Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 16th to 23rd, 1962.

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Free Press Herald May 16, 1962. 

A $34,000 jump in the 1962 budget combined with a seven and a half mill increase was authorized by Penetanguishene council Monday night Officials say only the increase of almost $1,800,000 in assessment prevented the mill rate from skyrocketing higher. Based on the new assessment, the increase works out to about 7.5 mills. Figured on the 1961 assessment it would require an additional 13 mills to cover the increased levy. The total amount of tax levy for 1962 stands at $292,944, according to figures presented by Clerk A. Doucette in the budget passed by council Monday night. Last year’s actual collection of taxes was $258,898. The actual tax levy last year was $256,015. Greater portion of the increase is in two school budgets and the deficit of last year. MPDHS requirements are close to $6,000 higher, public school is up by $6,000, and $17,000 is included in the budget to cover the deficit. 

    Official opening of Midland’s new $37,000 small boat docks will take place Friday at 7.15 p.m., Harbormaster Jack Blackburn said yesterday. He said Dr. P. B. Rynard, Simcoe East M.P. in the last Parliament, R. P. Henderson district engineer, federal Department of Public Works and F. K. McKean, district marine agent, federal Department of Transport, would be present for the ceremony. Members of Midland council and other civic organizations will also be in attendance. Following the official opening ceremony, the local and visiting officials, will take a cruise on the Haidee, Mr. Blackburn said. 

    Residents of Penetanguishene are being given the opportunity of filling out questionnaires as part of a survey toward establishing whether a low cost rental housing project would be feasible. Besides the questionnaire, Miss Shirley Allaway, a representative of the Department of Economics and Development, is in town this week talking to industrialists, clergy and welfare agents. In speaking on the project, Miss Allaway said an analysis of the survey findings will be made later. The results will determine whether or not housing will be constructed. Miss Allaway said the project, when carried out, is a partnership between federal and provincial governments and the municipality. Cost is shared 75 per cent by federal, 17.4 per cent by provincial, and the balance by the municipality. The houses will have one bedroom for every two children up to a maximum of six bedrooms. Rents are geared to the family income. Tenants will pay approximately 20 per cent of their gross earnings in rent, regardless of the size of accommodation.

    R. C. Gauthier, Midland-Penetanguishene District High School principal, advised a school board meeting last week that the drop-out situation at the school was improving. The principal told the board that in previous years the percentage of dropouts reached 12 per cent. Last year it had been cut to five per cent, which was low compared to the provincial average, he stated. 

    New boat-marking regulations aimed at reducing accidents resulting from overloading and overpowering of small pleasure boats have been announced by the Department of Transport. Effective July 1, pleasure boats 16 feet or less in length with outboard motors of 10 horsepower or more, will be required to carry special plates. The plates will state the recommended safe maximum engine power and weight capacity limit for individual craft. For two or three years manufacturers have been required to provide plates. This regulation will force home boat builders to acquire them. 

    COLDWATER — Council has instructed Clerk Chester Martin to proceed with preparation of a bylaw which will require installation of septic tanks by local residents. Last year, a motion was passed by council giving property owners two years to install septic tanks and stop the practice of dumping raw sewage into the Coldwater River. Council is of the opinion disposal systems can be installed with the exception of three or four properties on Main Street where lack of land is a problem. 

