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African American Museum now eyes 2025 opening; fundraiser planned


Plans for the African American Museum of Bucks County are moving along, but it won’t open this year as had been hoped.

A fundraising event Saturday at Mayor’s Park in Langhorne will continue the long-planned mission.

That was the word from its president and executive director at the June 11 meeting of the Middletown Township Board of Supervisors.

“We’re looking to open in the spring of 2025,” said Linda Salley.

A 2024 opening had been planned but there is still much work to do on the Boone Farm building that will be the museum’s first permanent home, she continued. The 300-year-old farmhouse is located on Newtown-Langhorne Road in Langhorne.

“The windows are all in. The electricians are putting in the electricity. The plumbing is done and we’re waiting to turn the water on,” she said, while adding that an elevator has yet to be installed.

Organizers have been working for many years to create a permanent home for a museum that could hold the rich history of Bucks County’s African Americans. The museum began as a caravan of cars traveling to area schools in 2014 and later moved into a mobile museum in a van.

In 2020, Bucks County commissioners agreed to lease the Boone Farm site to the museum for $1 a year. That was followed by a groundbreaking in late 2022. Despite those two big steps, the pandemic slowed the project, Salley told the supervisors.

Costs to restore the two-story farmhouse have been estimated at $3 million and, Salley has said in the past that another $5 million to $10 million will be needed to offer the programs and exhibits the museum board wants to provide visitors. They include an upstairs classroom and a video room to show a number of historic videos of African Americans’ involvement in Bucks County.

The museum will include the history of the Lenape Nation in Bucks, the safe haven the county offered slaves with the Underground Railroad, as well as its own history of slavery, Salley has said.

Sally told the supervisors that more than $1 million has been raised thus far and there will be a Juneteenth fundraising event Saturday at Mayor’s Park in Langhorne. She later explained the event will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there will be about 35 vendors there, including crafters, artists and storytellers, whose entry fees and proceeds will go toward the building.

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