This retreat up the Thames was a dramatic event of international interest and is one of Chatham-Kent’s greatest historical legacies. The Battle of the Thames and the death of Tecumseh, had, perhaps, the greatest impact of any engagement on the future settlement pattern of mid-western America and on the future of the First Nations. The Tecumseh Parkway brings visitors to eleven sites across Chatham-Kent that tell an important part of the story of the retreat:
To get a printable map of the Tecumseh Parkway, click here.
Tecumseh Parkway turn off site #10, Battle of the Thames, includes the Tecumseh Monument, a municipally-owned property of approximately fourteen acres along the north shore of the Thames River.
A small stone monument dedicated to the important Native leader, Tecumseh, was erected in the early 20th century. Another larger monument and plaque was erected by the Canadian Federal Government in the 1960s to commemorate Tecumseh as a figure of national importance.
In 2014, nationally-regarded sculptor Gordon Reeve, originally from Chatham, was awarded the commission to create a work specifically for the site. Called A Place of Many Grasses, this site includes tall grasses, a path referencing the Two Rows Wampum of 1613, and a monumental stainless steel sculpture.
This project was supported by the Government of Canada’s 1812 Commemoration Fund.
In 2015, the Friends of the Tecumseh Monument and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent unveiled four interpretive panels at Tecumseh Parkway turn off site #10, Battle of the Thames. These panels focus on the story of the First Nations leader, Tecumseh, from his early years through conflict with American expansionism ending with his death and the end of the Native confederacy which he led.
The plaza also includes recognition of the individual contributions of volunteers and donors who made this project possible.