Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 7th to 15th, 1957

Click on Photos to Enlarge  An overheated unlined chimney is considered the cause of this Saturday morning fire that destroyed the top two stories of the home of CNR railwayman J. F. Langevin at 154 (now 166) Fifth Street.  Fifteen firemen battled this blaze for three hours but only the furniture on the first floor was saved, there were no injuries and the loss is estimated at $7,000.00. The family has been taken in by son in law Pat Moreau on Sixth Street. Large crowds toured the new Bell Telephone building on Hugel Ave. last week during a three-day open house. Young Donald Atkinson is seen getting some pointers on cable construction from Tom Brodeur. Donald is the son of Mrs. Atkinson, in the photo, and Ross Atkinson who live just across the corner from the new building. 

“My feet are killing me” was the general complaint of these young ladies after they escorted hundreds of visitors on tours of the new Bell Telephone building on Hugel Ave. during the three-day open house last week. Midland manager H. A. Kilroy, seen tallying up the total which came to over 600, was glad to sit down when it was all over. Receptionists are Mrs. Marie Miller, Miss Verna Lambie, Mrs. M. Kennedy, Miss Donna Brandon, Mrs. A. Gauthier and Miss Yvonne Leblanc. 


Wayne Holden gets a hit as Little League baseball got underway in Midland Saturday. This action took place on the three diamonds at Parkview School. Games were also being played at Regent School, Town and Little Lake Park. 

A big event in most secondary schools each spring is the annual inspection of the cadet corps. Major W. C. Setterington is seen with a group of cadet officers as they prepare for the MPDHS inspection on May 16th. Cadet Major Bob Deakos, Cadet Major Bob Megaw, Major Setterington, Cadet Lieut. Col. Dean Nicholls commanding officer, Cadet Major Dennis Murphy, Cadet Major Ken MacEachern and Cadet Adjutant John Hilliard. 




Midland Huronias Soccer team has won both of their games this year in the Barrie & District Soccer League. They are pictured here during the halftime of a game against the New Lowell Rangers which they won 5-0 Tuesday. Members of the team not in order are Ernst Schneider, Allan Sparks, Peter Van Velden, Wili Schwarz, Andy Clapperton, Karl Lehr, Horst Gatzek, Bill Rittershofer, Wolfgang Jaenisch, Harry Weber, Horts Sorensen and Gunder Raab-Faber. 

Vast new addition to the Midland Industries plant on Elizabeth Street as viewed from Hugel Ave. Steel is up and the roof is going on this 42,000 square foot addition at a cost of $285,000.00. 

Included in the contest was a written test of 50 questions, one-half of which required choosing one from several printed answers to each question, and the other half being a straight “true or false” proposition. Lloyd Bourgeois came out on top with 403 out of a possible 500 points. Terry Dumais was second with 392 and Ken Arbour placed third with 388. All are 18 years old. 

