Huronia Museum will be closing for Christmas at 5:00 PM on Friday, December 21st and will re-open at 9:00 AM on Thursday, December 27th.

We will also be closing for New Year’s at 5:00 PM on Friday, December 28th and re-opening and resuming our normal hours at 9:00 on Wednesday, January 2nd.

Happy Holidays!

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – January 8th to 15th, 1959

Click on Photos to Enlarge

“Holding the fort” in front of Mrs. D. Evans’ home at 290 Queen Street, Midland, are George Hutchinson, left, and Bill Black. The two lads, along with Don Evans and Sid Hutchinson, built the eight-foot-high snow fort during the Christmas holidays. (Tanner apartments in the background.)

Cutting their golden wedding anniversary cake are Mr. and Mrs. Albert Ovell of 242 William Street, Midland. In 1886 Mr. Ovell emigrated to Canada on his own at 9 years of age. In 1907 he moved to Midland and worked constructing the Tiffin elevator, then the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll, before settling down to a permanent job at the Aberdeen. His wife is the former Emily Jane Jennett from Medonte. 

These men clearing snow from the deck of a freighter in front of the Town House elevator in Midland on Monday morning needed no urging to keep the shovels moving. The 10-degree below zero temperature and a brisk north wind whipping in across the bay kept everybody on the move. 

Cold, who’s cold says Midland florist Mac Perrin as he basks in 67-degree temperature behind a cheery bank of white and yellow mums. Mac joined the other grumblers when he had to go a few doors up the street for his new 1959 licence plates. There was a 77-degree difference in temperature between inside and outside the greenhouse even at 9 a.m. Monday, one of the coldest days this winter. 

Big smiles light up the faces of Midland’s 1959 council as they posed for the cameraman following inaugural ceremonies Monday. Left to right are, seated, William Hack, clerk-treasurer, and Mayor Charles Stevenson; standing, Aldermen James Mackie and William Orr, Reeve W. H. Keller, Alderman Clint Smith, Deputy-reeve Herb J. Beauchamp, and Alderman Douglas Haig.

The Imperial Oil trophy was the goal of 20 rinks which took part in a one-day spiel at the Midland Curling Club Saturday. Lloyd Wilcox’s Midland rink proved the eventual winners in a photo finish over Wilf Parker’s Toronto High Park rink. Winning rink, seen in the top photo, was left to right, Graydon Rodgers, Lloyd Wilcox, Lawrence Wilcox, and “Woody” McConnell. Behind them are Joe Sibbald, Jack Russell, Bill Adams, and Wilf Parker. In the lower photo, Murray Yorke, Jack Duggan, Armand Robillard (skip) and Les Barber also came close and did win first prize in the 9 o’clock draw.  (My dad, Les Barber, would be forty years old in August of 1959. His rink was the last to win the IOL trophy and it sat in our basement for years before I donated it to the Huronia Museum. It has since been loaned by the museum to theMidland Curing Club for public display.)

When it comes to “taps,” these girls are tops, as witnessed by their certificates from the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association. The girls received their primary certificates following recent examinations in Toronto. Seen with their instructor, Mrs. Bob Stanway, they are left to right, Laurie Lee Stanway, Jane Ladouceur, Joyce Walker, Mrs. Stanway, Paulette Dewell and Joanne Adams. Nancy Beteau, now living in Detroit, also received her certificate. (Friend Nancy Beteau moved back from Detroit and had a very successful 35-year career with the CIBC in downtown Toronto. Semi-retired she moved back to Midland and worked at our CIBC branch. Nancy died May 8th, 2018 at GBGH.) 

Avid readers of the Free Press Herald, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hanes marked their 58th wedding anniversary at their home, 14 Quebec Street, Midland, Friday. Both were born in and have lived all their lives within the boundaries of Tay Township. 

She was built in 1889 at Bay City as the single screw wooden bulk freighter John Mitchell (US 76792) by F. W. Wheeler for Gratwick and others of Buffalo. Her length was 283 feet, width 41 feet, depth 24 feet and gross tons 1,864. In 1902 she was sold to Capt. John Mitchell  (Mitchell and Company organized in 1891) and was later renamed, Major. She rode through the Great storm of November 1913, while crossing Lake Superior and on Nov. 13 was found thirty miles northwest of Whitefish Point in a sinking condition. The Tomlinson freighter George G. Barnum (ex Socapa and presently the Cliffs’ Hennepin) removed the crew and towed the Major to Sault Ste. Marie. She was abandoned to the underwriters, who sold her to the Great Lakes Transportation Co. of Midland (the Playfair Fleet) by whom she was repaired and put back into service. For the ensuing seven years, she carried crushed quartzite in bulk from the quarry three miles west of Killarney to the Electro Metals plant at Welland. In 1920 the Georgian Bay Wrecking Co. of Midland bought the Major and converted her into a floating dry-dock by cutting her in two.  A watertight gate with sluice valves to admit water was built. The water was removed by pumps after a vessel had entered. After a few years in this service, a fire of unknown origin completely destroyed the floating wooden dry-dock. 

