Underground Railroad Sign Unveiled at Hyatt in Cambridge!

Visitors to Dorchester County have a new place to learn about the Underground Railroad, thanks to an interpretive sign unveiled June 2, at the 400-room Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina in Cambridge. The informative panel overlooks the Choptank River and describes the river’s role in helping, as well as hindering, slaves fleeing to freedom. 

The goal is to inspire visitors to learn more about the courageous and often harrowing stories of the Underground Railroad and of Dorchester native Harriet Tubman, who led dozens of slaves to freedom. “We chose to install this sign at the Hyatt because the public is interested in stories of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad,” said Amanda Fenstermaker, director of Dorchester County Tourism. “We want to encourage guests at the resort to explore the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway and to discover the history, stories, and places it connects.”

Ted Kanatas, general manager of the Hyatt, said, “Our guests have always been fascinated by the extraordinary life of Harriet Tubman and the rich history of Dorchester County. The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway is an exciting opportunity for our visitors to discover this incredible story.”

The 125-mile Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway connects historically significant sites in Dorchester and Caroline Counties, loosely following a route that freedom seekers would take to the Delaware state line. “This byway aims to help people understand slavery on the Eastern Shore, the quest for freedom, and its relevance to our own times,” Fenstermaker said.

The sign unveiled June 2 is the first of three highlighting the role of the Choptank River in the Underground Railroad. The other two signs will be installed in Caroline and Talbot Counties. Network to Freedom, a program of the National Park Service, funded the signs. “We hope these signs inform and educate people and help them appreciate the role of waterways in the quest for freedom,” said Barbara Tagger of the Network to Freedom. The signs are a joint effort of the Caroline Economic Development Corporation, Dorchester County Tourism, and Talbot County Tourism.

For more information about Harriet Tubman and Dorchester County, visit www.TourDorchester.org or pick up the “Finding a Way to Freedom” map guide at the Dorchester County Visitor Center, 2 Rose Hill Place in Cambridge.

Pictured in the photo above: From left, Bill Jarmon, president, Dorchester County Historical Society; Ted Kanatas, general manager, Hyatt; Donald Pinder, president, Harriet Tubman Organization; Shanay Jackson, Hyatt front office agent; Cari Ruppert, Hyatt senior sales manager, leisure travel; Amanda Fenstermaker, director, Dorchester County Tourism; Ceres Bainbridge, project manager, Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area; Carol Bargion, Hyatt concierge; Kate Larson, historian, Tubman scholar and author; Kathy Mackel, director, Caroline County Tourism; Barbara Tagger, National Park Service Network to Freedom.