Most of our museum volunteers love a cup of tea, especially if it is served in some fancy china cups in alovely setting like Lynde House.
Last Saturday, June 23rd, a few of us sat around the table in the Dining Room sipping tea and munching on some light 'tea bread' and treats. One of our newest high school volunteers, Troy Bello, 'poured tea' as the ladies waited their turn at a special tea leaf reading given by Julie Ditta at wholesoul.ca
Thank you Mary Prettie-Elliott for organizing the event with Julie Ditta and guests, Halima Bacchus, Dianne Carson, Marilyn Curtis, and Beth Lariviere. Also in attendance, for part of the tea, Monica Effenberger, Troy Bello and Trina Astor-Stewart.
During the conversation one of the ladies mentioned that 'since Troy had poured the tea, he was the most important person at the table', it was explained that in years, in the not too distant past, at any occasion such as this, a visit, a reception etc. etc. it was always written up in the local newspaper and of particular mention was who poured the tea! This started a whole new banter and I for one can attest that there is something special about sitting around the table in the Lynde House Dining Room at any time!
Just in case you have not heard of this practice before here is an excerpt from the, Thursday, June 23rd, 1953 in THE CANADIAN STATESMAN, BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO on page fifteen one of the articles reads, " Parsonage Tea At Newtonville Delightful Occasion." The article proceeds to say, "Thursday afternoon and evening last week a Parsonage Tea and reception of unique interest was held at Newtonville." The article goes on to describe the event where, "Rev. and Mrs. Pike were gracioiusly received at the parsonage enjoying the Christian kindliness and cheerful hospitality of the pastor and his wife at their home." And that, '...words of welcome were accorded to each and all' among the 'beauty of the lawns... with huge bouquets of peonies and helitrop"..
Now the subject of TEA POURING as bantered about last Saturday... it is further recorded in the article that, "During the afternoon Mrs. Lorne Todd, Shiloh, and Mrs. J. T. Pearce, Newtonville, poured tea", followed at the end of the article by, "-a happy event to add to memory's treasures."
Now as I have mentioned, we love to put on a victorian tea from time to time at the museum and we have several ladies who are expert at just how this is done... Tea Time means many things to people from varied cultures and is a tradition not to be forgotten.
Pictured on the left is Monica Lawlor, vice president, holding out her tea cup as Linda Calder pours the tea.
If you would like to learn more about how to put on a victorian tea at your home you can get some tips from one of our board members, Linda Calder, a retired teacher and writer of the Boomer Corner for the Local Biz Magazine. Click on the following link to see the article in Biz Magazine.
Lianne Harris presented an Easter Program at Lynde House Museum Visitor Centre. Her program focused on the Vikings and their input into our culture. As always it was an interesting program which tied in the Easter story and how the Easter Bunny began as a Viking tradition. Lianne Harris' presentations are always well attended and enjoyed. Everyone enjoyed her costumed interpretation of a lady Viking. Did you know that the Vikings actually started the insurance business? Photo: Lianne Harris demonstrates the importance of bread to Vikings in the Lynde House kitchen.
Lianne Harris Racioppo is a social studies resource specialist with the Toronto Board of Education (TDSB). Lianne is known for her entertaining and educational programs for all ages. Lianne is shown above in the Visitor Centre at the start of her presentation.
Children's Easter Egg Hunt at the Museum
A Children's Easter Egg Hunt was held at Lynde House Museum & Visitor Centre on Saturday, April 15, 2017 from 11:00am until 4:00pm. Children accompanied by parents were invited to go on a tour through the rooms of Lynde House Museum. Children excitedly searched for the hidden eggs in each room giving parents a chance to enjoy the new Spring Tea displays. Children were given pictures of the rooms and they used these to draw in the position of the eggs (in rooms) on the photos. After the tour, children received their Easter treats as an award in the Visitor Centre. Every child was a winner! The museum was a very busy place in deed as double the number of participants came that did last year!
