Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 16th to 23rd 1956

2006-0020-2822 Tight semi-final series between Midland & Allenwood softball teams came to a climax when Allenwood took a 4-3 verdict to win the series 3-2. Allenwood will now meet Elmvale for the Georgian Bay title. Midland team members are, front row; Bill Yorke, Jim Johnson, Ted Brady, Jack Toole, Les Scott, George McFarlane. Back row; Connie Adams, Garnet Drinkle, Charlie Spiker, Jerry Borsa, Murray Yorke, Fred Hook and “Buck” Rogers.

 2006-0020-1881 Foundation for Midland’s newest factory, Pinecrest Products, a manufacturer of unfinished furniture. The building is being constructed by Webster Smallwood of Midland and will have 8,000 square feet of space. It is located on the south side of Bay Street between Olive and William and owned by Robert Holt.

2006-0020-2593 Burglary equipment found on the roof of Walker Store Ltd. on King Street  is displayed by chief Constable Robert Cameron Monday after an unsuccessful break in attempt.


2006-0020-2615 Mrs. Annie Ridley is celebrating her 89th birthday at her home on Third Street in Port McNicoll Wednesday. Born at Burton-on-Trent, England, Annie came to Canada as a girl of 12 and has lived in Port for the last 8 years.

2006-0020-2845 Five of the six men connected with boy’s athletics at the new MPDHS are pictured here. Bill Kennedy, assistant coach in charge of junior rugby; Doug Swales, head coach who pilots the senior teams; Bill Setterington, head of the physical education department; Tom Cavanagh, who is assisting the junior football program; Emile Blouin, track and field coach. Absent is Don Kenwell.

 2006-0020-2815 Football season is just around the corner at MPDHS and Doug Swales is seen watching the lads in the backfield during a practice. Bob McIntyre, Joe Huston, Ed Trudeau; back row, Jerome St. Amant, Frank Holmes, Vic Zabzinski. Quarterback is Connie Maurice.

2006-0020-2827Hive of activity is this gravel pit filled with pieces of equipment just north of the overhead railroad bridge in Victoria Harbour. Operated by the Beamish Construction Company the pit is being used to supply the new surface to Highway 12 between Midland and Waubaushene. The work is nearly completed.

 [There were many Fall Fair photos in the Free Press during  this week in 1956, but the negatives are not in our collection. Most of the photos, for which we have negatives, are being shown in this blog each week except for the mangled automobiles and the many fish photos. Below are two more negatives from 1954]

 2006-0020-0465 Bill Barnett handing trophies to three young boys who are also wearing ribbons on their gym shirts. Tom Tushingham center, Central School junior champ in the Midland Public School’s track and field meet. Paul Crawford grade eight at Regent School intermediate champ and John Koeing grade seven at Sixth Street, senior champ.

2006-0020-0466 Champions of the girls division of the Midland Public Schools track & field meet held at the town park. Joan Budarick , grade six at Central School and Elizabeth Swales Grade Six at Regent School tied for junior girls champ. Carol Cowan grade eight at Sixth Street School, intermediate champ and Pat Fraser grade eight at Regent School, senior champ. All holding trophies and wearing award ribbons. 

  • TEN YEARS AGO 1946; The bell of the corvette “Midland” was presented to the town by the Department of Naval Affairs at a ceremony in the Arena Gardens. The bell was to rest in the town hall. —  Henry Laroche, a 24 year old from Dosquit PQ, suffocated when he fell into the grain hold of the Bryn Barge while it was docked at the Simcoe Elevator.   —   Midland’s active service veterans from World War II were to be presented with wallets inscribed with “Presented by the Town of Midland to Veterans of World War II”. Presentation was to be made by mayor C. M. Vent at a civic reception in the Arena Gardens.   —   A valuable diary containing the story of this community and the people in it for a period of forty years was destroyed when the owner accidentally burned it while housecleaning.  —-   A 6400 series  CNR steam engine , one of the most modern and mightiest, arrived from Toronto with an excursion for the Martyr’s Shrine. It was the first time one of the streamlined monarchs had ever been on local lines.   —-   Plans had been completed and tenders called for Midland’s new theatre by Toronto architect H. G. Drurr. The new theatre has been designed to seat 850 patrons and was to be entirely fireproof.
  • Local firm, Allgerow Enterprises owned by George Gerow has been awarded a $41,500.00 plumbing contract for 100 houses being moved by the city of Hamilton from the downtown to a residential area.
  • Ken Williams (May) set a new record for both male and female bowlers when she scored a 412 game in league competition, 12 more than the previous record set by Mrs. Bruce Spicer (Dorothy) last year.  The men’s best is a 407 bowled by Ross Cioe. A perfect game is 450.
  • Tiny Township police chief Raymond Belcourt reports that a cottage was broken into and the only thing stolen was the toilet.
  • Advertisement for Romey’s Grill, 231 King Street.
  • Seventeen schools march in Coldwater’s Huronia Fair parade. Fourteen were one room schools.
  • The Free Press in 1956 is still very much geared to the local farmers. Article in the paper urges growers to watch out for “ring rot” in your potato crops.
  • Simcoe County CAS has 449 wards currently in their care, in boarding homes, on adoption probation, in wage or free homes, at Ontario hospitals, training schools and elsewhere.
  • Canadian Nameplate posts a half page letter explaining its position in the contract negotiations with its unionized work force.
  • Article on the history of the R.C. Church in Honey Harbour states that services dated from 1878 when Jesuit priests came from Manitoulin Island once or twice a year. The first recorded baptism was Christina Lalonde in 1868. The first church ws built in 1909 by Father Cabot, S. J. with organ, prayer books and pews provided by Father Barcelo of Midland.
  • The mayors of Midland & Penetanguishene proclaim the week of September 24, 1956 to September 29, 1956 officially as Community Concert Week.
  • Ontario’s Attorney General’s Office has ordered that sellers of used cars must provide a certificate of mechanical fitness to purchasers.
  • The first Canadian census was taken in 1666 and showed 3,215 inhabitants exclusive of first peoples.
  • D. L. Nicholls Funeral Home announcement that during enlargement and renovation of their facility, funerals will be conducted from the former R. E. Simpson & Sons Funeral Parlour, entrance off Elizabeth Street.
  • Many advertisements in the paper for merchants showing at the Fall Fair, inviting people to visit their booths.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 8th to 15th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

