Eldon House

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Eldon House
Established 1960
Location London, Ontario, Canada.
Type Historic House Museum
Website www.eldonhouse.ca/

Eldon House is a museum featuring 19th century period mansion and gardens. The Eldon House Interpretation centre is located on 481 Ridout Street, London, Ontario, Canada. The Eldon House and lands are known collectively as Harris Park.[1] Celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2009/2010, Eldon House is London, Ontario's oldest residence. Captain John Harris named Eldon House after the Earl of Eldon, whom he admired.

History[edit]

This historic Georgian property was built in 1834, originally on 11 acres (45,000 m2) of land. The heritage property, its grounds and collections were given to the city of London by the Harris family as a museum in 1959 and now form a heritage site. Eldon House is the former residence of the prominent Harris Family and oldest surviving such building in London. An Ontario Historical Plaque was erected by the province to commemorate The Eldon House's role in Ontario's heritage. Archives of Ontario. 2005. "Built in 1834 by Captain John Harris, Royal Navy, treasurer of the London District, Eldon House is London's oldest remaining house. With his wife Amelia, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Ryerse (1752–1812), Harris came to London after the district offices were moved here from Vittoria (1815–1825). For many years Eldon House was a centre of London's cultural and social life, and four generations of the Harris family dwelt in it during more than 125 years. In 1960 the family gave the house with most of its furnishings and eleven acres of land to the City of London for a museum and park." [2]

Eldon House was the Harris family seat of Robert Dalzell, 11th Earl of Carnwath, Ronald Dalzell, 12th Earl of Carnwath and Arthur Dalzell, 13th Earl of Carnwath, Representative Peer of Scotland.

George Beecher Harris, a partner in the Harris brothers law firm, and Mary Elizabeth Lucy raised their four children at Raleigh House, a few blocks north and in Eldon House, in 1887. Their son, Mr George Henry Ronald Harris, C.E., (1873–1942) a graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada (1890-4) installed his collection of African weapons and big game trophies in the front and back halls of Eldon House. George Henry Ronald Harris, worked as a mining engineer in Greenwood, British Columbia (1900-1); Quebec; Mossammides, Angola West, Africa (1901–03); East Africa Syndicates (1903-4); and Cassinga Concessions, Angola (1905-8). It was dangerous work; one of his expeditions was massacred while he was back in Canada, and he was once taken prisoner by the Abyssinians now parts of Ethiopia and Eritrea for four months. George Henry Ronald Harris and his wife Lorna Gibbons, lived in Eldon House with their three children: George, born in 1910; Amelia Lucy, born in 1913; and Ronald Sutton (Robin) born in 1919. After the death of George Henry Ronald Harris' sister in 1959, his children donated the house and gardens to the city of London.

Programmes[edit]

Tours are available, and a house museum and gardens offers insight into the lives, of the Harris family which continued to reside here into the 1960s. Children's programs welcome school groups and birthday parties, and certain days (e.g., Canada Day) offer guests a chance to play period games, sample kitchen treats, and help make ice cream.

Affiliations[edit]

The Museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eldon House". www.historicplaces.ca. 10-01-2007. Retrieved September 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.ontarioplaques.com/Plaques_MNO/Plaque_Middlesex13.html. Eldon House Historical Plaque. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  • Robin and Terry Harris, eds. The Eldon House Diaries: Five Women's views of the 19th century' Toronto: Champlain Society, 1994.
  • Christopher Doty 'The Specter of Eldon House' 'The Specter of Eldon House'
  • Nicholas and Elizabeth Clinch, 'Through a Land of Extremes: The Littledales of Central Asia', a book that has Eldon House as one of its backdrops.
  • Spirits of Eldon, a 90-minute play, presented by Theatre Nemesis in the Eldon House Interpretive Centre from Tuesday, October 27 to Friday, October 30, 2010 8:00 pm.

Coordinates: 42°59′05″N 81°15′20″W / 42.98484°N 81.25545°W / 42.98484; -81.25545