In a community-wide call for material, families, businesses and organisations donated documents to the community archives. The township also contracted a historian to conduct oral interviews of residents. Personal papers, photos and taped interviews.
Occasional public lectures, events, and other projects, including creating historical plaques, the preservation of a one room school house, the renovation of a railway station, and upkeep of a cemetery.
- Temple: a new restoration was completed in 2011
- David Willson’s Study: workplace of the leader of the Children of Peace
- Doan Home: home of Ebenezer Doan, master builder of the Temple
- Jesse Doan log house
- Doan drive shed
All buildings and artefacts relate to pioneer life and the Children of Peace.
- The Sharon Temple: Built between 1825 and 1832. Restoration on the building was completed in 2011.
- David Willson’s Study: Built in 1829, and was the workplace of David Willson, the leader of the Children of Peace.
- Doan Home: Built in 1819, it was the home of Ebenezer Doan, the master builder of the Temple.
- Log House: Built in the 1830s, the Log House was the home of Jesse Doan, the first leader of the Sharon Civilian Band.
- Doan Drive Shed
- Cookhouse: Used to cook the 15 major feasts throughout the year. Once a month when the temple would be used to collect donations, and on three special occasions: Christmas, the first Saturday in June (in celebration of David Willson’s birthday), and the first Saturday in September (a celebration of the harvest and illumination).
175 Years of Hope: A Celebration of the Sharon Temple and The Children of Peace. http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/explore/online/sharon_temple/index.aspx
Music at Sharon: Sunday afternoon concerts of classical music.
Check the website for updates. Below is a list of events in 2017:
- March 16 2017: Weaving Words Speakers Series – Stories come in all forms. A discussion of World War One and the Canadian Expeditionary Forces at the Battle of Vimy Ridge that complements our Dear Sadie Exhibit.
- April 20 2017: Weaving Words Speakers Series – Stories come in all forms. The History Hound will discuss genealogy and decorating your family tree.
- May 18 2017: Weaving Words Speakers Series – Stories come in all forms. This series will bring those stories alive in various forms to delight, inspire, and entertain audiences. This event will showcase young artists.
- June 8 2017: Heritage Celebration – This event will celebrate the purchase of the Temple by the York Pioneer Historical Society in 1917, an event which saved the Temple from destruction. Heritage Celebration will feature: delightful hors d’ouvres, historic tours, wine and craft beer, and a stunning musical performance in the one of a kind Sharon Temple.
- July 1 2017: Canada Day Community Celebration – Celebrate Canada’s history in your own backyard! Enjoy a day of music, heritage games, historic demonstrations, museum exhibits, 1937 Reenactment and Encampment, and more.
- July 23 2017: Music at the Temple – Come by to enjoy local musicians and great food in an amazing location.
- September 8 2017: The Illumination – Following the practice of the Children of Peace, the museum recreates The Illumination on the first Friday night of September every year. Candles are lit in every window of the Temple and in the twelve lanterns on the corners. The evening includes music, readings, ceremony, and light refreshments on the grounds.
- September 17 2017: Weaving Words – Weaving Words is a celebration of stories and the many ways that we will tell them, through written and spoken word, through music, film, and dance. Storytellers, writers, musicians, film-makers and other performances from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds will gather to celebrate everything that is special about who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. Through our stories we celebrate our history and our culture with all of its diversity; we celebrate the people who have made this nation great.
- September 30 2017: Culture Day at the Temple
- May 8 2017 – September 9 2017: Our Natural World Exhibit – There was a time when everything a person owned would be made from things you find in nature. Come examine a collection of interesting everyday objects made out of natural materials. Be inspired by your natural world; what would you make from these objects?
- May 8 2017 – September 8 2017 Richard Coates: Our Renaissance Man – Richard Coates was a man of many talents. While we know very little of his education, his life speaks to great diversity. He was the bandmaster in the Battle of Waterloo, he built 3 organs, some of the earliest surviving in Canada, and he painted beautiful banners, like “Peace” and “Plenty” that hang in the Temple today. Coates was a musician, an inventor, a painter, and an astronomer; a man of eclectic talents that we now call “Our Renaissance Man”.
