“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dresden in Chatham-Kent, Ontario — Central Canada (North America)



Sawmill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2014
1. Sawmill Marker
Captions (English / French): Three young Black men working in lumber mill at Hampton Institute, Hampton Virginia, 1899. / Trois jeunes hommes noirs travaillant dans une scierie, au Hampton Institute, Hampton, Virginie, 1899.; African American guiding log from water onto sawmill ramp, Newport News, Virginia, 1900. / Un Afro-américain guidant des billes le long de la rampe d’une scierie, Newport News, Virginie, 1900.
Inscription.   This area was once covered in a thick, growth of trees including black walnut, maple, beech, elm and white oak. To make use of these natural resources, Josiah Henson and his sons used donations from benefactors in Boston to build a sawmill along the Sydenham River in Dawn for the British American Institute (B.A.I.). Trees were removed from the land as it was cleared for farming and other purposes and taken to the sawmill to be sawn into boards. The lumber was used for construction purposes and sold to markets in Detroit, Boston and other urban centres to raise funds for the B.A.I. Black walnut lumber was one of the settlement’s major exports. The B.A.I. also operated other industries near the sawmill including a gristmill, blacksmith shop, rope factory, and brickyard.

In 1851, on the first of Josiah Henson’s trips to England, he transported and displayed four 7" by 4" polished black walnut boards at the World’s Fair in London. He hoped to develop a British market for lumber produced at the Dawn settlement. Henson was awarded a bronze metel for the exhibit.

Jack Thomson, former owner of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic
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Site, assembled the sawmill displayed here to represent the B.A.I. mill in Dawn that was similar to the one at the Hampton Institute depicted in these photographs.

Cette région était jadis recouverte d’une épaisse forêt composée de noyers noirs, d’érables, d’ormes et des chênes blanc. Pour pouvoir utiliser ces ressources naturelles, Josiah Henson et ses fils utilisèrent des dons de bienfaiteurs de Boston pour construire une scierie long de rivière Sydenham, à Dawn, pour le British American Institute (B.A.I.) Lors du déboisement des terres qui devaient servir à l’agriculture et à d’autres fins, les arbres étaient emmenés à la scierie pour être transformés en planches. Le bois était utilisé pour la construction de vendu à des marches de Détroit, Boston et d’autres centres urbains afin de recueillir des fonds pour le B.A.I. Le bois de noyer noir était une des principales exportations de l’établissement. Le B.A.I. exploitait également d’autres industries près de la scierie, y compris un moulin à broyer le grain, un atelier de forgeron, une usine de fabrication de cordes et un briqueterie.

En 1851, lors du premier voyage de Josiah Henson en Angleterre, il amena avec lui et exposa quatre planches en noyer noir de 9 po par 4 po lors de l’exposition mondiale de Londres. Il espérait développer un marché britannique pour le bois produit dans
Sawmill Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2014
2. Sawmill Marker
l’établissement de Dawn. Henson gagna la médaille de bronze pour ses produits.

Jack Thomson, ancien propriétaire du Site historique de la Case de l’oncle Tom, a monte la scierie exposée ici pour representer la scierie du B.A.I. de Dawn qui était semblable à la scierie du Hampton Institute illustrée dans ces photographies.
Erected by Ontario Heritage Trust.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansHorticulture & ForestryIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. 42° 35.114′ N, 82° 11.746′ W. Marker is in Dresden, Ontario, in Chatham-Kent. Marker can be reached from Uncle Tom's Road (County Route 40) close to Park Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29251 Uncle Tom's Road, Dresden ON N0P 1M0, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 18 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Spirituality and Community (a few steps from this marker); Harris House (within shouting distance of this marker); Henson House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dawn Settlement / La Colonie de Dawn (within shouting distance of this marker); Josiah Henson (within shouting distance of this marker); The Founding of Dresden
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(approx. 1.4 kilometers away); Burning of British Ships / American Encampment (approx. 16.8 kilometers away); The Legend of the Paw Paw (approx. 16.8 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dresden.
More about this marker. This maker is located on the grounds of the Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 464 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 30, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 30, 2023