Near Tecumseh in Essex County, Ontario — Central Canada
The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement
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
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. Touch 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.); Police Radio Dispatch (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.); Ransom Eli Olds (approx. 9.8 kilometers away in the U.S.).
More about this marker. Marker text is in French on reverse side.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Cemeteries & Burial Sites •
Credits. This page was last revised on October 4, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 2, 2015, by Douglas McLeod of LaSalle, Ontario, Canada. This page has been viewed 234 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 2, 2015, by Douglas McLeod of LaSalle, Ontario, Canada. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photograph of the reverse side. • Can you help?