Not much is known about the Cookhouse, other than an approximate building date of circa 1830. The building was moved to the Site in 1978, and took two additional years to restore. Restoration to the appropriate time period allowed for the re-use of siding from the summer kitchen of David Willson’s home to be used.
The Cookhouse was used as a place for the female members of the Children of Peace to prepare and cook feasts for the sect's events. Feasts were held twice a year: once at the beginning of June to celebrate David Willson’s birthday, and another following Illumination in September. These feasts included both Children of Peace and other members of the community, emphasizing their relationship to the community.
Feasts held by the Children of Peace were celebratory activities, even for non-members. The focus of the feasts was on community and prosperity, not just worship. Admission to the feast was 25 cents per person, and as the years went on, these feasts became more and more popular, attracting people from all around the local communities. In fact, over 1000 people showed up in June of 1857, and tickets had to be refunded as there simply was not enough food to go around.
The Children of the Peace were one of the earliest co-operative farming communities which contributed to the Village of Sharon becoming one of the most prosperous agricultural communities in the province. Their harvests were plentiful, and their feasts reflected that.
The Sharon Temple, in partnership with Point3D Commercial Imaging Ottawa, is excited to announce the launch of its virtual tours. Take a walk through six of our heritage buildings, including our exhibit space. Explore artifacts, and immerse yourself in the Museum from any computer or cell phone!