Historical Plaques of
Essex County

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This plaque was sent in by Rob McLean

PLAQUE #1


Location: Canard River Bridge at Essex County Rd. 20
Anderdon Township

SKIRMISHES AT THE CANARD RIVER
In the War of 1812, the first engagement in Canada involving British and American forces, in significant numbers, occurred here on the Canard River. On July 12, 1812, Brigadier-General William Hull invaded Canada and encamped near Sandwich. British commander, Lieutenant-Colonel T. B. St. George, consolidated his forces consisting of Regulars of the 41st. Regiment, Indians, and Canadian militia at Fort Malden, south of the Canard and stationed at picquet at the bridge. This outpost was attacked on July 16th by Colonel Louis Cass and about 280 enemy troops. After a brief stand, the out numbered British fell back towards the fort. The Americans abandoned the position the following day, but later returned several times to skirmish with the British, who re-occupied the post.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture

This next plaque was sent in by Mary Crandall

PLAQUE #2


Location: in front of museum, by ferry docks, Pelee Island

THE DEVELOPMENT OF PELEE ISLAND
The largest in a string of islands in the western end of Lake Erie, Pelee Island forms, together with nearby Middle Island, the southernmost portion of Canada. In 1788 it was leased to Thomas McKee, the son of an influential Indian Department official, by the Ojibwa and Ottawa nations. The island, whose name is derived from the French "pelee", meaning bare, remained largely undeveloped, however, until William McCormick purchased it in 1823. In 1868 it was incorporated as a township. With the introduction of commercial grape cultivation and the drainage of large acres of marshland in the decades that followed, Pelee Island emerged as a prosperous farming community. By 1900 it had almost 800 residents, and contained four schools, four churches and three general stores.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Communications

This next 16 plaques were sent in by Richard Taylor

PLAQUE #3


Location: Municipal Offices, 917 Lesperance Rd., Tecumseh

THE FOUNDING OF TECUMSEH
The intersecting of the Tecumseh Road, named for the eminent Indian leader, by the Great Western Railroad line in 1854 stimulated settlement in this largely French-Canadian area. A community gradually developed, and in 1873 it contained a sawmill, several stores and hotels, and a population of about 200. The village, first called Ryegate, and later Tecumseh, evolved from a local service center to a shipping point for area timber, cordwood, and especially grain. The establishment of the fruit canning industry by 1903 further diversified local business activity, but the suburban extension of the Sandwich, Windsor, and Amherstburg Railway to Tecumseh in 1907 was a major factor in its subsequent growth. In 1921 Tecumseh was incorporated as a town with a population of 978.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Recreation

PLAQUE #4


Location: Just east of Dieppe gardens, at the foot of Ouellette Ave., Windsor

THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY
The main line of "The Great Western" from Niagara Falls through Hamilton and London to Windsor, was opened in 1854. The company extended its line from Hamilton to Toronto in 1855, from Komoka to Sarnia in 1858, and from Glencoe to Fort Erie (the "Loop Line") in 1873. "The Great Western" was an important connecting link for through traffic between railways in Michigan and New York states. This necessitated conversion from the original 5’6" gauge to the U.S. standard of 4’ 8 1/2". The railway was one of the earliest to use sleeping and dining cars. In 1882 "The Great Western" merged with "The Grand Trunk Railway Company" under the latters name.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario

PLAQUE #5


Location: Reaume Park, Riverside Drive E. & Pillette Rd., Windsor

THE SIEGE OF DETROIT - 1763
Shortly after the founding of Detroit in 1701, a village of Ottawa Indians was established on the south shore of the river in this vicinity, and its inhabitants lived on friendly terms with the French garrison and settlers. However, after the British took control of Detroit and other western posts in 1760, relations with the Indians deteriorated. In 1763 the great Ottawa chief, Pontiac, raised a strong confederacy of Indian tribes and attacked several British posts. Detroit was besieged from May until October by a force which included some 250 warriors from this Ottawa village. Pontiac’s unsuccessful attempt to capture Detroit led to the failure of his uprising and general peace was re-established in 1765.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario

PLAQUE #6


Location: Ernest Atkinson Park, Riverside Dr. E., Windsor

COLONEL ARTHUR RANKIN 1816 - 1893
Born in Montreal, Rankin moved to this province about 1830 and qualified as a Deputy Provincial Surveyor in 1836. The next year he was commissioned as an ensign in the Queen’s Light Infantry and captured the enemy’s flag in the "Battle of Windsor" (December 1838). He commanded the Ninth Upper Canadian Military District 1855 -1861 and the 23rd Essex Volunteer Light Infantry Batallion 1866 - 1868. Vigorous and enterprising, Rankin organized the group of Ojibwa Indians which toured Britain and staged the first "Wild West" show there in 1843. His business interests expanded to include shipping, railroads, real estate, and several mining projects in the Algoma District. First elected to the Parliment of Canada in 1854, Rankin served three terms as the member for Essex.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historical Sites Board,
Ministry of Colleges and Universities

PLAQUE #7


Location: Ambassador Park, Riverside Dr. E., near the bridge

JESUIT MISSION TO THE HURONS
In 1728, a mission to the Huron Indians was established near Fort Pontchartrain (Detroit) by Father Armand de la Richardie, S.J.. The Mission was moved to Bois Blanc Island and the adjacent mainland in 1742. In 1747 it was destroyed by disaffected Hurons and a party of Iroquois, and the next year re-established in this vicinity. The Huron Mission became the Parish of the Assumption in 1767 and was entrusted with the spiritual care of the French settlers on this side of the river as well as the Indians of the region. The resident missionary, Father Pierre Potier, S.J., became the first Pastor of this parish, the earliest in what is now Ontario.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historical Sites Board

PLAQUE #8


Location: Brock and Sandwich Streets, Windsor

DISTRICT COURT HOUSE AND GAOL
When the British withdrew from Detroit in 1796, they transferred the courts of the Western District to Sandwich (Windsor). An abandoned blockhouse, relocated from Chatham served breifly as the court house and gaol until fire destroyed it in 1797. Its replacement, built soon afterwards, was burned by American soldiers in the War of 1812 A brick court house and gaol, completed by 1820, served until 1856 when the present building was constructed. Designed in the Renaissance Revival style by Albert H. Jordan of Detroit, it was built by stonemason Alexander Mackenzie, who later became Canada’s second Prime Minister. It housed the Essex County Courts until 1963. Renamed Mackenzie Hall, the restored building opened in 1985 as a Community and Arts Center.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Recreation

PLAQUE #9


Location: St. John’s Churchyard, 3305 Sandwich St., Sandwich

THE HONOURABLE ALEXANDER GRANT
1734 - 1813
Alexander Grant, son of the seventh Laird of Glenmoriston was born in Inverness- Shire, Scotland. During the Seven Years’ War he served with the Montgomery's Highlanders, eventually commanding a sloop on Lake Champlain. In 1776, Grant became Commander of the Great Lakes. This appointment, reduced to Lakes Erie, Huron, and Michigan in 1778, he held until 1812. With an estate at Grosse Pointe, Michigan, Grant served on the Land Board of the District of Hesse from 1789 until 1794 and was appointed Lieutenant of Essex County in 1799. As a senior member of the Executive and Legislative Councils of Upper Canada, he became Administrator-President for a year upon the death of Lieutenant-Governor Hunter in 1805. Grant is buried in St. John’s churchyard, Sandwich.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario

PLAQUE #10


Location: Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, 350 Huron Church Rd., Windsor

FATHER PIERRE POTIER 1708 - 1781
The first Pastor of the Assumption Church, Potier was born in Blandain, in present day Belgium. In 1721 he entered a Jesuit college and, after pronouncing his final vows in 1743, he came to Quebec. An avid scholar, Potier began an intensive study of the Huron language at Lorette. A year later, he was sent to Bois Blanc (Bob-Lo) Island to serve the Huron Misson of the Assumption. In 1748 he moved with the mission to this locality, and by 1761 he was ministering to the needs of both the Hurons and the French settlers in the area. While fulfilling his pastoral duties, Potier continued his linguistic studies and today his notes provide the best key to the dialect spoken in New France in the mid -18th century.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Communications

