Canada's First Commune

In 1829, Henry Jones of Devon, England, a retired purser in the Royal Navy, brought a group of more than 50 emigrants from the United Kingdom to this area where he established a settlement on a 1,000-acre tract of land on Lake Huron. An early supporter and dedicated follower of Robert Owen, the well-known British social reformer, Jones named the settlement "maxwell" and organized the community on the basis of common ownership and collective living. The settlers built a large log house with community kitchen and dining-room but separate rooms for each family. A school and storehouse were added. Within a few years, however, disappointing harvests and the burning of the log house led the colonists gradually to abandon the enterprise.


On the grounds of the public school, Hamilton Road, Brights Grove - near Sarnia on County Road 7

Region: Southwestern Ontario

County/District: County of Lambton

Municipality: City of Sarnia