“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

Harris House

Maison Harris

Harris House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2014
1. Harris House Marker
Captions (English / French): (left side) The Harris House underwent extensive reconstruction in 1993-94. / Le maison Harris a subi des travaux de reconstruction majeurs en 1993-94.; (right side) Detail from a 1884-85 directory showing James Harris listed as a farmer on Lot 3, Concession 3, in Camden Township. / Détail d’un répertoire de 1884-1885 montrant que James Harris était un fermer sur le lot 3, concession 3, canton de Camden, comté de Kent.
Inscription.   This house belonged to James Harris and his family, who are believed to be descendants of Weldon Harris, an African American who came to Canada and in 1825 purchased 50 acres on Lot 3, Concession 3 in Camden Township. Weldon Harris made his living as a farmer and lived in a one-storey log house with his family before moving into a larger, two-storey house such as this.

The Harris House, built circa 1890, is representative of the type of modest dwelling in which many Black settlers in this area lived. This simple, two-storey building was made using post and beam construction with clapboard siding. The first floor was used for domestic purposes such as cooking and heating water and the second floor for sleeping. A wood stove located on the first floor heated the entire home and four windows, two on each floor, provided natural light. The Harris House is believed to be one of the oldest structures in the area; it was moved here in the 1960s from its original location in Dresden.

Cette demeure appartenait à James Harris et à sa famille. Ils étaient supposés être les descendants de Weldon
Harris House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, August 12, 2014
2. Harris House Marker
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Harris, un Afro-américain qui arriva au Canada et acheta en 1825 50 acres sur le lot 3, concession 3, dans le canton de Camden. Weldon Harris était un agriculteur qui vivait dans une maison en rondins d’un étage avec sa famille, avant de déménager dans une maison plus spacieuse de deux étages, comme celle-ci.

La maison Harris, construite aux environs de 1890, est typique des demeures modestes dans lesquelles la plupart des colons noir de la région vivaient. Cette structure simple de deux étages a été bâtie selon un mode de construction à poteaux et à poutres et elle était recouverte de bardage à clin. Les premier étage était réservé aux travaux domestiques comme cuisiner et chauffer de l’eau et le deuxième étage était réservé aux chambres à coucher. Un poêle à bois, situé au premier étage, chauffait toute la maison et quatre fenêtres, soit deux à chaque étage, laissaient passer la lumière du jour. La maison Harris est supposée être une des plus vieilles demeures de la region. Construite initialement à Dresden, elle a été transportée sur ce site.
Erected by Ontario Heritage Trust.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1825.
Location. 42° 35.099′ N, 82° 11.749′ W. Marker
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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 north. 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. Sawmill (within shouting distance of this marker); The Dawn Settlement (within shouting distance of this marker); Spirituality and Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Henson House (within shouting distance of this marker); Josiah Henson (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); The Founding of Dresden (approx. 1.5 kilometers away); Burning of British Ships / American Encampment (approx. 16.7 kilometers away); The Legend of the Paw Paw (approx. 16.7 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dresden.
More about this marker. This marker 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 477 times since then and 49 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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Oct. 5, 2022