Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – October 1st to 15th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

 2006-0020-2622 Grey and Simcoe Foresters from North Simcoe participated in “Operation Mandible” a training exercise at the Meaford tank range. Pictured is a formidable line of Sherman tanks. Over 700 men from Canadian Army militia units of the Central Command were involved.

 2006-0020-2589Photo of four Free Press newspaper carriers in front of the Free Press office on King Street, Wallace Crawford, Gary Blake, Elizabeth Cowan and Graham Shaw.  Midland Free Press employs 38 carriers, each running their own business. Every publishing day they draw their quota of papers and at the end of the month they are billed for the number they have purchased. Then they collect 35 cents from each customer and out of this monthly amount they average about 14 cents per customer.  

2006-0020-2597Beautiful cheerleaders Elmvale style pictured at the fair last weekend, kneeling, Stephanie Shaw and Betty Marcellus, standing, Bonnie Flotron, Lois Rowntree and Myrna Ingleton.

 2006-0020-2598 Bill Swann is seen winning the heat in the junior 100 yard dash during the MPDHS track and field meet last week. Bill later won the final in the same event and will represent his school at the Tudhope Meet in Orillia.

 2006-0020-2623 2006-0020-2624 A true Thanksgiving is in store for the family of Pat Arthurs who was killed in a car accident August 30th. His wife and six children were left destitute and have been living in this tar paper shack just off Second Street in Port McNicoll. A fund administered by Rev. Leo Austin reached nearly $1,600.00 and made possible the new home where Father Austin is pictured with five of the children. The house was built with volunteer labour.

 2006-0020-2586 Port McNicoll Parish Priest Rev. Leo J. Austin is seen offering good wishes to his successor on the left, Rev. Frank Sullivan, former chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Toronto. Father Austin left Saturday to become pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Whitby.

 2006-0020-2708 Adeline Carpenter married Peter Smith at the age of 20 and they farmed most of their lives, over 50 years, on a farm on the 2nd concession of Tiny Twp., moving to Midland 20 years ago. Mrs. Smith is ninety-two.  Several of her nephews still live in the Waverly area, Walter, Jack and Fred Carpenter, Mrs. Frank Reynolds in Waverly, Mrs. Henry Reynolds in Wyebridge and Mrs. Percy Woods in Ebenezer are nieces. It has only been the last 12 years or so that Mrs. Smith has been sightless but continues to knit hundreds of pairs of socks and mittens for local children.

 2006-0020-2711 2006-0020-2712 2006-0020-2713 New taxi with 1,300 miles on it ends up in the bay off the town dock. The driver was Dalton Crawford who went down with the car but managed to roll down a window and escape. Owner of the taxi is Bert Martin. Several attempts had to be made by Ken Beatty before the heavily damaged vehicle was salvaged.

 2006-0020-2699 New MPDHS cheer leading squad bolstered by the addition of two boys. Front, Gerald Sibbald, Sheila Barber, Linda Contois, Shirley King, Janice Switzer and Don Biggs, rear, Sylvia White, Marilyn Thompson, Gail Gamna, Gail Marshall, Lucille Duquette and Rosemary Shields.

 2006-0020-2723 Often called the greatest invention of the 20th century and credited with saving hundreds of lives, workers paint the white lines on the newly surfaced highway through Victoria Harbour.

 2006-0020-1944 New choir leader and organist at Knox Presbyterian Church Midland is Stanley Harman seen relaxing in his Manly Street home. Recently retired after serving 30 years as an official with the CNR in Toronto and Montreal.

 2006-0020-2621 Huge boulders and lots of stone were encountered by contractors as they extended the Tiny Township portion of Hugel Ave. out to Highway 27. Many of the larger boulders were re-buried in pits alongside the new road. 

  • Midland Parks Commission crews are removing and cutting into firewood about twenty mature trees in Little Lake Park which have been considered unsafe. Chairman W. J. Murray said that sixty, four year old pine, larch, elm , maple, polar, oak, walnut and butternut trees have been moved from the arboretum at the park’s west end and transplanted. Two photos below from 1953 show the planting of the arboretum.

