Find out what convinced the Quakers to stick around for a century or two.
Explore Durham Region's rich First Nation's history encompassing over 600 years of occupation by the Iroquois, Huron and later the Mississaugas. Some of the area's Native Groups were nomadic and others settled in farming communities. The Natives developed a network of trails and pathways used for trade and communication purposes. Modern day Simcoe Street closely follows one of these Native Trails.
The Uxbridge-Scott Museum and Archives is home to a small collection of locally found clay and stone artifacts. Of particular interest are the banner stone used to weight a spear, a ceremonial gorget and a piece of a projectile point, made of Ramah chert from Labrador. Also on display are some interesting long stone ice picks.
View an extensive display of Agricultural equipment including locally made implements. Featured items are the 1840's ox cart, an Etwell cutter, a Davidson fanning mill, a Harman plough and a lasher sleigh. See the museum's 1901 wooden threshing machine operational during the annual Steam Threshing Days. This special event, on the last weekend of August, attracts many exhibitors and members of the general public to enjoy antique tractors, cars, gas and oil engines and demonstrators.
The Uxbridge Town Trail System is a network of trails in the urban area that will also connect to major trails to the south (the Trans-Canada Trail and the Oak Ridges Trail). The Town Trails aim to help residents to appreciate the beauty of their town, to link the various sections of the town together for walkers and bikers, to encourage healthy outdoor exercise, and to foster an appreciation of the natural environment. The Town Trail program is an initiative of the "Uxbridge, Naturally" group.
Nine heritage buildings include a 1929 brick schoolhouse on its original site, as well as an 1850's house, 1870's board and batten church, 1859 Orange Lodge Hall, the 1860 Scott Township Municipal Hall, a print shop and various agricultural sheds.
Thomas Foster Memorial-Uxbridge
The Thomas Foster Memorial was built in 1936 in the rolling countryside of Uxbridge Township. Inspired by the Taj Mahal and Influenced by the early Byzantine Church, the Foster Memorial is truly a unique structure.
Exhibits trace the economic development of the township and a wide range of economic activities undertaken. Settlers, including Quakers, arriving in the early 1800's were the backbone of the Township with their agricultural activities and water powered mills. The arrival of the railway in 1871, brought new economic opportunities and growth to the area. Between 1873 and 1912, organs and pianos were made in Uxbridge and shipped across the country. The Gold Medal Radio and Phonograph Company made radios and Photographs until 1926.
The Museum has an extensive collection of genealogical information from the Uxbridge area. Reference material includes Uxbridge newspapers (1862-1884), land records, assessment rolls, marriage, death and baptismal records, cemetery information, maps, church records, census records, photographs, family trees and family files. Research fees are determined by the amount of staff involvement.
The herb garden is situated between the historic Carmody House and the Cedar snake rail fence with growing hop vines and wild roses. The ten garden plots feature an assortment of plants grown for medicinal, culinary and dyeing purposes. Enjoy the beautiful setting overlooking the musuem grounds, Uxbridge Valley and the Oak Ridges Moraine.
Dr. Joseph Bascom was born in Uxbridge in 1838, attended the first public school in Uxbridge, and graduated from medical school until 1861. His nephew, Dr. Horace Bascom, took over the practice about 1892; when he became County Sheriff about 1912, Dr. Mellow entered the practice and occupied the house. Many older residents of Uxbridge remember being treated by Dr. Horace Bascom or by Dr. Mellow. Sometime between 1863 and 1886 an addition was made to the north end of the house for a second storey and doctor's office; this later structure and the stained glass "Dr. Mellow" window still exist.
Since Joseph Bascom was amateur photographer, a number of historic photographs exist which show the house in pre- and post-addition forms. Copies of these photos are held by the Uxbridge-Scott Museum, and are used to study the changing character of old Uxbridge Village. These photos, and the Bascom-Mellow house in them, are important tools for understanding part of Uxbridge's history. The earliest photo shows residential and industrial buildings in the background which disappeared by the turn of the century, as well as a gracious picket fence in front of the house separating the yard from a boardwalk. Later photos show the addition and second-storey gable, the new trim, and the old portico, a photo taken in May 1972, when the house was named Centennial Home, shows the new porch.
