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We’re reopening! (again)

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Saturday at the room

Come join us on Saturday, June 4, 2022, as we re-open from 9:30 to noon. For the time being, we’ll be open on Saturdays only. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone after two long years!

2022 Annual General Meeting

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Thursday, February 17, at 7 p.m. via Zoom

All members welcome!

Zoom link:
pwd=NmNYMWxQOU8wNGV4UjdUaWtYajRPZz09Meeting ID: 814 8402 6202
Passcode: gKN7Zt

Business of the Meeting:

We will address the following items at the Annual Meeting (the Meeting):

  1. Receiving Annual Financial Statements for the financial years ended December 31 2020 and December 31, 2021
  2. The election of Directors, who will serve until the next Annual Meeting
  3. The appointment of the reviewers of the Annual financial statements, who will serve until the next Annual Meeting
  4. and the transaction of such further and other business as may properly come before the Meeting or any adjournment

Because we are conducting the meeting via Zoom, there will be no “Show & Tell” this year.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know – and we hope we’ll see you on February 17!

Fall 2021 Newsletter Excerpts

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Illuminating History

Mural tileWe are excited to share the mosaic tile, painted by local Newcastle artist, Patricia Vandenheuvel that has been submitted as our contribution to the Clarington Art Mosaic Project. Thank you, Pat, for painting a piece of Newcastle history for us!

Communities across Canada will participate by creating murals of trees to symbolize connection. Each of the 700 squares of Clarington’s apple tree mural will be a tile painted by a different resident.

The Legends Of Newcastle

Meet Farncomb LeGresley of Newcastle, Ontario. He was born in 1926 and he grew up in Ebor House, located at 573 Mill St S. The house was built in the 1860s by his great grandfather, Frederick Farncomb.

In October, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Farncomb LeGresley for the first time. To say that he is an interesting gentleman is an understatement. His creativity and wisdom are fascinating, and his ability to recite history like it was yesterday, is even more admirable. I probably could have listened to him for hours…maybe days.

However, I only had a short window of opportunity, so I chose to focus on Farncomb from a personal and business perspective. What could I possibly share, that we don’t already know?

Read more of the Fall 2021 NVDHS Newsletter…

Spring 2021 Newsletter Excerpts

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The Dutch in Clarington

By Myno Van Dyke

Netherlands Ambassador Dr. J.H. van Roijin and Mrs. van Roijin greeting Dutch immigrants arriving by ship in Montreal, June 1947Prior to WW2, Dutch Emigration to Canada was minimal. The year 1929 saw about 2,500 emigrants make their way to Canada; many came to farm in the Prairie Provinces. After World War 1, the supply of free or cheap land in the North and the Prairies declined rapidly. Immigration essentially came to a standstill during Second World War. By then, more Canadians were moving from farms and rural communities to the cities, which left a lot of employment opportunities in agriculture for those wishing to come to Canada.

Read more…

Three Identical Houses

By Leslie Wilson

106 and 118 King St. East todayMany houses, like all people, change considerably in appearance over the years. Did you know that 106 King Ave. East Newcastle (currently the Sunrise Griddle) and 118 King Ave. East Newcastle (currently Newcastle Hearing Solutions) began life as identical twins? In fact they had an identical triplet sibling; the miller’s house at 612 Mill St. South, in Bond Head!

Read more…

Winter 2021 Newsletter – Excerpts

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Ray & Mabel Goode

By Myno Van Dyke

Ray and Mabel GOodOccasionally, I will feature some of the great people who were the early members and builders of the Newcastle Village and District Historical Society. This article is about Ray and Mabel Goode. Although they lived in Orono, they had a wonderful and generous relationship with Newcastle.

Mabel Lillian Clemence, was born October 8, 1923 at Lot 1, Concession 1 in Darlington Township. This farm property, called “Spruce Grove” was on the north side of Highway 2, just west of the Darlington/Clarke Townline. Her parents were William John Clemence, who was born in Hope Township, and Georgina Allan, who was from Fenelon Falls, Ontario. Mabel had 3 sisters, Mary, Isabelle (Sacerty) and Jean (Holmes) and 3 brothers, Allan, Charlie and Art. Their property was originally owned by William McIntosh. This house was originally built in 1828 and the Bemis family lived there at one time.

