This fonds consists of the personal and business records of the Geale, Hamilton, Peck, Barker and Rogers families. There are letters relating to World War I written by Beresford and Robert Hamilton and Heber and Harry Rogers; letters, diaries, journals of Richard Birdsall Rogers (superintending engineer of the Peterborough Lift Lock); the records of Hon. Robert Hamilton, a factor at the Hudson's Bay Company stationed at Fort Edmonton. The fonds also contains stereographs, approximately 1000 photographs, and a C.E. Goad fire insurance plan for the city of Peterborough, 1882. Items of interest include a group of photographs of the Trent Valley area and the building of the canal; Rogers family pictures of the Stoney Lake area and the Juniper Island Regatta; photos of early aircraft and the Curtiss Aviation School; photos of hydraulic lift lock at Peterborough; and one letter from Catharine Parr Traill to Robert Miles Hamilton.
This collection of family papers, correspondence, journals, photographs, newspaper clippings and published works spans the years 1834 to 1966 and measures approximately 3 1/2 linear metres. The papers were deposited in Trent University Archives through the courtesy of members of the Geale and Rogers families in 1983.
The papers are divided into two series:
Series A, the Geale family papers, consists of records pertaining to the descendants of the Hon. Robert Hamilton, a factor of the Hudson's Bay Company stationed at Fort Edmonton in northern Manitoba. Robert Hamilton married Annie Seabourne. One of their sons was Robert Miles Hamilton (1864-1939). He married Alice May Barker and resided at "Auburn" in Peterborough, Ontario. Their children were Miles Beresford Hamilton, Robert Barker Hamilton, (Alice) Seabourne Hamilton, and S.R. Hamilton (son). Alice Seabourne Hamilton married Charles Norman Geale. Papers of the Barker family (the Hon. Samuel Barker was Mrs. Robert Miles Hamilton's father) are included in this series as are the papers of the Peck family. Edward Armour Peck was the natural son of Arthur Henry Peck and the adoptive father of Charles Norman Geale. He married Kitty Revell. Both Miles Beresford Hamilton and Robert Barker Hamilton served overseas in the First World War and their correspondence is included in this series.
Series B of this collection consists of the Rogers Papers. Richard Birdsall Rogers was born at Ashburnham in 1857. He lived there until 1916 and then moved to "Beechwood Farm" in Douro Township. He was a land surveyor and was appointed superintendent engineer of the Trent Valley Canal in 1884. Richard married Clara Mina Calcutt of Peterborough in 1881. They had seven children. One daughter, Leah, married Herbert Geale, brother of Charles Norman Geale. Two sons, Heber and Harry served overseas in World War I. Their correspondence is included. R.B. Rogers designed and supervised the building of the hydraulic lift locks at Peterborough and Kirkfield. These papers included several files of plans and specifications for the locks, correspondence and documents accrued during the scandal preceding Rogers' resignation in 1906, the Holgate Report which condemned Rogers and the Keefer investigation which completely vindicated his work as Chief Engineer. We have created a major on-line exhibit focusing on the life and times of Richard Rogers and the Peterborough Lift Lock: http://digitalcollections.trentu.ca/exhibits/birdsall-rogers/zrptboll.htm