The house's several and typical architectural styles, its history of use as a physician's residence and office, and the excellent documentation available on the house combine to make it a significant feature of Uxbridge's heritage.
Previously known as the Russell's Church and later the Forsyth Church served the Methodist-Episcopalian congregation when it was built in 1870. Its frame construction covered with board and batten siding is set on a timber frame base and stone foundation. The medium pitch of the roof it typical of that period of time. It is a good example of the small rural churches of the period. It has served the community's religious needs for 100 years. To preserve this church complete with furnishings it was moved from its original location on Brock Road to the Museum grounds to be set down on a stone foundation.
For more information on the Foster Memorial please visit the website at www.fostermemorial.com or you can contact Bev Northeast at (905) 640-3966.
A Bit of History...
Thomas Foster was born near Toronto and raised in Scott Township, north of Uxbridge, where his father ran the Leaskdale Hotel. He became a butcher in Cabbagetown in Toronto, was elected M.P. and served as mayor of Toronto from 1925 to 1927. He also made a large fortune from real estate.
Foster visited India in his late seventies. After seeing the famous temple the Taj Mahal, Foster was inspired to build a memorial temple in his boyhood community, with a Christian adaptation. The memorial was erected in 1935-36 and cost $250,000. It contains three crypts for Mr. Foster, his wife, and his daughter. The interior of the Temple is awe-inspiring, with four great arches supported by marble columns. Symbols depict the Apostles and Gospel Writers. The floor contains terrazzo and marble mosaics with details such as the River Styx with water lilies.
J.H. Craig and H.H. Madill were the principal architects of the temple. They worked on an entirely new and original design based on Byzantine architecture, together with H.H. Madill. The Memorial is now owned by the Township of Uxbridge, and restoration has already been completed. Musical events are held at the Memorial each year to raise funds.
On September 21, 1996, a special historical designation ceremony was held at the memorial. The Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC) unveiled the plaque from the province acknowledging the domed mausoleum's uniqueness.
The Foster Memorial is open to the public for tours in July and August. Hours of operation are Wednesday - Sunday from 10:00am - 4:00pm (please call Bev Northeast at 905-640-3966) to confirm tour availability). There is a $4.00 Admission fee.
The meetings of the Foster Friends are the first Monday night of every month at 7:00pm. To inquire about the committee call Bev Northeast of the Foster Memorial Friends at (905) 640-3966 or The Township of Uxbridge Municipal Offices at (905) 852-9181.
Weddings can be booked at this very unique and beautiful Byzantine Building by calling Karen Ryl, Facility Booking Clerk at 905-852-6761
The Foster Memorial is located 4 km north of Uxbridge on Durham 1 (Concession 7). (9449 Concession 7 Durham 1)
The building provides a striking and surprising view for the unsuspecting traveler, surrounded rather incongruously as it is by rolling farmlands. Thomas Foster was influenced by a visit to the Taj Mahal in India (which was built as a burial place for the Emperor's favourite wife) and by Christian Byzantine Churches. He wanted a resting place for his wife and only child.
The resulting temple was built of Indiana limestone on an octagonal base, culminating in a great central dome sheathed in copper. Four piers capped with carved stone finials support the thrust of the interior arches. Entrance doors and window tracery are all of bronze. Twelve windows piercing the dome are of hand-painted, fired and leaded glass by artist Yvonne Williams. Marble mosaics in symbolic patterns cover the floors and domed ceiling. Italian marbles were used for the 16 interior columns with Devon stone capitals. The entire interior is one of opulent craftsmanship.
The Committee is currently fundraising to re-locate the two stone pillars and the archway to the front of the Thomas Foster Memorial Property.
Glen Major Methodist Church, located on the 7th Concession of Glen Major south of Durham 21, was built in 1873. Visiting this church is like stepping back in time, with its original handmade pews, cross and lectern. The original wainscoting is still in place in the sanctuary, with standard church windows for that era. The beautiful, original old pump organ is still used at church services during the summer months. There is no charge for tours, but donations for its upkeeping would be greatly appreciated.
