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The Log Cabin, once the home of Jesse Doan, is a typical example of an Early Settler house. These houses were normally temporary, a place to live while the family got settled in a new community. When early settlers were given their plot of land, they would be required to fulfill certain settler duties, including clearing a small area of trees and using the logs to build a cabin.
This log cabin was built with the ‘wattle and daub’ method of using mud and sticks to seal the cabin, to ensure that no wind or snow could get in during the harsh winters.
Jesse Doan was born on Yonge Street in 1814 to John Doan the brother of Ebenezer Doan, who is credited as the maker of the Ark in the Temple. Although carpentry was a family tradition, Jesse turned to a different path. Born into the Children of Peace, he was able to hone his musical talents in a way that he would not have if he were raised a Quaker. He soon became the leader of the Sharon Silver Band. The band was formed in 1820 by Patrick Hughes, intending to help train interested parties. Jesse Doan played clarinet in the band, and would lead it for 30 years, until 1866. The members of the band would not only perform in the Temple, but around Lake Simcoe and even in Toronto. It is said that the band won first prize at the Philadelphia Centennial in 1876, and took home first prize for the Best Band in North America. Although they did not actually win, it shows just how highly they were esteemed - not just in Sharon, but all around Upper Canada.
Like many other members of the Children of Peace, Jesse took part in the Rebellion of 1837. In the weeks following the Rebellion at Montgomery’s Tavern, many participants including Jesse were rounded up and jailed. Men were held over the winter, crammed into small jail cells without trial or council. Left with nothing to do, many men began carving ‘rebellion boxes’ out of small scraps of firewood, engraving messages of peace or hope. Jesse Doan carved many boxes, sending them to friends and loved ones. In jail for approximately four months, Jesse carved at least six boxes, and helped with several more.
Once released from jail, Jesse would return to Sharon and reignite his political interests, serving as Councillor, Deputy Reeve and later as the Reeve of East Gwillimbury until his death. Jesse died on December 23, 1868 and is buried in the Sharon Burying Ground.
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!
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