 2006-0020-0086 Scouting youth and leaders as well as Midland Parks Commission staff are seen examining newly planted seedlings on the North side of Little Lake. Twenty two different varieties have been planted, signs mark Norway Spruce and European Larch. St. Margaret’s Scout group help weed the Midland Parks Board arboretum seed bed. Men in the photo are Scoutmaster Ted Johnstone, Park Board Chairman William Murray , Parks Superintendent Harold (Mac) McAllen. Boys in the group are John Barber, Francis Cadieux, Lloyd Kaus, Bill Deschamp, Larry Deschamps, George Johnstone, Doug Blake, Phillip Charlesbois and Ronnie Dalziel.

 2006-0020-0087 Rover Scouts Bill Lavigne and Guy Johnstone; Scouts, Ross Lavigne and Ronnie Larmand and Cubs Bernie Montgomery and Wayne Lavigne weed seedling trees. Little Lake is in the background. 

  • Courses in basic English and citizenship for new Canadians operated by the Midland – Penetanguishene High School Board will open Tuesday October 9th. Registration begins at the YMCA at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 5th.
  • The board of the Protestant Separate School in Penetang has found it necessary to open a new classroom this term and has been successful in finding a new teacher. Board chairman Ed Webster said attendance at the school has increased by 42 students during the past three years, from 172 to 214.
  • CKVR TV in Barrie seeks to increase the power of its transmission much to the dislike of many local viewers. While few viewers were happy with the allocation of channel 3 to Barrie because of the virtual block-out of channels two and four from Buffalo, the increase in power will extend that interference to a larger part of the province.
  • Lawrence Fournier of Penetang, while playing cribbage with fellow Beatty employees, was dealt a perfect hand.
  • Wood for sale; 4′ lengths $10.00 per cord, 16″ lengths $12.00 per cord.
  • Perkinsfield farmer fined $25.00 by magistrate K. A. Cameron for not filing his 1952 income tax return. His defense included, “I don’t know whether I made a dollar or spent one, I don’t keep any records. It’s all the same to me, I can’t read or write anyway.”
  • At the Pen, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in “The Long, Long Trailer”. 
  • At the Roxy; Gary Cooper, Charles Bickford, Ralph Bellamy and Rod Steiger in “The Court Marshall of Billy Mitchell”.
  • Advertisements: Hillsdale – Waverly Bus Line to Midland, daily except Sundays. Parkside Pavillion, A Jamboree of Country Rock & Roll starring the fabulous Red Monroe and the Country Mainliners. Bourgeois Motors, see the magnificent 1957 Meteor today at our Vinden Street showroom. Fall Fashion Show accompanied by live models, put on by Edwards and held at the community hall in Wyevale. Mrs. Olive Brunelle wishes to announce that the Chalet Beauty Salon at 248 King Street will no longer be open for business. Thanksgiving Dinner at Bourgeois Lakeshore Dining Room, $1.50 for either turkey, fried chicken, roast beef or pork chops and $1.75 for T-Bone steak. Gammon Tires, 189 Dominion Ave., Don’t wait until the snow falls, winter tires, 670-15’s, $29.00 a pair. Cottage Lots, now available for lease on Christian Island Reserve. Opening October 15th, Major Hairdressing at 215 King Street, Gertrude Major proprietress. G&M Shoppe and Watson’s Ladies Wear , Elmvale, are promoting “Teena – Paige” fashions sizes 7-15 and “Harbrook” English sweaters.
  • Plastics division of Percy Harmant Co. becomes the Plastic Division of Midland Industries Limited, 36,000 square foot addition to Elizabeth Street plant to start immediately. Harmant has been in the plastics business for 20 years operating from a six storey factory on King Street in Toronto.
  • H. J. Payette, son of Mr. & Mrs. Napoleon Payette and a native of Penetang, received papal honours when he was elevated to knight commander of St. Gregory the Great in a ceremony in London Ont. where he now works for the Catholic School Board.
  • Ontario vehicle registrations in 1955 were 1,617,000, forty percent of Canada’s total. In 2015 the total was 7.9 million, thirty six percent of the national total.
  • Doug Strathearn moves his jewellery business from 215 King to 245 King, the former site of Ted McKillens clothing store. The store operated by his grandfather, George Strathearn, was originally located near the Queen’s Hotel at the corner of King and Bay and was advertising in the Free Press in 1872. It then moved to where the Bank of Montreal is located, then to 215 King where it has been for 28 years.
  • Jim O’Hearn is to manage the Knights of Columbus bowling alley that is to be officially opened Friday night.
  • St. Andrew’s Hospital Auxiliary is holding a “Pantry-shelf Pick Up” Thursday and Friday. Includes Jams, Jellies, Juice, Fruit, Vegetables, Pickles, etc. Labelled contributions to be placed in a conspicuous spot on your veranda by 10 a.m. Sealers only will be returned empty, if name and address is on the label.
  • Georgian Bay Propane formerly situated on the town dock has moved to 207 Hugel Ave. E., the Georgian Block.
  • 25 YEARS AGO, 1931 – Foundations for the new $34,900 post office and customs building at Main and Robert Streets in Penetang, had been started. May 1932 was the date set for completion. Stanley Dobson of Midland broke his own junior shot put record in the eight-pound event at the track and field meet at the Barrie Fair. He also won the 12-pound event. In a relay race from Victoria Harbour to Midland, a Victoria Harbour team defeated a Midland aggregation. First lacrosse game in Penetang in 20 years , saw Penetang gain a 3-2 win over a team from Barrie. Midland council, under the direction of Mayor Roebuck, held a special meeting to draft a program of work for the town’s unemployed. Fire which broke out in Lionel Bourgeois’ service station in Victoria Harbour about 9.30 a.m. October 7th, completely destroyed the building. Only the cash register, a desk and chair were saved. A severe electrical storm swept across North Simcoe causing major damage to hydro lines in Midland. Transformers at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland Shipyard, on Queen, Johnston, William and Yonge Streets were in some cases damaged beyond repair.
  • Keith Preston of Midland out-fiddled nine other contestants last week at Elmvale to win the old time fiddlers contest at that community’s fall fair.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back MPDHS Official Opening Oct 3rd 1956