Read more…

Newcastle Community Hall Gets Exterior Facelift

By Crystal Yaki

Newcastle Community HallBeginning in the late fall of last year, the historic Newcastle Community Hall has been undergoing an extensive renovation. The Municipality of Clarington has arranged for IRC Building Sciences Group to restore this historic building. The famous clock tower will have the clock faces repaired, along with the exterior wooden structure. Much of the work involved to restore the clock and other areas of the building will require that parts are removed and reconstructed off-site to match the original details of the hall.

Read more…

And browse all our previous newsletters

The Old House Project

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Ebor House, NewcastleDo you live in a house built before 1920? We want to hear from you!

Newcastle, we want your houses on file! We’ve been talking about doing an inventory of our older houses in a more organized manner for some time – so now, as an adjunct to our digitization project, we are asking you to help us kickstart this project.

What can you do to participate?

If your house is from 1920 or earlier, we ask that you send us at least one photo, the address and any pertinent information you have. Fill out the simple form and then we’ll give you instructions for sending photos after you contact us. If you have old photos, we’re interested in those too. We can search old deeds to trace ownership, but if you have information on previous owners, builder or anything else unique, send it along. We’ll be featuring some of the houses on our website, Instagram, Facebook and in our newsletters. (We will contact you before doing that, of course)

If you own a house that is newer than 1920, but is in some way unique, we’d like to hear from you too.  Houses of interest would include 1930s and 1940s “kit houses”, architect-designed houses or a houses built with unusual materials or methods that could make them historically significant.

Submit your house!

From the Summer 2020 Newsletter

– Posted in: News President's Message
Remembrance banners - Newcastle

Three of the eight banners on King Avenue between Mill St. and Baldwin St., honoring Robert Bothwell, Douglas Walton and Howard Quinney, who all served in World War II.

President’s Message

Dear Members and Friends,

Thank you for your continuing support of the NVDHS. Our Society has terrific support from members, Directors, Officers, volunteers, past and present residents of our Newcastle community and others. We are blessed to have such great support.

The NVDHS worked with The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 178 (Bowmanville) and the Municipality of Clarington on a “banner project” to pay tribute to our local veterans, deceased veterans and active service members or veterans who have a family association with the communities of Clarington, honour the contributions and sacrifices these veterans have made on behalf of our communities, our nation and the global theatre and to promote Remembrance in our communities. [continue reading…]

COVID-19 Update

– Posted in: News

While the Historical Room remains closed at this time (mid-September), we continue our work behind the scenes. We’re answering inquiries by email and we’re still working on our big digitization project and hope to eventually have some online exhibits for you to peruse. Work will begin soon on an online version of our walking tour. As always, we appreciate your ongoing support and hope to see you soon!

From the Spring 2020 Newsletter

– Posted in: News

President’s Message

Thank you for your continuing support of the NVDHS. Our Society has terrific support from members, Directors, Officers, volunteers, past and present residents of our Newcastle community and others. We are blessed to have such great support. 

We have engaged a summer student to continue work on the digitization project. This work is being conducted at a secure off-site location. It is great that we have that option as we must maintain our momentum to complete the project and make our archives accessible to all users. This project has been ongoing for a few years and its scope includes getting all records under the stewardship of the Society into our database so that the records are easily accessible. Read more…

The Watson Wheelbarrow

Massey Harris wheelbarrowNewcastle Village & District Historical Society recently received a donation of an interesting old wheelbarrow. This “Massey Harris #1” wheelbarrow was originally purchased by William R. (Will) Watson around 1910. The Watson’s had an apple orchard near the former town of Dixie, Ontario. In the early 1950’s part of the farm was expropriated to expand the Queen Elizabeth Way in what is now Mississauga. 

The wheelbarrow was passed down to Will Watson’s son Harold who purchased a farm just west of Bowmanville at what is now Bowmanville Avenue (Hwy #57) and Highway 2. Later, the wheelbarrow was passed on to his son Ted Watson who kept it on his farm west of Bowmanville. Read more…

From the Murky Depths

Bond Head PierHow many of you know that the cribbing from the original piers at Bond Head is still visible under the water to the west of the current piers? 

Completed almost 180 years ago, the piers, which were built on timber cribs filled with boulders, and the associated warehouse were the centrepiece of what was envisioned to be the village of Bond Head, built around the natural harbour at Graham Creek. 

The creek was dammed and several mills were built, along with 50 or 60 houses, several stores and taverns. Read more…