Booker T. Washington National Monument | VISITOR CENTER

Visitor Center for the Booker T. Washington National Monument

Visitor Center for the Booker T. Washington National Monument

OPERATING HOURS

Booker T. Washington National Monument Visitor Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 4 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.

AMENITIES

Information desk at the Booker T. Washington National Monument Visitor Center

Information desk at the Booker T. Washington National Monument Visitor Center

  • Ranger-staffed information desk where you can get a free park brochure and information about special events held each year
  • Theater where a film on Booker T. Washington is shown
  • Small museum
  • Gift and souvenir store
  • Restrooms
Bust of Booker T. Washington is located at the front of the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

Bust of Booker T. Washington is located at the front of the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

PARK FILM

A 13-minute film about Booker T. Washington, Measure of a Man, is shown on demand. This is an excellent film that presents a very good overview of his early life. It covers his days as a child slave on the Burroughs farm up through the time he was offered a job at the Normal School for Colored Teachers at Tuskegee, Alabama, a school that he built into the Tuskegee Institute. The film is narrated by an actor who reads excerpts from Washington’s autobiography, Up from Slavery, as if Washington himself is doing the narrating. There is no objectionable material, so the film is suited for all ages.

MUSEUM

Booker T. Washington Museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

Booker T. Washington Museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

The museum at the Booker T. Washington National Monument is quite small, with much of it being a rehash of what is presented in the film. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if you saw the film, there is no real reason to spend much time in the museum. Most everything is an information panel, and you can read it all in about fifteen minutes. Actual artifacts are limited, for there is nothing remaining from Washington’s early life.

Tobacco knife and chewing tobacco on display at the museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

Tobacco knife and chewing tobacco on display at the museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

As is the case at the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, where the focus is not on Washington himself but on what it was like to grow up on a small farm in colonial Virginia, the focus of the Booker T. Washington exhibits is more on growing up a slave in the mid-1800s than on Washington.

Slavery exhibit at the museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

Slavery exhibit at the museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

There are many interactive exhibits geared for children, which is fitting since many visitors to the park each year are from school groups.

Interactive exhibit at the museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

Interactive exhibit at the museum inside the Visitor Center at Booker T. Washington National Monument

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

Plan to spend about a half hour at the Booker T. Washington National Monument Visitor Center. This gives you time to watch the film and chat with a park Ranger about what there is to see and do at the park. You should also have time to browse through the museum. Even if you read everything and watch the film, you’d still be hard-pressed to spend 45 minutes.

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Last updated on April 10, 2024
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