  • SAY WOODS TINDER DRY – BANS PERMITS FOR FIRES, headline, Free Press, Wednesday, May 8th, 1957. Warning that tinder-dry woods throughout North Simcoe and South Muskoka districts have reached an extremely high forest fire hazard condition. Major G. R. Lane of Coldwater, forester for the Severn River Management Unit, yesterday told this newspaper that no fire permits will be issued until after the next heavy rain. He said Lands and Forests firefighting personnel had already been called out to fight five fires, one Friday, May 4, and four Sunday. One of the four fires, which they battled Sunday, burned down the headquarters building of a summer resort on Morrison Lake, north of the Severn River. He said another fire in the Honey Harbour area Sunday was started by boys who were shooting off firecrackers. About 10 Acres were burned over before it was extinguished.
  • 6.74 INCREASE IN INDUSTRIAL LEVY – RESIDENTIAL RATE CUT 6.32 MILLS, headline, County Herald, Friday, May 10th, 1957. Residential taxpayers of Penetang will find their tax bills somewhat lower this year, while industries and commercial taxpayers are faced with an increase. The figures were determined when council set the 1957 budget at a special meeting Wednesday night. Public School supporters in the Residential class will pay 82.87 mills while industrial and commercial assessments will have a levy of 93.23 mills, a differential of 10.36 mills. Protestant Separate School residential taxpayers have a rate of 79.58 mills with commercial and industry set at 89.94. The differential is the result of unconditional grants announced this year by the provincial government and specified for the benefit of residential taxpayers only.
  • Ontario Department of Lands and Forests reforestation crews last week were at work in county forests on Crown lands in the Severn River management unit. Officials said about 660,000 trees are to be planted by the crews this spring.
  • More than 3,000 persons from North Simcoe district and as far distant as Toronto are expected to attend the second annual Roman Catholic rosary rally in Midland Town Park Sunday. The rally will be preceded by a parade of school children, Cubs, Scouts, Guides and lay organizations representing the seven parishes of the Huronia district, including Lafontaine, Perkinsfield, Penetang, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour, Waubaushene and Midland. Accompanying the procession will be St. Mary’s Boys’ Band of Toronto. The parade will form up at St. Margaret’s Church and proceed along Third to Bay, along Bay to King, and south on King to the Town Park.
  • The refreshment booth, operated by John Deakos in Little Lake Park, Midland, was entered early Monday morning by youths, who took merchandise and cash amounting to about $10, Police Chief Robert Cameron said yesterday. The chief said the building was entered about 2 a.m. Monday. The theft was discovered by Constables Ray Atkinson and Ed Armstrong while they were on patrol about 6 a.m. Using a telephone headpiece they yanked off the wall of a nearby pay telephone, the youths gained entry by breaking the large east window. A few large bottles of soft drinks, several cartons of gum, several packages of cigarettes and 60 cents in cash were taken. One youth, a juvenile, who went to a Midland doctor’s office Monday night to have a cut finger dressed, was later questioned by police. The lad, already facing additional theft charges, will also face charges of theft and willful damage. (Maybe sitting at home playing video games isn’t so bad after all.)
  • Typical of the ladies who will be guests of manager Al Perkins at a special “Mother’s Day” program at the Roxy Theatre Monday night is Mrs. Eliza Bath. Now in her 88th year, Mrs. Bath is one of Midland’s oldest living mothers, if not the oldest. Mrs. Bath, and all Midland mothers of any age will be admitted to the Roxy and Drive-In theatres free of charge Monday night. Born near Sunderland Dec. 5, 1869, Mrs. Bath was the former Eliza Calhoun, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Calhoun. There were eight children in the Calhoun family, only three of whom are still living. In addition to Mrs. Bath, there are two brothers, John, who has been a patient in St. Andrews Hospital for many months, and George of Beeton. Mrs. Bath’s life has not been an easy one. She came to North Simcoe as a girl of nine, when her father bought a farm between Coldwater and Waubaushene. Her mother died on Eliza’s 15th birthday, and the young girl had already been working in Jim Ryan’s Denison House hotel in Coldwater for some time. Eliza Calhoun came to Midland when she was 20, where she found employment in the home of the late Mr, and Mrs. Fred Jeffery, one of the town’s pioneer hardware merchants. A year later she married Frederick James Bath, who died many years ago. Mr. Bath, a bricklayer, was a member of another pioneer Midland family and a brother of Tom Bath, still a familiar figure on Midland streets. Following her husband’s death, Mrs. Bath went to Toronto to work, returning to Midland about 10 years ago. Although she still has many relatives in Midland, including all six of her eight children who are still living, Mrs. Bath prefers to live alone, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Campbell, 293 Midland Ave. “This way I can get up when I please and go to bed when I please, without disturbing anybody,” said Mrs. Bath. “Not that I sit idle for very long. I still like to do a bit of crocheting, quilting or knitting, and I get my own meals,” she told this reporter. Two of her sons, both veterans of   World War I, have passed on, John Wesley Bath only recently at Sunny brook Hospital, Toronto. Albert also died from the effects of war wounds many years ago at Mimico. Surviving are three sons, Arthur, James and Stewart, and three daughters, Mrs. Violet Blair, Mrs. William Best (Evelyn), and Mrs. James Offord (Margaret), all of Midland. Mrs. Bath needs never lack company. In addition to her six living children, she has 35 great grandchildren and 27  grandchildren, “Enough for a good picnic.” said her daughter, Mrs. Offord.
  • The remaining 20 building lots in Midland’s federal-provincial land assembly project in the Wireless Hill area are being offered for sale to both builders and prospective homeowners it was announced today by R. H. Sprague, manager of the Orillia Loans Office of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Mr. Sprague stated that, through a revision of the subdivision plan, frontages of 13 of the Iots has been increased to 56 feet, the remaining seven lots have 50-foot frontages. Selling prices to prospective homeowners have been set at $200 and $240, depending on the size of the lot,  while prices to builders will be $400 and $480. In the case of a sale to a builder, however, half of the purchase price will be refunded where the selling price of the house erected does not exceed an amount established by CMHC, Mr. Sprague said.
  • A rather unenviable record was set in Midland during the month of April, members of Midland Fire Department learned at their May meeting last week. Records showed a total of 34 fires occurred during the month, the most within the memory of even the oldest members. Attending this large number of fires meant a great deal of lost time from their regular jobs by the volunteer section of the brigade.
  • OBITUARIES: Funeral service for Honoré Thanasse was held Friday, April 26, from the Beausoleil funeral home, Penetang, to Ste. Croix Church, Lafontaine, where Rev. T. Marchildon officiated. Interment was in Ste. Croix Cemetery. Pallbearers were Nap Hamelin, James Hamelin, Robert Maurice, Sr., Ligourie Robillard, Jos. Bazinet and Patrick Moreau. Born in Lafontaine 82 years ago, Mr. Thanasse had lived there until he moved to Penetang 11 years ago. His wife, the former Marie Brunelle, whom he married in Lafontaine in 1899, predeceased him nine years ago. Surviving are four daughters, Mrs. Leone Grenier, Penetang; Mrs. Irma McConnell, Sudbury; Mrs. Germaine King, London, and Mrs. Marie Moran, Montreal. There are seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. (Not a surname I was familiar with, checking I found that Honoré was the only boy of a family of six and his father Louis was one of only two boys in a family of eight. There seem to be only six families with that surname in Simcoe County presently.) * * * THOMAS BOYER a resident of Penetang for the past 20 years, died April 25 at his home. Funeral service was held April 29 from his daughter’s home in Penetang, with Rev. Marc Boyer (nephew of Mr. Boyer) conducting the service, assisted by Rev. J. Kelly and Rev. L. McGough. Interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were six nephews, Julien Gignac, Thomas Gignac, Homer Gignac, Louis P. Brunelle, Benoit Dupuis and Robert Gignac. Mr. Boyer was born in 1877 at Lafontaine and was educated there. In 1907 he married Florella Gignac at Lafontaine. He resided there until moving to Penetang 20 years ago. A member of the Roman Catholic Church, he belonged to the Holy Name Society. Besides his wife, he is survived by daughters, Mrs. Olive Martin, Mrs. Lucrece Bourassa and Augusta Boyer, all of Penetang and sons, Roger of Toronto, Albert and Peter of Kapuskasing and Thomas, Jr., of Essex. One daughter, Georgette, predeceased him in 1948. **** Funeral services will be held tonight at 7 p. m. in St. Paul’s United Church for Miss Emma Baker, who served as superintendent of St. Andrews Hospital for 30 years. Miss Baker died in St. Andrews Wednesday in her 83rd year. A resident of Midland most of her life, Miss Baker operated a millinery shop with her sister prior to going to Montreal to train as a nurse. Following her graduation at Royal Victoria Hospital, she was made supervisor of two large wards in the hospital. Later she engaged in special nursing in California, returning here on the invitation of the Midland Hospital Board to become superintendent of the Midland – Penetang Marine Hospital. When St. Andrews Hospital was established she and her staff moved to the new building.
  • TEACHER WANTED; Go-Home Bay, S.S. No. 2 Gibson Township, one-room school, about 10 pupils, in a Catholic community. Apply giving qualifications, etc. to Mrs. R. C. Sharp, 67 Glengowan Road. Toronto.
  • SELF-CONTAINED, unfurnished cottage on Reinbird Street. Immediately available, $28 monthly includes hydro and water. Apply Denison Hotel, Coldwater.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK; Hon. William Finlayson announced that a township in Northern Ontario had been named after Midland’s fourth term mayor, J. B. Roebuck. The distinction was conferred on the mayor by the Department of Northern Development. * * * Five freighters carrying more than one million bushels of grain pulled into Midland harbour. The five arrived within a four-hour period, four of them docking at Midland Simcoe elevator and the fifth at Aberdeen. * * * Second major fire within a few weeks, destroyed Hillsdale homes owned by Val Kitchen, the Misses C. and M. Turner, and Charles Faragher and a garage owned by Fred Arksey. Both Midland and Barrie fire brigades were called to keep the blaze in check and safeguard other homes and businesses which were being threatened by flying embers. * * * Barking of their dog at 2.30 a.m. sounded a grim warning to Mr. and Mrs. J. McVeigh and family of Port McNicoll. They awakened to find the house filled with smoke and flames sweeping through the ground floor. They fled in their night attire. * * * Fourteen Midland High School students had attained first class honours in their Easter exams. They were Hugh Lloyd, Dorothy Roebuck, Betty Tatham, Stanley Symington, Edna Seymour, Maxwell Perry, Evelyn McKinnon, Ruth Morris, Italy Gianetto, Phyllis Symington, Gladys McGill, Florence McDougall, Ruby Case and Marcia Simkins.
  • Honey Harbour is rapidly becoming an international convention centre. Didace Grisé, the proprietor of Delawana Inn, reveals there are 21 major conventions scheduled for the Delawana at present and several others are negotiating for accommodation.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 1st to 7th, 1957

