Collection 83-008 - Peterborough City photographic collection

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Peterborough City photographic collection

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  • Graphic material

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  • 1900-1940 (Creation)
    Peterborough City photographs

Physical description area

Physical description

167 photographs : b&w ; 28 X 35.5 cm or smaller.

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Administrative history

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 erected a saw and grist mill on the west bank of the Otonabee River (at the location where 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 were built within the town boundaries. Timber, and then lumber, dominated the Peterborough industrial scene from 1825 to 1875, but it 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 eight and nine hundred 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 by 1921 the population had increased to 21,000.

Custodial history

Scope and content

This collection consists of original photographs, copy photographs, negatives and glass negatives of the City of Peterborough. Subjects such as street scenes, store fronts, churches, industries, cemeteries, the Peterborough Canoe Company and schools are included in the fonds. Most of the photographs were taken by Roy studios and used in "Peterborough Examiner" articles during the 1960's.

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Physical condition

Includes negatives and glass plate slides.

Immediate source of acquisition

This collection was donated from an unknown source.


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Photo Album:

  1. Pumping Station City Workhouse

  2. The Barrie Building

  3. J.J. Turner and Sons

  4. Canada Woolens - Auburn Mill

  5. Canadian General Electric - aerial view

  6. Peterborough Milk Products

  7. Quaker Oats

  8. Sanitary Ice Supply

  9. Hunter Street Bridge

  10. Peterborough Lock Manufacturing Co. (photo of sketch)

  11. Colonial Weaving

  12. B.F. Ackerman Sons Co

  13. Canada Woolens

  14. Quaker Oats Co. Power House

  15. Auburn Dam

  16. The Campbell Milling Co.

  17. Peterborough Cereal Co

  18. Peterborough Collegiate Institute

  19. Mount St. Joseph

  20. Peterborough Normal School

  21. Royal Bank

  22. Dominion Bank

  23. Peterborough Public Library

  24. Nicholl's Hospital

  25. St. Joseph's Hospital

  26. Canadian Packing Co.

  27. The Empress Hotel

  28. Bank of Toronto

  29. J.C. Turnbull Store

  30. Victoria Hall

  31. Robert Neill Co.

  32. War Memorial

  33. Western Clock Co.

  34. Regatta - Chemong Lake

  35. Salvation Army Temple

  36. Bell Telephone

  37. The Armories

  38. Y.M.C.A.

  39. Peterborough City - aerial view

  40. Trinity Methodist Church

  41. Prince of Wales School

  42. Little Lake Cemetery

  43. Murray Street Baptist Church

  44. Y.M.C.A.

  45. Sacred Heart Church

Box 1

Folder 1: Photographs of the Peterborough Cereal Company,

Photos 1-20(b) (copy); Belleghem Store front; various streetscapes; memorial photographs plus negative, (copy) Simcoe Street, 1890 plus negative; construction crew between Toronto and Peterborough, (copy) plus negative; Peterborough chool, (copy) plus negative; industry plus negative; the Ashburnham Ship Yard; Peterborough Lift lock, (copy), and three photographs of the Peterborough County Council 1966.

Folder 2:

Photos 21-41 Creekside Cottage, 1863, with Mrs. T. Neill, the first organist of the Anglican Church, (copy); the Old Church of England, 1908; Dunlop Lodge Charter Members, 1953; Cox Terrace, Rubidge Street; Peterborough Hotel (now Empress Gardens); the Canadian Legion Hall on Murray Street, 1929; a church; the beginning of Nicholl's Hospital - nurses on the steps of Moira Hall, corner of Charlotte and Monaghan Sts.; Little Lake Cemetery; the kitchen of the Canadian Legion Hall, 1929, the site of the Chase's Hotel, Keene; an island in Katchewanooka Lake; the Henry Bawbell House, built in 1857; and various photographs of a winter creek plus 2 photographs of unidentified men ca. 1910 and 1940.

Folder 3: one 11X14 group photo Photo 42

Folder 4: several unidentified photographs,

Photos 43-50 an unidentified man plus negative; the Gun Club, the Henry Denne Family; a Charlotte Street scene, the Salvation Army Barracks, Simcoe Street; the opening of the Peterborough Exhibition, and the PCVS Cenotaph; Snowden House, Charlotte Street.

Folder 5: Several unidentified photographs, (copies); Photos 51-74 Cluxton Building; Peterborough Post Office at Hunter and Water, (copy), plus negative; the Canadian Legion auditorium; George Street, (copy), plus negative and glass negative, Hunter Street, (copy) plus negative and glass negative; a Peterborough Canoe, (copy), plus negative and glass negative; and the Woolen Mill, 1863, (copy).

Folder 6: Negatives of several churches; the Peterborough Examiner Road Race of 1907; the Lakefield Memorial Building; the Public Library; the Town Clock on George Street; the Fire Station and Cox Terrace on Rubidge Street.

NOTE: Box 1 Folder 1 #7 missing (noticed March 23, 1994)

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