the Village Crier
The Newsletter of the Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives   

26557 Civic Centre Road, Keswick ON, L4P 3G1                                             (905) 476-4301 ext. 2284

Summer 2013
 In Memoriam

Died on July 23rd 2013
Joyce Barber
President of the 
Georgina Historical Society

In This Issue
Doors Open Georgina
Ravenshoe United 140th
Meet the Staff
What's Happening
For Your Interest
Collections Procedure
Quick Links

man on old telephone
Did you know...?
The first phone call made in Sutton took place between the McDonald & Vrooman Hardware store (where Hart's Country Furniture is) and the Sutton train station, on January 31 1885.
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lennox picnic City of Toronto Archives
100 Years Ago
The tradition of spending summer at Lake Simcoe is a long and uninterrupted one. Early holiday-takers camped in tents beginning in the 1880s, later offering to buy portions of a farmer's field and building cottages thereon. After WW1, wounded soldiers enjoyed excursions to the lake to take respite by the cool waters. Dance Halls and the night-life was king in the 1920s and 30s. One decades-long tradition was the annual picnic hosted by MPP, and Lawyer for North Gwillimbury Township, Herb Lennox. Herb's picnics attracted thousands to our shores. The highest count was 25000 visitors. One hundred years ago, on July 16 1913, saw 10000 to Jackson's Point. They arrived by train (4 special trains ran that day carrying 4500), steamboat (800), cars (1200), buggies etc. (1000), and streetcar (2500). Visitors paraded up Dalton Road led by the 48th Highlanders Band. Houses along the way were decorated for the occasion. Attractions included fortune tellers, tournaments of various sports between neighbouring communities, a midway, swimming competition, foot races, excursions by boat, dances, concerts, fireworks and more. The event was compared to the Canadian National Exhibition. The photo collection at GPV&A includes 2 popular images of this event, showing the buggies, carriages, and cars parked next to the rail line. The City of Toronto Archives has a photo of the man himself in Jackson's Point. Herb Lennox is pictured on the right in this photo, above.

Doors Open Georgina 2013
Doors Open Poster 2013
10am - 3pm FREE!

 The 4th annual Doors Open Georgina will feature the community of Uptown Keswick. This year visitors will gain access to 11 sites of cultural or historical interest. Participating sites:


Mann Cemetery

Queensway North


Holborn's House

10 Queensway North


Haffie House

181 Church Street


Gunn House

191 Church Street


Keswick United Church

177 Church Street


Allegro Dance Academy (formerly Christian Church)

180 Church Street


Green Cottage Gallery & Gift Shop

187 Queensway South


Stephen Leacock Theatre of Performing Arts

130 Gwendolyn Boulevard


Keswick Public School

25 Queensway North


Radial Building

227 Church Street


Orchard Beach Lakefront Bar & Grill

221 Lake Drive North


The Stephen Leacock Theatre will act as the main site for this event, featuring exhibits, refreshments, general information, the Georgina Historical Society, and showings of the film Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town.

For more information visit us at or


Ravenshoe United Celebrates 140 years
Anniversary Celebrations
Ravenshoe Chapel 1890s


1pm - 4pm


Open House at the Church, located at 3252 Ravenshoe Road (East of Woodbine Ave).  Come and join your friends and neighbours to explore the history of the church and village of Ravenshoe. Refreshments available.

Sunday, September 22nd - 2:00 p.m. - Anniversary service with a time of fellowship and refreshments to follow.


Meet the Staff
This year's successful candidates
Summer Staff 2013


The Georgina Historical Society were the successful recipients of a Young Canada Works and Service Canada grant that allowed three students to work in the museum field over the summer.


Elise Blohm-Gagne (Service Canada) is in her fourth (and final) year of her honours double major in History and Gender Equality & Social Justice degree at Nipissing University. Following this she plans to get her BEd from Nipissing and become a high school teacher. An avid reader and "history geek", she is thoroughly enjoying working at the GPV&A surrounded by all the history.

As Summer Programming Assistant, Elise is working with the Heritage Quest camp alongside Camp Counsellor, Sandy Gross. 


Billie Clark (Young Canada Works) is a second-year student at Trent University studying English Literature. Billie is a resident of Beaverton.

As Summer Programming Assistant, Billie is working with the Soldier's Life camp alongside Camp Counsellor, Bruce Whittaker. 


