Walter George Belknap was born on April 22,1864 and died in 1940, at the age of 76. He was 16 years old when he came to live in Baldwin's Mills, taking on an apprenticeship to house-builder John Fox. In 1888, he married Salome Bacon, and the following year started his own business. He constructed a variety of buildings; barns, houses, summer cottages, boats and churches.
He was one of the founders of the Lake Lister Fish and Game Club whose goal was to preserve the Little Lake Baldwin and to create the fish hatchery.
The Baldwin's Mills Fish Hatchery (established in 1898) became the most advanced of its kind in North America and was the first hatchery in Canada, under the guidance of its director Walter Belknap, to successfully raise fish-fry of many different species. Walter was director of the hatchery for some 40 years. One notes that to be delivered to clients in the early days, the fish were transported on horseback!
He and his first wife, Salome had two children. Salome died in or about the year 1900, leaving him two children. After the death of Salome, he remarried. He and his second wife, Bertha Annis, were the parents of 10 children.
Eventually, his whole family became involved in the development of the hatchery, especially his wife Bertha. She kept the books and drove the delivery truck here and there, all over Québec and as far as Ontario.
Walter Belknap was a well-respected person who never hesitated to share his expertise with all who were interested in his work. He was also an ardent photographer. He made the early 1900s photos of the Baldwin family.
Sources: www.découverte nature.qc.ca and Le Courant, Société d’histoire de Coaticook (2008/10 )