Date and Village Announcement!

Doors Open Clarington 2017 will be on Saturday June 10, 2017 from 10am – 4pm in the village of Kendal and the surrounding area. More updates will be coming in the months ahead including the announcements of new sites and returning favourites. Stay tuned!

For more information on Doors Open Clarington 2017, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@DOClarington).


#DOClarington: In Pictures

Doors Open Clarington 2016 was a tremendous success and we thank you for your participation, either as a visitor, volunteer, sponsor or site owner. Without you, we could not have had the great event that we had on Saturday. We got lucky with the weather and despite a gloomy forecast, the weather worked out perfectly.

Please enjoy some pictures from our volunteers of our sites and our visitors. See if you can spot yourself! Want to add your pictures to our album? Send them to us at, post them on Twitter with the hashtag #DOClarington or post them on our Doors Open Clarington Facebook page.


Thank You!


Marilyn Morawetz and Bernice Norton

Your Doors Open Chairpersons would like to thank first our volunteers for your time. You all did an amazing job. Second, our committee members for your help in organizing this event. Next, our sponsors (both in kind and donation) and partners, without you this event would not have happened. Lastly, the visitors to our sites. This has been one of our most successful years and you are the reason we do this.
A special thank you to Cynthia Reyes, renown author, it was a true pleasure to have you at Ebor House speaking about your books.
Now a well deserved break for the committee. Next year‘s planning will start shortly. We look forward to bringing Doors Open Clarington to you in 2017 with more exciting sites for you to enjoy.
A huge THANK YOU to all.


The Massey Building – Fast Facts


  • Daniel Massey the original owner of Newcastle Foundry and Machine Manufacturing, which later became Massey-Harris and eventually Massey- Ferguson began his life in Watertown, New York. Around 1802 his family moved to Haldimand Township near Grafton, where is father bought 200 acres of land and built a farm, which today is the famous St. Annes Spa.
  • Daniel Massey always had a keen interest in farm machinery one of his first purchases was a “Bull Thresher”.
  • At the age of 21 Daniel Massey purchased 200 acres of land west of his father’s farm in Haldimand Township next to his father’s farm.
  • In 1847 Daniel Massey turned his farm over to his son Hart and moved further east to Bond Head, just south of Newcastle. At Bond Head he formed a partnership with Richard F. Vaughan, a family acquaintance with Richard providing the building/equipment and Massey provided the money, within 6 months Massey had bought out Richard and the Massey Foundry became a reality. The foundry was located on the north-east corner of Mill and Metcalf streets. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • By 1848 Daniel Massey’s business was growing and he needed to find a larger location. Massey purchased a large two storey brick structure already being used as factory in the village of Newcastle along with 50 acres of land. Massey had the land divided into lots as a future investment and built his family home on some of the property, which today is 285 Mill Street South.
  • Some of the equipment being manufactured at this time was plows, harrows, scufflers and rollers.
  • In 1849, Daniel Massey moved his business once again, to the present day location of the building at King and Beaver Streets and called the business, “The Newcastle Foundry and Machine Manufactory, C.W., the C.W. stood for Canada West.
  • In 1851, Daniel’s son Hart arrived to assist with the business, which was becoming to much for Daniel to handle. Hart’s family home was located near the present day IGA Food Mart Store in Newcastle.
  • Hart became very active in the Newcastle Community by serving as Justice of the Peace, Local Coroner and Chief Magistrate, School Trustee and was involved with the Newcastle Methodist Church, which today is the Newcastle United Church.
  • Hart obtained the Canadian Patent Rights for the Ketchum Mower, the first of all grass-cutting machines and later he would manufacture the Manny Combined Hand-Rake Reaper, which could cut 8 to 10 acres a day.
  • In 1856 the The Grand Trunk Railway started to run through Newcastle and thus this open more doors for Hart to expand his business all across Canada.
  • Massey won prizes for many of his pieces of equipment , including the honour in 1866 to represent the Canadian Manufacturing Business at the International Exposition in Paris, France, where he won first place honours for his Massey Self Binder, which cut a section of oats in 55 minutes. The second place finisher took 2.5 hours to cut the same area and needed a change of horses.
  • The Massey’s also manufactured steam engines, boilers, brass/iron castings, stoves, lathes and other machinery required in an Engine Shop or Carriage Factory.
  • In 1862, the first Massey Catalogue was produced by E.A. McNaughton in Newcastle and at this point the business was renamed Newcastle Agricultural Works.
  • On March 29, 1864 a fire occurred destroying the warehouse, however soon after a new building was built.
  • By 1867, there was over 100 employees working in the Newcastle plant, which consisted of 6 buildings.
  • In 1870, Hart Massey and his son Charles formed the Massey Manufacturing Company. In 1871 Charles took over the business.
  • In 1878, Charles Massey introduced the Massey Harvester, which became so popular they had orders of over 500 units causing the plant to operate day and night to keep up.
  • In 1879 due to increase sales and lack of space the Massey Business was moved to Toronto, thus ending their 30 Year/3 Generation business in Newcastle.
  • The building remained vacant until 1916, when wooden ammunition cases were built for W.W.1. Wooden Jewelry and Silverware Cases were also made here over the years.
  • Starting in 2004 the building was converted to its present state of Apartments and Commercial Space.
  • The original floors still remain in much of the present day building.
  • Newcastle will always enjoyed the distinction that the foundation was laid here for the modern day Massey- Ferguson Company.


