Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – October 8th to 15th, 1958

Click on photos to enlarge;Mrs. Dorothy Miller of Hillsdale was named the president of the Simcoe No. 1 Inspectorate Teachers’ Institute at the group’s convention at the Delawana Inn, Honey Harbour, Friday. She succeeds Clarence N. Cloke, principal of Penetang Protestant Separate School, James Robinson, principal of Parkview Public School in Midland, is first vice-president and Miss Kathleen Stewart of Coldwater second vice-president. Secretary-treasurer is Bill Barnett of Regent School, Midland. 

The official blessing of the new St. Theresa’s High School in Midland Friday was of special interest to Monsignor J. M. Castex of Penetang, seen above during the ceremony. Monsignor Castex had played a prominent part in the opening of the first separate public schools in Midland 30 years earlier. 

Presentation of a spiritual bouquet to James Cardinal McGuigan was a feature of ceremonies as the cardinal officially blessed the new St. Theresa’s High School in Midland Friday. The presentation was made on behalf of the pupils by Brenda Deschamp and Paul Tremblay. Seated left to right are Monsignor J. M. Castex, Penetang; Cardinal McGuigan; and Rev. R. Egan, Midland. 

When the Ontario Industrial Development Conference was held in Toronto last week, the Georgian Bay Development Association literally “stole the show” on the other regions present. W. H. Cranston, secretary-treasurer, left, and W. N. Keefe, general manager, look over two of the many posters that startled delegates from less wide-awake areas of the province. 

Social facilities for curlers and a completely equipped club room on a mezzanine floor are being planned for the completed Penetang Arena. George Scott heads canvassers raising funds for the project. 

Athletics play a prominent part in the life of MPDHS, for the girls no less than the boys. Members of the girls’ coaching staff are, left to right, Mary Jo Hargadon, Dorothy Enright, and Elizabeth McTague. 

Last Monday was a big night for six members of 3rd Midland (Knox) Scout Troop as they received their first class badges and all round “A ” group cords. In the upper photo, District Commissioner H. H. Boyd shows Dietmar Wagner how to fix new cord while Lynn Johnston, left, and Iain Brownlee watch. In the lower picture are, left to right, Scout Master John Brownlee, Rodney Todd, Jack Ambrose, and Harry DeVries. After a probationary period of six months, the lads hope to become Queen’s Scouts. 

Volunteer firemen confer on how best to handle the deluge of young Midland cyclists who gathered at the municipal building parking lot Saturday afternoon. Tests were part of a safety program sponsored by Midland Volunteer Fire Brigade. 

Circles and lines made the parking lot at Midland’s municipal building into a modernistic painting Saturday afternoon, as young bicyclists went through safety tests sponsored by the volunteer fire brigade. 

Expressions ranged from interest to concern and dismay among the youngsters awaiting their turn at trying safety tests behind Midland’s municipal building Saturday afternoon. More tests are being held this Saturday. 

Reeve W. H. Keller, himself a sports fan for many years, fired the official opening shot at the Huronia Handgun Club’s range last Thursday night at Parkside, Mr. Keller is standing at one of four shooting stations on the range.  (No ear protection)

Another good football season looms up for MPDHS teams, with three wins and a tie in four games to date. Seen above is the senior team with, left to right, front row — Dale Smitham, Bill Offord, Venard Quesnelle, manager, Principal L. M. Johnston, coach Doug Swales, Peter Gouett, Paul Bolan; second row — Don Zabzinski, John Richardson, Henry Gouett, Jerry Sibbald, Ken Mackie, Wayne Morrison, Gary Donovan; third row — John Maher, Don Tucker, John Kingsborough, Neil French, John Bell, Wilbur Lamb, Rodney Rankin; fourth row — Marty Reynolds, Bernard Arbour, John Quinlan, John Moreau, Paul McDonald, Paul Dion. 

“Two top babies entered in Christian Island’s Achievement Day baby contest are shown here with judges. Left, Dr. P. B. Rynard, M.P., holds David Sylvester, while R. B. Cowan displays the youngest baby, Beverley Mixemong. “

“Christian Island Indians held a beauty queen contest during their Achievement Day program last week and this quintet emerged as winners. Juanita Marks, centre, was chosen Queen. Girls are, left to right, Dorothy Monague, Donna Sandy, Juanita Marks, Dorothy McCue, and Judy Monague. “

 The term “bulbs” means radio and TV vacuum tubes.

