Llewellyn Hall

By Melissa Cole, Curator

“Formerly the residence of Mr. R.S. McLaughlin and became the possession of the Foreign Mission Board in the year 1919.  It was known as Llewellyn Hall and the name continued.  It is a two and a half storey brick building, on one of the best residential streets in the Town.  It has beautiful grounds, magnificent trees and tennis court, and is artistically finished within as well as attractive without.”

~The Second Prospectus, 1924 Llewellyn Hall

Opening in the fall of 2018 at the Oshawa Museum will be an exhibition that looks at Community Health in the 20th Century: An Oshawa Perspective.   What does Llewellyn Hall have to do with community health?  It was utilized for a brief time as Oshawa’s Maternity Ward.

The home was ordered to be built by James Odgers Guy who was a coal dealer in Oshawa.  He resided in this home with his wife Rachel and their children.  The name of the home was Llewellyn Hall, in memory of a son named Llewellyn Harold who had passed away.  They lived in the home until 1897.

James Odgers Guy
James O. Guy

Robert Samuel McLaughlin of Tyrone purchased the home from the Guys.  Robert lived in the home with his wife Adelaide and all five daughters, Eileen, Mildred, Isobel, Hilda and Eleanor were born there.  This was the McLaughlin Family home until 1917, when they moved into Parkwood Estate.

Robert and Adelaide McLaughlin, under the names of the McLaughlin Carriage Company, the McLaughlin Motor Car Company and Chevrolet Motor Car Company of Canada, gifted their home to the Oshawa General Hospital, for $1, to be used as a maternity hospital.

Adelaide McLaughlin, who was president of the Hospital Auxiliary, stated at the formal opening of the maternity hospital that she hoped “all future mothers in this house may be as happy as I was when here”.  Inspector of Hospitals, Dr. Helen McMurchie of the Ministry of Health for the Province of Ontario stated that “every hospital must have a satisfactory maternity wing and Oshawa has successfully followed this direction”.

Maternity Home

The first baby girl was born the day it formally opened on Wednesday July 12 at 1917, delivered to a Mrs. F. Patfield by Dr. F.J Rundle.  In 1918, the Spanish Flu swept through the Maternity Ward.  It was reported that ninety-five percent of the babies in the Ward passed away.

One of the last babies to be born at the Maternity Ward was in 1919 before it was sold to the Presbyterian Church in Canada to be a home for children in missionary families of the United Church of Canada.  For the next twenty-nine years, Adelaide McLaughlin offered her support through various means, financially, socially and advisory to the residents, Matrons and staff.

The final years of Lewellyn Hall were spent as the location of education and worship, after being purchased in 1948, by the Oshawa Hebrew Congregation, known as the Beth Zion Synagogue.  By 1952 the number Jewish families in Oshawa outgrew the space and the building was torn down to build a new synagogue, which still stands today.

This house nurtured many lives that crossed it’s threshold.  Built for the Guy Family and for fifteen years it was home to Colonel Sam and Adelaide McLaughlin and their five daughters and it was a home for Protestant missionary children and before its end was the core for education and worship.

Where the Streets Get Their Names – Adelaide Avenue

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

People who are familiar with Oshawa’s streets might not give a second thought when they approach the intersection of Ritson Road and Adelaide Avenue; to some it may just be a crossing of two major arteries.  If you dig a little deeper though, you might be surprised to learn the stories behind these two names, and the names of other streets in our city. Today, we’ll look at the history behind Adelaide Avenue.

Portion of 1911 Fire Insurance Map, showing alignment of Louisa Street and Alice Street, from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection
Portion of 1911 Fire Insurance Map, showing alignment of Louisa Street and Alice Street, from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

Today, Adelaide Avenue is a major east-west road through our city, however the street name itself is just over 50 years old.  Before 1959, Alice Street ran east from Mary Street and Louisa Street ran west from Simcoe Street North.  If you notice on the above map, the two streets to not meet nor intersect. These names were withdrawn and renamed Adelaide Avenue in honour of Mrs. R.S. McLaughlin. There is a slight jog in Adelaide Avenue at Simcoe Street which resulted from connecting the two streets.

The names Alice and Louisa have not been used since for any roads.

RS McLaughlin (left) and Adelaide McLaughlin (middle) on their 58th wedding anniversary in Bermuda; from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection
RS McLaughlin (left) and Adelaide McLaughlin (middle) on their 58th wedding anniversary in Bermuda; from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

Adelaide Mowbray was born in 1875 and married R.S. McLaughlin in 1898.

Adelaide Avenue
Adelaide Avenue

The McLaughlin’s were renowned in Oshawa and across the province for their philanthropy and generosity, and Mrs. McLaughlin herself devoted her time and efforts to several causes.  Adelaide set out with other women in the community to raise funds for a hospital in Oshawa, and Oshawa General Hospital officially opened in 1910.  She founded and served as head of the Hospital Auxiliary for over 50 years.   Mrs. McLaughlin also served as Honorary President of the Canadian Home and School and Parent-Teacher Federation, and she was a proud supporter of the YWCA, Girl Guides, the Ontario Historical Society, Women’s Welfare League, St. John’s Ambulance, and the Victorian Order of Nurses, among other causes.  Mrs. McLaughlin’s Chrysanthemum Teas at Parkwood Estate were celebrated events, often hosting over 800 people a year.

There is another street in Oshawa named in Adelaide’s honour.

Alma Street, at Golf Street
Alma Street, at Golf Street

Alma Street, named circa 1910, is an acrostic formed from the names of Mrs. Adelaide Louise(R.S.) McLaughlin and Mrs. Mazo (Robert): A.L.MA.

These women were essential workers in the fund raising campaign to construct a hospital in Oshawa.

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