Trent Valley Archives - April / May / June 2016 E-Newsletter
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TVA's Annual
Yard Sale
June 4th
7am to 12pm

We are still gathering items for our yard sale. If you plan to do some Spring cleaning please keep us in mind.

More details at the bottom of this newsletter.
Archival Fonds

TVA holds more than 500 archival fonds from a wide variety of sources.

View a partial list.


Focus on Fonds:

No. 172

Johnston Family 

Scope and Contents:

The heart of the collection is in the letters, 1875-1876, written by William Johnston to his son who was pursuing a career as a pharmacist. The papers have been supplemented with strong family and genealogical research and contain documents related to Alfred J. Johnston. Most of the original letters have been xeroxed for research purposes, and the letters are also available digitally.
The photographs and original documents include an 1860 photograph of the Johnston home and tailor business on Water Street decorated for the arrival of the Prince of Wales. …..

Custodial History: 

The Johnston family papers were donated to the Trent Valley Archives by Carol Koeslag, Peterborough ON, 2007 and 2008.

Biographical Sketch/ Administrative History

William Johnston (1819-1876) was a Peterborough tailor who lived from 1846 until his death on Water Street near Hunter. He was very active in the community and served with the Conservative party, with the 57th Regiments, the Mechanics Institute, St Andrew’s Church, the Loyal Orange Lodge. A very capable writer, Johnston served in many capacities, often secretarial, in these organizations. He was, for example, secretary to the Peterborough Central Fair and the Peterborough School Board. His brother, George Johnston (1822-1885) was also a tailor, serving in later years as the Chief of Police. His son, A. J. Johnston (1851-1931), who shared many of his father’s interests, was in Manitoba from 1875 to 1885. When he returned to Peterborough he was the druggist at the Nugent Drug Company on George Street.

Three letters from this collection were published in the Heritage Gazette of the Trent Valley, vol 12, no 2 (August 2007) 18-20. The Trent Valley Archives would like to see the letters published and are now designing a project tentatively called “Peterborough in the 1870s.” The letters would be annotated and the book would have a introduction on Peterborough in the 1870s. The book would be illustrated and supported by excerpts from the newspapers in these years.

The 2008 accrual featured many papers and photographs related to the Stephens family, connected to the Johnstons by marriage, and these are filed in files 46 to 52.

Access Points:

Peterborough Mechanics Institute
James and Jane Mitchell
Samuel J. Jackson
Stonewall, Manitoba
Stephens family

See the listing by clicking here.

Johnston's Tailor Shop Photo

The Johnston Family fonds contains many excellent old photos.

The photo to the right is part of the Johnston family fonds and is probably the earliest photo related to Peterborough in any of our collections.

The photo is Johnston’s Tailor shop at the corner of Water and Hunter Street. The tower in the background was the former tower of St. John’s Anglican Church. 


Other Resources

The Trent Valley Archives is constantly adding new resources to our collection.

Many of these resources are also available as finding aids on our web site. Active links are underlined - click a link to see the resource.

Our resources include:

Family Trees
Master Names Database
Census Records
Parish Records
Marriage Registries
Newspaper Obituaries
Cemetery Transcripts
Telephone and City Directories
Voters’ Lists
Court and Jail Records
1869 Assessment
1888 Directory
Peter Robinson Ships’ Lists
Peterborough County Land Records

City Directories:

Ashburnham: 1858, 1864, 1865-66, 1870, 1876, 1883-84, 1894-95, 1897, 1898, 1888-89, 1901, 1901-02, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1914

Peterborough: 1888-89, 1901, 1901-02, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1929, 1931... 1935, 1937... 1967
Heroes and Rails Bike Tour

May 28th
1:30 - 4:00 PM
$15 per person

Follow the rail trail along the Otonabee River and explore the early influence of industry on the town.
on the Rue George

May 29, June 5
2:00 PM
$20 per person

Explore the secret criminal history of Peterborough’s downtown on this guided walking tour led by Elwood Jones.

Discover the unsavoury side of George Street during the era of
Jack the Ripper!
The Trent Valley Archives is a non-profit organization that relies on membership and donations to sustain its large and well-equipped facility.

Scandals and Scoundrels Pub Crawl - SOLD OUT

May 13, June 17 & 24 • 7-10pm • $20
Listen to strange tales about Peterborough's historic taverns. There will be time to stop for a drink! Price of tour does not include beverages.

