Author Talk with Orland French On April 7th

Contact: Nahanni Born

Huronia Museum

Phone 705) 526-2844

549 Little Lake Park Rd

Midland ON L4R 4P4

Huronia Museum

Press Release

Midland ON, Monday, March 20, 2017:

Author Orland French, author of Letters to Vimy, to visit Huronia Musuem and North Simcoe on Vimy Ridge weekend  for mini book tour.

Huronia Museum invites the community for an evening with author, Orland French, discussing his work and the correspondence that inspired this book.  Inspired by real letters from his uncle who died at Vimy Ridge, author Orland French writes back to him 100 years later to explain how Canada and the world have evolved.  Letters to Vimy will be available at the museum on this evening for purchase and signing.

Other opportunities to meet the author on this weekend include: Saturday, April 8 1-3 pm   AUTHOR’S SIGNING at Georgian Bay Books, 247 King Street, Midland & Sunday, April 9 (Vimy Ridge Day) 11 am at the Waverley United Church

About the author:  Orland French was born in Midland and raised in Waverley, Ontario, a couple of kilometres from the farm where his Uncle Oscar was raised. He attended Midland-Penetanguishene District High School and graduated in 1962.

Orland graduated from the journalism program at Ryerson University (then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute) in 1965. He followed a journalism career, working in the newsrooms of The Kingston Whig-Standard and the Ottawa Citizen. He was a parliamentary correspondent for The Citizen and wrote a regular (some would say highly irregular) column on provincial and national politics in The Globe and Mail.  Later, he taught journalism at Loyalist College in Belleville, Ontario, and developed an interest in local history. He  served as president of the Hastings County Historical Society and trustee on the board of Old Hay Bay Church near Napanee, a National Heritage site.  This interest led to producing history and geology books on the counties of Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington, and Hastings.  For his work as a volunteer in history-related projects, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012 and the Governor-General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2013.

This event takes place at Huronia Museum, 549 Little Lake Park Road, Midland Ontario, on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at 7 pm.  Doors open at 6.30.  There is no charge for this event and light refreshments will be served.   For more information, please contact the museum at 705-526-2844

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 16th to 23rd 1957

Click on photos to enlarge  Wet heavy snow this week brought grumbles from drivers but was great for making snow sculptures. Patricia Puetz, 5, and her sister Susan, 3, ride the giant lion in their yard at 242 Sixth Street Midland. Daughters of Mr. & Mrs. Nelson Puetz.

  The mark on “Red Chiefs” forehead symbolizes all young colts, to their race horse owners. Will he be a winner or just a feed burner, only time will tell. His owner Roy Lawson of Midland hopes this big rangy sorrel three-year-old will more than pay his share of the keep.

  A graduate of a Barrie modelling school, Josie Tersigni will return to her home town to act as fashion commentator for Penetang Parent – Teachers Association fashion show.

  March 14th was the last day to renew your licence plates, even so, this motorist paused on his way up the steps, no doubt thinking of something else he could be doing with the money.

 Isolette incubator acquired by Penetang General Hospital at a cost of nearly $1,000, gives babies more than a fighting chance. Plastic top allows child to be seen from any angle, an alarm goes off if the temperature is too high, an analyzer checks oxygen piped in from outside and “open and close” armholes permit nurse Dorothy Duncan to move the baby without exposing it to outside air. Weighing can be accomplished without removing the child from the incubator.

  With another winter rapidly drawing to a close, Midland Lions Club’s skating revue will just about wind up activities at Arena Gardens for this season. The carnival has improved every year and the Lions are planning on this one being no exception. Getting in a spot of practice above are Mary Louise Parker, left, and Linda Revard.

 The body of Gordon Williams was to be transported to the Native cemetery near Wa-Wa-Taysee from Penetang by Albert Lepage. Gordon was killed in an accident at the Century Coal Dock in Midland Saturday. After several attempts the trip had to be postponed due to sticky snow, poor visibility and open water conditions.

 The domestic science course is popular at the new Midland Penetang District High School. Mrs. William Bartlett watches students Barbara Johnstone and Eva Koenig create an apple pie.