2006-0020-2834 From sugar bush to super school, only a few short months ago George Ingram’s sugar bush occupied the land on which sits this million dollar building, the new Midland Penetanguishene District High School. Pressed into use last January the building will be officially opened Wednesday (Oct 3, 1956) afternoon and evening.


2006-0020-2841The official opening and laying of the cornerstone by former MHS principal J. J. Robins for the new MPDHS high school in Tay Township just west of Midland.  Mr. Robins had been principal of MHS for 32 years prior to his retirement. At an evening function Mr. Robins was presented with a television set in recognition of his long service to the community. Rev. B. G. Brightling of Penetang conducted the dedication service.2006-0020-2842  J. J. Robins speaks at the official opening.

2006-0020-2843J. J. Robins, retiring principal of MPDHS was once a pupil of the Hon. W. J. Dunlop, minister of education for Ontario. The two men and spouses met again during the official opening of the new MPDHS in Tay Township.

2006-0020-2839 Relaxing on the lawn after the serious business of laying the cornerstone of the new MPDHS, officials are Tom M. McCullough, chairman of the board and W. H. Morrisson vice-chairman; Dr. W. J. Dunlop, minister of education for Ontario; board members, Clarke Edwards and Dr. J. R. Parrott. Facing sideways on the right is Rev. B. G. Brightling of Penetang who conducted the dedication service.