  • County Herald headline of January 9, 1959; 12 – 20 Percent Boost in Yule Trade Reported. Most Midland retailers managed to hold their own in retail sales in 1958 despite expectations of a slight drop, a survey revealed this week. Some found sales higher than last year. Lorne Craig, manager of Walker Stores said Christmas sales were “a little better than 20 percent higher” than in 1957. He felt the increase was due to a better stock and more variety. “It was a bang-up December,” said Mr. Graig, “I’ve never seen it so busy.” “The January sales are good as well,” he added. Mrs. E. Deakos of the Eleithia Shoppe also said that sales were up from last year.
  • Free Press Herald headline of January 14, 1959; Ask County to Halt Plans to Dispose of Buildings. Don’t dispose of the present Simcoe County buildings at Barrie until we are sure whether it may not be best to split the county in two. And, in any event, don’t just move the county seat five miles out of Barrie. This is the advice of a resolution passed unanimously Monday by Tay Township council at its inaugural meeting at Victoria Harbour. Councillors pointed out that the county might well sustain a substantial loss if the present county buildings were put on the block simply because Barrie was leaving the county.
  • “I have no official word yet of the deadline for obtaining 1959 licences,” said Alex MacIntosh, Midland’s issuer of automobile licences, Wednesday. “The only date I know is what appeared in the papers and that was March 18,” added Mr. MacIntosh, who noted that the sale of licences “had not been very brisk yet but it picks up a bit on the weekends”. Ontario plates this year are white letters and figures on a blue background. Licence numbers for Midland this year start with H-84401 stated Mr. MacIntosh.
  • Speaking of activities at the new Penetang Community Centre, Manager Don Shave said it is a busy place seven days a week. Figure skating classes have become so large that three two-hour periods are needed each week. Classes are being held Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons from 4.30 to 6.30, he said. Ice Skating has been drawing good crowds, according to Mr. Shave, who said he is pleased with the attendance. Curlers now have interclub competitions underway. Ladies are getting into the game, and a mixed spiel was held this week. Several rinks are expected from Orillia next Wednesday, to test the strength of Penetang curlers.
  • Unemployment in this area as of Dec. 31 was about 10 percent higher than the same period in 1957, Harold Humphries, manager of the National Employment Service office, Midland, told this newspaper yesterday. He said the level of unemployment in this district was about the same as the national average. Mr. Humphries said that on Dec. 31, 1958, his office had 1,442 males and 229 females registered for work. On Dec. 20, 1957, there were 1,191 males and 160 females registered. Drawing unemployment insurance benefits at the present time are 1,379 men and 217 women. He said the Midland office serves Penetang, Midland, Tiny, Tay, Baxter and Gibson Township. Of the total jobless, 350 were sailors or involved in the shipping trade, approximately 444 were construction workers and 125 were freight handlers at Port McNicoll.
  • Arnold Van Pypen REALTOR Port McNicoll— 212 Midland Ave. — LA. 6-6154 – FOR SALE  – 317 Hugel Ave., Midland, — $15,000.00 or best offer—Solid brick 2 storey home, 16 rooms. Size lot 115 X 100 ft. Clean throughout. New Gas furnace, 3 bathrooms, excellent for 5 apartments.    This link,    the dollar house is from the Midland Heritage Inventory & Register, the best site for information on Midland’s historic buildings.   file:///C:/Users/tom62/Desktop/Heritage%20Inventory%20and%20Register.pdf   
  • Port McNicoll News – W. J. Elliott, of HMCS Algonquin, Halifax, is spending 10 days leave at his home. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Parliament, Woodstock, and Bill Parliament, North Bay, spent the weekend with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. Parliament. Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Parliament, North Bay, spent Saturday and Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. Roy Elliott. Helen Elliott returned home with them after spending a week in North Bay. Helen Hrizo, Toronto, visited her parents, Mr. and Mrs. M. Hrizo during the holiday. Weekend visitors of Mr. and Mrs. J. Lever were Mr. and Mr. L. G. Crooke and Karen, and Mr. and Mrs. M. Crooke and family, Toronto. John Valcheff, Toronto, visited his mother, Mrs. Helen Valcheff, recently. Holiday guests of Mr. and Mrs. A. Van-Pypen were Mr. and Mrs. A. Brewer and Mr. and Mrs. B. Currel, Toronto, and Mr. and Mrs. B. Zuidema, Midland. Mr. and Mrs. Jock McCormick and Jane, Owen Sound, spent the New Year’s holiday with Mr. and Mrs. B. Adam. Sandra Watson and Gary Newton, Toronto, spent the weekend with the latter’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Newton. Mrs. Woloski is visiting her two daughters in Toronto, Mrs. T. Terry, and Mrs. E. Lemieux. Mr. and Mrs. C. Tompkinson and Linda visited in Hamilton during the holiday season. David Saundercook, Toronto, spent the weekend at his home. Mr. and Mrs. Leon Todd and Mrs. Gertrude Brown, Victoria Harbour, were Christmas guests of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Todd and family. The Lewis Todd family spent New Year’s Day in Victoria Harbour with Mr. and Mrs. Leon Todd. Terry Karen and Michael Dault have returned to Owen Sound after spending two weeks with their uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. John Reedy. Mr. and Mrs. A. Worth spent five days last week with Mr. and Mrs. Art Ryan and family in Montreal. David Lumsden left last Friday to spend the weekend in New York City. He was one of a group of more than 200 Toronto newspaper carrier boys who earned the trip by obtaining necessary points through, new customers. Mr. and Mrs. Neil McArthur and family visited in Port Credit during the Christmas weekend. Margo remained in Port Credit to visit friends, returning to her home last Sunday. Bernice Frederick, Toronto, spent the weekend with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Frederick. Guests of Mr. and Mrs. L. Todd Saturday were Mr. and Mrs. Albert Atkinson, Midland. Lawrence Todd spent the weekend in Sudbury.
  • YMCA News Review by George Le Mesurier – Well, at last, all is back to normal at the ‘Y’ as our younger members have returned to school. Here are the winners of the last two weeks of special Christmas activity—door prize winners were Ruth McQuirter, Wayne Holden and J. Delaney, table tennis winners were F. Hacker, R. Jeannette, R. Lemieux, J. Delaney, E. Stainton, A. Delaney, and K. Griesbach. Floor Hockey winners were J. Roger, S. Heels, K. Griesback, A. Delaney, L. Duggan, E. Rutherford, S. Beatty, E. Stainter, P. Henderson, C. Hamer, F. Hacker, and W. Holden. Winners in the special checker game contest were W. Holden, B. Merkley, R. Lemieux, T. Lethbridge, E. Rutherford, and Darlene Rogers. The winning team in floor soccer was composed of T. Fisher, B. Shaken, G. Huvers, P. Henderson, A. Carnell, and P. Ellery and the winning team in the special basketball series consisted of B. Cripps, J. Marsell, B. Asselin, J. Jones, and W. Brock. NEW CLUBS OPERATING This week three new clubs — the chess club for senior boys and adults (meets Monday evenings at 8:00) the Indian adventure club (for boys 9-11, meets Tuesdays at 7), and the Midland adventure club (for boys 12-16, meets Thursdays at 7) — commenced their activities. Other groups in operation are the boy’s stamp club (Wednesday at 7) the radio hobby club (Tuesday at 7) and the model airplane club (Tuesday at 7:00).
  • No action having been taken in several months by the would-be purchaser, Midland council Monday decreed to be “null and void” the agreement for the sale of the old band hall at Dominion and Midland Avenues. Council will also endeavor to collect several months’ rent allegedly owing on the building. The building is to be advertised for sale again.
  • It is said that a policeman’s lot is not a happy one. Neither, it would seem, is a volunteer fireman’s as witnessed by the predicament Orillia firemen were in the other night while battling a lumber yard fire. The fire was almost under control when a freight train, in spite of frantic signals from members of the brigade, severed their hose line.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – 1934 – Alternate mild weather and cold snaps were playing havoc with the mechanism of the clock in the tower of  the Midland post office. Condensation in the sleeve between the hour and minute hand, caused during mild spells, was freezing when the mercury dropped, locking the two in icy manacles. * * * Gasoline retailers in Toronto were engaged in a full-scale price war. The price per gallon had been cut five cents and leading companies were offering it at 16 1/2 cents a gallon, tax extra. Service stations in Oshawa were retailing the motor fuel at 22 1/2 to 25 1/2 cents a gallon, tax included. * * * Owing to an improvement in shipments of grain by rail from Midland, the Canadian National Railways brought back a yard engine to assist in making up the trains. In July of the previous year, the yard engine had been removed because of the decline of grain shipments at that time. * * * The National Association of Marine Engineers of Canada Inc. had asked the federal government to set up regulations which would force vessels of foreign registry to pay canal tolls. The association pointed out that unfair competition was permitted in the free use of canals. The engineers were concerned, too, that the jobs of Canadian mariners were jeopardized by the fact that ships of foreign registry were permitted to engage in the Canadian coastal trade. It was feared that this situation would be heightened once the proposed St. Lawrence Seaway was completed, * * * J. P. Bickell, Ontario registrar of motor vehicles, said 12,217 persons in Ontario had lost their permits to drive a car, after the Provincial government implemented legislation calling for proof of financial responsibility in case of accidents. The new legislation came into effect Sept. 1, 1930. * * * Wheat prices took a decided drop. Dealers were offering 75 cents a bushel.
  • If 1958 rail shipments of Christmas trees are any criterion, North Simcoe growers may have to find new ways of marketing the product. CNR agent Harold Gibson said less than half the usual quantity of trees had left Penetang yards this year, as compared with other years. “We usually run from 50 to 60 cars, but only 25 carloads of trees were billed out this year,” he said. Mr. Gibson said the information he had gleaned indicated tree crops maturing in several states were cutting into the Canadian business. All of the rail shipments generally are destined for United States points. In addition, directives had been received from New York State that trees could not be shipped in there for sale without a certificate of inspection ensuring them to be free of disease, he said.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – January 1st to 7th, 1959