An attractive plaque displayed on your building will show the date (or approximate date) of construction, the name and/or occupation of the original/notable owner. Your participation in the Heritage Pride Program will help showcase Uxbridge's architectural and historic features and promote heritage awareness.
What is Heritage Uxbridge?
Heritage Uxbridge is appointed by Council to advise and assist Council on heritage issues and to help ensure heritage conservation in the community through various programs and activities. Heritage Uxbridge promotes and manages the Heritage Plaque Program on behalf of the Township of Uxbridge. Heritage Uxbridge consists of volunteers and member(s) of Uxbridge Council.
Is a plaque the same as heritage designation? NO!
The Heritage Pride Plaque does not mean historic designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. The plaques aid in identifying Uxbridge's rich heritage but are not accompanied by any conservation benefits or regulations.
Do I qualify for a plaque?
If you own a building constructed prior to 1910 you may apply for a plaque. Buildings constructed after 1910 may also be considered, by including a description of its exceptional heritage characteristics, either in architecture, notable occupancy or cultural uniqueness. Applicants are contacted upon approval. Installation of the plaque is the responsibility of the building owner and guidelines will be provided. The plaque should be located in a prominent location visible from the street.
How do I get a plaque for my house or building?
Application packages are available online OR from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday to Friday 905-852-9181. Included in the package are ideas on researching your house or building. You are required to submit documentation of the original owner/notable owner, the owner's occupation and the date of construction. The Township of Uxbridge and the owner share the cost of the plaque. The owners share of the cost is $60(9"x13") or $75(12"x18") taxes included.
The single, detached, brick house located at 30 Franklin Street, Uxbridge, is recommended for designation for architectural reasons. Built approximately 1875, it is a compact vernacular example of the Second Empire style. The style is characterized, in this case, by a straight-sided mansard roof punctuated by two hooded dormers with enriched surrounds. The asymmetry of an off-centre main doorway creates a picturesque effect. In a fashion similar to the Italianate, the cornice is embellished with scrolled brackets and a plain frieze. Many other exterior features are worthy of note including 1) the indented double entryway with rounded lights, which echo the shape of the dormers and 2) raised brick quoins, for example.
Interior details specifically worth noting are:
well-crafted hardwood staircase including turned balusters, fretwork and carved newel post.
intricate ceiling medallions in upper and lower hall, with indications of same in living and dining rooms.
large and sometimes intricate cornice mouldings on lower level.
interior wooden trim, including window kneed, door surrounds and baseboards are original (and in some cases never painted).
hardwood floors in living and dining rooms composed of an unusual concentric square configuration.
original wainscot paneling and pine tongue and groove ceiling are present in the rear nap floor.
second floor bedroom doors all have glazed transoms.
The chain of title to the property has been traced back to the Crown Patent for 100 acres dated December 28, 1830 to the Canada Company. A lot was split off in 1875 and sold to Albert Hardy who is most likely the builder. This house is a very fine example of the Second Empire style and unusual in the Uxbridge Area. It is therefore proposed that the exterior and specific interior features as detailed above, be designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
The Leaskdale Manse was erected by St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in 1886. The carpenter was William Gordon of Udora and the brick work was done by Valentine Brooks of Mount Albert.
It is a typical, 1½ storey, brick-clad house with no significant architectural features. It is "T" shaped with a summer kitchen on the back. Unfortunately, the yellow bricks were covered with white stucco in the 1970's.
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Lucy Maud Montgomery, born in Prince Edward Island, is known internationally as the author of Anne of Green Gables. The Road to Avonlea television series, filmed on a set in Uxbridge Township, helped to increase her following.
In the summer of 1911, Maud married Rev. Ewan Macdonald. In September of that year, they came to live in the Manse in Leaskdale. Rev. Macdonald, also from P.E.I., had become the minister of St. Paul's Presbyterian Church in 1910.