Monsignor J. M. Castex helped get the ball rolling for Penetanguishene’s new naval and military museum when he presented it with a hand-moulded five-pound cannon ball, a relic of the garrison days of 125 years previous. * * * Two days after Midland taxpayers gave their stamp of approval to a $10,000 fixed assessment for the new Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd., plant, machinery and equipment for the new firm were arriving in Midland. * * * Premier Leslie Frost announced the first major grant towards the construction of Penetanguishene’s new hospital. In addition to the provincial grant of $87,666 other grants included: federal government, $77,000; Simcoe County, $44,000; and St. Ann’s parish, Penetanguishene, $50,000. * * * Marcel Bellehumeur, as membership committee chairman of the Penetanguishene Chamber of Commerce, was heading a drive for funds and increased membership in the chamber. * * * The 664-foot S.S. James Norris, largest Canadian ship sailing the Great Lakes, was commissioned in Midland following her construction in Midland Shipyards. * * *More than 1,500 children and adults participated in the Midland District Choral Concert staged through the combined efforts of the town’s school and music teachers in Midland Arena Gardens. * * *Port McNicoll’s Community Forest got another 7,000 trees when village school children conducted their annual planting. * * * National Theatre Services Ltd., announced that Midland’s Roxy theatre manager, Al Perkins, would manage the re-opened Capitol theatre in Midland and the new drive-in theatre in Tiny Township. * * *Coldwater council set the tax rate at 50 mills, based on the reassessment on the Simcoe County plan which went into effect for the first time that year. The new rate represented an increase of 10 mills over the previous year.  

    Three prominent Midlander’s, including Mayor Charles Parker, were fined $100 each in Midland police court Monday in connection with bingos sponsored by Midland Minor Hockey Association. J. G. Hendrickson, 58, and Crawford Wilcox, 48, long-time MHA officials, pleaded guilty to charges of keeping a common gaming house at Parkside Pavilion during the six months prior to Feb. 28. OPP Const. C. D. Stanley, of the anti-gambling squad,, said the MMHA held weekly bingo games at Parkside. Const. Stanley said he saw Mr. Hendrickson selling cards when he went there the night of Feb. 27. Mr. Wilcox was not present that evening but is the co-signer for all cheques issued by the association, the court was told. Both men were very co-operative, Const. Stanley said. No evidence was offered by either at Monday’s hearing. Mr. McTurk, in asking for a nominal penalty, pointed out that the bingos were held for the benefit of minor hockey. There was no suggestion that these men received funds or personal gain. He also said that at the time four other groups were operating weekly bingos. He pointed out that Mr. Hendrickson and Mr. Wilcox, along with other MMHA officials, put in long hours every week in order to provide hockey for boys in the area.     

    The Silver Cross Women of Canada was founded at Hamilton in 1947 by widows and mothers of soldiers of the Second World War.

Whithall’s Mill located on the Wye River on the 4th concession of Tiny Township near Wyevale.  From the book “The Story of Simcoe County” produced by the Tourist and Industrial Committee of the County Council of Simcoe, author the former premier of Ontario, the Honourable Ernest C. Drury. Printed by Midland Press Limited. The negatives were held in their possession until donated to the Huronia Museum in 2006. Used again May 16, 1962, Free Press Herald front page with this caption; One of the real landmarks of Tiny Township is this old gristmill, just east of Wyebridge. A favourite fishing spot for local anglers, it has been a focal point for district farmers for many generations. 

     Four Midland boys received certificates at a Queen Scout Recognition ceremony at Barrie Central Collegiate, May 12. The certificates were presented by Air Commodore J. B. Harvey AFC, D.C., to Paul Delaney, 1st Midland Troop, and Don Edwards, Arthur Langley, and William Mackie, 3rd Midland Troop. 


Gifts of appreciation on behalf of 300 Little NHL hockey players in Penetanguishene were presented Monday night by Andy Morrison, left, to Maple Leaf player Dave Keon and trainer Bob Haggert. Announcement that Keon had been awarded the Lady Byng Memorial trophy was made the following day.

County Herald, May 18, 1962.

While a neighbor stood helplessly by, a 90-year-old nearly blind woman burned to death when flames consumed her four-room frame home on Robert Street Lane, Penetanguishene, Thursday morning. Gus Beauchamp, 86, failed in repeated attempts to scale a fence that separated the two properties in an heroic attempt to lead Mrs. Archie Capistrand to safety. Her charred body was found by firemen just inside her kitchen door.

