Monday, November 21, 2011

Yuletide Caroling
A perfect beginning to the Christmas season

Sunday, December 4, 2011
7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

You are invited to join this special event. Everyone can sing (at least a little) and enjoy the traditions of the season.

Please dress warmly and participate in the Friends of Wesleyville Village new festive season event. Carol singing, cider, candles and traditional dress if you wish.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Hike for Wesleyville – October 15th

Work off those extra calories from Thanksgiving dinner! Grab a pledge sheet from Holton Flowers and join in the Northumberland Sunrise Rotary Harvest Hike on Saturday October15th at the Ganaraska Forest Centre.  We are asking friends and members of FOWV to do the walk/ run and get sponsors who agree to donate a set fee for Wesleyville if the hiker completes the 5 km course. The $20 entry fee includes a t-shirt, a bottle of water and a chili lunch. Contact Blake Holton (905) 885-7439.

Second Annual Harvest Festival – Sunday October 16th
Last year we had a fabulous Harvest Festival at the Wesleyville Church in October and this year’s event is promising to be even better.  Bring something and join the Pot luck lunch at 12:30 and then an afternoon of music, games, exploration and story-telling.  Shape-note singing and buskers are already lined up. Why don’t you consider participating? Contact Roz Farber at (905) 885-1575 for details.

Text Box: Good News from our Financial Wizard

With a great many thanks to the members and Cameco for their generosity (both with their cheque books and support of events) we have raised over $15,000 this year towards our projects.

Those projects include restoration of the stained glass windows, a new threshold stone and repairs to the steps, the finishing of the painting (inside and out) and the remedial work to the east side masonry.

Next year we would like to add accessibility to the church, including washrooms. Local architect Christopher Wallace is currently drafting plans so that quotes can be sought for the work. Not withstanding the possibility of grants, we will still need to raise 25% of the cost to be eligible for most grants (or another $15,000 in 2012).

Bearing that in mind, I urge you to come out and support the “Walkathon” on Oct 15th. Grab a sponsor sheet and hit up all those people who are constantly asking for your support. It’s not hard to get $100 or even $200. The Friends now accept Visa/MC so if your friends want to pay that way – no problem. Tax receipts will be issued. I will be walking on Oct 15th. 

Can’t make the 15th then we’ll see you on Sunday the 16th at Wesleyville for our version of Harvest Festival.

We have a policy never to spend funds we don’t have. So budgeting and seeking out grants and other funding sources is an important and rewarding part of my job with the “Friends”.
Mary Trevor, TreasurerTime Flies for our Chair

How time flies when you're busy. This could be the FOWV motto as it seems just yesterday was spring.

This summer has seen the restoration of the church's stained glass windows and installation of the replacement threshold at the front entrance. At present painting of the exterior woodwork, metal roof and some interior woodwork is taking place. Before the snow flies, the brick clad basement entrance will be restored and for the not too distant future, plans are afoot to make the building accessible by means of an entrance and washrooms.

It is our plan to have the building used for community events - the first rental of the building by Herb Jung for a play reading and showing of his paintings successfully took place in September.

Our Jazz under the Stars with Michael Francis not only presented us with wonderful music but an opportunity to meet more supporters.

Kathryn McHolm, Chair

Yuletide Caroling at the Church

Mark your calendar now. At 7 p.m. on December 4th join our new festive season event. Carol singing, cider, candles and traditional dress if you wish.

2011 September Work Highlights FOWV Progress


2011-2012 Membership Application






e-mail address

Fees enclosed

           $20.00 per person


           $35.00 per family

           $1,000.00 lifetime membership


Amount ___________________
Card No. _____________________________
Expiry Date ________________
Signature _____________________________
Charitable donation

Amount _______________

The Friends of Wesleyville Village, Ontario, is a registered charity under designation  #81098 4229 RR0001.
Membership and donations will be receipted.
Please address cheques to: Friends of Wesleyville Village
Mail to: Treasurer Mary Trevor, 16 Hill Street, Port Hope Ontario L1A 3H2
or call Membership Chair Roz Farber (905) 885-1575

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Who and what are the Friends

We've created a new brochure explaining the aims and progress of the Friends of Wesleyville. We'd like you to read it and comment on the contents so that we can improve the brochure before publishing 100's.