The Leaskdale Manse was a very important part of L.M. Montgomery's life. She set up housekeeping for the first time, and raised her children, who attended the local school. She also wrote short stories and poetry, as well as 11 of her 24 books there, including:
Chronicles of Avonlea, 1912
The Golden Road, 1913
Anne of the Island, 1915
The Watchman and Other Poems, 1916
Anne's House of Dreams, 1917
Rainbow Valley, 1919
Further Chronicles of Avonlea, 1920
Rilla of Ingleside, 1920
Emily of New Moon, 1923
Emily Climbs, 1925
The Blue Castle, 1926
The Macdonalds moved away from Leaskdale in 1926.
The importance of the Leaskdale Manse was recognized by the Province of Ontario in 1965 when an Historic Sites plaque was unveiled on the grounds. It was also designated a national historic site in 1997. The plaque reads:
Lucy Maud Montgomery
In this house the author of "Anne of Green Gables" lived for fifteen years and here wrote eleven of her twenty-two novels including "Anne of the Island" (1915); and "Anne's House of Dreams" (1916). Born in 1874 at Clifton, Prince Edward Island, she was educated at Charlottetown and Halifax. From 1898 until 1911 she lived at Cavendish, P.E.I., and there began her career as a novelist. In 1911 she married the Rev. Ewan Macdonald, a Presbyterian minister, and came with him to Leaskdale. They moved in 1926 to Norval, and nine years later to Toronto, where she died in 1942. Mrs. Macdonald was awarded the O.B.E. by King George V in 1935.
The Manse, acquired by the Township of Uxbridge, will be restored to the period when L.M. Montgomery lived there.
The Leaskdale Manse Museum Committee endeavours to raise funds for the restoration and to promote awareness of the author and her life in the Uxbridge area. Tours are not available at this time. For more information about the Manse, call the Uxbridge-Scott Museum at (905) 852-5854. To inquire about the committee, call Nina Elliot at (905) 852-7493, Kathy Wasylenky (905) 852-5284. Any donations would be appreciated and cheques can be made payable to the "Township of Uxbridge", 51 Toronto St. S., L9P 1T1.
Celebrating 100 Years of Anne of Green Gables in Uxbridge
The Leaskdale Manse has been designated as a national as well as a provincial historic site.
Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote 11 of her 22 books in Leaskdale.
Maud came to Leaskdale as the bride of Rev. Ewan Macdonald and raised her family of two boys, Chester and Stuart, here. A third son, Hugh, was stillborn and he is buried in what is now called Foster Memorial Cemetery.
Maud was active in the community as the minister's wife, teaching Sunday School and Young Peoples, visiting the congregation, helping with missionary work, and supporting her husband. She also worked with the local Red Cross supporting the war effort during World War I.
In the summer of 1997, the unrestored manse was open to visitors. In 46 days, there were over 500 visitors from Canada, the USA, Europe and Japan.
Now, with the co-operation of Heritage Uxbridge, Uxbridge-Scott Museum Board, Parks Canada, and others, restoration efforts are underway. It will take time, but in the end, there will be a fully restored manse which will honour its most famous resident, and Canada's most famous author Lucy Maud Montgomery.
Visit the LMM Interpretive Centre at the Uxbridge-Scott Museum, for further information.
Whenever she did pastoral visiting Lucy Maud Montgomery always had her hands busy with some form of needlework, often crocheting. Some samples of her children's clothing remain in the collection on loan to Leaskdale Manse Museum Committee, from Wilda Clark. Several boxes of Lucy Maud Montgomery's handiwork are preserved at University of Guelph Archives.
Victorian ladies enjoyed needlecrafts of all sorts. Ribbon embroidery was used to decorate household items such as napkins and tablecloths. Clothing could be embellished with button and beads. Darning and pulled threads were used to repair clothes instead of throwing damaged articles in the garbage.
Quilting was used for fundraising in the community as well as recording town history. Quilts were made to record church history. Property of Uxbridge-Scott Museum, the Red Cross signature quilt has a contribution from Reverend Ewan McDonald and other members of the community.
