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Benares House Gallery
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Photograph - “Benares, Spring 1925”
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Title: Photograph - “Benares, Spring 1925”
Identifier: 2007.1.76
Donor: Barbara Sayers Larson
Item Date: 1925
Creation Date: 2012
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A sepia photograph. In the centre of the photo is a huge oak tree surrounded by a split rail fence which zigzags to the edge of the image. In the background is a field edged with a woodland of pine, birches, and other deciduous trees. In the foreground are patches of snow on rough grass. The number "916" is written on the back of the photo. There is a white border around the photo. Written on the border is "Benares, Spring 1925" as well as a signature which is likely "Livesay".

John Frederick Bligh Livesay (1875-1944) was born in the Isle of Wright and emigrated to Canada when he was twenty. Fred was a writer whose first full time newspaper job was with the Winnipeg Tribune in 1903. He later became the Western Associate Press Manger in 1907 and was instrumental in the formation of the Canadian Press where he was the General Manager for twenty years retiring in 1939. Fred also wrote many books and was a talented photographer. He purchased a piece of property from the original Benares estate and built his home called "the Woodlot" there. After his retirement he lived in Clarkson until his death in 1944.

Fred was a lifelong friend of the Harrises and had a particular affection for Annie Harris. Barbara Larson, Annie’s daughter, recalls the stories of Fred wooing her mother and she still has many of the gifts he would bring Annie during their long friendship. Fred married Florence Randall. Together they had two daughters, Dorothy Livesay (1909- 1996) considered one of the leading Canadian poets of the twentieth century and Sophie Livesay (1912-1991) who was a renowned artist. Annie and Fred remained close friends throughout their lives and their daughters remained friends as well.
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