Thank you.

Walk or run for Wesleyville

Please consider participating in the Northumberland Sunrise Rotary Harvest Hike on Saturday October15th starting at 10 a.m. at the Ganaraska Forest Centre.  We are asking friends and members of FOWV to do the walk/ run and get sponsors who agree to donate a set fee for Wesleyville if the walker/ runner completes the 5 km course. The walker/runner must also pay a 20 dollar entry fee which entitles them to a t shirt, a bottle of water and a chili lunch. Contact Blake Holton (905) 885-7439 to join in. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Art and Theatre in the Country Saturday September 10th

The Friends welcome Herb Jung and Dave Carley who are planning a special event on Saturday September 10, 2011 at the Wesleyville Church.  Lunch and refreshments will be provided by the Friends and we encourage all our members to attend this event. Maybe you could make it another stop on the Northumberland Hills Studio Tour taking place this coming weekend.

Port Hope artist Herb Jung and Canadian playwright Dave Carley will combine their talents for a day of art and theatre, in a collaborative project.

Jung´s "Trevi Fountain" painting will be brought to life with a dramatic performance reading of Carley´s play, based on characters in the painting. There will also be an exhibit of Herb Jung´s latest paintings.

Hour Long Performances: 2pm and 4pm. Saturday Sept. 10th at Wesleyville Church.
Exhibit of paintings from 11am-5pm.

Admission for performances: recommended donation $10 or PWYC
Contact Herb Jung for more info: 905 885 6328

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jazz and Barbeque tonight

Tickets at Holton Flowers (905 885-7439) or at the door. Barbeque at 6 p.m. - Jazz at 7:30 p.m. Don't forget your lawn chair.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Up-coming Event

Fundraising with jazz under the stars
Barbeque and concert August 13th featuring Michael Francis
 Once again the Friends are hosting an "Evening of Jazz Under the Stars" on Saturday August 13 at the Wesleyville Church on Lakeshore Road, west of Port Hope. This year, swing to the tunes of jazz guitarist Mike (Pepe) Francis. Tickets to the evening of jazz are $20 / person.

We'll start off the festivities at six p.m. with a country style barbeque dinner for only $10 / person. At 7:30 p.m. get set for an amazing session of jazz and blues, complimented with a wine and cheese bar.

Mike Francis is a studio guitarist, writer, and record producer with over 30 years experience in the Toronto recording scene.  He has performed on thousands of TV and radio jingles, numerous TV shows, feature films and recording  projects for a variety of artists and producers.

Both dinner and concert tickets are available in advance at Holton Flowers, 62 Walton Street in beautiful downtown Port Hope. This is sure to be another sell-out so get your tickets now ($30 per person for dinner and concert). Oh, and please bring your own chairs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jazz Night August 13th

Please be sure to circle August 13th on your social calendar. It's the Friends of Wesleyville Village "Evening of Jazz Under the Stars". This year, swing to the  tunes of jazz guitarist Mike Francis. We'll start off the festivities at six p.m. with a country style bbq dinner for only 10 dollars/ person. At 7:30 p.m. get set for an amazing session of jazz and blues, complimented with a wine and cheese bar. Tickets to the evening of jazz are only 20 dollars/ person. Both dinner and concert tickets are available in advance at Holton Flowers, 62 Walton Street in beautiful downtown Port Hope.

Stained Glass Artist Delivers Restored Windows to Wesleyville Church

Artist and superb craftswoman, Christine Montgomery, has restored the broken and aged stained glass windows for the 1860 Wesleyville Church  She and her husband, Darrell Leeson, of Lord Russborough's Annex in Port Hope, were photographed by Northumberland Today's Ted Amsden when they delivered the remaining windows on July 13 at the finale of the  Evensong service.

