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- Peterborough directory
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It was in May of 1819 that the first settlers came to the region in Newcastle District which is now known as Peterborough. One of these settlers was Adam Scott (1796-1838), and he built a saw and grist mill on the west bank of the Otonabee River (at the location were King St. now crosses the river). This location, then known as Scott's Plains, was to become the City of Peterborough. The area had been previously surveyed by Samuel Wilmot in 1818, and at that time, he recommended to the surveyor general that land be set aside for the development of a town at the junction of Smith, Douro, North Monaghan and Otonabee Townships, along the shores of the Otonabee River. In 1825, the recommended townsite was surveyed again by Richard Birdsall and the creation of a town plan was undertaken. From 1819 to 1825, the only inhabitants of Scott's Plains were Adam Scott's family and a few hired men. This changed with the arrival of the Peter Robinson immigrants in 1825 who numbered close to 2,000 people. Many of them settled in the townships surrounding Scott's Plains, which was renamed in 1826, to Peterboro by Sir Peregrine Maitland, in honour of Peter Robinson. By 1827, there were 20 buildings located within the townsite, and in the summer of 1828, another 20 houses were built. Shops, taverns, schools and churches began to sprout within the town boundaries. Timber, and then lumber, dominated the Peterborough industrial base from 1825 to 1875. But this was not the only form of industry. Peterborough also had a tannery, three iron foundries, and several woolen and grain mills. The location of Peterborough along the shores of the Otonabee was extremely important in the development of Peterborough as a manufacturing centre. The river provided not only water power, but a means of transportation for both people and goods. In 1890, Edison Electric, later known as Canadian General Electric, set up a plant in Peterborough, and by 1892, it became the site of the CGE head office for Canadian Operations. In 1900, Quaker Oats also came to Peterborough. Not only did Quaker employ a substantial number of people, they also used locally grown grains in the production of their cereals. The period between 1875 and 1930 was one of rapid industrial growth in Peterborough. As well, the population was constantly increasing. In 1838, the population was between 800 and 900, and by the 1852 census, it had risen to 2,191. In 1871 it had increased to 4,611 and it became necessary for Peterborough to annex land from the surrounding townships. In 1872, 239 acres were annexed from Smith, 50 acres from Douro, and 581 acres from North Monaghan. After the annexation, the population was close to 7,000 inhabitants. Peterborough officially became a city in 1904 and continued to grow and by 1921, the population had increased to 21,000.
This item was copied by Jane Deyman for the Historical Atlas of Peterborough, 1875 and subsequently donated to the Trent University Archives by Professor Elwood Jones.
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This item is a photocopy of a 1875 directory showing the names, addresses, occupations, and in some cases date of emigration to Canada, of the early citizens of Peterborough.
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This item was donated by Elwood Jones, Professor at Trent University.
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For related records see: 69-001 and 86-003.