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.
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.
Now how do you plan an Easter Egg hunt in a museum? The 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.
So 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 room 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.
It was a fun day for everyone and a Lynde House Easter to be remembered.
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 bedrooms.
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 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.
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.
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!