Heroes & Rails Bike Tour

May 28 • 1:30-4pm • $15
Follow the rail trail along the Otonabee River and explore the early influence of industry on the town.

Murder on the Rue George

May 29, June 5 • 2-4pm • $20
Explore the criminal history of Peterborough’s downtown on this walking tour led by Elwood Jones.

Little Lake Cemetery Tour:
Peterborough's Military History

June 23, July 21 • 7-8:30pm • $15
Tour Little Lake Cemetery and hear stories of Peterburians who served abroad.

Transportation & Historic Sites Bike Tour

June 18 • 1:30-4pm • $15
Take an easy ride through central Peterborough. Discover streetcars, railroads and industry from bygone days.

Little Lake Cemetery Tour: Tragic Tales

July 8, 15, 22 • 7-8:30pm • $15
A walking tour featuring tales of woe from the early days of Peterborough.

Eerie Ashburnham Ghost Walk

August 5, 12, 19, 26 • 7:30-9:30pm • $15 Explore the ghostly past of East City by lantern light.

Little Lake Cemetery Tour:
Ladies of the Lake

September 11, 25 • 2-3:30pm • $15
Meet female artists, pioneers and businesswomen from Peterborough’s past whose lives and contributions still shape our community today

Little Lake Cemetery Twilight Pageant

October 21 • Tours begin at 7 pm and run every half hour • $25 Actors portraying former residents recount tales of Peterborough’s early days. The experience of walking through a cemetery at night encountering men and women from Peterborough’s past is an experience not to be missed!

Downtown Ghost Walk

October 20, 25, 26, 27 • 7-9pm • $15
Costumed guides recount spooky tales on this lantern-lit tour around Peterborough's most haunted buildings.

Reservations are required for all tours.

Planning a special event?
Private tours are available for groups of 15 or more.
Advance notice required.
Contact Heather at the TVA for details: 705-745-4404


Trent Valley Archives and the Peterborough District Italian Club invite you to attend a special ‘Italian Heritage Evening’.

This event will be held on Friday, June 10th from 7-9 pm at Grace United Church, corner of Howden St. & Monaghan Rd. Admission is FREE, but donations will be appreciated. 

For more information call Heather a: 705-745-4404.

Johnston’s Tailor Shop, corner of Water St. & Hunter St.
TVA: F172 Johnston Family Fonds

On April 21, TVA held its annual AGM at Highland Park Funeral Centre. 

Our special guest speaker was Paul Rellinger, long-time writer and editor of Peterborough This Week and

Paul gave an entertaining and informal talk about his life in journalism which spanned 27 years and many changes in the newspaper business.  
Keith Dinsdale Award for Volunteerism

A highlight of the AGM was the presentation of the Keith Dinsdale Award for Volunteerism.
Don Willcock received the award for 2014.  Don is a past board member of TVA and continues to lead many of our historic walking tours.  He is also involved in the ongoing project to index our Peterborough County Land Records.

 TVA President Guy Thompson (R)
Presents the Keith Dinsdale Award to Don Wilcock (L)

Alice MacKenzie is our award recipient for 2015.  Also a past board member, Alice has worked (and continues to work) tirelessly and consistently on the Peterborough County Land Records index.
Susan and Ivan Take A Break 

On May 5th a luncheon was held in honour of long-time board members Susan Kyle and Ivan Bateman on the occasion of retiring from the TVA Board. 

Susan has volunteered with us since TVA's earliest days and has served on the board at regular intervals, and has held various executive positions. Lately Susan's expertise in writing grant applications has been much appreciated!   

Ivan has been an active and productive member of the board for the past seven years. Ivan, “in his ninth decade,” has decided to take on a new volunteer position with the TVA as Honorary Building Supervisor. 
TVA's Annual Yard Sale
June 4th from 7am to 12pm
Send us your stuff!  Our annual yard sale will take place on the front lawn of TVA (weather pending) on June 4th from 7am to 12pm.  If you have donations to drop off, please contact Heather no later than June 2 at 705-745-4404.
We are also looking for volunteers to set up the sale, staff it, and tidy up the lawn when it's over.  We would be grateful if you could help out for an hour or for the whole morning!  The more the merrier!  

Please contact Heather and let her know how you are able to lend a hand.
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