Date of the items: c. 1840s to c. 1990s
Physical description: 2.5 cm
Title: Angus Baxter Fonds
Creator: Angus Baxter
Repository: Trent Valley Archives
Reference number: TVA Fonds F624
Scope and contents: Fonds consists of photocopied material covering the history of the residence located at 5 Katherine St. in Lakefield, Ontario. Includes land/survey documents of the property; a note about Samuel DeChamplain; documents and research pertaining to the Stricklands; information and correspondence regarding Ephraim Sanford and his family and Elizabeth Cameron, a poet from Lakefield; and information on specialists related to dating historic houses.
Access Conditions: No Restrictions
Finding aid: None, see file listing below
Accruals: No further accruals are expected
Custodial History: This material was brought to the Trent Valley Archives by Tim Davenport, the current resident of 5 Katherine Street. Selected material was then photocopied by the archivist, Elwood Jones, and split up into six files based on topic. These six files do not follow Angus Baxter’s original organization of the material, but were implemented by the Trent Valley Archives to allow for ease of research.
Biographical sketch: Angus Baxter (June 8th 1912 – September 26th 2005) moved to the house on 5 Katherine Street in 1976 and lived there with his wife Nan until 1995. Immediately upon his move into the house, he became interested in tracking its history and documenting the lives of its former inhabitants. He wrote several letters to county archives and surviving relatives of former residents in the house to track down more information and carefully documented his findings. Nicknamed “The Genie of Genealogy” Baxter was a well known genealogist in the area and published several of the first genealogy based books aimed at the general population, including: In Search of Your Canadian Roots, In Search of Your British & Irish Roots, and in Search of Your European Roots. (See Toronto Star Article in first file for more information)
Relevant Fonds at TVA: There are several fonds at TVA with materials relating to Lakefield. Some of the most prominent include F9 Lakefield Heritage; F12 Lakefield Newspapers; F18 Lakefield Fire Plans; F30 Robert Delledonne; F60 Peterborough County Land Registry; F574 Lakefield Cemetery; F671 and F674 Lakefield Village Plans; and F688 Hillside Cemetery
See F55, Champlain 400 Project, for more information about Samuel DeChamplain.
Samuel de Champlain
List of Files:
- Information related to the house on 5 Katherine Street, including a timeline of all of the residents in the house (Right up until Tim Davenport’s purchase of the house in 1995); an illustration from the “Canadian Illustrated News” with the house in view done in 1875; and land records and plans of the house and the surrounding area from May 10th 1869 and May 7th 1924.
- A note written by Angus Baxter about Samuel DeChamplain’s activities in the area where the house is now located, dated 20th May 1995.
- Information related to the Strickland’s involvement with the house, including a newspaper article on Angus Baxter and his search titled “Searching for Roots, A Search for the Stricklands, A Search for History of a House” and dated Tuesday, June 7th 1977; a conveyance dated 29th October 1866 documenting the transfer of the house from Samuel Strickland to his son Rob; and a note addressed to Baxter containing information on the Stricklands.
- Correspondence between Baxter and The Simcoe County Historical Association’s Research Committee dated April 20th 1978; correspondence to Baxter regarding Ephraim Sanford’s residency in the house dated 16th January 1979; and information on Ephraim Sanford’s appearances in the Coburg Star and a copy of a page of the Barrie Northern Advance dated January 3rd 1856 with a letter to the Editor written by Sanford regarding the unofficial charges against him. Also includes correspondence between Baxter and Su Murdoch, Assistant Archivist at Simcoe County Archives about these charges, and more information on them. A timeline of Ephraim Sanford’s life and information on his postal activities leading up to his charges can be found in this file as well.
- Information on Elizabeth Cameron, a Lakefield poet who resided at the house. Includes newspaper clippings with samples of her poetry and clippings containing a photograph of herself and the house while she was living there; a clipping of an article about her entitled “Lakefield Lady Publishes Poems” dated 1926; and a clipping of another article about Cameron’s keeping of the house. Also includes correspondence between a relative of Elizabeth Cameron’s and Baxter about the house, and correspondence between Baxter and a Mrs. Hart, who could be another relative of Elizabeth’s.
- Correspondence between Baxter and Professor Douglas Richardson (Fine Arts prof. at UofT) about dating the house (dated 11 April 1978); correspondence between Baxter and Miss MacRae, another expert on dating houses (dated 27 March 1977); and a letter from the Royal Ontario Museum about dating the house, dated September 15 1976 and signed by Donald Blake Webster.