The Month That Was – February 1868

From The Oshawa Vindicator
February 12, 1868
Sudden Death – Mr. Jos. Heighton, township of Scarboro, died suddenly on Tuesday, the 11th inst.  About one o’clock be came into the house and complained of being unwell, and in ten minutes afterwards, he was dead.  He was fifty three years of age.

 

February 12, 1868
February 12, 1868

 

February 12, 1868
February 12, 1868

 

From The Whitby Chronicle
February 13, 1868
Destructive Fire in Oshawa – Miall’s Cabinet Factory burned down – Early on Sunday morning the large new three storey frame building, known as Miall’s Cabinet Factory, at Oshawa, was discovered in flames.  The building and contents were totally destroyed before the progress of the fire could be arrested.  The estimated loss is $3,000, and, we understand, there was only a small insurance, some $600 on the building.  The bulk of the furniture had been stored in the warehouses at South Oshawa to which the insurance on stock was confined.
Three houses opposite and adjoining the factory were also engulfed in the flames, one of them, a handsome brick residence belonging to Mr. F. Taylor, and on which there was an insurance for $600.

 

Married: Sauderson – Hodgson – By the Red. John Law, on the 9th inst., Mr. John Sauderson, of Oshawa, to Miss Sarah Elizabeth Hodgson, of the same place

 

February 27, 1868

Burglary at Oshawa – The Tannery of Mr. William Warren, at Oshawa, was broken into on the night of Wednesday last, and leather to the amount of $100, we learn, stolen.

 

February 6, 1868
February 6, 1868

 

From The Canadian Statesman
February 27, 1868
Farm For Sale
Consisting of 55 acres lying two miles north of the Town of Bowmanville, on the Manvers Road.  There are on the premises a comfortable Frame House and barn, and about 500 excellent fruit trees, nearly all bearing. It is well watered, and will be sold cheap for cash.  For particulars, enquire of George Henry, on the premises; or at his Photographic Gallery, Bowmanville.
*George Henry was the second eldest son of Thomas Henry, after whom Henry House of the Oshawa Museum is named.

Canadian Statement Feb 27 1868
February 27, 1868 *Mrs. Henry is PA Henry, wife of George and biographer for Thomas Henry

 

The Village of Cedar Dale

By Jennifer Weymark, Archivist
This article was originally published in the Oshawa Express, March 2009

Cedar Dale was located just south of what today is known as Bloor Street and was bounded by Park Road and Wilson Road with frontage to Lake Ontario.  It was not a part of Oshawa until the early 1920s.  Prior to this date, Cedar Dale was designated a “Police Village”, separate also from East Whitby Township.  Many local historians credit the creation of Cedar Dale to one man, A.S. Whiting.  This rather noteworthy credit is given to Whiting because he chose to build his new manufacturing business south of the other industries found in the Oshawa area.  Mr. Whiting even brought in people to work at his new factory from his home state of Connecticut.  In fact, Whiting is even credited with naming Cedar Dale. The Ontario Reformer for Friday, May 7, 1873 credited Mr. Whiting for the existence of Cedar Dale.  According to the article, it was “through the establishment and enterprise of the Cedar Dale Works” that Cedar Dale now exists. The plant not only brought work and thus income to the area, but it brought people to work at the plant and make their homes near by.  Whiting Avenue was home to many of the employees who came to the area to work for Mr. Whiting.

A.S. Whiting Manufacturing Co., from the Oshawa Community Archives
A.S. Whiting Manufacturing Co., from the Oshawa Community Archives

In 1852 Whiting formed the Oshawa Manufacturing Company with several other stockholders.  This new company was located just north of what is now Bloor Street.  The company was successful for the first few years of its existence; however, the general stock crash in 1857, which followed the Crimean War, led to financial difficulties in the Oshawa Manufacturing Company and Mr. Whiting turned to Joseph Hall for assistance.  Concerning this arrangement, Whiting was later quoted as saying “I thought I had caught a big fish in Joseph Hall; so I did, for he swallowed me.”  In 1858 the company failed and the stockholders lost all they had invested.  From the ruins of the Oshawa Manufacturing Company came the Joseph Hall Works, which was started after this failure.  In 1860 Whiting decided to return to the manufacturing business and he rented a part of the Joseph Hall Works and began manufacturing scythes and hoes. In 1862, as the Hall Works continued to grow, there was no more room for Whiting’s operation at the Hall works and so Whiting decided to build the Cedar Dale Works in partnership with Mr. Gilbert and E.C. Tuttle.  His brothers Hiram, Homer and Edward joined him with this business venture around this time as well.  In 1867 Tuttle sold his interest to John Cowan and the firm became known as Whiting and Cowan.  In 1872 the business became known as the A.S. Whiting Manufacturing Co.

On July 4, 1862 Mr. Whiting held a picnic on the grounds beside his new factory to celebrate the opening of this new industry.  The Oshawa Vindicator for July 2, 1862 informed its readers that the date, July 4th, was chosen because it was the most convenient for those planning the event and that was in no sense a 4th of July celebration.   The factory did not open until the fall of 1862. Upon the death of Mr. Whiting in March 1876, his son-in-law, R.S. Hamlin, took over the operation of the business.  This arrangement continued until 1886 when the business was sold to a Mr. Chaplin from St. Catharines.  When the business eventually closed for good, the building was left vacant until 1899 when, after a fire destroyed the South Oshawa Tannery, James Robson relocated his tannery to the old A.S. Whiting building.  The Robson Tannery was a major employer in Oshawa until it closed in 1977.  Part of Robson Tannery still exists as the head office for CLOCA, Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority.

Robson Leather Tannery, from the Oshawa Community Archives
Robson Leather Tannery, from the Oshawa Community Archives

With the influx of workers and other people settling in this area just north of the lake, it was decided to build a school.  Some time in the early 1800s School Section No. 2 was built.  The log school was located on Simcoe Street between the centre of the settlement of Oshawa and the lakeshore.  In 1867 a brick school was built and this one room schoolhouse was soon modified into a two-room schoolhouse.  This school serviced the residents of the area for many, many years; however, in the early 1900s the growth of the area meant that this schoolhouse was no longer big enough.  Plans were drawn up for a new six-room brick schoolhouse to be built across the road from the old school on property owned by Gordon D. Conant.  The new school opened in 1920.  The school was enlarged just seven years later with two new classrooms being added and once again in 1960.  This is the school that we see today located at 827 Gordon Street, just off Simcoe Street.  Since the 1970s the school has struggled and on numerous occasions proposals have been put forth to close the school.  However, community pressure forced the school board to keep the school open and to make any necessary repairs to the building in order to keep it open.  The school was able to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 1995.  However, in 2002 community pressure was no longer able to stop the school board from deciding to close Cedardale Public School.  The decision was made to close both Cedardale P.S. and Conant P.S. and to consolidate the student body into one brand new school to be called the Bobby Orr P.S.

Pupils of the Cedar Dale Public School, c. 1890, from the Oshawa Community Archives
Pupils of the Cedar Dale Public School, c. 1890, from the Oshawa Community Archives

In 1874, the Cedar Dale post office opened.  From 1874 to 1889 William Coleman acted as the first postmaster for Cedar Dale.  Throughout its history, the Cedar Dale post office had only 8 postmasters, the last one being Mrs. Helen Jane Dixon who left her post in 1952, when the office was closed.  The office was located at 706 Simcoe Street South in 1924, shortly after Cedar Dale had been annexed to Town of Oshawa.  The final location of the Cedar Dale post office was at 744 Simcoe Street South.

The Cedar Dale United Church began as the second Cedar Dale Village School.  According to the “Builders’ Half-Moon Stone” found above the front entrance, the building was constructed in 1867.  The stone, which is now covered under the stucco, informs us that this was the brick school built to replace the log cabin school.  Following the school’s closure, George McLaughlin bought the building and gave it the United Church to become the Cedar Dale United Church in 1927.  The present day Sanctuary still contains vestiges of the old school house.  The wainscoting around the walls and most of the woodwork is original to the construction of the building.  In fact, according to William Watts, author of the book, “A Summing Up: A History of Cedar Dale United Church” many “inscriptions” created by students at the school can be seen on the woodwork.

