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Fruit Basket
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Title: Fruit Basket
Identifier: 2008.12.40
Donor: Mario Druso
Item Date: 1915-1925
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: Round, half-bushel fruit basket made up of splint wood 4.5cm wide, 0.1cm thick, and 76cm long. Each slat goes from the top edge of one side of the basket all the way around to the top edge on the other side. Slats overlap and cross each other on the bottom forming a sturdy base. The top edge is finished with two 3cm wide bands of the same wood stapled around it. A 1.5cm band of wood circled the outside of the basket in the middle and a 1cm band circled the basket near the bottom. Bands of wood are attached with 'staple-like' nails. Bottom center of basket has 4 small nails. A wire (5cm x 7cm) handle juts out from the top of one side of the basket. The handle is missing from the other side. Slats are broken and cracked in many places.

This artifact was salvaged from the O'Neil farm located on 3361 Mississauga Road in Erindale.

James and Ann O’Neil of County Wicklow in Ireland immigrated after the potato famine to Quebec where James found work on the railway. Around 1867 they moved to Streetsville purchasing two properties equalling 80 acres of land. In the 1877 Ontario Census James (77) was listed as a farmer and a Catholic. His wife Ann (70) and daughter Bridget (26) live with him. James died in 1888. His son John Moody O’Neil (1841-1911) bought property south of his fathers at Mississauga Road called the Grange Cottage. Their son John Thomas O’Neil (1878-1931) married Rachael Mosley and they had two sons, Hugh and John. Thomas moved to Vancouver for a short time but returned to his family home and built an addition on to the back of his family homestead at 3361 N. Mississauga Road. Hugh (1913-2006) was the last owner of the homestead and ran a fruit farm. Hugh was an eccentric and very wealthy man who choose to live in his parents neglected farm house.

The property was sold to the donor in 2008. The house and out-buildings have been demolished but heritage organizations were allowed to salvage any items that would help to preserve the history of Mississauga.
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Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
   Virtual Museum of Canada