PLAQUE #11


Location: Windsor Hall, 401 Sunset Ave., Windsor

THE UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR
The University takes its origin from Assumption College (Roman Catholic) established here in 1857, and directed by the congregation of St. Basil after 1870. From 1919 to 1953, it was affiliated with the University of Western Ontario, becoming co-educational in 1934 with the formation of Holy Names College. Achieving independent University status in 1953, with Essex College and Holy Redeemer College in affiliation, it became Assumption University of Windsor in 1956. Canterbury College (Anglican) affiliated in 1957. Finally in 1963, a new non-denominational institution, the University of Windsor, absorbed Essex College, granted federation to Assumption University, and renewed the previous college affiliations. Iona College (United Church) became affiliated with the University the following year.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historical Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario

PLAQUE #12


Location: Brock and Sandwich Street, Windsor

WILLIAM DUMMER POWELL 1755 - 1834
The first professionally trained lawyer appointed a judge in what is now Ontario, Powell was born in Boston and educated abroad. He opened a legal practice in Montreal in 1779 and quickly gained a reputation as a brilliant advocate, able to conduct cases in French and English. Powell was appointed sole presiding judge of the Court of Common Pleas here in the District of Hesse in 1789. When the district courts were abolished five years later, he was instrumental in establishing the provinces Court of Kings Bench. Steadfast in his adherence to the principals of English common law, Powell resisted political pressure throughout his career. In 1816 he was appointed Chief Justice of Upper Canada.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
an agency of the Government of Canada

PLAQUE #13


Location: Riverside Dr. E. & Drouillard Rd., Windsor

THE WINDSOR FORD STRIKE OF 1945
As wartime labour shortages eased in 1945, contract talks between Ford of Canada and the United Auto Workers in Windsor stalled. The 10,000 members of Local 200 went on strike on September 12 to win recognition of the union they had built during the war. When Ford had police called in to re-open its powerhouse, 8,000 workers from Local 195 walked out of other Windsor plants. For three days strikers parked cars in this area, creating a 2,000 vehicle traffic jam that completely blockaded the powerhouse. After 99 days, both sides accepted arbitration. The settlement, a major victory for the Auto Workers, included the Rand Formula, which established union security as a basic principle of post-war labour relations.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship, Culture, and Recreation

PLAQUE #14


Location: Windsor Community Museum (Francois Baby House)

THE BATTLE OF WINDSOR - 1838
Early on December 4, 1838 a force of about 140 American and Canadian supporters of William Lyon MacKenzie crossed the river from Detroit and landed about one mile east of here. After capturing and burning a nearby militia barracks, they took possession of Windsor. In this vicinity they were met and routed by a force of some 130 militiamen commanded by Colonel John Prince. Five of the invaders taken prisoner were executed summarily by order of Colonel Prince. This action caused violent controversy in both Canada and the United States. The remaining captives were tried and sentenced at London, Upper Canada. Six were executed, Eighteen transported to a penal colony in Tasmania, and sixteen deported.

Archaeological and Historic Site Board of Ontario

PLAQUE #15


Location: Dieppe Gardens ( foot of Ouellette Ave.) Windsor

FRENCH SETTLEMENT ON THE SOUTH SHORE
Windsor is the oldest known site of continuous settlement in Ontario. The government of New France, anxious to increase its presence on the Detroit River, offered land for agricultural settlement on the south shore in 1749. That summer, families from the lower St. Lawrence river relocated to lots which began about 6.5 km. downstream from here. Along with civilians and discharged soldiers from Fort Pontchartrain (Detroit), they form the community of La Petite Cote additional waterfront lots, including this site, were laid out in 1751. These extended from the Huron Mission, located in the vicinity of the present Ambassador Bridge, to the Ottawa village situated opposite the fort. When the French regime ended in 1760, about 300 settlers were living here.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture and Communications