Click on Photos to EnlargeMany of North Simcoe residents, who are tired of wielding snow shovels during the constant snow storms, will envy Pat Dutton as he clears snow from around the tracks with a miniature snow blower in the CPR yards at Port McNicoll. The machine is of special value as the deep snow is now hard-packed by recent . . .(Caption damaged) 

There will be elections in Victoria Harbour Monday for both council and school board. Several of the candidates are seen on nomination night as they watch Reeve Ernie Cadeau sign qualification papers. He was returned by acclamation. Left to right, standing, are Isadore Bressette and Theodore Bernard, who will seek election as councillors; Wilfred Savage, Charles Gillan and Cecil Walker, members of the 1958 council who will seek re-election and Lorne Bell, who will try for another term on the school board. Seated is village clerk Jack Westwood. 

Ending the year with a surplus of more than $4,000.00 the board of Victoria Harbour Public School will be able to open a new room and provide for the costs of an additional teacher starting January 5th without being forced to ask ratepayers for more funds. The financial position of the board was revealed by Lorne Ball as he addressed a ratepayers meeting Monday night. Receipts for the period Jan. 1 – Dec. 24, 1958 were given as $13,771.00 with expenditures for the same period amounting to $9,549.00. 

While it may not rival Maple Leaf Gardens, this open-air rink is a welcome sight as far as the children of Victoria Harbour are concerned. Above, flooding goes merrily on while Jim LaChapelle and Doug Brodeur engage in a bit of “shinny” in the foreground. Operation of the rink is in charge of a committee headed by Councillor Cecil Walker. 

“Working on the railroad” is not an easy task for the section men at any time, and it’s even less so in winter. Frank Taylor got himself well bundled up before going out to clear switches in Monday’s sub-zero temperatures. 

Midland postman Walter Scott felt a lot warmer when the thermometer on Jory’s Drug store read only 10 below around 10 a.m. Monday morning. It had been 26 below when Mr. Scott first poked his nose out the door at 6:30 a.m. that morning. It was one of the coldest mornings of the year in this area. 

This has been a wonderful holiday season for the children, with plenty of snow and ice to try out Christmas toboggans, sleds, skis and skates. This small hill in Victoria Harbour provided lots of fun for Joanne LaChapelle and her flying saucer as her young companions await their turn above. 

