Black history The goal was our freedom For many American slaves, Windsor Essex and Chatham-Kent offered what they yearned for most: a new life of freedom. Our region played a proud and pivotal role in the Underground Railroad movement, helping thousands escape the brutality of slavery.


Learn More about Windsor Essex’s part in Black History

Your Black History Journey Begins…

Learn about the terminus of the Underground Railroad – right here in Windsor Essex, Ontario. The Underground Railroad was not a railroad nor was it underground. It was the name of the network of people who hid and guided slaves and refugees as they followed the North Star to Canada – to freedom!

The Amherstburg Freedom Museum presents exhibits of artifacts which tell the story of African Canadians, their journey to freedom and their contributions to society. Located in the historic town of Amherstburg, here you will also enjoy the national historic site, Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church, built during the days of the Underground Railroad and the Taylor Log Cabin, a building that early black families inhabited, which also provides a unique representation of the conditions of the time.

Arrange for an intensely emotional tour at the Sandwich First Baptist Church, the oldest black church in Windsor’s historic Sandwich Towne. The Church served as a haven for refugee slaves who were fleeing slavery mainly from the southern United States. For hundreds of fugitive slaves who crossed the Detroit River into Windsor, Sandwich First Baptist Church was their first stop. A hole on either side of the floor in the Sanctuary still exists, which allowed those who were being sought after by bounty hunters to escape. The Church, which was built first as a log cabin in 1820, was rebuilt by free and fugitive slaves in 1841.

Custom tours are available at the Sandwich First Baptist Church including authentic dining experiences. Contact them for further details.

Explore the John Freeman Walls Historic Site and Underground Railroad Museum and learn more about the site build by former slave John Freeman Walls, which played an important part as a terminal of the Underground Railroad and the first meeting place of the Puce Baptist Church.

Continue your tour with black historical sites in neighbouring Chatham-Kent where you’ll learn more about the path to freedom including stops at the Buxton National Historic Site & Museum and Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site. Click here for more details on the Chatham-Kent Black History Society and their continued efforts to share our story.

Many more heritage sites, artwork pieces and monuments exist in our region, including a large portion of the permanent display at the Chimczuk Museum. Discover more by clicking the link below.

Click here to discover all the Black History heritage sites in Windsor Essex.


Recently Eden, The Black Foodie, paid a trip to Windsor Essex to learn more about our role in Black History, and also get a taste of the culinary delights in our region. Read A Black Foodie Tour in Southwest Ontario to see what she experienced, and use it to plan a trip of your own to our region.



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