PLAQUE #16


Location: Grounds of Hiram Walkers, Riverside Dr., Windsor

HULL’S LANDING - 1812
On July 4, 1812 Brigadier-General William Hull, commander of the North Western Army of the United States, landed with about 2000 men near this site. He issued a proclamation stating that he came here to liberate Canada from oppression. The British garrison at Amherstburg was too weak to oppose the invasion, but it later fought several skirmishes at the River Canard. On July 26, British reinforcements under Colonel Henry Proctor arrived and, on August 7-8, Hull withdrew to Detroit, leaving a small garrison near Sandwich which retired on August 11, at the approach of Major-general Isaac Brock.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historical Sites Board

PLAQUE #17


Location: 3305 Sandwich Street, Windsor

ST. JOHN’S CHURCH
Following the cession of Detroit to the United States in 1794, and the withdrawal of the British garrison two years later, many residents moved to the Canadian side of the river where they founded the community of Sandwich. Early Anglican services were conducted there by Richard Pollard, Sheriff of the Western District. In 1802 he was ordained a deacon and appointed missionary to the settlement. By 1807, a log church had been erected, but it was destroyed by American troops during the war of 1812. It was replaced in 1818-19 by a larger structure which forms a portion of the present church.

Archaeological and Historical Sites Board of Ontario

PLAQUE #18


Location: on the grounds of the Baby Mansion, 221 Mill St., Windsor

JAMES BABY 1763 - 1833
The first member of Upper Canada’s French community to gain prominence in government circles, Baby was born in British-controlled Detroit, the son of a well-established trader. He was educated in Quebec and, after returning to this area, he entered the mercantile business. In 1792, through his family’s influence, he received lifetime appointments to the Executive and Legislative councils, Upper Canada’s pre-eminent political bodies. Three years later, Baby moved from Detroit to the south shore and in 1807 took up residence in this commodious, 18th century house. For his long and loyal government service, he was granted the post of Inspector-General of Public Accounts in 1815. To attend to the duties of this position Baby moved to York (Toronto) where he lived until his death.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture

This next plaque was sent in by Steve Nepszy

PLAQUE #19


Location: on the eastern beach, near the point, Point Pelee National Park, Co. Rd. 33

SINKING OF THE "KENT" 1845
On August 12, 1845, a collision occurred below Point Pelee between the steamships "Kent" and " London". Both vessels were chartered by the North Shore Steamship Line, a Canadian company operating a passenger and freight service between the Buffalo and Detroit areas. At 3 a.m. on a clear night the east-bound "Kent", commanded by Capt. Laing and carrying about seventy-five pasengers, sighted the "London", but neither altered course. Shortly afterwards the "Kent" was struck in front of her wheelhouse. Capt. H. Van Allen, of the "London" attempted to tow the "Kent" toward Point Pelee but, after five hours, she sank some twenty miles off shore with a loss of ten passengers.

Ontario Heritage Foundation

PLAQUE #20


Location: In front of the house on the east side of Dalhousie Street South, south of Pickering Street

"BELLEVUE" 1816
This house, one of the finest remaining examples of domestic Georgian architecture in Ontario, was commenced in 1816 and completed about 1819 by Robert Reynolds, the commissary to the garrison at Fort Malden. "Bellevue" was also the home of his sister, Catherine Reynolds, an accomplished landscape painter, who was among the earliest known artists in Upper Canada. Working in pencil, crayon, sepia wash and water colours, she recorded scenes along the Detroit River and Lake Erie, which provide an invaluable record of early nineteenth century life in this region. About thirty of her works are extant, some of which are preserved in local museums.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #21


Location: At the blockhouse, Bois Blanc Island. The island is accessible by ferry from Elliott's Point, just south
of Amherstburg on County Road 18

BOIS BLANC ISLAND BLOCKHOUSES
Following the evacuation of the British military post at Detroit in 1796, a new establishment was commenced opposite here on the site of Amherstburg, and two blockhouses were built on this island to serve as outposts. As a result of armed attacks on Amherstburg by supporters of William Lyon Mackenzie during the Rebellion of 1837-38, the original defences on Bois Blanc were replaced in 1839 by three new blockhouses, and a picquet house enclosed by a palisade. The latter housed regular troops from Fort Malden until 1851 and thereafter Enrolled Pensioners until 1859. The two remaining blockhouses are situated at the centre and south end of the island.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #22