Winter fleet at Port McNicoll includes the three CSL freighters Nipigon Bay, Coverdale, and Hochelaga. It is the first time the Nipigon Bay, a converted oil tanker seen in the foreground, has docked in either of the Bay Ports.

  tugs mauricetiny


  • The County Herald headline of Friday, January 2, 1959; Open Main, Drains Tank, “Drought” Hits Village. Citizens of Waubaushene got a shock Wednesday morning when they turned on their water taps. There was no water, and the pipes in the homes remained that way until about 8:30 a.m. The main cause of the “drought” was said to have been a hydrant which had been left open during the night after a group of citizens had been preparing a cushion of ice for the village’s community rink.
  • Free Press Herald headline of Wednesday, January 7, 1959; Damage Tops $3,000 in ‘Crack-up’ in Midland. Four persons were injured Saturday evening and property damage was estimated at $3,300 in one of the most severe two-car collisions on Midland streets in several years. Still in St. Andrews Hospital are Miss Violet and Miss Gladys Edwards, well-known Midland sisters who reside on Elizabeth Street. Violet Edwards suffered a broken collarbone and several fractured ribs. Her sister received broken ribs. The driver of the car in which the sisters were riding was Captain Dalton Hudson, Midland Ave. He suffered injuries to his ribs and back. His wife, also a passenger in the car escaped injury. The driver of the other vehicle involved, Clarence Hall, 27, of Quebec Street, received rib and leg injuries. A transport driver, he was travelling alone in his car at the time.
  • Perhaps it will serve as a lesson for other children,” said Mrs. Lloyd Delaney referring to the sleigh ride accident of her I5-year-old son John. He was sleigh riding on Easy Street, Midland, Friday when he crossed First Street and was struck by a northbound vehicle driven by Ken Cruise of William Street. The will be no charges laid according to Sgt. Ernie Bates who investigated the accident at 11:40 a.m. “He will be in a splint for six weeks and a cast for six weeks,” said Mrs. Delaney. She said her son had broken his right leg between the hip and the knee. Noting that he had come all the way from Fourth Street on his sleigh, Mrs. Delaney said: We are lucky that it wasn’t any worse”.
  • Births  BATES— To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bates, 124 Donalda St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, Dec. 28, 1958, a son. * * * HAMELIN — To Mr. and Mrs. Alcime Hamelin, Perkinsfield; at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1958, a daughter.  * * * IRONSIDES — To Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Ironsides, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1958, a daughter. * * * KING —To Mr. and Mrs. Abraham King, Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1958, a son.  * * *  LATOUR —To Mr. and Mrs. Madore Latour, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 1958, a daughter.  * * *             PIITZ — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Piitz, 110 Donalda St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, Dec. 27, 1958, a daughter.  * * * PILON — To Mr. and Mrs. Percy Pilon, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, Dec. 29, 1958, twin sons (one died later). * * *        REYNOLDS — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Reynolds Wyevale, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Saturday, Dec. 27, 1958, a daughter.  * * *        THOMPSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Garnet Thompson, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, Dec. 25, 1958, a daughter. * * *                             TOBEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Tobey, Honey Harbour at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Wednesday, Dec. 24, 1958 a son. * * *                VENT — To Mr. and Mrs. George Vent, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 1958, a son.
  • Obituaries- SAMUEL DUNCLIFFE – Following an illness of three months, Samuel Duncliffe, formerly of 59 Virginia Ave., Toronto, died in Scarborough General Hospital Tuesday, Dec. 23. He was in his 65th year. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John George Duncliffe of Waubaushene, he was born in Waubaushene Nov. 1, 1894, where he lived for 27 years. For the past 37 years, he had lived in Toronto. In September 1923, he was married to Ada E. Parkin and they resided in Toronto. He was an employee of the Sheppard and Gill Lumber Company for 37 years. Besides his widow, he is survived by one son, Robert James of Cooksville; four sisters, Evelyn Duncliffe of Waubaushene, Mrs. Melville Boyter (Nellie) of Little Current, Mrs. W. Max Parsons (Edith) of Little Current, Mrs. Carl Winch (Lillian) of Agincourt, and two brothers, George of Toronto and Ross of Fesserton. Two brothers, Walter and William, and one sister, Annie, predeceased him. * * * FREDERIC W. LAROCQUE Following a lengthy illness, Frederic William Larocque died in Sarnia Dec. 20. A resident of Midland for nearly 40 years, Mr. Larocque was born in Cumberland, Ont., in 1898 and served in both world wars with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. He was a member of the Midland branch of the Canadian Legion. He married the former Fannie Trewin Jan. 25, 1920, at Midland. Besides his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. A. Garrett (Irene), Port McNicoll, and Mrs. J. Jordon (Helen), Wyevale, and two sons, Pte. W. G. Larocque, St. James, Winnipeg, and Bob Larocque of Fort William. * * * CATHERINE FITZPATRICK In her 91st year, Mrs. Catherine Fitzpatrick died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Dec. 18. She was predeceased by her husband in 1941. Two sons, Joseph and Herbert also predeceased her. Born in Ireland, the former Catherine Mahon, she had resided in Midland for the last 45 years. Surviving are one daughter, Mrs. James Napier of Penetang and four sons, John of Midland, Basil and Arthur of Gatineau Que., and Austin of Burlington. * * * MRS. RUTH HARE nee Paul. Predeceased by her husband in 1954, Mrs. Ruth Hare died in a Toronto hospital, Dec. 18 in her 63rd year. Born in Midland, Mrs. Hare received her education and was married here. Mrs. Hare is survived by one daughter, Mrs. D. T. McDonald, Toronto; two sisters, Mrs. W. Speare, Lefroy, Ont., and Mrs. W. D. Brownlee of Welland, and two brothers, Mervyn C. Paul, Galt, and J. Edgar Paul of Midland. * * * OCTAVE GREGOIRE A lifelong resident of Midland, Octave Gregoire died at his home, 309 Russell Street, Dec. 24. He was in his 92nd year. His wife, the former Rosann Goneau and a son, William, predeceased Mr. Gregoire. Mr. Gregoire is survived by two daughters, Mae of Midland and Mrs. Raymond Belanger (Norma) of Port McNicoll, and one son, Howard of LongLac. One sister, Mrs. Josephine Dorion of Penetang, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild also survive.