  • Free Press Herald headline of October 8, 1958; Damage Toll “Thousands” in Four Weekend Crashes. Several accidents causing property damage amounting, to thousands of dollars, but only minor personal injuries; were investigated by members of the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour over the weekend. One of the most costly, in which a 1958-model car was written off as a total wreck by police, occurred just east of the Highway 12 – 27 cloverleaf, on Yonge Street West.
  • County Herald headline of October 10, 1958; Possible Plant Expansion in the Offing for Bay Mills. If sales of a new product called ‘Permascreen’ come up to expectations, Bay Mills Limited of Midland will be expanding both staff and plant facilities next fall, a company official said this week. Formation of a new division to manufacture and market fiberglass window screening has just been announced. While the vinyl yarn used in ‘Permascreen’ will be woven on existing looms, sales manager Sid Nicholls said the firm is making a heavy investment in heat setting equipment designed to fuse the threads. The new equipment is scheduled to be installed by Nov. 15 and the product will be in full production early in December.
  • The highlight of the annual dinner meeting of Fort Penetanguishene Officers’ Quarters Museum Committee was the presentation of a cheque for $500 from John Labatt Ltd. The money is earmarked for furnishing a room in the museum and was presented by Stuart McEwen of Toronto. In accepting the donation, Mayor A. B. Thompson expressed his pleasure at the fact that now at least one room can be completely furnished in the period when much of the military history of Penetang was made.
  • Two more students have swelled the ranks of last year’s MPDHS scholarship and bursary winners, board members heard Wednesday night. Principal L. M. Johnston said Marion Gray had won a $400 Atkinson Foundation bursary, and Ronald Blair a $500 Dominion-Provincial bursary.
  • Roman Catholics throughout North Simcoe yesterday commenced the first of nine days of mourning for Pope Pius XII, who died Wednesday evening at his summer palace, Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Known as the Pope of Peace, the Pontiff never regained consciousness from a second stroke he suffered Wednesday morning. He became critically ill about a week ago. Elected Pope, March 2, 1939, His Holiness also celebrated his 63rd birthday that same day.
  • Speaking at a meeting of Penetang council Monday night Mayor A. B. Thompson advocated action by police in cases where transient traders are operating in the town without first having obtained a licence. The mayor said Penetang has a bylaw covering transient traders, peddlers, and hawkers, and it should be used to protect the many citizens who are being “hooked” by sharpsters. Apparently, the matter was brought forcibly to Mr. Thompson’s attention recently when people started coming into his office with contracts, and threats of a civil suit in their hands wanting to know what they should do. According to the mayor, most of these have been for knitting machines sold to the housewives, with a guarantee to purchase all they can produce on the machine. He said the housewife is asked to have her husband sign a document purporting to be his permission to have her do the work. “In effect, the document is actually a promissory note for a considerable amount of money, and in many cases, the husband has signed these papers,” Mr. Thompson said.
  • District citizens who have been disturbed by rattling or vibrating window panes during the past few days probably can look to the air force for their answer. Residents in Midland, east of Midland and in Penetang reported a series of “reverberations,” spaced, at 10-second intervals. A reliable source, informed this newspaper yesterday that aircraft are at present using the Meaford bombing range, and that the “rumblings” are the sound of exploding bombs carried across the water of Nottawasaga Bay. It also explains the definite time intervals between explosions.
  • BirthRUTHERFORD — At St. Andrews Hospital, Midland Tuesday, Oct. 7, to Charles and Lillian Rutherford, their third daughter (Margo), a sister for Janice and Mary Lea.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week —  As a Thanksgiving weekend special, a Midland store was offering fine English wool worsted suits for men at $18.50, Extra trousers were $5.50 a pair. * * * The grandstand and stables in Elmvale Agricultural Park were extensively damaged by fire, believed to have been caused by a cigarette butt dropped in the building * * * Some 41 men were employed laying water mains along Poyntz Street in Penetang. It was expected 136 would be employed once the project was in full swing. Plans were being completed for a $250,000 reservoir to be built at the west end of the pumphouse. * * * Orillia electors were to be given the opportunity to vote on the repeal of town’s Local Option Bylaw. The question was to be submitted to voters at the municipal elections in December. * * * East Simcoe Teacher’s Institute held its annual convention in Midland. The two-day sessions were held in Knox Presbyterian Church. * * * The Department of Railways and Canals at Ottawa had announced that it proposed to levy a $2 fee on all boats which passed through Severn locks on and after Oct. 15. Severn area residents opposed the regulation, claiming that it was unfair as it was in the late fall that they made their trips to Midland for their winter supplies. ** * Four mysterious fires in business establishments on the town’s main street touched off an investigation by Barrie police. It was “suspected that the blazes were the work of a “firebug”. * * * Dr. G. E. Tanner won the Kiwanis Golf Trophy, emblematic of the championship of Midland and Penetanguishene Kiwanis Clubs.
