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Friday, July 12, 2024
Photo courtesy of Cousin Kathleen’s Guide Service

Chatham - Heritage room/WISH Centre
177 King St Chatham

In the early 1800's five black families settled along McGregor's Creek in the tiny town of Chatham, then known as the Forks.

Photo courtesy of
Cousin Kathleen’s Guide Service
  The village soon became a haven for runaway slaves. By 1850 a third of the population of Chatham was of African descent. The town of Chatham became
a major center of African American society. This is where John Brown recruited participants for his Harper’s Ferry Raid at the John Brown Convention in 1858. Many important historical figures have lived in Chatham.

The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society's collection of local artifacts, genealogical information and general research materials is located in the Heritage Room at the W.I.S.H. Centre. The Heritage Room provides visitors with the history of Chatham's Black Community after escaping slavery. Their achievements and their struggles are chronicled through dramatizations, slide presentations and videos.

The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.


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