Mayor Don Mitchell and David Chambers cut the ribbon at Lynde House. In the photograph, background left to right, Lorne Coe, Regional Councillor; Liam Nichols, representative for Celina Caesar-Chavannes MP; Monica Lawlor, Board Member, Breck Stewart, Secretary. Forward: Michael G. Emm, Councillor, Centre Ward; Kirstyn Allam, Executive Director and volunteer. Photo: Paul Stiles.

The long awaited Grand Opening of Lynde House Museum took place on November 24th 2015. Almost seventy people packed themselves into the Visitor Center next door to Lynde House for a program of guest speakers followed by an official ribbon cutting on the veranda of Lynde House, and a presentation from the Whitby Chamber of Commerce followed by a tour of the house and a 'musicale' evening with refreshments back at the Visitor Centre.

A plaque was received from the Whitby Chamber of Commerce by David Chambers, Mayor Mitchell and Kirstyn Allam surrounded by members of Whitby Council, Edith Alger, Durham Community Foundation, and WHS board members.

It was a fun evening with everyone feeling really good to see Lynde House open again as a museum after its move from Cullen Park in 2013. The whole town, it seems, came out to watch this historic trek of a much loved house through downtown Whitby to its current location at Brock Street South at Burns. People will be happy to know that the Lynde House Visitor Center will now be open Tuesday to Saturday and tours of Lynde House will be scheduled. Ongoing updates at the Lynde House Museum website.


A Welcome was given by ~ David Chambers, President, Whitby Historical Society, "I am delighted Whitby has a permanent museum to display many historical treasures collected over the years," said David Chambers. He said, "It is a little like Moses wandering in the wilderness and now we have come home."

Mayor-Mitchell9185aGreetings were given by, His Worship Don Mitchell, Mayor of the Town of Whitby "We have much to be proud of in terms of our citizens and our history," he said. "The Lynde House serves as a gateway into downtown Whitby and is a fine example of our Town embracing the future while respecting our heritage." Mayor Mitchell also read greetings from Sue Green, daughter of Len Cullen former owner of Cullen Gardens where Lynde House was included in many tours over the years. Mayor Mitchell began by saying how Len Cullen had played a major role in the saving of Lynde house and then read what Sue Green had written, " I am so pleased that Lynde House is now in the center of town. My father would be very pleased!  ...It was a pleasure to be a part of the safekeeping of this old house and wonderful to see what the Town, the Town Council,  Whitby Historical Society and Kirstyn Allam have done to continue this legacy."

Liam-Nichols9194Congratulations were given by  Liam Nichols on behalf of Celina Ceasar-Chavannes Liberal MP for Whitby, Ontario, saying, ..."How pleased they all were for this opening and wishing success for years to come".

Edith-Alger9198Edith Alger, Board Chair of the Durham Community Foundation talked about the work of the Foundation with best wishes for WHS in years to come. Howard Smith, was also at the event representing the Durham Community Foundation.

Members of the Board of Directors of the Whitby Historical Society were introduced by vice president, Trina Astor-Stewart, saying, "Tonight is a blessing, the culmination of taking many leaps of faith over the last few years. Now here we are at a new beginning The Lynde House Museum and Visitor Centre. I would like to introduce you to the power of five! The Whitby Historical Society board of directors are five people who had a vision. David Chambers, President; Breck Stewart, Secretary; Monica Lawlor, Director; Gloria Murkar, Director and myself, VP. We stepped out not knowing if we would have the funding to go forward and then two miracles happened. The Town of Whitby asked the Society to operate Lynde House Museum and an Anonymous Donor through the Durham Community Foundation trusted the vision enough to give us a very generous donation. So now we are stepping forward again into a bright new future with appreciation".

Each board member then gave part of a presentation thanking those who have been instrumental in the success of this project.

Gloria-Murkar9209Gloria Murkar, Director, began by saying, "On behalf of the Whitby Historical Society I wish to thank the Town of Whitby for asking us to operate Lynde House Museum. Thank you for all of the work everyone at the Town has done. We know you are as proud of Lynde House Museum and what it means to our community as we are."

Followed by By Monica Lawlor, Director, "On behalf of the Whitby MonicaLawlor9169aHistorical Society I wish to thank The Durham Community Foundation's Anonymous Donor. Many people have devoted their time and talents to creating a museum with heart, and now because of you we can continue the legacy and be even better than ever before. I would like to thank Snyder Construction and their crew who have been working so diligently to create this beautiful space. I would like to thank all of the wonderful volunteers who signed up to give their time and talents. When I talked to them about our vision to create teams, they saw it and wanted to get on board. We would also be remiss if we did not mention Margaret Boyce’s contributions as Past President along with that of her husband, Bernard Boyce. Their son, Graeme Boyce, and his family are present here this evening to share in this occasion." 

