Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site

29251 Uncle Tom's Cabin Dresden ON N0P 1M0 Canada
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Recognized internationally for his contribution to the abolition movement, Josiah Henson asserted his leadership as preacher and a conductor on the Underground Railroad. He worked with energy and vision to improve life for the Black community in Upper Canada (now Ontario).  After escaping slavery in Kentucky, ‘Father Henson’ quickly attained the status of leader within the Underground Railroad community of Southwestern Ontario.  In 1841 he co founded the British American Institute, a vocational school for Underground Railroad refugees.  The Dawn settlement, comprised of mostly Black settlers, grew around the school.

The Ontario Heritage Trust has recently erected a plaque commemorating the Dawn settlement, whose residents farmed, attended the Institute, and worked at saw mills, gristmills, and other local industries.  Some returned to the United States after emancipation was proclaimed in 1863.  Others remained, contributing to the establishment of a significant black community in this part of the province.

Harriet Beecher Stowe used Josiah Henson’s memoirs, published in 1849, as reference material for her novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Henson’s dramatic experiences and his connection with Stowe’s book made him one of the most famous Canadians of his day.  Reverend Henson passed away May 5th, 1883, and is buried adjacent to the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site in the Henson family cemetery.

29251 Uncle Tom's Cabin Dresden ON N0P 1M0 Canada
(See Map)
Phone: 519-683-2978
Fax: 519-683-1256
Hours: May 14-October 22, 2016, Tue-Sat: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.; Sundays Noon-4 p.m. Open Holiday Mondays throughout season and in July and August. Open year-round for groups of 20 people or more. Please call for details.