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Industrial to residential to commercial: One Peterborough intersection through the years

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The character of Brock Street changed quite dramatically as it approached a crossing of the creek, now known as Jackson Creek.

The creek was an early source for waterpower and many 19th century enterprises developed along it. As the creek crossed Aylmer at Brock there were the advantages of proximity to the centre of town, places to work, shop and live, and better roads. However, this crossing required bridges going east and west as well as north and south.

The southwest corner was for most of the 19th century the home of the family of James Hall; their four town lots included all of the land between Brock and Hunter and Aylmer and Bethune. Fleming Place was developed here at the turn of the century, and the Lawn Bowling Club was here from 1904 to 1929. The L-shaped Fleming Park was developed on this corner. Sandford Fleming (later Sir) married one of Sheriff Hall's daughters.

James Hall, who became sheriff of Peterborough county and was the MPP from 1848 to 1851, was trained as a tanner in Halifax, but in Peterborough in the 1840s his main interests were commercial. Still, he established Peterborough's first tannery on the north-west corner. This was sold to William Patterson who expanded the tannery along Aylmer by the creek as it flowed to the southeast. I think this was a three generation business, and Walter Patterson was a currier in 1869 and was the owner to the tannery, Patterson & Son, into the 20th century. It was succeeded by the two generation T. Brightman & Co. and to the 1940s seemed to specialize in hides and in retail.

William Lundy (1801-1879) was on the northwest corner for many years. He came to Peterborough in 1832 as a merchant tailor, but at this site he was soon operating a general store, a distillery and a tannery. He may have been running the tannery for James Hall. He prospered after he got the government contract to build uniforms for the volunteers for fighting in the Rebellion of 1837.

The north-west corner, all the........

© Peterborough Examiner