Often, when thinking about historical significance in the Dundas Valley our thoughts turn to the interesting history of the Hermitage. Although this is probably the most well known, there is another important site just a short walk away.
Enerals Griffin along with his wife, Priscilla had crossed the border probably in the Port Stanley area in 1829, to escape slavery in the United States, possibly making use of the Underground Railroad. For the next 150 years, their descendents lived and farmed here.
In 1988, the property was sold to the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority by the estate of the last owner, a descendant of Griffin.
The small one and a half storey house is significant both from an architectural and historical point of view. One of the few remaining clapboard homes from the first half of the 19th century in the Ancaster area, it represents a modest working man's farmhouse. Its intact condition with few alterations makes it a significant architectural structure. In addition, the house and site are one of the earliest surviving homesteads in the province.
Archaeologists have unearthed over 3,000 artifacts on this small site including stoneware, porcelain, clay pipes, and masonry. Between 1992 and 1994 the house was restored to its early 19 century time period and in 1995 it was officially opened to the public.
Thanks for the ongoing support and dialogue. Happy Canada Day!