The York Pioneer and Historical Society (YPHS), the oldest historical society in Ontario, began on April 17, 1869, as an informal gathering of men at the Mechanics’ Institute, at the corner of Church and Adelaide Streets in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Within a few months, the York Pioneers Association was founded under the leadership of Richard Oates, with Colonel Richard Denison as the first president. Its purpose was “to keep alive reminiscences of a primitive day and of making collections of them before they became lost”.
The YPHS is the oldest historical society in Ontario and is thought to be the second oldest in Canada. Annual fees were $1.00 in the early years compared to $30.00 today.
In 1891, the YPHS was incorporated as a registered charity, and, for the first time, it accepted women as members. Among the first was Sarah Anne Curzon, who along with Mary Agnes Fitzgibbon went on to form the Woman’s Canadian Historical Society of Toronto in 1895.
1869 The York Pioneer Society was founded by Richard H. Oates
1879 John Scadding’s 1794 log cabin was acquired and moved to Exhibition Park
1891 Incorporation of the York Pioneer and Historical Society
1918 Purchase and restoration of the Sharon Temple
1968 Lady Eaton donates the 1848 Eversley Church, King Township
1983 Log repair and replacement at Scadding Cabin
1991 Transfer of the Sharon Temple to the Sharon Temple Museum Society (STMS)
1994 Bicentenary of Scadding Cabin
1998 Sesquicentenary of Eversley Church
2007 175th Anniversary of Sharon Temple
2009 Sale of Eversley Church
2009 Scadding Award of Excellence from the Ontario Historical Society
2009 Installation of an interpretative plaque at Scadding Cabin
2017 Publication of Dare to Do What is Right
2019 Installing of an interpretative plaque at the Scadding Estate site