Leaskdale Manse Museum Committee is raising money to restore the manse by making a signature quilt, which will be displayed. SEE CORDIALLY YOURS
One of the most interesting and fascinating interests Lucy Maud Montgomery pursued was photography. The Leaskdale Manse Museum Committee is fortunate to have access to these photos for research purposes, in order to restore the manse, between the journal descriptions and Maud's photographs. Some of the pictures were double exposed and included aspects of time lapse photography. At a talk at the University of Prince Edward Island conference in 2000, Dr. Epperly talked about Lucy Maud Montgomery's focus on curves in many of her pictures, and her use of keyholes of light. An extended version of Dr. Epperly's fascinating observations about Lucy Maud Montgomery's photographic techniques will be included in an exhibition catalogue, yet to be published. An interesting section in the Lucy Maud Montgomery album from LMM's "Cynthia " newspaper column gives photographic advice to anyone wishing to start photography as a hobby, including techniques for special effects. Some include set up shots with her included as a self-portrait. Much later on she received a movie camera as a thank-you for having judged a Canadian photography contest. Her favourite shots throughout the years included her children, flowers and her cats, and landscapes.
As the wife of the Reverend Ewan Macdonald, Lucy Maud Montgomery had a busy life. She took part in all the societies centred in the church, visited families in the congregation with Ewan, and trained children for the annual Sunday school concert, and rehearsed young people's plays. Ewan and Lucy Maud are fondly remembered in Leaskdale as a ministerial couple who worked very hard for young people and enjoyed their company.
After World War II "Anne of Green Gables" translated by Hanako Muraoka, was eagerly embraced by the Japanese people in order for them to learn English. This is the most popular and recognized LMM book throughout the world. Many groups in Japan get together as do book clubs in North America, to discuss LMM's books and go on field trips. One of these groups "The Buttercups" has become Kindred Spirits to those of us at the Leaskdale Manse Museum. A group came here July 24, 1998 for a tour of the Leaskdale area. A Victorian tea was held in the church at Leaskdale, and the Buttercups presented us with copies of LMM's "Anne" books in Japanese. We will treasure the memory of that wonderful day forever.
A favorite pastime, Lucy Maud Montgomery's gardens included flowers and vegetables. At Leaskdale, her garden photographs clearly show that she interplanted flowers and vegetables in the Prince Edward Island style. Through her photos and journal entries we have a very good idea of what was planted. Original to the manse, a Virginia creeper was discovered on the north side of the house. Cuttings were taken and transplanted to grow up the posts of the veranda, to replicate the manse appearance 1911- 1926.
Two circle gardens at the front of the manse were reproduced. Have you ever read Lucy Maud Montgomery's sprightly journal entry regarding the uppity young sprig of a student minister who oh-so- helpfully "weeded those circle gardens pulling out all her newly sprouted alyssum plant"? Anne of Green Gables Plants include alyssum around the border, King Alfred daffodils (spring) and cosmos (summer). The Uxbridge flower is cosmos. (Happy accident!)
Many varieties of bulbs do not exist today as they did 100 years ago. One example is the hyacinth- in Lucy Maud Montgomery's time there used to be over 130 kinds of hyacinth, now there are only a few.
When work on the manse building was frozen it also included the gardens. Maintenance of the grounds continues by volunteers.
Lucy Maud Montgomery took great joy in harvesting fresh produce, because convenience stores did not exist then. She deliberately planted an eye-catching row of cosmos opposite her dining room window to provide "a feast for the eyes as well as the palate." Anne of Green Gables
The display of Lucy Maud Montgomery's photos at the Stratford- Perth Museum featured a lovely reproduction of the trellised fence and archway into her Leaskdale garden. After years of writing about her ideal garden in poems and in the article "A Garden of Old Delights", Maud finally had an opportunity to create her own small Eden at Leaskdale. She delighted in the early Ontario springs, as compared to Prince Edward Island, and despaired when a "violent Ontario thunderstorm" washed out all her hard work. A photograph with her young sons proudly displays giant sunflowers cut to dry the seed heads. Tied up to the back post, the heads stand as tall as the eaves! Surely those unforgettable gardens of her imagination at the Barry farm The House of Dreams, at New Moon, Lantern Hill and Silver Bush inspired and was inspired by her lovely Leaskdale garden.
