Quaker Meeting House (Norwich Museum)
Norwich and District Museum
89 Stover Street North
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Quaker Meeting House (Norwich Museum) is located at 89 Stover Street North, on the east side of Stover Street North, in the Village of Norwich, now the Township of Norwich. The two-storey white-brick Quaker meeting house was constructed in 1889. The meeting house is part of a larger complex of historically significant buildings that makes up the Norwich and District Museum.
The property was designated, by the Township of Norwich, in 1989, for its architectural or historic value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 68-89.
The Quaker Meeting House was originally erected, in 1889, by the Orthodox Friends, as a place of worship. There was a large Quaker community within the Norwich area. Quakers were among the first settlers of the Norwich area, when Quaker Peter Lossing and his brother-in-law Peter DeLong purchased 15,000 acres of land and moved their families and friends there from Dutchess County, New York, in 1810. This building was the seventh Quaker meeting house constructed in the Township of Norwich, but is the only one which remains in a largely unaltered form.
The Norwich and District Museum opened in 1970, and operates out of the Meeting House. It commemorates the Quaker history and the agricultural and social history of Norwich. In addition to the Meeting House, the Norwich and District Museum also features Peter Lossing's 1812 saltbox house, a turn-of-the-century Quaker schoolhouse, relocated to the property.
The Quakers placed importance on plainness of speech, behaviour and apparel. The architecture and materials of the Quaker Meeting House reflect the simplicity of the Quaker way of life. Constructed of locally produced white clay brick with a plain slate roof, the Meeting House features a broad gable over the main entrance and a two-panelled door, which is outlined in stepped brick work and topped with a rectangular two-paned transom. There are the five simulated pillars on the north and south elevations which frame four plain, double-hung windows.
Sources: Township of Norwich, By-law 68-89; Reasons for Designation, 1989.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Quaker Meeting House include its:
- two storey white-brick construction
- gable roof, clad in slate
- two-panelled door
- broad gable over main entrance
- stepped brick work surrounding main entrance
- dentate design under the eaves on either side of the building
- five simulated pillars which frame four plain, double-hung windows
- location in a complex of other historic buildings, including an 1812 saltbox house and restored Quaker schoolhouse
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1989/01/01 to 1989/01/01
1970/01/01 to 1970/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Township of Norwich
210 Main Street East
Cross-Reference to Collection