Black History Museums
The municipality of Chatham-Kent is home to three Black history museums, each sharing important stories of Chatham-Kent’s Black Community.
Buxton National Historic Site & Museum shares the story of the Elgin Settlement. The settlement founded in 1849 by Rev. William King was the most prominent Black settlement and most successful in Ontario. The museum has many original artifacts, including shackles and schoolbooks. A tour with them includes visiting the log cabin and the 1861 schoolhouse.
For more information https://www.buxtonmuseum.com/
The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society & Black Mecca Museum shares the story of Chatham’s Black community beginning in 1780 until the present day. The museum features a wealth of information and local artifacts and houses genealogical information. A walking tour with the museum will have you discovering the streets and places that people like Mary Ann Shadd, Martin Delany and John Brown once walked. For more information https://ckbhs.org/
The Josiah Henson Museum of African Canadian History celebrates the accomplishments of abolitionist Josiah Henson. A visit includes interpretive videos, exhibits, artifacts, and information on the Black experience in Canada. The site has five acres, home to the Josiah Henson house, two cemeteries and a sawmill. For more information https://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/en/index.php/properties/josiah-henson-museum
To understand Chatham-Kent’s Black history story, a visit to all three sites will give you a complete picture.
(Credit: The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society)