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The Bradburn family was headed through successive generations by Thomas Bradburn; Thomas Evans Bradburn; William H. Bradburn; Herbert I. Bradburn; and William Bradburn. As well, the land papers contain properties related to Rupert Bradburn who was very interested in opera houses and theatres. The Bradburn Opera Hall, built about 1875, was the pride of Peterborough for 30 years, when the Grand Opera House was built. Rupert Bradburn and his family owned both for some years, and also theatres in Port Hope and Cobourg (Victoria Hall).
Thomas Bradburn (1819- 30 August 1900) was raised on the farm of his parents [Thomas Bradburn (1791-1875) and Sarah (d.1878)] and as a young man clerked for the Hon. John Simpson, Bowmanville. He came to Peterborough in 1842 to work with Oughtry Morrow. After Morrow’s death in 1848, Bradburn and Bell continued the business. The business was reformed as Bradburn and Mason, and later as Fair and Van Every until 1885. Thomas Bradburn married Jane Morrow of Peterboro in Toronto, February 1852, the Rev Mr Wilkinson presiding. Jan Morrow died 14 July 1861 and is buried in Dublin. Thomas Bradburn married Linda Helm ( -18 September 1926) of Peterboro, 2 July 1867, the Rev I. N. Johnston presiding. Thomas Bradburn died 30 August 1900, survived by three sons (Thomas E., William H., and Rupert) and two daughters. Gertrude died 30 July 1874.
T. Evans Bradburn (18 May 1853-16 November 1933 ) managed the Bradburn estate. He was a member of the City Council, Board of Education, the Reeve of North Monaghan, and the MPP for Peterborough West, 1905-1912. He married Kate Ormond 2 February 1875, in the Charlotte Street Methodist Church.
W. H. Bradburn (4 November 1855- 3 August 1869)
The third generation included:
William Herbert Bradburn (9 February 1870 -15 January 1942) W. H. Bradburn was an agent for real estate and investment. He was alderman, 1907, 1908, 1911, and mayor, 1912, 1913. He married 2 December 1897, Elizabeth (Bessey) Cumming (d 13 May 1939)
On 14 November 1894, Marion H. M. Bradburn married Fred D. Hewson ( – died 30 March 1903)
Charles Rupert Helm (known as Rupert) Bradburn, was active as a theatre owner and promoter and died at Los Angeles, 9 September 1939. Another Rupert Helm Bradburn died 28 April 1964, and is buried in Little Lake Cemetery.
Frank L. Bradburn (died 29 July 1951).
The fourth generation included:
Herbert Ian Bradburn (1904-1988) married Florence Beatrice Preston of Ottawa at Ottawa, 16 September 1933, the Rev Mr Hepburn, Anglican, presiding.
The fifth generation included William Bradburn (1941- ) and his wife Teresa.
William Helm (1822-1901) came from Cobourg to Peterborough about 1866 and operated a machine shop and foundry on Simcoe Street near Jackson Creek (now the site of the city bus depot) until 1876. After a few years in Gananoque, he returned to Peterborough. Helm was widely known, serving on town council, the Fire Brigade, the Board of Education, with the Mechanics’ Institute and the Masonic Order.
William Cummings (1819-1890), wagon maker, came to Canada from Balnain, Scotland, in 1843. He was appointed the first Town Constable, 1850, and then became the town collector.
In the 1861 census, William Cummings was listed as 40, his wife Elizabeth as 28, his mother living with them was 74. The children were William Thomas 12, Sarah Ann 10, Mary Jane 9, and Isabella 7.