Billie & Elise work together on creating new programs and implementing existing ones for youth. The Village is offering a camp for 4-9 year old children called "Child's Play" that was created by them.


Nicholas Entecott (Young Canada Works) is a second-year student at Algonquin College in the Applied Museum Studies program. As Historical Interpreter, Nick's responsibilities include improving visitor experience. Nick is also learning the Collections process to assist with donations.

What's Happening

Festival on High walking tour 2013
  • Melissa gave a historic walking tour of Sutton at the Festival on High, on July 27th (pictured on the right with a group of attendees)
  • Doors Open Georgina: Uptown Keswick is looking for volunteers. Visit our website for info on how to help.
  • Photos of Keswick? We're writing histories for the upcoming Doors Open Georgina and are in need of images of the Church & Queensway area, including Lake Drive. Street scenes, individual houses, families, etc. There is no specific date range that we are looking for; 30 years ago or more distant are appreciated. Please contact Melissa at [email protected] or (905) 476-4301 x2284 to discuss.
  • Summer Camps are in full swing. There's still room in the Child's Play camp for 4-9 year old children. Week of August 26-30. $95 for the week. Call (905) 476-4301 x2354 to register.
  • The Georgina Historical Society will be selling their Quilt Raffle tickets here and there until the big draw on November 22nd.
  • The Village closes for the season on September 1st. We're already booking school visits for the fall!
For Your Interest

woman writing
  • may hold some genealogical tidbits you weren't expecting to find. Under her "Author Memories Blog" Anita has posted images of the 1911 courtship letters between Noah Draper of Saskatchewan and Ethel Nelson of North Gwillimbury Twp. Anita includes transcripts of the letters and researches local names (there are many besides Nelson & Draper), places, and events that are mentioned in the letters. Photos, newspaper articles, and genealogies put the letters into context for the reader. Fascinating stuff!
  • released the 1921 Canadian census on August 8th! Family Historians, you may now say farewell to your summer friends and plunk yourself in front of the computer for the rest of the year.
  • Congratulations to Helen Westgarth & Richard Westgarth for their book Udora: Moments in Time. The book was created online using which provides free online book-making tools for you to create the book. You then order the printed book from Blurb. The GPV&A has a copy in the reference collection for your viewing pleasure.
  • (from their site): 

    "Building Stories is an online interactive inventory and mobile application that enables Canadians to take a direct role in identifying important community heritage assets.

    Building Stories will add significantly to the tools available to engage the public, explain the importance of heritage and build community confidence. Building Stories can help identify properties to place on municipal registers, to identify areas as Heritage Conservation Districts and to expand the volunteer base of the conservation movement."

    Building Stories Mobile can be found at several app stores.

Collections Procedure
How to (and not to) donate to the Village


We recently received something that we call a "door-step" donation. This is an after-hours anonymous donation. Unfortunately in cases such as these we are unable to accept the item into our collection. We cannot accession these as artifacts, use them for decor, hands-on educational purposes, nor can we sell them. Without paperwork (a Deed of Gift) we do not legally own the property.

There are no abandoned property laws in Canada that state that an object becomes the property of the finder, no matter how much time has passed. Without legal ownership, we cannot use the item in any way. By accepting the items left at our doorstep we are accepting responsibility for the care of them. This would require devoting resources to someone else's property. If we did not devote resources and the object was to be damaged while in our care, in theory, the original owner could return and ask for the item back. They could take legal action against us for not keeping our (implied) promise to care for it as any other object in our collection.


We have recently received a door-step donation and more recently a (literal) drop-and-run donation. If you are the owner of one of these donations (one made on June 3, another on July 13, and a third on August 6) please contact us at the Pioneer Village, otherwise the items will be donated to a thrift store (they are now counted as lost & found items). They are currently left untouched as we have received them- one in a box, another in a bag, third left loose.


For the full Parameters for Acceptance and Acquisition Procedure, as they appear in the Collections Management Policy, please click here


If you would like to discuss donating to the collection, please contact Melissa Matt at [email protected]

Georgina Historical Society Board and Village Summer Staff are not authorized to accept on behalf of the Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives.

If you have any upcoming historical anniversaries, reunions, stories, or photos that you'd like to share in our newsletter, please contact me at the Village.


Melissa D. Matt

Cultural Services Representative

Georgina Pioneer Village & Archives

Recreation & Culture Department|Town of Georgina 

T:  905-476-4301 ext 2284



E:  [email protected]