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Your tour through the Museum will introduce you to the life and times of three generations of the Ireland family, which the house has been restored to reflect. Built using fieldstone covered with a limestone-based mortar, this technique of parging allowed the house to remain in excellent condition even prior to restoration. Georgian styled with a central hall and stair plan, the house is symmetrical when viewed from the south facing front entrance.  An addition to the original home occurred only ten years after construction, allowing an in-door privy, a summer kitchen and a thirty-five foot well.  Sitting on nearly four acres the house is accompanied by two other original constructions: the Drive shed and Potting shed.

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There are few existing records concerning Joseph Ireland (1792-1868). He was born in 1792 at Bowes, Yorkshire, England and was the 5th child of 8 born to Thomas (1753-1808) and Mary Fadden Ireland (1756-1836); he was baptized in the parish of Romaldkirk by Rev. Bligh.

Joseph arrived in Upper Canada in 1819 and petitioned for 100 acres of land. The following year, he purchased another 100 acres; between 1820-1847, Joseph purchased and acquired over 1000 acres of land. Joseph began construction of a family home in 1835, known today as Ireland House. The house was built of fieldstone with lime-based mortar; the house strongly resembles his family home in England. He completed the house in 1837, adding an addition in the early 1840s creating living quarters for hired hands and a room on the main floor.

In 1823, Joseph married Ruth Best (1802-1867) at St. John’s Anglican Church in Ancaster. They had 8 children, 5 of whom survived. Joseph became a respected figure in Nelson Township. He served on the Nelson Township Council and was an overseer of highways. A newspaper clipping dating to 1859 refers to Joseph Ireland as a Justice of the Peace. He was also one of the founders of St. John’s Anglican Church built in 1842 on Dundas Street near Guelph Line. When Joseph passed away in 1868, his will left various parcels of land to children and grandchildren; his son, John, inherited the farm and homestead in 1869.

John Ireland (1839-1904) was the first member of the family to be born in Ireland House and was the seventh child of eight born to Joseph and Ruth Ireland. He was named after an older brother who had died in 1829 at the age of 3. 

When John was 21, he traveled to England in search of a wife. In 1860, he met and married Elizabeth Breckinfield (1837-1861); in 1861 she gave birth to their daughter, Mary Ruth. Sadly, that same year both mother and daughter died within ten days of each other. Mary Ruth was only four months old. In 1868, John married his second wife, a local girl by the name of Eliza Ann Naisbitt (1846-1900). John and Eliza had 12 children together, all of whom survived to adulthood.
 
In 1886, John was the president of the Township of Nelson Association for the Apprehension and Conviction of Horse Thieves. He was also listed as a director of the Fruit Growers Association in the 1896 FGA Report. John passed away in 1904, leaving the farm to his unmarried children still living at home. George Ireland, their tenth child, took over the farm in 1917.

George Ireland (1885-1972) was the 10th child of 12 born to John and Eliza Ireland. After his father's death in 1904, George bought Oakridge Farm from his siblings who were still living at home. He was a farmer, businessman and a member of the Holstein Breeders' Association.

In 1917, George took over the farm. That same year he married Lucy Davis Springer, the youngest of 14 children born to David Springer and Elizabeth Ghent, who lived nearby on Dundas Street. George and Lucy had one child, Lucie Marie, born in 1923.
 
During the 1960s, George retired from farming. Before his death, portions of the farm had gradually been sold. M.M. Robinson High School and the Halton Board of Education are approximate locations of where the farm fields were. The remaining acreage was sold for housing developments. George kept the house and about four acres of the remaining land. George passed away in 1972, leaving the farmhouse and property to his only child, Marie.

Born on 14 SEPT 1923, Marie was the only child of George Ireland (1885-1972) and Lucy Davis Springer Ireland (1885-1938). Although always called Marie, she was baptized Lucie Marie at St. John's Anglican Church. 

As a child, Marie loved music and animals; she enjoyed helping her father on the farm and became an accomplished horsewoman. Marie attended public school at S.S. #5, Nelson and graduated from Burlington High School in 1941. She attended McMaster from 1941-42 and then went to Teachers' College. Her first teaching position was at the Moffat Public School. She returned to McMaster 1946-48 graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She taught in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay) and Ottawa between 1948 and 1963.
 
Marie returned to Oakridge Farm to be married at St. John's Anglican Church on 23 SEPT 1963 to William Bush; unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce. Marie then taught at Ryerson Public School in Hamilton from 1965 until she retired in 1977. Throughout her adult life, Marie was involved in community organizations such as the Burlington Historical Society, the Garden Club of Burlington, the Teachers' Federation and St. John's Anglican Church.