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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Tecumseh in Essex County, Ontario — Central Canada
 

The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement

 
 
The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglas McLeod, November 1, 2015
1. The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement Marker
Inscription.
Beginning in the 1830s, at least 30 families fleeing enslavement and racial oppression in the United States settled in the Banwell Road area in Sandwich East. They had the opportunity to purchase land through two Black-organized land settlement programs – the Colored Industrial Society (a mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Sandwich East) and the Refugee Home Society (administered by Black abolitionist Henry and Mary Bibb of Maidstone). Freedom and land ownership meant self-determination and financial security. Settlers purchased 10- or 25-acre parcels of land to build homes and farms. The A.M.E. church held 25 acres in trust to construct a church and a school – and for a burial ground at the site, namely, the Smith family cemetery – located here. These families created a strong sense of community by establishing institutions and advocating for social justice. The Banwell Road area Black settlement contributed to the history, economy and culture of the region, and paved the way for their descendants to live fulfilled, free lives.

Marker Text in French:

Au début des années 1830, une trentaine de familles fuient l'esclavage et l'oppression raciale aux États-Unis pour s'installer dans la région de Banwell Road, dans le canton de Sandwich Est. L'occasion leur est alors donnée
The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement Marker image. Click for full size.
By Douglas McLeod, November 1, 2015
2. The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement Marker
d'acheter des terres par le biais de deux programmes ... (Note: Full French text not provided because Ontario Heritage Trust only provided a partial transcription.)
 
Erected 2015 by Ontario Heritage Trust.
 
Location. 42° 17.196′ N, 82° 53.73′ W. Marker is near Tecumseh, Ontario, in Essex County. Marker is on Banwell Rd 1.4 kilometers north of County Rd 42, on the left when traveling north. Click for map. The marker is located on the West side of Banwell Rd Between EC Row and County Rd 42. .25 km South of RR crossing. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2325 Banwell Rd, Tecumseh, Ontario N8N 2M1, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Siege of Detroit 1763 (approx. 8.5 kilometers away); Perry's Victory (approx. 9.2 kilometers away in the U.S.); S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald (approx. 9.2 kilometers away in the U.S.); Alpheus S. Williams (approx. 9.6 kilometers away in the U.S.); Detroit Spanish American War Monument (approx. 9.6 kilometers away in the U.S.); Grand Army of the Republic (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in the U.S.); Gen. O. M. Poe Post No. 433 (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in the U.S.); Ransom Eli Olds (approx. 9.9 kilometers away in the U.S.).
 
More about this marker. Marker text is in French on reverse side.
 
Categories. Abolition & Underground RRAfrican AmericansCemeteries & Burial Sites
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Douglas McLeod of LaSalle, Ontario, Canada. This page has been viewed 194 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Douglas McLeod of LaSalle, Ontario, Canada. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on October 4, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photograph of the reverse side. • Can you help?
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