Series 6 - Harvey J. Sims : Chicopee

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Harvey J. Sims : Chicopee

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  • 1927-1941 (Creation)
    Sims family

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Biographical history

The Reverend James Sims was born ca.1812 in Insch, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. On June 1, 1836, he married the widow Janet Harvey Robertson and in 1837 came to Canada with a large party of relatives: his father and mother, his wife and step-children Alexander, John and Jane Robertson, his brothers Peter and Andrew Sims, his sister Margaret, and nephews James and Peter Sims. In 1838 they moved to land near Hawkesville, Wellesley Township. James and Margaret Sims had four children: Janet Sims, (1838-1926), James Campbell Sims (1842-1929), Peter Harvey Sims (1844-1920) and William Andrew Sims (1846-1930). James Sims died October 31, 1880. Both he, his immediate descendants and further generations were important forces in the educational, religious and commercial development of what is now the Region of Waterloo.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Records relating to the Harvey J. Sims' development of Chicopee, a 45-acre estate near Kitchener, Ont., where he built a home designed by Forsey Page and Steele, Architects, and designed and landscaped the grounds with the help of Carl Borgstrom of Carl Borgstrom and H.M.S. Carver, Landscape Architects. He was instrumental in the reforestation of the contiguous properties in Chicopee Hills, and in only a few years planted on his property more than 700 varieties of trees and shrubs.
Includes correspondence to and from architects, landscape planners, nurseries, and government agencies concerning the development of Harvey's house and grounds, also the reforestation of the surrounding area, dated 1927 to 1941. The correspondence files described in this series are together as found. Harvey's Personal Business Files in Series 8 contain a great deal of supplementary material in the way of correspondence, invoices, lists, time sheets, etc., with seed houses, nurseries, companies, and individuals supplying material and furnishings for the home and grounds, from water heaters and wiring to billiard table lights.
Harvey was particularly interested in collecting as many native species of trees and shrubs as would grow in this climate and his collecting activities are documented by correspondence with arboreta, university horticulture departments, government nurseries, and government officials and employees who were at that time developing botanical garden plans in Hamilton and Niagara.

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Donated in 2019 by the Sims Family.


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  • English

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Described July 2019 JSB

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  • English

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