  • Paul Pilon, a twelve-year-old Penetang lad, narrowly escaped death when struck by a bullet from a 22 rifle while sitting at his school desk Friday afternoon. According to Sgt. L. Robillard who investigated, young Pilon was sitting at a desk in a classroom of Penetang Public School in the old high school building. Suddenly he slumped in his seat. It was found a bullet had lodged in the left side of his head. The investigation revealed that the bullet had come through a north window and traveled the length of the room before striking the lad. The bullet when removed by Dr. R. Lauzon, appeared to have ricocheted from some hard object before coming in the school window. The lad was permitted to return to his home and is said to have suffered no ill effects.
  • “I was a hula hoop maker for the MIL.” Area employees of the plastics division of Midland Industries Limited can now make that statement. And whether you’re a hula hooper or not, you must view the accomplishment with some respect. Workers at the Elizabeth Street plant have produced about 150,000 of the things in the past month. S. Omura of MIL praised the company’s engineering and extrusions departments for getting in the swing of things so rapidly. The order, for Louis Marx of New York, was filled in close to twenty working days. This included experimentation in adapting to the production of the twirling toys. The hoops, in red, yellow, green and black, were sent to Toronto distributors.
  • Stanley Dollar, a member of the family that gave Midland’s “Dollartown” its name, died in his New York apartment recently. The 78-year-old San Francisco shipping magnate was a nephew of J. M. Dollar, whose lumber mill once stood near the Canadian Name Plate Co. Ltd. plant on Bay Street East. The section of the east part of Midland is still sometimes referred to as Dollartown. For a number of years before the turn of the century, the fabulous Dollars were Midland’s most prosperous family. Stanley Dollar was at the time of his death last week, head of the Dollar Steamship Line, president of the Globe Wireless Ltd. and president of the Robert Dollar Co., a holding company with interests in lumber, shipping, airlines, and communications fields. Born in Bracebridge in 1880, he lived for a brief time in Midland before being brought to the United States in 1882. W. T. Bath of Midland can remember the days when the Dollars held sway here, for he came to Midland around 1878. Stanley’s father Robert, he recalls, was a lumberman who worked as ‘walking boss’ for J. M. When the latter died and his wife went to California, Robert went to British Columbia to seek his fortune. There, on an inland lake in B.C., he started a steamboat service which quickly prospered because of the difficulty of other means of transportation. Robert sold out and moved to California, where he started a shipping business which was later to reach around the world. Stanley Dollar went to work in his father’s steamship office in 1898, became a vice-president and general manager in 1910. He established the Dollar Line’s around-the-world service in 1924 and in 1926 the Dollaradio- private communication system which later became Globe Wireless, a commercial agency. He became president in 1931. The line was later taken over as the American President Lines. He evidently retained an interest in boating, for Midland’s Mr. Bath recalls hearing that he took part in speedboat races at Detroit on more than one occasion. Mr. Bath can remember vividly the Dollar-times in Midland when King Street was a corduroy road, the area around the town’s new municipal building a swamp and most of the residential areas of modern times, good rabbit hunting grounds. “Old J.M. had limits up around the Moon River,” said Mr. Bath, “and Stanley’s father, Robert, used to lead teams carrying provisions up there from time to time.” During, the winter, he explained, the best method of supplying the men at Moon River was over the ice by horse and sleigh. Robert was familiar with the safest route and acted as a guide. Two teamsters who made the trip were Bob Hewson and Archie McDougall. “On one of those trips, said Mr. Bath, “they met strong winds and glare ice somewhere above Beausoleil.” The men sought shelter in the lee of a small island and turned the sleighs into a V to cut the wind. Fearful that the sleighs would be blown across the ice, Robert went some distance away and cut a hole in the ice; planning to get some water and freeze the runners to the surface. But he fell victim to the wild blasts, and was blown off his feet. He skidded and tumbled across the ice right back to Beausoleil Island where black and blue, he was found by some Indians. They took him back to Midland, where he wisely found someone else to go and guide the teamsters for the rest of the journey

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – October 1st to 7th, 1958

Click on photos to enlarge; 

It must be wonderful to be young and full of the pep and vitality displayed by these Elmvale District High School cheerleaders at the recent Elmvale Fair. Girls of the school defeated the boys in a marching competition. Judges said they kept their mind on their work better than the boys. 

There’s always plenty to interest the ladies in the flower section of the many fall fairs now in this area. Mrs. Frank Robertson was interested in the gladioli display at Elmvale’s 99th annual fair this year. 

Coaching boys athletics at MPDHS is the (sometimes) happy task of the men above, seen lining up the week’s program. With track and field out of the way, for the time being, football and basketball now come into full swing. Left to right are Emile Blouin, assistant track coach; Douglas Swales, head coach in charge of senior football; W. C. Setterington, athletic director; Bill Kennedy, in charge of the junior football team and Perry Rintoul, head track coach. 

 Midland Jaycees held their first fall meeting under a new executive last week. Seated are president George McLaughlin and first vice-president Peter Matts; standing left to right, second vice-president Bill Bennett, secretary Cliff Ornsby and treasurer Ben Westlaken. 

Natural gas officially came to Midland Wednesday afternoon when Mayor Charles Parker turned a valve in front of the new municipal building. Looking on are F. W. Hurst, comptroller for Consumers Gas Company; C. R. Brewer, assistant to the general manager of Consumers Gas; Ian Hope, manager, Georgian Bay area; Reeve W. H. Keller and Alderman H. J. Beauchamp of Midland. 

Inside the new Penetang Arena work on the actual building and installation of the artificial ice making machinery is moving forward. The front of the structure has been improved in appearance by a coat of white stucco over the entire front. Windows cut in the front wall on the mezzanine floor level alleviate the blank look of the large expanse. In the interior, one finds sleepers already in place awaiting the arrival of the miles of pipe which will be laid to provide ice. Gravel has been added to the top level of the sleepers and, when piping has been installed, it will be covered with a layer of gravel, and sand. Future plans call for installation of a concrete floor over the whole surface. 

Hey, what goes on here, asked Midland’s Dan Dubbin, as he surveyed crystallized rear window of his car. The window was perfectly normal when Mr. Dubbin went in to work at 1 p.m. It looked like this when he came out. Damage was believed to be caused by a flaw in the glass. 

The top winner in Elmvale 4-H Calf Club’s achievement day at Elmvale Fair Sept. 23 was Mae White, right. Mae won the grand champion showmanship award and her calf “Sally” won similar honours. Other girls are Myrna Bell, left, who placed third in showmanship, and Anne Robertson, who placed second. 

Long tie-ups for traffic westbound on Highway 12 could result at the junction of the new Trans-Canada Highway at Waubaushene on weekends next summer. At present, the westbound traffic must await an opening to cut across the southbound lane of the Trans-Canada. That could be a long wait in summer traffic. It might also mean some bad accidents unless motorists take special care. 

It’s football time again and Midland – Penetang District High School is hoping for a repeat of the fine season enjoyed by both senior and junior teams last year. Two senior stalwarts above are Bill Offord, lower photo, who will do the passing, and Paul McDonald, who will handle the kicking chores this season for Coach Doug Swales’ Club. The team opens the 1958 season in Barrie this afternoon.  

