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EPISODE | 1x12

Buxton, ON

This episode Jonny goes way, way back to school, kisses a dirty hoe and learns that Buxton, Ontario is the happy ending to the most shameful era of American history.

In Buxton, Ontario, everyone seems related – but not in a creepy way. The population of North Buxton is made up of many descendants of former African American slaves who gained freedom in Canada arriving at this settlement to start a new life. Once a bustling town full of 2000 people who came here to farm, Buxton is now a living memorial to the Underground Railroad. Because their ancestors found freedom here, the next generation is still deeply rooted to the land. For the most part farmers keep the village going, but on Saturday nights the South Buxton Raceway draws thousands of people to watch the stock car races. As the historic plaque proclaims, Buxton lives on today through the descendants of these determined immigrants who carved out a free life for themselves and their families on the tranquil plains of Southwestern Ontario.

5 Facts About Buxton

  • Population: approximately 166 (made up of North and South Buxton).
  • Buxton was one of four Canadian settlements that welcomed 30,000 refugees from the Underground Railroad. It is the only settlement of its kind established that remains as a town.
  • Every time a newly freed slave arrived in town, the “Liberty Bell” would be rung, signifying someone had found their freedom and the whole town would gather to build that person a house
  • Buxton is recognized as a National Historic Site by the Government of Canada
  • Every Labour Day weekend the town hosts an event called “Homecoming” in which descendants of the former slaves who settled there come from all over North America to celebrate the rich history of Buxton