Two 'priceless' artifacts related to Dionne Quintuplets' story recovered
NORTH BAY -- Two recovered pieces of historical artifacts that are part of the Dionne Quintuplets story were donated to the museum and birth home in North Bay and were shown off today to visitors for the first time.
Standing proudly outside of the home is the buggy used to take the sisters' parents, Oliva and Elzire, to their wedding which took place on Sept. 15, 1925 and a cutter sled. Both have been restored.
"We're trying to take care of all the memorabilia that we can," said the Dionne Quintuplets' nephew Brian Callahan.
Brian's mother, Thérèse, is an older sister of the Dionne Quints.
Elzire and Oliva married in Corbiel at the old parish.
In two weeks, the family will celebrate the 95th wedding anniversary.
"My grandmother was 15 years of age when she got married and starting having kids pretty much right out of the get go," recalled Callahan.
The carriage and sled have had multiple owners over the years. Its final stop before arriving at the home was with a couple living on Manitoulin Island.
The couple wanted to return the artifacts to the museum.
"They're pretty valuable and priceless when it comes to the Dionne story," said Ed Valenti, president of the Dionne Quints Heritage Board
"Now, there's representation of Oliva and Elzire."
The heritage board has been looking to try and expand the story from not just the sisters but the entire Dionne family for quite some time, while also digging for information of others involved including: medical staff and the midwives.
"They're not given enough credit in seeing that those children survived," explained Valenti.
The board is hoping to learn more about how and when the sled was used in the sisters' story and uncover more of the family history.
"It was good old French-Canadian Roman Catholic farming family," concluded Callahan.
By finding these artifacts, Valenti says more people will appreciate the family and sisters, who had to undergo such tremendous hardship.