Rev. James L. Hughes who was a member of the Toronto-based York Pioneer and Historical Society, encouraged the society to raise funds to purchase the Temple and its grounds in 1917. They decided to open the Temple as the York County Museum in 1918. The society collected artifacts from throughout York County, which they displayed in the Temple. Shortly after opening, the York Pioneers moved David Willson’s study to the site. A baseball diamond, tennis courts, a recreation area and refreshment stand were added on the surrounding grounds becoming known to many as Pioneer Park.
In the 1950s, the site’s focus began to change, emphasizing the story of the Children of Peace. The York Pioneers restored and moved the 1819 home of Ebenezer Doan, master builder of the Temple, and a log house associated with Jesse Doan, bandmaster of the Children of Peace, to the site. These acquisitions were followed in 1967, Canada’s centennial year, by the construction of an exhibit building. The baseball diamond and other remnants of the park’s early days were removed. Lastly, they moved the Cookhouse, and the Gatehouse, to the Temple grounds.
In 1991 the charitable, not-for-profit Sharon Temple Museum Society was created, and it assumed the obligations of the York Pioneer and Historical Society, and now owns and maintains the site and its legacy of buildings, artifacts and documents. In 1993, the Temple received its National Historic Designation for the unique architecture of the structure and as one of the earliest examples of historic preservation in Canada.