Hugh O’Neil’s (1913 to 2006) family had a long history in Mississauga, first arriving in Streetsville in 1867. Hugh took over the family farm after his father died in 1931. He was the fourth generation of his family to farm in the area.
Hugh was a market-garden farmer, selling produce from a stand at his home. He sold apples, potatoes, carrots, strawberries, raspberries and asparagus, as well as peaches and cherries from Niagara farmers. Hugh was believed to be the last apple farmer in Mississauga, when he died at the age of 93 in 2006.
The O’Neil farm was demolished in 2008 but the Museums of Mississauga salvaged many artifacts from the house and barn. Hugh was a ‘pack rat’ which resulted in a huge collection of objects being saved, including original apple crates from local farms, fruit and vegetable baskets, fruit picking ladders, a barn heater, and even the door of an old truck.
This collection captures the last remnants of the city’s rich farming history.