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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Medicine Bottle
Identifier: 979.6.1734
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: c. 1895
Image Creator: Museums of Mississuaga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A blue glass medicine bottle half full with liquid. A rectangular paper label is adhered to the bottle and provides instructions for Mary Harris to take the medicine morning and night after meals. The bottle has a cork stopper

This medicine was prescribed for Mary Harris whose health suffered after the death of her third daughter, Margaret, who only lived a few hours. This medicine was prescribed by Dr. Beaumont Dixie. Dr. Dixie graduated from the Medical Department of King’s College in Toronto in 1842. He was a 'horse-and-buggy' doctor who practised mainly in Erindale and Port Credit and was later the coroner for Toronto Township. Dr. Dixie may have become acquainted with the Harris family through St. Peter’s Anglican Church, which both families attended. Dr. Dixie is also related to our sister site, The Bradley Museum. He married Joanna (Anna) Skynner, of the Anchorage in 1841.

Tragedy stuck this family when an epidemic of diphtheria killed four of the Dixie children in 1853. Dr. Dixie practised medicine until his death in 1898 at the age of 79. He was very prominent and well liked in the community. Ernest Thompson Seton, famed Canadian naturalist and author, claimed that Dr. Dixie’s 'wisdom, kindness, and influence made him a king in his day.' The area east of Erindale, formally known as Sydenham, was renamed Dixie in his honour in 1865. This item was donated by Geoffrey Harris Sayers, who was born 23 April 1907 and died 25 November 1997.

Geoffrey Sayers and his sisters, Dora Sayers Caro, and Barbara Sayers Larson donated Benares Historic House to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969. It has operated as a museum under the City of Mississauga since 1995 and was officially transferred to Mississauga in 2000. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (née Colloten) occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. During that time, they acted as care takers of the estate on behalf Ontario Heritage Foundation. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. He also maintained the Benares financial affairs in 1932 for Naomi (Na) and Mary, who were unable to do so themselves.
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Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)