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Chatham, Ontario

Relax on a warm beach, try your luck at some gaming action or leisurely explore quaint towns and rural landscapes. Attractions in Chatham include an indoor amusement park and a conservation area offering swimming and canoeing. Four golf courses are located just outside the city.

As Canada's Classic Car Capital, Chatham-Kent is home to the RM Classic Car Exhibit, showcasing one of North America's finest collections of classic and antique vehicles.

Chatham is one of the stops on the African Canadian Heritage Tour, being a terminus of the Underground Railway and allowing 5,000 fugitive slaves to escape to freedom in Canada between 1850 – 1861. On May 10, 1858, American abolitionist John Brown held the last in a series of clandestine meetings here at First Baptist Church. Brown planned to liberate the South from slavery. He came to Upper Canada to recruit blacks who had fled here in the wake of the Fugitive Slave Law (1850). On October 16, 1859, Brown and 21 supporters seized the government arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and held it against counter-attack for two days. Brown, executed as a traitor, became for many a martyr and hero. His actions escalated the tensions between North and South that led to civil war in 1861.

Also of historical significance is the Tecumseh Monument across from the location of the Battle of the Thames that killed the famous Shawnee leader, Chief Tecumseh. Born in an Indian village in what is now Ohio, Tecumseh became a co-leader of a movement to unite western Indian tribes and drive back white settlement. Seeing the Americans as the immediate threat he allied himself with the British and in 1812 assisted in the capture of Detroit and was killed near here at the Battle of the Thames on Oct 13, 1813, while retreating with General Procter from Amherstburg.

Chatham has a diverse array of rich agricultural lands and a bustling urban centre.

Home to some of the best fishing and bird watching in North America, Chatham offers rare species of migrating birds and trophy-size fish. Two provincial parks and conservation areas provide exceptional viewing opportunities for birdwatchers, and two Great Lakes and several tributaries offer great angling and hunting experiences.  These bodies of water also offer miles of sandy beach, making Chatham and the surrounding area an exceptional tourist destination.

 

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