Have you seen our map in the Metroland Newspapers?

Saturday is fast approaching and we can’t wait to show you all of the great buildings, gardens and homes that we have on this year’s tour. This week, in the Metroland newspapers in Clarington, Oshawa and Whitby, there was an advertisement like the one you will see below.

Included in that ad is a simple and easy map for you to use on Saturday. If you got the newspaper and saw the ad, feel free to cut it out and bring it along to guide you throughout your day. We love getting feedback on our promotion, so we would love to know whether you saw the ad and what you think. If you didn’t see the ad, you can click on the image below to print it off. If you want to go paperless, we’ve got you covered! Follow this LINK to our Google map of all of the sites.


“For Medicinal Purposes”


By Myno Van Dyke

In 1916, the Province enacted the Ontario Temperance Act, banning the selling of liquor or beer. This lasted until 1918. In October 1919, a referendum was held to determine whether the act should be repealed or retained. The citizens of Ontario voted with a large majority to establish ‘prohibition’ as the permanent law of the province.

In 1925, Cecil Cannon was an elementary school teacher at Newcastle. Cecil had just married a local girl, Bessie Gibson, and with their new son Jack they lived at 324 Mill Street South. During the time of prohibition there were essentially only two ways to purchase liquor. You could visit the local “bootlegger” or purchase some at the local druggist. To get it from the druggist you needed a prescription from a doctor which was called a “script”.

The Prohibition Act set out the number of prescriptions that a doctor could issue and required that the doctor keep accurate records of who received these prescriptions.

Back in 1925, Sunday afternoon was considered a time to visit neighbours, family and friends, and on this particular Sunday the Cannons paid a visit to Dr. Alfred Farncomb and his wife Hannah at their home in Bond Head.

Dr. Alfred Farncomb

Mrs. Farncomb met them at the front door and directed them into the barn where the Doctor was sitting on a stool milking a cow. “Do you want a script?” he asked. After finishing his milking, the Doctor wrote out a prescription for a bottle of alcohol “for medicinal purposes”.

After the visit, Cecil took the “script” over to the local druggist in Newcastle. The “patient” was not allowed to dictate what type or brand of alcohol he could get. It was usually always whiskey.

On June 1st, 1927, the Liquor Control Act of Ontario came into effect. Now alcohol was made available to the public at government run liquor stores to those who could provide proper proof of age. This effectively ended Prohibition in Canada. It also ended a lot of Sunday afternoon visitors to the doctor’s house.

