Benjamin Banneker’s documented and mythical accomplishments have been commemorated by a United States postage stamp, as well as the names of a number of recreational and cultural facilities, schools, streets, and other facilities and institutions throughout the United States in the years since his death (1731–1806).
An example of this kind of commemoration of this free African American almanac author, surveyor, landowner and farmer who was well-versed in the subjects of mathematics, astronomy, and natural history was a biographical verse written in 1983 by Rita Dove, who would go on to become the Poet Laureate of the United States, while working as a professor at Arizona State University.
Click here for some more information on Ellicott City, Maryland.Banneker’s name appears in the names of a number of recreational and cultural establishments in the area. Parks, playgrounds, community centers, museums, and a planetarium are just a few of the amenities available.
A park dedicated to Benjamin Banneker is located near Oella, Maryland, between the cities of Ellicott City and Baltimore, in a stream valley forest on the former site of Banneker’s farm and mansion, which was built in the early 1800s. The facility, which cost $2.5 million to build and was dedicated on June 9, 1998, is managed by the Baltimore County Department of Recreation & Parks.
138 acres (56 ha) in size, the park has archaeological sites and vast nature paths, and it is the biggest original African American historical site in the United States, according to the National Park Service. The principal emphasis of the park is a museum dedicated to Banneker’s contributions to science and technology. Banneker’s works and relics are on display in the visitors center, which also includes a community gallery and gift store. A patio garden is also available for guests to enjoy.
The “Molly Banneky House” is a stone farmhouse built in the 1850s that is now part of the park. In 2004, the three-story mansion was renovated and converted into an office building.
A reproduction of Banneker’s log cabin, measuring 224 square feet (20.8 m2), was dedicated on November 12, 2009, on the grounds of the park, purportedly two days before the 278th anniversary of Banneker’s birth. The delegation from Baltimore County to the Maryland General Assembly was successful in obtaining a $400,000 state bond towards the design and building of the cabin. According to the original estimates, it would cost $240,700 to construct the cabin in accordance with its plans and specifications.
On the grounds of the park, there is a historical marker dedicated to Banneker, which was constructed by the Maryland Historical Society in his honor. The sign was installed to replace the last of three former markers that had been damaged by vandals. The first of these marks, installed nearby in 1954 on the grounds of the Westchester Grade School by the Maryland State Roads Commission, was demolished by vandals in 2009. (now the Westchester Community Center). For more information be sure to check out The B&O Railroad Museum.
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