Celebrate Black History Month with the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History

DRESDEN — Join the Ontario Heritage Trust to mark Black History Month with cultural events and programs at the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History.

The museum is rooted in the Black history of Ontario's southwest, where over 30,000 freedom-seekers travelling along the Underground Railroad finally found their hard-won freedom and built thriving new communities. Among them was the Reverend Josiah Henson, a conductor on the Underground Railroad, a committed educator who lectured prolifically, and a fierce advocate for the abolition of slavery and for Black dignity. Today, the museum provides a space to discuss the legacy of slavery, racism and the enduring pursuit for social justice.

This Black History Month, the museum activities will honour Josiah Henson’s commitment to sharing the Black experience in Canada by connecting with young people, hosting special tours and re-creating family recipes passed down in the community:

Stitching our Stories

January 9 to February 23, 2024

Grade 5-8 classes have enrolled in an engaging online event exploring the history behind Black culture quilts. This interactive workshop will share fascinating stories and guide students in stitching together a patchwork of fabrics that connect them to memorable and important people, places and events in their lives. This program is supported through the RBC Foundation.

FREE virtual tours of the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History

February 20, 2024, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Join a virtual live tour to learn the story of Josiah Henson and the history of the Underground Railroad in Ontario. The livestream experience will incorporate a tour of the museum and the property. A brief question-and-answer session will follow each tour. Pre-registration required.

Special opening of the site for in-person tours

February 20-23, 2024, with guided tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily

Visit the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History from Tuesday through Friday during Heritage Week 2024. The cost of admission is $5. No registration needed.

Community cookbook launch

February 24, 2024, at 12 p.m. at the Dresden Rotary Wheelhouse, 547 North Street, Dresden

Spend a tasty afternoon at the Dresden Rotary Wheelhouse for the official launch of (Not-so) Secret Family Recipes: A collection of beloved recipes from the Black community of Dresden and area. Former restaurateur and current Programs Assistant at the Josiah Henson Museum, Jackie Bernard, will test her cooking skills as she re-creates recipes from the cookbook. Enjoy samples from the kitchen and join in fellowship as we share stories curated from Dresden’s Black community.

Think on Me: Celebrating Black Lives

February 28, 2024

Students and educators will come together from throughout the Lambton Kent District School Board along with representatives from the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History and Buxton National Historic Site and Museum for this concert celebrating Black History Month. The event will feature musical entertainment, speakers and presentations.

About the Josiah Henson Museum of African-Canadian History

The museum recognizes the accomplishments of Josiah Henson through interpretive videos, interactive exhibits, numerous artifacts and tours that reflect the Black experience in Canada. Learn more.

In 2022, the museum was renamed in honour of Josiah Henson, recognizing the role he played in building an anti-racist and inclusive Ontario. It was previously known as the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site. Learn more.


For more information about the Ontario Heritage Trust, contact David Leonard, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, at 437-246-9065 or

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About the Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust (the Trust) is an agency of the Government of Ontario. The Trust conserves, interprets and shares Ontario’s heritage. We conserve provincially significant cultural and natural, tangible and intangible heritage, interpret Ontario’s history, celebrate its diversity and educate Ontarians of its importance in our society. The Trust envisions an Ontario where we conserve, value and share the places and landscapes, histories, traditions and stories that embody our heritage, now and for future generations.