Train Station - Lucy Maud Montgomery used the train to go back and forth to go to Toronto. Sometimes to visit or conduct business with the publishers the train was the main transportation before electric cars. If you have read the lovely children's book "Lucy Maud and the Cavendish Cat", you will know that Daffy arrived via the Uxbridge Train Station.
Thomas Foster Memorial - LMM son Hugh is buried in the cemetery 2 kilometres from the manse
General Store/ Post Office - This is where the manuscripts were mailed from and sent to the publishers in Toronto
We appreciate all inquiries and questions. We are old-fashioned folks that respond to regular old snail-mail as well as e-mail, which might take time, but we'll get it! Addresses are on our brochure or as below.
The former Commercial Hotel Building is the only remaining building of its kind from the 1860 period. Its structure and style hCommercial Hotelave not been dramatically altered. A research revealed that the first owner was Tobia St. John and first mention of the building in the local newspaper was in 1869, when a Mr. Miller applied for a billiard table licence.
The building is a two-storey, wooden frame structure in the Classic Revival Style, built before 1869 and typical of its time, with one inch horizontal plank walls, covered with five inch horizontal wood clapboard painted white. There are five windows on the second floor front and four windows and a central door on the first floor. Both upper and lower floors consist of four rooms each and a central hall. The stairs, doors and interior trim are all original and will be restored, including the plastered walls and original sash windows. The building will be restored and furnished in the style of the 1860's and used as a fine eating establishment in keeping with its history.
By 1804, settlers had begun to make their way into the virgin forests around the Uxbridge valley, to create a rural pioneer community. The first meeting hall was a clearing with stumps for chairs and the sky for a roof. Then the settlers' homes provided space for congregating. Quaker families in the area built their own Friends' Meeting House in 1809. By the 1850's the hamlet of Uxbridge had numerous places such as lodge halls, schools, taverns, to take care of meeting needs.
The 1850's brought a large expansion of the hamlet and a need arose for a central place of meeting where citizens could come together for socializing and entertainment as well as business.
About 1865, a site was leased from the Planks on the west side of Main Street where the present hall now stands and a building known as the Ontario Hall was erected.
In 1893, the Ontario Hall burned down. Uxbridge was eight years without a new hall.
By May 1900, a public meeting had been called to propose the raising of four thousand dollars to procure a site and build a hall. Amidst extensive discussion regarding the site for the new hall, plans got underway with the establishment of a local Musical Society and the acceptance of a design by James Walker Jr., of Buffalo. On August 19th, 1901, a large and enthusiastic crowd was on hand to watch the laying of the corner stones and on December 19th, 1901, the official opening of the Music Hall took place. Known for its superior acoustics, the Uxbridge Music Hall is a thriving cultural centre today.
Widely used by theatrical groups such as Uxbridge Players and vocal groups such as Sweet Adelines, Inc. and the Uxbridge Chamber Choir, the Uxbridge Music Hall is an outstanding example of our local heritage.
Known for its superior acoustics, the Uxbridge Music Hall is a thriving cultural centre. It is widely used by theatrical groups such as the Uxbridge Players, Seventh Star Productions and the Uxbridge Musical Theatre, and by choral groups such as the Pineridge Chorus. The Music Hall is an outstanding example of our local heritage.
This beautiful historical facility is climate controlled for year round comfort. It is a multi-use facility, ideal for theatrical productions, concerts, recitals and conferences, as well as dinners, wedding receptions, parties, meetings and seminars. Theatre style seating capacity is 300, while it can accommodate 150 for catered dining.
Is the Uxbridge Music Hall the right location for your production or function?
For Facility Booking Information please contact:
Uxbridge Music Hall Theatre and Arts Groups
Listed Below are some of the theatre and arts groups which utilize the Music Hall on a regular basis. Contact information is included.
In 1875, land was purchased by the Township for $100.00 and a contract awarded to Philo Patterson to build a brick Town Hall for $1,200.00. The first meeting was held December 20, 1875 and the first secret ballot vote in the Township was held in the Hall for the Municipal elections of 1876.
