Fonds F00602 - Calvin Company fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Calvin Company fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1838-1923 (Creation)
    Calvin Company

Physical description area

Physical description

30 m of textual records, ca. 250 photographs

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Calvin Company of Garden Island, which operated under a variety of names from 1836 to 1914, was a family business created by Delano Dexter Calvin. In 1826, Calvin discovered there was more money to be made in the timber export business than in farming when, with the help of a neighbour, he cut square timber from his property and rafted it to Quebec. He and his partner, Hiram Cook, began rafting from Quebec Head at the foot of Wolfe Island and, in 1836, from Garden Island. The first Garden Island partnership was well established by 1838 and the firm was called Calvin, Cook and Counter, the latter being John Counter. In 1843 Counter withdrew from the partnership and the company became Calvin, Cook and Company with a seperate branch at Quebec under the name D.D. Calvin and Company. In 1843, Timothy H. Dunn joined the partnership at Quebec and the firm there was then known as Dunn, Calvin and Company until 1850 when Dunn withdrew and the Quebec name again became D.D. Calvin and Company. A third branch was established in Hamilton, called Hiram Cook and Company but, in 1854, Cook withdrew from the company, seperating the Hamilton branch which continued under the same name but independent of the Garden Island firm. The company also had agencies in Liverpool and Glasgow, and along the St. Lawrence waterway as far west as Defiance, Ohio and Sault Ste. Marie. In 1855 the Island firm became Calvin and Breck with the addition of Calvin's brother-in-law. The name continued until 1880 when Breck retired and the firm became Calvin and Son (D.D. and his son Hiram). After Calvin's death in 1886 the last change was made with the company's name becoming Calvin Company, Limited. The Quebec branch remained D.D. Calvin until 1887 when it became a branch office of the Calvin Company.

Although rafting was always the mainstay of the company's activities, other activities grew out of the rafting business. As early as 1841 the company had a shipyard, smiths' shops, and a sail loft and a planing mill, picket machine and withe machine followed. The Island was a self-contained community with company houses for the employees, a company general store, a school house and a hall. In 1861 it had a population of 761 and became an incorporated village. Hiram Calvin was reeve of Garden Island from 1884 to 1892, and member of parliament for the Countyof Frontenac in 1892. He was re-elected in 1900 and retired from politics in 1904. He died in 1932.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of ledgers, journals, lumber records, letter books, correspondence, contracts and agreements and miscellaneous material relating to the timber-making, rafting, forwarding, shipbuilding, towing and salvaging of the Calvin Company. There is also a collection of photographs relating to both family and business.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Miss Hilda Calvin, Mr. J.D. Calvin and Miss Peggy Boyd - 1968.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

2121.3 SE

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access


Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Public domain

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals are expected

General note


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions



Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Description created on 1999/08/27. Last updated 19/06/2017.
Archivist(s): Ken Willmott

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

Location (use this to request the file)

  • Shelf: 2248
  • Shelf: 2248.1
  • Shelf: 2248.2
  • Shelf: 2121.3 SE