Click on Photos to Enlarge

 Amiable Robbie Thompson of Sturgeon Bay can be a very dour Scot when it comes to the sea lamprey, scourge of sport fishing in Georgian Bay. He’s seen here holding three of the eels he caught in the Department of Lands and Forests weir on the Sturgeon River. 

Hundreds of Lamprey Eels have been captured in this Lands & Forest weir on the Sturgeon River. They threaten the existence of sport fishing in Georgian Bay. Robbie Thompson who tends the weir is seen inspecting his catch.

 An award of appreciation is presented to Midland CIBC bank manager R. G. Gillies by Capt. Ray Smith of the Salvation Army for 14 years service as treasurer of the Red Shield appeals in North Simcoe. The presentation was made at a Kiwanis Club meeting.

 League director, Rev. Len Self and team captain Chester Graham beam as they receive the LHL Jr. A Trophy. Captain Jim Stanfield of the losing team, “Babe” Schultz of Collingwood, Keith Carruther Port Hope Ontario LHL vice-president, Keith Kirby Collingwood recreational director and the manager of Toronto Twp. team are the others in the photo.

 These Midland lads had plenty to cheer about when they arrived home from Collingwood with the G. M. Graham Trophy and the junior “A” championship in the Ontario LHL playdowns for the second successive year. It’s hard to say which gave them the biggest thrill, winning the cup or the ride on the fire truck through Midland streets. 

 Veteran linotype operator at Midland Printers Limited, Charles Goodfellow celebrated his 68th birthday April 30. Mr. Goodfellow first started to work on the paper in the summer of 1898. In June of that year, his father, the late J. F. Goodfellow, and his Uncle Charlie bought the Free Press. 

