WELCOME TO THE MICHAEL J MORRIS REPORT!!!!
WRITE ME WITH COMMENTS, STORY IDEAS, SUGGESTIONS, INFORMATION REQUESTS. IF YOU CAN'T FIND A STORY, DO NOT HESITATE TO EMAIL ME
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Chapleau museum opened as centennial project on July 1, 1967 with the sun shining in all its glory used for arts and crafts fall fair
Eventually the fair outgrew the space in the museum, but Mrs. Broomhead, who served as president for several years, was also instrumental in bringing CBC Radio personality Leon Mangoff to Chapleau to officially open the fair and participate in the activities.
Even though Mr. Mangoff hosted his show from the old CBC Radio headquarters on Jarvis Street in Toronto, it was directed to Northern Ontario and he was a very popular personality, and to have his show originate from Chapleau, was quite an event in itself.
The museum was officially opened on July 1, 1967 as Chapleau's Centennial project, joining Canadian Pacific Railway steam engine 5433 which had been placed in the park on Monk Street in 1964.
Arthur Grout, who had purchased Engine 5433 from the CPR and had it brought to Chapleau, chaired the Centennial project committee, which also included the creation of the Rotary Table and the Centennial Park.
As part of the park project Mr. and Mrs. Grout landscaped the area around the engine and provided it with a proper railway bed. Also installed were ornamental walks, a fountain with its ornaments and the flag poles and lighting system. They entered into an agreement with the municipal council of the day for the care of the engine and park.
On August 23, 1964, Engine 5433 was moved to its home in the park. In Chapleau Trails, Dr. Bill Pellow describes how it was done. A temporary track "was built from the shop across the existing yard and main line tracks and assisted by the yard switch engine this feat was accomplished...." Earle Freeborn, a former mayor of Chapleau, was the engineer on the diesel yard engine while J.M. "Bud Park was engineer on Engine 5433.
The museum building gradually added artifacts, and in its early years was used by the Chapleau Chamber of Commerce who also provided tourist information. Mrs. Myrtle Delaney supervised it in the summer months.
In 1973, spearheaded by Councillors Ernie Gilbert and Dr. G.E. Young, the township decided to establish a museum board, and Eileen McRea became the first curator, and she was succeeded by Mrs. Dorleen Collings. More displays were added and the basement utilized. Displays and artifacts reflected business, industry and people of Chapleau.
At one meeting, for example, where the discussion wandered to the Chapleau roots of the board members, I was challenged by a member who said, "You are not from Chapleau. You were not born here, and our family arrived here before yours too."
Quite true. I was born in Hamilton and my mother's parents George and Edith Hunt, had come to Chapleau from the United Kingdom just before World War I, with their children, Muriel, my mother, and my aunt Elsie. My father, Jim, though was born in Chapleau in 1914. (Dr. Young, a member of the board, was also born in Chapleau in 1914.)
Imagine the lengths one would go to prove their Chapleau connection. But it was all in good fun and other board members shared their Chapleau roots.
Thanks to Doug Greig for his assistance. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org