Lucan Area Heritage and Donnelly Museum
Backstory and Context
Initially led by James C. Brown and later by Austin Steward, the immigrants established a farming community which, within several years, grew to include 32 families from Cincinnati and elsewhere. It then began to decline, possibly because many of the residents found it difficult to move from life in an urban setting to starting a farm in the dense bush of Upper Canada. Several of the settlers stayed on however, including Peter Butler, a former slave from Maryland whose descendants remain in the area today.
More information regarding the Wilberforce Settlement and the Butler family can be found at the Lucan Area Heritage and Donnelly Museum. The Museum includes a display on the Wilberforce settlement and also has an extensive research collection accessible to the public in their Library. There is also an Ontario Heritage Foundation plaque describing the Wilberforce Settlement on the property of the Museum. The Butler Cemetery is located just north of Lucan on the Coursey Line at Richmond Street.