  • Citizens of Penetang and district will be paying $13.30 per day for standard ward care at Penetang General Hospital under the new method of charging which became effective Jan. 1st. The announcement was made this week by Jerome Gignac, chairman of the hospital board. The semi-private rate is $15.30 and the private rate is $18.30 per day.
  • Simcoe County now has a city within its confines. The former county town, Barrie, became a full-fledged city Jan. 1, 1959. The occasion was marked by a two-day celebration which commenced New Year’s Day with an unveiling ceremony at the city hall. The special civic holiday Friday, which featured a mile-long procession of public and high school students, Brownies, Guides, Cubs and Scouts, floats, Barrie Citizens Band and civic groups, was climaxed Friday evening when Premier Leslie Frost installed the new city council. Barrie first became a town 104 years ago.
  • VASEY NEWS — Yuletide visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Cowden were Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Smith and family, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cowden, Mrs. Mary Brand and Gordon, Mrs. Jos. Greenlaw, all of Midland; Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Vasey of Penetang; Carl Vasey of Toronto; D. H. McFarland of S.S. Starbelle, Miss Betty Marcellus of Wyevale; Irene Davis of Toronto; Miss Norma Cowden of Toronto, and Bruce Edwards. Mrs. Bob Russell of Weston visited her niece, Mrs. Martin Strath, during the Christmas holiday. Mr. and Mrs. George McClay of Trenton were holiday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Robinson. Mr. and Mrs. Morley Clement and family of Orillia spent the holiday with the latter’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Edwards. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Brandon and baby son of Coldwater spent Christmas with Mr. and Mrs. George Robinson. Mr. and Mrs. Milton Train of Elmvale were Yuletide guests of Mr. and Mrs. Carson Brown. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Cowden, Jimmy and Keith spent Sunday with their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cowden, Midland. Miss Marjorie Faint of Hornings Mills is visiting her cousin, Miss Pauline Robinson. Miss Norma Cowden and Bruce Edwards called on Mr. and Mrs. Harold Graham, Wyevale, and Mr. and Mrs. Eric Curry of Wyebridge, Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. G. Vasey and family called on the Duckworths of Angus Sunday. Visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Manley Edwards during the holiday were Miss Emmaline Edwards, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Harper and baby son of Toronto, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Johnston and baby daughter of Barrie, Mr. and Mrs. Eric Curry of Wyebridge. The Lloyd McDonalds and family and the Horace Vaseys and family spent Christmas with Mr. and Mrs. Jack McLean at Edgar. Miss Lorna Brown spent the holiday in Toronto.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week Seventeen district mariners had enrolled in the marine school classes at Midland. Lectures in navigation were being held in the Midland YMCA and engineering students were being accommodated in the Orange Hall. * * * T. D. Robinson, clerk of Medonte Township for 55 years, had announced he would retire at the year’s end. He was the third clerk of the township, having served since 1893. * * * Midland Ski Club had completed arrangements for the first-weekend ski meet in more than a decade. Work on the new 30-meter jump was completed. * * * Circulation of books at Midland Public Library was up 8,000 in 1948 and set a new high of 52,000, Librarian Dawson Leigh reported. * * * The price of milk in Midland and Penetang had been increased from 17 to 18 cents. * * * Midland council took its first step toward introducing zoning in the town when it approved a draft bylaw restricting the commercial area and the types of businesses that could be located in that area. * * * By of vote of 282 to 193 against beverage rooms and 284 to 184 against a dining licence, Victoria Harbour voters turned down for the second time in eight years an attempt to have liquor outlets in the village. * * *  Guards at the Ontario Hospital for the Criminally Insane at Penetanguishene were to receive additional pay due to the “nature of their work”.
  • Judges, viewing Christmas lighting decorations in Penetang Tuesday night had a difficult task selecting the winner from among those entered in the Jaycee sponsored contest. When all votes had been tabulated the home of Nelson Lalonde, Chatham Street, came out on top. Two homes, Bruce Stevens on Main Street, and Phil D’Aoust, Poyntz Street, were tied for the second spot, and the judges decided to split the prize.
  • At a meeting in Midland Friday, Alderman Clint Smith was appointed Chairman of the Midland Arena Committee to serve at least until the new council, whose inauguration is slated for Monday, January 12, can make a permanent decision. In an interview with this paper, Alderman Smith said he would do his best to “get the arena situation straightened out by Wednesday of this week. Ex-mayor Charles Parker, who has acted as manager of the arena without pay for the four years the arena committee has been in existence, turned over the keys to the building Saturday night. Meeting as the arena committee Friday, the several members of council concerned approved a motion appointing Mervin Parker as manager/engineer at a salary of $100 per week. At the same time, they approved the hiring of Gordon Dyment as a general handyman at S50 per week to relieve Mr. Parker of some of his other duties. A policeman for the parks commission last summer, part of Mr. Dyment’s duties will be to police the arena.
  • Residents of the area are beginning to wonder whether the thermometers have been telling lies about the subzero temperatures. Robins were seen in Penetang at Christmas and Monday of this week, Chas Beatty of Highland Point, spotted a pair of crows flying along the shore. Mr. Beatty said the crows appeared quite active, and when last seen were headed in the direction of the Penetang garbage dump.
  • Ken Ellis of Midland, public school inspector for Simcoe No. 1 Inspectorate, received word this week that he had passed examinations for his master of education degree. The degree will be conferred in May at the Ontario College of Education convocation at the University of Toronto.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – December 16th to 31st, 1958

Due to the holidays, we have combined the last two weeks of 1958 into one edition of our Huronia Museum – Looking Back feature.

