Roadhouse & Rose Funeral Home - Playter Chapel has the distinction of being Newmarket's oldest business and the third oldest Funeral Home in Ontario. A full-service provider of burial and cremation services, our professional staff will assist you in your time of need.
Owned and Operated by Wes Playter and Gregg Davey, together with their team, they continue a tradition that was begun in 1842.
History of Roadhouse & Rose Funeral Home
As often the case in early Ontario, cabinet making and undertaking were operated jointly. This was primarily because before modern machinery was in use cabinet makers were the natural choice for the manufacturing of coffins and this evolved into the providing of undertaking services.In 1838 Samuel Roadhouse, at the young age of fourteen, came to Newmarket to apprentice to John Botsford, cabinet maker and undertaker. The business was located at the corner of Main and Botsford Streets.
After the death of John Botsford, Samuel Roadhouse set up his own business in 1842. In 1853 Samuel built his own home and new woodworking factory on the north-east corner of Main and Queen streets. Typical of the time, horses were used to power the lathes and other machinery in the factory. Samuel Roadhouse was very active in municipal affairs, serving as school board trustee and as reeve. When Newmarket was incorporated as a town in 1880 Roadhouse's business was represented by one of nine bees on the "town crest", Newmarket being the "hive of industry".
Samuel's son, Neriah John "N.J." Roadhouse who had apprenticed to his father, took over the business upon Samuel's death in 1890. N.J. was civic-minded like his father and was considered one of the "fathers" of modern Newmarket. He was very active in municipal affairs, serving as on town council for 12 years and as mayor from 1905 to 1907, assisting in the implementation of electric lights, water supply and modern roads.
In 1920 the cabinet-making business was discontinued, but the firm retailed furniture in addition to providing funeral services. In 1921 N.J. took into partnership with him his son-in-law, Lyman Rose and the firm took on its present name "Roadhouse and Rose". Lyman was a prominent builder in town and he and his father Isaac Rose built many of the fine residences in the downtown area. The need for a larger premises led N.J.and Lyman to move to the firm's present site on Main St. Roadhouse & Rose had the building re-modelled in a Tudor style. At this time they were the first in the area to have a motorized hearse and truck for the conduction of their business. N.J. Roadhouse died in 1932 and Lyman and his wife Mildred took over the firm.
Lyman was quite active in the community, particularly in sports. He was also a Mason, a member of the Tuscan Lodge and served on the Newmarket Public School Board. In 1953 Lyman and Mildred retired and sold their firm to three individuals: Donald Roadhouse Rose (Lyman's son), and two other employees of the Rose's, Rodney Ecobichon and Wray Playter. In 1956 a fire in the adjacent Newmarket Era building spread to the funeral home destroying the 2nd and 3rd stories. During this time the firm operated out of the Denne / Bosworth House at the north-west corner of Davis Drive and Main Street.
Following the fire, the firm purchased the old Era building and erected a new furniture store on that site. In 1969 the retailing of furniture was discontinued and the funeral home expanded into both buildings. In 1974 Rodney Ecobichon retired and sold his interest in the firm to Glenn Playter, nephew of Wray. In 1986 Don Rose also retired and his interest was sold to the two remaining partners in the firm, Wray and Glenn Playter. In 1993 Wray Playter retired and sold his interest to Glenn Playter and his wife Jackie.
In 1996 Roadhouse and Rose announced the opening of Genesis Bereavement Resource Centre, and appointed Keith Taylor as its on-site director. This centre offers post funeral service care and support to clients, a lending library and offers group and private counseling services free of charge.
In 2000, Gregg Davey joined the firm and in 2004 Glenn's son, Wes Playter also joined the team. In 2009, Wes Playter & Gregg Davey purchased the firm from Glenn & Jackie Playter.
To view pictures of our recent heritage restoration project, please click on the following link:
Heritage Project- 2010