The Temple at Sharon, Ontario
Library and Archives Canada, Acc. No. 1972-26-776
C.W. Jefferys' notes about this picture from The Picture Gallery of Canadian History Volume 2
The Temple at Sharon, Ont., was built by David Willson (1777 -1866) and the members of the sect founded by him. Willson belonged to the Society of Friends but seceded from that body in 1812, and organized a religious community known as the Children of Peace. While retaining some of the Quaker doctrines, the new religion established a richer and more picturesque form of worship, based on a mixture of mysticism and Jewish ceremonial. Music was cultivated and formed a large part of their services, and the white-robed Sharon choir, its organ, and its silver band became more than locally famous. The arts of architecture and painting found expression in the building and decoration of the Meeting House (now demolished), in Willson's study, and especially in the Temple, a sixty feet square wooden structure of three storeys, of unique and original design. These two buildings have been preserved, and are owned and maintained by the York Pioneer and Historical Society, which has installed in the Temple a museum containing many interesting specimens of farm tools and articles of domestic use.
The story of the Children of Peace is well told in Prof. A. G. Dorland's History of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Canada. Earlier descriptions of the sect, its buildings and its founder, are given in Rev. H. Scadding's Toronto of Old, in The History of the County of York, and in W. L. Mackenzie's Sketches of Canada and the United States.
- Jefferys, Charles W. 1945 The Picture Gallery of Canadian History Volume 2, p.238