Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site
Uncle Tom’s Cabin is built on the site of the Black settlement that Rev. Josiah Henson helped found in 1841.
The site takes its name from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s successful 1852 anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, featuring a character named Tom (loosely based on Josiah Henson).
Josiah Henson was born into slavery; but in 1830, along with his wife and four children, he escaped using the Underground Railroad, eventually crossing the Niagara River into Upper Canada (now Ontario). Henson purchased 200 acres in Dawn Township to build a self-sufficient community for fugitives from slavery.
The site was acquired by the Ontario Heritage Trust in February 2005. Buildings on the Dawn Settlement include the Josiah Henson Interpretive Centre, the Sawmill, the Smokehouse, the Josiah Henson House, and the Pioneer Church.
The Josiah Henson Interpretive Centre includes a collection of 19th century artifacts and books, and includes a rare early edition of Henson’s autobiography and a signed portrait of Queen Victoria which she presented to him in 1877. The Central Station Gift Shop offers a wide range of unique African and Canadian art and souvenirs as well as an extensive selection of books pertinent to the abolitionist era.
29251 Uncle Tom’s Road
Dresden, ON N0P 1M0