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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:

David Mowat sworn in as new Anishinaabek chief

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Vic Suppan, Myno Van Dyke, Chief David Mowat, Bob Malone

Left to right: Vic Suppan, Chair, Clarington Heritage Committee; Myno Van Dyke, Vice-President, NVDHS; Chief David Mowat, Alderville First Nation (Ojibwa); Bob Malone, Immediate Past President, NVDHS

By Bob Malone

As proponents of the Newcastle Wilmot Creek Heritage Park, we have been working with David Mowat, formerly historical advisor to the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation in Port Perry, to ensure that Anishinaabek cultural interests are well represented in the proposed Park. We attended the inauguration and swearing-in of Chief Mowat of the Alderville First Nation (Ojibwa) on the morning of July 22, 2019.

The ceremony included a smudging bowl; a pouch of tobacco for participants in the proceedings; a  traditional Ojibwa bonnet presented to the Chief and a circle of those involved in the ceremony around a medicine wheel. The speaker related the story told by the ceremonial wheel and spoke of the responsibilities the new Chief and his Council faced going forward.

We were honoured to have been invited and the Chief acknowledged our presence during his inaugural remarks. He also pledged his continued involvement in the plan to establish the proposed Wilmot Creek Heritage Park, which is intended to celebrate European and Anishinaabek peoples uses of the lands around the Creek.

Hazel Crago and Murray Walton Lifetime Member Awards 2019

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By Myno Van Dyke

On June 5, 2019 at the Season’s Retirement in Bowmanville, NVDHS presented Hazel Crago and Murray Walton with Lifetime Member Awards. These two long time members have been extraordinary members for many years.

Hazel Crago Life Member Award

Myno Van Dyke and Erla Jose present Hazel Crago with a Life Member Award

Hazel Crago, nee Powell, was born in Clarke Township to a family with four boys and four girls. She was initially educated at Lakeshore School and ironically when she finished her education she went back there to teach at her old school. She became a hairdresser after teaching and had a hair salon in her home on Beaver Street for over 20 years. She married Jack Crago and he was also a barber and hairdresser. Jack passed away in 2004 at age 88. Hazel was very active in the community – she was the recording secretary at Newcastle United Church for 23 years, active in the Newcastle Horticultural Society as well as the Pioneer Button Club. Hazel was one of the early members of our Newcastle Village & District Historical Society. She is a wonderful writer; she wrote articles about our community and its residents for many years in the Newcastle Independent which was part of the Canadian Statesman. She also wrote two books; one on the Powell Family and one about her former school called Life at Lakeshore. It is our great pleasure to present Hazel with our Lifetime Member Award.

Murray Walton Life Member Award

Bob Malone, Murray Walton, Myno Van Dyke, Sher Leetooze and Erla Jose as Murray receives his Life Member Award

Murray Walton is a descendant of one of our first families in Clarke Township, the Bates, who arrived at Bond Head in 1796. The Walton family was well known in Newcastle in business as well as politics. In 1955, Murray and his uncle George Walton founded Waltona Park which was at Mill Street South, south of the CNR tracks. This was a popular spot for many years. Murray’s working career was in General Motors in Oshawa where he was a General Supervisor. In 1981, Murray was instrumental in forming the Newcastle Village & District Historical Society and served on the very first Board of Directors holding the position of Vice President for many years. Since then, Murray has been an active member of our Society. When you look through the Walton File in our Historical Room you will see the detailed information he has provided about the Waltons over the years. We are very pleased to present Murray with our Lifetime Member Award.

President’s Message – Spring 2019

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Dear Members and Friends,

Tom WallaceThank you very much for your continuing support of NVDHS. The mission of the NVDHS is to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the Village of Newcastle and its immediate environs. On June 8, we will participate in the annual Doors Open event. This year is a celebration of Clarington’s agricultural heritage and agribusinesses. It is truly an outstanding event. Flyers for this event are available at the NVDHS. 

The NVDHS will be open during the summer, every Tuesday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. We have many resources that allow our community to research our local history. 

We are proud to recognize Hazel Crago and Murray Walton as lifetime members of our Society. Hazel was the editor of the Newcastle Independent section of the Canadian Statesman. Her articles brought the local news of and to our village for many years. Murray was one of the original founders of the NVDHS and was a co-founder of Waltona Park in Newcastle. I think every child raised in Newcastle in the 50s and 60s learned to swim at Waltona Park. Murray and Hazel have made outstanding contributions to our village and we are honoured to recognize them as lifetime members.  [continue reading…]