Collection 2019-061 - Papers relating to Thomas Kelso's property at 161 George Street, Belleville

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Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00156 2019-061


Papers relating to Thomas Kelso's property at 161 George Street, Belleville


  • 1873-2019 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3cm of textual records

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Thomas Kelso was born in Ireland and arrived in Canada in around 1854. He was shipwrecked off Nova Scotia and was sent money by his brother, William, so that he could join him in Stirling, Ontario. Thomas took over William's grocery business and formed a successful partnership with David Pitceathly. Kelso built a home in Belleville at 161 George Street between 1873 and 1875. He was one of the founders of the Grand Junction Railway and the first Commodore of the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club. He died in Belleville on 17 March 1890.

Name of creator


Biographical history

John D. Evans was born in Goderich, Ontario on 27 May 1843. He was educated at the Upper Canada College in Toronto. He trained as a land surveyor and moved to Belleville, Ontario, in 1867. He worked as a surveyor and architect, being responsible for a number of buildings in Belleville including what is now City Hall (built 1871-1873). He worked as the Chief Engineer of the Central Ontario Railway from 1881, retiring in 1925. Evans died in Toronto on 7 November 1930.

His son, John Walter Evans was a prominent engineer and surveyor in the City of Belleville.

Archival history

Formerly in the possession of Mary Elizabeth Roberts Haig (granddaughter of Thomas Kelso).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Bob and Trudi Banting in memory of Mary Elizabeth Roberts Haig in July 2019.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Receipts and certificates addressed to Thomas Kelso from suppliers and contractors involved in building his property at 161 George Street, Belleville, Ontario. The work was carried out between 1873 and 1876 under the direction of John D. Evans, architect. This collection also includes notes on the Kelso/Roberts family tree, compiled by Trudi and Bob Banting, with reproduction photographs of family members.

The material has been arranged into the following files:
1) Invoices and receipts relating to the construction of 161 George Street, Belleville, 1873-1876
2) Contractor's certificates relating to the construction of 161 George Street signed by John D. Evans, architect, 1873-1875
3) Summary of expenses relating to the construction of the house at 161 George Street, c.1875; calculation of simple and compound interest, 1869-1882; bill for pine lumber from the Rathbun Company, 1888; specifications for construction work for the Sodus Point & Southern Rail Road, not dated
4) Legal papers relating to costs incurred by the Grand Junction Railway in 1877; a case against Henry Covert involving Kelso and Pitceathly in 1879; a report into the condition and affairs of the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company of Maine, 1884
5) Abstracts of title for lots 4 and 5, east side of George Street, Belleville, 1950; newspaper clipping announcing the designation of 161 George Street, Belleville, 1986
6) Reproduction photographs of 161 George Street and Kelso/Roberts family members, c.2019

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