Browse complex wooden clocks, almanacs and noteworthy letters of one of the U.S.’s greatest minds, a man who blazed a trail for African-American academics.
Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum covers grounds dedicated to a celebrated scientist. The park sheds light on the life and career of Banneker, who is widely considered one of the first African-American men to have an impact on Western science. Explore the buildings and the scenic grounds for a glimpse into the extraordinary mind of this 18th-century pioneer of astronomy, mathematics and naturalism, among other fields.
The innovator lived and worked on these grounds centuries ago, after being born to a free African-American woman and a former slave. Enter the split-log colonial cabin to see the intriguing period décor and artifacts that resemble the furnishings of Banneker’s initial lodging. The complex also contains a 19th-century farmhouse.
Look around the fascinating exhibits to learn about the scientist’s correspondence with Founding Father Thomas Jefferson. Find out about old-fashioned astronomy beliefs and practices from the 1700s and consider how science has evolved.
For a change of scenery, head outdoors and follow the trails leading through the serene park. You can also ride the historic Number 9 Trolley Line Train to get around the 142 acres (57 hectares) of picturesque grounds. Enjoy a meal with friends and family at one of the picnic pavilions.
Make your way through the colonial herb garden, the Banneker Orchard and the vegetable garden and inspect the varied array of plants, with a specialization in native U.S. species. Programs at the museum provide information about colonial history as well as environmental conservation. Attend one of the many events that occur here year-round, such as the Colonial Market Fair and Earth Day Celebration.
Pay the suggested admission donation to visit the museum during open hours Tuesday through Saturday from morning until afternoon. The rest of the park remains open during daylight hours.
The Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum is 2 miles (3 kilometers) east of the center of Ellicott City and 12 miles (19 kilometers) west of Baltimore. See nearby destinations, including Patapsco Valley State Park, the Disc Golf Course at Rockburn Branch and the Howard County Historical Society Museum.