  Raising money for the world service work of the YMCA is one of the projects of Midland’s Cataracts Gra-Y Club. Seen sorting the candy they are selling are Ken Archer, Gerald Wotherspoon, Tom Davis and John Carpenter.

  Members of the Midland Lions Figure Skating Club prepare for their annual carnival to be held at the Midland Arena Gardens April 5-6. Suzanne McFarlane, Angela Magnus and Barbara Spence.

  There is work for the women too in the harness racing game during the off season. Mrs. Keith Waples is seen doing a repair on her noted racing husband’s “silks”, little Gordon aged one seems more interested in the button on daddy’s hat. Mrs. Waples, the former Eileen Devitt of Orr Lake and the other three children, Barbara 8, Donna 5, and Karen 3, accompany Keith to the Montreal tracks, where they live in a 41 foot trailer home.

Keith’s best day on the track came last June in Montreal. There, one Saturday night, he drove eight straight winners at Blue Bonnets. Next day at Richelieu he also came up with a winner in the first race. That mark of nine straight wins is a world’s record, at least for the big tracks where they have pari-mutuel betting.  

  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK *** March, 1947, in North Simcoe as recorded in the pages of the Free Press Herald, will go down in history as one of the most contrary months in the history of the district. Although the month came in and went out like a lamb, the weeks between were just the opposite. Not one seven day period from the first to the last week passed by without at least one severe storm, and snow was piled to the rooftops. *** Choirs of all three Penetang Protestant churches combined to present a Cantata, “The King of Glory”. * * * A $10,000 blaze damaged a two-storey brick building on the grounds of the Ontario Hospital at Penetang. The structure was used chiefly as a work shop with a bake shop in one end. *** A pontifical blessing from Vatican City was awarded to W. W. Jury for his extensive research in Huronia and in particular his work at St. Ignace II. The scroll bore a picture of Pope Pius and the Vatican seal. Mr. Jury was one of the few Protestants in Ontario to be so honored. *** The district was hit by the winter’s worst gale, with winds to 70 miles per hour lashing the area. Freight traffic was suspended, buses from Toronto did not reach Midland and Owen Sound was isolated. The highway to Barrie was completely blocked between Waverley and Elmvale. *** Shirley Player, Elmvale, now Mrs. Jim Gleadall of Coldwater, was voted head girl at Elmvale High School. (Shirley is a good friend, she is in good health, still driving, sits on the board of the Coldwater Mill, still lives in North River and has an encyclopedic knowledge of Elmvale and Coldwater.)
  • CSL aft-end crews were called to return to their ships today. Paterson Line freighters at the Simcoe Elevator already have steam up.
  • Jane Lippert, the artist who executed the mural in the main hall of Midland – Penetang District High School, recently completed another for the new Juvenile and Family Court building of Metropolitan Toronto. Her work, depicting happy family life, is one of the features of the ultra-modern, $1,300,000 building. Located at 311 Jarvis Street, the building was opened Monday. (Will the mural at MSS be saved, it has been the backdrop for high school life in Midland for over 60 years?)
  • An insight into operations of Midland parks was given to Midland Kiwanis Club at its meeting March 11. Chief speaker was Parks Commission Chairman W. J. Murray. Parks Chairman Murray explained that the major source of revenue for the parks came from the 90 cabins and 12 cottages, amounting to more than $20,000 last year. However, he pointed out that when all expenditures for labor and maintenance costs are met, that a little over $7,000 profit remains from this venture. He explained that the commission had adopted a policy of replacing its sub-standard cabin accommodation with modern cottages, comprised of two bedrooms, kitchen, living room and bathroom equipped with a shower. He said the demand for these cottages was increasing. All were booked up for this year. Mr. Murray revealed that the maintenance of the public park and Town Park absorbed most of the profit derived from the  tourist camp section. He spoke of commission plans to extend the beach area, of the excellent bass fishing in the lake and of the pleasure that district citizens derive winter and summer.
