What’s going on a Josiah Henson Museum

The Josiah Henson Museum and Park had a very successful spring season with the piloting of group visits, hosting the Association of African American Museums, throwing a Community Open House for their neighbors and hosting the start of the Parks Playhouse series with An Evening of Spoken Word.  

June looks to be another exciting month at JHMP. On Saturday, June 18th, they will be celebrating Josiah Henson’s Birthday. The day will include free admission, hands-on activities and refreshments.

On June 25th, they will continue our Yoga in the Park series in the morning, and follow it up with activities focused on the History of Play between 12pm and 4pm.

Finally, they were invited to participate in the Fox 5 News Zip Trip on Friday, May 27th.

Black History Month at Josiah Henson Museum

You’re invited to join the Josiah Henson Museum and Park for two free virtual programs in honor of Black History Month.  

Cooking with History – Saturday, February 12 @ 1pm

Join us on February 12, 2022 from 1-2:30 pm for a virtual discussion and celebration of traditional African American cooking. The program will feature a 1-hour panel and Q/A with archaeologist Dr. Kelley Fanto Deets, Director of Education, Programming, and Visitor Engagement at Stratford Hall; Professor Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, Associate Professor and Chair of African Studies at the University of Maryland; and Chef Therese Nelson founder of Black Culinary History.

Panelists will discuss the lives of enslaved cooks, the impact of racial systems on foodways, and ongoing efforts to engage with African American culinary heritage.  Register at http://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/139360

Meeting of the Minds – Saturday, February 26 @ 11am

We celebrate the paralleled legacies and experience of our Maryland Black History titans, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Reverend Josiah Henson. On February 26, 2022 join the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, and the Josiah Henson Museum and Park for a virtual conversation by first person re-enactors about the life of these leaders. All born in southern Maryland, there individuals have shaped and impacted the course of history while displaying bravery that continues to inspire generations.

The re-enactors will shed light on their contributions while shedding light on where their paths have crossed throughout their lives. Following the discussion, there will be a fifteen minute Q/A segment. Register at http://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/139361

November Programs at Josiah Henson Museum

The Josiah Henson Museum continues to see good attendance and we are proud that we have had the opportunity to host over 2000 guests since we opened on April 23. 

In celebration of MD Emancipation Day, Josiah Henson Museum and Park will be hosting the following programs.

Josiah Henson Museum Open House
November 6 | Josiah Henson Museum & Park | 10 am – 4 pm | Free, Self-guided Tours

“African American Religious Thought and the Movement for Liberation” Panel Discussion
November 18 | Josiah Henson Museum & Park | 7 – 8 pm | Free, Registration Link  – https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/136943

Join the Josiah Henson Community Celebration on Sunday, September 12!

FREE day of family fun, including activities, musical performances, and reenactors. Click here to learn more.

12 – 4 pm

No tickets are required. Please park at Wall Local Park.

• Musical performances to remember our heroes
• Re-enactments to reflect on our past and look towards a hopeful future
• Participate in our Peace Pinwheels demonstration on the grounds and portray how you plan to bring peace to the world


Josiah Henson Museum & Park tells the story about the life and challenges of Reverend Josiah Henson, enslavement in Maryland, and the ongoing struggles of racial equality and justice.

Visit JHM&P and experience interactive audio and visual presentations. Explore the park engage in personal or group reflection. Engage with the archaeology sites throughout the grounds

Josiah Henson Museum Public Programs

The Josiah Henson Museum opened their doors to the public on April 23rd, and they have over 400 visitors in the midst of capacity restrictions and limited days of operation (Friday – Sunday).  They are thrilled to announce that they have two public programs to celebrate and commemorate the birthday of Reverend Henson this June.

Josiah Henson, Celebrating His Legacy – Tuesday, June 15th  at 6pm

This free pre-recorded virtual program, presented by the new Josiah Henson Museum and Park, celebrates Reverend Josiah Henson’s birthday with performances by the Washington Revels Jubilee Voices and a panel discussion, “Josiah Henson, Celebrating His Legacy.” The panel consists of select national museum leaders, educators, and historians, and Shirl Spicer, Countywide Museum Manager, Montgomery Parks, moderates. To Register https://apm.activecommunities.com/montgomerycounty/Activity_Search/123046

Josiah Henson Museum and Park – Freedom Well Chalk Walk   Saturday June 19th, 12pm – 4pm   


Join our “Freedom Well Chalk Walk” an in-person celebration of the Reverend Josiah Henson’s birthday week and Juneteenth. When asked, “How do you plan to use your freedom?” Henson answered, “I will use my freedom well.”

Learn about Reverend Henson’s journey to freedom through an interactive chalk walk on the park grounds. Draw your own images on the Freedom Mural and take home a seed stick station.

NO ONSITE PARKING AVAILABLE – Parking is available at The Shriver Aquatic Center at Wall Local Park located at 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda, MD 20852.   

You can now tour Josiah Henson Museum & Park

The Josiah Henson Museum & Park tells the story about the life and challenges of Reverend Josiah Henson, enslavement in Maryland, and the ongoing struggles of racial equality and justice. The new museum is located at 11410 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda.

Josiah Henson Museum & Park will open with timed & ticketed entry. Tickets for timed entry to Josiah Henson Museum & Park are now available online at ActiveMontgomery.org with the first entries to the Museum available on Friday, April 23 at 10 am.

Josiah Henson Museum & Park is the former plantation property of Isaac Riley where Reverend Josiah Henson was enslaved. This park is a historic resource of local, state, national and international significance because of its association with Reverend Henson, whose 1849 autobiography, The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe’s landmark novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Park contains the historic Riley/Bolten House (1800-1815) and its attached log kitchen (1850-51). Ongoing archaeological excavations seek to find where Josiah Henson may have lived on the site.

An update on the Josiah Henson Museum

You have probably noticed the wonderful new Josiah Henson Museum building as you drive along Old Georgetown Road. The museum has delayed its opening to 2021 due to Covid, but its construction has continued throughout the pandemic.

Here are some images to tide you over until the official opening.

The story of Reverend Josiah Henson, a man enslaved from 1795 to 1830, is one of character, integrity, honesty, and courage. As he grew into adulthood, increasingly trusted with responsibility for other enslaved people, perseverance, difficult choices and survival characterized his daily journey. After experiencing heartbreaking disappointments and unthinkable abuse, his actions grew determined and redemptive. Henson eventually escaped to Canada in 1830, where he established a fugitive slave community called Dawn Settlement and became a minister, speaker and writer. He returned to the United States several times between 1831 and 1865 as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.