  • Program for the official opening was; Laying of the corner stone before the entire student body at 2:45 PM. Rev Arthur J. Lewis of Penetang to perform the dedication. [He was taken ill and replaced by Rev. B. G. Brightly of Penetang] Ex-principal J. J. Robins will lay the cornerstone followed by the presentation of the trowel by trustee Dr. J. R. Parrott. Following a banquet for invited guests, the evening program begins at 8 p.m. with selections by the school glee club, directed by R. C. Ireland. Guests will be introduced by MPDHS board chairman T. M. McCullough. Trustee Clarke Edwards will make a presentation to J. J. Robins. Trustee W. H. Morrison will introduce the guest speaker, Hon. Dr. W. J. Dunlop, Minister of Education for the province of Ontario. Principal L. M. Johnston will address the gathering, after which the public will have an opportunity to inspect the school. Light refreshments will be served in the cafeteria.
  • Clarke Edwards presented the gift of a TV and Tower TV hookup to retired MHS principal J. J. Robins with these words. “As a representative of the board, it is my pleasure to express appreciation to J. J. Robins, who retired as principal of MPDHS 2 years ago, after 33 years in the position. Mr. Robins began teaching in the MHS in September, 1920. In 1923 he received his high school principal certificate and was appointed principal of the school, the youngest high school principal in the province at that time. In the beginning he had 110 pupils and 5 staff and over the years this increased to 18 teachers and 575 pupils. During this time two additions were built on the school. Mr. Robins achieved the amazing record of not missing one day of school for the first 30 years, and then only due to an operation.”
  • The first high school board in Midland consisted of chairman W. J. Parkhill, and members James Playfair, Peter Potvin, F. J. McCallum, F. W. Jeffery, A. A. Osborne, I Freeman and T. I. Trueman. That was in 1904 when E. Simpson was engaged as the first principal of the new four roomed building on Sixth Street south. Midland’s first venture into secondary education. Eighty-five students enrolled in the first school, built by J. M. Wallace and A. Cook. D. Patchell was supervisor of construction and T. J. Campbell installed the heating and ventilation system. Principal Simpson died in 1909 and was succeeded by W. A. Glass who resigned in 1922. Miss E. M. Boyle , who had been in the school for seven years, was the next principal followed a year later by J. J. Robins. Contractors Webb and Cumming built a new wing on the school in 1923. That year also saw the first edition of the year book the “Tattler”. Never to be forgotten, are the 28 young men who gave their lives in World War II and the scores of former members of the school cadet corps who served in time of war.
  • In June, 1953, Midland and Penetang councils first approved the building of a joint high school for the Georgian Bay area in Tay Township. Strong support in promoting the decision to the councils came from W. H. Morrison and Msgr. J. M. Castex in Penetang, and T. M. McCullough in Midland.
  • School cost estimates close. When the MPDHS board met in mid May of this year, it had about $3,500. “leeway” after raising and spending just over one million dollars on the new school building.

 2006-0020-2775 Jane Lippert, young Toronto artist works on the huge mural that will decorate the main hallway of the new Midland Penetanguishene District High School in Tay township. School board members Tom M. McCullough, chairman Clarke Edwards and Karl Bertrand.


2006-0020-2865We have no names for these five. The photo was used in the paper but the boys were not identified. They may be grade eight students on orientation. Please comment if you know any of them.

2006-0020-2858 Serving counter in the new cafeteria at MPDHS.

 2006-0020-1827 Bright sunny classrooms like this one on the west side of the new Midland Penetang District High School are designed with a new type of move-able desks that add to the adaptability of the room. 

2006-0020-1875Midland Penetang District High School new combination gym and auditorium can seat 1,000 people and be divided in two by giant folding doors for various functions. The fine stage area will feature a grand piano and in the future will host many events. (When I attended we used the gym also as a cafeteria and it was informally called the cafatorium)

 2006-0020-1876 Midland Penetang District High School industrial arts wood working room.

