WGVA 106.3FM 1240AMMix 98.5101.7 The WallWFLR Finger Lakes Country Classic Hits 99.3The Lake 100.1/104.5 WAUB 96.3FM 1590AM

Tubman National Park Site Opens Saturday


The final part of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park will open this weekend.

The National Park Service (NPS) will host a community opening at the Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church and Parsonage in Auburn on Saturday allowing visitors to see the restored church and exhibits that focus on Tubman’s life in Auburn and the church’s history.

Park Superintendent Ahna Wilson will deliver opening remarks at the opening. Other speakers include Karen Hill with Harriet Tubman Home, Inc., Mayor Jimmy Giannettino, and Tubman family descendants Judy Bryant and Michele Jones Galvin.

It was originally hoped to open the park last year; however, supply chain delays and other unforeseen circumstances pushed back the opening.

The opening will take place at 11:00a on Saturday.

The Parker Street church has been restored to its May 13, 1913 appearance, the day of Tubman’s funeral. There is also a preserved section of stenciling from after Tubman’s death which has been preserved.

The neighboring parsonage is also part of the park. It will serve as a small visitor center and feature exhibits and public restrooms. There is also space in the building for staff offices.

Approximately $5 million was spent on the work at both buildings.

Back in May, Wilson told Auburn City Council that the park would open on June 22.

Wilson added that this would be a community opening with the park only open Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00a-4:00p this summer. This will allow the NPS to evaluate capacity, logistics, and statistics to help with the full opening celebration planned for 2025.

“That will give us a year to understand how we operate, to get our staffing levels up,” said Wilson. “We’ll have a year to prepare.”

As the church and park are located in a residential area, the NPS is cognizant of the need to balance accessibility with the needs of those living nearby.

Have all the Finger Lakes news from Finger Lakes News Radio delivered to your email every morning for FREE!  Sign up by clicking here.

Get the top stories on your radio 24/7 on Finger Lakes News Radio 96.3 and 1590, WAUB and 106.3 and 1240, WGVA, and on Finger Lakes Country, 96.1/96.9/101.9/1570 WFLR.