Black Heritage Day Coming To Dresden Raceway

Lonnie McCorkle driving

Dresden Raceway will be celebrating it’s Black History on August 1 with a special card of racing.

Dresden Raceway is a very unique racetrack as it is located on the original property known as the Dawn Settlement that was purchased by Josiah
Henson in 1841.

Henson, who was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, owned and bred racehorses throughout his life right on the property now known, as Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

According to Dresden Raceway, in Henson’s will, he left “half of the proceeds from his prized Hamletonian Stallion called John” to his son Peter.

Hambletonian is highly regarded as the father of horse racing in North America. This draws the conclusion that racehorses have been in the area of Dresden Raceway for over 160 years.

Dresden Raceway’s rich history includes many Black families that will be honoured on August 1, including the List, McCorkle, Grineage, Simmons, Davis, Prince, Tanner, and Guest families, as well as recognition for Josiah Henson himself.

“This is something that is very unique to Dresden Raceway when comparing us to other tracks in Canada.” Said track announcer Gary Patterson.

“We have generations of Black families who are such a big part of our history.”

Patterson added, “The contribution that these families have made to harness racing is huge but the contribution they have made to Dresden Raceway is exponentially greater because they are local and were the building blocks of our track.”

Post time will be 1:00p.m. on August 1, which is Emancipation Day. All fans who wish to attend the day are asked to register through the Dresden Raceway Facebook Page or email

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