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The History of the House
Johnston, Wm., Catherine, Chas. Herbert, Annie, Alice, Eliza Jane,
Johnston Jr., Mary Rebecca, Robert. - 1892

History of the House

Johnston Morton came to Manvers - Con. 7 Lot 22 in 1866 (kept horses in the original stable). He got the crown deed given to him by Michael McAllister in 1868.

Johnston married Catherine White of Kendal in 1869 at the rectory in Newcastle. They lived in the log house formerly owned by Michael McAllister. In 1878 he purchased Lot 23 Con. 7 from Wm. Driver and thus owned 200 acres. Eventually, as each son married, Johnston purchased a farm for him. The Mortons owned the whole block of land from Con. 7 to Con. 8 at one time.

In 1888 the brick house was built on Lot 22 with the builder being Frank Galbraith. The bricks were made in a kiln on the south end of Lot 23, now owned by the great-granddaughter Kathleen. The bricks cost $100.00. Enough bricks were produced for three homes, being the Herbert Kennedy farm on Con. 6 now owned by Dan Lepine and the Morton residence. All three structures still stand and are in good repair. The three houses were the first brick structures in Manvers.

St. Paul's Anglican Church would hold their strawberry festival on the driveway of this property. In the evening people would sit on the terrace on the north side of this house to watch a play put on by the church. Bethany Band would also give a concert. If it rained, the play would be given in the barn where the present Outdoor Theatre holds plays.
The History of the House

Aunt Laura (Laura Morton) was the last resident of this century home built by her parents Johnston and Catharine Morton. Laura was the second youngest of eleven children.

She (along with other family members) was very musical. She played the piano and studied voice at the Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Laura attended Peterborough Teachers' College, then taught in Millbrook, Port Perry, and at a private school in Delora.

Until Bethany had its own bank, Laura would take all the merchants' deposits to a Millbrook bank.

When she moved to Delora she persuaded John Tinney Sr. of Cavan to teach her to drive. She was the first woman in Durham County to receive a driver's license and own a car. She couldn't reach the gas pedal so a wood block was added. She named her car, a 1931 Essex Tour Car, "Shasta" because "She has ta go."

She taught vocal and piano in this house for many years. She was one of the founding members for the local Red Cross during WW1.

A local historian, she collected local histories and published two books: "A History of St. Paul's Anglican Church" and "Rural Gatherings".
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