Harris Family Gallery
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Title: Autograph Album
Identifier: 979.6.1410
Donor: Geoffrey Harris Sayers
Item Date: 1899-1917
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A black photograph album, printed on the front in gold. An inscription inside the book reads: Naomi M. Harris, 'Benares', Clarkson P.O., Ontario. The album contains a series of small 6 x 6 cm black and white photographs, of various people including notes and pencil scribbles. Notes written by P.H. Gordon, Hilda Clarkson, Percy L. Robertson, Mary Harris and Frances E. Farncomb.

History: Album belonged to Naomi Harris (1883-1968) who was the daughter of Arthur and Mary Harris. Naomi and her older sister Annie were raised in an atmosphere of upper middle class comfort. They were educated at home by governesses, and then were sent to Miss Dupont's School for Ladies in Toronto, where they stayed with their aunts throughout the week. As Annie and Naomi grew up, Benares was a frequent area for lawn tennis matches, weekend parties, and croquet games on the lawn. Naomi never married and lived at Benares her whole life. She helped to take care of her mother, and continued to live alone in the house for 14 years after Mary┐s death in 1954. Naomi was the mark of affection for many suitors. It was thought that Naomi was engaged, sometime between 1908 and 1912, to the family┐s physician, Dr. Arthur Sutton. He was the first doctor to open an office in Port Credit. Naomi broke off the engagement, but the parting must have been amicable because Sutton continued on as the family┐s doctor, and later renewed a friendship with her after his wife's death. Naomi was a lifelong member of St Peter's Anglican Church in Erindale, where she was an integral part of the church's many activities. Naomi willed Benares to her two nieces and nephew who donated the estate and most of its contents to The Ontario Heritage Foundation. Ownership was later transferred to the City of Mississauga who has operated Benares as a museum since 1995.
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Related Links:
   Virtual Museum of Canada
   Museums of Mississauga
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