Booker T. Washington National Monument | PARK AT A GLANCE

Burroughs Farm where Booker T. Washington was born

Burroughs Farm where Booker T. Washington was born


Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy, Virginia, preserves the location of Booker T. Washington’s birth place, the James Burroughs farm. Washington was born into slavery in 1856 and lived on the farm until the end of the Civil War. Once free, the Washington family moved to West Virginia. Washington would go on to be one of the most famous black men of his time. He is most noted for being the first principal of the newly founded Normal School for Colored Teachers at Tuskegee, Alabama, a school that he built into the Tuskegee Institute, one of the nation’s premiere black colleges. (The Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site is part of the National Park system).

Don’t expect to learn much about Washington at the park, for like the George Washington and Abraham Lincoln birthplace monuments, the focus is more on Washington’s childhood and what it was like in general to be a slave on a small farm in the mid-1800s. Aside from a Visitor Center where you can watch a biographical film about Washington and visit a small museum, the park mainly consists of the farm. Nothing remains from Washington’s days, but historically accurate reproductions of typical farm buildings of the time, along with live farm animals, bring his birth place to life. A short trail leads around the farm, plus there is a longer trail for those who want to get some exercise.

Three major events are held at the park each year. These include the Juneteenth Celebration that coincides with the date of the Emancipation Proclamation (3rd Saturday in June), a Harvest Time Festival in the fall (3rd Saturday in September), and a Christmas festival (1st Saturday in December).


The Booker T. Washington National Monument is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, except when closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Times can always change, so before making travel plans be sure to visit the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the park.


There is no fee to enter Booker T. Washington National Monument.


Visitor Center and Museum
allow 30 minutes

Farm Tour
allow up to 1 hour

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Last updated on April 2, 2020
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