The Griffin House, a joint project between the Hamilton Conservation Authority and Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum, was designated a National Historical Site by the Minister of the Environment, the Honourable John Baird, in 2008.
The Griffin House was built circa 1827 and was purchased, along with the surrounding 50 acres, by Enerals Griffin in 1834. He and his wife, Priscilla, crossed the border probably in the Port Stanley area in 1829, to escape slavery in the United States, possibly making use of the Underground Railroad [we don't know where they were from 1829 to 1834]. For the next 150 years, their descendents lived and farmed here. The property was sold to the Hamilton Conservation Authority in 1988. In 1991, the Griffin House was designated by the Ancaster Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee for its unique historical and architectural significance. Archaeologists have unearthed over 3,000 artifacts on this small site including stoneware, porcelain, clay pipes, and masonry. Between 1992 and 1994 the house was restored to its early 19 century time period and in 1995 it was officially opened to the public. An official plaque unveiling ceremony is expected to take place in late 2009.
The Griffin House is recognized as an important Canadian Black History site. It is included among six sites that make up the Central Ontario Network for Black History and stands as a testament to the bravery and determination of black men and women who journeyed to freedom in Southern Ontario by the Underground Railroad.
The Griffin House and property are owned and operated by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Public visitation and interpretation, including black-history-related programs, are offered by Fieldcote Memorial Park and Museum (phone number 905 648 8144)
The Griffin House is located at 733 Mineral Springs Road. For more information see www.pc.gc.ca/canada/proj/cfc-ugrr/itm2-com/pg12_e.asp and http://www.hamilton.ca/museums/griffinhouse