Evensong at Wesleyville Church - A Joy to All

Summer Day Camp participants from St. Marks Church in Port Hope led by Randy Mills and Elizabeth Barlow brought beauty, music and worship back to Wesleyville Church on July 13, 2011. About 40 people participated in the Evensong Service with hymns, bell ringing, lessons and prayers.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Family Membership for Life

Membership chair Roz Farber recently signed up Rod Stewart for a $1,000 life membership, making him and his wife, Masumi Suzuki, the first family life Friends of  Wesleyville Village.
Annual Membership is $20/person or $35/family.
For membership information please Contact
or call Membership Chair Roz Farber (905) 885-1575

Members Welcome - for a year or for life

Revitalization of Wesleyville Village Gains Lifelong Support

It’s 2011 and the spirit of a former village on Lakeshore Road at Wesleyville has completely changed. It is now much more than a nostalgic Port Hope legend, due to the efforts of about 150 volunteer members of the Friends of Wesleyville Village (FOWV). These folks from across Canada are working to preserve the heritage of the Village, recapture and bring to life its history and give this and future generations an opportunity to enjoy the spirit of true community.

Rod Stewart and his wife, Masumi Suzuki, are the first life members of the Friends of Wesleyville Village. Rod was actually the member who suggested this fund-raising idea in support of Wesleyville Village preservation and revitalization. The FOWV currently have two families as life-time members (at $1,000) and about 150 annual members (at $20 per person or $35 for a family). Contact membership chair Roz Farber at (905) 885-1575 or e-mail to join the "Friends" and support village restoration efforts.

The next event planned for Wesleyville Village is Evensong with Bellringers. Everyone is invited to gather at the Church on Wednesday, July 13 at 4.00 P.M. to enjoy this beautiful service directed by Randy Mills and Elizabeth Barlow, with members of the St. Mark's Junior Choir and Bellringers.

Before the “Friends” organization was officially formed in 2009, the future of the village looked bleak. By later that year, the FOWV had negotiated a 20-year lease on the Wesleyville Church from the United Church of Canada. Tasks outlined in the first 5 years of the lease were accomplished in 2010 – including the huge job of relocating the bats, removing the accumulated toxic guano and urine and re-installing the ceiling. Without a major donation from the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO), Port Hope Branch, and assistance from Cameco Corporation this milestone in the restoration of the Church could not have been achieved.

At the recent Ontario Heritage Conference in Cobourg, FOWV Chair, Kathryn McHolm, and Secretary, Blake Holton, spoke of the reasons for initiating the FOWV, the ground-breaking lease with the United Church of Canada and the return of the community spirit. Conference attendees were among the 20 or so people who then toured the Wesleyville Church and the village on Sunday June 5th. All visitors were impressed with the restoration progress made in just a year and a half.

What a success the Martyn Joseph concert at the Church April 1st was!  Great music, warm vibrations and lots of new members. Thanks to Lee Batchelor, Ontario Power Generation, Unitrak Corporation and many volunteers, about $1,600 was raised.

As confirmed by members at the first Annual General Meeting and members workshop in March, the FOWV will focus its efforts in 2011 on the Church by completing the window and masonry repairs, making the downstairs useable and planning for washroom and accessibility facility installations. Chair, Kathryn McHolm, points with pride to the initial accomplishments. “Last year we were successful in making the Church useable for community events such as the Martyn Joseph concert, harvest festivals, art exhibitions, weddings and other creative events”. The AGM confirmed the FOWV vision and objectives and produced many new ideas for fund-raising and events.

Members at the AGM heard that not only has the FOWV achieved almost all our goals for the first five years of Church restoration but the treasury is in the black. Mary Trevor, Treasurer, is proud of the organization’s pay-as-you-go fiscal policy.  “We started off 2010 with just over $3,600 as a result of the previous year’s fund raising events and finished 2010 with just over $8,000 in the bank. Along the way we managed to attract donations of $30,000, which exactly matched our restoration and general expenses” she reported.

For More Information: - Sue Stickley, Communications Chair (905) 885-1344

Evensong with Bellringers Wednesday July 13, 2011 4 p.m.

