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~