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Research Note: The Building of the First St. Peter's
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Title: Research Note: The Building of the First St. Peter's
Identifier: 2005.1.81.2
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1975
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A piece of paper with a double-spaced typewritten note in black ink on the front. The note is about the founding and building of the first St. Peter's Church. The note describes "a wood frame building large enough to hold about 300, people perched high on the bank overlooking the Credit river, and awaiting a clergyman". As noted the land was originally donated by Thomas Racey, had reverted to the Crown and was purchased for ten shillings by Peter Adamson, Joseph Adamson, Alexander Proudfoot, William Thompson, Frederick Starr Jarvis and Henry Carpenter. Rev. James Magrath and his family arrived in 1827. He was the only clergyman between York and Hamilton. In 1887 the original church was razed to make way for a new stone church. On the back of the paper is a sheet of three Royal Bank of Canada blank cheques.

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

The original St. Peter’s Church was built in 1826 and demolished in 1887. St. Peter’s Church had many ties with both the Harris and Magrath Families. The Harrises were strong supporters of the Church with Captain James B. Harris (1797-1884) acting as a church warden from 1838-1860. Arthur B. Harris (1843-1932) was on the building committee in 1886 and also served as a church warden and had agreed to assume some of the debt over and above the amount contributed to the Building Fund of the new structure. Reverend James Magrath was the first Rector of the church and his family continued to support it after his death. Many members of the Magrath and Harris families were married at the Church; including Mary (nee Magrath) and Arthur Harris, Annie (nee Harris) and Beverly Sayers and Kathleen (nee Colloton) and Geoffrey Sayers. For more information on the history of St. Peter’s Anglican Church, see: Thompson Adamson “175 Years of History” (Erindale: St Peter’s Anglican Church, 2000).
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