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The Gooderham & Worts families emigrated from the Scole / Bungay area of England in the early 1830s, arriving in York, (now Toronto, Canada). First came James Worts, accompanied by his 13 year-old son, James Gooderham Worts. They built the windmill near the mouth of the Don River. They were followed in 1832 by William and Ezekiel Gooderham, their sister, Elizabeth (James Worts' wife) and 54 extended family members. Over the following 75 years, these families created the largest distillery in the world, as well as contributing to milling, banking, railways, shipping, farming and other essential components of the growing industrial country. They were active in the church and in various communities, as well as in health care and even in our political institutions. In 2013, descendants of the Gooderham and Worts families created an online website that includes a family tree with photos, documents and stories.


1940 A Glimpse of Christmas Past

William Ezekiel Gooderham and May out for a Sleigh Ride 1940

William Ezekiel Gooderham's family always had roast goose for Christmas dinner and he remembers the huge plum pudding his mother (Catherine) made - lots of suet and big raisins boiled in a cloth in a big iron pot. Mr. Gooderham and his brother hung their stockings behind the wood burning stove in the dining-room on Christmas Eve. They got up before dawn and took the filled stockings upstairs and ate the contents in bed in the dark - nuts, raisins, candy and an orange. One Christmas, they got fur caps for presents and Mr. Gooderham's cap fell off the hook and the new puppy chewed a hole in it.

After Christmas dinner everyone went skating on the pond. There was always a shinny match between Churchville and Meadowvale. The boys skated down the river from Churchville. They made the shinny sticks out of little maple trees, the root of the saplings shaped the end of the stick. At night, they set fires to big pine stumps on the pond. Skates were wooden and were fastened to the boots with a screw in the heel and with straps.

During Christmas week, cousins used to drive down from Terra Cotta in a horse drawn sleigh. New Year's Eve, the Meadowvale Band went around the village playing the old Year out and the new Year in.

Interview with Mr. W. Gooderham, 1958. From "A Glimpse of Christmas Past: by Doris McPherson


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