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Archival description
Ken Verrell Collection
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Ken Verrell Collection

  • Collection
  • [ca. 1851-2010]

Collection contains several thousand items, including correspondence, photographs, personnel records, financial records, subscription books, lease agreements, maps, plans and drawings from a number of railway companies that operated in Elgin County. This includes the Michigan Central Railroad, the London & Port Stanley Railway, the Pere Marquette Railway Company, the Grand Trunk Railway, the Wabash Railroad Company, Canada Southern, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company, the Canadian National Railways, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Consolidated Rail Company (Conrail), as well as many of their subsidiary companies. There is a strong emphasis on the Michigan Central Railroad and the London and Port Stanley Railway.

The collection provides insight into the day-to-day interactions between local businesses, residents and the railway companies that were operating in Elgin County and increases our understanding of the county’s economic development over time. The collection documents changes in the county’s built environment as a result of the development of railway in the area, and illustrates the evolution of railway technology from early steam engines to electrified and high-speed rail.

The collection also includes personal records belonging to Ken Verrell, reflecting his role in various local organizations and his interest in railway history.

The collection is arranged into the following series:
-Photographs series
-Postcards series
-Michigan Central Railroad Records series
-Canada Southern Railway Records series
-Pere Marquette Railway Records series
-Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Records series
-London and Port Stanley Railway Records series
-Grand Trunk Railway Records series
-Wabash Railroad Records series
-Canadian Pacific Railway Records series
-Canadian National Railways Records series
-Conrail Records series
-Miscellaneous Railways Records series
-General Railway History series
-St. Thomas Railway History series
-Labour Unions Records series
-Elgin Photographic Heritage Society Records series
-Elgin County History series
-St. Thomas History series
-Personal Records and Memberships series
-Miscellaneous Records series
-Newspaper Clippings series
-Audio-Visual series

Verrell, Ken

Photographs series

Series contains photographs of trains, steam engines, train stations and workshops. There is an emphasis on the Michigan Central Railroad Company and its subsidiary, New York Central Lines, however the series contains photographs that highlight a number of different railway lines that operated throughout Elgin County and Canada, including the London & Port Stanley Railway, the Pere Marquette Railway Company, the Grand Trunk Railway, the Wabash Railroad Company, Canada Southern, the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company, the Canadian National Railways, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Consolidated Rail Company (Conrail), as well as many of their subsidiary companies. Also contains photographs with scenic views of Elgin County, featuring many iconic bridges, beaches and landmarks, as well as streetscapes of downtown St. Thomas. Series also includes photographs of railway employees and personal photographs belonging to Ken Verrell, many highlighting his work on the local railways. Finally, series includes photographic negatives and a collection of photographic slides, with a significant emphasis on images of locomotives and trains, particularly belonging to the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, and mostly taken in St. Thomas, Ontario. Slides also contain images of fire trucks, buses, classic cars and some personal photographs, as well as some Scott Studio duplicates.

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