The main role of the City Archives is to manage government records with long-term business value. The City of Vaughan Archives also collects, preserves and makes available for research permanently valuable non-government records from the Vaughan community that document the rich and diverse heritage of the City of Vaughan. Every month we’ll share pieces of Vaughan’s heritage in a regular feature called The Way We Were.
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Image of the Month: 121 Centre St., Thornhill, ca. 1950s
This historic house was once the home of Canadian painter J.E.H. MacDonald (a founding member of the Group of Seven) and his artist son Thoreau. Built in the late 19th century, and purchased by the MacDonald family in 1914, the house is an example of Gothic Revival architecture within Thornhill. The property was donated to the City of Vaughan in 1975 by Thoreau and has since been restored.
Collection of the Month: Vaughan Lodge Fonds
The Vaughan Lodge of the Masonic Order was formed in 1854 in Nobleville (present day Maple), with James Woods residing as the first Worshipful Master. At the time, membership entailed a five-pound sterling initiation fee, with annual dues amounting to one shilling, three pence. In 1866, a two-story Masonic Hall was built as a permanent site for the Lodge, although in later years, the building and property were sold.
The Vaughan Lodge came to share accommodations with the Robertson Lodge in King City in 1989 and eventually moved back to Maple in 1996. The fonds spans the years 1852 to 1997 and consists of textual records (including an invoice book, velvet-covered Bible, minutes and correspondence), photographs and several artifacts representing the Lodge’s symbols of Masonry (including a Worshipful Master’s gavel, Warden gavels, skerrat, square, compass, and chisel).
Archival Records Analyst
City of Vaughan Archives
City Clerk’s Office
Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at vaughan.ca.