For most of its history, Chapleau citizens have been served by a local weekly newspaper, and what a fascinating experience it is to explore the community's life and times by browsing through their pages.
Since I started writing about Chapleau moments over four years ago now, each week I have been able to share some of the community's history, much of it from the newspapers that were published over the years.
Before I give you a short history of those newspapers, let me answer the question I have been most asked -- "Where do you get all the information?" In the beginning, much of it came from files kept by Muriel E. (Hunt) Morris, my mother, and Marion (Morris) Kennedy, my aunt.
Over time, new sources started to send me "stuff" (as it is commonly called in the newspaper business), and never a week goes by that I do not receive at least one new story idea and or "stuff". If I tried to name all those who assisted, I would surely miss someone, but I must mention -- Anne (Zufelt) McGoldrick, my cousin, who is an expert on Chapleau folks, Doug Greig, who is doing the community a great service by compiling the historical record for future generations and Hugh Kuttner who established chapleau.com
And I also thank Michael McMullen, my cousin, and Ian Macdonald and Harry 'Butch' Pellow, my long time friends, who always take time to provide assistance.
Enough already. On to the Chapleau newspapers.
The first one the North Star appeared in 1893-94 and the editor was Frank Morris (no relation) a Justice of the Peace, and it was followed by Chapleau Weekly News, printed in Sudbury from 1910 to about 1915.
The Chapleau Headlight published by the Citizens League of Chapleau was on the scene from 1915 to 1917 and it one of its mandates seemed to be keeping the community "dry" -- in other words free from alcohol. It was also highly involved in recruiting for service in World War I.
In its first edition of December 3, 1915, Doc Hustler a local character who apparently lived in a shack and sold newspapers from a baby carriage inserted this notice: "That I Doc Hustler have gone out of the newspaper business and have taken up my tools and am now open to do all kinds of first class painting, paper hanging and graining. Anyone engaging Mr. Hustler will be assured of an A 1 job."
After the Headlight folded some years later, Roy Lavery founded the Chapleau Times which operated in 1929-30. His office was in the YMCA on Lorne Street.
Arthur Simpson who was born in England arrived in 1930 after a group of Chapleau citizens persuaded him to move there and within a year the Chapleau Post was founded, located at 17 Young Street, and it was part of the community until 1961.
It really covered Chapleau news, and I just happen to have handy the issue of December 2, 1948, send to me by Ken LeClaire. Here is what was happening: "Reeve Zufelt Re-Elected 8 Qualify for Council", "Hockey club Organize for Coming Season", "Rev. R. Gascon Elevated to Domestic Prelate", "Calgary Team Stampedes at Station", and that's just a sampler.
In 1958, Mid North News arrived with Basil Scully a Sudbury television personality as president, and Arthur Grout, Reg Thrush and J.M. Martel as directors of Chapleau News and TV Ltd. It lasted only 38 issues but Chapleau also had its own television station for a time -- CHAP TV. I got my start in journalism there.
The Chapleau Press appeared during 1961-62.
On November 19, 1964, Tom and Leah 'Bud' Welch published the first edition of the Chapleau Sentinel, and they continued to operate it until July 1977, with an article "May We Bow Out". Tom and Bud had been very active in community activities, with Tom being one of the founders of the Chapleau Junior 'B" Huskies of the International Junior "B" Hockey league in 1966-67.
They retired and were succeeded by Rene and Diane Decosse who operated the Sentinel until 1999.
A "new kid on the block" arrived in March 1997 when Jim and Phyllis Prince arrived and launched the Chapleau Express. Jim had been a well known Timmins television personality, who I had known when I started as a daily newspaper reporter at The Daily Press there in 1964 -- wow, 50 years ago in 2014!
In September 2005, Mario Lafreniere took over the Chapleau Express as publisher and editor, and he is the reason I have been writing Chapleau Moments since July 2009. I had started a blog, Mario saw it and invited me to write for his newspaper.
I have just touched on the history of Chapleau newspapers here, but for me, who has been doing and teaching journalism, media and communications for so long, it is a privilege to be able to share some of those "first rough drafts of history" from them about the people, life and times of the community. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org