In addition to Council meetings, political meetings, nominations and elections, until 1973, this Hall has been used by many different segments of the community over the years. These include:
Baptist, Methodist and Anglican churches
Orange Lodge first met there in 1876 and used it until 1986
The "Mutual Improvement Society" held weekly debates in the 1880's
The Salvation Army started holding meetings in 1885
Various Medicine Companies held their shows there
Various lodges held meetings there during the 1890's
It was used as a Magistrate Court
Many community "socials", fund-raisers, information meetings, public meetings and forms of entertainment used the hall over the years
During World War I it housed Recruiting Meetings and Patriotic Concerts
In 1938 the Women's Institute started a library and it continued until the mid-1950's
World War II money-raising events were held there, overseas boxes were packed and a returning soldiers' social held there
Many socials and community functions have been held there until the new Goodwood Community Hall was built in 1972
The Lions Club has leased the hall since 1987
This hall has been the site of important and significant events as well as offering a reflection of the community at various times from 1875 to the present.
The Orange Lodge Hall, which was situated at Victoria Corners, was built in the early 1860's. Although there have been some later changes, it is felt that it is typical of the small rural public buildings of that period.
It has served as an Orange Lodge Hall for well over 100 years as well as hosting many other social activities of the community - concerts, church social meetings, bridal showers, etc. It is of frame and plank construction placed on a timber frame base which in turn rests on a stone foundation. The medium pitch of the roof identifies it with that particular period. In order to preserve it, the building was moved to the Museum grounds where it was set down on a stone foundation. It will be used for displays, craft demonstrations and meetings.
Pine Grove United Church, located on the 7th Concession, north if Durham 21, was built in 1878. When Pine Grove became an appointment on the Uxbridge circuit 1868, it was known as the "Wilderness Appointment". The church is still open for at least two services a year and has retained the original board and batten exterior, pews, lecturn, organ and the ambiance of yesterday. In June of 1953, in the cemetery beside the church, a cross of Remembrance was raised to honour all the unknown and unmarked graves of the Pine Grove Pioneers.
Elijah Collins, a Pennsylvania Quaker, is reported to have been the first settler in Uxbridge Township. In the fall of 1805, he made his way through the bush from Yonge Street to settle on Lot 21 in the 5th Concession, located at the north-east corner of the current Wagg Road and Regional Road 47. He was followed almost immediately by others, and soon a number of Quaker families were scattered on clearings in the north-east part of the township. Over the next 3 or 4 years, they were joined by more settlers such as the Gold and James families who had come earlier to the Yonge Street settlement.
In 1806, the newly formed Monthly Meeting at Yonge Street allowed the Uxbridge Friends to begin holding Indulged Meetings. These were held in homes. On May 12, 1808, the Uxbridge Friends requested the assistance of the Yonge Street Meeting in looking for a suitable place for a Meeting House and burial ground. Thomas Linville, Isaac Phillips, Samuel Lundy, Asa Rogers and John Doan were appointed to help with this and report to the next meeting.
They met with Uxbridge Friends and acquired land on the northeast corner of lot 29, Concession 5. Joseph Collins, Charles Chapman and James Hughes were appointed as trustees to take title. Mr. Chapman was appointed to look after the deed which they had received by the summer of 1809. The local Friends continued to meet regularly at the home of Mr. Chapman until they had erected a log Meeting House. They also acquired land in 1809 across the road from their lot for a Burial Ground.
In 1817, a Preparitive Meeting was set up in Uxbridge. The first entries in the minutes of meetings which followed this state that certain Friends were appointed "to provide boards and funds for the Meeting House." This continued until 1820 when it is considered that the present Meeting House was built. A deed for the Meeting House property was finally registered in 1820 by the trustees.
When this Meeting House was built, it was typical of Friends Meeting Houses of the time in that it was divided across the middle by a partition creating two equal rooms, one for men and one for women. Each room had its own entrance door. Apparently the west door was originally a window, and a door was located where the west window is now. Part of the dividing partition could be removed so joint meetings of men and women could be held.
