Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site - Ontario Heritage Trust


Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site has reopened for visitation. Check the site below for COVID-19 protocols. Pre-registration required.

The Atlantic slave trade and the ensuing enslavement of millions of people of African descent led to a long history of resistance that resulted in the development of thriving Black communities in Ontario. With abolitionist and Person of National Historic Significance Josiah Henson’s life as a backdrop, we’ve captured inspiring stories that speak to the early African-Canadian experience in Ontario.

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Virtual tour of Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site

Emancipation Day 2021

Each August Civic Holiday weekend, Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site celebrates Emancipation Day with various speakers, performers, exhibits and cuisine that reflect the Black cultural experience in Ontario. Explore the 2021 virtual Emancipation Day celebration.

Emancipation Day 2021 video: Kramer Wimberley
Emancipation Day 2021: Chef Patience Chirisa
Emancipation Day 2021 video: Alexandra Kane
Kramer Wimberley. The lead diving instructor with the organization Diving With a Purpose shares his experience of exploring sunken slave ships of the transatlantic slave trade.Cooking fun. Follow along in your own kitchen as we mix up some fried okra in this virtual cooking class.Alexandra Kane. This London, Ontario vocalist has a voice as powerful as the lyrics to her songs.
Emancipation Day 2021 video: Moses Latigo Odida
Emancipation Day 2021 video: Tiyahna Ridley-Padmore
Emancipation Day 2021 video: Alexandra Kane
Moses Latigo Odida. Independent filmmaker Moses Latigo Odida shares an exclusive director’s cut of his new film that explores racism in Canada.Tiyahna Ridley-Padmore. Meet the author of Trailblazers: The Black Pioneers Who Have Shaped Canada as she reminds us of the importance of commemorating Emancipation Day.Alexandra Kane. This London, Ontario vocalist has a voice as powerful as the lyrics to her songs.

Exhibit snapshots

Curator Steven Cook and Programs Assistant Jackie Bernard introduce you to the gallery spaces and structures on the grounds of the two-hectare (five-acre) Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site property.

The British American Institute video
The Josiah Henson House video
Hugh Burnett and the National Unity Association video
The British American Institute. For 10 years, the British American Institute provided education and manual-labour training to Underground Railroad refugees in the Dresden area. Learn more about the role of this school.The Josiah Henson House. Remarkably, the Josiah Henson House has been moved three times since it was built in the mid-19th century. Learn more about why the house is so well travelled!Hugh Burnett and the National Unity Association. Between 1948 and 1956, the National Unity Association, under the leadership of Hugh R. Burnett, waged a campaign for racial equality and social justice. Learn more about this social justice organization!

Ontario’s Black heritage

Since the first recorded arrival of a Black person in Canada in 1608, people of African descent have made lasting and continuing contributions to the development of Canada and the Canadian identity. We celebrate their roles in the building of this nation.

Interview with Jared Brock video
Josiah documentary (TVO)
Beyond the Underground Railroad – Black History in Chatham-Kent
Jared Brock. In 2020, we celebrated Canada Day by interviewing author/director Jared Brock. Steven Cook, Site Manager of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site, speaks with Brock about his book The Road to Dawn and his recent documentary, Josiah.Josiah. Watch Jared Brock’s documentary, Josiah, here.Beyond the Underground Railroad – Black History in Chatham-Kent. This virtual forum features the curators from Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site, Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and the Chatham-Kent Black Mecca Museum in conversation with creators and researchers from across the province. Discussion spotlights successes of museums and communities across the province in bringing Black stories and achievements to the forefront.

Views expressed are those of the interviewees/performers and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Heritage Trust.