Welcome to Trent Valley Archives

New Book — Peterborough’s Unique

The book contains a series of fifty stories (some of which have been previously published in the Peterborough Examiner) that range widely across time periods, occupations, and circumstances. Each story defines the uniqueness and special qualities of the people who lived and worked in Peterborough. From the early settlement of the Cumberland settlers of 1818, to the arts of the 19th century in the tale of Pauline Johnson at the Bradburn Opera, to sports through John Corkery’s Lacrosse and the commercial ventures of Robert Fair, one will be intrigued by the scope of this book. Available Now!

About the Author: Dr. Jones is a native of Saskatchewan, with a PhD from Queen’s University. He taught at Trent for 38 years and was one of the founders of the Trent Valley Archives where he continues to contribute. He was the editor of the Heritage Gazette of the Trent Valley, one of Ontario’s best history magazines, and is the author of several books about Peterborough’s history, including “An Historian’s Notebook” and “The Peterborough Journal.”


Have you seen the updated Heritage Gazette?

We are pleased to continue and expand on the pioneering work of archivist Elwood Jones and Steve Gavard as we explore the near and distant past in this full colour publication.
View the current and past issues


Trent Valley Archives Theatre – Tide of Hope

two cast members with Trent Valley Archives Theatre logo

º • º • Event Ended • º • º

“I really enjoyed the play. Learning about the Irish history through theatre gave me a better understanding of what life was like for the Irish in 1825. Congratulations to you and your team on a very successful play.”

— Maureen, Otonabee-South Monaghan Twp

“We so enjoyed the play! It was a great illustration of the plight of Irish immigrants – all told with a bit of cheeky humour. Loved the past-present thing going on!”

— Joanne, Fenlon Falls

º • º • Returning May 2025! • º • º

More Information


Ashburnham is an area of Peterborough that has a rich history! Did you know that where the Lions’ Community Centre is today was once a thriving, innovative brewery that purported to have introduced German-style lager beer to Canada? Or that the first indoor skating/curling rink for Peterborough was a converted flax mill on the Ashburnham side of the Otonabee? Or that "Peterborough's" original train station was actually located in Ashburnham village? If you want to hear these stories (and many more!) you won't want to miss our new tour "A Walk Through Ashburnham's Past." Led by local historian Don Willcock, the tour is happening this Wednesday June 12 and Wednesday June 26 at 6:30pm. Tickets cost $20 each and can be purchased on Eventbrite, here: www.eventbrite.ca/o/trent-valley-archives-9633726313Note: This is a walking tour in Ashburnham that includes climbing some hills, and may not be accessible to everyone. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather, as the tour will run rain or shine. If you have any questions about accessibility or the content of this tour, please email us at admin@trentvalleyarchives.com or call us at 705-745-4404. ... See MoreSee Less
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If you don't live, work, or spend a lot of time in Ashburnham, you may not know about its rich history as its own village independent from Peterborough. Before amalgamating with the Town of Peterborough, Ashburnham had its own municipal hall and council, and was home to several local industries and recreational facilities where its residents (and residents from Peterborough who crossed the Hunter Street Bridge) could work and play. Join historian Don Willcock on our new tour "A Walk Through Ashburnham's Past" to learn more about this historic Peterborough neighbourhood. Happening on Wednesday June 12 and 26 at 6:30pm, this tour will bring the stories of the buildings and the people who lived in them to the forefront as you walk through some of Ashburnham's iconic streets. Tickets cost $20 each and can be purchased on Eventbrite, here: www.eventbrite.ca/o/trent-valley-archives-9633726313NOTE: This is a walking tour in Ashburnham that includes climbing some hills, and may not be accessible to everyone. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather, as the tour will run rain or shine. If you have any questions about accessibility or the content of this tour, please email us at admin@trentvalleyarchives.com or call us at 705-745-4404. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Trent Valley Archives
Ashburnham is Peterborough's oldest community. Founded as a village in 1858, it amalgamated into the City of Peterborough in 1903 and has a rich history that spans over 150 years. If you've been wanting to learn more about what makes this part of the city unique, our upcoming tour "A Walk Through Ashburnham's Past" is for you! Led by historian Don Willcock, the tour will pass by the sites of past and present industries like the Ontario Canoe Company, Calcutt's Brewery and Quaker Oats. It will also stop at other significant buildings in the area like schools, churches and the homes of prominent individuals who chose to establish themselves in this tight-knit community over the years. The tour will be running on Wednesday, June 12 and Wednesday June 26 at 6:30pm. Tickets cost $20 each and can be purchased on Eventbrite, here: www.eventbrite.ca/o/trent-valley-archives-9633726313. NOTE: This is a walking tour in Ashburnham that includes climbing some hills, and may not be accessible to everyone. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather, as the tour will run rain or shine. If you have any questions about accessibility or the content of this tour, please email us at admin@trentvalleyarchives.com or call us at 705-745-4404. ... See MoreSee Less
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2 weeks ago

Trent Valley Archives
Tide of Hope has been getting some rave reviews! After two public performances on the evening of Wednesday May 15 and Thursday May 16, and a show for school groups during the afternoon of Wednesday May 15, people are talking about the Trent Valley Archives Theatre's first-ever production. Here are some of the comments we've received about the play so far:"I really enjoyed the play. Learning about the Irish history through theatre gave me a better understanding of what life was like for the Irish in 1825. Congratulations to you and your team on a very successful play." - Maureen Crowley, Otonabee-South Monaghan Twp, Peterborough Canadian Irish Club board member and P.R. descendant."We so enjoyed the play! It was a great illustration of the plight of Irish immigrants - all told with a bit of cheeky humour. Loved the past-present thing going on!" -Joanne Hill, Fenelon Falls."Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment." - Catherine Grant, Denbigh. "It was a wonderful evening and so appreciated by the audience. I feel much more informed about the history of that era." - Mary Smith, Lakefield."I was impressed how the narrative brought the conflict to life. I like how it was mirrored by both the common folk and between Kingston and Robinson." - Randy Banderob, Peterborough."Thoroughly enjoyed the play. A wonderful and entertaining way to learn more about an important part of our history. The production was well done, the actor who portrayed Kingston really owned his role and made it so believable. - Ed Offshack, Limerick Township.These rave reviews would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our cast and crew, so we want to extend a huge thank you to them for helping us put on such an incredible show! If you haven't yet, head over to our website (trentvalleyarchives.com/tvat-cast-and-crew/) to read their full biographies.Interested in helping with next year's production? Email us at TVAT@trentvalleyarchives.com. ... See MoreSee Less
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