Fonds MG 1-212 A - Thomas Bradburn fonds

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Thomas Bradburn fonds

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CA ON00226 MG 1-212 A

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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  • 1872 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

6 architectural drawings on linen

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Thomas Bradburn was a local land holder and businessman who commissioned John E. Belcher to built the Bradburn Opera House, which opened in 1876. It was a white brick, four storey building containing an arcade, stores, municipal offices, council chamber, a large public hall and a turret with four faced town clock. The building was demolished in 1974 for the Peterborough Square development. John E. Belcher (b. 1834) was an architect, civil engineer, and surveyor. Born in Cork, Ireland, Belcher arrived in Peterborough in 1869 and opened a architectural firm that spanned almost forty years. Belcher designed countless fine homes and summer cottages throughout the region. Belcher will also be remembered for the commercial and public buildings he designed. In addition to the Market Hall and Clock Tower, he designed several other important local landmarks. For several decades Belcher was county engineer. In the early 1890's he was appointed town engineer for Peterborough.

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Belcher was an architect, civil engineer, and surveyor who lived in the Peterborough, Ontario, region at the turn of the century. He was involved in the construction of the Chemong Causeway, the Peterborough Public Library, the Wallis memorial in St. John's Church, the Canadian General Electric Company and the Anglican Christ Church in Bobcaygeon, Ontario.

Custodial history

Fonds was in the possession of the Bradburn family prior to donation to PCMA via Martha Kidd (serving as agent).

Scope and content

Fonds consists of a series of architectural drawings on linen of the "Proposed Town Hall and Opera House, Peterborough" (later Bradburn Opera House), rendered by Peterborough architect, John E. Belcher in 1872. These drawings are highlighted with a watercolour wash. They show elevations, cross-sections and floor plans.

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General note

Robert Fairfield writes in the book, 'Early Stages: Theatre in Ontario, 1800-1914' that: "these splendid drawings now in the Collection of the Peterborough Centennial Museum make up by far the oldest complete set of such documents so far discovered in Ontario, and very possibly in the whole of Canada" (1990).

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