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Thompson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Auburn to Reopen After Restoration

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  • Staff Report 

After years of restoration, the Thompson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church and parsonage, part of the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park, will open to the public on June 22. The church, significant for its role in Harriet Tubman’s life and hosting her 1913 funeral, has undergone extensive repairs to restore its 1913 appearance.

Thompson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Auburn to Reopen After Restoration

The National Park Service acquired the church in 2017, but restoration was delayed by a 2019 lightning strike and the pandemic. Despite these setbacks, hard work by National Park Service staff and contractors has brought the project to completion. “It was the hard work of many National Park Service staff and contractors that allowed this project to continue forward despite the setbacks,” said park Cultural Resource Specialist Jessica Bowes.

The June 22 opening event begins at 11 a.m., featuring tours of the restored church and new exhibits on Tubman’s life and the church’s history. This event coincides with Auburn’s Juneteenth celebrations. Following this, the church and parsonage will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, with plans for a grand opening in summer 2025. Park Superintendent Ahna Wilson expressed excitement about the reopening, stating, “We look forward to working with the community… to explore how Harriet Tubman’s legacy continues to positively influence people today.”

For more details, visit www.nps.gov/hart.