  • Penetang High School, in fifty years, produced its full share of pupils whose names are heard daily in the professions, on Parliament Hill and in many countries of the globe. Set high on a hill to the East of Church Street, the old school commanded a beautiful view of Penetang Bay and the hills beyond. Today (1956) the old school , now owned by the municipality, is still dispensing education. Since September 1955 it has been used to take the overflow of boys from the Public Schools. A Mr. Allingham opened high school classes in the town hall in 1905 while the new school was being built. Mr. Keoh and Mr. Hutchinson were teachers in the new school with Mr. Allingham the first principal. A short time after the opening R. D. Keefe, father of Midland’s Beverley and Neville Keefe, assumed the duties of principal. In the early thirties Mr. Keefe moved on to the Department of Education and W. H. Bolger became principal. He was followed by Emmett Doris. The last principal was R. C. Gauthier, now assistant principal at the new MPDHS.
  • Many contractors and suppliers placed ads in the newspaper congratulating the school board and community on the completion of the new high school. T. G. Wilcox, of Midland, excavating, grading and sodding. Cuthbert Annand of Midland, roofing and flashing. A. Barrie & Sons of Midland, furniture for the ladies staff room and dining area. Sutherland-Schultz Electric Co. of Kitchener, electrical work. Page & Steele architects. Wood’s Sanitation for the Nation, janitorial equipment. Edwards of Midland, flooring, draperies. Preston – Noelting Co. of Stratford, office furniture. National Show Case Co. Ltd., laboratory desks, teachers desks, all office fixtures. George Price & Co. Ltd. of Coldwater, plumbing and heating. Hospital & Kitchen Equipment Co. of Toronto, kitchen and cafeteria equipment. Ball Bros. Ltd. of Kitchener, general contractors. Gestetner Canada Ltd. of Toronto, duplicators. Terrazzo Mosaic & Tile Co. Ltd. of Toronto, tile and terrazzo.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 24th to 30th, 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006-0020-2639 Busiest men in Elmvale this week were R. W. Bertram, fall fair president and his secretary, J. A. Robertson. The fair was deemed a success despite the weather. Another sour note was the refusal by the musicians union to allow the army band from Camp Borden to participate in the parade.

 2006-0020-2604 Three members of the Elmvale 4-H Calf Club are seen with their prize-winning dairy calves at the Elmvale Fall Fair. Calder Hunter, left, had the best calf and placed second in showmanship, Barbara Strath had the third place calf but placed first in showmanship and Donald Palmer took second with his calf and third on showmanship.

 2006-0020-2606 Judged the best float entered by a one room school at the Elmvale Fall Fair was the one from SS #8, Flos. Taking care of Humpty are Eelke Tjweedsma, Jackie Thurlow and Earl Cooper.

 2006-0020-2846 One of the best school fairs in Simcoe County is the one held in conjunction with the Elmvale Fair. First prize for public school float was won by Elmvale Public School. Melodie Ritchie, 6, was Little Miss Muffet.

 2006-0020-2601 Another fine float entered by Waverly Public School had little Debbie Currie, 5, as queen of the fair.

 2006-0020-2603 2006-0020-2607 Elmvale main street during fall fair parade, school children, SS #15  Gibson float and marchers.

 2006-0020-2608 Sheaves of golden grain such as this one displayed at the Tiny-Tay Fair are a rarity this year as rain has spoiled many of the field crops in Ontario. Dale Jackson, right,  and Gail Morden of Midland are seen looking at the prize-winning sheave.

 2006-0020-2614 A large group of public school children pictured at the ball diamond during the Midland Fall Fair.

 2006-0020-2871Community Concert Association officials pictured  at their campaign dinner in the YMCA Monday night are, seated, Mrs. (Art) A. H. Tweedle and Mrs. (Bill) W. E. Hannah (Joan), standing, J. Stuart Nall, Mrs. Ken J. Ellis and president Charles E. Onley.

2006-0020-2585Local contractor Tom Laidlaw removes the bell tower from the Salvation Army Citadel on Dominion Ave. The tower was a prominent part of the second Baptist Church in Midland when it was dedicated in 1899. It was acquired by the Salvation Army when a new Baptist church was purchased on Midland Ave. from the Methodist congregation who had moved into their new church on King Street in 1902.

 2006-0020-2595 Held up for nearly a week due to inclement weather, the first track meet on the new MPDHS grounds was held Tuesday. Helping to keep things on schedule and recording the results are Dean Nicholls, Doug Swales and John Dalrymple.

 2006-0020-2637 2006-0020-2638Diesel locomotives in Port McNicoll to test the trestle. Steam is being replaced by diesel across the CPR, Port will be the last place in Ontario to use regularly assigned steam locomotives. The scene is beside the coal chute in the Port McNicoll yard. Officials were concerned about the weight of the engines affecting the trestle, their combined weight was 518,000 pounds. The first train pulled across the 2,740 foot long trestle by diesels contained 63 loads of grain bound for the East Coast.

 2006-0020-1945T.  A. “Bert” Armstrong is the new man in charge at the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll. Bert takes over from J. B. Winfield who died last July. Well known in sporting circles in Midland and area, Bert has been a local resident since he was eight years old and started his CPR career in 1926. 

