Saturday, February 16

Happy Blogoversary Ollie and Mike and a Bit of Black History

Our oldest blogger is Olive and she is 108 years old. That in itself is amazing, but what is even more amazing is that Olive is celebrating her first blogoversary.

Mike is Olive's helper and he does a wonderful job. So in celebration of this wonderful milestone, I 'd like to present them with a little gift.

I hope you enjoy it, Olive and Mike. I wish you many more happy times together and Olive, you can still sing wonderfully. I wish I could sing so well. Have a wonderful day. Please drop over to Olive's blog and wish you a Happy Blogoversary.

As you all know February is Black History Month and I've been posting a few things about Canadian Black History. Many of you have commented that you are enjoying it and Anni, at Hootin' Annis especially enjoys these little tidbits of information. So Anni, this one is for you.

In 1849, fifteen former slaves, led by Reverand William King, came to a section of land near where Chatham, Ontario is located today. The Elgin Settlement, also known as the Buxton Settlement was established there the same year.

The newly arrived black settlers were given the opportunity to buy 50 acre plots of land at the reasonable price of $2.50 per acre. Payment was to be made in 10 equal installments at the rate of 6% interest. In order to keep the land, the settlers had to abide by certain conditions. The land had to be lived on for at least ten years and it had to be cleared. A house had to be built that met the minimum requirements of four rooms. The house had to be set back from the road 33 feet and have a flower garden in the front and a white pickett fence. The settlers who purchased land also had to help build roads and dig drainage ditches.

As the settlement grew, a school was built and it opened in 1850. Both black and white students from the surrounding countryside attended there and several graduated in the school's first years and then attended university in Toronto. In the evening the school was alive with adults who wished to learn to read. The school was one of the best in Canada West, which is now known as Ontario.

Reverand King set and enforced strict rules for the Elgin Settlement.

* The land within the boundaries of the Elgin Settlement could only be sold to blacks.

* Land had to be purchased and couldn't be leased.

* The cabins had to be a minimum of 12 x 18 x 24 feet and a front porch had to be built across the front.

* Cabins had to be erected 33 feet from the road and have a flower bed in the front yard with a white pickett fence.

* Prizes were given for the most attractive properties.

* There was no liquor allowed within the boundaries of the Settlement.

These rules were made to give the settlers pride in their community. They were expected to work hard and provide for their families. Reverand King felt that with community pride the Settlement would be successful and he was right. The Elgin Settlement was the only Canadian black settlement to be successful.

The Elgin Settlement grew and prospered until after the American Civil War. Many of the men living in the Settlement signed up to fight for the Union during that turbulent time. After the war, there was a great exodus to the US. However, many of the inhabitants remained and their ancestors still live in that area today.

If you are ever in the area of Chatham, Ontario, be sure to stop by this historical site. It's like stepping back in time to another era.

So with that bit of history, I'll leave you. Have a wonderful weekend, stay safe and remember to do a random act of kindness for someone. Kindness gives hope. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Happy Blogoversary Mary! I wanted you to know that I posted about your lovely award you gave me and I passed it on to several more friends including you!!!

    Have a super day!


  2. Sharon,

    It is not my blogoversary, but Olive's.

    Thank you for passing the beautiful award back to me. I just came from your blog and have it on my sidebar.


  3. I will definately stop by this area if ever in Ontario. I found this post really interesting again and actually grew up in a tiny town called Elgin in Oregon.

  4. That was an interesting piece of history. Sounds like a great place to visit. I'm off to see Olive!

  5. This is so wonderful. Such a loving and endearing story with such a grand settlement. I just went out on the internet just now as I read your post [by the way, thanks for dedicating it to me] ---and read a little about Isaac Riley being the first man to buy land there in the Elgin Settlement. Oh such interesting reads. I've always been fascinating of the turmoil of these kind...and what they endured throughout their shortened lives [because of such strife and mis-treatment mostly]

    I love all I've read of the African Canadians dear Mary. You've enriched me in part of your history.

  6. Oh....PS, I have Olive linked --for a long time now-- in my Friends Drop Down list on my blog. Gotta love her spunk!!!

  7. I will go wish Olive a happy blogoversary. Thanks for the history lesson my friend, love you.

  8. I came over and caught up and your posts that I had missed. I loved seeing the awards and valentines.
    Mama Bear

  9. I always learn so much from your site and I bet some of the places had some real nice flowers

  10. Cool info! I have cousins there and I'll have to ask them about it. Hope you're doing well!

  11. I've been reading Olive's blog from the very start and she certainly is a true delight...Mike has done a wonderful job with the "blob"!! Love the way she calls it that! lol They will certainly love the beautiful button you made for them.

    Congratulations to Karen for wining your giveaway...I was so thrilled when I saw that she had won it:-)

    Mary, I so loved reading about the Elgin Settlement. The next time I'm in Chatham I will definitely go visit this place..such a fascinating history behind it. I love places like that!!

    Hope your weekend is going well my friend, xoxo

  12. Thanks for some more wonderful Canadian history. Sometimes I feel like I took so much English history in school that I missed out (not that I didn't love learning about the kings and queens of England). You are filling in some blanks for me.

  13. Hi,
    Interesting story!

    I'm back online, and posted your buddy award today!

    Thanks, again!


  14. Mary,

    Wow - happy blogoversay to Ollie and Mike. I will have to drop by their blog. Thank you for letting us know.

    And thank you for sharing this wonderful story of black Canadian History!


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