A young man from Waverley and a Huron county girl who met by chance in far-off Brandon, Man., many years ago, marked their golden wedding anniversary in Midland last Wednesday. They were Mr. and Mrs. Roy French, and the roomful of flowers in their home at 322 King Street was ample evidence of the esteem which this couple has earned over the years.  In fact, all but a few months of their 50 years of wedded life has been spent in Midland. Born at Waverley Nov. 28, 1880, Roy French went to school there and worked on his late father’s farm until 1900. Then he decided to become a carpenter and spent two years learning the rudiments of this trade under the late Joseph Davenport. The “going” wage for young would-be-carpenters in the early days of the century was 12 cents per hour, for a 10-hour day. Realising his early education had been of a limited nature, the young apprentice attended the night school then in operation at the Midland YMCA. For three years, from 1902 to 1904 he studied drawing and mathematics, both of which were a big help in his later career. From carpentry, Mr. French went to Midland Engine Works, where he learned the rudiments of pattern making. In 1905 he joined the many young men who were taking Horace Greeley’s advice by heading west. He obtained a job in the Brandon Machine Works. About this time a young lady also decided to see what the west had to offer. She was Agnes Barbara McNeill, a native of Hullett Township, in northern Huron County. Eventually, Agnes and Roy met in Brandon and in the spring of 1907 were married. Back in Midland after his three years in the west, Mr. French found employment in the foundry department of the Canada Iron Corporation, where he remained until 1913, at which time the smelter shut down. Then followed a brief period with the Benson and Bray firm. But with the outbreak of World War I, Mr. French found himself back with his old employers Midland Engine Works. They were making 6-inch shells at the works and Mr. French started off as an inspector. Later he became the night foreman and eventually general foreman of the No. 1 plant. After the war, Mr. French moved around the bay to Sunnyside, to the Great Lakes Foundry and Machine Shop, operated by W. W. Nicholson. He remained with Mr. Nicholson until the latter’s death in 1937. In the spring of 1938, Mr. French took over the Nicholson business, which has carried on ever since under the name of Great Lakes Boat and Machine Co. Up until five years ago, Mr. and Mrs. French lived at 17 Ottawa Street. They have resided at 322 King Street since that time. Mr. French is perhaps best known in Midland through his connection with Calvary Baptist Church. A member of the church since 1903, he has subsequently served on the board of deacons for more than 40 years, and for more than a quarter century was the superintendent of the Sunday School. Mr. French’s long service to Calvary was fittingly marked a year or so ago when the new addition to the church was officially opened. Although he served for two years as an alderman during the hard times of the early 30’s, Mr. French has never taken too keen an interest in party politics. “I have been guilty of voting for either party upon occasion,” Mr. French admitted. He admitted, too, that he was very fond of sport In his younger days, particularly baseball. He played on a number of teams back in the days when Town Park was a busy place all through the summer, with numerous “town league” clubs In action. Mr. and Mrs. French have one son, Alden, manager of Great Lakes Boat and Machine Co. Ltd. and two daughters, Mrs. J. E. Ayers (Florence), of Windsor, and Helen, a graduate of St. Andrews Hospital who takes and active part in the family business. There are also one granddaughter and six grandsons.  

Admiring a bed of bright red tulips on the lawn of Mrs. A. Irish, 335 Manley Street is Patsy Beatty, 4 year-old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ken Beatty. 

School, church, home, during a century of existence this old building in Waubaushene finally fell to the wrecker’s hammer early this week. After several years use as a school it was the place of worship for Waubaushene Protestants until the Dodge Lumber Company built the nearby Memorial Church in 1881. 

Open house at Port McNicoll Public School. Little Kent Biggar, 8, has his work inspected by his dad Ted Biggar who is chairman of the school board in Port. Mom and sister Debra, 5, look on. 

Something extra at the Port McNicoll Public School open house was a display of oil paintings by 11 year old student Bobby Duncan. Last winter he took his first lessons in oil from Duncan Armbrest of Midland. Pictured are Mrs. Duncan, Douglas 8, Bobby, Mr. Armbrest and father Bruce Duncan. 




