The former city of Chatham began as a naval dockyard in the 1790s, as it straddles the Thames River. The town was named after the Earl of Chatham, William Pitt (the Elder). It was built as a naval dockyard, a characteristic shared by Chatham, Kent, England. In England.
During the 19th century, the area was part of the Underground Railroad. As a result, Chatham-Kent is now part of the African-Canadian Heritage Tour. Uncle Tom’s Cabin Historic Site is a museum of the Dawn Settlement, established in 1841 by Josiah Henson near Dresden as refuge for the many slaves who escaped to Canada from the United States. John Brown, the abolitionist, planned his raid on the Harpers Ferry Virginia Arsenal in Chatham and recruited local men to participate in the raid. The small village of North Buxton, part of the African Canadian Heritage Tour, also played an important role in the Underground Railroad.
In 1998 the County of Kent and the city of Chatham were amalgamated to form the Municipality of Chatham–Kent. Most services were also combined. At 2,458 square kilometres, Chatham-Kent is the 12th largest municipality by area in Canada and the largest in southwestern Ontario. Chatham–Kent’s economy has a base in the agricultural and automotive sectors. The Lower Thames River runs through Chatham–Kent to Lake St. Clair in the west, while the Sydenham River flows through Wallaceburg and Dresden. The municipality has approximately 88 kilometres of shoreline along Lake Erie and 24 kilometres along lake St. Clair.
Chatham Kent has many historic festivals throughout the year such as the Battle of Longwoods reenactment, which takes place on Labour Day weekend at Fairfield Museum on Longwoods road.
Chatham Kent is also home to many historic buildings which are part of an annual ghost tour offered each year at Halloween. The participants go on a guided walk of downtown while the guide informs them of various ghost stories tied to the local buildings in which they pass.
Chatham Kent was a major part of the Underground Railroad and as such hosts the Buxton Homecoming each September. This celebrates the areas black culture and the roots laid by early black settlers in the Buxton area.
Other Useful Links
Chatham Daily News http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/
The Chatham Voice http://chathamvoice.com/
Wallaceburg Courier – http://www.wallaceburgcourierpress.com/
Lambton Kent District School Board – http://www.lkdsb.net/
- Clair Catholic District School Board – http://www.st-clair.net/
Chatham Christian School – http://www.chathamchristian.ca/
Montessori School http://www.montessoritheplacetogrow.ca/
Colleges & Universities
St. Clair College – http://www.stclaircollege.ca/
University of Guelph – http://www.uoguelph.ca/
Academy of Learning http://www.academyoflearning.com/
Northwood University http://www.northwood.edu/
Health Care Connect
Health Care Connect helps assist Ontarians in finding a family doctor. People who are without a family doctor are referred to medical professionals such as nurse practitioners who are accepting new patients within the community. Register by phone at 1-800-445-1822
Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ohip/ or call their info line at 1-866-532-3161
Hospitals and Clinics
Chatham Kent Health Alliance http://www.ckha.on.ca/
Tilbury District Family Health Team http://www.tdfht.ca/
Chatham Kent Family Health Team http://ckfht.ca/
Chatham Kent Public Health Unit http://ckphu.com/