The Buxton Historical Society was thrilled to host the premier book launch for "A Shadow on the Household", written by local North Buxton author, Bryan Prince on January 31, 2009. Bryan is not only an accomplished author, having been awarded the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for his work on "I Came As A Stranger", he also farms with his wife and children, and serves as the Vice President of the Buxton Historical Society. Bryan's newest book is the compelling story of the Weems family's struggle for freedom. The thrilling escape and flight to Canada of fourteen-year-old Ann Maria Weems is famous in Underground Railroad lore. Lesser known, but equally riveting, are the experiences of her family - parents, nine siblings, aunt, uncle and aged grandmother - all of whom eventually found freedom.
Despite the harsh weather conditions, guests began arriving a full hour before the launch was scheduled to begin and stayed hours after the ‘official’ launch ended! The Buxton Historical Society was delighted to welcome over 200 guests! Master of Ceremony for the afternoon program was Spencer Alexander, Assistant Curator. Dignitaries who contributed to the program include:
- Dave Van Kesteren, MP, spoke and presented a plaque
- Karen Herman, Chatham Kent Council Member, spoke
- Dalton McGuinty , Premier of Ontario, sent a congratulatory letter
- Pat Hoy, Chatham Kent MPP, sent a congratulatory letter
- Lorraine Johnston, North Buxton Community Club, spoke
The highlight of the afternoon was Bryan's reading... Emotions ran high and there were few dry eyes when Bryan read the obituary of Arabella Weems, who worked so tirelessly to bring her family together.
Another highlight of the day, was the first preview of the Black Cloth Doll exhibit, on loan to the museum by a private collector. The public thoroughly enjoyed seeing this unique assortment of dolls that span 100 years of history.
The museum board is grateful to the public who waited patiently in that long line for the opportunity to get an autographed book. A special thanks to our volunteers – Andy Stockdill for helping to get the museum ready for company and his skills in photography; community members who contributed to buffet – Alice Newby, Audrey Prince, Shannon Prince, Spencer Alexander, and Mark Walker; George Wilson of Smith & Wilson Winery for volunteering his services to tend bar; Audrey Prince for running the museum Gift Shop; and Jerry Prince for his help cleaning up!
View more pictures of the book launch