- May 8 2017 –October 31 2017: Coming Home: Quaker Beginnings in York Exhibit – Everyone comes from somewhere, and each of their journeys are different. Coming Home: Quaker Beginnings in York, shares the journeys of three families: the Hughes, Starrs, and Lundys, as they immigrate to York to make a new home. In honor of Canada’s 150, the Sharon Temple invites the public to share in the experience of early Quaker settlers as they journey across unknown lands, experience many trials, and finally, form a community. This is the story of a group of settlers that made more than a house, they made a home
Call to arrange a guided tour of the site, although tours can be given to people who just drop by during our hours of operation.
Collection contains 20,000 artifacts including antique tractors, steam engines, farm equipment, heritage buildings and other items relating to rural life.
Home to 30 exhibits including buildings, displays and interactive learning.
Tours are offered to middle-school aged children and are experiential in nature with historical interpretation and activity by costumed staff to recreate the time period.
Conservation / Preservation:
This archives contains
- Early land surveys and the development of the province.
- Diaries of David Gibson covering the years 1819 to 1864, and misc letters. These are typescript, originals are available on a case-by-case basis.
- Misc documents surveying, reform politics, rebellion.
- Mid-19th century objects used for tours and recreations: kitchen and housewares, weaving looms.
- Gibson’s mid-19th century surveying equipment.
- Mid-19th century furniture and other period pieces not necessarily owned by the Gibson’s are used to recreate the setting.
- Static exhibit is an experiential examination of mid-19th century homelife targeted to school-aged children.
- Changing exhibit is often archival based. For example, displaying materials related to the 1834 survey of Toronto.
Re-enactments / Theatre
Experience based and offered to school aged children, looking at period living, food preparation and games.
Adult level classes on hearth cooking. Seasonal dining using 19th century recipes in theatre.
Conservation / Preservation:
Four original, in situ buildings remain on the grounds. These consist of two historic homes, the former paper mill and the remains of the brewery complex. The Cottage has been restored to the 1940s reflecting life on the home front in East York while Helliwell House has been restored to reflect workers’ lives in the late 1890s. The paper mill has been restored to a fully-accessible theatre and gallery now known as the Papermill Theatre and Gallery.
The Museum’s collection consists primarily of artifacts related to the time periods to which the two historic houses have been restored.
Archival materials related to Todmorden Mills and East York are housed at the Toronto Reference Library, City of Toronto Archives, and Archives of Ontario.
Environment / Nature
The site contains a 9.2 hectare wildflower preserve that is being re-naturalized to pre-European contact.
The artifacts on display in the historic houses reflect the time periods to which the homes have been restored.
Education / Tours
Guided tours of the two historic houses and grounds are available year-round. Educational, curriculum-linked programs are available to school groups. Seasonal guided walks of the wildflower preserve are also provided.
The Papermill Gallery regularly exhibits the works of local artists, community art groups and emerging artists.
The Papermill Theatre offers performance space for theatre, community celebrations and corporate events.
The building, moved in 1980 to avoid demolition, serves as an example of the architecture of 19th century farmhouses in this region.
The interior of the homestead has been restored and furnished in the Victorian period of 1870-1890 (e.g. furniture and personal effects such as desks, china dolls, roll top desks, kitchen appliances).
A tour of the main floor rooms and basement, with a slide presentation of the big move and restoration of the homestead.
Tours can also be tailored to a group’s interest, (i.e. J.S. Woodsworth, historic buildings, pioneer life, the Shaver Family, etc.).
Visitors may drop in and staff are available to answer questions.
Artefacts are from the period 1830-40 and are generally domestic items that would be found in a household of this time period, such as kitchen items, tools, pottery and china. The Bradley House is arranged to reflect what a home would have looked like during this time period.
Guided tours are offered to the general public and group tours can also be arranged. Tour guides and historic interpreters are in costume reflecting 19th century dress.
Some of the programs offered to the public include cooking over an open hearth, spinning, weaving and historic crafts.
Conservation / Preservation:
The museum holds a diverse collection of objects reflecting the history of Oakville from its establishment to the present day, including costumes and textiles, fine and decorative arts, ethnological artefacts and Chisholm family-related materials.