They start them young at the Elmvale Fair, judging by the size of these children taking part in the calf club competitions for public schools. Left to right are John Archer, 10, Betty Strath, 8, and Greta Ruth DeGorter, 10. Greta won first prize in this division. 

This float, by pupils of S. S. 10 Flos (Crossland) won second place in the division for one-room schools in the Elmvale school parade Sept. 23. Children are left to right, front row – Paul Whitton, Wendy Lyons, Diane Handy, Bonnie Archer, Dougie Archer; back row – John Wills, Richard Anderson (hidden by horse costume) and Alice Archer. 

Keeping right up to date, Waverley Public School featured a space rocket for its float in the school parade at Elmvale Fair Tuesday. “Spacemen” are Dennis Brown, left, and Deanne Leonard. 

  • The Midland Free Press headline of October 1, 1958; Modern Federal Building in Offing for Midland. This newspaper was informed that some time ago plans had been drafted for an addition to the existing Midland Post Office. However, it was learned that the steamship inspection service and the customs department now housed in the post office, desired more office space. Also under consideration was the fact that the Unemployment Insurance Commission offices on King Street north are in rented quarters. In view of these situations, it is understood federal officials felt a new building rather than an addition, would be required.
  • The County Herald headline of October 3, 1958; Tay Presses Town PUC, Wants Pressure in Mains. On the basis of advice it has received, from the township solicitor, Tay Township council feels Midland Public Utilities Commission is not “living up fully to the terms of its agreement to provide water to the township.” Tay council has instructed Clerk Ralph Dalton to write to P U C officials, requesting that the Midland commission take steps to install necessary pumps and any other installations required to provide adequate pressure in water mains west of Midland. Tay contends that because of the lack of pressure in the high school area, the Midland commission is not “living up” to this section of the agreement, the Tay clerk said. Council feels that this section means Midland has agreed to supply water at a pressure, excluding fire protection, which will provide normal operation of toilets and other services in that area, Mr. Dalton said. Council cited the high school as an example where water pressure is inadequate for toilet facilities. A pressure pump installed in the high school to overcome this problem was not functioning properly and had been a bill of expense because of sludge in the mains, it was stated.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Leo Edgar, Midland, announce the engagement of their only daughter Grace Annette, to Mr. Miles Blackhurst, son of Dr. and Mrs. A. O. Blackhurst of Tillsonburg, Ontario. Wedding to take place in St. Margaret’s Rectory, October 25.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Coldwater council set its 1948 tax rate at 47 mills, three mills higher than the rate for the previous year. * * * Hillsdale United Church Women’s Auxiliary celebrated its 60th anniversary. Among those attending the celebration was Mrs. M. Howarth, who had been a member of the W.A. since 1888. * * * Barrie athletes, both boys and girls, won the major honors at the 28th inter-collegiate track and field at the Ontario Athletic Training Camp on Lake Couchiching, The Barrie boys retained the Tudhope cup which they had won in 1947,  and the girls won the H. J. Thompson trophy. * * * Midland firemen had to leave their annual benefit dance at Parkside to fight a fire which broke out in a double home at Bay and Fourth Streets. * *  * Midland Public Utilities Commissioner Gordon Morris submitted a notice of motion at the PUC’s regular meeting, calling for the installation of water meters on all town services. The meter system was to be implemented as soon as possible after Jan. 1, 1949. * * * Grain boat arrivals at Midland and Port McNicoll elevators were the heaviest in months; eight ships arrived at the two ports during a weekend.  * * * Clarence Moore of Victoria Harbour was elected president of East Simcoe Teachers’ lnstitute, at the annual meeting of the association in Coldwater. * * * Rev. A. B. Cathcart of St. Mark’s Anglican Church was elected president of Midland and District Ministerial Association.
  • Natural gas was officially turned on in the town of Penetang during a noon-hour ceremony at Memorial Park, Wednesday. With officials of Consumers’ Gas Co., and the town of Penetang looking on, Mayor A. B. Thompson was accorded the privilege of lighting a huge jet symbolizing the arrival of the new fuel in the municipality.
  • Midland and Victoria Harbour relatives are congratulating Harry Lidstone of Bracebridge, winner of the largest award yet given in a province-wide Hydro employee suggestion plan. The 39-year-old line foreman with the Bracebridge Rural Operating Area of Ontario Hydro was presented with a $1,500 cheque recently. His invention of certain tools enabling “hotline work” will save Ontario Hydro upwards $25,000. The maximum award under the suggestion plan is normally $1,000. A Hydro spokesman said municipalities all over Ontario will be able to avail themselves of the simple and inexpensive Lidstone technique for use on their own distribution lines. Eventually, it is expected, the idea will be taken up by electrical utilities around the world.
  • A proposal that there be women school inspectors raised a few eyebrows at the convention of District 20, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association September 19 at Martyrs’ Shrine.
  • One of Canada’s leading herbalists E. Jefferis died Sept. I9 at St. Andrews Hospital following a coronary thrombosis. He was 91. Jefferis is best known in the Waubaushene area where he resided for many years and where one of his sons, Roy, still lives. He was born at Farnham England, March 7, 1867, and was the oldest of eight children of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Jefferis. He was around seven years old when his parents came to Canada. Settling first in Stratford, a short time later they moved to Orillia Township where he grew up. Later Mr. Jefferis was engaged in the lumber business at Gravenhurst, then at Rousseau Falls. While at Rousseau Falls he developed stomach trouble and found a prescription of an old Indian herbalist from Seattle which cured him as well as other people. The results were so favourable he decided to go into the business of producing herbal medicines. In the 50 years that followed, he became one of Canada’s leading authorities on the subject. Mr. Jefferis went to Waubaushene in I 895. Earlier in 1891 he married Sarah Anne McPeake of Dalrymple. They had six children, five of whom are living. The Jefferis’ had a general store on Pine Street in Waubaushene which Mrs. Jefferis ran while her husband looked after his herbal medicine business. When the store burnt in 1916, the Jefferis’ moved to Toronto. Mr. Jefferis continued to operate his business in Toronto for the next 28 years. It was there that the couple marked their golden anniversary Jan. 14, 1941. Three years later they retired and returned to Waubaushene where Mrs. Jefferis died in 1945. Mr. Jefferis was also well known throughout Muskoka and North Simcoe as the owner of some of the best driving teams or his day. They won many honors at fairs throughout the area.
  • FOR RENT, Service Station and 5 Car Garage, $10 per week. B.A. at Apto, Highway 27, North.