 2006-0020-188890 Ton punch press is used by Canadian Name Plate in its new Midland plant for blanking and forming stove and refrigerator panels and trim. Operated by one of the many female employees at the plant.

 2006-0020-1891 A sample board in the front entrance of the Canadian Name Plate Co. Ltd. plant on Bay Street displays only a few of the hundreds of panels and trim manufactured for the automobile and appliance industry. Adding another item is employee Mrs. Dora Taylor.

 2006-0020-1889Foreman of the polishing department of Canadian Nameplate, Gordon Higgs is seen inspecting a piece of metal that has come out of the automatic polishing machine.

 2006-0020-1890 Electroplating is one of the many operations carried out at the Canadian Name Plate  plant in Midland. Rudolph Pheiffer examines a rack of stove panels that he processed in the nickel tank.

 2006-0020-1887Ferric chloride acid is used for etching copper and brass at the plant. Art Miller, foreman of the etching department is checking a rack of samples.

 2006-0020-1892This big power off-set printing press is used for printing acid resisting ink onto sheet metal. Foreman in the white coat is Tom Boast.

 2006-0020-2821 Bill Edwards displays his first Muskie which he caught off Present Island. Bill and his companion, former Midlander Brian Dunfield, were trolling when Bill caught this 43 inch 20 pound fish.

 2006-0020-2820 Mount St. Louis school marches to the Coldwater Fall Fair, complete with their own clown.

 2006-0020-2613 Pretty girls and pretty flowers at the Coldwater Fair. Miss Glenda Gill and Mrs. Iris Beach , both of Coldwater, admire the display of the Huronia Horticultural Society.

 2006-0020-1928Former Penetang councillor and WW 2 veteran Jack Robbins has been appointed plant superintendent at Canadian Name Plate, Midland.

 2006-0020-2825Near perfect circle formed by two large trees and lower shrubbery is plainly visible to north bound drivers on Highway 27 a mile south of Wyebridge.


2006-0020-0259 2006-0020-0263

 The museum’s Free Press negative collection begins in 1953, we started the blog in November of 1954, so we will include a few images of 1953/54 from time to time.

 March 1954. Midland Shearlings 25,000 square foot plant on Yonge Street E. is destroyed by a fire which started in a drying room, loss valued up to $250,000.00. Ninety people are out of work. Local partner and manger is Henry Bernick. The building was torn down in 1957.

 2006-0020-0326April 1954. Midland Red Wings hockey team pictured on the ice at the Midland Arena Gardens. Back home at 4:00 AM after winning the Junior “C” Championship in Ingersoll Friday night.  Back row, Jack Reid, Ken Webb, Homer Barrett, stick boy Barry Crawford, Murray Yorke, Jack Hendrickson, Ken Simms, Stan Ritchie, Middle row, Larry Reid, secretary Cliff Newburn, Bruce Calvert, Gerry Gerow, Bud Quinn, Don Hudson and Charlie York, kneeling; Mike Belejac team captain, Johnny Lizotte, Mervin James, trainer Harold Jackson. 

