Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – June 7th to 14th, 1959

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Getting a suntan comes naturally to some people; to others, it’s sometimes a painful process. Margaret Ambeau makes sure “Ray” Stewart doesn’t get a burn in the hot (90-degree) sun at Little Lake Park Wednesday by applying a soothing lotion. 

Accustomed as he is to hot spots, being a member of the permanent staff of Midland fire brigade, John Small had to take a second look at the thermometer outside the new municipal building Wednesday afternoon. It read a cool 94, at 3.30 p.m.! 

Teaching Bobby, 2, and David, nine months, to swim was a pleasant task for Mr. and Mrs. Gord Dyment at Little Lake Wednesday. The cooling waters must have had a good effect on Gord, who later that day pitched a no-hit, no-run ball game for Midland Indians at Stroud. 

Still far from its final form, the new marina being operated by Bev Keefe at the foot of Midland’s William Street already has greatly improved the landscape of that area. Eventually, the thousands of pieces of lumber from the old sawmills, readily visible in the foreground and piled up at the right, will be covered over with solid fill. The new marina is already being used by boat owners of the area. (Later Rycroft’s Marina.) 

Prompt action by three women at Victoria Harbour Sunday afternoon was credited with saving the life of 10-year old Larry Secord, of 25 Wolfe Street, Penetang. But for the quick action of his mother, Mrs. Herb Secord, his sister, Mrs. James Biggs, 19, and Barbara Brodeur, 11, of Victoria Harbour, the boy might well have drowned off the foot of government dock at the Harbour, police said. Mrs. Secord, who had lost sight of her son for only a few minutes, jumped off the dock fully clothed and brought him to shore. There Mrs. Biggs and Barbara Brodeur took over by applying artificial respiration. They were successful in bringing the boy around. 

Barbara Brodeur of Victoria Harbour, who helped revive 12-year old Larry Secord of Penetang, a near-victim of drowning at the Harbour Sunday afternoon. Only 11, Barbara is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. “Sib” Brodeur 

The official plan of the royal tour route for Midland was announced this week by the local committee. Above is a map of the streets along which the Queen and Prince Philip and their party will pass July 4 on their arrival from Penetang. The lower part of the map shows a close-up of the welcoming platform and the press boxes. 

A twelve-year-old Midland boy was badly cut on the legs and face when he accidentally ran into this plate glass window in the entrance to Graham Swales in Midland Saturday morning. Jagged sections of glass can be seen lying shattered around the leg of the table.

 An odd accident involved Deiter Bauer, 12, of 150 Sixth Street. Deiter was in the Graham Swales clothing store Saturday morning with his parents when he was attracted by the sound of car horns made by a wedding party coming down the street. Store employees said the boy, in his anxiety to see the wedding party go by, ran towards the front of the store. Instead of going through the doorway, however, he plunged headlong into the 65 by 116-inch heavy, plate glass window beside the door. Rushed to St. Andrews Hospital the lad was treated for severe cuts about the legs, head and face. 

Among Midland’s preparations for the royal visit, July 4 is the setting up of this big flower bed in Little Lake Park. Being prepared by Ed Fox, florist, at the right of the picture, the bed includes a central crown flanked by the letters ER, the union jack and the year, 1959. The flowers are of the “carpet bedding” type, including red acharanthus, grey santolina and purple and white alyssum. 

Getting this huge 3,000 KVA power transformer into position at Midland’s new Scott Street sub-station was a man-sized job. The big transformer, weighing 24,400 lbs., towers over PUC Chairman Alex Macintosh, left, and Stewart Holt, manager, (on trailer) and Dave Durgy, sales representative for Ferranti-Packard. More than 12 feet high, the transformer takes up a 9 by a 6-foot base. 

This new $41,000 substation on Scott Street, in the Wireless Hill area, is part of Midland PUC’s program designed to increase the overall capacity of hydro service throughout the town. The immediate effect of the three-phase, 3,000 KVA sub-station will be to improve service in the southeast area of town. (The roadway is  Hillcrest Lane. The new house on the left was the home of Clare and Heinz Schmidt, the next was built by Alf Rei for Jimmy Johnson and the one on the right was the home Walter and Lily Kluck. The neighbours soon complained about the noise this station made and a sound fence was erected around it.)

Because it was a way to save the town some money, Midland council Monday night agreed to a land exchange between the town and Guenther Leitz, president of Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd. The property involved is in a lane (Hillcrest Lane) that runs between Irwin and Johnston Streets, only part of which has been opened. At a council meeting May 19, Mr. Leitz said he understood that eventually, the lane was to be opened to Irwin Street. If it was, he explained, it would pass very close to his home which had to be built back from the brow of the hill owing to the contour of the land. He pointed out that he would be agreeable to deed part of his property so the lane could be run out to Scott Street rather than Irwin, and provide 20 feet of land at the jog to enable the snowplow to pass through. At that time, the council decided to inspect the land. Monday night council was informed that the Scott Street route would be much less costly to construct as it is an open field, whereas the route to Irwin is rough ground. It was pointed out that since lots 15 to 16 are owned by Mr. Leitz, there is no need for a lane behind them. Deputy-reeve Herb, Beauchamp recommended that the land exchange be made. In the motion by Aldermen Haig and Orr, the easterly 250 feet of the Johnston, to Irwin lane is to be closed in exchange for sufficient land to provide a 20-foot lane to Scott Street. In addition, 20 feet is to be taken off lot 20, plan G49, to provide sufficient turning area for the plow at the jog.