Another one from the old files. No wonder there were so many disastrous maritime tragedies. This was before the lessons of Titanic.

 Georgian Bay passenger steamers were in their heyday at the turn of the century, and the steel propellor Majestic, flagship of the Great Northern Transit Co. (the “White Line”) was among the most select. She was built in 1895 by the Collingwood Dry Dock Company with a length of 209 feet, a width of 35 and a depth of 12.6 feet, gross tons 1,578, two masts and one stack. Her interior decorations were in elegant “Victoria and Albert” style. Her hull was originally painted white (hence the name “White Line”) cabins white, stack white with black top. In 1899 the Great Northern Transit Co. and the rival North Shore Navigation Co. (“Black Line”) and the Beatty Line of Sarnia were merged to form the Northern Navigation Co. As a member of the new fleet, the Majestic had her hull painted black as far as the main deck rail. Her cabins remained white. Her stack was painted red, with a black top over narrow white bands. As a member of the Northern Navigation fleet, she operated first on the Sarnia, Lakehead, and Duluth run. When newer ships entered the fleet she sailed in the Georgian Bay-Mackinac service. This fine old timer was destroyed by fire while in winter quarter at Point Edward Dec. 15, 1915. Her burning hulk drifted against the Saronic (ex-United Empire) and set her afire top. The latter was rebuilt as a barge, but the Majestic was a total loss. The Majestic arrived at Midland Dominion Day, either 1902 or 1903, with 2,200 passengers, the most dangerous load ever carried by a steamer on Georgian Bay. The occasion was a union Sunday School excursion from Collingwood. Skies were sunny and it proved to be a never-forgotten day for the children and their parents and teachers. At that time the Majestic still retained-her all-white paint scheme except for the black main wale streak.  (any of a number of strakes usually of extra thick and strong planks in the sides of a wooden ship usually used in plural)