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Griffin House

Explore the history of Enerals Griffin and other early Black settlers, and enjoy a walk along nearby trails.

Let's Explore Griffin House

Enerals and Pricilla Griffin, fleeing enslavement in the US and seeking a better life for themselves and their children, settled in Ancaster. The Griffin family lived on this site for 150 years as prosperous farmers and active members of both white and Black communities in Hamilton and Ancaster. 

Today Griffin House stands as a testament to the determination and accomplishments of African American/Canadian men and women who broke the colour barrier to become prominent community figures.

The Griffin Family in Ancaster

Enerals Griffin and his wife, Pricilla came to Ancaster from Virginia and Ohio during the early 1830s. Enerals had been enslaved in Virginia, then traveled to Ohio, from where he made the journey to Canada during the Underground Railroad era. While we don’t know where Enerals and Pricilla crossed into the country, numerous ports of embarkation existed that were used clandestinely by refugee African Americans—for example, Oberlin and Cleveland in Ohio; Erie in Pennsylvania and Buffalo and Niagara Falls in New York. 

Eventually, the couple came to settle in Ancaster, purchasing Griffin House and the surrounding 50 acres in 1834. An 1851 Agricultural census provides details about the Griffin Farm: Enerals, a farmer with considerable expertise, had 15 acres under crops (including wheat) and 14  under pasture, with one garden or orchard. 

Learn more about Griffin's journey to Canada and life in Ancaster in this video, which is part of the Stories of Migration and Belonging exhibition.

Discover Griffin House

Events at Griffin House

Griffin House National Historic Site is currently closed for construction. For a full listing of events at all Hamilton Civic Museum sites, check out our Events page.

march, 2024

Visit Griffin House

Contact & Site Info

Griffin House National Historic Site
733 Mineral Springs Rd Dundas, Ontario L9H 5E3

Paid parking available at the nearby Hermitage. Limited accessible-only parking at Griffin House.

Call 905-521-3168
Email [email protected]

Admission

Griffin House is free to visit.

Hours & Accessibility

Open from July through September Sundays only from 1 to 4 pm 

*Currently closed due to capital project work

Create & Celebrate

Programs & Workshops

Hamilton Civic Museums is proud to offer a variety of different programs and workshops - from curriculum based learning adventures, to group tours and specialized experiences for Scouts, Guides and community groups. 

For curriculum based school programs, click here

For group tours, click here

Check out our events listings for guided tours, workshops and other museum experiences. For museum events, click here

Venue Rentals

Weddings & Event Venue Rentals

Nationally renowned cultural sites provide distinctive settings for your special event. The revitalization of heritage buildings at some of the city’s finest historic sites has resulted in the creation of indoor and outdoor gathering places like no other. Presented in varying styles from the early 1800s to modern day, each venue exudes its own charm and appeal. Locations include:

  • a Coach House on the estate of Canada’s pre-confederation ‘Prime Minister’
  • a former Stable converted to a cottage-style retreat in the very heart of the city
  • a modern Cellar beneath a Gage family homestead built in 1818
  • an 1859 Woodshed with old-growth wooden beams and gracefully arching trusses
  • one of the finest pieces of stone architecture in Ancaster built in 1871
  • a classical pavilion crowned by a cupola
  • Expansive green spaces, tended gardens and captivating landscapes 

Click here to learn more

Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are very popular and space is limited, so book early to avoid disappointment. Decorating varies from site to site, please inquire at the time of booking.

Click here to learn more

Photography

The purchase of a $205 permit is required for all outdoor photography involving 10 or more people. Please call the museum to book your time.

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