Garden Parties

Two Successful Events Held Last Night

at Sorby’s and Starkey’s

June 23rd 1898.


On Thursday evening, the “Woodlands” estate, the beautiful residence and spacious grounds of Messrs. Douglas and Oswald Sorby, situated about four miles from Guelph, off the Waterloo Road, was the scene of a delightful event.  The occasion was a lawn social under the auspices of the Kirkland Memorial Church, Puslinch.  To say the least, the social was a gratifying success, and exceeded the expectations of its promoters, which must be an encouragement to the Reverend Mr. Terryberry, the zealous pastor, and the ladies who worked so indefatigably for its success.  The congregation of that church and their hosts of friends most highly appreciated the kindness and generosity of the Messrs. Sorby, to whose efforts much of the success is due.


It might not be amiss to refer briefly to the premises, “Woodlands”.  The residence was built by the late Colonel Saunders and was purchased by the late Walter Sorby upon his arrival here with his three sons in 1867 from Derbyshire, England.  The property embraces some 600 acres, almost in one block.  It is beautifully situated on the slope of the hill, and, with driveways, shady trees, etcetera, presents a picturesque scene.  The farm buildings are of the latest and most improved architectural designs.  They are built of rough granite with freestone facings.  An addition, now in course of erection, is of finest pressed brick, fitted with the latest conveniences.  To many, a visit through these substantial structures, viewing the different breeds of stock, such as Clydesdale and Hackney horses, Ayrshire cattle, Shropshire sheep, etcetera, is exceedingly interesting and instructive.


Tea was served from 5 to 9 o’clock.  During those hours, over four hundred were served.  The crowd comprised many from Guelph, Preston, Hespeler, and Galt.  Over 200 vehicles were present, besides those who wheeled, including 25 bicyclists, principally from the Norfolk Street Church, Guelph.  Amongst the crowd, it was pleasing to notice the face of Reverend Mr. Henders, a former pastor, who is on a short visit, also Reverend J. G. Scott, who assisted greatly to the pleasure of those present.


About 8 o’ clock, a programme of vocal and instrumental music was provided in the large parlour of the house.  It included music from Mr. Willie Thain’s orchestra from the city, vocal music by a coloured quartet from Preston, recitations by Mr. James Biernes, and guitar and vocal music by the Misses Hall from Guelph.  The programme was most highly appreciated, the orchestra music being a feature.  To judge from the appreciation shown them, the Willie Thain orchestra is making a good start.


At dusk, the grounds looked very pretty, illuminated with Chinese lanterns.  The refreshment booths did a large business, notwithstanding the cool atmosphere.  Particular mention must be made of the following ladies who assisted in looking after the hospitality of the guests: Mrs. Thomas Evans, Mrs. Eagle, Mrs. Metcalf, Mrs. Bedford, Mrs. Sault, Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Heath, Mrs. Smith, the Misses Lillie, Minnie and Maude Howitt, Agnes and Charlotte Evans, M. Hutchinson, Smith, Tolton, Sault, Atkins, Stunns, and others.  Shortly after 10 o’ clock, the crowd began to disperse, all feeling much pleased at the pleasant and enjoyable evening spent.  To the Reverend Mr. Terryberry much credit must be given.  He has only been stationed in this circuit since July last, and his labours have been incessant in furthering the interests of his mission, uniting and moulding the friendship of Memorial and Zion Methodist Churches.  During the evening he discharged the duties of chairman very acceptably.  It is estimated that the proceeds will amount to $70 or more, which speaks conclusively of the success of the event.



The garden party at the residence of Mr. James Starkey, Arkell, last night, was a great success.  There were about 500 people present, all of whom thoroughly enjoyed themselves and took great pleasure in strolling through the beautiful grounds.  Many were from the city, some drove, some wheeled, and some walked out.  There is a large hill in the rear of the residence.  This itself may seem a small thing, but it proved of considerable interest when it was found out that a good view of the city could be obtained from it.  In fact, nearly every electrical light could be counted with the exception of one or two in the hollow.  The social was for the contagious disease ward in the General Hospital, and was under the charge of Miss Keating, Guelph and the ladies of Arkell.  These ladies deserve great credit for their efforts, and they were crowned with great success.  Five large tables were set under the trees in the large and well-kept orchard.  They were presided over by Mesdames H. Arkell, John Arkell, Thomas Arkell, W. J. Rudd, J. Murray, P. Petty, John Iles, Wm. Watson, George Watson, R. Hume, and Misses Laing and other ladies.


After all had partaken of supper, and it was a most sumptuous one, President Mills, O.A.C., took the chair.  In his remarks, he paid the ladies a high compliment for the entertainment that they had provided and the noble object that they had at heart.  He was also glad to see the city and the country people join together so freely for a common object and a common good.


Speeches were also made by Reverend Mr. Martin, His Worship Mayor Hewer, Reverend Mr. Cranston, C. Kloepfer M.P., and Major Mutrie M.P.P.  They were all two-minute speeches, brief, humourous, and to the point, and congratulated the ladies on the success of the party and the good object for which it was held.  Songs were sung by Mrs. Wilcocks, Guelph, Miss McKenzie, Nassagaweya, Prof. Kelly, Guelph, and Mr. Norman Reinhart, Guelph.  Their efforts were much appreciated.  The solos by the Morlock family of Morriston, and the musical selections by the Kitching family of Nassagaweya, were two very pleasing features.


The 30th Battalion band, under the leadership of Prof. Trandell, played several choice selections during the evening.  The grounds were beautifully illuminated with Chinese lanterns and other lights, and presented a pretty appearance.


The night being all that could be desired for the occasion, it was about eleven o’ clock before the pleasant gathering broke up, and one and all were loud in praise of the manner in which they had been entertained by Mr. and Miss Starkey and the ladies who assisted them.


After expenses are paid there will be a handsome surplus.  In fact, $80 was taken at the gate, besides tickets sold outside and the receipts of various booths.


Mayor Hewer received applause when he announced that he was an Arkell boy and born within a short distance of the village.



from the Guelph Mercury newspaper