Monday, April 24th, 2017 – 6:30 to 8:00pm - The museum was reserved for
A Special Pathfinder Girls Tour. The girls are studying Canadian Citizenship at the moment and were given a presentation which told the stories of our early settlers, First Nations People and all the countries of origin that make up the Patchwork Quilt that is Canada. The girls and their leaders enjoyed the presentation. Special thanks to volunteers, Barb Haug, Denise Lagundzin and Trina Astor-Stewart for putting on the presentation. Afterwards the girls toured the museum and they were delighted with the new displays. One girl commented that some of the items on display would help her with her school projects as they were studying WW1 and WW2 history. The girls loved the new display room upstairs were some of the artifacts were gently handled in white gloves in order to show the girls a close up look.
January at Lynde House Museum is the site of many interesting discoveries. Like this Portrait of a young woman dated 1835, a signed Lithograph presumably by H. Grevedon (1776-1860). Staff and volunteers are busy trying to research many of the artifacts and stories associated with them at the museum. Unfortunately for this work of art, there is some damage in the upper right hand corner from when this portrait was in storage. There is much to do at the museum, lots of ideas and the desire to help those interested to get involved.
We need people who can volunteer, do research, create events, in general get involved with a team for the good of the museum. We also need corporate sponsors to donate funds. Together we make Lynde House Museum an exciting and unique place to visit.
2017 at Lynde House Museum will be an amazing year. There are lots of new things being planned to coincide with Canada's Sesquicentennial.
Did you know that Whitby Historical Society was originally founded to honor Canada's Centennial in 1967 ? The Society was incorporated in the province of Ontario on the twenty-eighth day of May, 1968.
The original founders were, Helen Audrey Ingram, Constance Hope Muckle, Helen Cecilia Jeffery, Richard Gibson Valleau, Otto Alfred Vaughan, Lewis Alfred Guy Winter, ( Brian Winter, former archivist's father) and Adele Ruddy. The Society over the years has been presided over by people dedicated to the preservation of history and heritage. The artifacts and furnishings as well as the history of the Lynde Family represent a microcosm of early heritage in Southern Ontario.
Did you know that Jabez Lynde, who originally built Lynde House immigrated to Canada? His story may be unique in some ways, but in others it represents the ingenuity, drive and dedication to creating a new life for his family, in a new land that a great many people can relate to today.
The society has undergone many changes over the years and is very appreciative of all those who have served in any way. Currently our board, staff and volunteers run the day to day operations of the museum. "Many hands make light work" and there is always more than enough to do.
The structure of management is through the development of teams. This method works well so that volunteers can learn and develop new ideas in cooperation with others while at the same time having back up so that, if possible, no one gets burned out.
Teams are formed in a variety of ways, some serve specific needs for the museum while others focus on the needs of volunteers. Teams work both independently and together to achieve a long term vision for the museum.
Running a museum is work, but it is also a lot of fun! We like to keep having fun! Volunteers having fun and enjoying the work they do for the museum and our community at large.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please email, and we will send you a volunteer application form. Get involved in the exciting things that are happening this year and contribute to the enjoyment of heritage in your community.
Blog and graphics by Trina Astor-Stewart, Executive Director at Lynde House Museum
Many thanks to everyone who attended the Annual General Meeting for Whitby Historical Society on December 1st 2016. We appreciate all those who have contributed. Please click on the link below to see the presentation slides given at the event.
The table was set, candles were lit, fragrance of roast turkey wafted through the dining room as if to say... "Welcome to Lynde House, imagine Christmas might in the Victorian Era".
It all started with some research into what a Victorian Christmas might be like.
Here are some ideas we found for inspiration.
"Christmas ornaments (sold in stores) in the 1870's included butterflies, crosses, diamond, and lead stars created by Nuremberg toy makers, blown glass ornaments (Kugel) from Lauscha, Germany, and wax angels, animals, and Christ child dolls. merchants sold celluloid toys, soldiers, dolls, and birdhouse ornaments. A factory in 1875 manufactured silver foil icicles. In 1880, Frank W. Woolworth began selling blown-glass ornaments, and angel hair became available. Between 1880 and 1910, Dresdin manufacturers created glass ornaments, and gold cardboard camels, storks, peacocks, pianos, and sailboats and were used for Christmas decorations. In 1890's cotton was added to angels and santas." The Guide to Popular Culture edited by Ray B. Browne & Pat Browne.
