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100 Years Ago in Chapple - 1921



By Rilla Race, Chair, Chapple Heritage Committee

The year is 1921. J.K. Robertson has finally sold much of his land on the west side of Main Street in Barwick Township.
The property was divided into many lots and building commenced, making Barwick no longer "The One-Sided Village."

One Sided Village
The One-Sided Village

A newspaper article from April 21, 1921 in the Fort Frances Times says:
"HURRAH FOR BARWICK - The Times representative had the pleasure of a visit to the village of Barwick this week. To say that we were surprised at the progress of this thriving little burg is to put it mildly. Wonderful progress on every side gives evidence that the people of this place have faith in the future of their town. Several new stores have been built during the past year. George W. Hughes has erected a most up-to-date general store on the east side of Main Street. The building is 40 x 80 with a full size basement. The basement provides a maximum of storage capacity and the building is heated by a splendid furnace. The store is well supplied with merchandise and would credit to a town many times the population."

Hughes Store
George Hughes Store - building later became Gill's Store and in 1999 the Chapple Museum.

Black Brothers have also erected a splendid building to take care of their rapidly increasing hardware trade. The store is erected on the site of the old building and both this store and that of Mr. Hughes is lighted by a stationary electric lighting plant. 

Blacks' shop

Black's Hardware Store

Mr. McGauley has demonstrated his faith in the place by the erection of a well-appointed hall. The building presents a most imposing appearance from the outside and the interior layout is well planned. The lower part has a soft drink stand, a pool room and a barber shop. The upper floor is given over to a public hall. An excellent hardwood floor makes it ideal for dancing, while a stage allows theatrical plays and public speaking. With such enterprising men as the business people of Barwick the village cannot help but grow."

McGauley Hall
McGauley Hall - now part of The Chapple Recreation Centre. 

In August of 1921 construction of the Barwick Consolidated School was planned on the site where the Chapple Township Office now stands.

In November construction was also started on the building of the "Orange Hall" by the Loyal Orange Lodge. This building was also on the east side of Main Street. 

  **(If anyone has a picture of this hall, please contact the Chapple Heritage Group, as we have as yet been unable to obtain a photo and the hall burned down in later years.)


Chapple Heritage is continuing to collect materials for family histories. Information of the following families, all in Chapple before 1910 has now been archived: James Tierney, Hugh Caldwell, Samuel Rice, Edward Holmes, Adam and James Hoover, Joseph Gibbens, Joseph Fearon, Arthur Ion, John Ritchie, Dan Smith, Arthur James Smith, William Shaw, Herman Howell, William Dumbrill, John Kidd Robertson, Robert James McGauley, George Thomas Hubbard, Cale Smith, John Hillcox, Robert Stirrett, Andrew Frood, George W. Davis, John and Archie Kerr, John and William Sim, Oliver Obens, William John Anderson, Thomas Knechtel, William and John Gordon, and John and William Evans.

Materials relating to a number of other families who setteled in our township before 1930 is also being worked on at present: James Abbott, Dr. Blakely, Dr. McIntyre, George Both, M. T. Cathcart, Harry Choquette, Fred Cousins, Joseph Elviage, Richard Esson, Malcolm Gillies, Frederick 'Dick' Harvey, James Johnston, Kernehan, James Lavender, Lindsell, Lovell, Love, Traiton Luckens, Madill, Archie McDonald, John McNabb, Forbes, James McPherson, William Muir, Pentney, Nels Peterson, Kate Ruttan, William Scott, William Shannon, Jospeh Syncox, Duke Toner, Albert Tull, James Warren, Thomas Weston, Dick Wilson, T.B. Wilson, William Wright, Eli Johnson and Wolden family.

There are probably other families, not yet identified, that will also be included. For the most aprt, we are searching family histories that have not already been published in the Chapple History Book. If you have information or photos that you would like to provide for any of the families mentioned, please contact  Rilla Race at brrace2@gmail.com .

While much of the focus is on the earliest settler families in Chapple, histories from later than 1930 are also welcome.


Chapple Heritage Committee still has copies available of the township history book ‘Between the Ripples….stories of Chapple’ at a cost of $35 plus shipping.

If you are interested in the early history of our township and some of the original settler families, please contact the Township Office. If your family lived in Chapple in our early years, please let us know about them. You can contact either theTownship of Chapple Office or Chapple Heritage at P. O. Box 54, Barwick, Ontario P0W 1A0. If you have photos or historic information about our township, please share it with us.