Buxton National Historic Site & Museum, Chatham

#1 of 10 in Museums in Chatham-Kent
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Specialty Museum
The Buxton National Historic Site and Museum is a tribute to the Elgin Settlement, established in 1849 by Rev. William King and an association which included Lord Elgin, then the Governor General of Canada. King, a former slave owner turned abolitionist, purchased 9,000 acres (36 km2) of crown land in Southwestern Ontario and created a haven for fugitive slaves and free Blacks.

King brought 15 of his former slaves with him where they could live a free life. The Elgin settlement was divided into 50-acre (200,000 m2) lots. These sold for $2.50/acre, with six percent interest, and could be paid over the course of ten years. For many fugitive slaves, the Buxton settlement was the final stop on the Underground Railroad from the United States.

Opened in 1967, the museum complex includes the main building with exhibits about the community and its history, an 1861 schoolhouse, an 1854 log cabin, and a barn. Local historic church cemeteries are adjacent to the museum. The museum is located in North Buxton, Ontario, near South Buxton in Chatham-Kent.

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Buxton National Historic Site & Museum reviews

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45 reviews
  • Booked online (email) for the guided tour. This is the place to learn about the history of blacks in Canada. Their slavery from Africa to America; their freedom to Canada; and their settlement in...  more »
  • I loved coming here to visit and learn about so much history of the Chatham-Kent area. Will definitely be coming in with my family & grandchildren.  more »
  • Fantastic museum to learn about Black history in Ontario and connections with our American neighbours. Our guide was very knowledgeable and I know she will make a fine teacher.
  • Such a historical place! Enjoyed my short visit. Definitely will be back.

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