Click on Photos to Enlarge Preparing for their Christmas pageant has been a lot of work but at the same time a lot of fun, for the First Midland Brownie pack. Seen during a practice session at St. Mark’s parish hall are, left to right, back row, Cathy Harrison, Margaret Hood, Lois Belsey; front, Margaret Shill, Elizabeth Taylor, Ruth Barber, Jay Ellis, Beverley Hanna, Carol Nalysnyk, Ruth Anne Battrick, Debbie Lawlor, Aura Finch. 

At this time of year, children in many lands will be enacting the old and loved Christmas story. The First Midland Brownie pack is one of these groups. They staged their play at St. Mark’s parish hall Saturday and will do so again Friday night. Taking part are, left to right, back row: Jan Worrell, Debbie Bertrand, Joyce Ferris, Carol Banting, Cynthia Lamorandiere, Anne Delaney, Beverley Lamorandiere; front, Barbara Lloyd (Joseph) and Sandra Nesbitt (Mary). 

 A miniature streetcar and the traditional reindeer and sleigh provided part of the transportation at Elmvale’s Santa Claus parade Saturday. In this picture, Chief Horace Elwell gives a few tips to the youthful driver of the “streetcar”. Santa in the lower photo, of course, needed no tips on how to drive reindeer.

Rather an odd pairing, these two “characters” provided fun for the spectators along the route of the Santa Claus parade in Elmvale Saturday. There were a number of other animal characterizations to enliven the parade. 

Saturday’s snowstorm subsided just long enough to permit reasonably good conditions for Elmvale’s Santa Claus parade. An hour earlier or later, and nobody would have been able to see the Three Little Pigs playing hide and seek with the Big Bad Wolf. 

Be it the Grey Cup or a Santa Claus parade, no event is complete without its scantily-clad majorettes. Snow and cold winds didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of these young girls from Oakwood Beach (Wasaga) as they marched in front of Elmvale’s Santa Claus parade Saturday. 

Well known in Midland, where he received his early education Capt. John Wesley Scarrow of Hamilton, left, ended a 46-year sailing career when the Sir James Dunn docked at Tiffin elevator, Midland, Friday. On hand to wish him well in retirement was J. A. Hill, Tiffin superintendent. 

Now studying at MPDHS, these three girls received scholarships for their work in Grade 8 at Port McNicoll public school during a ceremony in Port McNicoll Friday night. Left to right are, Marlene Loney, Mary Kovolak and Helen Elliott. Making the presentations are board members Bruce Duncan (chairman), left, and Raymond Belanger. 

Port Legion President Russell Coughlin (who is also a member of the school board) presents prizes to these Grade 6 and 7 pupils. Left to right are Brenda Latondress, Annabelle Todd, Joky Van Pypen, Heather Hartford Judy Coughlin, Mr. Goughlin, and Francis Kelly, the lone boy among the nine winners. The presentations to top pupils were made Friday night. 

There’s nothing much colder than the top decks of the big bulk freighters at this time of the year; as numbed fingers fumble with icy ropes in the annual tie-up. Men in the foreground are placing a tarpaulin over a lifeboat on the Sir James Dunn. Other workmen in the background are performing a similar operation on the funnel of the Thunder Bay.  Both CSL ships will winter at Tiffin elevator, Midland. 

Battening down the big bulk freighters for the winter season was a tough, cold job last week in strong winds and near-zero temperatures. Covering over one of the lifeboats are M. J. Montgomery of Nova Scotia, left, and Walter Lacroix, Midland. On top of the lifeboat is Dave Dunning, also of Midland. 

One of the best places to find lots of snow in the Midland area is on “The Mountain”, along the county road to Balm Beach. Snow banks already tower high over the top of the car seen in the picture above. 

The thousands of letters and postcards seen in the picture above long since have reached the homes of Midland residents. Only a small part of Wednesday’s incoming mail, the letters are being sorted into carriers boxes by Fred Grigg, Roy Mitchell and Chuck R. Stelter, left to right. Many additional helpers are being employed by Postmaster W. F. Bourrie to assure prompt delivery of Christmas mail and parcels. 

Letter carrier John Hilliard is still able to muster a smile despite the evidence of heavy loads as he readied his carrier’s box in Midland post office Wednesday. By Wednesday night the Midland office had handled more than 165,000 pieces of Christmas mail. 

This giant Santa Claus made of snow has attracted a lot of visitors to 267 Lindsay Street, Midland, during the holidays. It’s the product of Ken McFarland and his younger brother, Albert. The huge figure dwarfs the brothers who made it. 

 Four CSL ships are now safely tied up at the winter berth in Midland for another season. They are the Goderich, Donnacona, Prescott (hidden from view) and the Lemoyne. Last in, the Lemoyne tied up Thursday, Dec. 18 after a four-day battle with the elements. 

Midland Indians wound up a successful baseball season last week when they received new jackets and the OBA intermediate “A” trophy they won on the diamond. Left to right are Reeve W. H. Keller, trying on one of the jackets for size and handing a cheque to John Power; players Larry Greene and Harold Jackson, with the trophy; and Alderman Herb Beauchamp, admiring both the jackets and the trophy. 

There was plenty of entertainment as well as gifts for children at the Shoe Corporation Christmas party in Roxy Theatre Dec. 20. Among the entertainers were John Geere and Marc Gignac, from Penetang’s Fern Shoe plant. 

Saturday, Dec. 20 was a lucky day for 3-year-old Randy Vincent, son of Mr. & Mrs. Dean Vincent. When his name was drawn from the box at the Shoe Corporation Christmas party, Randy won the huge panda bear. The man with the dual armful is William Axten, personnel manager at Fern Shoe, Penetang. 

Winning their certificates for feats on the gym floor, brought big smiles to these young members of Midland YMCA. Girls are Linda Duggan, left, and Barbara Ann Spence, boys are Gerald Jeanotte, Allan Cornell and Ronnie Jeanotte.

