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Newspaper Clipping: Toronto's Great Fire of 1849
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Title: Newspaper Clipping: Toronto's Great Fire of 1849
Identifier: 2004.2.259 a-c
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1932
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: An envelope containing research on the Grant family, by Geoff Sayers. (a) A plain envelope, with 'Geoffrey H. Sayers, Suite 300 - 425 University Avenue, Toronto 2, Ontario.' In capital letters across the front, in blue ink, reads 'GRANT'. (b) A newspaper cut-out regarding the obituary of William Henry Draper, who died in Montreal on 24 October 1915. (C) A newspaper clipping concerning "Toronto's Great Fire of 1849" by Fred Williams. The date of the article is 6 April 1932, yet there is no newspaper name. The article discusses the fire in 1849 that went through part of the downtown area, and destroyed the cathedral spire presented in 1848 by William Henry Draper. Across the top, in black ink, is written 'Don't return'.

The Harris family married into the Draper family with the marriage of Annie Harris (1882-1986) to Beverly Draper Sayers (1883-1976) in 1906. Beverly was related to William Henry Draper (1801-1877), Canada’s first colonial politician to be styled 'premier' and was instrumental in establishing the Conservative Party. He supported the Family Compact, which attempted to create an aristocracy linked by family, patronage, and political and social beliefs within the professional upper middle class

The item is part of a box of original papers, letters, transcripts and research notes complied and transcribed by Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (née Colloton) occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. During that time, they acted as care takers of the estate on behalf of the Ontario Heritage Foundation. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. He also maintained the Benares financial affairs in 1932 for Naomi (Na) and Mary, who were unable to do so themselves. Along with sisters Dora Sayers and Barbara Sayers Larson, Geoff donated Benares to the Museums of Mississauga in 1995.
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Related Links:
   Museums of Mississauga Home Page
   Virtual Museum of Canada
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
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