After a leisurely country drive through Virginia's charming piedmont region, you'll come upon one of the National Park Service's most unpretentious sites, Booker T. Washington National Monument. This pristine site of 224 acres today looks much the way it did back in the later part of the 19th century. The main drive leads to the parking lot where trails circle the grounds, picnic facilities are footsteps away, and the inviting Visitor Center carries you back to a time that's unimaginable for most citizens. Interpretive displays welcome your entrance into the small but tidy main lobby where visitors are invited to ponder at the book display before viewing the 20-minute film depicting the life of Booker T. Washington. Books covers a range of topics commemorating black America, from historic farms to antique quilts to tempting recipes popular at the turn of the last century. Follow Booker T. from the Burroughs tobacco farm in Franklin County Virginia along his journey to becoming the founding father of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. You'll hear the amazing chronicle of this unbridled former slave once valued at $400.
Copyright: Patty Elton-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Secluded historic buildings at Booker T. Washington National Monument.
Exit out the back door of the Center and experience the sweeping farmscape that was the setting of Booker T. Washington's childhood. Self-guided walks carry you around the small farm, which Booker T. referred to as a plantation. You'll see horses and sheep grazing over flowered meadows while pigs wallow in the shady mud recesses. Native plants and trees give way to the reconstructed log buildings in a secluded historical area.
There are several cemeteries on the park grounds including a gravesite occupied by the plantation owner's son who was killed in the Civil War.
Picnic facilities are adjacent to the Visitor Center. Restroom and water fountain provided at Center. Well-informed staff answer questions and provide guided tours during the warmer months.
Directions from Roanoke: Travel Interstate 81 to Interstate 581. Pick up U.S. Highway 220 south from Roanoke to State Route 122.