The Charles E. Goad Company and, later, the Underwriters' Association, produced fire insurance plans for communities across Canada, including several within Elgin County. Charles E. Goad was born in England in 1848. He emigrated to Canada in 1869 and eventually began business as a cartographer in Montreal. Following his death in 1910, the company was reorganized and operated under the name Charles E. Goad Company. This firm was responsible for a major share of the insurance plans produced in Canada until 1917 at which time the Underwriters' Survey Limited became the primary producer of these plans. Underwriter's eventually bought out the assets of the Goad Company in 1931.
Transferred from the J.J. Talman Regional Collection, University of Western Ontario.
Scope and Content
Fonds consists of fire insurance plans documenting contemporary building features for the purpose of assessing fire risk. Information includes the type of construction, number of storeys and proximity to other buildings. Each plan consists of a number of sections which, when assembled together, constitute a complete map of the town/village at that time, with street and building names clearly indicated. Buildings are also colour coded according to the type of fabrication, with colours corresponding to a key plan on the first section. Periodically, these plans were revised. Dates of revision are clearly marked. These plans provide a detailed overview of contemporary community development and are an invaluable source of information for dating buildings and for use in matters such as environmental site assessments.
The Elgin County Archives possesses plans for the following communities:
Belmont, April 1894, Goad, 1 copy-- 1 sheet (1 section).
Fingal, Oct. 1896, Goad, 1 copy-- 1 sheet (1 section).
Shedden, Oct. 1896, Goad, 1 copy-- 1 sheet (1 section).
Vienna, Nov. 1896, Goad, 2 copies-- 1 sheet (1 section) per copy.
West Lorne, May 1906, Goad, 2 copies-- 3 sheets (3 sections) per copy.
Springfield, May 1906, Goad, 1 copy-- 3 sheets (3 sections).
Port Stanley, Feb. 1925, Underwriters, 3 copies-- 3 sheets (3 sections) per copy.
Rodney, May 1906 (Charles E. Goad Company), 1 copy-- 4 sheets (4 sections); July 1926, Underwriters, 2 copies-- 4 sheets (4 sections) per copy.
St. Thomas, March 1922 (Revised and Reprinted 1929), Underwriters, 1 copy-- 17 sheets (17 sections) per copy.
St. Thomas, March 1922 (Revised and Reprinted 1929), Underwriters, 1 copy-- 10 sheets (10 sections) per copy.
Port Burwell, 1896, Goad, 2 copies-- 1 sheet (1 section) per copy.
Dutton, 1946, Underwriters, 3 copies-- 4 sheets (4 sections) per copy.
Aylmer, 1952, Underwriters, 1 copy-- 6 sheets (6 sections) per copy.
Donald "Don" Leroy Cosens was born in St. Thomas, Ontario, on April 4, 1935, to Charles Roy Cosens and Viola Lulu Cosens (nee Smith). Cosens attended Myrtle Street Public School and St. Thomas Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas, and later, Westervelt Business School in London, Ontario. He married Lynda Karen Gloin of Yarmouth Centre, Ontario, on July 20, 1968, and they had two children, Mark and Josie (married Mike Nichol).
Don worked for about three years at Clevite Corp, then became a law clerk at Stafford and Fanjoy Law Firm in St. Thomas, in 1960. A few year later, in October 1962, Cosens began working at the Elgin County Registry Office. He was appointed Senior Deputy Registrar three years later, and retired from the registry office in 1994 after a 31-year career. In 1969, Cosens also established an auction business, from which he retired in 1989, and his son, Mark Cosens continued this business.
Cosens was involved in many local organizations in various capacities, including various masonic fraternal organizations and the Independent Order of Oddfellows. He served on various boards, including as a Member of the Board of the Canadian Red Cross, Member and President of the Board of Directors of the St. Thomas Cemetery Company, Member and Vice-President of the Board of the St. Thomas Mausoleum Board, and Trustee of the Talbotville Cemetery Board. He was also an active member on the Resoration Committee of the Old St. Thomas Church.
Cosens had an interest in genealogy and local history, and was a member of the Backus-Page Tyrconnell Heritage Society, Heritage Port, the Elgin Historical Society and the Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. He also served as Director of the St. Thomas Jumbo Foundation and was Vice-Chairman of the St. Thomas Jumbo Centennial Committee.
Don Cosens died on March 15, 2019, shortly before his 84th birthday. He is buried at Union Cemetery.
Collection was purchased from the Estate of Don Cosens.
Scope and Content
Collection contains historical material pertaining to the history of Elgin County, which was collected by Don Cosens throughout his lifetime. Material includes photographs, postcards, business records, records from local families and individuals, ephemera, land records, estate records, scrapbooks, newspapers and newspaper clippings, fire insurance plans, art and reference material and books. The collection also contains material that reflects Don Cosen's personal involvement in a number of local organizations, as well as personal photographs.
The collection is arranged into the following series: