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NVDHS Fall Events

– Posted in: News

Orono Fair September 6 to 9

NVDHS will have a booth in the arena at the Orono Fair again this year. We will be featuring ‘Great Lakes Shipping’ with the emphasis on Captain Gibson and the ship, Ariadne, out of the Port of Newcastle. Many photos and Captain Gibson’s diary will be among the items on display. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the display and learn about the exciting times of the past!

NVDHS Picnic

Sunday, September 16, 12:30 p.m. (Rain or shine)
27 Boulton St. Newcastle, ON

Come meet and socialize with your board and fellow NVDHS members, and learn more about our upcoming events and activities! All members & family welcome.

Hamburgers, hotdogs, corn on the cob & drinks will be provided. Please bring a salad or dessert to share. If possible, bring deck chairs (unless it rains – in which case we’ll be indoors).

RSVP by Thursday, September 13 at (Please note that all members with email addresses should have received the Evite)

Hope to see you all on the 16th!

NVDHS General Meeting October 2

7 p.m. Newcastle Community Hall

At our October 2 meeting, Grant Karcich, an Oshawa author, will present a talk about the Lost Trails in this area. These are the old Indian trails that went from the lakeshore back into the lands further north. Join us to find out more about a fascinating bit of local history.

Remembrance Display

During November there will be a military display in the historical room as a reminder to always remember the sacrifice that Newcastle men made during both wars – photos, uniforms, artifacts. Leslie Wilson will head up the design of this display, with the curators’ committee doing the legwork.

President’s Message – Summer 2018

– Posted in: News President's Message
Tom Wallace

Dear Members and Friends of Newcastle Village and District Historical Society (NVDHS),

Thank you very much for your continuing support of NVDHS.  It is indeed a pleasure to be a part of this Organization.

Art & Celia Wynn

Art & Celia Wynn

With regret, the NVDHS mourns the loss this summer of former President of NVDHS Alan Kirby and longtime member Arthur Wynn. 

On June 9, we participated in Doors Open Ontario. Leslie Wilson (Stephenson) and Brian presented your Society’s Doctor’s Travelling Kit at the Doctor’s House in Newtonville.  The Kit dates back to 1849 and is always on display at the Society. Greg and Dorella Forget presented historical pictures and movies at the Newtonville Community Hall. It was a huge success. 

The Doors Open event is a yearly event in many communities throughout Ontario. It is a great way to get a history lesson on the community. The Oshawa Doors Open event is scheduled for September 29. I learned that the earliest known baseball game was played in Willow Beach (between Port Hope and Port Granby) in 1803. Apparently there was a nearby court room and the judge, jurors, accused, witnesses, court clerks et. al. enjoyed a game of baseball after court adjourned. There is still much debate about the history of baseball which was founded as a cross between rounders and cricket but Abner Doubleday or Mr. Spalding have been given some credit for inventing baseball in 1839 or 1845. I like the Willow Beach story. 

The wedding dress of Anna Vincent is on display at NVDHS. Anna married Chester Daniel Massey in 1886. Chester was grandson of Daniel Massey, the founder of Massey Manufacturing.

We will be at the Orono Fair again this year. The theme of our presentation is Great Lakes ships.  Historically, Newcastle was a large shipping port so there is a lot of material to discuss. I am looking forward to this presentation. Please visit us at the Fair.

Next time you visit the NVDHS please have a look at the sculpturing over the front door.  It has the words Fortiter, Defendit, Triumphans… Triumphing by Brave Defence. These words are on the coat of arms of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK. The sculpture also includes a Lion in a Castle. It looks like the Lion is protecting the Castle.

We are working in conjuncture with Clarington Heritage Committee to develop a Heritage Park by Wilmot Creek to preserve the history of the fish hatchery. Samuel Wilmot opened Ontario’s first full-scale fish hatchery in the Village of Newcastle in 1868.  It is Newcastle Village history and we must preserve our past.  

We will be offering a display during Remembrance Day to honor all Veterans who gave so much for our Freedom that we enjoy today. Please visit us during this period. 

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Wallace  

President’s Message Spring 2018

– Posted in: News President's Message
Tom Wallace

Tom WallaceDear Membership of Newcastle Village and District Historical Society (NVDHS):

Thank you for your continued support of the NVDHS.

At the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the NVDHS, the membership elected a new Board of Directors. Those Directors elected are Erla Jose, Sher Leetooze, Myno Van Dyke, Paddy Duncan, Jordan Clement, Tammy Rogers, Roger Farrow, past-President Robert Malone and myself.

