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Exhibitions

At the Museum:

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This exhibit is currently on display in the Museum's Exhibit Building! 

Dealing Squarely: the Children of Peace in 19th-Century Upper Canada

The Sharon Temple is the most striking remnant of a community known as the Children of Peace, many of whom lived, farmed, and worked in the area we now call Sharon. This remarkable building is constructed on a square plan and made up of squares within squares, thereby making manifest its builders’ determination to deal squarely with all people in all things. 

 

To deal squarely is to be honest, fair, and equitable. As the Children of Peace grew into an established agricultural community, this sentiment also became enshrined in their egalitarian beliefs and co-operative principles. This marked them as unique and perhaps even unusual among their 19th-century contemporaries, but they found their place as talented musicians, capable farmers and craftspeople, and passionate political reformers. Come explore the fascinating lives and significant contributions that this community made to 19th-century Upper Canada. 

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Womanhood in the 1800s

We have continued our partnership with the East Gwillimbury Library; this year they have once again allowed us to use their display case for a temporary exhibit. This year's exhibition was curated by Mary Watson, who worked as our Collections Assistant for the summer, and it focuses on the lived experiences of women in the 1800s. Women's stories often go untold, and so this exhibition offers an opportunity to recognise and reflect on the rich lives that women lived in the past, in a variety of roles, and on their many accomplishments. 

This exhibit is back on display in the Museum's Gatehouse Gift Shop! 

Online:

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Road to Rebellion is here! The Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum gratefully acknowledges the financial support of our Online Exhibit through the Digital Museum of Canada (DMC)'s Community Stories Stream. Click here to view the interactive exhibit in English and French.

Developed by Katlyn Jones, Museum and Virtual Experience Manager

Past Exhibits:

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Escaping Residential Schools: Running for Our Lives

We were pleased to host "Escaping Residential Schools: Running for Our Lives," a travelling exhibition from the Legacy of Hope Foundation. Listen to and learn from the experiences of First Nation, Inuit, and Metis children who sought to escape the Residential School System and who ran for their lives. This exhibition features first person testimony and seeks to give voice to those who escaped and to honour those who did not. 

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"Farm Fresh Ontario"

Explore the history of farming and food production in Ontario with "Farm Fresh Ontario," a travelling exhibition from the Archives of Ontario. Displayed alongside artifacts and historical photographs from our collection, discover the agricultural history of Sharon and East Gwillimbury, as well as the unique role the Children of Peace and their community played in the development of farmers' co-operatives in Ontario. 

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The Evolution of Play

Each season, the East Gwillimbury Public Library graciously allows us to use their display cases to showcase some of the museum's unique artifacts and archival documents. This provides our seasonal employees with an opportunity to create their own exhibits - from initial concept through story-boarding to installation.

Last year, the Holland Landing Library hosted an exhibit developed by our Collections Assistant, Mary Watson. It explores the industrial revolution had on childhood, toys, and play. It features toys from the early 19th century such as a teddy bear, a wind-up snake, and Magic Dots!

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Values of a Utopian Society

Local artists and community members submitted works of art for an art exhibit in 2022. The art pieces reflected the four virtues of the Children of Peace: Faith, Love, Hope and Charity. 

Each piece is unique and shares a story about the Sharon Temple and the Children of Peace from the perspective of the artist. Thank you to all who participated in our first ever community art exhibit!

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Road to Rebellion

Open from June 2020 - October 2022, the Road to Rebellion exhibit at the Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum highlighted the role of the Children of Peace, the Community of Sharon, and the Sharon Temple in the Rebellion of 1837 and their quest for equality, democracy, and responsible government.

Curated by David Lichty, Master of Museum Studies (University of Toronto)

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