Media Advisory - Provincial plaque commemorates Queen's Bush Settlement, 1820-1867



    TORONTO, July 29 /CNW/ -

    
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    Date:              Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 11 a.m.
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    Location:          Glen Allan Park
                       Glen Allan, Ontario
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    Special guests:    The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, Chairman of the
                       Ontario Heritage Trust
                       John Green, Warden, County of Wellington and Mayor,
                       Township of Mapleton
                       Ted Arnott, MPP Wellington-Halton Hills
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    Photo
     opportunity:      Unveiling of a provincial plaque
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    Contact:           Catrina Colme
                       Marketing and Communications Coordinator
                       Ontario Heritage Trust
                       Telephone: (416) 325-5074
                       E-mail: catrina.colme@heritagetrust.on.ca
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    Join us on Saturday, August 2 in Glen Allan as the Ontario Heritage
Trust, the Wellington County Historical Society and the Township of Mapleton
Historical Society unveil a provincial plaque to commemorate the Queen's Bush
Settlement - the largest and most widely scattered of Upper Canada's black
settlements.
    In the early 19th century, the Queen's Bush was a vast unsurveyed
territory north of Waterloo Township and south of Lake Huron. Beginning around
1820, African-Canadians and African-American immigrants began carving farms
and constructing homes out of the wilderness. By 1840, the Queen's Bush was
home to a vibrant community, containing at its peak between 1,500 and 2,000
people. Although the conditions were harsh, these free and formerly enslaved
black pioneers established churches, schools and a thriving community life.
    Unfortunately, the Queen's Bush Settlement was destined to be
short-lived. In the 1840s, the government ordered the district surveyed and
few settlers were able to purchase the land they had laboured so hard to
clear. Despite these odds, some African-Canadian families continued to live
there well into the 20th century. Their ancestors are represented today in
communities across Ontario.
    The Ontario Heritage Trust's Provincial Plaque Program commemorates
significant people, places and events in Ontario's history. In recent years,
the Trust has unveiled a number of provincial plaques to commemorate Ontario's
black history. Since 1953, over 1,200 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

    
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For further information:

For further information: Catrina Colme, Marketing and Communications
Coordinator, Ontario Heritage Trust, Telephone: (416) 325-5074, E-mail:
catrina.colme@heritagetrust.on.ca


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