Society Celebrates 50th Anniversary

2023 marks a very special year for the Richmond Hill Historical Society as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Throughout the year, we will be looking back at our history and sharing photographs and stories of our past.

The first projects undertaken by the Society were to save and restore two buildings, Burr House and an old church, that was moved to the site from the corner of Carville Road and Bathurst Street.

Burr House was thought to have been built c. mid-1820s by Rowland Burr for his bride. Situated on Carrville Road, formerly Lot 40 Side Road, Vaughan Township. The original structure was plank on plank construction. In 1851, an addition was added to the rear. It was continuously occupied as a residence until sold to property developers, then acquired by the Town of Richmond Hill in 1975. To save the house from demolition the Society undertook the task of restoring it. With the assistance of Hill Potters Guild, the Richmond Hill Spinners and Weavers and WINTARIO Grants, restoration was completed.

In 1974, members of Richmond Hill Council visited Rowland Burr House and are pictured with Historical Society President Janet Fayle, Acting Clerk William Rice, Society member Malcolm Jardine, Chief Librarian Patricia Hart.

Guild Hall was erected in 1857 as a church for the Canadian Conference of the Evangelical Associates in North America. In 1975, the Town of Richmond Hill acquired it from the property developers and moved it from its original location at the north east corner of Carrville Road and Bathurst St. to its present site beside Burr House. The Society and Burr House Spinners and Weavers restored the building. Both buildings are a familiar landmark on Carrville Road.

The former church building arriving on site to be installed as the Guild Hall beside Burr House in September 1978. It would officially open on October 23, 1982

In 2019, Burr House was awarded the Bert Hunt Heritage Award, the Society’s top honour.

The Society’s mission is:

  • to preserve in our present community an awareness of the culture of our forefathers;
  • to hold monthly meetings for the presentation and discussion of historical information relating to the Richmond Hill area;
  • to promote existing historical publications, publish books, articles, and newsletters etc. for the
    advancement of the awareness of local sites, deeds and peoples of interest; and
  • to cooperate with other historical societies and related organizations.

For more information about joining the Society, which meets 10 times per year, please visit our Membership page.

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