    A new idea in the way of marinas is taking shape on the shore of Penetanguishene Bay where one of the town’s oldest manufacturing plants stood until last year. Property owned by the Breithaupt Leather Co., whose plant here was dismantled last summer, is being utilized for the new venture which will operate under the name of Baymoorings Cruise Club. Membership in the club is based on an annual fee of $50. There is also an associate membership available at $30 for persons with cruisers ordinarily based outside the area. Docks are being built at the Penetanguishene site. Facilities there will be available to non-members as well as those belonging to the club. The clubhouse itself will be located in the old Breithaupt mansion, which, although dating back to 1887 is in a remarkable state of preservation. A large boathouse used during the operating days of the tannery will be available for winter storage. The boathouse also contains a marine railway capable of lifting any size of pleasure boat out of the water. Louis Breithaupt, Jr., said yesterday, a launching ramp is also under construction in a quiet corner, where small craft may be put into the water or taken back onto trailers. 

    Martyr’s Shrine officially opened for another season Sunday. Many pilgrims and visitors are expected through the nearly five month season which closes Thanksgiving weekend. Numerous groups of school children from all over Ontario will visit the Shrine in the months of May and June, to see the religious and historic aspects of the site. National groups, some dressed in their native costumes, who have made pilgrimages to the Shrine in the past, will again, walk up the hill in procession to attend mass at the hallowed location. Some of the groups expected are the Polish. Germans, Slovaks, Slovenes, and Czechs, said Rev. J. F. McCaffrey director of the Shrine. Several groups from the United States are also expected.  

    Supporters of the vote “no’’ campaign were the victors in Wednesday’s two-question liquor plebiscite in Midland. Approximately 56.7 per cent of the 4,752 eligible voters cast ballots. The dining lounge question failed by 2.169 per cent of the 60 per cent required to pass. Licensing or cocktail bars fell 5.303 per cent short of the mark. 

    The Midland – Penetanguishene area today moved into the fifth day of a scorching heat wave which has broken several May records. And there is no sign yet of any break in the over 90 degree temperatures, as the holiday weekend draws nearer. Yesterday the thermometer soared to a sweltering 95, breaking by 15 degrees the previous high for May of 80 set in 1951.  

    Her later adventures are told in a story by Ken Lefolil entitled “The Slapstick Saga of the S.S. Tropic Sea” in the May issue of MacLean’s magazine. “The SS Tropic Sea, 507 tons wringing wet and unsteady as she goes, is the greatest freestyle floating rumor mill since the Galloping Ghost of the Java Coast.” says Lefolil in his introduction. Mutiny, starvation, gunplay and “banana republic revolution” were heard frequently in her connection, it was rumored. Documents on file in Canada that early in 1961 four Toronto men made a down payment on the 42 year old former Georgian Bay buoy tender St. Heliers, which had recently changed hands for $5,311. The new owners changed her name to Tropic Sea and registry to the Republic of Panama. She cleared Halifax June 13, 1961, bound for the Caribbean.  Lefolil flew to Jamaica last March to try and dig up the true story of the Tropic Sea. He found her moored in a rundown dockyard at Kingston. Her captain at this time was Carl S. Stewart, a naturalized Canadian who was one of a number of war orphans brought here in 1947. In the Letolil story, Stewart is described as a 30-year-old man with a well-earned ulcer. A modern cloak and dagger man. Stewart has risked his life in Honduras and Cuba. In Honduras, an assassin came at him with a machete and was later shot to death for his trouble. In Cuba, Stewart engaged in the tricky pastime of running guns for Castro and supplying information to the U.S. Coast Guard all at the same time. He has seen the inside of a Cuban jail but escaped with his life. Another of Stewart’s jobs was for the security branch of the Bahamas. He helped break up a gun and narcotics smuggling ring by posing as a gunrunner. The story of the Tropic Sea from June 6, 1961, when it picked up 250 tons of flour at Humberstone, until a bailiff placed her under admiralty arrest in Kingston, Jamaica, is too long to re-publish here. But it makes strange, and good reading and can be obtained for 15 cents at any news stand. 

    A Kingston Ontario magistrate’s decision to jail a resident of that city for operating a boat while impaired, and to suspend the accused’s right to operate a power boat for one year, should have a sobering effect on negligent boating enthusiasts.