In my March column, Mark Baker from Encore Productions pointed out the motto of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island is ‘One Region. Countless Stories’
. . . few people realize that the Windsor Region is the oldest, continuous European settlement west of Montreal. Now that is a fact deserving of a story.”
With the warmer months quickly creeping up on us, families are starting to plan their summer holiday getaways. One of the best getaways doesn’t require you to get away at all; it is the Windsor Essex region! Stay at home and plan your itineraries to explore an area steeped in all forms of history, telling our story as a region and as a country.
So, with that in mind, I am going to propose just a few of the many historical places for you to visit in Windsor Essex in the upcoming months. This is by no means an exhaustive list — just some of my favourites.
FRENCH SETTLEMENT HISTORY
The French Connection Tour presents an entertaining and educational five hour active tour of Windsor’s earliest French settlements in the late 1700s.
“WAR OF 1812” HISTORY
Fort Malden is the location of an historic meeting between Major General Sir Isaac Brock and Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, the British stronghold on the Detroit frontier during the “War of 1812” and the “Rebellions of 1837- 38.” It is located in the heart of Amherstburg, along the shores of the Detroit River.
Maison François Baby House (254 Pitt Street West) and the Chimczuk Museum (401 Riverside Drive West in the Art Gallery of Windsor) both located centrally in the City of Windsor, house many exhibits and artifacts from this period in our history ().
John Freeman Walls Historic Site and Underground Railroad Museum at 859 Puce Road East, Lakeshore, Ontario. This is a family run museum operated by the descendants of John Freeman Walls and Jane King Walls who traveled on the famous Underground Railroad from Rockingham County, North Carolina to Canada. Rosa Parks, “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement,” was a frequent visitor to this site.
The Amherstburg Freedom Museum established in 1975 at 277 King Street has been another exciting place to learn and explore the black history of this region.