|Typical slave cabin|
Read more at In tracing Cambridge history, researchers uncover lost village of freed slaves
Because I was curious about who had lived there, I searched the 1870 census and found 201 black individuals listed as living in Ward 2 of Cambridge. I cannot say with certainty that these were families in Lewisville but I plan on doing more research to see what I can find out.
The Summer 2013 Newsletter of the Cambridge Historical Society has this small excerpt which may provide some clues as to the origin of the community's name:
Just east of Observatory Hill was a free, self-sufficient African American community, known as Lewisville, from the beginning of the 19th century. This settlement was roughly between Concord Avenue, Garden Street, and Shepard Street. Some of the residents were the descendants of slaves of the Vassall family, and by the middle of the 19th century, some had become political. In the early 1850s, Adam Lewis joined the abolitionist colony at Dawn, Ontario, and in 1858 Enoch Lewis led a group of 23 members of the Cambridge Liberian Emigrant Association to settle in St. Paul’s River in Liberia.In 1850 and 1855 he is found in Ward 1 with other black famiies.
The Dawn Settlement, founded in 1841, was a rural community where Blacks could pool their labour, resources and skills to help each other and incoming settlers. It contained farm land, a saw mill, gristmill, brick yard, rope manufactory and school. Adam Lewis, age 31, is found in this settlement in the 1851 census of Upper Canada (present day Ontario) with his wife Mary and 6 year old daughter Frances.
Adam's death certificate of 1900 indicates his place of birth as Missouri and it is possible that more information could be found if anyone were interested.