Location: On the east side of County Road 20 just south of Old Front Street (Dalhousie Street), street number 779

CAPTURE OF THE "ANNE"
1838
On January 9, 1838, a force of Canadians and Americans sympathizing with Mackenzie's Rebellion, sailed from United States territory and landed on Bois Blanc Island. The schooner "Anne", supporting the invasion, cruised along the Canadian mainland firing on structures near Fort Malden. Defending militia under Col. T. Radcliff returned the fire, disabling the helmsman and damaging the rigging. The "Anne" grounded on Elliott's Point and those aboard were captured. Their leader, Dr. E.A. Theller, an American citizen of Irish birth, was later imprisoned in the Quebec Citadel but made a successful escape.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #23


Location: On the east side of Ramsey Street north of Park Street

CHRIST CHURCH 1819
This church was built in 1818-19 on land donated by Col. William Caldwell. One of the earliest Anglican places of worship in western Upper Canada, it was constructed through the efforts of the Reverend Richard Pollard, an itinerant missionary stationed at Sandwich. The first incumbent was the Reverend Romaine Rolph who served from 1819 to 1836. The church and burial ground were consecrated in 1833 by the Right Reverend C.J. Stewart Bishop of Quebec. Christ Church served the garrison of Fort Malden for many years and is one of the oldest remaining church edifices in the province.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #24


Location: On the east side of County Road 20 just south of Old Front Street (Dalhousie Street), street number 779

COLONEL MATTHEW ELLIOTT
1739-1814
Near this site stood the house erected in 1784 by Matthew Elliott. Born in Ireland, he emigrated to the American Colonies in 1761, and during the Revolution served with the British forces as a captain in the Indian Department. He was an Indian agent for the western tribes 1790-95 and deputy superintendent of the Indian Department 1795-98. Elliott represented Essex in the legislative assembly 1801-12. As colonel of the 1st Essex Militia he took part in the capture of Detroit, August 16, 1812, and the battles of Fort Meigs, Moraviantown and Black Rock.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #25


Location: In a park at the foot of Laurier Street near the water's edge

FIGHTING ISLAND 1838
On the night of February 23-24, 1838, a small force of "Patriots" was ferried from Detroit to Fighting Island, opposite here, whence an attack against Sandwich was planned. They were joined the following day by "General" Donald McLeod, a British army veteran and former resident of Prescott who brought several hundred supporters from Cleveland. Advised by the American general, Hugh Brady, of the proposed attack, British regulars and Canadian militia in the area moved against the insurgents on February 25th. After a sharp skirmish, the poorly armed "Patriots" retreated to the Michigan shore where there were dispersed by American troops.

Erected by the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

PLAQUE #26


Location: On the east side of Puce Road just south of County Road 42 (Division Road), street number 710

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, PUCE
The origins of First Baptist Church go back to the 1840s, when black settlers from the United States began to form a farming community in this area. Their numbers increased during the 1850s when the Refugee Home Society purchased lands along the Puce River to sell to freedom-seekers from the American South. Religion played an important role in community life. At first Baptists and Methodists worshipped in the same building, but by the early 1860s they had their own churches. This church built in 1964, replaced a frame church that had served the Baptist congregation since 1871. It stands today as a symbol of the cultural and spiritual continuity of the black community at Puce.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario

PLAQUE #27


Location: On the north side of Road 3 west of County Road 29, street number 332

JACK MINER 1865-1944
A noted naturalist, John Thomas Miner was born in Dover Centre, Ohio, and in 1878 settled on this property. In 1904 he established this world famous bird sanctuary, primarily for the conservation of migrating Canada geese and ducks. Five years later he began banding waterfowl to determine their subsequent movements. During his life Miner lectured extensively throughout North America on wildlife conservation. To perpetuate his work, the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation was incorportated in the United States in 1931 and in Canada in 1936. Author of two books on bird life and conservation, he was awarded the O.B.E. in 1943 for "the greatest achievement in conservation in the British Empire".