  • OBITUARIES *** W. J . STEGGLES A well-known Midland resident William James Steggles died March 8 in Penetang General Hospital following a coronary thrombosis. He was in his 78th year. Funeral service was held March 11 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with interment in the Necropolis, Toronto, the following day. Mr. Steggles was born in Toronto, July 8, 1879, and received his education there and in Allandale. He married the former Minnie E. Drury in Barrie. She was a cousin of E. C. Drury, former Ontario premier. The couple moved to Midland in 1907 and took up residence in the house now owned by Clarke Edwards. A year later they moved to 347 King Street where they spent the rest of their lives. A member of the Presbyterian Church, Mr. Steggles was a life member of Caledonian Lodge No. 249 and was a charter member of the Toronto Railway Club. He was fond of curling and served as secretary treasurer of the Midland Curling Club for seven years. He served on the Park Commission for many years and was fond of carpentry.*** J . A. BALDWIN A well-known sports figure of former years in Midland, John Ansley Baldwin died March 11 in St. Andrews Hospital, from a cerebral hemorrhage. He had been ill about a week. Funeral service  was held March 14 at Nicholl’s funeral home with interment in Lakeview Cemetery. Rev. J. Leonard Self officiated. Pallbearers were Charles Flowers, James Clarkson, Sam Bell, Cliff Laughlin, J. J. Robins and Linwood Magee. Joseph Dunlop was a non-active bearer. Mr. Baldwin was born in Victoria Harbour in 1881 and was educated at Manley Street School in Midland. In 1914 he married the former Margaret Moody in Midland. He was 75. While in Midland, he was chief engineer at Tiffin elevator. He had also worked as a contractor and as engineer at Proctor and Gamble, from which firm he retired.*** MRS. J. L. CRAIGHEAD A resident of the Wyebridge-Midland area all her life, Mrs. John L. Craighead died March 7 in St. Andrew’s hospital in her 88th year. Funeral service was held March 9 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with interment in Lakeview Cemetery. Rev. W. R. Auld officiated. Pallbearers were Ernest Robins, Charles  Hounsome, Cecil Fagan, Charles Robins, Lorne Carruthers, and James Haughton. Mrs. Craighead, the former Mary Esther Robins, was born in Wyebridge, March 28, 1869. In 1900 she married John L. Craighead at her home in Wyebridge. She spent all her life before her marriage, except for one year in Ingersoll, in Wyebridge, and her married life in Midland, except for three years in Wyebridge. A member of the United Church, she was predeceased by her husband in 1942. *** MRS. J. E. STEWART Funeral service was held March 4 for Mrs. Joseph E. Stewart who died March 1 in St. Andrew’s Hospital. She was 68. Service was held at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with interment in Lakeview Cemetery. Rev. C. V. Freeman officiated. Pallbearers were nephews Ivan Burke, George Parker, Mervin Parker, Boyd Beacock, William Colville, Jr., and Clarence Leonard. Mrs. Stewart, the former Margaret Colville, was born May 11, 1889, in Tiny Township and was educated at Wyevale, In September, 1913, she married Joseph E. Stewart in Midland.
  • A little Midland girl who must have had a terrifying experience Saturday morning has apparently suffered no bad after effects. She is Susan Lalonde, 7-year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Lalonde, who reside in the veterans’ development at the west end of Yonge Street. Susan apparently went for a walk through the fields across Yonge Street from her home, accompanied by her dog. In some manner she fell into either a small pond or bog near the west end of Little Lake, possibly through some rotting ice. Susan’s cries were eventually heard by Mrs. Reg Gibson, who lives in the area. Investigating, Mrs. Gibson found Susan, minus shoes and rubbers, wet from head to foot and covered with mud, crawling along on her hands and knees.
  • All dogs must be kept tied every Monday from the hours of 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. in the Village of Victoria Harbour and female dogs must be kept tied at all times. VILLAGE COUNCIL (we would appreciate knowing why Mondays only, garbage day maybe?)
  • Monday, Mr. Lambert D’Aoust brought into this newspaper office a medal struck by the city of New-York to commemorate the anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The year the medal was struck has been obliterated by time, but the month “October” still remains legible. Badly corroded, the medal is two and one-quarter inches in diameter and about three-sixteenths of an inch thick. Mr. D’Aoust said he found it while working a field on his farm last fall. He said the field had been pastureland for at least 100 years. Lying beside the medal, as it was turned over by the plow was an equally corroded brass rifle butt plate, bearing the date 1837.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 8th to 15th 1957

