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.

Whitby Historical Society, Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers sincerely wishes to thank Pickering Charitable Gaming Association Delta Pickering.

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.


Regional Councillor Derrick Gleed also appointed deputy mayor attended the event and is seen here talking with WHS volunteer, Joyce Marshall in the upstairs front parlor.

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.

st-lucia_liane-harris-2203Christmas 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?”

Daniel Mitchell and Faith Bowe as Jabez and Clarissa Lynde... and enactment in Lynde House kitchen. Photo: Mrs. Daniels

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!

Whitby Historical Society at Lynde House Museum wishes to thank Pickering Charitable Gaming Association Delta Pickering for funds to help Whitby Historical Society create a WOW Christmas this year!

Blog & photographs by: Trina Astor-Stewart

doorLynde 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.

Admission was free due to a generous donation through an Anonymous Donor from the Durham Community Foundation.


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.

picard-modelPeople 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.

volunteerWhy not plan a visit to the museum. Volunteers are ready to greet you with a smile.


Blog and photographs by Trina Astor-Stewart

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.

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