  • Parking meters are coming off on October 15th for the winter season.
  • Eight Midland streets got a face lift within the past week. Crushed stone and tar, “chip & tar”, have been applied to Hanley [sic] Street, Donalda, Ruby, William from Ruby to Hanley, Eighth to Dominion, Seventh to Hugel, Montreal to Seventh.
  • Tay Township and Midland agree on sewage charges, Tay to pay for connecting the new MPDHS in Tay and residential lots on Hugel Ave. to the Midland system.
  • CNR petitions the Board of Transportation Commissioners to remove the grade crossing warning device on Robert St. W., scene of a fatal accident last winter. Installed in 1915 when four passenger trains and two freights plus extras used the line daily, now reduced to one freight three times a week. Railway would replace the signal with manual flagging.
  • Yeggs (burglars) steal $800.00 from two vaults in the Waubaushene general store of W.H.F. Russell and Sons.
  • Midland Council opens four bids for sanitary landfill services, lowest bid for a five year contract was $6,495.00 annually. Bidders were Thomas Wilcox, Charles Morden, Herman Latanville and Charles Stewart. The proposed site is the old Letherby mill property. Council deferred action. [The dump eventually went to what is now Tiffin Park. The garbage was collected in trucks and was dumped over the edge of the south facing hill.]
  • Five hundred Lamprey Eels and three thousand suckers were removed from the Sturgeon River this year by Robert Thomson working for the Department of Lands and Forests. Mr. Thomson noted that the eels are most active from sunset until 2 a.m. and when water temperatures are warmer.
  • Toronto bridegroom spent his honeymoon in jail after being charged by Const. Murray Tamblyn with drunk driving. His bride and another couple spent the night in their car at a Fergusonvale garage.
  • Shoe Corp. of America and Monsanto Canada form a new company, United Shoe Plastics Limited. It will lease office and manufacturing space in the planned expansion of the shoe factory on Elizabeth Street and employ a dozen persons initially.
  • Twenty five thousands visitors tour the Huron Indian Village this summer reports the Midland Y’s Men’s Club.
  • MPDHS board will pay the same for milk this year as it has since the school opened. Five tenders opened at Wednesday’s meeting all quoted the same price, 5 cents per half pint and 19 cents per quart. The dairies have been alternating on a monthly basis supplying the school.
  • Midland Drive-In, their Monday – Tuesday special this week is free admission for lady drivers.
  • Argue’s Meat Market, Midland and Victoria Harbour, is selling government inspected baby beef, front quarters .29 cents/lb and hind quarters .39 cents/lb.
  • Effective this Saturday the chartered banks in North Simcoe will be raising the interest rate paid on savings accounts to 2-1/2 %.
  • PUC secretary Stewart Holt tells the inaugural meeting  of the commission that water tests taken from the bay “were very bad” although Little Lake water consistently tested satisfactory. “Without a sewage treatment plant health officials will never allow the town to use bay water.” Staff were instructed to price the enlargment of the current reservoirs.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 1st to 7th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

  2006-0020-2501 Ceremonies marking the end of the Ignatian year highlighted events at the Martyr’s Shrine Sunday. St. Ignatius founded the Jesuit Order with which the Martyr’s Shrine and Ste. Marie are linked. The caption talks about the possibility of Russian spies in the crowd due to the majority of those present being Polish.

 2006-0020-2850 Newly inducted to the three point charge of Victoria Harbour, Port McNicoll and Ebenezer is Rev. N. Bruce McLeod seen with his mother, father and wife. Norman McLeod, father of the young minister, is chairman of the board of finance of the United Church in Canada. The event took place in Port McNicoll Thursday night. The Rev. N. Bruce McLeod became the youngest moderator (leader) of the United Church of Canada in 1972.

 2006-0020-2849 Proud of his flower beds is Midland Footwear and Midland Plastics Ltd. caretaker John Hewitt. Admiring his work along the front of the joint plants on Elizabeth Street East are Alice Schmitz and Dana Zapletal, members of the office staff.

 2006-0020-2810 Pamela Leduc, held by Tom McCullough, draws the winning ticket in the Lion’s Club boat raffle. The winner of the $2,500.00 craft was three year old Rickey Cuffe of Hydro Glen. The location is the Midland Curling Club. [I have seen this same ticket tumbler in a Penetang Lion’s Club photo being used at the Penetang arena]

2006-0020-2857Helping to keep the big Simcoe County golf tournament running smoothly at the Midland Golf & Country Club are Les Marsell, “Moe” Beteau and Jack Danby, the home club captain. A total of 91 players took part in the 27 hole event. 

2006-0020-2809 Mrs. Pat Arthurs, right, lost her husband and eldest daughter in a motor crash near Coldwater last week. Shown here with her mother, Mrs. Ida Kent, the Port McNicoll woman said she has been touched by the offers of help from both friends and strangers after she was left destitute with six small children.

2006-0020-2837This unused frame dwelling in Port McNicoll, Rev. L. J. Austin says, may be renovated for the use of Mrs. Arthurs and her six children. A fund has been set up and with donations of money and labour it is hoped the home can be ready soon.

