Dresden in Chatham-Kent County, Ontario — Central Canada
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 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.
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 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.
Location. 42° 35.114′ N, 82° 11.746′ W. Marker is in Dresden, Ontario, in Chatham-Kent County. Marker can be reached from Uncle Tom's Road (County Route 40) just from 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, Ontario N0P, Canada.
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 (within shouting distance of this marker); Josiah Henson (within shouting distance of this marker); The Founding of Dresden (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.
Categories. • African Americans • Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 30, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 317 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 30, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.