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Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village fonds
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Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village fonds

  • CA ON00329 F42
  • Fonds
  • 1966-2006

The fonds consists of operational and commemorative records related to Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village. Many operational records were created as Leonard Cullen and other staff developed and advertised the organization's site in Whitby, Ontario. Commemorative records preserve views of the site's grounds, seasonal displays, building interiors, and events. Additionally, the fonds contains some personal records from Leonard Cullen, most of which pertain to his involvement in the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec and the Baptist Leadership Education Centre in Whitby. The fonds consists of four series: Site Maintenance and Expansion; Personal Writings and Baptist Community Involvement of Leonard Cullen; Promotions; and Photographs.

Cullen Gardens Inc.

Personal Writings and Baptist Community Involvement of Leonard Cullen

The series contains records related to Leonard Cullen's self-memorializing activities, including his writing of memoirs and involvement in two projects of the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec (BCOQ): a Baptist Leadership Education Centre (BLEC) and a Christian Heritage Park. In 1981, Leonard Cullen began fundraising for a BLEC in Whitby. Cullen also donated land for the project via Cullen Gardens Inc.; the BLEC was completed in 1984. In the same period, Cullen developed the concept of a Christian Heritage Park, sometimes called an Ontario Heritage Theme Park, which was to be located on Taunton Road West in Whitby. This park was not built.

Records in the series are arranged in subject files. Documentary forms include Cullen's self-published, softcover monographs and his autobiographical essay; BCOQ newsletters, correspondence, event invitations, agendas, pledge forms, and agreements with the Town of Whitby; and BLEC proposals, informative pamphlets, floor plans, technical drawings, project management agreements, and a Canada Works funding application.

Photographs

Photographs, slides, and negatives in the series are predominantly the result of amateur photography conducted by a number of individuals while on the grounds of Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village. Photograph subjects include the following: the gardens and miniature village in various seasons; events; seasonal displays, some of which display Indigenous persons in problematic ways; employees; and construction projects.

Records are arranged in subject files.

Promotions

The series contains records related to Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village's radio, television, and print advertising campaigns, particularly throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Records were also generated as a result of specific promotional activities for the opening of various site features or special events. Finally, some records were not primarily promotional in intent but were intended to communicate information to employees of Cullen companies and the general public regarding site alterations or corporate changes.

Records are arranged in subject files. Documentary forms include the following: Event invitations and agendas; press releases; restaurant menus; Cullen Gardens newspapers for visitors; Cullen Gardens support manuals for educators; souvenir booklets and calendars; brochures; tour mailings and rate cards; magazine articles; posters; employee newsletters; television advertisements recorded on videocassette; raw footage of the gardens for eventual use in television advertisements, also on videocassette; special promotional features for television on videocassette; and radio advertisements and specials on audiocassette.

Site Maintenance and Expansion

The series contains records related to the establishment, maintenance, and expansion of the Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village site and the Weall & Cullen Nurseries farm on Taunton Road West in Whitby. The majority of records deal with Leonard Cullen's initial site planning process for Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village from the late 1970s to 1980s, including re-designation of land, construction and modification of buildings for tourists, water servicing and sewage treatment, and project mortgaging. Some records also pertain to the company's 1981 purchase of Hood Park on Taunton Road West. Finally, some records detail the incorporation of Cullen Gardens in December 1971.

Records in the series are arranged in subject files. Documentary forms include the following: correspondence; site plan agreements and re-designation applications submitted to the Town of Whitby; photocopies of articles of incorporation; agreements of purchase and sale; rough sketches of the gardens; technical drawings created during official land surveying processes; indentures; press releases; building permits; maps; building floor plans; photographs of the site; and copies of Town by-laws.