CHATHAM-KENT'S BLACK HISTORY SITES
Visitors come for far and wide to experience some of the original sites and destinations of the slaves who arrived via the Underground Railway and settled in this area of Chatham-Kent in the mid 1800's. It was home to some of the most successful Black settlements and boasted the greatest populace of former slaves in those days.
North Buxton holds it's Annual Homecoming Celebration each year on Labour Day Weekend. This annual homecoming weekend will see the Historic Village of North Buxton swell from about 100 permanent residents to approximately 3000 as visitors gather and renew old acquantances and experience emotional moments as they relive old memories and remember the past. This event was first held in 1924 at the farm of Reginald and Minnie Robbins under a pear tree that still exists. It is a community sponsored event with guest speakers, sports, a re-enactment play, a dance, a beer tent, a parade, a car show and dance competition as well as other events. The youth are very involved, a great indication of the importance of keeping their history alive to this small community. There is face painting and rides for the children. Fun for the whole family! The weekend provides an opportunity for former residents and their families to return to this community which was at its peak in the 19th century when the population was about 2000. Many of these residents were slaves who had fled the United States.The numbers began to decline around the time of the Civil War when many of the men served in the Union Army. The ensuing years saw many residents move to the United States. In past years the Jack and Jill of America, a U.S. based group has brought several tour buses from Florida to take part in the festivities. Shannon Price is the curator of the Buxton Museum and serves as liason officer for the Homecoming. The Committee includes members from the Buxton Historical Society, the North Buxton Community Club and the Buxton Next Generation.
The Buxton National Historic Site and Museum highlights this most successful settlement in the mid 1800's
Chatham-Kent was a popular destination along the Famous Underground Railway for Slaves fleeing the U.S. Visit Chatham-Kent Website for more information on Historic locations in the area.
Uncle Toms' Cabin located near Dresden is another popuLAR destination for visitors to the area. You can visit Rev. Josiah Hensen's cabin, smokehouse, sawmill ,the Hensen family cemetary. Pioneer Church and Exhibit inside the visitor's centre. Josiah Hensen was the inspiration for Harriet Beacher Stowe's famous novel, Uncle Tom/s Cabin telling the story of hardships and triumphs of the original slave settlers.
If you are interested in history, The Story of Chatham's Black Community is a self guided interactive exhibit that highlights the struggles and achievements of blacks during the period of slavery, early settlement in Chatham, the Civil Rights movement and modern times.
Chatham-Kent is a unique destination and one that offered slaves freedom and a place to settle during such a dark period in History.
The John D. Bradley Convention Centre Exhibit Hall was named Freedom Hall in memory of those individuals who found so hard and endured so much for a freedom some of us take for granted.
Chatham-Kent has so much to offer today. Affordable Lifestyle and many ammenties to enjoy. It is a great place to raise a family, retire, relocate to or purchase a vacation property. Visit his website and read more about the events and attractions in Chatham-Kent and choice properties for sale .