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Griffin House (Ancaster, Ontario) facts for kids

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Griffin House
Griffin House Ancaster 2010.jpg
Griffin House in 2010
Location Ontario, Canada
Nearest city Hamilton
Built 1827
Original use House
Current use House museum
Governing body Hamilton Conservation Authority
Designated 2008

Griffin House is a house built in 1827 by Englishmen in Ancaster. It was purchased, along with 50 acres of farmland, by Enerals Griffin and his wife Priscilla in 1834. The Griffins were enslaved in their early lives, but self-liberated by escaping to Canada in the early 1800s. The Griffins were some of the first Black Settlers in the area, and the site remains an important part of Black history in Canada. . It offers Underground Railroad tours and history-related programs.

Griffin House was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2008. The house is a rare surviving example of a four-room house typical in Upper Canada in the early 19th century. It was owned by Enerals Griffin, an African American slave from Virginia who escaped to Canada in 1834.

Griffin House fireplace 2010
Griffin House interior

For the next 150 years, their descendants lived and farmed here atop a hill in peace. The property was sold to the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority in 1988. The home was restored between 1992 and 1994. Over 3,000 artefacts were discovered during that period. The museum in the home is operated as a joint project between the Hamilton Conservation Authority and Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum. Public visitation and interpretation is offered. The waterfalls, Heritage Falls or Griffin Falls, behind the museum, is also a tourist attraction operated by the Conservation Authority.

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