Lucan Ontario is located apx 30 km (18 miles) north of London, in Southwestern Ontario. The area was settled as early as 1829 by a group of roughly 200 free black slaves from Ohio. This was one of the earliest known slave colonies in Upper Canada and was at a time that preceded emancipation. The group was granted refuge and land by the Canada Lands Company and the refugees set up a colony named Wilberforce. The land was cleared and the fertile soil produced grain and tobacco. However the colony did not thrive, due mainly to the fact that the refugees were not accustomed to farming and many moved on to urban centres such as London, Toronto and Detroit. The next influx of settlers to the area were of Irish descent, purchasing land from departing blacks or obtaining land from the Canada Lands Company. After 1850, the majority of the townships landholders were Irish Catholics, a large number originating from farms in County Tipperary, Ireland. In 1856 the Grand Trunk Railway passed though the town adding to the town’s prosperity. Today much of the area is still pastoral farmlands.