Mariah Dyke was born into slavery in 1830 in the state of Virginia. She was a mixture of Cherokee and African blood and had four children by her master George Dyke a Dutch shipbuilder who was a descendant of Dutch pirates. In 1852 George Dyke brought Mariah and her children to the Elgin Settlement more commonly known as the Buxton Settlement. There he purchased a 50 acre parcel of land in trust to Mariah and her children, gave them their freedom and he returned south. Mariah Dyke died Sept. 22, 1879, age 49 years, 5 months and 23 days. She is buried in the North Buxton Community Church Cemetery in North Buxton Ontario.
photo courtesy of Spencer Alexander,
Assistant Curator, Buxton National Historic Site & Museum