Evensong with Bellringers will be celebrated in Wesleyville Village on Lakeshore Road at the west end of the Municipality of Port Hope. Everyone is invited to gather at the Wesleyville Church on Wednesday, July 13 at 4.00 P.M. to enjoy this beautiful service directed by Randy Mills and Elizabeth Barlow, with members of the St. Mark's Junior Choir and Bellringers. Admission is free.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Welsh Singer-Songwriter in Concert April 1st

Martyn Joseph Concert  Friday April 1, 2011 8 p.m. at Wesleyville Church. Tickets $20 at Holton Flowers in Port Hope or call Mary Trevor at (905) 885-5006.

Fans remember Martyn Joseph from the 2009 Shelter Valley Folk Festival. His concerts are generally a sell-out in Eastern Ontario.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Come to the Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting and Members' Planning Session

Your executive wants your ideas on how to implement the Vision we share for the Village.
Join in brainstorming with other members on future uses of buildings, restoration plans (technical advice,
scheduling and costing) and fund-raising ideas.
Kathryn McHolm, Chair 905 753-2196
Plan to attend:
Wed. March 23rd, 2011 7 p.m.- 9 p.m.,Welcome United Church (downstairs),4651 Cty. Rd. 2
7 - 7:30 p.m. Annual General Meeting
7:30 - 7:45 p.m. Light refreshments
7:45 - 9 p.m. Members' workshop on future of the Village

Vision: to preserve the remnants of an abandoned village community for the purpose of commemorating the lives of our forebearers and educating the people of today regarding their way of life and the values exemplified within the village.

a. To restore the four heritage buildings which make up Wesleyville Village - a small church, a one room school house and two residences.
b. Once restored, to promote the buildings for appropriate uses.
c. To raise funds to achieve the objectives of the organization.
d. To encourage membership.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reviving Village Life with Music

Martyn Joseph in concert at the Wesley Church
April 1, 2011 Tickets $20 Call Holton Flowers (905) 885-7439

Friends of Wesleyville Village: Looking Back

Things have changed since 2004 when GO Magazine published this excellent article.
Reprinted with permission from Northumberland Today

