Sleeman Family Collection

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Collection consists of correspondence, photographs, account books, Maple Leaf Baseball, miscellaneous files relating to Sleeman Family (including genealogy), newspaper articles, John H. Sleeman, George Sleeman Sr., John W. Sleeman and the Sleeman Brewery in Guelph, Ontario. 

John H. Sleeman (1805-1894) of Cornwall, England, came to Upper Canada in 1834.  In 1851, he open the Silvercreek Brewery (Guelph). In 1868, his son George Sleeman Sr. (1841-1926) took over the brewery. 

George Sleeman Sr. was elected the first mayor of Guelph in 1880, and served three separate terms as Mayor 1880-1906).

In 1863 George started the Maple Leaf Baseball Club, and was the Manager and Owner.  His team won the Canadian Championship in 1869 and remained the dominant Canadian baseball team until 1876.  In addition to his involvement with the Maple Leafs, he sponsored (and occasionally pitched for) an amateur baseball team named after his brewery, the Silver Creek Club in the 1870s. George Sleeman Sr. was inducted into the Canadian Baseball hall of fame in 1999 for his contribution to Canadian baseball history.

In 1985 John W. Sleeman (b. 1953), the great-great grandson of John H. Sleeman, re-established the Sleeman Brewing & Malting Company.

For more information see our digital Sleeman Collection.



Types of Materials

  • Artifacts
  • Audiovisual Material
  • Photographs
  • Published Material
  • Unpublished Material and Manuscripts


5 metres of textual material; 4,213 photographs; 103 graphic items such as posters, certificates, artwork; 12 rolls (11,000 ft.) of 35 mm cinefilm; 80 video elements; 104 audio elements; 25 artifacts such as bottles with labels, medals; and 60,021,460 kb of electronic records.

How to Access This Resource

Appointments are required to view this material and can be made through Archival & Special Collections.

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