The text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia.
Lindsay is a community of approximately 20,000 on the Scugog River in the Kawartha Lakes region of south-eastern Ontario, Canada. The town is approximately 43km or 27 miles west of Peterborough. Lindsay is the seat of the City of Kawartha Lakes (formerly Victoria County), and the hub for business and commerce in the region.
The Township of Ops was surveyed in 1825 by Colonel Duncan McDonell, and Lots 20 and 21 in the 5th Concession were reserved for a town site. The same year settlers began to come to the region, and by 1827, the Purdy's, an American family, built a dam on the Scugog River at the site of present-day Lindsay. The following year they built a sawmill, and in 1830, a grist mill was constructed.
A small village grew up around the mills, and it was known as Purdy's Mills. In 1834, surveyor John Huston plotted the designated town site into streets and lots. During the survey, one of Huston's assistants, Mr. Lindsay, was accidentally shot in the leg and died of an infection. He was buried on the riverbank and his name and death were recorded on the surveyor's plan. The name Lindsay remained as the name of the town by government approval. Lindsay grew steadily and developed into a lumbering and farming centre.
With the arrival of the Port Hope Railway in 1857, the town saw a period of rapid development and industrial growth. On June 19 of the same year, Lindsay was formally incorporated as a town. In 1861, a fire swept through the town and most of Lindsay was destroyed with hundreds of people left homeless. It took many years for Lindsay to recover from this disaster. In the late 19th century, local photographers Fowler & Oliver worked out of the Sunbeam Photo Gallery. It was also the home to Sir Samuel Hughes, the Canadian Minister of Militia during the First World War. The Victoria Street Armouries were built during this time.
The first railway to arrive in Lindsay was the Port Hope, Lindsay & Beaverton Railway (PHL&B), originally chartered in 1846 as the Peterborough & Port Hope Railway. The first train arrived at the St. Paul and King Streets station (Lindsay’s first) on the east side of the Scugog River on October 16, 1857. In 1871 it continued on over the Scugog River across a swing-bridge, gained height on the west bank, and then headed west out to Beaverton. It was renamed the Port Hope Railway in 1869.
Lindsay’s second railway began as the Fenelon Falls Railway in 1871, changing its name to the Lindsay, Fenelon Falls & Ottawa River Valley Railway, and then to the Victoria Railway. It reached and terminated at Haliburton in 1878. At its Lindsay end, it connected with the original Midland Railway route on William Street North at “Victoria Junction” in 1875, and its original Lindsay terminus was at the PHL&B/Midland station at St. Paul and King Streets. In 1877, it applied to the Town of Lindsay to extend its railway down Victoria Avenue to Glenelg Street to connect with the WPP&L (see below), where a brick station (Lindsay’s second) was built on Victoria Ave between Glenelg and Melbourne Streets to serve the two railways as a union station.
Lindsay’s third railway was the Port Whitby & Port Perry Railway, extended from Port Perry to Lindsay in 1876, reaching Albert Street, Lindsay on June 15, 1877 as the Whitby, Port Perry & Lindsay Railway (WPP&L).
In 1881, the Midland Railway acquired the neighbouring smaller railways and built two links important to Lindsay. One was between Wick (Blackwater) Jct., and Cresswell (Manilla Jct.) in early 1883 for a direct route between Lindsay and Toronto (hitherto via Lorneville Jct.); and the other (“the Missing Link”) between Peterborough and Omemee in late 1883, for a direct Lindsay – Peterborough connection (hitherto via Millbrook Jct.).
In Lindsay, a new entry from Omemee was then decided upon, and a bridge was built over the Scugog River at the east end of Durham St. The track now came along just south of Durham to Cambridge Street, where it curved north to connect with the former Victoria Railway on Victoria Avenue. A new station (Lindsay’s third) was built at the south end of William Street in 1883, at which time the King at St. Paul Street station was abandoned. The new station burned in 1885, and the former union station was taken back into use until 1890 when a grand new two-storey station was built (Lindsay’s fourth), that lasted until 1963. The union station was demolished around 1890. A freight shed was built on the site, which was destroyed by fire in 1954. (It was replaced by another freight shed, demolished in 2006.)
In 1887 the Midland Railway made Lindsay its operational headquarters. A large freight yard was built south of Durham between Lindsay and Hamilton Sts, and the Port Hope engine house was dismantled and rebuilt in Lindsay as a running shed, together with the attendant shops, on the east side of Albert St. south of Durham. In the meantime the old swing-bridge across the Scugog River at Lindsay and Colborne Sts. was dismantled in 1887, and the former Midland Railway route across Victoria Jct. and through what is now the Lindsay airport was abandoned when the new direct line from Lindsay out to Midland was built in 1907. The Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) took over the Midland in 1884, and Lindsay became a division point for the GTR’s 8 th (Belleville, Peterborough and Port Hope), 9th (Midland and Coboconk) and 10th (Scarboro Jct., Whitby and Haliburton) Districts. The GTR was merged into the Canadian National Railways in 1923. (The Maynooth Sub. was added to Lindsay’s control in 1931, then at its peak as a railway centre.)
In the meantime Bobcaygeon interests had applied for, and in 1890 obtained, a charter for the Lindsay, Bobcaygeon & Pontypool Railway (LB&P) from Burketon Jct. (west of Pontypool) on the CPR’s then main MontrealToronto line, north to Lindsay. Construction began in 1901, and the line opened in 1904. The LB&P ducked under the GTR at the Scugog River bridge, following the east bank of the river to a station at Caroline Street (Lindsay’s fifth). The last train to Bobcaygeon was in 1957.
To commemorate the 150th Anniversary, a monument was carved in front of the old town hall on Kent Street, by chainsaw carver Gerald Guenkel, of Omemee. It shows the importance of locomotives to Lindsay’s history.
A genealogy source specific to the Town of Lindsay is Mayors of the Town of Lindsay. It contains a wealth of information about Lindsay's mayors gleaned from local newspapers.
The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.
Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.
Vital Records after 1869
Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1914 are now available [October 2012]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Land Records and Wills
Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.
Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.
The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada. All of the original census (1851-1911) images are online with the exception of that for 1861. Not all of them are indexed. Later censuses are not yet available. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
E-books and Books
Some websites with more local information on Victoria County