We hope you enjoy these images from tours at Lynde House Museum 2016
When the Lynde family lived here, they most likely would have gone into the woods behind the house to cut a real Christmas tree and also make wreaths and boughs.
The original Lynde House kitchen was not part of the main structure and was destroyed by a fire years ago. The kitchen is now located in the south-west corner room.
Some Victorian Trees were placed on top of tables. Queen Victoria & Prince Albert - Decorate Christmas Tree, Illustration from Godey's Lady's Book, December 1860.
The upstairs parlor at Lynde House fills the area where the large front window looks out onto Brock Street South in Whitby. The parlor suite is called the Prince of Wales suite, come visit and find out why...
This year at Lynde House Museum the Christmas Tree theme was the Lynde Family and so ornaments were created using old fashioned frames with some Lynde Family portraits inside. These were photographed, printed and then cut-out. The two large gold frames used were donated by a friend of David Chambers for the 'teaching collection' and enlargements were printed. One of Clarissa Lynde Warren, a daughter of Jabez Lynde and one of John Borlaise Warren (sister and brother in law) to hang in the house. Miniatures of other family members were used only on some of the trees. The Lynde Family have a fascinating history and story, why not visit and hear more.
Other Victorian art images were also used to add colour. The reverse of all the ornaments were embellished with sentiments of the season such as, Peace, Joy, Kindness, Family Values, etc.
The Victorian Period was known for its over the top décor. "Twinkling lights hung on fragrant boughs, laced with golden antiquities; garlands strung from the mantle, framing a glowing fire of crackling pinecones.” The very first strand of electric lights were used during the Christmas season of 1880.
Candles on the Christmas tree were often real; however, in our 2016 décor we were able to purchase real-looking rechargeable battery operated candles thanks to the Bingo funds through Pickering Charitable Gaming Association Delta Pickering. Many of the other decorations were also purchased through Bingo funds. Volunteers and staff had a lot of fun arranging and decorating.
Many thanks to all who participated in events during Christmas at Lynde House Museum. To our donors, staff, volunteers, and board members a hearty thank you!
Blog and photographs: (minus -Old Fashioned Christmas images reminiscent of the Victorian era) Trina Astor-Stewart
Here are a few photographs to show you the festivities and a peak at the Christmas decorations. We especially want to thank Pickering Charities Delta Bingo funds for enabling us to create such a WOW decor.
Festivities at the Visitor Centre before and after the Tour of Lynde House.
Come visit Lynde House Museum & Visitor Centre, there is always something new happening here.
Many thanks to all everyone who made this event special!
Magical lights in Lynde House windows drew visitors to events scheduled every weekend from November 24th to December 23rd.
Christmas at Lynde House Museum as advised by everyone we met and talked to just had to be the very best yet..."You must pull all this off, create a wow", while at the same time representing an authentic Victorian era Christmas. But how? We all wondered. Beyond creativity and hard work by all our volunteers, it takes money! Fortunately for Whitby Historical Society members who steadfastly volunteer at Bingo, Pickering Charitable Gaming Association Delta Pickering, there was enough 'green stuff' to magically transformed itself into a white glittering candle-light Christmas at Lynde House Museum & Visitor Centre at 900 Brock Street, Whitby ON.
Read all about Christmas events and Lynde House Museum here. Only our second Christmas season after opening November 2015 all eyes were upon us to bedeck the halls of Lynde House with a Victorian era theme using all the research at our disposal together with imagination of what a Lynde Family Christmas might have been like. Or at least a representation spanning time that would have met with, let's say, Clarissa Lynde's approval while at the same time enthrall and delight visitors. Lynde House was originally built by Jabez Lynde.
So here is what happened, we hope you will be pleased with this account as much as the many visitors who came to see and enjoy.