  • Free Press headline Wednesday, May 1, 1957, “Rifle-Toting Youths Wound Dogs Shoot Glass Out Of Window Panes”.  A letter read to council by Clerk W. H. Hewson, Mrs. F. L. Chilcott, Dufferin Street, complained of missiles striking her home and that her pet dog had died of wounds. Mrs. Chilcott said windows in her home had been broken by bullets, and slugs had lodged in the outside walls. Pete Lepage  present at the meeting, voiced his complaint stating that he knew of three or four dogs that had been wounded presumably from .22 calibre bullets. Mr. Lepage further stated it had been necessary several times for he and his men to quit work at his marine railway on the west side of Penetang Bay because bullets were whistling around their heads. “I know that youngsters are firing rifles from around Beck’s yard, and they’re firing out over the bay. I understand high-powered .22’s have a range of at least a mile. It’s only one-half mile across the bay to my property, and those bullets have too much power left there to be fooling around with them,” Mr. Lepage said.
  • County Herald headline Friday May 3, 1957, “High School Board Pares Budget Holds Rate Increase to .98 Mills”. In what has been termed a “cut-to-the-bone” budget, Midland – Penetanguishene District High School Board this year is asking the six municipalities it serves to raise $164,595.31 on a 9.97 mill rate based on a total equalized assessment of $16,526,654. The 1957 high school levy is .98 mills higher than the 1956 rate of 8.99 mills for a net budget of $144,701.34. Midland taxpayers’ share of the 1957 budget will be 50.25 per cent or $82,709.17. On the basis of $7,000 per mill, the Midland tax rate for high school purposes will be approximately 12 mills.
  • R. J. Pinchin was re-elected president of the board of directors of St. Andrew’s Hospital, at the inaugural meeting of elected board members in Midland YMCA April 26. Other board officers for the ensuing year are John D. Doughty, vice-president; Miss E. Violet Edwards, treasurer; A. E. Davidson, secretary. Standing committees are as follows: management, J. D. Doughty, chairman. Miss E. V. Edwards; finance, Gordon Moss, chairman, Frank Spence; public relations, Mrs. W. L. Attridge, chairman, R. A. Megaw; property John Burke, chairman, S. F. Malin.
  • Penetang’s Town Planning Board became a reality Monday night with the approval of a bylaw appointing six men to the board. On the board are: Deputy reeve Archie Verrière and Chas. Thompson, one year; Art McKee and O. Ross, two years; C. S. Wice and George Bryant, three years.
  • TOWN OF PENETANGUISHENE NOTICE re Dogs TAKE NOTICE that Mr. Earl Vivian has been appointed as Dog License Issuer for 1957. Time for purchase of licenses has been extended to May 15th, 1957, after which date all persons not obtaining licenses may be prosecuted. Mr. Vivian will attend at Council Chambers on Tuesday and Friday until May 15th, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to issue licenses, TAKE NOTICE further that dogs are prohibited from running at large during months of May, June, July, August- and September, and provisions of By-law No. 1202 will be strictly enforced. By Order, Town Council, W. H. HEWSON, Clerk-Treasurer.
  • Don Argue, who for the past 12 years served in the parts department at Boyd’s Service station, Midland, has now joined the sales staff of Bourgeois Motors Limited. Don, who was born in Midland and educated in the town’s public and high schools, is emulating somewhat the footsteps of Lionel Bourgeois, head of Bourgeois Motors. Mr. Bourgeois formerly worked at Boyd’s. Mr. Argue, who has been in the garage business for the past 16 years, started with Boyd’s when they operated a service station on Hugel Ave., transferred to the Shell Oil Co. at Barrie for a year and then returned to Midland. He rejoined Boyd’s staff at the King and Yonge Streets gas station and remained there until transferring to Bourgeois last week.
  • Construction work on six modern cottages is under way in Little Lake Park, Midland. Floor of one had been completed yesterday. New cottages, total cost of which will be in the neighborhood of $12,000, are to be erected in the extreme westerly section of the park, near three cottages which were built last year. They are to be completed early in June. Contract for the buildings was awarded to Nap Beauchamp Construction of Penetang ($9,300). Electrical work is being done by Walker’s Electric ($580), and plumbing by Norman Reynolds ($2,773).
  • Seriously hurt in an automobile accident last week, the condition of Joseph Leeking, well known in Midland, has shown some improvement recently, according to his physician, Dr. James Small. Mr. Leeking suffered severe chest injuries and a broken hip when the car he was driving was struck by another vehicle on Vindin Street, near the northwest boundary of Midland. Mr. Leeking has been a patient in St. Andrews Hospital since the crash.
  • One hundred and thirty-two properties, 25 of them in North Simcoe municipalities, will be sold by public auction at a treasurer’s sale of lands in Barrie July 9. The lands are being sold to discharge tax arrears against them. In quantity. Port McNicoll heads the list with 16 lots and parts of lots to be placed on the auction block. One of the lots has, in tax arrears and accrued costs, $148.82 against it.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Finance Minister Douglas Abbott announced that, effective July 1, income taxes for those in the lower income brackets would be halved. Average cut in personal income taxes was 29 per cent. * ** Forty-five persons  representing churches in Midland and district attended a recreation leadership course at Midland High School. *** Gordon Boyd, Doug Haig, Win Smith and Jack Doughty had organized trout fishing parties. The groups planned to do their angling in the Huntsville and Algonquin Park areas. * * * A memorial window, honoring two pioneer Penetang doctors, was unveiled in All Saints Church, Penetang. Doctors honored were Dr. George Bowman and Dr. F. H. Spohn. * * * George S. Dudley, Q.C, Midland, had been appointed secretary-manager of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. * * * Coldwater businessmen were making plans to organize a Board of Trade in the village. A committee had been named to interview village merchants and obtain their views on the proposal.
  • Margaret Rose Taylor of  Waubaushene become the only girl in a class of 49 male engineering students at McMaster University in Hamilton. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. M. F. Taylor, her interests ran to maths and science when she attended Midland District High School. But she didn’t want to become a teacher of those subjects, and eventually settled on engineering.
  • A resident of Midland for the past 52 years John Sharp died April 29 at St. Andrews Hospital. John Sharp was born at Muir Kirk Scotland, April 20, 1879, and was educated there. He came to Canada when he was 24 years of age and came to Midland in 1905 and worked at the flour mill and then at the shipyard until it closed down a few years ago. In December, 1909, he married Sarah Jane Gilbank in Midland where he had resided for the  past 48 years. A member of the Gospel Hall, Mr. Sharp liked to read, until his eyesight began to fail a few years ago. Predeceased by his wife, Feb, 1, 1955, he is survived by four children. Nelson of Burlington, Mrs. Leahan (Annie) of Long Branch, Stella at home and Bert of Midland. Also surviving are two sisters, one living in Montreal and the other in London.
  • H. J. Thompson and Sons, Midland, this week acquired one new staff member and promoted another. Promoted was James Downer who started with the firm in the fall of 1945, following his discharge from the RCAF. He has been named shop foreman. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Downer, Jim was born in Tiny Township, receiving his education there and at Midland High School. Following his graduation Jim spent five years sailing on Great Lakes ships, joining the RCAF in 1941. The 41-year-old foreman completed a tour of operations overseas with 424 RCAF Bomber Squadron, serving as an observer. Following his tour, he served a year and a half as an instructor and returned to Canada in August, 1945. Commissioned in 1943, he was a flying officer when he was discharged. He started with H. J. Thompson and Sons in September, 1945, as a plumber’s apprentice. Married to the former Evelyn Denis of Midland, they have two children, Noreen, 14, and James, 4. Jim is a past president of Midland branch, Canadian Legion, a member of the YMCA Foreman’s Club and an officer in the Grey and Simcoe Foresters reserve  army unit. Joining Thompson’s sales staff is 28-year-old Ernie Booth, a native of Toronto where he attended public and high schools. Previous to joining Thompson’s staff, he had managed an appliance store in Midland. He is married to the former Joan Parker of Tay Township. They have three children. After graduation from high school, Ernie served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for three years. He was stationed in Bermuda, Toronto and Halifax from 1948 to 1951. He is a member of the Canadian Legion.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Henry Mosley of Midland announce the engagement of their daughter, Beverly Anne, to Mr. Boyd Watson Leonard of Wyebridge, the marriage to take place on Saturday, May 25, 1957, at Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland.
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Cameron, Midland, wish to announce the birth of their son, David Lawrence, on Wednesday, April 24, 1957, at St. Andrews Hospital, a brother for Douglas.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 24th to 30th, 1957