St. George’s Anglican Church – Fast Facts


St. Georges Anglican Church-Numbered Pews IMG_9094

  • Built in 1857 and the cornerstone was laid on July 2, 1857.
  • The church wasn’t consecrated until July 7, 1882 but worship services began in 1859.
  • Classic Gothic Church Architecture with a hint of English Country Parish charm.
  • Scottish Architect, William Hay patterned the design from a church in Leeds, England.
  • Recognized as one of the finest examples of the smaller Gothic Churches in Canada. St. George Anglican church Steeple
  • The church is noted for its Asymetrical Composition, Broach Steeple with slate roof, louvred lancet openings in each face of the tower’s bell chamber, plain English Style buttresses and half -timbered porch extending from the lower base.
  • On the interior of the church note the open arches and columns, ceiling panelling, stained glass windows including the large Tiffany of New York added in the early 1900’s, boxed pews and organ.
  • The original Anglican Church in Newcastle was called Trinity Church and was built in 1840 on land where St. George’s Cemetery is today.
  • The church name was changed to St. George’s in the 1850’s.
  • A decision was made in mid 1850’s to have the Anglican Church more central to Newcastle, so they started to built present day Church at Bond Head, where Bond Head Cemetery is today and later moved it to the present site completing the building in 1857.
  • The parish hall was built in late 1890’s due to increase in Sunday School and built by funds raised mainly by the Women of St.George’sOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Come see the St. George’s Anglican Church and our other great sites THIS SATURDAY! For the latest news on Doors Open Clarington follow us on Twitter (@DOClarington) or like us on Facebook

Our volunteers are ready! Are you?

IMG_4415Last night, Doors Open Clarington hosted our volunteers for our Volunteer Orientation Night at the Belmont House. We had a great turnout that included site owners, volunteers and municipal staff. The evening is designed to give our volunteers the opportunity to meet their fellow volunteers and learn about their role in bringing a great Doors Open Clarington experience to you!

We hosted about 50 of our volunteers on the lawn at the Belmont House for snacks and pizza. Co-chairs Marilyn Morawetz and Bernice Norton gave a run down of the day’s events and answered questions from the volunteers.

If you would like to become a volunteer for Doors Open Clarington, it’s not too late! You can sign up by clicking HERE.

Thanks to Halminen Homes for letting us use the Belmont House for the event.

The History of Hydro in Newcastle

Dr. Farncomb’s House was once used as a Hydro office where the people of Newcastle would come to pay their hydro bills

By Myno Van Dyke

The Village of Newcastle has had electricity for almost 120 years. In 1896, Samuel Wilmot installed a water powered electric generating plant on his property (near the Fish Hatchery), one mile west of Newcastle, north of Hwy 2. Later, he received a “franchise” from the Village of Newcastle Council and in September, 1896 had erected power lines. Initially, there were just twelve street lights and eighty domestic hydro connections to houses and businesses. The street lights were “32 candlepower” and were provided for $1.00 per light per year. The house connections were on a flat rate of 40 cents per month for each outlet. Electricity was only provided from dusk until midnight.

In April 1899, William Kenefick, Wilmot’s Fish hatchery manager, was made manager of the electrical system. In July of that year, Samuel Wilmot passed away and his son-in-law, Duncan J. Galbraith, became the owner of the system and he operated it until 1911. During this time the flat rate was done away with and a new meter system was started.

In 1911, the company was sold to the Seymour Light and Power Company. The Seymour Co. improved service to twenty four hours, seven days a week. It is believed that they had an office at the brick building located at 14 North St. Newcastle. In 1916, the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario took over the system.

In January, 1937, the Village of Newcastle purchased the system after the “ratepayers” voted by an overwhelming majority for the Village to purchase and operate it. In 1937 and 1938, it was maintained by the Bowmanville Public Utilities until it was entirely run by the Newcastle Hydro Electric Commission. George Jamieson, E. Rich and Cecil Carveth were the first Commissioners. Harv Britton was the Secretary Treasurer/ General Manager and held that position for many years. Pauline Storks also served as Commissioner and Director for many years.

In January, 1974, the Village of Newcastle became part of the Town of Newcastle in the Region of Durham and they took over the electrical system calling it Newcastle Hydro. Due to considerable confusion over the Town of Newcastle name it was changed to the Municipality of Clarington and Newcastle Hydro was then changed to Clarington Hydro in 1985. In 1999, Ajax, Pickering and Clarington Hydro merged together to form Veridian Energy and they manage the supply of our electricity today.