Friday, September 19, 2008

Aboriginal Pioneers of the Peace - The Flette Family

The "Aboriginal Pioneers of the Peace" is a feature written by Beth Wilkins, Curatorial Assistant and Researcher, in conjunction with the Museum's Treaty 8 Exhibit on display until the end of August. The articles have also been published on the Community Page of the Peace River Record-Gazette.

The Flette Family

PRMA 79.1021.2 Nicholas Flette in his WWI uniform, seated. The other chap is unknown.

Nicholas Flette

Often called Sunny or Nick

Born: December 1896, in Fort Vermilion area, one of William and Charlotte (Smith) Flette’s sons
Died: December 1965, died of a heart attack

Served in First World War – said to have served in Siberia driving a dog team in the line of duty

September 15, 1928, Nicholas married Caroline Margaret Lawrence

Margaret Flette

Margaret Flette in one of her many hats

Born: March 17, 1904, in the Fort Vermilion area, third child of 15 and descendent of pioneers and missionaries – Sheridan and Julia Lawrence. Died: July 31, 2007, 103 years old

Received early education at home – went to a school on Lawrence family ranch, also attended by local children – won Governor General’s Medal for highest marks in grade school – travelled to Winnipeg for further education in 1924 – taught school in Fort Vermilion for two years – had varied careers thereafter.

Following Nick’s death in 1965, Margaret continued to live in their Peace River home, to which they had moved in the late 1950s, having sold their previous house to daughter Hester and husband, Fred Hutton.

Margaret had many talents, one of which was making delicious cinnamon buns – a treat at Chuck’s Place – a popular Peace River restaurant. Even after the closure of the restaurant, she continued, well into her 80s, to bake the treats. She was always busy – taking in boarders and roomers – being active in several organizations and her craft interests.

Margaret was also known for her hats and her walks along Main Street.

The Flettes

Nicholas and Margaret renewed their friendship while both were in Cloverbar, Alberta, near Edmonton. They had five children: Hester, Clifford, Lawrence, Allan and Shirley. Clifford died while serving in the Second World War.

After their marriage, the Flettes homesteaded at Cloverbar before succumbing to the lure of the Peace Country. They farmed in the Stewart District (Weberville Road) for more than 20 years.

Source: Fort Vermilion People In Our Vast Trading North; Margaret Flette’s obituary

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