A land-transfer agreement is now in place to formally establish the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park in Auburn.
Senator Chuck Schumer says the agreement means the Tubman Home will only need a signature form the Secretary of the Interior to become finalized.
Plans to give the Tubman Home the official designation have been in motion for several years.
The U.S. Attorney General approved the land transfer in April.
“As a New Yorker and an American, I’m deeply proud to see Tubman Park finally become a reality,” said Schumer.
Schumer says the wait has been worth it as the distinction and added funding for the site by the National Park Services will only enhance tourism.
“Tens of thousands of new tourists will come back again and again,” according to Schumer, adding that hotels will benefit along with restaurants and other attractions.
“It’s taken a long time because it’s very, very hard to get anything to become a national historic park, but with Tubman, we’ve achieved and now for Auburn and our economy, the best is yet to come,” Schumer said.
Auburn Mayor Mike Quill says he it’s not uncommon for tourists to come to the area interested in one historic site, only to learn about another one along the way.
“They would either go to the William Seward Home or the Tubman Home and not knowing about the other,” Quill shared. “With the Tubman National Park being here and our visitors’ center coming shortly, everyone will have an idea when they get to Auburn, New York, as to what is available here. What would you like to see?”
In a previous interview with NewsChannel 9, Quill said the church Tubman used to attend has been abandoned, “it’s in a state of disrepair so that’s going to need a great deal of work and how the Park Service goes about preserving it and protecting it.”
President Obama designated the Tubman Home a national historic site in 2014.
The President’s designation was the final hurdle holding up the process at the legislative level.