Newtonville


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Charles Newton, his young wife and their teenage son came to this area from England in the 1880’s. Soon after his arrival he bought a farm along the nearby Hog River (on the west half of Lot 11, Concession 6, Tay). He and his family rebuilt the buildings and it was thereafter called “The Newton Place”.  Mr. Newton was a well-educated gentleman and a successful surveyor, but his knowledge of farming was limited.

Newton, a very devout Anglican, heard that a church in Midland (Holy Trinity Anglican) was being torn down so he bought it for one dollar. He and his neighbours with their horses moved it to the northeast corner of Reeves Road and Granny White Side Road where it was rebuilt as St. John’s Anglican. (c 1896). He was anxious to have a bell on this church and heard of one available in the Parry Sound district. He promptly brought it down  by boat.

 

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     Figures 1 and 2: First Newtonville Church 

(Source: Facebook Group: Huronia’s Past and Present)

The church was covered on the outside with shingles and ivy sprawling over the walls, had Victorian windows and inside was very beautiful and solemn. The altar, desk, font and pulpit he made by hand and they were beautifully carved.

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Mr. Newton, who was a lay reader, often conducted the service while his wife was the faithful organist for many years. In addition he was instrumental in having a school built on land he donated across from the church. In time the area became known as “Newtonville”.

          Figure 3: Former Newtonville School, Reeves Road

ss 10 Newtonville Mrs Hodgins 1957

 

 

 

 

 

                                                          Figure 4: S.S. 10 Newtonville, Class of 1957 Mrs. Hodgins

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By this time he and his son had forsaken farming and were employed in 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.

 

 

                                                                                           Figure 5: the “John Lee” 1913

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Intensely interested in the history of the Wendat, Mr. Newton deeded a piece of land along the river to the National Geographical and Historical Society.  This five acre space in the bend of the river provided an ideal spot for a fortified Wendat village, as verified by historian A.F. Hunter in the years 1899 – 1902. Hunter concluded that the site was St.Ignace but later research has identified it as St.Louis. (See “A.F. Hunter re St.Ignace” in https://taytownshipheritage.wordpress.com

Figure 6: Diagram of the Wendat Village

On this site the Society built a stone cairn in memory of the early missionaries. Later Parks Canada developed the cairn and the site as Mission-St Louis on Granny White Side Road.

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.

 

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                   Figures 7 and 8: Church Site  (Reeves Road and Granny White Side Road)

 

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Visible today are the former school, a cairn marking the church site and the memorial slab to the Newtons.

 

     Figure 9: Memorial on Church Site to Charles Newton, died 1927

 

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.

 For more detail on Tay heritage sites visit https://taytownshipheritage.wordpress.com

 

Sources:

Facebook Group: Huronia’s Past and Present tps://www.facebook.com/groups/HuroniaPastandPresent/

Facebook Page: Port McNicoll Gateway to the North: http://www.facebook.com/groups/61683315861/

Tay Township Heritage Blog: https://taytownshipheritage.wordpress.com/

Tay Township Heritage Committee http://www.tay.ca/en/your-municipality/tay-heritage-committee.asp

Tay Township Heritage Register and Inventory

Glenn Mount, Huntsville

 

 

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