Gosfield Cemetery Memorial Stone
Kingsville’s only known Negro Cemetery was dedicated on Saturday, September 3, 2005 with the unveiling of a special monument. The site, located between Roads 3 and 4, west of Division Road is the final resting place of some of Kingsville’s early Black settlers.
The first known Black settlers of Essex County were military men, some Black United Empire Loyalists, who fought for the British in the American Revolution and were given free land grants for their service. Many other Blacks were brought to this area as slaves of other Loyalist settlers in the late 1700s. Following the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1833, Blacks fled to Canada until the end of the American Civil War in 1865.
The inscription on the memorial marker reads as follows:
This is the burial ground of early black pioneer settlers of the Kingsville Gosfield area. Many of them were refugees who escaped slavery in the United States. This cemetery is all that remains of a black settlement that was once associated with the hamlet of Salem sometimes called New Salem which centred around Division road and the 3rd Concession. Many black families took up residence and established a Baptist church known as Shiloh which stood on the 3rd Concession not far from this location.
Much of the history of this early black settlement is unknown. Only a few records have survived. Land records indicate the presence of African origin families on this property dating back to 1837. This sacred ground is the only known African Canadian cemetery in this township.
The first known black settlers of Essex County were military men, some black United Empire Loyalists who fought for the British in the American Revolution and were given free land grants for their service. Many other blacks were brought to this area as slaves of other Loyalist settlers in the late 1700s.
Following the abolition of slavery in the British empire in 1833 blacks fled to Canada until the end of the American civil war in 1865 and settled in Essex County. Some of them and their descendants are buried here in this cemetery.
This cemetery was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2005.
Additional info. – Council designated the property under the advice of the Kingsville Heritage Advisory Committee. The ceremony took place September 3, 2005 adding the Negro Cemetery to the tour of local African Canadian historic sites. The tour includes the North American Black Historical Museum in Amherstburg, the Sandwich Baptist Church in West Windsor, the John Freeman Walls Historic Site and Underground Railroad Museum in Puce, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Dresden.