History of the
Sharon Temple Museum Society
In 1991 the Sharon Temple Museum Society (STMS) was incorporated and took over the ownership and operation of the site. The STMS continued to add buildings to the site: the Cookhouse, and the Doan drive shed and granary. During the 1990s and the first decade of the 21st century, the site benefited from new research made possible, in part, by the discovery of a large collection of original documents hidden in the altar, or Ark, at the centre of the Temple. This also was a time when traditions such as the annual Illumination and Music at Sharon were revived and the site increasingly came to be used as a venue for weddings and other special occasions aided by the long-term lease of the adjacent Temperance Hall.
The Sharon Temple was designated a site of national significance in 1990 by Parks Canada, making it a National Historic Site. In 2006, the Toronto Star named the Sharon Temple one of the 10 most architecturally important buildings in Canada.
In 2012, Sharon Temple National Historic Site saw the completion of a major restoration of the Temple with repairing the windows on the first and second story, as well as a full repair of the foundation and painting the exterior. In addition, reproduction cedar shake roofs were put on the Doan House, Log House and Cookhouse, and David Willson’s Study saw some much needed restoration of some of the arches, as well as replacement reproduction lanterns.
A new entrance pavilion and a new Gift Shop was officially opened in 2014. It has allowed the site to have a year-round exhibit space which has allowed the site to see an increase in visitors. New programs are being created and new relationships are being forged with a variety of organizations to allow staff and volunteers to be more active in the East Gwillimbury community.
Currently, the Sharon Temple Museum Society Board of Directors is considering new strategies to help make the site more economically viable; plan for the construction of a year-round museum building; and look for new ways to attract the interest and support of our rapidly growing and increasingly multicultural, technically savvy community.