Herbarium History

The Herbarium originated almost solely through the efforts of Claude Garton, who came to Thunder Bay (then Port Arthur) as an elementary school teacher in 1928. He began collecting local plants in 1933. This activity was temporarily interrupted by World War II, but he resumed collecting in 1951. On his retirement in 1967 as principal of Current River School (now Claude E. Garton School) he donated his collection of approximately 10,000 specimens to Lakehead University. He became curator of the Herbarium and continued to collect plants until ill health forced him to retire in 1990. Claude Garton passed away in 1996 at the age of 89. A tribute to Claude written by TBFN member Joan Hebden can be found on page 554 of the Canadian Field Naturalist. One of Claude's botany students became a respected plant physiologist Anne Oaks (whose student contributions to the LKHD herbarium can still be found).

Founder of the herbarium, local teacher and school principal Claude Garton.

Claude Garton exchanged many of his collections with other herbaria and his specimens were regarded of exceptional quality. His specimens may now be found in the National Museum of Canada, the Royal Ontario Museum, many Canadian and American universities and as far afield as the University of Helsinki and New Zealand.

Joan Crowe after retirement on Bruce Peninsula - picture from a trip to California

Joan Crowe was acting curator from 1991 to 1993, with Erika North taking over the curatorial duties until 2016. Emma Lehmberg (currently studying for PhD in Texas) was briefly curator after Erika's retirement.

A long-time contributor and curator of the Claude Garton herbarium, Mrs. Erika North
Emma Lehmerg at the early stages of digitizing the collection images.