One of several hundred youngsters who attended a big family party, held by Shoe Corporation of Canada at Midland’s Roxy Theatre Saturday morning, Little Esther Duguay, 2, seems more interested in the camera than Santa at the moment. Esther is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nestor Duguay, Midland. Party was staged for families of Midland Industries, Midland Footwear, and Fern Shoe employees, Penetang. 

On her way into Roxy Theatre for a big family Christmas party Saturday, Sharon Forget gets a party hat from Miss Sheila Bechard, left, and Mrs. W. Jaeniseh. Sharon is the 4-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Forget, Penetang. 

Helping with the prize list at the Shoe Corporation Christmas party at the Roxy Saturday were the six young ladies seen above. Left to right are, seated, Arlene Vaillancourt and Mrs. Miles Blackhurst (Grace Edgar); standing   Margaret LaGrandeur, Doreen Cascagnette, Joyce Quesnelle, and Betty Anne Mayer. Several hundred youngsters from Midland and Penetang branches of the firm attended the party. 

After some 37 years in business in Midland, George Parr, right, has sold his battery and auto electric business on Bay Street. New owners are Les Cammerer, left, and his son-in-law, Bill Sutton. Mr. Parr will remain with the new firm for some time, he indicated last week. 

Finding a place to dump the thousands of tons of snow dumped on Midland streets during recent storms is almost as much a problem as clearing the streets in the first place. Midland harbour provides a convenient place but even this gets plugged eventually and must be plowed under by the CSL tug Tiffin. 

These four buoys recently came in to spend the winter in Midland, They got a snowy (more than 40 inches this month) and frosty (it was 20 below zero Saturday morning) reception. Before spring they may wish the Canadian government lightship (seen in background) had left them out in Georgian Bay. 

The photo below, although a poor copy taken right from the paper, was added because the family and the girls were so well known in Midland. Again there are many such photos that we do not have the negatives for.