Click on Photos to EnlargeNew eye-catching sign has just been erected at the western outskirts of Midland on Yonge Street at Seventh. Chamber of Commerce Secretary-Manager R. B. Moffatt, Publicity Chairman Al Perkins and President Frank Bray examine the sign. The Midland Horticultural Society plans to landscape the bank in front of it. 

Some youngster, or youngsters, in this area, will get financial assistance for a holiday at Kitchikewana YMCA Camp this summer, through the efforts of the Adelphi Hi-Y Club of Midland YMCA. Several club members toured Midland homes Wednesday in quest of baskets, bottles and coat hangers, proceeds from the sale of which will be used to send a lad to camp. Sorting out the pile of bottles and coat hangers are Bev Day, left, and Wayne Morrisson. 

Stacking up the big pile of baskets in this photo are Marty Reynolds, left, and Len Wood. 

In the service station business in Midland for the past 20 years, Frank Wilford, left, sold his business last week to Henry Laurin. Mr. Laurin also operates the Midland – Penetang ambulance service. After a few weeks holidays, Mr. Wilford expects to enter a new field of business in Midland. 

Well-known to patrons of Penetang and Midland hotel dining rooms, where she served for many years, Mrs. Garnet Hanes has taken over the operation of the former Wilford snack bar on Midland’s King Street. Mrs. Hanes is seen above admiring some of the flowers sent by well-wishers when she started her new business venture this week. 

Can they repeat again this year? That question will be answered in Collingwood today and tomorrow as these youngsters battle to retain the provincial championship they won in the LHL Junior OHA series at Parry Sound last spring. Kneeling; Bobby Clayton, Earl Scott, Tom Gray, Doug French. Second row; Greg Somers, Jim Tippin, Allan Mostyn, Jon Pettersen, Chester Graham, Bob Weckman, Keith Bath. Back row; Bill Brooks, Wayne Holden, John Swan, Don Pringle, Dave Brooks, Doug Taylor, Dennis Abbott, Randy Small, Rev. Len Self. 

Residents of Port McNicoll for 45 years, Mr. & Mrs. Alphonse Maheu are seen cutting their golden anniversary cake at a reception held for them at the Bourgeois dining room on Tuesday. Both born in Perkinsfield they have also lived in Depot Harbour and Penetang before settling in Port. (A detailed article accompanied the photo) 

Joseph Leeking of Midland is in the hospital with serious chest injuries after the car he was driving was in collision with a car driven by Melvin Ritchie of Elmvale. The accident occurred Tuesday afternoon on Vinden Road. Also involved were Mrs. Melvin Ritchie and James Hawke who was riding in the Leeking car. Mr. Ritchie is seen surveying the damage to the front of his car. 

 Ten years of “friendly business relationship and outstanding service to the motoring public” by Doug Swann, veteran Midland garage man, has been recognized officially by the Shell Oil Co. of Canada Ltd. In addition to this handsome plaque, Mr. Swann also received a gold pin. 

“IN THE DOUGH,” as a baker that is, for 57 of his 71 years, Norman Dunn can recall the days when Hillsdale was one of the most important centres in North Simcoe. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn marked their golden wedding anniversary April 10, in the home in which they have lived for 37 years.

Article by Ken Somers

Remember when Hillsdale was served by a railway? There aren’t too many people living who were around when the rail service was discontinued. Among them are Mr. and Mrs. Norman Dunn who, on April 10, marked their golden wedding anniversary. Both are well qualified to talk about the early days of Hillsdale. Mr. Dunn was born there, 71 years ago, and his wife came to the then thriving village when she was 12 years old. “It was a much busier place than it is now,” said Mr. Dunn, recalling three saw mills, three shingle mills, a hoop and stave factory and a planing mill which provided employment for a population of around six or seven hundred persons. Things were much livelier then in the business section too, with two hotels, the same number of bake shops and blacksmith shops, and half a dozen stores. Then, as now, there were three churches. There was also a public school, the same one, incidentally, that some of the Dunn’s grandchildren attend even today. “Grandma and grandpa” attended that school together, and it was there they first met.  Norman Dunn didn’t have too long a period to attend school. At the age of 14 he became an apprentice in the bakeshop of the late Louis Roberts. He received, at most, $4 per week. “I had to pay my keep out of that, too,” said Mr. Dunn. He agreed Mr. Roberts couldn’t afford to pay much more, with bread selling at six cents per loaf. Flour, of course, cost only half the price it does today. In any event, Mr. Dunn stuck with the job and is still at it, some 57 years later. He has a small oven right in his home, across the road from Rumble’s Pond, at the easterly edge of  the village.  Although he was a pastry man, too, in his younger days, now he bakes bread only, which he peddles in his car throughout the Medonte side roads.  After their marriage in the parsonage of the old Methodist Church in Penetang April 10, 1907, the Dunn’s lived in a number of places before returning to the village some 37 years ago. Mrs. Dunn, the former Margaret Drennan, was born on a farm near Cookstown, one of four girls and four boys born to the late Mr. and Mrs. James Drennan. Her father built bridges and did other construction work throughout the area, as well as operate a farm. Of the eight children, all the girls are still living and two of the sons, Fred and Norman, both of Toronto. In addition to Mrs. Dunn, the daughters are Mrs. Fred Grigg, Elmvale; Mrs. Tom Fagan, Crossland; and Mrs. William Parker, of R.R. 3, Midland. In her younger days Mrs. Dunn sang in the Presbyterian Church choir with one of her sisters, Mrs. Grigg. She was also an early member of Hillsdale W.I. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn have four children of their own, including three sons, Grant, Hillsdale, Harold, Toronto, and Fred of Barrie; and one daughter, Mrs. George Lockhart (Gladys), who  also lives in Hillsdale. There are eight grandchildren. Norman Dunn was also born on a farm, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Dunn. A brother, George, still resides in Hillsdale, but their only sister died some years ago. [Normand died in 1959 and Margaret in 1971, they are both buried in Hillsdale] 

