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Research Note: Dances at Benares
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Title: Research Note: Dances at Benares
Identifier: 2005.1.123.22
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1970-1975
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A piece of paper containing typewritten information about how dances were held in the back kitchen at Benares. The note cites Annie Harris as saying the floor in the back kitchen was not canvassed. It was waxed and polished for dances to a smooth finish. What is now the kitchen was furnished with benches with buffalo robes thrown over them for sitting out. Supper was served in the dining and living rooms.

This item is part of a box of original papers, transcripts, research notes, and newspaper clippings compiled and transcribed by Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers between 1970-1975. The notes and transcripts were written on the backs of papers related to Geoffrey’s job in Insurance.

Geoffrey's great grandfather Captain James Beveridge Harris purchased Benares in 1837. Captain Harris and his wife Elizabeth (nee Molony) had 8 children but only one surviving son; Arthur, who inherited the house and property. Arthur and his wife Mary (nee Magrath) had two daughters, Annie and Naomi. While Naomi spent her entire unwed life at Benares, Annie was married to Beverley Sayers. Their three children, Geoffrey Harris Sayers, Dora Sayers Caro and Barbara Sayers Larson, donated the home and many of the original furnishing to the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now Ontario Heritage Trust, or OHT) upon the death of their aunt, Naomi Harris in 1968. It was restored and fully furnished with Harris Family items and opened to the public in 1995.
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