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Buxton National Historic Site & Museum

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Address: 21975 Ad Shadd Rd | N0P 1Y0, Chatham, Chatham-Kent, Ontario N0P 1Y0, Canada
Phone Number: +1 519-352-4799
10:00 - 16:30
Open now
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Sun - Sat 10:00 - 16:30
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours

THE ELGIN SETTLEMENT, which was for many the last stop on the Underground...

THE ELGIN SETTLEMENT, which was for many the last stop on the Underground Railroad, was founded in 1849. THE MUSEUM SITE INCLUDES the Buxton Museum, S.S. #13 Raleigh (Buxton) Schoolhouse (1861), the Colbert/Henderson Cabin (1854), and the Shadd Barn (restoration completed in 2009). Local church cemeteries (1857) are on the grounds adjacent to the museum. Facilities include a large picnic shelter and barbecue, washrooms, a wheelchair access ramp to the museum and plenty of free parking. Of special note is the Research Area, which contains resource materials, pertaining to local history and genealogy.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Well Worth the Trip

We came through Chatham specifically to visit this historic site. We were lucky enough to spend time with Shannon, the museum curator, who is a direct descendent of original... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 October 2016
Patty Z
Sacramento, California
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29 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 29: English reviews
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
121 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2016

We came through Chatham specifically to visit this historic site. We were lucky enough to spend time with Shannon, the museum curator, who is a direct descendent of original settlers. She shared wonderful stories and details of the settlement. We learned about the park after reading the children's novel "Elijah of Buxton" by Christopher Paul Curtis.

Thank Patty Z
Management response:

Glad you enjoyed your visit! "Elijah of Buxton" has directed numerous visitors here. And people are surprised to realize there is an actual place called Buxton where they too can ring the bell of freedom. More 

Level Contributor
137 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 September 2016

This is a fantastic place to visit to learn all about the Black slaves who settled here on the Underground Road. The lady who rook us on a personal tour, Shannon Prince, is a 6th generation relative of one of these free slaves. She gave us a fantastic history of the area, took us in the school, which she attended... More 

Management response:

Thank you for the kind comments. We are so fortunate to have a significant amount of above-ground resources attesting to Early African Canadian History. Even though the community isn't as highly populated as it once was, it's a living memorial to its founders and to the courage of every UGRR refugee who took their life in their hands and chose... More 

Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 September 2016

This little hamlet is a treasure trove of information on not only the underground railroad but how the community prospered in those early days. If you have a chance to attend the homecoming weekend on labor day weekend you won't be disappointed.

Thank Sue_sanErieau
London, On
Level Contributor
156 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 September 2016

We visited in mid September so no crowds. THe intro video was well done and covered the history nicely. The museum artifacts and presentations are well illustrated and the grounds fun to walk about.

Thank DaveLon
Level Contributor
42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2016

I knew there were areas between Windsor/Oakville that were stops along the Underground Railroad but I didn't know there were areas that had such large settlements of freed slaves. I learned so much. The museum has tonnes of archives, artifacts and antiques to view. The tour of the museum, cabin, barn and schoohouse is a must.

Thank Blecky
Management response:

Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed your time here and learned more about our settlement. We are very proud of our collection of artifacts and are always happy to share them! More 

Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2016

I have lived in this community for over forty years, but just in the last two have I realize what a treasure was within five miles of me. My father in law always went to the Labor Day celebration but my husband and I have only gone the last two years. Their is a classic car show and parade on... More 

Thank bonnieh760
Management response:

Thank you for your comment! We strive to make Homecoming a great opportunity for both the community and whose who have moved away to be reunited and share in everything the four day event has to offer. I hope to see you at the festivities again this year! More 

Gahanna, Ohio
Level Contributor
94 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2016

We were on our way to Stratford and made a stop at the museum - definitely worth the time. Our guide was a descendant of the early families that settled here during the era of the Underground Railroad. The tour include an intro on the history of the area followed by a tour of an 1850's log cabin, a barn,... More 

Thank Tom P
Management response:

Thank you for the nice words! We are lucky enough to have such wonderfully preserved buildings and as descendants we are honoured to share their history. I'm glad you enjoyed your tour and feel free to visit again whenever you would like. More 

Hamilton, Ontario
Level Contributor
219 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 July 2016

I stopped by this national historic site recently when driving through the area. You are filled with a wonderful sense of Ontario history as you walk the grounds. Make sure you take the few minutes to read the plaques. Although the museum was closed when I was there, I really appreciated the historical significance of the underground railway as I... More 

Thank NorthernGuy13
Management response:

Thank you for your comment! If you're ever in the area again I encourage you to stop by and take a tour of our site. Our log cabin and barn from the 1850s and our 1861 school house truly take you back in time and fill you with an appreciation of our history. More 

Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2016 via mobile

It was great to see the real life buildings of the Buxton Settlement. It was interesting to find out 100 students used to be taught in the 1 room school on the site, and that it was open until 1968. Excellent to meet some of the descendants of the original settlement.

Thank a_davia1
Management response:

Thanks for your comment! We are extremely lucky to have our log cabin, barn, and school house so well preserved considering they are over 150 years old. I'm happy to hear you enjoyed you trip! More 

Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2016

If you are ever in the Chatham area, you owe it to yourself, your sense of history, your sense of justice to visit this special spot. Growing up in Ontario, I had heard of it but now at almost 65 I finally got there. We all need to go to Buxton. I can't know firsthand the struggle, but I can... More 

1 Thank Pattyshell
Management response:

Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm glad you were able to experience Buxton and appreciate what Reverend William King was trying to accomplish when establishing this settlement. King believed high living standards and superior education was the first step in breaking down the walls separating people based on their race and that desire is show through all... More 

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