It all started with the trees lit with real Victorian candles, and long tapers in every window and on mantles re-creating the candlelight magic of old. Of course our 'real candles' though looking all the part, were in fact powered by re-chargeable batteries to satisfy the most exacting fire marshal. Wonderful to be able to portray the old days, with the safety of up to date technology! Read on to find out about events that happened and then go to another blog with photographs about Christmas Tours at Lynde House Museum.
A Volunteer Social & Meeting was held Thursday, November 10th at Saint Andrew's Presbyterian Church Hall - 11:00am to 4:30pm where volunteers baked natural spice scented, non-edible gingerbread cookies which they also painted to hang on Christmas trees at the museum. Volunteers also participated in other crafts such as making popcorn and cranberry wreaths and clove decorated oranges. Many hands made light work and all the decorations were used in the museum. Invitations were also prepared to be sent out for the first anniversary opening of Lynde House Museum.
Decorating the Museum began in earnest with a major re-organization of rooms and settings on November 15th ...decorating always begins with a good cleaning and organizing. Many thanks to the four guys from Rockbrune movers who came and did all the heavy lifting. Volunteers, staff and board members all pitched in to give the museum a big wow factor. Many thanks to all who helped! WHS also received a special addition to its collection that day, a beautiful 1860s mahogany crank operated extension table with two leaves from Clay Benson at Smith’s Creek Antiques. Many thanks to funds from Pickering Charitable Gaming Association Delta Pickering which were used to purchase this table and also to move it to its new home at Lynde House Museum. This table was used during the as a big holiday table laden with treats and goodies to be tasted after events and will have many a use in the days ahead. Many thanks to our Hospitality Team for supplying refreshments during the Christmas holiday programs.
First Anniversary of Lynde House Museum opening at its current location on Thursday, November 24th 7:00pm with a Sneek Peek of Christmas Decorations for about seventy invited guests.
A Volunteer Christmas Social & the WHS Annual General Meeting was held Thursday, December 1st, 2016 11:00am to 4:30pm at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Hall, 209 Cochrane St, Whitby, in order to accommodate all our members and volunteers. It was a great meeting and enjoyed by everyone. We welcomed two new board members, Denise Lagundzin and Rod Angevaare.
A Victorian Evening by Candlelight. Friday, December 2nd, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Visitors met in the Visitor Centre and enjoyed the décor then toured Lynde House Museum by the light of flickering candles. Guests followed the magic carpet along and peered into rooms that looked as though someone from long ago was just there. Candles everywhere made the rooms so magical during the evening hours.
A Victorian Christmas at Lynde House Museum ...after the Santa Claus Parade. Guided Tours began at the Visitor Centre at 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 3:00pm. Daylight Tours took place all day Saturday, Dec. 3rd much to the delight of all who toured the museum.
Christmas Stories and Symbols a delightful and informative presentation highlighting Christmas traditions of various cultures was given by Lianne Harris dressed as St. Lucia. Wednesday, Dec. 7th at 7:00pm.
Historical Happenings, Presentations by Lianne Harris, who is a social studies resource specialist with the Toronto Board of Education (TDSB). Lianne is known for her entertaining and educational programs for all ages. She has numerous costumes fitting every presentation.
Museum guests enjoyed the slide show presentation by Lianne and enjoyed treats with a braided Challah bread made by Frantastic, as well as a gluten free multi-grain heritage loaf made by a volunteer and other home-made Christmas treats offered by the WHS Hospitality Team volunteers.
‘A Night Before Christmas’ – Friday Dec. 9th, 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Visitors joined two “A Night Before Christmas” tours while singing-a-long to Christmas Carols as they walk through Lynde House to see all that delights and enthralls of yesteryear. Volunteer Elves had been busy decorating Christmas all through the house with candles twinkling on every tree. Guests 'tiptoed' along the magic carpet that directs through the house, …Quiet now, Santa could be busy just in the next room having the milk and cookies left for him by an eager little boy or girl in hopes of stockings filled with treats. If you are not verrrrry quiet, he may just dash off into his sleigh just as you blink! “Now Pranzer, now Vixen….” Many visitors spotted our volunteer Santa during the evening. Thank you Diane Carson!
