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Eldon House, London, Ontario | by Ken Lund
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Eldon House, London, Ontario

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. 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.


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."


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. After the death of George Henry Ronald Harris' sister in 1959, his children donated the house and gardens to the city of London.

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Taken on September 28, 2015