CAPE MAY - Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton recently visited the building of the future Harriet Tubman Museum in Cape May.
According to a release, the museum is located at the Howell House, on Lafayette Street, and was built around the 1840s.
It served as the parsonage to the Macedonia Baptist Church, next door, but has been vacant for decades. The group, that includes Lynda Towns, church trustee, members of the church, and Bob and Zack Mullock are targeting a 2020 opening.
Cape May played a role inthe fight against slavery. Tubman worked in Cape May with other abolitionists from 1850 – 1852 to earn money to fund their many trips to bring individuals to freedom.
“The construction of the Harriet Tubman Museum is something, as the freeholder director in Cape May County, I am honored to say we support,” stated Thornton. “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.”
The museum will focus on the journey of slaves across the Delaware Bay to freedom during the 1850s with the use of art and artifacts.
The Howell House was in danger of being demolished and was previously one of New Jersey’s "top 10 endangered historic structures" according to the group Preservation New Jersey.
“This area has a rich arts and history background,” stated Thornton. “The museum will highlight an important aspect of our local history and tell a meaningful story in Cape May County’s history.”