  • The Free Press Herald headline from Wednesday, December 17, 1958; Adopt Acceleration Plan in Three Midland Schools. The anticipated introduction of the acceleration program during the balance of this school year will only affect Grade 1’s of the schools this year. Normally a child in Grade 1 would complete three units of work but in the acceleration program the top group of children in Grade 1 (about 20 percent of the class) would com­plete four units of work, the report continues. “In other words” the principals’ report states, “those pupils would advance a unit into Grade 2, thereby completing one and one-thirds years’ course in one year. The following year they would go on with unit five in Grade 2. (This worked well for me until Bill Barnett sat me down at the end of Grade 10 and said, “You had a good time this year, I think you should do Grade 10 again, this time with more school and less fun.” Is that de-acceleration?)
  • The County Herald headline of Friday, December 19, 1958; Say ‘58’ Grain Shipments up Four Million Bushels. During the summer prospects looked bleak indeed. There were as many as eight freighters tied up in Midland harbour alone, because of a lack of cargoes. Similar distressing sights were to be seen in every harbour on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes. It was not until well into the fall that business suddenly picked up and sailors were hastily called back to their ships. Unfortunately one of the earliest and most severe winters in several years appears to have ended this state of affairs. As late as Monday, however, several ships were still battling snow storms and thickening ice to reach elevators in Midland and Port McNicoll. As far as can be learned at the moment, this appears to be the winter fleet for the year: At Tiffin – Sir James Dunn and Thunder Bay. At Aberdeen – Algoway. At Port McNicoll – Nipigon Bay, the first time in Georgian Bay, Coverdale, Hochelaga, and the two CPR passenger ships, Keewatin and Assiniboia.  At CSL – Prescott, Goderich, Donnacona, Lemoyne. At Midland-Simcoe – Paterson, Senator of Canada, Quedoc and the barge Portadoc. 
  • This is a link to the front page of The Free Press Herald of December 23rd, 1958. The file was too large to include. (Click on the link to view, use the ‘Back’ button to return to this page.) Pages from Free Press Herald_1958-12-23  
  • The Free Press Herald headline of December 31, 1958; Harbour Acclaims Reeve, Seeks Six Council Seats. While the village is still $5,000 “in the red”, the financial picture of Victoria Harbour has improved by $9,000 over last year at this time, according to Reeve Ernest J. Cadeau. Reeve Cadeau made this statement at the annual nominations in the Legion Hall Monday night, where he was accorded an acclamation for his second term as reeve of the village. Also nominated for the reeveship, Mrs. Florence Belcher, a former reeve, and former councillor Theo Bernard, both withdrew from the race. A goodly number of ratepayers attended the meeting, which proved to be much less controversial than has been the case in recent years.
  • Clerk Wm. A. Hack informed Midland council Thursday night that E. (Red) McCuaig had paid $5,000 for the town garage and has obtained his deed. (On Yonge St. between Manly and Russell, north side.) 
  • Persistence paid off for a Penetang girl when one of her ideas finally stumped the panel of “Front Page Challenge” a CBC-TV program. Monday night Miss Lorette Desroches, 19, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Medard Desroches, suggested as a challenger, Leona Gates, the girl who was on her way to winning the Miss Universe contest last year before it was discovered she was actually a married woman. 
  • The volume of mail handled through the Midland post office this Christmas will almost certainly constitute a record year according to W. F. Bourrie, the postmaster. Up until Dec. 17, inclusive, the Midland office had handled 11,000 more letters than for the same period last season. In order to speed up the work, Mr. Bourrie has hired 16 additional employees. Because of the heavy snow and poor weather conditions this year, extra helpers for the letter carriers were hired a day earlier than last year, Mr. Bourrie said. 
  • Since Boxing Day, Dec.26, falls on the publication day of the County Herald, only one paper, the Free Press Herald, will be published next week.
  • What might have been a serious fire at Dubbin’s Dairy, Dominion Ave., Midland, early Wednesday, was quickly brought under control by Midland fire brigade. Starting near the plant’s boiler, the fire burned a hole in the roof before being brought under control. Firemen were called shortly after 8 a.m. No estimate of the damage is available.
  • In the recent death of Elmvale born Lewis L. Crawford, the ranks of Great Lakes mariners lost another old timer of the lakes. Born in Elmvale August 23, 1885, Mr. Crawford had sailed for the greater part of his life, and in July 1945, was made a chief engineer of the Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Company’s fleet. He retired Sept. 27 this year.
  • “I’ve been on council a long time but this is the first time that I have heard public expressions of tribute at the last regular meeting of the year.” So stated Ward 1 Alderman Clinton Smith at the last regular meeting of Midland council for the year. The statement was prompted by tributes paid to retiring Mayor Charles N. Parker by members of council. The expressions of praise from all members followed on the heels of prepared statement made by the mayor.
  • BIRTHS – ARBOUR —To Mr. and Mrs. Jules Arbour, Penetang, at St. Andrews Hospital. Midland, Sunday, Dec. 21, 1958, a son. HENRY  – To Mr. and Mrs. Charles Henry, 142 Dominion Ave., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday. December 16, 1958, a son. MARSDEN—To Mr. and Mrs. Earl Marsden. Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. Thursday, December 18, 1958, a son. McINTAGGART—To Mr. and Mrs. Philip Mclntaggart. 92 Fifth St. Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, December 17, 1958, a son. PRENTICE—To Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Prentice, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Wednesday. December 17, 1958, a son.
  • Coldwater and area residents quickly responded to a fund appeal for Mr. and Mrs. Walter Laughlin of Coldwater, who lost all their possessions in a fire in their home early Dec. 21. The parents and two of their children, Bobby, 3, and a twin daughter Kerry, one-year-old, escaped from an upstairs window. The other twin girl, Kim, lost her life by suffocation. The family was treated for injuries following the tragic fire, Mr. Laughlin being the most seriously affected. In rescuing members of his family, he suffered serious burns and severe cuts which have kept him in Orillia’s Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital. His wife and children have been provided with temporary accommodation at the home of relatives.
  • According to a recent study made by the Canadian Life Insurance Officers Association, the first babies born in 1959 will in all likelihood, live longer. If the first New Year’s babies are boys, they can expect to live until they are 67.6 years of age—an increase in life expectancy of 7.6 years since 1931. If they are girls, they can expect to live until they are 73 years of age, a gain of almost 11 years since 1931, the study shows. (In 2017 those figures were 79 for men and 83 for women. For indigenous Canadians, the numbers are 69 and 73.)
  • Basic hourly starting rates at Fern Shoe and Midland Footwear will be increased 8 percent Jan. 5, and employees of all divisions of Midland Industries Limited — Fern, Midland Footwear, and Plastics—will receive two more paid statutory holidays effective with the year beginning May 1, 1959. This announcement was made last week by Jerry Zabransky, executive vice-president of Midland Industries, in a Christmas message to the 365 employees of the shoe factories in Penetang and Midland.
  • Motorists in Midland apparently behaved very well over the Christmas holiday weekend, with not a single arrest for drunk or impaired driving, according to Chief Robert Cameron.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – J. B. Roebuck, a veteran Midland merchant, was elected president of Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society. He succeeded Archie McArthur. * * * Forty percent of the eligible voters turned out for Midland’s 1948 civic elections. Elected were reeve, W. H. Taylor; aldermen, Clinton Smith, P. A. McKeown, W. L. Logan, and G. R. Stevens; PUC, Charles Stevenson, and David Hurrle. * * * A few hours after the home of Penetang Legionnaire George Beaudoin was destroyed by fire, Penetang Legion branch swung into action to aid the stricken family. At a special meeting, the Legion decided by unanimous vote to rebuild the Beaudoin home as soon as conditions would permit. * * * Midland Public Utilities Commission, at its final meeting of the year, decided to retire the remaining water debentures, amounting to $14,901 and interest. Electric utility debentures had been paid off for some years. * * * Orillia citizens voted down by a substantial majority a proposal that the town secedes from Simcoe County and become a city. The vote was 1,544 against to 1,053, in favor.
  • 25 Years Ago This WeekA cold wave sent thermometers in Midland plunging to 30 below zero. At Alliston, 32 degrees were recorded, at Coldwater and Huntsville, 48 below, at Sudbury, 60 below, and in Toronto 21.2 below. * * * Magistrate Compton Jeffs of Barrie was named the successor to Magistrate Daniel McCaughrin at Orillia. * * * Wheat exports for the week ending Dec. 22, 1933, amounted to 2,347,673 bushels, an increase of 1,382,697 bushels over the preceding week. * * * J. B. Roebuck was re-elected mayor of Midland for his sixth term. He had a 140-vote majority over his opponent. Elected deputy-reeve was Jack Moore. * * * W. Parliament was elected worshipful master of LOL 947, Midland, at the lodge’s annual meeting Dec. 29. About 50 members were in attendance. Deputy master was H. Wiles. * * * A boys’ council, modeled on lines of the town’s municipal council, had been organized at Midland YMCA. The council was to meet every two weeks. * * * To provide winter work for the unemployed, the Ontario government proposed to widen a section of Highway 27 between the Midland cut-off and Penetang, and to straighten and widen a corner near the golf course. * * * As the first nomination meeting in Penetang had been unsuccessful in obtaining a mayor and three of the four aldermanic seats, a second nomination meeting was scheduled for January 15. * * * Midland public and high school teachers had asked the board of education to pay at least part of their back salaries before Christmas. Because of the town’s financial state, the board had been unable to pay teacher’s salaries since October. The board was able to obtain enough funds to pay them for the month of November.

The board of directors, staff and volunteers of Huronia Museum wish everyone a  happy and safe holiday season and all the best in 2019!!