This cache has been placed as part of an initiative by the County of Peterborough, its member municipalities, the City of Peterborough and local First Nation communities to celebrate Canada 150+. There are 23 geocaches placed throughout the region showcasing local history.
If you would like to participate in this initiative you can download a Travel Diary at Geocaching at Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism. Find at least one geocache in each of the Townships, First Nations and in the City and stamp your Travel Diary. Once you have completed the Travel Diary, you can visit the Peterborough and the Kawartha’s Tourism office to pick up a limited geocoin.
On the lid of the cache container you will see a stamp. If you have a stamp pad with you, great, use that to ink the stamp and stamp your Travel Diary. If not, use the crayon or the pencil in the cache container to "rub" the impression of the stamp on your Travel Diary.
Richard Birdsall played an important role in the early settlement period of Asphodel Township. Freshly arrived from England, he surveyed Asphodel Township in 1820 at the age of 21, following the signing of a treaty with the Mississaugas in 1818. The Provincial Land Surveyor also laid out Douro Township in 1823 and the Town of Peterborough in 1825.
He settled near this place on 920 acres purchased from his father-in-law, Zaccheus Burnham, for £250. On neighbouring Asphodel Lot 1, Conc 1 he built a family home where he and his first wife, Elizabeth, and 4 daughters lived. When his young wife died suddenly in 1827, it was a devastating loss for the young pioneer family. In 1836 he married again, to Charlotte Jane Everett, and had another 2 sons and 2 daughters.
Birdsall was industrious, also becoming appointed as Justice of the Peace in 1821, Land Agent for the Canada Company in 1830 (issuing licenses to and inspecting work by lumberman on Clergy Reserves), and serving as Captain of the 2nd Regiment, Northumberland Militia under Colonel Peter Robinson in 1831 and later achieving the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He also served on Council of the New Colborne District in 1842-1843, representing Asphodel, and became the first Reeve of Asphodel in 1850.
Birdsall took ill and died suddenly on a business trip to Cavan in 1852 at the age of 51, leaving behind a large, young family. In time, his sons returned to farm the land they inherited and the Birdsall name is still prominent in the area today.
A large stone marks Birdsall’s final resting place in St. Michael’s Anglican Cemetery, Westwood. Stop by when visiting the “Sucker Hunt at Welbeck” (GC72VFW) cache.
Graham, Jean Lancaster. "Early Settlers in Asphodel." Asphodel: A Tale of a Township. Hastings, Ont.: Township of Asphodel, 1978. 15-19, . Print.