Buxton National Historic Site (Chatham-Kent, Ontario)

The Raleigh Township Centennial Museum was officially opened in 1967 as part of the township's Centennial celebrations. The Museum's main purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret historical artifacts related to the Elgin (Buxton) Settlement from its founding in 1849 to the late 19th century.   A related purpose is to provide the personal histories and genealogies of the original settlers and their descendants through on-going historical research.

The Museum, renamed Buxton National Historic Site & Museum in 1998, is currently owned by the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. The Museum serves the inhabitants of Kent County and Southwestern Ontario, and also attracts visitors and researchers from across Canada and the United States. This Statement of Purpose may not be altered without the consent of the Board of Directors of the Buxton National Historic site & Museum.

UNCLE TOM'S CABIN HistoricAL Site (Chatham-Kent, Ontario)

Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site takes its name from Harriet Beecher Stowe's successful 1852 anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, featuring a character named Tom (loosely based on Josiah Henson). Henson's own story is told in his autobiography, first published in 1849.



It was the dream of Howard Sheffield to gather and preserve the history of his ancestors and share with the family.  Community friends also became interested in the history of the black pioneers and settlers of Collingwood and the surrounding areas.  His collection of family photos and artifacts attracted donations of more items from white families who grew up with the original homesteaders. 

Interest increased and various cultural artifacts were donated to Howard's project.  Sheffield Park Museum now became Sheffield Park Black History & Cultural Museum.  The museum includes pioneer life and times, the social networking of a community and the preservation of past generations.

Howard Sheffield's dream was to keep the events of the past visible so we, and future generations, would never forget.  The dream continues...

voices of freedom park

(niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario)

Voices of Freedom gives expression to the silenced and forgotten stories of people of African descent, enslaved, freed, and free, whose sacrifices, labour, skills, and talents contributed to the development of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Voices of Freedom permanently inscribes these Black men and women on the historical and cultural landscape of the town.

Voices of Freedom honours their struggles, resilience, and contributions to our town, the province, and to our country. Key pieces of the cultural heritage of Niagara-on-the-Lake and our national history will be preserved. Voices of Freedom enhances the cultural and redemptive value of Niagara-on-the-Lake as a significant historic site and supports educational aims of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. 

This important public space will provide opportunities for engaging visitors with ideas and historical information on both emotional and intellectual levels. A strong experience of place will foster a broader dialogue on important social issues, in essence supporting a metaphorical passage forward that builds on historical events.


(ANCASTER, Ontario)

The Griffin House, built circa 1827, stands on 50 acres of land situated on concession 1, lot 40 in Ancaster. The house and property was purchased by Enerals Griffin, an African American immigrant, in 1834 and remained in the Griffin family until 1988 when it was acquired by the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority (HCA). The HCA understood the significance of the house in local history and began investigating the homestead. 

Beneath layers of modern siding the original clapboard exterior was uncovered and restored so that the house stands as the farm house of Enerals Griffin’s time today. Archaeologists also uncovered over 3000 artifacts including ceramics, metal and glass. During the restoration a lithograph of Eastman Johnson’s 1859 “Negro Life in the South” was found beneath layers of newspaper, linking the house and the Griffin family to a Black Heritage.



The Amherstburg Freedom Museum tells the story of African-Canadians’ journey and contributions, by preserving stories and presenting artifacts that educate and inspire. The museum was founded by Amherstburg resident Melvin “Mac” Simpson, on the belief that social, economic and educational issues would be better addressed by a society with greater knowledge and pride in its own history.

After over 40 years of service, and with generous support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources, the Amherstburg Freedom Museum continues to be a national symbol of courage, determination and freedom.