 Where’s my prize mister? A study in expression at the Midland Arena Saturday as children line up to exchange their tokens, dropped from an airplane, for candy during the annual Y’s Men’s Club Easter egg hunt. [Most of my favourite photos in the Free Press collection are of children, this unknown little girl is another. I don’t believe it is about the candy, it is that strange man with the huge camera pointed right at her.]

Queen of Hearts Marita Lalonde of Penetang receives train tickets and hotel reservations for herself and a chaperone prior to their departure for Montreal Friday. The queen’s trip was jointly sponsored by the Free Press and the Roxy Theatre. Managing editor Wils Harrison on the left and theatre manage Al Perkins. 

Red, white and blue is the colour scheme of children’s playground equipment at Midland Drive-in Theatre this year. Two painters are shown putting finishing touches to swings in the background, while two little girls amuse themselves in the sandbox centre foreground. The drive-in, which opened on the weekend, was undergoing general spring face lifting operations when this photo was taken.

New picture of Queen Elizabeth to replace the one destroyed by fire last fall, was donated to St. Mary’s Separate School by Dominion Stores Limited last Monday. The picture presented by Ross Hart, manager of the Midland store, was accepted by Sister Frances Matthew, the principal. Other staff members in the picture are Mrs. N. Butineau, Sister Mary Imelda, Mrs. N. Tremblay and Miss Margaret Ambeau. 


Still compelling arguments in 2017! 

