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
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!
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.
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.
Volunteers Lillian and Igncio Detablan demonstrated some heritage crafts and games for children.
This 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.
Volunteers 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.
One 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.
Children 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.
Thank you Lynne for your lovely card, glad you and your granddaughters had a good time!
Lynde House was festively adorned for the Open House Tour on November 28th, 2015. Over 120 people came and throughout the day and wandered through talking with the volunteers on hand in each room and also at the Visitor Center next door.
Each room was lovingly outfitted with artifacts from the collections and decorated for Christmas and the holidays by: Michael Penney of Penney & Company. Featured in the large hallway is even a miniature winter display of houses of yesteryear, this one almost resembles Lynde House Museum itself. Michael blended decor with the house so well the details are fascinating.
People enjoyed seeing the Joseph Picard Archaeological tabletop display model of a First Nations settlement which is on display at the Visitor Center beside Lynde House Museum. The model represents what was found at the first large scale site ever excavated in Whitby.
The original location, now called the Joseph Picard Site, contained a large number of 'Long Houses' where people lived. It is estimated that almost 200 people once lived there. Many artifacts were found and are being kept in Toronto for study. No human remains were found however, as burial grounds for such villages were usually located a distance from the village itself.
We are pleased to be able to showcase this model which proves very educational and of considerable interest to school children.
Volunteers have been working diligently over the past several months amalgamating two large collections of artifacts. People really enjoyed learning more about Whitby's amazing first home! Brian Winters, former Whitby Archivist for the Town of Whitby enjoyed all of the displays. Some of Brian's books were sold on consignment at the Visitors Center. Visitors also were able to pick up a copy of several other publications by Whitby Historical Society over the years.
Though so many came, everyone had time to wander and visit. It was a delightful opening enjoyed by everyone.
Many thanks to the volunteers who helped that day. Visitors enjoyed hot apple cider and cookies after the tour at the Visitor Centre. See our website for times and more information, Lynde House Museum.
Why not plan a visit to the museum. Volunteers are ready to greet you with a smile.
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.
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."
Greetings 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."
Edith 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 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 Historical 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 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."
Trina 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.
Kirstyn 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.
The 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.
Looking into the dining room window of Lynde House just before the tour. The table is set, Lynde House welcomes visitors once again!
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!"
When 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.
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.
This 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.
The 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