We have been told that men and women met separately for worship until one day when a baby became very cranky at a Meeting. The father, hearing that there were problems, went into the women's section, and said, "A man's place is with his family". It wasn't long after this event that they started worshiping as one group.
The Uxbridge Journal newspaper noted, in September of 1892, that there was then talk of building a new Quaker Meeting House in Uxbridge Town. However, this did not develop, and by the early 1920's, Quaker numbers in Uxbridge Township were becoming less. On May 17, 1925, the Pickering Monthly Meeting recommended to the Canada Yearly Meeting that the Uxbridge Meeting be "laid down" or closed.
You may be surprised to learn that in the Uxbridge Times-Journal for July 11, 1940, there was a call for sale by tender of the Friends Church property "consisting of 2 acres of land, a frame church 20 x 40, a shed 20 x 35, and about 50 maple trees. A beautiful place for a summer home, or one wishing to retire, just one mile from the town of Uxbridge." Tenders were to be sent to Albert James.
This call for tenders prompted a lengthy article in the paper the following week which ended by saying that "the Township Council should step in and take over the property." Someone must have pulled the right strings, because the Meeting House, the oldest building in our Township, is still with us in 1999.
Also, the near loss of this heritage property must have stirred up new interest. On July 6, 1941, the first "union" service was held in the Meeting House with Rev. Hill of the Newmarket Friends Church presiding and delivering a sermon. Also involved were Rev. Atkinson of Uxbridge United Church, Rev. Edmunds and Rev. Warren. Musical entertainment was provided by a male quartet consisting of Rev. Warren, L. Pickett and the Kennedy brothers. A committee was appointed to look after the building, and an appeal by Albert James brought enough money to paint the building which was done soon after.
It is a tribute to the various committees that have served since that first annual meeting in 1941 that the Uxbridge Friends Meeting House is in such fine shape now.
Want to learn more about the Quaker Heritage and the history behind the Township of Uxbridge? Come and visit the museum on Quaker Hill on Concession 6, just north of Durham Road 8. The museum has been operating since 1972, by the Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society until 1995. Beginning 1996, the museum continued operation under the Uxbridge-Scott Museum Board. Uxbridge-Scott Museum Website
The Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society was formed in 1971 to collect, preserve and display the history of the Uxbridge area, and to work in co-operation with the museum, when it opened in 1972.
Since the early days of the Museum, it has been the intention of the Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society, along with its regular Museum activities, to create on the Museum Grounds a collection of farm buildings to reflect the rural background of the community.
Part of that goal was achieved when the Carmody House was moved to the site. The long implement shed and the Nesbitt Shed are also a part of that theme.
Also in the early years, architectural plans were drawn for a three-floor addition to the rear of the school to provide living quarters for a curator, more display space, a vault, washrooms, etc. These ideas were eventually shelved because of the finances that would have been involved.
Meanwhile, other buildings were moved to the Museum to preserve them as well as to provide space for displays and events.
In the 1970's, sites for buildings were limited to the original schoolyard. The buildings were placed within those boundaries in positions suitable at that time.
By the early 1980's, the original acre was full. Because an attempt in 1981 to acquire 5 acres from the adjoining land was unsuccessful, the Historical Society was unable to move the former Commercial Hotel to the Museum.
By 1988, the Township of Uxbridge had obtained about 1 1/10 acres to the east of the Museum Grounds. This made it possible to move the Carmody farmhouse to the site that year and continue the farmstead theme.
In the fall of 1992, a committee reviewed the previous Museum plans, updated them, and reviewed them with Uxbridge Township Council. Even as these new plans were being made, they were changing because the former Scott Township Hall became available. It was a majority view that the Hall had to be moved to the Museum.
In 1994, Mart Brent of Black Creek Pioneer Village visited the Museum on request and suggested some changes in the Museum's operations.
In 1995, previous plans were reviewed by the Curator, and a report was compiled outlining current and long-term Museum plans. In the fall of 1995, a committee was formed to review and implement some of these plans. An outcome was that the front sidewalk and the food booth pad were replaced by the new ones, and the Church was reshingled.