At the first Board meeting following the AGM, the Officers were elected by the Board. They are Tom Wallace – President, Myno Van Dyke – Vice-President, and Paddy Duncan – Secretary. Sher Leetooze will continue in her role as Treasurer of the Society.

It is indeed an honour and a privilege to represent the Membership and all stakeholders as President of this great organization.

The NVDHS is located in the Newcastle Community Hall and is open to the Public on Tuesday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. We are committed to preserving the history of our Newcastle and District community and educating our membership and general public of our great history. On that note, I look forward to you, our members, to always share your knowledge of particular events and items of historical importance that will enhance the presence of the NVDHS in our community. This newsletter is a small part of that education.

In April, we sponsored a presentation by Peter Klose on gravestones that were recently discovered in the Orono area. On June 9, we are participating in Doors Open which will feature many historical buildings in the Newtonville / Port Granby area. During the next few months there will be many exciting activities, including, of course, the Orono Fair during the second weekend in September.

We continue to gratefully receive items, artifacts and documents of historical value, and make those items available to the Public. We recently completed a display of local Native artifacts dating back to the 1800’s.

It is a true pleasure to write my first President’s Report in the Newsletter which includes an arti-cle on my family: the Toms family.

I look forward to providing continuing updates on your NVDHS.

The people of Newcastle and District, and their many contributions to our lives and freedoms, will never be forgotten.


Tom Wallace
President NVDHS

Newcastle’s heritage champion, Myno Van Dyke, recognized for lifetime achievement

– Posted in: News

Eminent Clarington historian Myno Van Dyke has been honoured with the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.

“I’m thrilled, absolutely thrilled,” said Van Dyke.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards celebrates those who make “exceptional contributions to cultural and natural heritage conservation, environmental sustainability and biodiversity.” The Lifetime Achievement award recognizes outstanding individuals who — for 25 years or longer — have volunteered their time to preserve heritage. Read more….

General Meeting April 10

– Posted in: News
Beach headstone

Beach headstoneJoin us at the next General Meeting on April 10th at 7 pm in the Centennial Room, Newcastle Community Hall. Free Admittance and refreshments! Peter Klose will relate his research on the Beachs, whose tombstones rest along Hwy 115. Peter is a past member of the Abandoned Cemetery Board. This will be a very interesting meeting as these tombstones have been a mystery to us for a long time. They were mentioned in our very first newsletter in 1982.

It’s no fish tale: Samuel Wilmot started Ontario’s first salmon hatchery in his basement

– Posted in: Newcastle History in the News News
Samuel Wilmot’s 19th century family home, called Belmont House, is still standing on a slope overlooking Wilmot Creek. (CAROLA VYHNAK)

The facility served as a model for hatcheries across Canada and in other countries — but things didn’t always go swimmingly.

It was an unusual project to do in a house basement: hatch salmon eggs and raise the small fry on a diet of minced liver.

But Samuel Wilmot’s experiment succeeded and in 1868, he opened Ontario’s first full-scale fish hatchery in the Village of Newcastle, 80 kilometres east of Toronto.

See the full article in the Toronto Star, March 18, 2018


President’s Message – Winter 2018

– Posted in: News President's Message
Bob Malone

Bob MaloneAs I write this, Spring is officially around the corner, yet flurries persist! As the old ball player said, “It’s not over until it’s over!”

On Tuesday, March 27, our Annual General Meeting will be held in the Historical Room, Main Floor, Newcastle Community Hall at 7 p.m. All members  are most welcome to attend  and enjoy cookies and cider!  There is usually a “show and tell” at the end of the meeting where individual members  present artifacts or papers and explain the significance behind them. Since it is our AGM, members present  will be asked to approve a slate of Directors to serve on the Board for the period March 28, 2018 to March 27, 2019. As of this writing, all nine currently serving Directors have indicated a desire to serve for the forthcoming Society year. One Directorship remains open, so I would encourage any member to step forward and stand for election as a Director.

Let me know in advance if you wish to be considered by the membership for a Directorship on the Board. We expect Directors to take part in the pleasant work of the Board and to make a commitment of their time to attend  Board meetings and other events in which your Society participates. Please contact us if you would like to stand for election as a Director. As a matter of parliamentary procedure, I will call for nominations from the floor at the meeting, as well.

Our plan this year is to once again have two feature speakers, one in early April and the other in early October. A notice to members will advise you of the speakers, their topic and time/dates. This information will be covered in our Newsletters.