The Cedar Dale United Church, from the Oshawa Community Archives
The Cedar Dale United Church, from the Oshawa Community Archives

In 1922 the process of annexing Cedar Dale by the Town of Oshawa began.  This was a contentious process, with arguments for and against annexation by both those living in Oshawa and those living in Cedar Dale.  Discussions actually began several years before the area was actually annexed.  Around 1914, Oshawa Town Council approached the village of Cedar Dale about joining the Town.  Town Council was eager to have Cedar Dale become a part of the town, as there were government grants available for harbour improvements.  In an article published in the January 10, 1922 Ontario Reformer, part of the reason for the controversy in 1922 was the fact that when the town approached Cedar Dale they were not anxious to allow the annexation to occur.  However, according to Deputy-Reeve F.L. Mason, they now wanted the annexation to occur as the Cedar Dale school section, along with Westmount, was paying the highest rate of any school section in East Whitby and they wanted to come into Oshawa so that the town would assume their heavy school debt. Many citizens of Oshawa did not see the annexation as a positive step for the Town at that time.  According to the Oshawa Daily Times, September 30, 1922, both sides apparently agreed that the growth of both Oshawa and Cedar Dale would be hindered if annexation did not materialize.  However, the sides could not agree on the issue of assessment.  The residents of Cedar Dale did not want to see their assessments increase to the levels paid by Oshawa residents.  The residents of Oshawa did not think that it would be fair for those in Cedar Dale to be given any special concessions in order to suppose the annexation.  The issues preventing the annexation were eventually resolved and Cedar Dale became a part of Oshawa by the end of 1922.

The annexation of Cedar Dale was the start of Oshawa annexing smaller surrounding communities and eventually all of East Whitby Township to create that city that is known today as Oshawa.  Although Cedar Dale is now a part of Oshawa, it is a still the beloved hometown of those who grew up there.

Greetings from Cedar Dale, Oshawa Community Archives Collection
Greetings from Cedar Dale, Oshawa Community Archives Collection

Barnhart’s Pavilion

Now that winter firmly has its grip on southern Ontario and throughout Canada, we’re turning our thoughts to warmer summer days, sharing the history of Barnhart’s Pavilion, once a fixture at Oshawa’s lakefront.

Barnhart's Pavilion
Barnhart’s Pavilion

One of Oshawa’s most popular recreational pavilions, Barnhart’s, was established in 1920 by William Harold and Viola Rebecca Barnhart.  William Harold Barnhart was born April 21, 1883 and Viola Rebecca was born on September 8, 1880 to Charles and Rebecca Hooper.   In 1906 Harold moved from Brockville to work at the McLaughlin Carriage Factory.  This was also the same year that Viola and Harold met.  They met at a skating rink and from there, their courtship began.  In 1908 they were married.

Harold Barnhart moved to Detroit in 1909 to work as a varnish rubber where he made $20.00 a week.  That same year the Barnhart’s first child, Joyce, was born.  Throughout the following years Viola saved the family’s money to buy a lot on a short street, which was 65’ by 140’.  In 1910 their second daughter was born and she was named Lillian Yvonne.

By 1913, Mr. Barnhart was tired of working as a varnish rubber and began to develop rheumatism in his arms.  The Barnharts decided to sell their home and buy a candy store in downtown Oshawa that Mr. Barnhart managed.  In 1917 Mr. Barnhart and his father built a house which they were able to pay cash for.  When the Barnhart’s candy store lease ran out, they decided to purchase lakefront property in Oshawa in 1920.  The property they purchased consisted of a dance hall, sixteen rooms for campers, boats and twenty cottages.

The Pavilion, north elevation
The Pavilion, north elevation

The property Barnhart’s purchased once belonged to Mr. M.C. Mallory.  Mr. Mallory hosted large dances, concerts, games and other sorts of activities at his pavilion for the general public.  He was also the owner of cottages that surrounded the pavilion.   Mr. Mallory put his pavilion and cottages up for sale on October 1, 1891 after an incident that occurred where several young men broke into his pavilion to hold a bachelor party.  Mr. Mallory was extremely appalled by this incident and as a result of this disgraceful treatment; he closed the pavilion off to the general public and decided to sell his business.

