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Buxton Settlement, The

The Elgin Settlement, also known as Buxton, was one of several organized Black settlements in Ontario in the 1800s. Named after British abolitionist Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, it was founded in 1849 by Reverend William King (1812-95), a Presbyterian minister who arrived with 15 formerly enslaved people to create a settlement on 2,832 hectares (7,000 acres) in Raleigh Township. In addition to farming, freedom seekers and free Blacks established roads, a sawmill, grist mill, brickyard, potash and pearl-ash factories, as well as a hotel, general store and post office. Most notable was the Mission School, which was integrated and provided a classical education. Graduates went on to become teachers, doctors, lawyers and politicians. At its peak, Buxton numbered over 1,000 inhabitants, and descendants of some of the original settlers continue to live in North Buxton today. As a testament to the settlement’s legacy, thousands of people return to the village every Labour Day weekend for a homecoming celebration to rekindle the bonds of family and friendship. In 1999, the settlement, which includes the Buxton Museum and other related historical buildings, was designated a National Historic Site.

Location

On the grounds of St. Andrew's United Church, a parish established by King in the heart of the settlement, South Buxton - at the intersection of County Roads 6 and 8

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: Municipality of Chatham-Kent (District)

Municipality: Municipality of Chatham-Kent

Themes