Underground Railroad story told through exhibit; Local museum offering new display


     The Maritime Museum in Havre de Grace is now offering “The Underground Railroad: Other Voices of Freedom.” The new exhibit recently opened up to the public. The exhibit is a local museum to visit during Black History Month and is an opportunity to learn about the Underground railroad and black history in general. 

     The new exhibit is a 600 square foot gallery, it is interactive and tells the story of the Underground Railroad according to the Maritime Museum website. The display was built by people who volunteer at the museum.

     According to the museum’s website “Our project time exhaustingly researched the history of this local section of the Underground Railroad through the unique perspective of the roles played by our waterways in the escaping slaves’ journeys, and those who assisted them along their escape to freedom.”

     The gallery was funded by the Maryland Heritage Area Authority, Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway, the Joseph Robert Foundation, the Harford County Cultural Arts board, individual donations, and the museum staff and volunteers. In the exhibit you will find original artwork, maps, and much more. 

     The display tells the story about the underground railroad, more specifically the portion of the railroad that went through Maryland. According to the website “the exhibit tells the story of the underground railroad in the greater Havre de Grace area, including Harford and Cecil Counties in MD north to Wrightsville, PA and around the Chesapeake Bay and Susquehanna River.

     Junior Grace Underwood said, It’s always important to learn about history. Overall, learning about history keeps us from repeating the same mistakes.”

     Junior Dominic Franklin said, “I think it is important to see different walks of life and how they [African Americans] were brought up in their environment.” Franklin added, “I believe it can give us a better insight into traditions and things like that.”

    Underwood said, “It’s also important to learn the struggles and challenges people went through to give the United States a good future.”

      The website gives a brief history of the underground railroad and the portion of the railroad that was through Harford County. It also tells you what to expect at the exhibit., “They [the slaves] had help along the way from “stationmasters” who operated stops along the “Railroad,” places where an escaping slave could find shelter, food, and help continuing on their way.” 

     The Maritime Museum has many exhibits that are related to black history, Maryland’s history, and much more. The local museum is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays through the winter. The exhibit is an opportunity to learn about black history in Maryland and Harford County.