Permanent and changing exhibitions. Permanent exhibitions include Freedom, Opportunity and Family: Oakville’s Black History and The Underground Railroad: Next Stop Freedom.
The Oakville Museum offers guided tours of the Chisholm family home.
Throughout the year, museum staff present a series of mini exhibits coupled with conversational-style presentations to seniors’ residences in the community. Various themes are covered including oddities in the museum’s collections, an overview of Oakville’s history, vintage quilts and cocktail party gowns.
- The archival collection encompasses a range of materials relating to all aspects of Dufferin’s history. The collection includes more than 3000 archival documents, more than 500 local history books, and approximately 3000 photographs, as well as a wide range of reference books pertaining to Canadian antiques and artifacts, Canadian history, local authors, education, area churches, and community organizations.
- The archives also offers an extensive collection of municipal government information, such as by-laws, council minutes, and financial records, the earliest of which dates from 1851; information on such social organizations as the Loyal Orange Lodge, Masonic Lodge, and Women’s Institutes .
- Local History: A collection of over 500 works, including information on Dufferin and area towns, villages, churches, schools as well as many personal anecdotes of life in this region of Ontario.
- Museum Reference: The collection is accessible to researchers who are interested in finding and verifying information on Canadian, American and British antiques, Canadian glassware, antique furniture, costume jewellery and textiles.
- Canadian History: A selection of over 200 works, including texts of general interest in Canadian social, economic, and political history.
- Home & Health Advice: Includes some 200 works pertaining to Canadian agriculture, genealogy, cooking, maps, bibles, music and school textbooks.
- Family History: Two self-serve filing cabinets offer a number of family histories and research files.
- Cemetery Master Index and Transcriptions: Consult this master list available in the Archives.
- Microfilm: Census Records of Dufferin County records 1852 to 1901 are available
- Civil Registration Index from 1869 onward, various newspapers dating from 1861 including Orangeville Sun, Banner, Grand Valley Star & Vidette, Shelburne Economist, Free Press.
- Dufferin County Land Records to 1966, Municipal Records and many County Directories and Atlases are available.
- The first floor’s Large Artefact Storage Room is accessible to visitors. This area, which stores such items as wagons, sleighs, and furniture, allows visitors to view artefacts which are not currently on display in the DCMA’s exhibit galleries.
- The collections include archival documents and artefacts such as Canadian glass and ceramics (notably, Corn Flower cut glassware), furniture, wagons, machinery, agricultural implements, clothing, quilts, archival documents, and photographs.
- The museum’s hillside site features heritage gardens with a rich variety of plants, trees, and flowers, all of which were native to this region around 1900. The property also showcases samples of crop varieties traditionally harvested in DufferinCounty, as well as an apple orchard and an herb garden.
- Three heritage buildings are situated inside the DCMA’s main gallery; the Rich Hill Orange Lodge Building 1861, a pioneer log home 1850, and Crombie’s Station, a Toronto, Grey and Bruce train flagging station, 1882.
- Rich Hill Orange Lodge, constructed of tamarack logs in 1861, was originally located in AmaranthTownship.
- The McCutcheon Replica House at the DCMA is a one and one-half storey log home, constructed with logs dating from 1851. The interior of the house is appointed and furnished with artefacts from the DCMA Collection to reflect the period of the County of Dufferin’s incorporation in 1881.
- Also located on this site is the Historic Corbetton Methodist Church Building.
- The Reading Room also showcases changing displays in beautiful antique cases, formerly of Morrow’s Jewellery Store in Orangeville, ca. 1880.
Group visits must be booked in advance and admission is $20.00/person.
- The Melville White Church reflects the religious beliefs of the original Scottish Presbyterian pioneers in the Caledon area. The Church was named after Andrew Melville who was an early follower of John Wesley, the founder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland in the 17th century.
- The Melville Church is one of the last remaining Ontario timber frame churches predating the Victorian era. Its history began in 1820 and continued until the dissolution of the congregation in 1964.
Once restored, the society will rent the Melville White Church for weddings, recitals, heritage displays, readings, exhibits and other community functions.