Montrose Parkway Renaming Honors Josiah Henson, Who Helped 100+ Escape Slavery

Crews are expected to install the new street signs in early March


A Maryland road is getting a new name to honor the legacy of abolitionist Rev. Josiah Henson.

Montgomery County's Montrose Parkway will soon become Josiah Henson Parkway.

The soon-to-be-renamed parkway runs through former plantation property owned by Isaac Riley, where Henson was once enslaved.

Henson eventually escaped and became a part of the Underground Railroad, helping more than 100 others escape enslavement in Montgomery County and getting them to Canada. Henson's 1849 autobiography inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe's landmark novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

The property through which the parkway travels is also home to the Josiah Henson Museum and Park, which is operated by the county's park system.

The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, approved the name change during a Feb. 24 meeting.

Crews are expected to install the new street signs in early March.

“We are proud to commemorate the Rev. Josiah Henson’s contributions to end slavery with this new street name,” said Montgomery Planning Director Gwen Wright. “We hope that everyone who travels on Josiah Henson Parkway will take a moment to think about how their lives may have been different if it were not for his bravery and perseverance.”

Contact Us