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Fruit Basket
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Title: Fruit Basket
Identifier: 2008.12.47
Donor: Mario Druso
Item Date: ca. 1915-1925
Creation Date: 2011

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Description: Oblong wooden basket with a 1 cm thick rough wooden base and wooden splint sides 4.2cm long by 16.5 cm. The ends are from splints 20 cm x16.5 cm. The wood has split with drying out into separate pieces. There are two bands of thin wood top and bottom to strengthen the basket and hold the pieces together. The top band is 2 cm wide and the longer band is 1.5 cm wide. Both are attached with 12 staples. A bent wooden handle is 0.3 cm thick, 3 cm wide, and 61 cm long is attached with 4 wire staples 1.5 cm on outside. One end of the basket has the farmer's name and address. The top band is double with a strip both inside and outside the basket. The bottom band is attached to the base with the wire staples. Stamped in red capital letters on one end of the basket: 'Grown and packed by John M. Peter, RRI, Harrow, Ont. Canada No 1 Field'.

This artifact was salvaged from the O'Neil farm located on 3361 Mississauga Road in Erindale.

James and Ann OżNeil of County Wicklow in Ireland immigrated after the potato famine to Quebec where James found work on the railway. Around 1867 they moved to Streetsville purchasing two properties equaling 80 acres of land. In the 1877 Ontario Census James (77) was listed as a farmer and a Catholic. His wife Ann (70) and daughter Bridget (26) live with him. James died in 1888. His son John Moody OżNeil (1841-1911) bought property south of his fathers at Mississauga Road called the Grange Cottage. Their son John Thomas OżNeil (1878-1931) married Rachael Mosley and they had two sons, Hugh and John. Hugh (1913-2006) was the last owner of the homestead and ran a fruit farm. Hugh was an eccentric and very wealthy man who choose to live in his parents neglected farm house.

The property was sold to the donor in 2008. The house and out-buildings have been demolished but heritage organizations were allowed to salvage any items that would help to preserve the history of Mississauga.
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Agency: Museums of Mississauga
Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Virtual Museum of Canada
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)