- This national monument preserves the tobacco farm where Booker T. Washington was born into slavery on April 5, 1856. Washington went on to found Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881 and became an important, and controversial, leader for blacks in post-Civil War United States society. The Booker T. Washington National Monument staff interprets the realities of life as a slave in piedmont Virginia, the quest by African Americans for education and equality and the postwar struggle over political participation in the United States government. Visitors are invited to step back in time and experience firsthand the life and landscape of people who lived in an era when slavery was part of the fabric of American life.
Copyright: Patty Elton-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Spring wildflowers blanket the undulating meadows circling Booker T. Washington National Monument.
Recreation - The Visitor Center houses exhibits, a 20-minute audiovisual program and bookstore, and is a good place to collect information and learn about the site. Visitors to Booker T. Washington National Monument can tour a living history farm, as well as picnic on the grounds. Hiking facilities include the Plantation Trail, a quarter-mile walking trail through the historic area of the park, and the Jack-O'-Lantern Branch Trail, a 1.5-mile walk through natural areas. There are no camping facilities in the park. Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers a large campground and cabin area within a scenic 15-minute country drive.
Climate - Visitors to Virginia can expect hot and humid weather during the summer months, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. (The historic area of the monument is prone to lightning strikes and may be closed periodically to visitors during summer storms.) The coldest months of the year are December, January and February, although there is no large accumulation of snow. Spring and fall are the most pleasant seasons of the year to visit the region, because of moderate temperatures. Be sure to wear comfortable sportswear appropriate to the season and walking shoes.
This site lies in Franklin County, Virginia, in the southwestern region of the state. The closest metropolitan area is Roanoke.