Breck-Stewart9216Breck Stewart, Secretary continued by saying, "I would like to thank David for his role in shepherding the collection of artifacts through the last few years. It shows his strength of character, many would have given up. David has inspired us all, he rolls up his sleeves and gets the job done. Getting this project off the ground has felt like, 'A few fish in a tank, who looked quizzically at each other and quipped, "How are we going to drive this thing....' Over the last few months while putting all of this together I have watched everyone pull through obstacles and work together. I would like to thank Monica for recruiting so many wonderful new volunteers! Some of you will work as our new stars, some will work in the background in supportive roles; we need you all to make this the best it can be. It is going to be fun seeing what all of these teams of volunteers can do."

Michael-Penney_Trina9191Trina Astor-Stewart followed by saying, "I would like to thank Michael Penney of Penney & Co. and his team for pitching in when this whole place was just a mess of boxes. The beautiful touches on the décor are inspired, no wonder the Marilyn Denis show came to do a feature here that will air this Thursday. I would like to thank Kirstyn Allam for being every bit the person we thought she would be when we hired her. She has done an amazing job of liaising with the Town during the construction, unpacking boxes and putting together an epic puzzle of very valuable bits and pieces; scheduling volunteers to help cover all the bases, while at the same time managing to learn and adopt our core vision. It has not been easy! I would like to thank everyone here, because in too many ways to mention, you all had a hand in the success of this dream. Lynde House, has come home."

David Chambers, thanked everyone with these remarks, "I would also like to thank everyone who helped to make this dream become a reality. And also give mention to Brian Winter who is here tonight, for his fine contribution over the years. Without further ado I invite everyone to follow the Mayor and myself to Lynde House where we will cut the ribbon and begin the first official tour of the Lynde House Museum. Then join us back here afterwards for some music and refreshments." A presentation by the Whitby Chamber of Commerce who provided the ribbon and large scissors for the ribbon cutting. See above group photograph.

The first Official Tour of Lynde House Museum was led by Kirstyn Allam, WHS Executive Director.

Mayor_Kirstyn8857Kirstyn introduced Mayor Mitchell to the WHS Volunteer Tour Guides pointing out various artifacts of interest in the house. Mayor Mitchell was particularly fascinated with the prize winning 1860's Joseph F. Rainer Piano made in Whitby on display in the music room. Mayor Mitchell took a photograph of the piano and later posted it on Facebook.

Mitchell-Daniels9157The evening continued at the Visitor Centre with music by, Mitchell Daniels, who thrilled the gathering with his songs chosen for the occasion. Everyone enjoyed the tasty and beautifully presented refreshments by Monica Lawlor and volunteers.

Everyone had a great time!

Special thanks to: Paul Stiles, Director and Cinematographer, Stiles Creative Technologies Inc. and WHS volunteer Denise Lagundzin for taking these photographs during the evening.
Blog and photo-editing, Trina Astor-Stewart. Please enjoy more photographs below.

Lynde House decorated for the Grand Opening.
Breck Stewart, David Chambers and Michael Emm, Councillor, Centre Ward.
Breck Stewart, David Chambers and Michael Emm, Councillor, Centre Ward.
Steve Edwards, Manager of Parks, Marina, Long Range Planning, Tourism and Culture Community and Marketing Services. Steve has been instrumental in putting the WHS and Lynde House together for the last few years. Thank you Steve!
Mayor Mitchel chats with Brian Winter former Town of Whitby Archivist.


Looking into the dining room window of Lynde House just before the tour. The table is set, Lynde House welcomes visitors once again!

Read the Town of Whitby Blog post by Heather Roseveare, Corporate Communications Officer by clicking on this link.

How do you open a museum.... from scratch?  Well, you need really great volunteers! Whitby Historical Society was faced with just this situation after two collections, that of Cullen Gardens and the WHS Collection had been in storage for several years. The fruit of all our volunteer labour was just showcased at the first tour of Lynde House Museum as an inclusion in the Station Gallery Annual Homes Tour.  Thank you all for everything you did, each detail was perfect!

"Come see the upstairs rooms."
Denise at the entrance and Al and Mavis with Kim.
Looking after the guests, ladies from the Senior's Center and Board Members, Breck Stewart and Monica Lawlor.
The Visitor Center was popular with all the treats from Cordon Sue Sweets, David Chambers, Gloria Murkar and Monica Lawlor.
Michael Penney and Kirstyn Allam adjust the drapes at the last moment. Details are everything!
All set for visitors, Kirstyn welcomes tour goers.
All set for visitors, Kirstyn welcomes tour goers.