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario

PLAQUE #28


Location: On the east side of Ramsey Street north of Park Street, Amherstburg

LT.-COLONEL WILLIAM CALDWELL
Born about 1750 in Fermanagh County, Ireland, Caldwell emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1773. During the American Revolution he served with the British forces as a captain in Butler's Rangers at Niagara and Detroit. In 1784 he obtained land near the mouth of the Detroit River and became one of this area's earliest settlers. Caldwell's exceptional influence with the local Indians enabled him to obtain control of some 11,000 additional acres on the north shore of Lake Erie where he encouraged former Loyalist soldiers to settle. In 1812 he commanded the Western Rangers in actions at Miami (Ohio) and the Longwoods and, after his appointment as a Deputy-Superintendent of Indian Affairs in 1814, he led Indian forces at the battles of Chippawa, Lundy's Lane and Fort Erie.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board, Archives of Ontario

PLAQUE #29


Location: On the west side of Peter Street just north of Prince Street, Windsor

SANDWICH FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
1851
Eleven freedom-seekers from the American South formed the congregation of Sandwich First Baptist Church about 1840, calling themselves the Close Communion of Baptists. It was one of three founding churches of the Amherstburg Baptist Association (1841), a cross-border organization of black Baptists that is still active today. Until 1847, when they built a small log cabin, members of First Baptist worshipped in homes and outdoors. To build this church, they hewed lumber by hand and moulded bricks from Detroit River clay, firing them in a home-made kiln. The church was dedicated on August 1, 1851, the eighteenth anniversary of the passage of the Emancipation Act, which ended slavery throughout the British Empire.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario

PLAQUE #30


Location: At Pelee Island Public School, North Shore and Victoria Roads, Scudder, Pelee Island

THE BATTLE OF PELEE ISLAND 1838
On February 26, 1838, a group of over 300 American supporters of William Lyon Mackenzie's rebellion, led by 'Major' Lester Hoadley, captured this island. In response, Colonel John Maitland, commanding the Western District, despatched five infantry companies supported by militia and Indians across the ice from Amherstburg. On March 3, fleeting a southward sweep by the main force, the Americans were intercepted off-shore from here by a detachment of 126 men led by Captain George Browne. Browne's force lost five; the enemy's, at least eleven killed, including its leader, and eleven taken prisoner. Following closely the defeat of rebel supporters on Fighting Island (February 25), this victory marked the second time in one week that a force invading Canadian territory had been repulsed.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of College and Universities

PLAQUE #31


Location: In a park on the east side of South Street, 2 blocks south of County Road 22, The Town of Lakeshore

THE FOUNDING OF BELLE RIVER
The settlement of this area began following the survey in 1793 of the lots fronting on the Belle River. Among the early settlers were many French Canadians from the vicinity of the Detroit River. When the Great Western Railway was constructed, 1852-53, a station named Belle River was opened here. By 1855 a steam grist-mill and sawmill had been erected by Luc Ouellette and others, and a community known as Rochester soon developed. It was supported by a brisk lumber trade but attracted few other industries and in 1866 had only 300 inhabitants. On November 26, 1874, the community now comprising over 750 persons, was incorporated as the Village of Belle River, and on January 1, 1969, it became a Town.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of College and Universities

PLAQUE #32


Location: On the SE corner of Nelson Street and Erie Street, 1 block north of Talbot Street East, Leamington

THE FOUNDING OF LEAMINGTON
Parts of Mersea Township were surveyed in the 1790's, but it was not until 1833 that Alexander Wilkinson, who had acquired land elsewhere in the township by 1810, obtained his patent for a lot now located in the heart of Leamington. A settlement known as Wilkinson's Corners developed and, on June 1, 1854, a post-office called Leamington was opened. A saw and grist-mill was in operation the following year. By 1860 the community comprised 75 persons and stagecoach communication with Windsor was established. Leamington, with over 750 inhabitants, was incorporated as a Village by an Essex County by-law of November 26, 1874. The first election, however, was not held until December 27, 1875, and the first Village Council took office on January 1, 1876.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Ministry of College and Universities

PLAQUE #33


Location: On the north side of Tecumseh Road (County Road 2), 1 block west of Comber Sideroad
(County Road 35), The Town of Lakeshore

