Supper celebrates Chapple heritage

Dave Ogilvie

The Chapple Heritage Committee celebrated the rich history of this area by hosting a “Homesteader Night” this past Friday at the Chapple recreation hall.
Prior to supper, those on hand were encouraged to view the various pioneer displays, photos, and documents from Chapple’s early settlement, as well as to compete for a prize by completing the “Chapple Obscure History Quiz.”
Everyone then enjoyed an excellent potluck meal consisting of a wide variety of casseroles, salads, desserts, and buns.
Following supper, Rilla Race from the heritage committee shared the answers to the “history quiz” before declaring the winner.
The highlight of the evening, however, was a visit from Tim and Deanna Treadway of Kenora, who had taken part in the reality TV show, “Pioneer Quest.”
Although it’s been 10 years since the couple stepped back in time, both agreed it was an experience that changed their lives—and helped them appreciate the strength of character and individual courage of the pioneers who braved the unforgiving environment of the Prairies.
Through music and a serious of humorous anecdotes, the Treadways recounted their remarkable story of spending a year as pioneers from the 1870s.
With just the tools of the early settlers, they needed to establish a campsite, dig a well, and construct an enclosure for their animals.
They also had to learn to handle their draft horses, plow and seed the virgin Prairie land, as well as plant a garden.
A late start, and the wettest spring in 125 years, often put the success of the pioneer couples in jeopardy.
The Treadways, together with a younger couple, Alana and Frank Logie, battled the wet weather, early frosts, and a terrible winter just as the pioneers in Rainy River District must have done 140 years ago
The real-life adversities of “roughing” it in the bush may have caused others to give up, but the pioneer life seemed to make the Treadways and the Logies stronger.
“We were outside all the time, breathing in clean air, eating nutritious food, and working hard to build our homestead,” Deanna Treadway enthused.
The couples not only developed an appreciation for the hard work of the early settlers, but also experienced a serenity and peace that’s hard to find in the modern world.
“Going back to civilization was much harder than learning to become pioneers,” Tim Treadway conceded.
“Be proud of your ancestors who settled in this district,” he added, “Your heritage in this area was well-earned.”