2022 is a special year in the world of honoring equal rights. Not only is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the forefront of our society today, this year marks 200 years since the birth of a great American hero and iconic leader in the realm of freedom and equity for all - Harriett Tubman! Although the exact date of her birth is not known, it is believed that she was born in March, and we know that March is also the month she was laid to rest (March 10, 1913). While honorary observances are happening worldwide throughout 2022, Cayuga County kicked off the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial celebration in February, which is Black History Month. Official ceremonies begin in March on Harriet Tubman Day, March 10, and will continue for the next 7 months, running through International Underground Railroad Month in September. This special community, located in the beautiful Finger Lakes of New York State, is where, as a free woman, Harriet Tubman brought her family and where she called home for more than 50 years. A place where the soul of equal rights was born and lives on today.
There are many events taking place during this bicentennial celebration. In addition to hosting these unique experiences, several locations throughout the area are wonderful places to visit before, during and after these specific events. We have rounded up a list of some of these attractions that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Harriet Tubman Memorial AME Zion Church
If you’re so moved, you can attend worship at the Harriet Tubman Memorial AME Zion Church, which desires to be a haven of hope, healing, help, and resources to the community as a memorial to Harriet Tubman. Spirituality can mean different things to different people, explore and find what speaks to you.
New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center
Immerse yourself in the unparalleled stories of American heroes at the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center. New York State’s progressive history supporting equality – the human rights movement, abolition of slavery and women’s rights movement – comes alive through interactive displays. Uncover the creative ways these Black heroes and other New York icons found to stand for justice and learn about the key contributors from the 1800s to modern day. The Center includes a Taste of NY store featuring local products and tasty treats. As the Auburn, NY Visitor Center, the Center also provides information on the region’s many attractions and destinations.
Howland Stone Store Museum
In 1837, Slocum Howland built a general store which served as an important and authentic station on the Underground Railroad and the heart of a Quaker hamlet active in liberal social causes. The building that housed the store is now the Howland Stone Store Museum. Stroll through the museum and enjoy the unique collection of abolition and suffrage artifacts.
Harriet Tubman Home and Harriet Tubman National Historical Park
A visit to the Harriet Tubman Home is a must for anyone who wants to recognize one of the greatest Black heroes of our nation. This is the very site where she bought and owned the land to build her home, as well as the Home for the Aged. After the Civil War, Harriet Tubman returned to her home in Auburn, NY, and began what was to be her life-long work of caring for aged and indigent African Americans. In 1896, she purchased 25 adjoining acres to her home on which stood the building now known as the Home for Aged. Here, she cared for others, often sacrificing her own needs to do so. When her health deteriorated, she was taken care of at the Home for the Aged. This is also where she died in 1913.
Known as “Broadway in the Finger Lakes,” the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse is Upstate New York’s most popular professional theatre, performing favorite Broadway musicals from May through October. The Playhouse is located in a historic carousel building in picturesque Emerson Park. The REV Theatre Company is the production company for these incredible classic and contemporary works, and new musical performances at the Playhouse. The REV Theatre Company is proud to affirm and accelerate its commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity, ensuring that their workforce, stages and boardroom reflect their dedication to social and racial equality.
Fort Hill Cemetery
A visit to Harriet Tubman’s final resting place at Fort Hill Cemetery, is the perfect way to pay your respects and celebrate the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman. The cemetery was formally dedicated in 1852, but the site dates back much earlier. Originally a settlement of early indigenous people, the Alleghans, and later occupied by the Cayugas, this land was used for burial mounds as early as 1100 A.D. Take a self-guided walking tour to the burial site of Harriet Tubman (#17 on the Fort Hill Cemetery Map) as well as other historic notables. Download a map here.