Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dresden, Ontario

Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site, Dresden, OntarioDresden, Ontario is a community in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent (2006 pop. 108,177) located on the Sydenham River.

In 1846 Daniel van Allen, a Chatham merchant, laid out a town plot on land purchased from Jared Lindsley, the first settler (1825) on the site of Dresden. By 1849 the erection of a steam sawmill, and the operation of a grist-mill in the neighbouring Dawn Institute Settlement founded by Josiah Henson, provided the basis for a thriving community in this area. A post office named "Dresden" was opened in 1854. The regions timber resources and the navigation facilities afforded by the Sydenham River fostered industrial growth. A county by-law of 1871 incorporated Dresden as a village with a population of about 750. Ten years later it became a town.

Location of Dresden, OntarioThe main tourist attraction is Uncle Tom's Cabin historic site operated by the province.   The 5-acre site includes an interpretive centre, 3 historic buildings, including Josiah Henson's house, barn (shown), 2 cemeteries, extensive artifacts and a gift shop.