Lynde House Museum has a bright future, come visit sometime.

Many thanks to all the volunteers and those who participated and helped. It takes many hands!

Jeannine Butler, Ruth Edwards, Denise C. Lagundzin, Al Mawby, Mavis Mawby, Sarah Stones
Joyce Marshal, Sonia Wallace, Ed Campbell, Lilian M. Detablan, Ignacio Detablan, Diane Carson, Gunda Anderson, Halima Bacchus, Mary Prettie Elliott, Janice Teichroes, Carolyn Johnson. Station Gallery Volunteers. Kim with Ladies from the Senior's Centre. Kirstyn Allam, Executive Director for WHS. Michael Penney & Chloe McPherson - Penney & Co. and Cordon Sue Sweets. WHS Board Members, David Chambers, Breck Stewart, Monica Lawlor, Gloria Murkar, Trina Astor-Stewart.

Blog and photographs by: Trina Astor-Stewart

Michael Penney and Chloe McPherson - last minute touches.

Saturday, November 14th, over 600 people came through Lynde House for the first time since the move to its current location at 900 Brock Street South. Many thanks to the Whitby Station Gallery for including us on their tour! WHS Volunteers and Station Gallery Volunteers were on hand in each of the rooms, we wish to thank all involved.


All eight rooms in Lynde House Museum were decorated top to bottom for the holidays by Michael Penny and his staff from Penny & Co.

Every detail was carefully thought out with colours of decorations befitting every room. Delicate ivory-blush roses with soft pale greenery on the dining room table are an example of the subtle detailing designed by Michael, as the wallpaper itself is soft green with images of ivory-blush roses throughout.

Tour goers stood at each doorway commenting on the thoughtful beauty of the decorations which enhanced but did not take away from the period furnishings. One woman I just happened to overhear exclaimed, "It is as if I am standing here and the Lynde family is about to come in for Sunday dinner!"

piles-of-boxesWhen we were still knee deep in boxes that had just come out of storage, Michael Penney and his team came to have a look at just how much would be involved in decorating Lynde House for Christmas. Everyone rolled their eyes and wondered how this magic could actually be achieved in time. Michael, unperturbed said, "We are used to sorting out messes! It has been a dream of mine to one day decorate Lynde House for Christmas and I am so pleased that I can help." ... And help he did, for over the next four weeks he and his chief elf Chloe McPherson worked together with Whitby Historical Society's, Executive Director, Kirstyn Allam to unpack, sort and place artifacts along with the help of teams of volunteers. All this had to happen before a single decoration could be placed.

Thank you Michael Penney! Your expertise in placing artifacts in just the right spots to show them to their best advantage made all the difference.

Penney & Company
114 Dundas Street West, Whitby Ontario L1N 2L9

The kitchen, from boxes to beautiful...

Cordon-Sue-SweetsVisitors to the homes on the tour were hosted to coffee and tea at the Visitor Centre next door by volunteers from the Whitby Seniors’ Centre ( Thank you Kim! )

Special treats provided by Cordon Sue Sweets. 

Chef Susan, took really good care of visitor's sweet tooth!

Cordon Sue Sweets
215 Mary Streeet East Whitby Ontario L1N 2P4
(905) 668-2722


Volunteers of Whitby Historical Society and the Station Gallery greeted visitors and showed them through the facility. Here volunteers receive some last minute encouragement from Kirstyn, before opening the doors to usher in all the visitors lining up outside the door.

Crowd lining up outside Lynde House MuseumThis blog is only a peek at what awaits you at our next tour. Come visit us November 28th 2015 from 11:00am to 4:00pm (free admission) when you can walk through all of the rooms at Lynde House Museum, feel the quiet of yesteryear in the Christmas Past decor by Michael Penney. We invite you to sign up as a member of the museum and receive advance notice of special events and free tickets to some events. Bring a friend and we'll see you on November 28th 2015.

Christmas-StockingThe stockings are hung,
Time once begun, is now stopped still.
I climb into bed trying my best to hear
The almost silent rustlings of reindeer
As they anxiously try, the bags of toys, not to spill.
Santa's sleigh jostles as with the slight of his hand
He jumps down the chimney and lands,
Right at the foot of my bed...
Shhhhhh, I covered my head
And before I knew it, he was off in the night
Leaving a bulging stocking that before was so light.
Should I peak, should I parents awake?
Or munch on a treat in secret delight!

by: Trina Astor-Stewart, VP Whitby Historical Society

The stockings are hung,

Blog and Photographs, Trina Astor-Stewart