Click on photos to enlarge  Winners of the Midland Shrine Club trophy this year as the best team in the Midland Little Hockey league’s junior OHA section were the Barrie Flyers. Front row; Ronnie Cowdy, Richard Boast, Chester Graham (captain), Bill Mackie. Back row; Bill Lahey, Howard Henderson (coach), Paul Henderson, Alan Mostyn, John Sutton, Dave Brooks, John Pettersen, Rev. Len Self (league director).

  The potato section of the annual North Simcoe Seed Fair in Elmvale Friday attracted a lot of attention. Viewing a prize winning sample of seed potatoes are Prof. P. A. Wright, left, of the department of agricultural economics, OAC, and president of the North Simcoe Soil and Crop Improvement Association, Joseph Dyer.

  Captain of the Hershey Bears, Gary French on the left, congratulates Paul Devillers, after Paul’s Cleveland Barons had won the AHL section of the Midland LHL, at Arena Gardens. Barons are a Penetang team while the Bears are made up of Midland boys.

  Mrs. Eva Kanalosy and her son Attila are refugees from Hungary and are staying with Midland restaurant owner Stephen Szabo (The Globe) and his wife. They have no word of Mr. Kanalosy, a lawyer who was with the freedom fighters during the revolution.  In a few weeks, Mr. Szabo plans to take them to Toronto. There, he hopes, he can find them a home with a Hungarian family, and perhaps a job for Mrs. Kanalosy. “She’ll have a hard time to start,” says Mr. Szabo, who spent more than a year picking sugar-beets near Winnipeg when he arrived some years ago. “But she will see a kind of freedom here she didn’t know before.”

  A raw wind and billowing smoke gave firemen a tough time when fire early Monday morning nearly gutted the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Proulx at 19 Olive Street. Only two charred suitcases were saved from the fire, which caused nearly $2,000 damage. Fireman W. E. Allsopp, at right, is entering the back of the house, where the blaze started.

  Murray Waples holds trotter Heather C. Scott while brother Keith examines a healing foot. Heather, a five year old black mare, is owned by Archie Cumming of Atwood Ontario and is one of 24 horses in the Waples’ barn.

Murray and Keith Waples with a pair of trotters.

 Holding certificates for Grade 1 boys solo at the Midland Music Festival Wednesday are; David Smith, second place; Tom Sweeting, first place; John Abbott and Brian Thompson who tied for third. The boys all sang “When I Am Big”.


