Historical Publications

The Newmarket Historical Society publications can be purchased by emailing Kate Jetten, Director at Large, at: Kathy Jetten kathy.jetten@gmail.com. Due to COVID-19, pick up/drop off will be coordinated. Payment is by cash, cheque, or Interac e-transfer.

Historic Publications for Sale:

PublicationAuthorPrice
Through Their Eyes: A History of the Photographers of Newmarket (2020)
A brief history of early Newmarket photographers, starting with the first documented photographer to visit in 1855, up until 1980, showing examples of their work and outlining the history and kinds of photographic images available. Combined with local, amusing, and mysterious stories, it helps to illustrate the history of the town. It’s hard to believe that a town whose population was around 3,500 during World War One had 23 resident photographers between 1858 and 1914. This paper helps to fill a gap in the town’s history, already in its second print.
Christopher Morris$20
Miss Jean Hunter’s Scrapbook: 1915-1918 (2018)
This is a version of the scrapbook that was assembled by the 12 year old Jean Hunter during the First World War. It contains mostly clippings from the Newmarket Era, and features announcements and letters from and about serving Newmarket soldiers. The correspondence gives a different perspective on how Newmarket saw the war at the time.
Judy Perry, Christopher Morris$15
The Life & Times of Newmarket’s Railway Troops in WWI (2018)
This is an intimate account of life in the 127th Battalion (2nd Battalion Canadian Railway Troops) during the First World War, featuring some rarely published photographs. It is not meant to be a military history of the Battalion. It is written in the broader context of the war in order to illustrate the experiences and times of the men from Newmarket and area who fought and died for their country.
Christopher Morris$20
Newmarket’s War Dead in WWI (2008, 2nd edition 2015, 3rd edition 2018)
Newmarket failed to keep track of their men who gave their lives during World War I, for five years after the war ended The Era was asking readers to send in names of friends and relatives killed in the war. The “official” list thus compiled and used for many years by the town, Legion and others paying Remembrance Day tributes was sadly deficient. Now in its third edition, this paper documents every known Newmarket soldier lost in the war, including their place of burial. With the release of information from the Library and Archives Canada, it has allowed us to accurately revise and update this history.
Robert (Terrance) Carter, Eleanor Thomson, Christopher Morris$15
Stories of the Rebellion of 1837 in Old York County (Newmarket: Heart of the 1837 Yonge Street Rebellion) (2016)
The Little Rebel, William Lyon Mackenzie, made the speech that kicked off his campaign for war from the verandah of the hotel at Botsford and Main Streets. It was a rouser, and witnesses said of an estimated crowd of 600 only four stepped forward to show loyalty to Crown and colony.
Mackenzie and many in Newmarket and surrounding farm country were angry at the Family Compact colonial government for ignoring the welfare of the settlers and shopkeepers. They had campaigned for changes for a decade, but felt they got nothing. By the fall of 1837 they were ready to march, to demonstrate in the capital and if necessary, to force the administration to change. Here is the story of Newmarket’s part of these momentous events.
Robert (Terrance) Carter$20
Bogarttown: An Early Village in Upper Canada (2017)
On the edge of modern-day Newmarket once stood a thriving community founded by John Bogart, a settler from Pennsylvania seeking land for his children, and relief from anti-British sentiment in the Thirteen Colonies. The settlement grew around a mill pond on Bogart creek that powered Bogart’s sawmill and gristmill.

