November 20, 2017

Our History

The Richmond Hill Historical Society was founded in 1973 and incorporated in 1975. The Richmond Hill Historical Society has had an ongoing commitment to heritage and historical issues right from its early beginnings.

The first project undertaken by the Society was saving a local building, now known as Burr House (1819), from demolition.

Burr House

 

The Town of Richmond Hill acquired it in 1975 to save the house from demolition.  With the assistance of the Hill Potters Guild, the Spinners and Weavers Guild and WINTARIO Grants, the restoration was successfully completed.

Guild Hall was built in 1837 as a church for the Canadian Conference for the Evangelical Associates in North America. Once again, the Town of Richmond Hill acquired it from land developers.  It was  re-located it to its present location beside Burr House. The Society partnered with the Weavers and Spinners once more and restored the building.

Both Burr House and Guild Hall are leased by the Weavers & Spinners Guild and the Potter’s Guild who utilize the Guild Hall as a studio and showroom for their annual sales and Burr House as a Craft Gallery and Tea Room.

The Gallery is open to the public.

During the restoration of Burr House, local Grade School students were invited by the Society to participate in an “Archaeological Digunder the guidance of an archaeological team that the Society had arranged for, to do an investigation of the site. This was one of the first times a school was invited to participate in such an event in Richmond Hill.

The Society held a “Founders Dayin 1988, at the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church Cemetery. This highlighted many of the early settlers of Richmond Hill and surrounding area who are amongst those buried there. Abner Miles, one of the earliest agricultural homesteaders, was interned in 1806.