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Transcript: “Canadian Landmark: Since Pioneer Days, St. Peter's has watched Canadian History Unfold”
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Title: Transcript: “Canadian Landmark: Since Pioneer Days, St. Peter's has watched Canadian History Unfold”
Identifier: 2005.1.81.32
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1950
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: Single-spaced typewritten transcripts of two newspaper articles. The first is from a Globe & Mail, dated June 12, 1950 by Lex Schrag. It traces the early history of the area from the days when " Rev. J.C. Stewart rode across Dundas St. with his church in his saddle-bags as missionary to the Mississauga Indians and to the increasing population of British veterans and United Empire Loyalists who had settled in the fertile lands of Southern Peel County". Some errors in the article and corrected in handwritten notes in blue ink. In the top proper left corner is the number "116". The second article is transcribed on the back without citing the name or date, other than Erindale Nov. 1, of the paper. It is titled "Historic Church Land Sold After Being Held 75 Years. Sale Negotiated by a Great Grandson of St. Peter's First Rector". It is about the sale of the Glebe Property of 45 acres by V.G. Hector, great grandson of Rev. James Magrath to C.A. Hare of Clarkson. The article states: "The donor of the land was Capt. Arthur Harris, an old soldier and a staunch supporter of the church. The property was originally Clergy Reserve land, but when the other denominations in Canada protested that too much land had been set aside for the Anglican Church, the government decided the Erindale property should be sold and the proceeds used for the development of the country. It was then that Capt. Harris came forward and purchased the property, turning it back to the church once more."

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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