Josiah Henson Museum & Park

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Josiah Henson Museum & Park - location
Josiah Henson Museum & Park - statue
Josiah Henson Museum & Park - kitchen
Josiah Henson Museum & Park -inside
Josiah Henson Museum & Park- cabin
Josiah Henson Museum & Park- pin

City Listings

City Listing Category

Geographical Address

Duty Station(s)
Public Address
11410 Old Georgetown Road North Bethesda, MD 20852
Postal Code

Contact Info

(240) 772-7909

Business Info

Operating Hours
  • Mon Closed
  • Tue Closed
  • Wed Closed Closed now
  • Thu Closed
  • Fri 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sat 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Sun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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.

The Josiah Henson Museum & Park is part of the National Park Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program.

Henson eventually escaped to Canada in 1830, where he helped established Dawn Settlement, a community inhabited by former American slaves, continued his work in the Methodist ministry, and became an international speaker and abolitionist. Henson led 118 people from enslavement in the United States to freedom in Canada, as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.

Many of Henson’s experiences of life enslaved on the Riley plantation are vividly depicted in his autobiography and later recreated in Stowe’s fictional novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The impact of Stowe’s novel should not be underestimated. Published in 1852, it broke all sales records of the time and sold more than half a million copies by 1857. The book inspired and inflamed the abolitionist movement in the mid-nineteenth century, and many believe the novel helped to propel the American Civil War.

Because of the historical associations of the Josiah Henson Museum & Park, it is among few properties in Montgomery County that conjures up images of slavery and the experience of the enslaved. The museum strives to accurately portray Henson’s life and the Maryland slave experience as well as to explore the impact of Stowe’s novel.


Parking is available only at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, located 1.5 blocks away at 5900 Executive Boulevard, North Bethesda. Limited accessible parking only at the Henson Park.

Ticketing Information

Tickets for timed entry to Josiah Henson Museum & Park are now available on in a new tab).

Adults $5 Children (6-17 yrs.) $4 Seniors $4 5 and under Free

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


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