Historic Underground Railroad Liberty Bell On Display At Queen's Park For Black History Month

    Buxton Liberty Bell On Public Display For The First Time

    QUEEN'S PARK, Feb. 14 /CNW/ - In celebration of Black History Month, a
replica of the historic Underground Railroad Buxton Liberty Bell is on display
for the first time at Queen's Park, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Mike Colle announced today.
    "During the 1800s, the Buxton settlement represented safety and freedom
for hundreds of American slaves escaping through the Underground Railroad,"
said Colle. "For the first time, here at Queen's Park, the Liberty Bell and
its significance in our history will be shared with Ontarians."
    The Liberty Bell, on display until March 23, was rung every time a slave
reached freedom in Buxton, which was the largest planned fugitive slave
settlement in Canada. This is the public's first view of the bell as it makes
its way home to the Buxton Historical Museum where it will be dedicated on
Labour Day.
    The original inscribed brass liberty bell still hangs in the steeple of
St. Andrews Church in South Buxton, calling the faithful to worship every
Sunday morning. The bell has been out of sight for nearly a century and a
    "We, at the Buxton Museum, thank Minister Colle and everyone associated
for helping us to create this replica of the Liberty Bell," said Bryan Prince,
Buxton Historical Society vice president and Shannon Prince, Buxton Museum
curator. "The symbolism of the Liberty Bell represents more than just the
Buxton story. It's Ontario's story."
    Last February, the Ontario government gave the Buxton National Historic
Site the first Ontario's Community Builders program grant to help build the
replica. These grants are designed to recognize and celebrate the
contributions of the diverse communities across the province.
    "Black History Month is our time to remember our past and recommit to a
future where all people are accepted," said Colle.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Rick Byun, Minister's Office, (416) 325-3460;
Michel Payen-Dumont, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7010

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Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

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