Banwell Black Settlement Area Recognized

A plaque remembering the Banwell Road Area Black Settlement is unveiled in Tecumseh, September 25, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Black families fleeing enslavement in the 1830s and settling in the region are being recognized.

The Ontario Heritage Trust has unveiled a plaque that will sit at the Smith Cemetary in the Banwell Road Area Black Settlement.

Historian Natasha Henry says it has been emotional learning about the rich black history in Essex County.

“They really faced a lot of obstacles and they really persevered and were resilient in making a better life for themselves and for future generations,” says Henry.

The 30 or so black families that settled in the area in the 1800s purchased property through two land settlement programs.

Many see this plaque as a way to keep the past alive.

“For us it may seem like a new revelation , but this story has existed for almost 200 years and so I do hope it can be used as an entry point in classrooms as a way to introduce young people,” says Henry.