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Transcript: Early Benares Residents
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Title: Transcript: Early Benares Residents
Identifier: 2005.1.124.2
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 information about early Benares residents. It says "When Arthur Harris married Mary Magrath in 1881, he brought his bride home to Benares. Still living at Benares were Capt. & Mrs. Harris, and Arthur's two unmarried sisters, Bessie and Lucy. After Capt. Harris and Mary died, Bessie and Lucy stayed on until Annie and Naomi were about five and four. They then bought a house in Toronto at 71 St. George Street. In their early years, Annie and Naomi had a governess, but when they started to attend Miss Dupont's school in Toronto, during the week they stayed with 'the aunts' and came home weekends. When Geoff started to U.T.S. he also found it a home away from home." Handwritten in blue ink "Arthur Harris two daughters", and "at 71". These notes clarify the typewritten information. At the bottom a question about a chandelier is crossed out in blue ink; also "MISS" is hand-printed. The reverse is a blank form no. AT/5020/1/63 from -"THE NORTHERN & EMPLOYERS GROUP."

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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