Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Dionne Quints

The Dionne Quintuplets - first their story was a miracle, it turned into a melodrama and in later years, it was a tragedy and really, still is so sad.  I went to North Bay this week to visit a friend,it was in my mind to go over to the tourist information building to pick up some Dionne postcards, so we went -  I got the postcards but an added bonus was seeing some exhibits they had in the building, then we were asked if we wanted a tour of the  home in which they were born - yes, we did - and admission was only $3.75, it was so interesting!  I had been through the house maybe 25 years ago - I never forgot the Dionne's but I had long forgotten about the contents.


The five identical girls - Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile and Marie were born May 28, 1934 - the miracle aroused worldwide attention to the tiny village of Corbeil, Ontario - they became the sensation of the 30's - the miracle of their birth, their cuteness, the poverty of their French Canadian parents and the controversy over their guardianship - their story was a blockbuster and still is a very intriguing one to read about!


The Ontario government removed them from their parents and placed them in a specially built hospital, their main caregiver was Dr. Allan Dafoe who had been called to give assistance after the first two girls were born.  Their father, Olivia Dionne fought to regain the girls, they were returned to their family when they were nine but by then the damage was done.



This was Quintland - their home for nine years of their life - they were on exhibit twice daily - I've read that approximately 3,000,000 people came to view these girls between 1936-1943 - famous people like Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable, Bette Davis, our tour guide told us that there is rumor that even Marilyn Monroe visited.    These girls represented a five hundred million dollar asset to the Province of Ontario during this time - it wasn't until 1998 that the Ontario government agreed to pay the  surviving Quints a sum of 4 million dollars to compensate for the time spent on display at Quintland.  They may have had a life of privilage but they never had a loving relationship with their family, by the time they were returned to their parents and other brothers and sisters, their lives had been so different - they never really felt at home with their family.  At this time, only two of the quints remain.



I went right to the library the next day and checked out their one book on the Dionne's - it's next up on my reading list.


It was a great day to SMASH too - I bought a set of souvenir paper dolls - but they are so nice, but I couldn't cut them up.  My Mom often mentioned her Dionne paper dolls - sure wish she had kept those....

I'm linking today with Time Travel Thursday

13 comments:

  1. Thank you! This was a wonderful post...I love linking stories with travel. I have come across Dionne memorabilia on eBay and other places and wondered how that story ended. I will probably read that same book. I really enjoyed this!

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  2. Love your Smash page! Their story is really unique. I remember my MIL saying, just a few years ago, that their lives were actually sad.

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  3. Wow that was very interesting I had really never heard the details of the quints first 9 years very sad indeed. Thanks for sharing~

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  4. The Dionne story was so fascinating even when I was growing up in the 50's and 60's. How sadly they were exploited and put on parade for the world to see. Pierre Burton's book would be an interesting read. Thanks for sharing this story today.

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  5. That's such an interesting story. I've never heard about them before. Its so sad that they lived life on display.
    Great smash page!

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  6. Interesting post! I'd like to read more about them. ♥

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  7. I remember seeing a story on their lives on our PBS station a few years ago. Sad situation indeed.

    Thanks for sharing Jill & keep on smashin'!

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  8. What a shocking story, huh? You would not expect that of our government. Crazy. I would like to visit the house. Sounds interesting.

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  9. Awesome post Jill, I never knew the details of thier story, thanks for sharing :)

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  10. Thanks for sharing, Jill. This is a truly amazing story.

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  11. I went to an auction yesterday that had more Dionne quints memorobilia than I've ever seen in one place. And it all went to a mystery phone bidder in Conneticut.

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  12. My DD and I have collected Quint items in the past. I should share pictures sometime on my blog.
    My DD became interested in them in the 90's when there was a made for tv movie about them. It was very good.

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  13. I have heard about these children, but didn't know to much about them. And then to find out this took place in Ontario....my province, very interesting.
    I am interesting in reading the book, but my heart is saddened that they got taken away from their parents by the government. So sad

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