Remember: A Visit With Fern Tobin
Fern Tobin (nee Moon) came to Seagrave in 1921 where she lived with her grandparents. She grew up in Ocean House. Her grandfather was Dr. C. W. Moon, a veterinarian in Seagrave. He plowed the first furrow when they broke ground for this church in 1906.
As most children in those times, Fern became a member of the Seagrave United Church Sunday School. Her musical talents soon had her in the choir and playing the organ and piano. She played for her first wedding at the age of 15. She was church organist from 1956 to 1968.
Around 1958 when she was choir leader, she remembers going with 24 members of the Seagrave Sunday School Choir to Albert Street United Church in Oshawa to perform for "The Sunday School of the Air". Her father, listening on the radio in Raglan, told her they gave a great performance. She also recalled how, as a child, she enjoyed seeing Mr. Beadle, the caretaker, haul the wood across the cellar in his red wagon to stoke the wood furnace. He would then turn his attention to the Delco system that was used to power the lights, the same ones that are presently lighting our church.
The Mystery of the Quilt
Mrs. Tobin has a small quilt that may have been stitched by the Quadrata Girls around 1924. It is a quilt with eight names stitched in each block. Apparently these quilts were used as a fund raising project with money being paid to have your name stitched on a block. Oneblock contains the names of Fern and her sister Norma. Another the name of Mrs. Carmicheal, the minister's wife. The mystery is, where has this quilt been over the years.
One day a stranger from Toronto, arrived at Seagrave General Store with this quilt, determined to find out about it. Apparently she had purchased it at a little shop in Toronto and one day looked up the location of Seagrave and drove out to find out about it. Martin Fisher, owner of the store, referred the lady to Fern to find out about the quilt. Fern is able to recall many of the names and where those people had lived.
In appreciation of Fern's hospitality, the lady gave the quilt to Fern.
I Remember: A Visit With Neil Wanamaker
Neil came to Seagrave at the age of 3 and started Sunday School then. Sunday School followed the church service with adult classes, young peoples classes, several school age classes, and a kindergarten class. Neil was superintendent of the Sunday School for several years - in those days there were four superintendents with each taking responsibility for one Sunday a month. Neil remembers a time when there were over one hundred members in the Sunday School. As a student at Bethel Public School, Neil recalls coming to the church to practice for Christmas concerts, which were put on with Seagrave Public School.
I Remember: A Visit With Ken and Marion Short
Ken recalled hearing how both of his grandfathers (John Short and Richard Martin) hauled the bricks for the new church from "John McLean's Landing" (this was on the Nonquon at the end of the 13th concession). Ken believes the bricks either came from Lindsay or a brickyard near Port Hoover. He attended one of the last "Wood Bees" when they went to Elmer Clement's woods and cut wood for the church. Ken attended many performances in the church shed where sketches and skits were presented by local groups. He and Marion both attended Seagrave Public School where Alma Frise was their teacher for all eight years. They remember taking part in many Christmas Concerts that the school presented in the church.
I Remember: A Visit With Eleanor
and Ken Sturman
Ken became a member in 1946. He remembers speaking at the manse in 1954 about his experiences supporting the army chaplain in Europe. This meeting was arranged by two missionaries that were living there at the time.
The church has been an important part of their time in Seagrave—all three of their children and three grandchildren were baptized there and two of their children were married there. Ken recalled being a Sunday School Superintendent when there were four classroom divided by curtains. There were as many as twenty adults who attended the adult class taught by Annie Clements. At this time the church service was at 10:00 a.m., with the children coming for Sunday School at 11 a.m. Sometime in the 1980's Sunday School started to take place at the same time as the church service.
Ken and Eleanor have organized the Turkey Supper since 1988. Prior to that, church suppers had been organized by the women's groups.
I Remember: A Visit With Don Beacock
Don came to Seagrave in 1970. He became actively involved with the church when Cliff Short asked him to become Superintendent of the Sunday School. He recalled how the church used to sponsor cubs and scouts when his children were growing up. Rev. Roundell (1974-81) was a key organizer. They used to camp out around the church and along the Nonquon.
He fondly remembers the "Good Neighbours Group". They had traveling suppers - one place for hors d'oeuvres, another for the main course, and another for dessert. The last stop would provide the entertainment - usually skits and singing.
I Remember: A Visit With Shirley Barr
Shirley has been an active member of Seagrave United Church since 1965. She is an elder and past president of the U.C.W., and secretary of the U.C.W. for over fifteen years. Shirley was a Sunday School teacher and remembers, with much fondness, the preparations of the programme for Christmas Concerts. The early Yard Sales were held on their property. She enjoyed the Centennial celebrations with the congregation dressed in period costumes and a box social. She recalled, with a smile, the visit of the moderator, Lois Wilson, and having to pile books for her to stand on due to her short stature. Shirley values the Church as a continuing basis for her faith among a community of believers along with the fun times and social activities.
The preceding interviews were conducted by Margaret and Don Real
What Does Seagrave United Church Mean To You?
By Diane Puckrin
Keith, I and Quindy Lee moved from Whitby on a cold, snowy day on December 28, 1968 when we purchased Edgar and Gladys Butt's farm on the 12th Concession. Bradley was born that next spring and in 1970 Quindy was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away May 10, 1972. Brett was born in 1973 and Brandon in 1976. Throughout these early, difficult Seagrave years, our faith, our family and new friends in Seagrave United Church and community played a big part in our healing after losing our precious daughter.
When I walk into our church with its beautiful stained glass windows, I feel "at home" and peaceful. It's here that lasting friendships have been made and are deeply treasured. Congratulations Seagrave United Church on 100 years of service to the Seagrave community.