With its phenomenal growth in recent years, the history of Newcastle Village extends back 215 years. Newcastle’s history also includes the community of Bond Head along the shore of Lake Ontario. These two communities grew into the Newcastle we know today and it was here that some of its most affluent residents chose to settle.
In 1796 Richard Lovekin came from Ireland to settle in Clarke Township near where the Village of Newcastle would one day stand. He came to an unbroken pristine wilderness. Large trees obscured the sun at midday and wild animals were plentiful. The Lovekin Family still live on their original farm. They have been on this land for 215 years! This is the longest tenure of a property owned by one family in Canada outside of the Province of Quebec.
There are five in total, albeit one is missing and the others highlights a specific episode in Newcastle’s long history. One is for the Fish Hatchery begun by Samuel Wilmot in 1868. This was Ontario’s first full scale fish hatchery and also included one of the country’s first Natural History Museums. It was created to save the native salmon from extinction and was located west of the village along Wilmot Creek.
Another plaque commemorates the Massey family. It was here that they started a business that would become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of farm machinery, Massey-Ferguson. Although they left the village in 1879 they donated, in the 1920’s, the beautiful Town Hall which still graces the main street. Another plaque commemorates Joseph Atkinson (1865-1948). He grew up in Newcastle under impoverished circumstances. In 1899 he became manager of the Toronto Star, made it Canada’s largest daily newspaper and became a millionaire in the process. Most of his wealth was left to the Atkinson Charitable Foundation.
The final plaque deals with Bishop Charles Henry Brent (1862-1929). His father was minister of St. George’s Anglican Church and Charles grew up in Newcastle. He was elected first Episcopal Bishop of the Philippine Islands in 1901 and fought to eradicate drug abuse. He later became Bishop of Western New York where he promoted Christian unity and helped lay the foundations for the World Council of Churches.
There used to be another plaque south of Newcastle for the Baldwin family. Robert Baldwin Sr. Settled here in 1798. He stayed until 1810 when he moved to York (Toronto) to live with his son Dr. W.W. Baldwin. Both Dr. Baldwin and his son, Robert Jr., were leading political reformers who brought responsible government to Canada. This plaque is now missing, but highlights just one of the many influential pioneers that chose to settle in the today’s Clarington.
Enjoy living in the comfort of Newcastle Village while not sacrificing any conveniences you’re accustomed to. Only 45 minutes east of Toronto, this quaint town is home to many boutique businesses, a selection of restaurants, Tim Hortons, car wash, two gas stations, two grocery stores, an LCBO and a Farmers Market. Don't miss out on Walsh's Snug, a cozy, well-known Irish pub that radiates old world charm and character. John’s family have been in the Pub business since the late 1800’s.
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