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COVID-19 Update

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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

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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…

COVID-19 Update

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As most of you probably realize, we are not open, due to COVID-19. At this time, we do not know when we will be able to re-open the Historical Room, but if you have questions you’d like answered, please contact us and we’ll see what we can do! While we don’t have access to all of our files or any of our artifacts at this time, we do have access to our electronic files, and we might be able to help.

We hope that you are all safe and healthy, and look forward to seeing you when the Community Hall reopens.

From the Winter 2020 Newsletter

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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.

We are pleased to announce that we have a new Board member, Crystal Northey. Crystal is a resident of Newcastle and has assumed a social media role. In January, we opened an Instagram account to share Newcastle history through this platform. The implementation has been a huge success; a recent posting of one of our historical pictures received in excess of 2,000 views. Read more…

On display now at the Historical Room

Olive's DressesThe pale white dress with green velvet trim on the left was once (in 1902) more colourful than it is today. Between the French lace inserts are hand embroidered flowers which were at one time a bright leaf green colour. The dress is known to have belonged to Olive Wilmot because the Society has a photograph of her wearing it. It was the type of dress worn by well-to-do women during the day around the house or to take afternoon tea on the lawn. It would not have been worn outside the home because of the length of the skirt (which drags on the ground at the back as a sort of mini-train) and would have become instantly dirty on a sidewalk or shop floor. Read more…

Preservation Award 2020: Uglow to Walsh

The Refinery Salon and Barber Shop at 39 King Avenue East is the winner of our 2020 Preservation Award. Last year, Ben and Jenette Walsh leased the building and converted the interior into a beautiful old-fashioned barber shop. Ben and Jenette live between Newcastle and Orono and frequently looked at the old building. Ben had a barber shop in Oshawa, but he grew up in Blackstock. Jenette is originally from Whitby and she had a shop in Courtice. They felt that Newcastle was the perfect spot to have their business and so far, they seem thrilled with the success of the shop. Read more…

Annual General Meeting – March 10

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Join us at the NVDHS Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, March 10, 2020, 7 p.m.
Lions Room, Newcastle Community Hall

  • The Refinery Salon & BarberFind out what we’ve been doing for the past year
  • Help honour this year’s Preservation Award winner; The Refinery Salon and Barber
  • Participate in our fun and informative Show and Tell

The meeting portion will be short and then it will be on to the fun of sharing our interesting items of historical interest. Got an object from Great Aunt Bessie’s basement that you can’t quite identify? Something amazing you found at a garage sale last summer? Bring it in and share at our Newcastle mini-Antiques Roadshow.

Free refreshments.

Hope you can join us!

President’s Message – December 2019

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NVDHS at Santa Parade Newcastle, Nov. 2019Dear Members and Friends,

Tom WallaceAs the Holiday season quickly approaches, I would like to thank our Members, Directors and Officers for their support of the NVDHS during the past year.

We have a terrific Board that meets ten months per year to address issues related to the growth and continuing success of the Society. I would like to thank each member of our Board for their terrific contributions. Paddy Duncan, Sher Leetooze, Erla Jose, Myno Van Dyke, Roger Farrell, Robert Malone, Ken Crichton and Greg Forget each bring unique and special talents which allows our Society to flourish.

I would be remiss to not acknowledge the contributions of our volunteers. We have had countless volunteer hours at our Society during 2019. A special thank you to Leslie Wilson (Stephenson) and Brian Wilson for their assistance and continuing work in organizing our records for the digitization project. A special thank you also to our high school student Heather Johnson for her amazing commitment and contribution to the digitization project.

We will never forget the commitment and contribution of the late Ron Locke who opened the doors at the Society every Tuesday and Saturday morning for many years. Ron also volunteered as the membership secretary for many years. We will miss Mr. Locke.

We have commenced decorating the Historical room for the upcoming holiday season. The Victorian Christmas cards are on display. I am certain that Christmas decorations and streamers will be abundant. With that in mind we are hosting Christmas celebrations at the Historical Society on Tuesday, December 17 and Saturday December 21 during regular operating hours, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Please join us for a bit of Christmas cheer.

Wishing you and your family and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Thomas Wallace

Genealogy 101 – Resources

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Sher LeetoozeAs a follow-up to Sher Leetooze’s interesting and informative talk on researching one’s ancestors, we’re posting links to some of the online resources that could come in very handy in your search. Most of the resources listed are Canadian; of course, if your search extends beyond Canada, there are many more options, both free and paid depending on the locale.

We hope you’ll find the links useful – and don’t forget, if you have ancestors in Newcastle/Clarke/Clarington, we may have information in our files at the Historical Room, so drop by and see us any Tuesday or Saturday from 9:30 to noon.

Genealogy Research Online Resources

Genealogy 101 – October 29, 2019

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Genealogy101NVDHS General Meeting with Speaker Sher Leetooze

Genealogy 101: Discover your roots! How to get started, where to look and what to expect as you research your own personal history mystery.

WHEN: October 29, 2019 @ 7 – 9 p.m.
WHERE: Centennial Room, Newcastle Community Hall
20 King Ave W
Newcastle, ON L1B 1H7

COST: Free – all welcome!

Pine Ridge Training School/Camp 30

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Clarington Promoter Sept 2019Myno Van Dyke, vice-president of the NVDHS board has written a fascinating article published in the Clarington Promoter about the old training school in Bowmanville. The property has been designated a National Historic Site and the Clarington branch of The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and the Jury Lands Foundation have been working to preserve it.

The Training School – Clarington Promoter, Sept. 2019

More info: