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Research Note: Three Benares Structures
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Title: Research Note: Three Benares Structures
Identifier: 2005.1.124.6
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 a summary of information about the three Benares houses. The note explains that the first Benares was a stone house that burned about 1849 while the family was at church. The second Benares was not built on the site of the first dwelling but farther back in the field to the north of the woodshed. It was a frame building. It burned in the winter of 1856-57. The third Benares is the one standing today and was built in 1857. The date of the third house is hand corrected in blue ink "1857". On the reverse is information pertaining to insurance rates in Ontario in 1966.

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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