As you know from previous Newsletters, we were disappointed in the negative response we received from the Federal agency responsible, two years running, to our application for a grant. That money was intended to finance a relatively modest but important project to convert our records (photos, documents, historically significant letters, etc.) to an appropriate data base so that, in future, members and the public at large would be able to access this information electronically. With our “never say die” attitude, the Board will explore other avenues of winning a grant, including engaging representative politicians to support future applications. The amount we applied for at approximately $15,000, so it any members and/or their companies would like to provide support, it would be greatly appreciated and appropriately recognized.

You may have noticed in our last Newsletter, we adopted a new logo style for the Society. It appears on this Newsletter, as well. Credit for this fine piece work falls to Paddy Duncan, a Director. Paddy typifies the kind of contribution Directors make to the on-going growth and well-being of your Society.

So far this, we have participated in the Sports and Leisure Show at the Rickard Center. We plan to participate in a number of forthcoming events during the year, including the plan mentioned in the last Newsletter of group or organized individual visits to the Historical Room for a brief introduction to your Society and what’s ahead. These visits would include a tour of key parts of the historic (1923) Community Hall itself. Building management has confirmed to our secretary, Myno Van Dyke, their willingness to permit such tours.

I do enjoy talking to you through our Newsletter!


Bob Malone

President’s Message – December 2018

– Posted in: News President's Message
Newcastle Christmas Parade 2017

Our latest adventure, as is the case at this time of year, was our participation in the Newcastle Santa Claus Parade on November 19. Unlike many other area parades, ours is held just after dark, so that all can enjoy the fireworks which kick off the event! Our float was “created” by several dedicated members of the Society and our overall participation was coordinated by member, Shellie Jackson, as she has done in past years, as well.

With the generous support of the proprietors of Foodland Supermarket and our own Dollar Plus store, we had over 1,500 candy canes to distribute to the kids along the Parade route. With my wife, Rosemary, and Shellie, we valiantly tried to keep up with a fast-moving parade while keeping the kids happy. It took some doing and, early on, I lost sight of our Float altogether as I was mobbed by the kids!

Recently, your Society hosted a group of ladies from the Ebenezer United Church in Courtice. They had expressed an interest in what we do and in our Historical Room on the ground floor of the Newcastle Community Hall. The event went very well and I believe the group enjoyed their visit. Present on behalf of the Society were Directors Erla Jose and Myno Van Dyke and the three of us spoke to the ladies. Also present were two other Directors, Greg Forget and Sher Leetooze, and a past President, Leslie Wilson, so no questions went unanswered. Our presentation was followed by a brief tour of parts of the Community Hall itself.

The success of this event spawned an idea! In 2018, why not plan a series of similar visits by interested groups or individuals to our Historical Room and, with the consent of Building Management, follow our presentation with a tour of parts of the Building. These events on selected dates would be advertised in local papers, periodicals and, by arrangement, promoted by local organizations. In addition to this idea, we are currently mapping out those activities your Society will participate in or offer during 2018, including two General Meetings with speakers.

At our Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 27, 2018, our financial report for the calendar year 2017 will be presented for approval of the membership. As a businessman, I can say that your Board of Directors has exercised a commendable degree of fiscal responsibility during the year.  We remain grateful for member support with annual dues and for donations. And, the annual operating cost grant from the Municipality is most appreciated.

Finally, as I have mentioned in past reports such as this, we do have a vacancy on our Board. I would be more than happy to meet with any interested member who might wish to serve on the Board. We are not particularly seeking someone steeped in local history; rather, a dedicated and interested person willing to participate in Society activities would be most welcome.

Compliments of the Season. Hope Santa is good to you!!


Bob Malone, President

Historical Books for Sale

– Posted in: News
Newcastle Celebrates 150 Years

The NVDHS has a variety of local history books available for sale, from the Newcastle Celebrates 150 years, a photo book celebrating Newcastle’s Sesquicentennial in 2006, to The 1793-1813 Settlers of Durham County, which contains detailed information of the earliest settlers, origins, birth, marriage and death information. We also have a number of books on local buildings and, while they last, a number of Clarke High School Yearbooks. Check out our new Books for Sale page. If you’re interested in a book but can’t pick it up in person, please let us know and we can arrange shipping.

Celebrate Christmas with the Historical Society

– Posted in: News
Christmas Bells

Merry Christmas

Come celebrate the holidays with Newcastle Village and District Historical Society

Saturday, December 23, from 9:30 to 12:00 at the History Room in the Community Hall, Four Corners, Newcastle

  • Mulled cider
  • Christmas cookies
  • Movies
  • Carols
  • Good friends!

See You There!