  • Midland Free Press, Wednesday, April 24, 1957, headline; New Provincial Education Grants for Six Municipalities Top $9,000. Six North Simcoe municipalities will receive more than $9,000 in new education grants for elementary schools. The new grants were announced by provincial government officials last week. They amount to $3 per pupil based on the 1956 average daily attendance.
  • County Herald, Friday, April 26, 1957, headline; Epidemic of Break-ins Launches Probe by OPP. Numerous reports of cottage break-ins all over the Tiny, Tay and Medonte Township areas which they patrol have kept provincial police at Victoria Harbour exceptionally busy. In addition to the cottage break-ins, there have also been numerous reports of thefts of tires, batteries, boats and other articles, police said.
  • Immediately following the Easter recess, Simcoe County Health Unit will start to vaccinate more than 8,000 elementary school children throughout the county. According to the program released by director Dr. P. A. Scott, children who received two doses of Salk polio vaccine in 1955 and did not receive the third dose in 1956, will receive a third dose this year.
  • Members of lOOF, No. 274 Midland, hope to start construction on a new Odd Fellows Temple around mid-June. Measuring about 40 by 80 feet, the building will be erected on a newly-purchased lot on Dominion Ave. West, between King and First Streets. For many years the Odd Fellows have used the third floor of the Jeffery Block as their lodge room. Noble Grand Ernie Bates, who is also serving as chairman of the building committee, said the new hall would have two storeys but no basement. A banquet hall will occupy the first floor. In addition to the lodge room on the second floor, there will also be a board room, capable of seating around 20-25 persons and which will be made available to the public on a rental basis.
  • Entering its 21st year of selling automobiles, Gropp Motors Ltd. recently announced the appointment of Lloyd LaPlume to the sales staff, and promotion of Ken Tannahill to sales manager. “Lefty” St. Amant is the third salesman. Gropp’s sales staff has two men who know the automotive business from the ground up, having worked their way up from the maintenance shop. The two, Ken Tannahill and “Lefty” St. Amant have a combined total of 21 years in the business.
  • Lack of bread in Penetang grocery stores Saturday afternoon was one item of evidence pointing to the heavy influx of cottagers into the area for the Easter weekend. Before 5 o’clock Saturday it was virtually impossible to buy bread in grocery stores throughout the town.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Johnson announce the engagement of their daughter Kathryn Alfreda to Mr. Gerald Clair Lalonde, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eudger Lalonde of Penetanguishene, the marriage to take place May 11, 1957, in St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, at 9 a.m.
  • CLARK — Jim and Edythe Clark are pleased to announce the birth of their first son, James Frederick, April 21st, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland.
  • SWEETING—Tommy Sweeting, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Sweeting, is happy to announce the arrival of a baby brother Timothy, April 22nd, at St Andrews Hospital, Midland.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK –  Newly-organized Medical Association for Midland and district held its first meeting in St. Andrews Hospital. Doctors and nurses from Midland, Penetang, Victoria Harbour and Port McNicoll attended. * * * Tay Township council approved a motion calling for 24-hour service, seven days a week, on the Tay Telephone System. *** Midland council informed ratepayers that a 10 per cent penalty would be added to all tax arrears, effective May 1. * * * A bakery in Waubaushene, operated by Phillip Thiffault, and two houses adjoining it were totally destroyed by a fire which threatened to spread to other sections of the village. Midland fire brigade was called in to assist the village bucket brigade. *** Houses on Eighth Street, Midland, were threatened by a bush fire which broke out near the Penetang – Waverley highway (Hwy 27). The flames, which were moving along a half-mile front, came within 20 yards of one home before the fire was extinguished by Midland firemen. * * * After a 56-hour battle with windrow ice in Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, the CPR steamer Keewatin of Port McNicoll docked at Fort William. The Keewatin was the first vessel into the port that year. Her skipper was Capt. Davidson.
  • Obit – Funeral services for Mrs. Leger Marchand were held April 5 from the Beausoleil funeral home, Penetang, to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where Father J . Marchand officiated. Interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers, were Clifford, Gerald and George Bellisle, George Lavery and Marcel and Wilfrid Marchand. Born in Lafontaine, Mrs. Marchand was in her 71st year at the time of her death, April 2. She spent her early life in Lafontaine where she went to school and later married Leger Marchand Sept. 31, 1905. Following their marriage, the couple lived in Kitchener for eight years, 20 years in Midland, and the remainder in Penetang.  A Roman Catholic, Mrs. Marchand, besides her church activities, was very fond of horticulture and sewing. Surviving besides her husband are eight daughters, Matilda Bellisle, Irene Lavery, Della Monk, Helen McGaw, Alice Wilson, Bertha Monk, Rose Steffers and Laura Marchand; and four sons, Arthur, Wilfrid, Marcel and Jack. There are 30 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
  • Obit –  John Fralick conducted the funeral service for Mrs. Samuel Ellery who died March 28 at Wyebridge. Service was held at the Church of Good Shepherd, Wyebridge. Interment was in the adjoining cemetery. Mrs. Ellery, the former Mary Celesta Edwards, was born January 26, 1876, at Wyebridge and was educated there. In July 1895, she married Samuel J. Ellery at Wyebridge where she had lived all her life. An Anglican, Mrs. Ellery was an active member of the Ladies’ Guild, and was also a member of the Women’s Institute for many years. Besides her husband she is survived by sons, Cecil of Wyebridge, Calvin of Elmvale; daughter, Mrs. Cecil Townes (Mildred) of Wyebridge; and a sister Mrs. David Douglas of Wyebridge.
  • Obit –  J. McDonagh conducted the funeral service for Mrs. Georgina Arbour, widow of the late Merrille Arbour, April 15 at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, Waubaushene. Interment was made in St. John’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were sons Dorman Arbour, William Arbour, Gilbert Arbour, Bud Arbour, and grandsons Bernard and Raymond Rivers. Born in Waubaushene July 6, 1881, Mrs. Arbour, the former Georgina Bazinet, was educated and lived there all her life. Surviving are six sons, Orval, Waubaushene, Dorman of Port Colborne, William of Hamilton, Gilbert of Niagara Falls, Lenard of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Bud of Orillia; five daughters, Mrs. Ted Rivers (Pamela) of Toronto, Mrs. Ernest Bourdeau (Alda) of Tecumseh, Mrs. Art Sampson (Alma) of Toronto, Mrs. Barney Johnson (Cecilia) of Midland and Mrs. Arnold Pullen (Doris) of Toronto. Also, surviving is one sister, Mrs. Fred St. Amand of Penetang. There are 39  grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Arbour’s husband predeceased her in January 1957.
  • Obit –  Miss Annie Burton died in Penetang General Hospital April 8 after several months’ illness. The funeral was held April 10 in Elmvale Presbyterian Church with Rev. J . C. Cooper conducting the service. Pallbearers were W. J. Hill, W. S. Campbell, Dr. D. C. Harvie, A. G. Beardsall, C. L. Copeland and S. L. Anderson. Interment was in Elmvale Cemetery.  Annie Burton was born in Elmvale Feb. 7, 1887, the daughter of the late Charles Stephen Burton and Annie Paterson. She spent all her life in Elmvale with the exception of two years at Collingwood Collegiate. Miss Burton worked in the Bank of Toronto during the first World War. Later she entered her father’s office and succeeded him as clerk-treasurer of the village, a post she held for 26 years. In addition, she carried on her father’s business of insurance and conveyancing, keeping the office in the Burton name for almost 70 years. She was a notary public. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. W. W. Shaw (Jean), Mrs. F. A. Stephenson (Alice), both of Elmvale. A brother, Robert P. Burton, predeceased her.
  • Want Ad –  AN INTERESTING position for a teacher at S.S. No. 15 Tay, on Highway 12 between Midland and Orillia. Duties to commence in September. Minimum salary of $2400 with $200 annual increments. Apply, stating qualifications, to Mrs. Cora Connor, Sec.-Treas., R.R. 1, Waubaushene, Ontario.
  • Want Ad –  HIGH SCHOOL Boy, 17-18, to work Saturday mornings till school closes, full time during summer, in Penetang store. Reply to Box 562, Free Press Herald, Midland.