West Gwillimbury



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1934 Brought First Settlement to Holland Marsh

"The first year-round residents of the Marsh arrived in the late autumn of 1934 and took up residence in the row of houses shown in the above picture. They were families from Holland and they named their village Ansnorveld.
Members of the Christian Reformed Church, after selling their first crops, built the first church on the Marsh, also shown above, in the spring of 1936. Today there are two beautiful Christian Reformed churches on the Holland Marsh."

Bradford Witness

Armstrong, Mrs. James (Jane) obituary

Event Date : Friday, November 11, 1966
Event Type : Death

Description : Although not enjoying the best of health for some time, the last illness of Mrs. James Armstrong, of 98 John Street E., Bradford, was not lengthy, when she passed away in York County Hospital on Friday, November 11. Mrs. Armstrong was a life-long resident of Bradford, where she received her schooling as the former Violet Jane Saint. With her marriage to the late James Armstrong she continued to reside in Bradford, where she enjoyed life with the company of her relatives and long-time friends.Her church was Trinity Anglican, Bradford. Mrs. Armstrong's husband predeceased her in 1956 and she is survived by one daughter (Shirley), Mrs. William Watson of Bradford and her grandchildren. One sister, Mrs. Sara Reeves of Bradford, and a brother, Mr. Leonard Saint of Bradford also survive. The funeral was held on November 14 from the Lewis Funeral Home, with her rector, Rev. W. H. Warnica, conducting the services. Interment was in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.The pallbearers were Messrs. James Church, Gordon Church, Jack Church, Allen Hodgson, Mel. Saint and Roy Saint.

Bradford Witness

Auld Kirk

The Auld Kirk in the Scotch Settlement. The congregation, many of them Scottish immigrants, began gathering in 1822, and a log church was built in 1823. This building was built in 1869. It closed its doors in 1885.

Auld Kirk Anniversary Celebration

Ladies after cleaning the church for the anniversary service.
Back Row: Madie Elliott, Vera MacDonald, Norma Melbourne, Myrtle Calhoun
Front Row: Laura Lloyd, Bobbie Hodgson, Muriel Cairns, Joyce Muirhead
Children: Jane McNair, Ann Hodgson.

Auld Kirk Plaque

The historical plaque in front of the Auld Kirk commemorating the Selkirk Settlers who moved to West Gwillimbury and helped build this church.

Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board

Auld Kirk with garage

The Auld Kirk Church is located on the south half of Lot 8 on Concession 6 of West Gwillimbury. In 1819, a group of Scottish and Irish settlers arrived in Upper Canada, and developed the area known today as the "Scotch Settlement". After the initial goal of building homes to fulfill the stipulation of the land grants, their thoughts turned toward building a church and school to educate their children. In 1822, land was obtained from John Faris, an Irish farmer, for a graveyard. In 1823, a log church was built on the land, and it also served as a school house during the winter months. This building, which was later moved to a different location, was the first school and church in Simcoe County. The congregation first met On January 6, 1822. James Sutherland, a settler, was authorized by the Church of Scotland to conduct baptisms and marriages until there was a settled minister. The first settled pastor was not until 1831. In 1832, they decided to send for a minister from the Established Church of Scotland, which resulted in a split in the congregation, and a new Church being formed in Bond Head. The remaining congregation stayed true to the belief's of the Church of Scotland, and the church never had an organ, and only Psalms were sang, not wrtten hymns. All of the sermons were long and in Gaelic, and were interpreted. In 1869, the present church was built costing $1000 to the congregation. Due to dwindling numbers, the church was closed in 1885. A new roof was put on in 1912, and in 1929, shutters were put on the church and the doors repaired. A fence was also put around the cemetery, and the driving shed was moved to a local farm where it still exists today. Another restoration of the church was done in 1958, when a new roof was put on, the windows were put back in, new steps were built, it was painted inside and out, and the floor was jacked up. Two plaques were dedicated in 1958. One was unveiled by Henry McKay in honour of his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. James McKay, some of the first settlers. The other was unveiled by Angus Campbell, for the Ontario Government's recognition of the Selkirk Settlers.

Bond Head Pioneer Parade

Photograph of the Bond Head Pioneer Parade on July 1, 1967, featuring the "Bath Night on the Farm 1867" float from the Bond Head United Church Sunday School group. On the float (from left to right): Dorothy and Dawn Culbert, Mary Stevenson, Susan Glassford, Hilda and Ruthie McKay, Jean K, Glen Brethet, Steven Reynolds, Dot Grimshaw, Tommy Hamilton.

Part of Jean and Rob Keffer's centennial album

Jean Keffer

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