THE FOUNDING OF STONEY POINT
French-speaking settlers from the Detroit-Sandwich area and Lower Canada (Quebec) were the first to locate in Tilbury West Township after it was surveyed in 1824. They established farms along Lake St. Clair and later near the Tecumseh Road and by 1851 formed a community called Stoney Point. After the arrival of the railway in 1854, the village developed into a market and industrial centre serving an agricultural and lumbering hinterland. In 1881, Stoney Point and the neighbouring hamlet of Chevalier, founded about 1868, became the incorporated police village of Stoney Point with 375 residents. Following a succession of fires and a decrease in nearby lumbering activity, the village's industrial section declined after 1900 and by 1920 Stoney Point had been transformed into a quiet agricultural village.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Citizenship and Culture

PLAQUE #34


Location: On the west side of Dalhousie Street just north of Richmond Street, Amherstburg

THE GREAT SAUK TRAIL
Part of an ancient network of Indian paths, the Great Sauk Trail, as it came to be known, extended from Rock Island in present-day Illinois to the Detroit River. It played a significant role in the communications between the native peoples in the upper Mississippi Valley and the British in this region, particularly during the period of Anglo-American rivalry following the American Revolution. For four decades pro-British tribes such as the Sauk and the Fox made annual pilgrimages along the trail to Fort Malden. Here they met with officials of the British Indian Department and participated in gift-giving ceremonies reaffirming their alliance. When these exchanges were terminated by the British in the late 1830s, the Geat Sauk Trail gradually fell into disuse.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Citizenship and Culture

PLAQUE #35


Location: At the end of the road to the south near the beach, in the conservation area on the west side of County Road 50,
2 km south of County Road 20, Amherstburg

THE "PHILO PARSONS" INCIDENT
On September 19, 1864, the American steamer "Philo Parsons" was seized off Kelley's Island, about 35 miles southeast of here, by some thirty Confederate sympathizers under John Y. Beale, a Southern naval officer. The group, whose members had embarked at Sandwich and Amherstburg, Canada West, intended to free the Confederate inmates of a prison camp in Sandusky Bay, Ohio. The plan included the capture of the U.S. gunboat "Michigan" for use in commerce raiding and attacks on Great Lakes ports. Arriving off Sandusky Bay the raiders found the "Michigan" forewarned and called off the operation. They returned the following morning to Sandwich, abandoned the steamer and dispersed.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario

PLAQUE #36


Location: In Olinda, on the SW corner of Olinda Sideroad and Road 5 East

UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF OLINDA
The Universalist faith developed in New England in the late 1700s and reached Canada in the early 1800s. Its central doctrine of universal salvation made it more liberal and inclusive than most Christian churches of the day. Local farmer Michael Fox began organizing Universalist services in the hamlet of Olinda around 1860. Twenty-three men and women formed a congregation in 1880 and built this church the following year. It was one of six Universalist churches in Ontario at the time. From 1938 until 1961, when the Universalists merged with the Unitarians, it was the only Universalist church in the province. This church is the oldest in Canada used continuously by a Universalist or Unitarian congregation.

Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation

PLAQUE #37

Location: On Dalhousie Street half km south of Pickering Drive, Amherstburg

BELLE VUE
Built between 1816 and 1819 for Robert Reynolds, Deputy Assistant Commissary General of the garrison at Fort Malden, Belle Vue is one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in Canada. In keeping with this style, it consists of a central core flanked by a wing on each side. The hipped roof and symmetrical front of the main part of this brick dwelling are evidence of British Classicism. The imposing chimneys integrated into the roof, the moulded panels of the front door and the wide multi-paned windows are also characteristic of this style. Though modified slightly over the years, Belle Vue maintains its original character.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

PLAQUE #38

Location: At the intersection of Sandwich Street and Ojibway Parkway, Windsor

THE CAPTURE OF DETROIT
Confident of victory, General Hull had invaded Canada in July 1812, but failed to take advantage of his early success and the demoralization of the defenders. Fear of the Indians then rallying to the British cause and an inability to maintain supply lines dictated Hull's withdrawal to Detroit. In a daring move on 16 August General Brock embarked his troops at McKee's Point, crossed the river and forced the surrender of the Americans. This important victory raised the spirits of the Canadians and ensured the continuing support of their Indian allies.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