GO! MAGAZINE Winter 2004
The concrete smokestack in the sky is a daily reminder of what Wesleyville, once a thriving rural community, was to become.
A light-controlled intersection with no traffic. "No Trespassing" signs next to wide open gates. A centuries-old church with no congregation. A one-room schoolhouse with no students. In fact, the only thing that seems alive here is the cemetery. Fresh flowers adorn one of the two dozen headstones, marking one of the few graves that do not date back to the late 1800s. A rangy dark grey cat loping along the side of the road pauses, as if in surprise, to watch not one but two vehicles pass by under the canopy of maple trees planted over a hundred years ago.
For this is Wesleyville, the hamlet that time forgot not once but twice. It is a place where irony rises into the sky as a hollow concrete pillar pointing to nowhere: even though you built it, they did not come. While new homes are dwelling in the beautiful countryside surrounding it, Wesleyville itself is now a collection of run-down or boarded up heritage buildings nestled amongst hundred-year-old maple trees along Lakeshore Road. It lies just to the west of Wesleyville Road, a modem addition to the area that serves only as a reminder of what was and what could have been.
In 1788, the First Nations settlers agreed to sell the land that lay east of Toronto to the Ganaraska River, which runs through the municipality of Port Hope, and no more than 10 miles back from Lake Ontario. When these Crown lands were granted after 1830, Wesleyville (originally called "Lakeshore") consisted of Lot 30 and Lot 31 in Concession 1, Hope Township. Farms-and families-were settled onto the land and by 1845, the community had both a school and a Methodist Church.
In 1860, it was necessary to build a new church, as the old wooden frame one had deteriorated, so John Barrowclough, one of the area's founders, provided the land from the west side of his property. Named "Wesley Church", the hamlet continued to grow around the church as Wesleyville.
"My ancestors have lived there continuously since 1847," says William Barrowclough, the great-grandson of John Barrowclough ."My great- grandfather and his wife came over from England in 1844 and bought the farm [on the west part of Lot 30] in 1847. The farm stayed in the family until we sold most of it to Hydro in 1968. After my father died, we sold the house and the surrounding 12 acres to Hydro in 1992."
You can't discuss the history of Wesleyville without the name "Hydro" coming into the conversation. Unlike stalwart names like Barrowclough, Oughtred and Harris, Hydro is the newest landowner. In the late 1960s and early '70s, Ontario Hydro (now known as Ontario Power Generation, OPG) bought 1200 acres in south Hope Township to build an oil-fired generating station. But when the oil crisis of the mid-1970s hit, Hydro halted construction in 1978. While most of the buildings were completed and the smokestack erected, the plant has never operated. The land, including the concrete ghost of the plant, remains an asset of OPG.
Carroll Nichols has lived his entire 86 years on the east side of Wesleyville, overlooking Lake Ontario. His grandfather bought Lot 24 in 1891, a property now known as "Century Farm".
"At our age," Mr. Nichols says of he and his wife, June, "we've lost practically all of our neighbours. No one our age is left in the community. First of all, Ontario Hydro tore down at least ten houses that were in the neighbourhood; the community was completely ruined. The thing that aggravates us the most is that Hydro ruined the community but they didn't make use of the land they purchased."
The Austin family farm, purchased in the early 1900s, was one of the properties sold to Hydro. It might have frustrated Roy Austin as well except that he saw it as progress. The grandson of Harry Austin is now 60 and lives on a small farm near the 401.
"There were farms all the way along and now it's just trees and the plant ' " Roy says. "I worked for Hydro then. Maybe if I'd owned the [family] farm, I would have felt differently than I did." Like Carroll Nichols and others in the area, Roy stayed in the area because it is still home.
"I was born and raised here. As far as Wesleyville, what it used to be, the school and the church are still there but they're all closed up now so you look at it as if they're not there."
More than a hundred years before the arrival of Hydro, Wesleyville provided much of what the local farm families needed. In his book, The History of the Township of Hope, written in 1967, Harold Reeve writes, "A school, a church and a post office have been the heart of the village. Around the 1860s, there was a tavern, a blacksmith shop, a machine shop, a cobbler and a carpenter." Wesleyville's first post office was established in 1875. Elijah Barrowclough, brother of John, was the village's first postmaster. "The post office was in my family's home," explains William Barrowclough, now in his sixties and living in Peterborough. "They had the post office there until 1911 when it moved over to the Oughtred place. When Laurier was defeated in 1911 and Borden got in, no Liberal family was going to have a post office."
The post office closed in 1944, the school in 1965 and the church in 1968 (when Ontario Hydro began buying the land around it). So the village was already in decline when the proposal for the generating plant was announced. It must have seemed like a chance for rejuvenation: an intersection at the 401, people moving into the area, an industrial park providing jobs. Unfortunately for Wesleyville, the potential was never realized. Now it provides a moment of nostalgia as you drive through. Lakeshore Road is a winding unmarked band of asphalt that sweeps through Wesleyville, oblivious to the six-lane highway to the north, ignoring the unnecessary traffic lights at the intersection of Wesleyville Road. It is a road riveted by farm fields, the sparkling blue lake and the giant concrete smokestack rising above the trees.
"It's an historic road," according to Carroll Nichols. "The soldiers marched from Kingston to Niagara in the War of 1812. This is not a surveyed road; that's why it's crooked. I think the original travellers went between this tree and that tree and around the swamp and so on.”
He is happy to share an amusing anecdote passed down through his family. "Right next to our garden, there was a house. The story that's been told to me was that when soldiers marched up through, the officers stayed in the house and the soldiers camped across the road in an open field. When they left, the owners of the house had lost a sow so the British Army paid for it, figuring the soldiers had butchered it. About three weeks later, the sow came out of the woods with her piglets."
Like the headstones in the cemetery, this kind of story reveals much about a community, about the generations who lived and farmed around Wesleyville along the shore of Lake Ontario. These stories must be kept alive so they don't disappear like the church congregation did, as the farmhouses bought and torn down by Hydro did. These stories are what will keep the spirit of Wesleyville dominated by, yet not yielding to, the great smokestack in the sky-from becoming a ghost haunting the cemetery of Wesley Church.
Sara Jewell is a writer and broadcaster living in her hometown of Cobourg.