists, their basement was used as a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Embark on a self-guided tour of Historic South Street

Featured properties include architecturally and historically significant public and private buildings, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as properties associated with the City’s notable residents.

Explore these additional points of interest in downtown Auburn:

Need to get a little work done from the road? Melody’s offers a beautiful co-working space with desks and a small conference area for women to work or learn. It’s a membership-based space – and day passes are available!


Did you scan all the Harriet Tubman lantern trail QR codes?
We’ve included many of the stops on the trail in this blog, but there may be others you haven’t yet explored. Check the map to see which ones you have left and make your way through the city to discover more history!

Underground Railroad Driving Tour

Download our Underground Railroad app that allows you to drive through the city of Auburn – or the broader area of Cayuga County – to explore and learn more about locations that were stops on the Underground Railroad.

Oak & Vine at Springside Inn

Stop into the Springside Inn – once a stop on the Underground Railroad – for a meal at Oak & Vine, a modern gastropub offering meals in a vibrant and neighborly atmosphere.

Pass through the Sherwood Equal Rights Historic Districtwhich includes properties of the Howland Family, who were dedicated to abolishing slavery and offered their property as a stop on the Underground Railroad as they guided freedom-seekers to safety.


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