 2006-0020-2811 An area man, 23 year old Ronald Lea of RR# 1 Midland, died from injuries received when this car went out of control and careened into a ditch on the curve just north of Wyebridge early Monday morning. Mr. Lea was unmarried and lived with his mother at Firth’s Corners. 

  • Two boats collide and sink on the Severn River at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Severn Fall’s resort operator charged with dangerous operation of a vessel.
  • 65 year old Toronto tourist was struck and killed by a CNR train while taking scenery photos from the railway bridge at Hydro Glen.
  • 18 year old Port McNicoll sailor Bernard Swales injured in Toronto Harbour while operating a steam winch on the freighter Charles L. Huntley. Bernard is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Swales of Port. Andrew Swales is the second mate on the Assinaboia.
  • Body of Roger Gauthier is discovered in a Sudbury Hotel. Mr. Gauthier, aged 43, had left Penetang Saturday for Sudbury where he was to teach in a primary Separate School. The son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Gauthier, Roger had taught all his life, including SS #18 Tiny. Death was the result of coronary thrombosis.
  • While her husband was returning from early Mass Sunday morning Mrs. Adolph Charlesbois barely escaped with her life as their home on Poyntz Street was completely destroyed by fire. Everything was lost and there was very little insurance.
  • Midland Free Press wins Mason Trophy again, emblematic of the best all-round large circulation paper in Canada.
  • Harry Gill of Coldwater, one of a triumvirate of Athletes produced in North Simcoe at the turn of the century, dies in Orillia hospital at the age of 81. Like his compatriot Walter Knox, Gill was a track and field star. He later coached at the University of Iowa, Beloit College and the University of Illinois.
  • TEN YEARS AGO – Workers at the Shipyard signed a new agreement giving them a 44 hour work week instead of 48, for the same take home pay. — Rev. Basil S. Ellard has been appointed to succeed Father McNamara as parish priest at St. Margaret’s. — Prof. T. J. McIlwraith of the ROM announced that he believed archaeologists working near Warminster had discovered Cahiague, the greatest of all Huron villages. — Five Penetang High School students had been awarded scholarships valued at $100.00. Douglas Gendron, Evelyn Gendron, James Chillcott, Clarence Marchand and Doris McLaren.
  • Four hundred and eighty Simcoe County children learned to swim this summer through the Simcoe County Recreation Service, thirty-nine in our region.
  • Entries are now being received for the Old Tyme Fiddlers contest and the Horseshoe Pitching contest at the Tiny Tay Agricultural Fair, contact Jack Blackburn, secretary.
  • Wanted at once, twenty girls and women for fitting room work in Midland and Penetang. Apply to Fern Shoe Co. Ltd. Penetang or Midland Footwear Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Midland.
  • “Baby’s Night” (Age 21 to 101) “She’s in for free if she’s on your knee” when you purchase your ticket to the Midland Drive-In, Monday and Tuesday, September 10 and 11. Monday, blondes only; Tuesday, brunettes; redheads both nights. Free to the ladies every night throughout the week, Rosepoint Dinnerware.
  • Midland Public School teachers for 1956; Regent School, enrolment 545 including 57 Kindergarten pupils. Margaret Marks, Kindergarten, Mrs. Blanche Trew 1A, Mrs. Harold Cleaver 1B, Mrs. Frances Bell 2A, Miss Helen Laidlaw 2B, Mrs. Leona Lukes 3A, Miss B. McGrath 3B, Miss Hazel Healey 4A, Miss Annie Ross 4B, Miss Jessie Carson 5A, Mrs. Eleanor Mahoney combined 5B and 6B, Miss Margaret Duffett 6A, Don Brickett 7B, vice-principal Bill Barnett 8B, principal Morgan Lewis 7A and 8A. —-  Parkview School, enrolment 370 . Miss Margaret Hood, Kindergarten, Miss Genevieve Drysdale grade 1, Mrs. W. Watkinson grade 2, Mrs. Orchard Marshall grade 3, Miss Pauline McMullen grade 4, Jack Lyle grade 5 and 6, W. D. Duncan grade 7, Jack Yelland grades 7 and 8, principal James Robinson grade 8.  — Sixth Street School, enrolment 185. Miss N. G. Mullen grade 1, Miss Alberta Heasman grade 2, Mrs. Ken (Betsy) Cowan grades 3 and 4, Leslie Davidson grade 5, Miss Francis Kerr opportunity class, principal Ken Cowan boy’s promotion class.
  • Liquor vote in Wasaga Beach, wets lose.
  • Well known local man dies, Theodore King, 54, operator of King’s “Bad River” Camp near the mouth of the French River. Survived by his wife, one son Theodore and three daughters, Yvonne, Rebekah and Barbara.