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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
Closed 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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Exceeded Expectations!

After reading Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis, I knew I had to see this place. It's an amazing story and an amazing place. The museum is small but tells the story of... read more

Reviewed 13 April 2017
Moro, Illinois
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32 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 32: English reviews
Moro, Illinois
Level Contributor
390 reviews
180 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 154 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2017

After reading Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis, I knew I had to see this place. It's an amazing story and an amazing place. The museum is small but tells the story of this unusual community. There are many items which are original and most of them can be touched. Seeing the beautiful bed and dresser made by slaves... More 

Thank TravelingFreeWoman
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviewed 14 March 2017

The museum is a wonderful place to go and learn all about the underground railroad. Not sure of the hours, but if you are lucky enough to get a tour with the curator, Shannon Prince.......amazing. All of the staff at the museum are very knowledgable in not just the museum but also the area.

Thank Skater67
Management response:

Thank you for the kind comments. We are so fortunate to have a rich history that is deeply embedded in Chatham Kent- so much to see and learn. More 

Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 February 2017

Definitely one of the premier places to visit if you are touring Ontario's Underground Railroad historical sites. The curator, Shannon, gave us a personalized tour of the museum and buildings. The museum gives one a good perspective on the tragic history of enslavement in North America and Canada's role in providing refuge. The buildings are well preserved and maintained. We... More 

Thank Antilles_Travelers
Management response:

Thank you for the comments and glad you enjoyed your visit. We are so fortunate to have many Underground Railroad artifacts. This incredible story would not be complete without the Canadian story. So to be able to share that with visitors is an honour and when they can walk the land those former slaves cleared and farmed, they can feel... More 

Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 December 2016

Visitors to the Buxton Museum shudder when we see the actual shackles locked on slaves to try to keep them from escaping - but we also celebrate the strength and spirit of those who arrived in Canada and set up a thriving community. No tin shacks or hovels - families were required to clear land and build two-bedroom homes with... More 

Thank CulturesmART
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
153 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
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.

1 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 68 helpful votes
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
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
171 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
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
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
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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 

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