PLAQUE #39

Location: At the entrance to Fort Malden National Historic Site on
Laird Avenue South near Elm Avenue, Amherstburg

FORT AMHERSTBURG
(FORT MALDEN)
The post was begun by the Royal Canadian Volunteers in 1796 to replace Detroit and to maintain British influence among the western Indians. As the principal defense of the Detroit frontier in 1812, it was here that Isaac Brock gathered his forces for the attack on Detroit. The next year with supply lines cut and control of Lake Erie lost to the Americans, the British could not hold the fort, which they evacuated and burned. Partially rebuilt by the invading Americans, it was returned on 1 July 1815 to the British, who maintained a frontier garrison here until 1851.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

PLAQUE #40

Location: At a museum on the north side of Pitt Street West between
Ferry Street and Church Street, Windsor

THE FRANÇOIS BABY HOUSE
This house and adjacent farmland were the property of François Baby (1763-1856), first member for Kent in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada (1792-96), militia officer and Assistant Quarter Master General during the War of 1812. When the Americans invaded Canada in July 1812, Brigadier General William Hull set up his headquarters in François Baby's house and camped his troops on the farm. After Hull's withdrawal, British guns mounted here covered Isaac Brock's advance across the river to capture Detroit

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

PLAQUE #41

Location: On the north side of 2072 Riverside Drive East between
Devonshire Road and Walker Road, Windsor

HIRAM WALKER, 1816-1899
Massachusetts born, Hiram Walker had by the 1850s become a successful general merchant, distiller and grain dealer in Detroit. After Michigan adopted prohibition in 1855 he acquired land across the river in Canada where he established a distillery and mill which became the nucleus of the company town of Walkerville. Soon the Walker enterprises had expanded to include cattle finishing (using distillery wastes), a river ferry, and a railway to transport the company's products. Although Walker himself lived in Canada only from 1859 to 1864, he played an important role in the economic development of western Ontario.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

PLAQUE #42

Location: Behind the Fort Malden National Historic Site Visitor Centre
on Laird Avenue South near Elm Avenue, Amherstburg

MAJOR JOHN RICHARDSON
(1796-1852)
Born at Queenston in Upper Canada, John Richardson served as a volunteer at Fort Malden during the War of 1812 and was taken prisoner by the Americans at Moraviantown. He was released at war's end, retired on half-pay in 1818, and spent most of the next 20 years in Europe. There he won a certain literary reputation with works such as the poem Techumseh and Wacousta, a historical novel. Returning to Canada as a journalist, he founded the New Era in Brockville where, in 1842, he published his history, The War of 1812. Financial success eluded him, and before 1850 he moved to New York where he died in poverty.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

PLAQUE #43

Location: 3277 Sandwich Street between Brock Street and Mill Street, Windsor

MARY AND HENRY BIBB
Arriving as refugees from slavery in the United States, Mary and Henry Bibb fought all their lives to improve the well-being of the African Canadian community. A year after they settled in Sandwich in 1850, they founded a militant abolitionist newspaper, Voice of the Fugitive. Facing discrimination in the public school system, they established their own schools to improve the education of Black children and adults. These achievements and their involvement in the organization of the North American Convention of Colored Freemen in 1851 made the Bibbs one of the country's most influential couples of African descent.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

PLAQUE #44

Location: At the North American Black Historical Museum on the east side of King Street
just south of Gore Street, Amherstburg

THE NAZREY AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL (AME) CHURCH
In 1848, refugees from American slavery built this church by hand to serve Amherstburg's growing Black community. It is named for Bishop Nazery, who led many congregations, including this one, from the American-based AME Church Conference into the new Canadian-based British Methodist Episcopal Church. The denomination flourished until the late 19th century when many dwindling congregations consolidated and reunited with the AME Church. This evocative stone chapel speaks to the faith of the Underground Railroad refugees and to their commitment to build lives as free Canadians.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada

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