I mentioned at the end of my last blog that the Lambton Room has some incredible material documenting the Maxwell settlement. I have been dusting off and properly arranging/storing the Jones diaries for several weeks now, and I have developed a much better understanding of the collection.
The collection contains diaries from three different Joneses: two diaries from Henry John Jones Sr., the master-mind and driving force behind Maxwell; a single diary from Julia Maria Jones, Henry John Sr.'s daughter; and a whopping thirty-four diaries from Henry John Jones Jr., Julia's brother.
|Henry John Sr., September 28, 1832.|
|Henry John Sr., March 7, 1833.|
Henry John Jones Jr. documented an extensive portion of his life with diaries. His first diary was "Remarks on the zoology of the neighbourhood of Maxwell," a summary of the animals around Maxwell without much detail about the activities of the humans. He kept regular diary entries until 1843, when our collection abruptly stops until 1852, when it picks up regularly again. It is possible that he quit writing for that period, or the diaries are in someone else's possession. The last diary we have ends in June, 1883.
|Henry John Jones Jr., January 1, 1837.|
It is a rare opportunity to have access to this type of material, diaries that document so regularly and carefully a notable period in county history. The Jones Diaries have been cleaned, inventoried, and archival-safe boxes have been individually prepared for each diary to ensure it remains protected under optimal conditions.
While the family's ambitious Maxwell failed, their dreams and experiences are recorded forever in the Jones Diaries.