In 1818 Adam Scott settles on the west shore of the Otonabee River at the foot of King Street. Then the following year signs an agreement to build grist and sawmill on site of future town of Peterborough. Future town of Peterborough is established as "Scott's Plains". Charles Rubidge and family arrive in 1820 as second settlers in Otonabee Township. Richard Birdsall surveys the area in 1823 for a town site. Market Block between George and Water and Charlotte and Simcoe Streets are established.
The British parliament voted in 1825, 30,000 pounds to finance a large and experimental emigration plan to transport poor Irish families to Upper Canada where 2000 Irish immigrants transported from Cork to Peterborough by Peter Robinson. "Scott's Plains" renamed Peterborough in honor of Peter Robinson. Sir Peregrine Maitland, becomes Governor of Upper Canada town in 1826, 1832 - Botanist and author, Catharine Parr Traill and family, settle in area. Samuel Dickson begins logging operations in 1840 north of Peterborough and builds. Robert Nicholls opens first bank in 1843 Bank of Montreal branch. Typhus outbreak kills many in 1847, including local doctor John Hutchison and Thomas A. Stewart. Peterborough incorporates in 1850 as a town and the population is 2,191. 1857 - Decimal or 'dollar' currency adopted in Peterborough, replacing English pound. 1859 - John Stephenson designs molded strip canoe, later known as the "Peterborough Canoe".
1860 - Future painter and sculptor, Katharine E. Wallis is born in Peterborough. 1869 - First Gas Works is established in Peterborough - used for lighting and then a year later hires its first 'Lamp Lighter' to light downtown gas streetlights. 1873 - Ontario Canoe Company establishes in Peterborough. First telephones arrive to Peterborough in 1879. Ontario Canoe Company is formed under James Z. Rogers. The First train of Grand Junction Railway arrives in Peterborough in 1880. Peterborough becomes first town in Canada to have electric (arc) lights along its streets in 1884. 1891 - Edison Electric builds a major plant in Peterborough later becomes Canadian General Electric (CGE). 1892 - Ontario Canoe Company becomes Peterborough Canoe Company. 1896 - Construction begins on Lift Lock, designed by R.B. Rogers.
1901 - Winston S. Churchill, future Prime Minister of Britain, visits Peterborough to make speech about Boer War. 1902 - American Cereal Company establishes a plant on the shore of the Otonabee River, later is renamed Quaker Oats Company. 1904 - World's highest hydraulic Lift Lock is completed for Trent Canal. On July 1st, 1905 Peterborough officially proclaimed a City. 1907 - Rev. Edwin Pearson becomes minister at George Street Methodist Church, his son, future Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, begins attending Central Public School. 1913 - Peterborough's Frank O'Connor opens Laura Secord Chocolate Company in Toronto, after borrowing $500 from Louis Yeotes. 1920 - Peterborough's population is 19,890. 1923 - Baseball Hall-of-Famer, Tris Speaker and his "All Stars" play exhibition game in Peterborough. 1934 - John Smith's famous attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a 16 foot Peterborough Canoe ("Pride of Peterborough") begins and ends in his death in the Gulf of St Lawrence.
1956 - Former Peterborough resident, Lester Pearson wins Nobel Peace Prize (Suez Crisis). 1961 - Peter Demos, a Peterborough native, receives PhD in nuclear physics at MIT and is appointed advisor on nuclear science to US President John F. Kennedy. 1964 - Trent University is opened. 1971 - Peterborough hosts North American Figure Skating Championships. Karen Magnussen wins ladies singles crown over Janet Lynn of the United States. Toller Cranston wins men's title. 1987 - Festival of Lights is launched. 2000 - Peterborough celebrates 150th anniversary and First Mayor's Levy ever held in Peterborough occurs on New Years Day.
PETER ROBINSON IRISH EMIGRATION TO CANADA (1823, 1825)
Economic conditions in Ireland played a part
in forming the plan. Ireland in the 1820's was an economic "basket
case", population in Ireland was increasing dramatically. Parliament
was also intent on increasing the number of settlers available to defend
the border of British North America (Canada) from the United States.
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