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Richard Birdsall Rogers

Recognized as Peterborough’s first “all rounder”, Richard Rogers became McGill University’s top sprinter and hurdler.  He was the captain of the football team that played Harvard in a historic football game in 1874 that introduced the oval ball to the Americans and laid the foundations for both Canadian and American games. While at university he won the college’s 100-yd sprint and 120-yd hurdles championship on three occasions and in 1876 captured McGill’s top prize, the Governor’s Medal for winning the quarter mile. The Rogers brothers (Richard and George) introduced football to Peterborough in 1876 and they formed half of a Peterborough four-oared crew along with Bill Shaw and A.J. Belcher, that ranked among the best in Canada in 1880 and 1881. Rogers  served a year as president of the local football club, was secretary of the skating club, secretary-treasurer of the cricket club and chairman of the organizing committee for the athletic games. He was an expert bowler and top batsman for the Peterborough Cricket Club and an indefatigable worker on behalf of all sports in Peterborough.  He served as president of the snowshoe club, bicycle club, PAAA and for close to 30 years was associated with the football club. In 1884, Richard was appointed supervising engineer of the Trent Canal.  He is now recognized as one of Canada’s engineering geniuses for his design and construction of the Peterborough Lift Lock in 1906.  Richard Birdsall Rogers died in 1927 and is buried in Little Lake Cemetery.

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