Harriet Tubman museum opening in Cape May on Juneteenth 2020
Cyril Josh Barker | 11/21/2019, 11:43 a.m.
As the biopic “Harriet” continues to blaze the box office, reports indicate that the museum honoring the abolitionist and political activist is set to open in the South Jersey city of Cape May in June 19, 2020.
The museum needs a reported $500,000 to open. Nearly $160,000 has already been raised by the community. The money is needed for materials to build the museum, which is being constructed. Officials hope to open the museum on Juneteenth, the day when the last people enslaved were freed in the United States.
“It is important to remember the vital contribution of African Americans with regards to the role they played in the history of our county and to ensure that it is preserved for future generations,” County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton said this summer.
Historians say that while Tubman spent most of her life in Auburn, N.Y., Canada, Philadelphia and Maryland, manuscripts reveal she did spend some time in Cape May during the 1850s. She worked in the area in an effort to transport more slaves from the South.
The museum is being housed in the next-door home of the Macedonia Baptist Church’s late pastor, Rev. Robert Davis. The home fell into disrepair 35 years ago. Local developers and business owners hope the museum will be a tourist attraction. Historical artifacts that Davis collected would be used to teach school children about slavery.