One of the most significant historical sites in White Flint is “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” a small log structure attached to a house at the corner of Tilden Lane and Old Georgetown Rd. The cabin was purchased by Montgomery County in 2006, and Park and Planning has said it will be turned into a museum for Rev. Josiah Henson, the former slave, turned author, whose autobiography formed the basis for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel.
The cabin has been mostly closed to the public since its purchase, with a small sign saying the cabin is not yet open to the public. Throughout the White Flint Sector Plan development process, the Parks staff had been telling residents that it would have an inclusive public process for making decisions on area parks, and it appears that the new Josiah Henson Special Park will be the first for that process.
One of the biggest issues will be parking. The site is simply too small for much parking, and there is no parking on busy Old Georgetown or at the crowded intersection nearby. At the few events held at the park already, parking was difficult, with most patrons sent to the Wall Park/Montgomery Aquatic Center parking lot across Old Georgetown Rd.
On Tuesday, June 15, at 7PM, Park and Planning will hold a public meeting at Tilden Middle School, 11211 Old Georgetown Rd., to talk about “future development of Josiah Henson Special Park.” Note: this is the new Tilden Middle School, formerly Woodward High School on Old Georgetown Rd., not the old middle school on Tilden Lane.
Shirl Spicer, the Museum Manager for the MoCo Department of Parks, sent a notice out last week announcing the meeting. Spicer will also take written comments or provide more information; her telephone number is 301-650-4373.
The Gazette ran a story with background on the process and the cabin.