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Button Farm Living History Center
Home of the Menare Foundation, Inc.
                                                                                               Photo by Wayne Source 
Walk to Canada Silver Anniversary

On May 4, 1996—25 years ago this week—historian Anthony Cohen embarked on a two-month-long journey to explore The Underground Railroad; the secret network, which thousands of enslaved Americans traveled to attain their freedom.

Cohen began his trek in Sandy Spring, MD, traveling a distance of 1,200 miles, by foot, boat and rail to his final destination in Amherstburg, Ontario, on July 7, 1996. 

Cohen traced the steps of runaways along wilderness trails and waterways to Free Black communities and Quaker sanctuaries, while stopping in towns along the way to chronicle their stories through artifacts, documents and oral accounts.

Following the success of his first walk, Cohen embarked on second in 1998 traveling three months from Mobile, Alabama to Windsor, Ontario. 

Cohen’s work inspired him to establish The Menare Foundation, Inc. in 1999, a national non-profit organization dedicated to “Preserving the Legacy of the Underground Railroad.”

Menare operates the Button Farm Living History Center—a 40-acre farm depicting 1850s plantation life in Maryland—and is home to the Underground Railroad Immersion Experience, a project designed by Cohen in 1997 to prepare Oprah Winfrey for her role as Sethe in the 1998 motion picture Beloved.  

As we mark the Silver Anniversary of Cohen’s historic trek, we plan to commemorate this important work with special programs and events this year throughout the community. 


Button Farm Opens for 2021 Season

Open House & Mother’s Day Plant Sale
Saturday May 8, 2021/ 12:00-3:00pm
16820 Black Rock Road, Germantown, MD 20874

FREE MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND ADMISSION! This Saturday, May 8th (only). Click here for the special Eventbrite reservation.

The Button Farm reopens for select Saturdays from May through October. This Saturday in celebration of Mother’s Day admission is FREE! Guests will enjoy self-guided QR code tours of our Historic Buildings, General Store, Museum Garden, Heritage Breed animals, History Exhibits and much, much more.

Explore over 20 miles of hiker, biker and equestrian trails that launch from the entrance of the farm and connect with the natural beauty of nearby Black Rock Mill and Great Seneca Creek. Our 40-acre farm provides plenty of fresh air and space for social distancing, so pack a lunch and grab a picnic table or find a cool spot beneath a shade a tree.

And while you are here get that special gift for mom at the Button Farm Annual Mother’s Day Plant Sale.  We have items such as bell peppers, eggplants, basil, cotton (yes, cotton) and a number of tomato varieties to choose from.  All plants have been grown organically. 

Bring your mom (grandma, auntie, sister, daughter, mom-like, mom-adjacent, etc.) out to Button Farm this Saturday and help get her summer garden started.


If you enjoy sleeping under the stars you can also Camp at Button Farm. Or come out for the day and rent a fire circle for a private gathering or event.

We hope to see you down on the farm!

Coming Soon: New Button Farm Website

Please pardon our progress as we put the final touches on the new Button Farm website which may experience brief interruptions as it launches later this week.

The site will feature a new layout, calendar and easy ways to sign up for programs and events.

Once we go live your 2021 Button Farm adventure begins!

Copyright © 2021 The Menare Foundation, Inc., All rights reserved.

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