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Fonds Level Description

Accession Number: 72-1001


Smith Township fonds. -- 1818-1857. -- 5 cm of textual records.

Biography / History

Smith Township, Peterborough County, Ontario, is bordered on its east, north and west sides by Chemong, Buckhorn, Deer and Clear Lakes, and the Otonobee River. At its south end is North Monaghan Township. It was originally part of Newcastle District, which was created in 1802. The survey of Smith Township was completed in 1818 by Samuel Wilmot and Richard Birdsall. In the same year, a number of colonists, who had set sail from Cumberland, England, found their way to the region with the intention of forming a settlement. The colonists came to the newly founded Smith Township by the way of Rice Lake and the Otonabee River, as there was no road, only unbroken forest. These hearty pioneers slowly settled the region, overcoming many obstacles and hardships along the way. In 1827, a large saw and grist mill was built by the government on the banks of the Otonabee River. This new mill superceded two smaller mills which had been previously established within the township. In 1832, 100 pounds was granted by the Upper Canada Legislature to improve the communication road, which was the principle road that passed through the township. Both of these improvements, along with steamship transportation on Chemong Lake, connecting Smith Township with Victoria county, in the 1840's, greatly increased the number of settlers into the region. The locations of villages in Smith Township were influenced almost entirely by the lumber trade. Bridgenorth, Young's Point and Lakefield were all saw mill settlements, and although Selwyn didn't have a mill, it was located on the road north to the timber limits and was an important commerical centre for the men in the lumber trade. The 1840 census indicates that the total population of Smith Township was 1,286 and that there were 204 households. By the 1861 census, the population had grown to 3,426.

Custodial History

The photocopies of this fonds were in the custody of Mr. A. Sharp before they were donated to the Trent University Archives.

Scope and Content

The fonds consists of photocopies of original field notes of surveys of Samuel Wilmot and Richard Birdsall 1818-1830, certified as true copy by Crown Lands Dept on June 30, 1857.


Title based on the corporate structure which created the fonds.

The photocopies were donated by Mr. A. Sharp, Clerk-Treasurer of Smith Township.

Restrictions: N

For related records see: 71-006, 78-010, 84-010, and 86-004.