It’s Christmas All Through the House… Saturday, Dec. 10th 11:00am-4:00pm Visitors were delighted as they toured through a magical Lynde House of yesteryear. Costumed volunteers provided interactivity in various rooms such as, cutting out cookies in the kitchen, wrapping the presents and setting the table. ‘Mother Lynde’ fussing, “Is everything ready?”
A Magical Evening - Friday, Dec. 16th – 7:00pm – until 9:00 in two tours. “When all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”
We had a surprise mystery guest. Sarah Varty provided beautiful music for the evening.
Children’s Family Christmas Tours and Crafts - Saturday, Dec. 17th
Family time at Lynde House. Parents and children were invited to take a guided tour through Lynde House and join in a craft at the Visitor Centre afterwards. Some painted gingerbread cookie decorations to take home. Guided Tours began at the Visitor Centre -11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 3:00pm.
Many thanks to our great team of volunteers and staff for helping to make the magic happen this Christmas Season at Lynde House Museum!
Whitby Historical Society would also like to thank our Anonymous Donor through the Durham Community Foundation for their generous support this past two years. Your kindness is most appreciated!
Mary’s Odyssey a live theatre production performed by Live History & Co. owned by Jasmine Bowen came to Lynde House Museum on Tuesday, May 31st, 2016. Audiences were surprised at how interactive the theatre production was. They felt surprised to be as engrossed in the production as to make time stand still hardly noticing a little over an hour going by. Transported back in time they met ‘Mary’, a young bubbly and quite witty maid dressed in period costume. Mary welcomed the audience, almost as if guests of Jabez Lynde himself, having arrived from near and far to puzzle out the mystery. Using Homer’s, Odyssey as a cipher, guests helped Mary solve a mystery that has engrossed all who have ‘lived and worked’ in Lynde House. The show seamlessly guided its audience to explore and discover little mysteries amidst the Lynde House artifacts along the way.
Live History is a theatre group that specializes in bringing local history to life. Each show Live History performs is customized to the location it is presented in. The shows engage the audience and because the audience is kept small, theatre goers can enjoy a unique interactive experience.
Audiences began their time in the Visitor Centre where they were escorted to Lynde House by Jeremy another member of the Live History troop; who then gave them an introduction to the show, where Mary began her lively performance and tour.
Monica Lawlor who attended one of the performances wrote later, "I just wanted to let you know about the theatre night, it was really good! I was not sure at first but it did not take long to change my mind... It would have been nice to spend a bit more time after the show discussing it and just being social."
A unique experience for those who are looking for something a little bit different, this show is one to recommend.
We would like to thank all those who came and supported this theatre presentation at Lynde House Museum.
Blog by: Kirstyn Allam, ED and Trina Astor-Stewart, VP
Photographs: Live History and Kirstyn Allam.
The bride, Emily Johnston-Hartin is a descendant of Jabez Lynde, original owner of the Lynde House that is now home of the Lynde House Museum & Visitor Centre. Emily's grandmother is Jean Lynde Johnston shown in the photograph of grandparents taken in front of Lynde House Museum above.
When planning their wedding, Emily wanted to connect her ancestry with her special day in a meaningful way. Emily has a photograph of herself taken when she was a baby in front of Lynde House when the house was at Cullen Gardens. How better to honor her heritage than to have some photographs at Lynde House and a tour for her guests.
We were more than happy to welcome Emily and her husband Wade Hartin to celebrate the occasion of their wedding on March 18th, 2016.
Emily and Wade's wedding took place at the Town Hall in Whitby and was an intimate family wedding of about twenty two people. The tour of Lynde House, led by Kirstyn Allam, Executive Director, was a highlight of their festivities.
Emily is in the process of compiling a family genealogy and we hope she will share it with us in the near future.
Lynde House, even now has stories to tell "of courage, change, and romance".