Submitted and Preamble by Glenn Mount, Huntsville, 2006
This piece is in papers from my mother, Mrs. Albert (Marjorie) Mount who lived on Conc. 5 (Reeves Rd.). Marjorie Mount often wrote articles on her family or local events. These were sometimes presented as speeches or just written for posterity. The following is a copy of the hand-written original I found stuffed in another book.
Figure 1: Marjorie Mount (right) and her class, 1954
There is no date on it; the contents would suggest she prepared it for part of a funeral service. I remember as a child [circa 1950] going to my first interment of ashes from a cremation. It could well have been the service for the son mentioned; the ashes had come from western Canada as I remember; the container was a black box, lowered into the small hole by means of what I remember as a black ribbon.
I believe only the Newton family was buried at Newtonville – the original couple being buried beneath the floor of the original church. The church that was built after the fire did not extend as far as the original and I remember memorial slabs on the back [east] side of the church.
A TRIBUTE TO THE NEWTON FAMILY
On behalf of the members of this church and this community, I have been asked to pay tribute to the pioneers who persevered and struggled to give us the freedoms and comforts we take for granted today. The lot of these brave men was not an easy one as in all ventures there must be a leader. It is this leader who has left us the heritage of Newtonville that we come to honour to-day. He was Mr. Charles Newton.
Many of the early dates are lost but in a general way our story begins about 1890. Mr. Newton, his young wife and a teenage boy came from England and lived in a small house one mile east of this church corner (edit. Reeves Road and Granny White Side Road). Mr. Newton was a well educated gentleman and a successful surveyor, but his knowledge of farming was limited.
A few weeks after his arrival he and his wife took a walk down over the knoll near the jog on this side road. It was a lovely spring evening – the winding Hog river, the setting sun glistening on the green of the bush behind the clearing made it very beautiful. They thought the place was wonderful and bought it. They rebuilt the buildings and it has ever since been called “The Newton Place”. (edit. the west half of lot. 11, Concession 6, Tay)
Mr. Newton was a very devout Anglican and no doubt missed his own church. He heard that a church in Midland (edit. Holy Trinity Anglican) was being torn down so he bought it for one dollar. Voluntary labour of the neighbours and himself, with their horses moved it to this corner where it was rebuilt (edit: c1887). It was plainly covered on the outside with shingles and sudsy (?) or Victorian windows and had ivy sprawling over the walls, but inside it was very beautiful and solemn. The altar, desk, font and pulpit he made by hand and they were beautifully carved. It was regrettable that these rare pieces were later lost in the fire of 1927 which destroyed the entire church.
Figures 2 and 3: First Newtonville Church
(Source: Facebook Group: Huronia’s Past and Present)
At that time it was not always convenient to have a rector and many times Mr. Newton, who was a lay reader, took the service while his wife was the faithful organist for many years.
He was anxious to have a bell on this church. He heard of a bell to be had in the Parry Sound district – some say it was from a church – some say it was from a mill – but anyway it was a lovely, musically toned bell. He decided to have it and so did a group of men in a nearby village. Both parties started out in boats to make a dash for it. The captain of the Newton boat knew the waters better and navigated his craft through some gap and reached the coveted bell first.
As mentioned above a fire in 1927 destroyed the church. Saved from the fire was a beautiful sterling communion set mounted with rare gems which was sent to this church from Mr. Newton’s family in England. [edit. Hopefully it is in the Anglican Church of Canada’s possession.]
Figures 4 and 5: Church Site (Reeves Road and Granny White Side Road)
He was a very emphatic politician and served on the township council. Beside his desire to have a church he was very ambitious to have a school and by overcoming many obstacles was at last able to see one built on land he donated across from the church. (edit: In time the area became known as “Newtonville”). He worked on the School Board as did his son whom we have seen buried today (edit. see the Preamble above.
Figure 6: The Former Newtonville School
By this time he and his son had forsaken farming and were employed in the logging and saw mill work. In this work he had a tug, the John Lee, and it was an annual event for the tug to take the Sunday school scholars on a picnic up the lakes.
Mr. Frank Hunter, the historian of Barrie, and Mr. Newton had many visits and talks about early history. Through their discoveries Mr. Newton deeded a piece of land along the river to the National Geographical and Historical Society. On this site the Society built a cairn in memory of the early missionaries. It was stipulated that it was a historical marker and no church services were ever to be held on it. [edit. The stone cairn in the Mission-St Louis site on Granny White Side Road.)
(edit. this ends the material on one sheet of paper. Whether there was more to conclude this article s not known.
Figure 7; Memorial on Church Site to Charles Newton, died 1927
(edit. Newton died in 1927 and was buried with his wife under the floor of the church, which was destroyed by fire in the same year. A smaller chapel was built on the same site and was used until 1969.
Visible today are the former school, a cairn marking the church site and the memorial slab to the Newtons. To view posts that have been written about other school closures in Tay, click “Tay schools” in the “Tags” portion of the right hand sidebar.)
Glenn Mount, Huntsville
Tay Heritage Committee http://www.tay.ca/en/your-municipality/tay-heritage-committee.asp
Facebook Group: Huronia’s Past and Present https://www.facebook.com/groups/HuroniaPastandPresent/