As I've shared before there's an Emancipation Festival in Owen Sound that's been going on for 158 years! It happens on Aug. 1st, celebrating Emancipation Day, originally the abolishing of slavery in the British Empire on Aug. 1, 1834. The success of the annual festival led to establishing a Black History Cairn that sits in Harrison Park beside the Sydenham River.
The cairn is symbolic in several ways. The church windows model those of the old 'Little Zion' church, the first black church in Owen Sound. The quilt patterns on several tiles on the ground represent the Underground Railway, where quilts were used as secret messages leading slaves north. You can see the river in the background.
As you can see, some rocks have tiny plaques attached. These come from a number of U.S. states, reflecting the previous homelands of slaves.
The cairn is approached from the entrance to Harrison Park along the Freedom Trail, a beautiful path through the woods. Naturally the BLM protest in Owen Sound last summer was held here.