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Chatham-Kent's First Inhabitants



First Nation Interments in Chatham-Kent




Delaware Moravian First Nations history is not documented here. Please see our Other Cemeteries Documention area of our web site.


We caution that we make every attempt to keep this information as accurate as we can make it, but this information should not be treated as accurate research material due to it's brevity.

We have only little knowledge here on this web site of Pre-European First Nations Interments in Chatham-Kent. Just as in so many of places in North America the sites were disinterred with no attempt to respect those who lay there or to preserve that history.

History tells us that there have been Paleo and Archaic Period Interments in Chatham-Kent. We do not know of any Paleo sites being found and documented as such yet. There may have been some burial areas found that date back to the Archaic Period, but many of these sites from these time periods have long been destroyed, and they were not properly respected or properly documented when they were found.

One Woodlands Native settlement was possibly found not long ago when a large piece of a "Woodlands Era" broken pot was discovered at a historic site in Chatham-Kent.

These early inhabitants of our Great Country deserve a great deal of respect. And since there are few laws respecting the burial rites of these people, we will not describe locations of any known sites here. Only a very little of the VERY tiny bit of their history that we know of today.

We do have a number of records of early Native burials here in C-K. NONE of those listed were found in present day First Nation Territories. The following are some of the general locations known. We do NOT know which of these areas were systematically studied since they were found.

Chatham Daily News covered the finding of a 600 year old Native Village in Harwich. See the story dating Aug 20 1949.

Clearville Area.

The Julian Mound. Only a short distance from the Thames River Bridge near Thamesville, this mound was excavated earlier. We have heard of some Native Copper Beads and other small items being found there.

The City of Chatham. It is known that two native villages once stood here. One was known as St Joseph's and/or St Joseph's of Kent. These were documented by the Jesuits, and we are told that Father Breboef who was so prominent in the history of St Marie Among the Hurons walked these grounds as well.

  • The Chatham Maple Leaf and St Anthony's location Native Villages. We have read that this village was located right at the location of the so called "Protestant Bridge" in the Cemetery today. We know that some artifacts have been found there, and we did see one Native Axe Head that was found at the location. There is also the remains of a long house located near by outside of Cemetery grounds. There were also native burials found at the site of a business near by. They have now been taken care of in a respectful manner.
  • The other Chatham area First Native village location. Historians have told us that there was another Village just a half mile in distance down stream from the one above. These exact locations are unknown today but it seems that there were Village parts on each side of the creek near what was called Willson's Bridge.
  • Mr E B Jones of Chatham apparently mentions the excavating of a native burial mound in 1868 a short distance from Chatham along McGregor Creek. It was said to be about 30 feet wide and 2 feet high. Numbers are mentioned, but out of respect we will not mention that here nor will we mention any further details of it out of respect for those who originally laid there. We can probably assume that this had to do with one or both of the villages mentioned above.

It is said that DR T K Holmes learned Cranial Medicine from a Skull of a First Nations Person.

Rondeau Park. We know from historians that two different burial ossuraries were probably located at Park Rondeau area. One was located apparently very near where the park entry gates are located today. There was another in the park as well but we do not know where.

In South Harwich (location not named out of respect) there was the remains of a very large mound found. This was thought to be the remains of a battle where the Ojibway and the Iroquois met in very fierce battle.

In Harwich Twp near the river edge in an area not too far distant from Field's Cemetery location today there is mention in some local history of a site where First Nations people were rolled and tied in trees until conditions were correct for interrment.

In Harwich Twp VERY close to Maple Leaf Cemetery right under a curve in a lane and next to "The Creek". This burial is now encased in cement.

In Harwich Twp on a farm directly across from Maple Leaf Cemetery. Native burial grounds mentioned as SW of the creek.

We have been told of an area in Orford Twp by First Nations Researchers of a farm where the early farmers took down the remains of a native "death area" where platforms were used. We were also told that there was some indication of early native funeral activity on an adjacent farm. (Due to respect for native researchers and traditions we will only speak of that location if native researchers have given you the location.)

In Camden Twp only a very short distance up river from Sharrow Road there was said to be a native cemetery on the river bank. No idea if this is now "In the river" or not due to erosion. No further documentation at this point.

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