Sandwich First Baptist Church


3652 Peter Street
N9C 1J7

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Erected in 1851 on land donated by the Crown, the Sandwich First Baptist Church represents the once numerous Black border-town churches which were built to serve the rapidly increasing numbers of Underground Railroad settlers. This church received, sheltered, and assisted many of these new arrivals. All members were required to aid in its construction by giving donations or making bricks. A focal point for many local anti-slavery activities, the Sandwich First Baptist Church stands as an important symbol of that struggle.

Sandwich First Baptist Church National Historic Site of Canada is a picturesque brick church located in the former border town of Sandwich, now part of the City of Windsor, Ontario. It is a small, brick, gable-roofed church set close to the street, that exhibits the vernacular qualities of simplicity, modest scale and limited decorative embellishment typical of the many auditory hall-style churches built by Underground Railroad refugee communities in mid-nineteenth century Upper Canada. The designated place is the building defined by its footprint at the time of designation (1999).

Originally associated with the 19th-century establishment of an African Canadian community of refugees from slavery arriving via the Underground Railroad, Sandwich First Baptist Church is one of the oldest Baptist churches surviving from this period in Ontario. Sandwich First Baptist Church received, sheltered, and assisted new Canadians arriving on the Underground Railroad. As a black community church next to the American border, it was a focal point for many anti-slavery activities and is directly related to the formation of the Amherstburg Regular Missionary Baptist Association.

Built on land donated by the Crown in 1851, the church required that all members aid in its construction by giving donations or making bricks from local materials. Over the years the building was embellished, as with the addition of its crenellated entry tower. The heritage value of Sandwich First Baptist Church resides in its associated history as illustrated by the location, composition, and materials of the building itself.

Also see: Parks Canada Directory of Federal Heritage Designations 

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