Fonds F 139 - James Rowe & Company fonds

James Rowe & Company fonds file list 1

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

James Rowe & Company fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds.

Level of description


Reference code

CA ON00329 F 139

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


Physical description area

Physical description

13 cm of textual records

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

([ca. 1849-1929])

Administrative history

James Rowe & Co. was founded in 1849 by James Rowe, John Welsh, and John Watson. The company operated warehouses at Port Whitby and specialized in the shipment of commodities—particularly wheat, flour, barley, peas, potash, oatmeal, and lumber—to Canadian and American ports via Lake Ontario. Goods were transported to the harbour at Whitby via the Midland Railway of Canada and other Great Lakes vessels. Additionally, James Rowe & Co. imported products to sell in the stores of Whitby and significant quantities of limestone for local construction projects.

James Rowe & Co. was the major shipping company at Port Whitby for many years. The organization was managed by John Watson in its early decades. Following the deaths of John Welsh and James Rowe in 1859 and 1869, Watson purchased the company’s warehouses and continued operations alongside his son, John Allingham Watson. John Watson died in 1879, after which point his son operated James Rowe & Co. until his own death in 1913.

By the beginning of the Second World War, the grain trade on Lake Ontario had effectively ended as a result of U.S. tariffs on Canadian grain. In 1929, the buildings of James Rowe & Co. were demolished by Randolph Macdonald Company to make way for a new shipyard at Port Whitby.

Custodial history

The fonds was acquired by the Archives of Ontario in 1967 from Upper Canada Village. In 2015, the fonds was repatriated by Archives at Whitby Public Library.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of the operational records of James Rowe & Co., particularly records relating to the shipment and receipt of commodities in the company’s early decades.

The fonds is arranged in files. Documentary forms include correspondence related to business operations; receipts given by the company at the time goods were deposited; orders, which are often accompanied by receipts; delivery statements giving an inventory of goods transported by various Great Lakes vessels to James Rowe & Co.; and freight advice notes, which announce the delivery of goods at the Whitby Station by rail.

Notes area

Physical condition

The majority of records are in poor condition.

Immediate source of acquisition


Records were maintained in their received physical order by staff at Whitby Public Library. This received physical order was mirrored in the finding aid (see the file list).

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

No restrictions on access.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

See attached file list.

Associated materials

Related materials


No further accruals are expected.

General note

Title based on content of fonds.


Some records require flattening via steam to ensure long-term preservation.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

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Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Finding aid created by Gillian Dunks in March 2018.

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related places

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