The village grew and was larger than Newmarket up until the mid-nineteen-hundreds when the extension of the railroad north from Machell’s Corners (Aurora), led to an explosion of services and mills along the Holland River nearby that slowly bled the village business centre to extinction by 1900. It had survived war and disease and economic cycles. Today, only John Bogart’s 1811 house and the mill pond remain on Leslie Street north of Mulock. Its history and people come alive in this occasional paper. Watts is a local historian and writer of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.
Malcolm Watts$20
Rails to York North: Railways that Changed the Economic and Social Fabric in the Northern Towns and Township of York County, 1853-1950 (2016)
This paper was based upon a PowerPoint presentation to the NHS in September of 2015. With material not included in the presentation due to time constraints, the paper outlines brief histories of all railways that served the northern half of York County from Whitchurch to Georgina and summarizes their economic impacts on the communities through which they passed until abandonment or merger into the current operations of the Canadian National Railway. It is lavishly illustrated with images of rolling stock, equipment, stations, timetables, and maps. An appendix of railway terms and a list of references used by the author are included at the end of the paper.
Robert Holden$20
The Hospitals of Newmarket: Healthcare from the Past and into the Future (2017, 2nd edition 2018)Terrance James Alderson$20
Newmarket’s Ghost Canal: 1904-1912 (1989, 2nd edition 2010)
George Luesby, a pioneer in research, writing and publishing Newmarket’s history, dug deeply into the many mysteries surrounding the Newmarket Canal. He looked at the political machinations locally and in Ottawa that resulted in the plan being pushed forward, at the scheming of the federal bureaucrats to kill the project so money could flow to railroads, and at the eventual abandonment of the half-finished and over-built barge canal to give us what we live with today. He has rendered a masterful account of one of Newmarket’s and Canada’s landmark projects and first major political scandals of the 20th century.
George Luesby, 2nd edition Robert (Terrance) Carter$10
Spooky Stories & Ghostly Accounts from Newmarket and Vicinity (2018)
When the author was a newspaper editor and publisher in Newmarket, he decided to spark up a slow summer by offering readers a prize for the best local ghost story. He expected a few entries, but instead received a flood. He visited and interviewed many of the contributors to verify reliability, and then published their entries. The best of those, along with others he collected over the years, went into this Occasional Paper.
Robert (Terrance) Carter$10
Ezra Doan: Man of the Land (2011)
Barbara Pritchard Fear, born, raised, and educated in Newmarket, used her great-great-grandfather’s diary as a starting point. She looks at mid-19th century life on a farm in Newmarket’s hinterland. This is an account of the Doan family’s life and times in the year 1871 and includes quotes from the diary as they relate to every aspect of their lives, including political commentary and religious activities in the little community of Hope (now Sharon). Barbara died November 2018 at age 87.
Barbara Pritchard Fear$10
Fairy Lake: The Mill Pond Where the Town was Founded (1988, 2nd edition 2013)
Newmarket was founded around a mill built by Quaker settler Joseph Hill on the Holland River. The millpond he created is today known as Fairy Lake, although no one is sure where this name came from. George Luesby explores the history of the pond in depth, its impact on our early settlement, and looks at other developments in the river valley downstream.
George Luesby, 2nd edition Robert (Terrance) Carter$10
The Fire Brigade: Established 1859 – Fires & the Brave Volunteers who Fought Them (1988, 2nd edition 2013)
It is said that by 1988, 98 % of Main Street had either been destroyed or damaged by fire. Fire was a constant menace to the settlement. In order to combat fires, a ‘bucket brigade’ was formed by volunteers and eventually in 1859 the first fire brigade was formed. Read how ‘fires’ and the ‘fire brigade’ have been an important part of Newmarket history and its subsequent growth. Many thanks to Rod Bruton for his assistance as Historian of the Newmarket Fire Department.
George Luesby, 2nd edition Robert (Terrance Carter)$10
The History of Early Industry in Newmarket (1994, 2nd edition 2010)
Newmarket emerged from the 19th century frontier days as a manufacturing town with three major businesses as the foundation of its economy: Wm. Cane & Sons, Davis Leather Co., Office Specialty Manufacturing Co. In this paper Newmarket historian George Luesby looks at these three pillars of our economy, at the men who built them and their successors who ran them, and at the eventual fate of the businesses and the hundreds of jobs they provided.
George Luesby$10

Newmarket Historical Society Newsletter

The Newmarket Historical Society produces a monthly newsletter rich in historical content, researched and written by our Membership. Here is a sample of a recent tale, The Mystery of the Suitcase in the Attic, by Christopher Morris. Explore the history of this suitcase found abandoned at the King George Hotel, now The George Brewhouse & Eatery.

Click here to read The Mystery of the Suitcase in the Attic!