Barnhart’s became a well-known “hangout” for the Oshawa locals and campers.  The Barnhart’s held dances in the pavilion and rented out four apartments and cottages.  The Barnharts also resided in one of the cottages.

The Barnhart's Cottage
The Barnhart’s Cottage

The Barnharts were also well-known for their ice-cream parlour and snack bar.  Betty Mac of Oshawa recalls purchasing all sorts of one-cent treats at Barnhart’s, such as liquorice babies, hard hars and marshmallow cones.

The Barnharts also owned several boathouses.  Mrs. Helen Hill of Oshawa recalls Mr. Barnhart taking people over to his boathouse to launch his yacht, where he would take them on a ride.

The boathouses at Barnhart's
The boathouses at Barnhart’s

During the 1930s and early 1940s, the Barnharts held square dances at their pavilion. They were able to keep their business alive during the 1930 Depression and finished paying for the lakefront property by 1943.  In 1951 Mr. Barnhart suffered a severe heart attack while shoveling ice from their sidewalk.  In 1953 he caught a serious illness which led to his death in October 1954.  In 1958 the Barnharts youngest daughter, Lillian took sick and passed away.

Mrs. Barnhart sold the cottages and one acre of their land to the City in 1968.  On March 19, 1975 Mrs. Barnhart passed away.

Although the Barnharts have passed on and the pavilion and cottages they once owned have been taken down, the memories of the fun-filled summer spent at the Barnhart’s have lived on.  Many elders of Oshawa today still recall the many dances, they tasty ice-cream and the exhilarating boat rides they participated in during their youthful days.

Oshawa on the Lake
Oshawa on the Lake

Student Museum Musings – Helaina

By Helaina, Social Media Assistant Co-op Student

My experience as a co-op student here at the Oshawa Community Museum has been really good. I have learned so much during my five months here. Co-op is a different type of education, its hands on learning, it’s something that can’t always be provided for you at school. Co-op gives students a great opportunity to go out and work in the real world. I have learned about various different promotional techniques and skills here.

I was challenged with many different projects, but I loved working on all of them. I learned how to use programs like Photoshop, Moviemaker, and many others. All of the staff were so kind and welcoming to me here, I couldn’t have asked for a better placement. Unfortunately my semester is finished and I have to go back to full days at school. All I can say is that I had a great time working at the Museum and I will miss it next semester.

Sincerely, Helaina

Helping to decorate the tree in the Museum Shop
Helping to decorate the tree in the Museum Shop
Helaina working hard in the Archives
Helaina working hard in the Archives
21st Century Victorians - one of Helaina's last projects - here is a Victorian Selfie
21st Century Victorians – one of Helaina’s last projects – here is a Victorian Selfie
21st Century Victorians - Gangnam Style!
21st Century Victorians – Gangnam Style!
21st Century Victorians - YOLO
21st Century Victorians – YOLO

 

Many thanks, Helaina, for all of your hard work, creativity, and dedication this semester! We’ve all enjoyed working with you, and all the best for your future studies!

Student Museum Musings – Carey

by Carey Bulger, Durham College Library & Information Tech Student

Hi everyone,

My name is Carey Bugler and I’m a second year student at Durham College in the Library and Information Technician (or LIT) course. I am currently doing part of my field placement here at the Oshawa Community Museum and I’m excited to be here. I’ve always loved museums, even before I learned that this course allowed me to work in this sort of environment. Something about the history of a town, or even just a specific place, has always been interesting to me. Working with the archives lets me have some hands on experience and it allows me to see that history up close and in a slightly more personal way.

I’m hoping that the time I spend here is as interesting as I’ve built it up to be in my mind and, from only being here for one day, I can certainly say that it’s going toward that goal. While I haven’t done much other than a bit of data entry I have been able to see some historic documents that I wouldn’t have been able to before, and that I wouldn’t have really thought about before now. I can tell that I’m going to enjoy my time here.

New Picture
The Oshawa Community Archives

Museums and Archives are amazing places that, in my opinion, do not get enough attention. There’s so much you can learn from the past that you can compare to now. Every time you look into the past you find something new and interesting to look at and learn about. It’s one of the reasons that I’m excited to be here and why I’m excited to possibly pursue a career in this field. There’s just so much to learn.

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