  • Air conditioners recently installed in the major and minor operating rooms of Penetang General Hospital have resulted in a marked improvement, medical advisor Dr. Roland Lauzon told members of the board at their meeting Wednesday night. Cost of the equipment, $1,250, was met with donations by the Hospital Auxiliary, Penetang Legion, Elmvale Lions Club and the parish of St. Patrick’s. In the photo above Mrs. W. Binkley of the Penetang Hospital Auxiliary is seen presenting a cheque worth $650.00 to hospital board chairman Jerome Gignac.
  • March 15th, four different people in Midland have reported seeing a robin. [I wonder if it was the same robin]
  • [The life stories of our ancestors always fascinate me, so we include this one in its entirety from the March 15th 1957 County Herald] — For half a century one of Canada’s leading herbalists, E. G. Jefferis marked his 90th birthday in Stewart’s nursing home, Penetang.  Mr. Jefferis is best known in the Waubaushene area, where he resided for many years and  where one of his sons, Edwin, still lives. Edwin George Jefferis was born at Farnham, Eng., March 7, 1867. He was the oldest of eight children of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Jefferis. He was only a lad of around seven when his parents came to Canada, settling first in Stratford. A short time later they moved to North Orillia Township, where young Edwin grew up. Later, Mr. Jefferis became engaged in the lumber business, first at Gravenhurst and later at Rosseau Falls. It was while he was serving as foreman for a lumber company at Rosseau that fate directed his footsteps into the herbalist business. “I developed stomach trouble so bad that I just couldn’t keep any food in my stomach,” Mr. Jefferis recalled. “One day an edger at the mill gave me a prescription from an old Indian herbalist in Seattle. It cured me completely.” There were other people in Rosseau afflicted with the same troubles and Mr. Jefferis passed along his new knowledge. The results were so good he eventually 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, and his medicines were in large demand from coast to coast and in other lands. Mr. Jefferis came to Waubaushene in 1895. Earlier, in 1891, he had married the former Sarah Ann McPeake of Dalrymple, a hamlet near Brechin. They had six children, of whom five are still living. Besides Edwin in Waubaushene, there are Mrs. Jack McKerrow (Pearl) of Orillia; Mrs. E. P. Day (Stella), Mrs. William Finlayson (Mildred) and Keith, all of Toronto. The Jefferis’ had a general  store on Pine Street in  Waubaushene, which Mrs. Jefferis ran while her husband looked after his rapidly expanding herbal medicine business. The store burned in 1916, after which the Jefferis’ moved to Toronto. Mr. Jefferis continued to operate his business in Toronto for the ensuing 28 years. It was there, too, that the couple marked their golden wedding, Jan. 14, 1941. Three years later they retired from business and returned to Waubaushene, where Mrs. Jefferis died in 1945. Mr. Jefferis still has two brothers living, one in Edmonton and the other in Vancouver, and also a sister in the latter city. In addition to his fame as a herbalist, Mr. Jefferis was also well known throughout Muskoka and North Simcoe as the owner of some of the best driving teams of his day. They won many honors at fairs throughout the area. “I used to have some great road races with the late Dr. Jim Harvie of Coldwater,” Mr. Jefferis recalled. In his busier days, Mr. Jefferis used to produce some 40 different types of medicine, for both animals and humans. Under the name of E. G. Jefferis, herbalist, he produced tonics, children’s medicine (with emphasis on chronic bronchitis and allied ailments), liniments and a variety of horse conditioning powder. After 90 years, Mr. Jefferis still looks hale and hearty. His only drawback is a touch of arthritis in his hip that makes it difficult for him to walk as well as he would wish. Mr. Jefferis is also one of the original members of the Gospel Hall established in Waubaushene  some thirty years ago.
  • Midland council passes new taxi cab bylaw. The police chief was given supervision over all taxi services in town, both owners and drivers must purchase a licence, they will not be given to anyone with a criminal record or alcohol related offense and they will be revoked if offenses occur, cabs must display an illuminated sign. Women are not allowed to drive between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Canadian Name Plate pays out $3,500.00 in profit sharing to its employees bringing the total amount to $40,000.00 since the plan began 18 months ago, the equivalent of seven extra weeks pay.
  • At recent meetings of the Midland Public Schools Board, principals have complained of dogs running at large in the school yards. Regent School principal M. O. Lewis told trustees Friday night he had noticed twenty-two dogs in the schoolyard at one time and telephoned the police.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK, 1932 — One horse of a team of valuable horses drowned when the ice collapsed during ice-cutting operations in Port McNicoll Bay. With the help of rope and chains and other horses, the other horse was saved. The team was owned by Cecil Parker of Tay Township. * * * A third robbery, the second within two months, occurred at the Brewers’ warehouse in Penetang. * * * Midland, always noted as a sports town, 25 years ago had, besides its hockey and ball teams, several prominent amateur  boxers and a lacrosse team. *** Following cancellation of several hockey games because of warm weather, 600 ratepayers of Midland signed a petition to install artificial ice in the curling rink and new Midland arena. * * * A leading fashion stylist predicted shades of blue, brown and red “powerful” for spring, 1932. The broad shouldered military look was favored in dresses and coats, and waistlines were high. * * * Penetang council decided not to force Penetang milk  dealers to pasteurize milk, but a stringent milk bylaw was passed to ensure a standard purity of milk. * * * Following several days of mild spring-like weather North Simcoe was hit by the first blizzard of the winter. It came one year to the day after the severe blizzard of the winter of 1931. The department of highways snowplow made its first run of the winter on the district highway.