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New Year's Day, 1863


Amelia Ryerse Harris (1798-1882), wife of Captain John Harris of Eldon House fame, kept a diary from September 12, 1857 to February 25, 1882.  Her entry for January 1st, 1863 was as follows:

"A lovely morning.  Edward & George wished me to receive visitors, they dislike having the house shut up, so I have admitted all who came...The Bishop was my first visitor, then Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Askin, George Moore, who staid to luncheon, the Revnd Brough, & the Revnd Mr. Long called.  The Revnd Mr. McLean, Mr. Griffin, N. Montserrat, W. Lawrason called.  Amelia spent the evening here.  Edward went to the Griffins to smoke.  George did not return from visiting until 12 at night.  He spent the evening at the Askins & so ended the first day of the year."  Eldon House Diaries.  Champlain Society, 1994. 

The tradition of having visitors at Eldon House on New Year's Day continues to the present day with the celebration of a New Year's Day levee.

More information about Amelia's guests:

Edward William Harris (1832-1925), lawyer. Harris Brothers, Amelia's son

George Becher Harris (1836-1923), lawyer, Harris Brothers, Amelia's son

Bishop Benjamin Cronyn (1802-1871), first Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Huron

James Hamilton (1810-1896), banker with the Bank of Upper Canada

Captain Jean-Baptiste Askin (1788-1869), militia officer

Dr. George Moore

Rev. Charles Crosbie Brough (1794-1873), rector of St. John's Anglican Church (Arva)

Rev. John McLean, Episcopal (Anglican) minister

Gilbert Elliot Griffin (1821-1892), postal inspector, Amelia's son-in-law 

Nicholas Monsarrat (1839-1910), barrister

William Lawrason, solicitor



Potrait of Amelia Ryerse Harris

Eldon House Diaries:  Five Women's Views of the 19th Century.  Toronto:  Champlain Society, 1994, p. 42 (REF r971.326 HarE)