  • Marino Construction Co. Ltd. of Toronto has been awarded a town contract to install sewers, water mains and roads in the Ward Four Beauchamp subdivision, work to be completed by November 23rd. The $48,664.00 contract is for the southern section of the subdivision where several homes are already under construction, the land is largely owned by Ernest Leitz Co. and H. J. Beauchamp. Mr. Marino owns considerable property in Midland.
  • Earliest snow in 116 years whitens North Simcoe Thursday evening but the Collingwood – Orangeville area received four to six inches.
  • Huronia Museum, after a successful season with 12,000 visitors, will close on September 30th, announced curator A. D. Tushingham.
  • Thirteen year old Elmvale lad killed in an accident with the family farm tractor he was driving to Wyevale School to pull their fall fair float. Trustees cancelled fair plans and the school was closed until after the funeral.
  • Kiddies pure nylon snow suits, quilted lining, regular $6.00, special sale $3.99, Cross Country Cut Rate Ltd. King Street.
  • Imported Dutch bulbs, .69 cents per dozen or $5.50 per hundred at Mac Perrin’s Flower Shop, King Street opposite the Post Office.
  • PMCL offering Autumn Color Tour to Algonquin Park this Sunday.
  • Public Notice, Town of Midland proposes a by-law to close Lilly and Ella Streets in the town of Midland and those affected will be heard at a council meeting to be held on October 15th. [Ella & Lilly ran parallel between Railway and Center Streets, the current site of Midland’s Water & Waste Water Treatment Center.]
  • More than 100 local residents motored to Toronto on Sunday to attend the mass rally of more than 12,000 Anglicans at Maple Leaf Gardens.
  • Footings were poured for a new curling rink in Elmvale, located west of the Memorial Arena.
  • Captain D’Alton Hudson to bring his 400th cargo into the port of Goderich this week. His first was back in 1918.
  • MPDHS board anticipates a record crowd for the official opening of the new high school on Wednesday evening.
  • Penetang’s population according to the recent census is 5,317 which includes 600 persons at the Ontario Hospital.
  • J. A. Gervais, Department of Transport inspector and son of Mrs. C. W. Gervais of Waubaushene, has been in town recently logging the geographical location of each radio transmitting station. The four stations in Midland not including the Marconi Wireless station are; Georgian Bay Airways, Deluxe Taxi, Wilson Taxi and the Town of Midland.
  • According to Gregory Clark, noted author, the best paddles and oars made anywhere along Georgian Bay, are fashioned in the Penetang workshop of Levi Simon, formerly of Christian Island. “They are worth twice what he asks for them.”
  • Walpole Island, Island 41 in Six Mile Lake, to be sold at public auction to recover tax arrears of $27.90.
  • Wednesday night was moving night for five bowling alleys for the new Knights of Columbus Hall in Penetang. Stored since last winter, the heavy, cumbersome alleys were carried nearly a block by seventy volunteers. A sixth alley is on order from a supplier.
  • Ten shippers were forbidden to ship milk and 15 others warned after a series of tests by Simcoe County Health Unit officials found the milk to be low-grade. Main cause was found to be faulty cooling and improper care of milking machines.
  • Weddings;  Margaret Dundas, daughter of Earl Dundas, Wyebridge and Morley Marchant, son of Mr. & Mrs. George Marchant, RR 1 Midland, at St. Mark’s. Theresa Lalonde, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Herb Lalonde, Perkinsfield and Herman Quesnelle, son of Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Quesnelle at St. Patrick’s. Ida Gillespie, daughter of Mrs. Stella Gillespie and John Evans Gardner Jr., son of Mr. & Mrs. J. E. (Chris) Gardner, Midland, at Knox. Betty Beausoleil, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Clement Beausoleil, Penetang, and Marcel Bidan, adopted son of Mr. & Mrs. Marcel Grenier, Tiny Twp., at St. Ann’s. Rena Merle Wilson of Midland and John Horace Bell of Waubaushene were married in a quiet ceremony at St. Paul’s. Marlene Marie Paradis, second daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Felix Paradis, Penetang and Paul Marson, son of Mr. & Mrs. Ed Marson, Toronto, at St. Ann’s.