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.


Trina Astor-Stewart, Museum ConsultantBlog and graphics by Trina Astor-Stewart, Executive Director at Lynde House Museum

Mary poses in Lynde House Parlor.

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.

LiveHistoryPracticeRun3Live 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."

LiveHistoryPracticeRun2A 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.


Now how do you plan an Easter Egg hunt in a museum? Easter_1Easter_5The artifacts are untouchable and little fingers, well, the idea of it all seemed just a little too much to handle. With all of us nostalgically imagining children out on the lawn rolling eggs with spoons, Victorian-like.

Practically speaking,  this seemed a little risky given that Easter this year was in March and weather most likely would not  cooperate.

Somehow, we thought it important to find a way to let children celebrate inside the museum,  sure that they would be using their very best manners.

Easter_2So though there was no possibility of rolling eggs with spoons on the lawn our Executive Director, Kirstyn Allam, inspired her team of volunteers to come up with a novel solution. Posters announcing the event were printed and placed in town as well as through social media. Word got around and children brought by parents and grandparents lined up to find the eggs in Lynde House.

To create the 'hunt' pictures of each Easter_3room in Lynde House were printed out to give to children. On Easter Saturday volunteers pretending to be the Easter Bunny placed colourful decorated eggs among the artifacts in each room. Pictures and pencils in hand, children were then asked to draw on the photographs to indicate where the eggs were found.

Voila! A lot of fun to be had, with real chocolate Easter Eggs given out afterwards at the Visitor Centre where children could continue having fun colouring, doing crafts and playing vintage games.

Children of all ages loved it as you can see in the photograph below of museum volunteer, Denise Lagundzin holding her granddaughter as they watched children making craft bunny rabbits at the Visitor Centre.

Easter_4It was a fun day for everyone and a Lynde House Easter to be remembered.

Kirstyn and Monica E.Thank you to those involved in planning and working on this most enjoyable event listed below:

Pictured on the left, Kirstyn Allam, Executive Director, poses with   Monica Effenberger, Intern from Centennial College. Monica has been a wonderful addition to so many things during her internship and is working on a new display for one of the Lynde House Lauri G. and Kirstynbedrooms.

Lauri Geuzebroek, is pictured on the left with Kirstyn getting a craft ready for colouring. Lauri is a local history teacher, who loves Whitby History and regularly plans field trips for her students to discover Whitby's "Fabulous history"! Lauri is a regular volunteer and is looking forward to working on more research with WHS at Lynde House Museum.

Anastasia and Kirstyn


Anastasia Balaceanu admires some artifacts in a showcase with Kirstyn.  Anastasia is from Queen's University participating in her Practicum Experience placement with Lynde House Museum prior to her graduation as a teacher. We wish Anastasia well and hope she finds a teaching position in Whitby since she loves volunteering at Lynde House Museum.

Diane and Kirstyn
Diane Carson and Kirstyn

Special thanks to all our volunteers from the Tour Guides Teams who manned the museum for Easter Saturday: Halima Bacchus; Mary Prettie-Elliott; Audrey Atkinson; Ruth Edwards; Sonja Federchuk; Diane Carson; Joany Burtinsky;  Lilian and Ignacio Detablan.

Something is happening all the time at the museum, we aim to have a program led museum full of interesting activities as time goes on. WHS appreciates all those who lend a hand and make this such a great place!

Blog and Photographs by: Trina Astor-Stewart VP, Whitby Historical Society.

WHS, Executive Director, Kirstyn Allam and Intern Monica Effenberger visit with volunteers, Ruth Edwards and Al and Mavis Mawby while getting ready to greet visitors.

Lynde House Museum held special tours and programs on March 16th for families during March Break. Families enjoyed tours of the museum with tour guides leading guests through the rooms and telling interesting stories about some of the artifacts displayed. Inside the Visitor Centre children enjoyed crafts with volunteers.

Lilian Detablan demonstrates Cat in the Cradle game to her husband Ignacio.
Lilian Detablan demonstrates an old fashioned children's game to her husband Ignacio.

Volunteers Lillian and Igncio Detablan demonstrated some heritage crafts and games for children.

March-Break-3This game consists of a handmade paper cup to which a string is tied and a small weight. It looks easy to get the weight into the cup, but it isn't so. Lots of laughs later, Ignacio masters this game enjoyed by children of yesteryear.

Ignacio needs no practice in the art of origami paper folding however. He wowed everyone with several beautiful designs.

March-Break-4March-Break-5Volunteers were kept busy as the parking lot had a steady stream of cars carrying visitors anxious to tour through Lynde House. People can call ahead and enjoy a tour almost any day the museum is open. See http://lyndehousemuseum.com/events-schedule/ for events with a special focus. The March break event had a St. Patrick's Day theme with green being the colour du jour and 'sprigs of Irish luck' hidden amongst the artifacts just to make things interesting.

The Visitor Centre is open five days a week, Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm and Saturdays from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm. Group tours for Brownies, Girl Guides and Red Hat Society groups have enjoyed tours.

I think the volunteers had every bit as much fun for March Break as the visitors as they joked about re-living memories and playing a game of Dominos.

March-Break-6March-Break-7One of the highlights of the day was the Joseph Picard Archaeological tabletop display model of a First Nations settlement discovered at a dig near the development of the 407 hwy. Shown here are Abby and Olivia with their grandmother Lynne, some of the visitors to the museum.

It is said that almost 400 First Nations people called this particular settlement 'home' many years ago. The model shows 'long houses', a slice of what life might have been like with even a garden plot where corn is growing. The area shown in the model was lush with green forests full of wild life such as deer.

March-Break-8Children also enjoyed colouring and cutting out specially prepared heritage clip art and making paper dolls. Even in this technological era, old fashioned crafts still delight. Of course there were snacks on hand of cookies and juice for children. Thankfully we can enjoy our modern juice boxes for convenience...

We wish to thank Kirstyn Allam, Executive Director and Monica Effenberger, Intern, for planning this event and all of the volunteers who participated in making this a fun day for everyone.

Volunteer, Barbara Auchterlonie helps a little girl as she colours at an old fashioned school desk on display for the event.
Close up area 'at the fire' from Joseph Picard Archaeological tabletop display model.

TYC-Card-InsideThank you Lynne for your lovely card, glad you and your granddaughters had a good time!


Blog and photographs
by: Trina Astor-Stewart, VP Whitby Historical Society