[A personal note on the above. In the mid 80’s I bought lot #20, 100’ x 200’ with a 20-foot notch out of the SW corner, from a man from Hamilton for $15,000.00. The low price was due to the fact that there were no water or sewer services available to the lot. All the houses on Hillcrest Lane shared a common water supply and sewer. I contacted the woman who lived below on Colborne Street to ask permission to cross her property. She happened to be the sister of ex-mayor and Midland lawyer Ted Symons who discovered that the Leitz family, knowing that the lot, if sold, would have no services, had included an easement across the Colborne Street property which they had once owned. Neither the real-estate company nor the seller knew of this easement. Many thanks to Ted Symons for his research and the Leitz family for their foresight.] 

Wanton destruction with no sense or meaning is evidenced above as gardener Ed Fox (kneeling) shows Don Swinson the damage wrought recently to one of the flower beds at the entrance of Little Lake Park. Mr. Fox is holding one of the many flowers broken off by some person who walked through the bed, from one end to the other. 

Old timers returning to Midland would hardly recognize the town, even after a lapse of only a decade. Hundreds of new houses have gone up in that time, particularly in the Wireless Hill area. Two of the latest to be built are seen above, with the foundations for a third. 

“Don’t ask me how I won it, I don’t know,” said Ken McCaughen of Midland, left, as he showed Larry Stein the golf trophy he won at Toronto’s Cedar Brae course last Thursday. Ken was one of 105 golfers who took part in a tournament for shoe manufacturers and retailers. He brought home the Warren T. Fegan trophy for low net.


  • Free Press headline of Wednesday, June 10, 1959; Police Nab Young Couple in $1,261.00 Store Theft. A growling dog played an important part in the apprehension of two persons subsequently charged with breaking into the Wool Shop, 307 King Street, Midland, early Tuesday morning. Charged with break, entry, and theft are a 22-year-old woman and her 30-year-old boyfriend. Police said the couple had been living together in a cottage at Balm Beach. He is also charged with possession of stolen goods, valued at $1,261. Sgt. George Wainman said the break-in apparently occurred at 3 a.m. It was discovered by Deputy-reeve Herb Beauchamp, whose residence is across the street from the Wool Shop. Mr. Beauchamp had been awakened by his dog growling in the garage, where it was tied up for the night. Mr. Beauchamp said the dog persisted in its growling and he finally went down in his pyjamas to investigate. He then became suspicious of actions going on at the store across the street and called the police.
  • County Herald headline of Friday, June 12, 1959; Letherby, Johnston Win in Conservative Sweep. Progressive-Conservative candidate Lloyd Letherby of Coldwater almost made a clean sweep of polls in the provincial election yesterday in Simcoe East riding. Sitting member, in the last legislature, Mr. Letherby led Liberal Jack Andre, his closest contender, by nearly two votes to one in the overall balloting. Also victorious at the polls in Simcoe Centre, but with a much closer margin, was veteran legislator George G. Johnston of Minesing. He polled 7,678 compared with Jerry Coughlin’s 6,317 and Derrick Manson’s 1,335. Official figures for Simcoe East riding, released last night by Returning Officer Fisher Ganton of Hillsdale, were Letherby, PC, 8,436; Andre, Liberal, 4,298; Hoult, CCF, 1,139; Argue, Conservative (Independent), 869.
  • Residents of Georgian Manor will have one of the best spots in town for viewing the royal party as they drive through the Main Street, according to Superintendent Ivan Vasey. Mr. Vasey said he has been successful in getting the use of the verandah of the Old Canada House. Bleachers will be constructed there, expressly for the use of senior citizens from the Manor. Mr. Vasey said the owner, G. Dillon, is making no charge for the space.
  • Midland town dock is to be resurfaced before the Queen arrives, Mayor Charles Stevenson told council Monday night. The mayor said he had spent the afternoon with two federal department of public works engineers who had examined the pot-holed surface of the dock. He said the new surface would be hot mix paving and would cost about $15,000. Last year the dock was treated with stone chips and tar. The mayor said a grant of $1,000 would also be made by the federal public works department toward the completion of the approaches to the new boat launching ramp between the government dock and the shipyard.
  • A former Midlander who has become internationally known for his artwork in oil, watercolour, gouache and inks, Paul Rodrik will hold a display of his paintings in Edwards Specialty Shoppe June 18, 19 and 20. More than 300 district citizens have been invited to attend the exhibition of this foremost Canadian artist. Son of the late Franz Johnston, one of Canada’s Group of Seven, Paul Rodrik has achieved public acclaim as a painter of both extreme tradition and extreme modern abstraction.
  • “I hate to leave this wonderful place — particularly in the summertime, but we will be back,” Guenther Leitz, president of Ernst Leitz (Canada) Ltd., said Monday shortly before leaving with his family for a year in Germany. Mr. Leitz told this newspaper that he was returning to Germany to help with the “management re-organization” of the parent company and he expected it would take about one year. “We have been very happy about coming to Midland and are very pleased with our business relationships here,” Mr. Leitz stated.
  • A directive is to be sent to the Midland police department, requesting that they pay prompt attention to complaints from citizens about the actions of dew worm pickers. The motion came as a result of a discussion on complaints that the worm pickers were damaging shrubs and flower beds and were startling people by looking in their windows. Alderman James Mackie said that any property owner has the right to phone the police because these people are trespassing on private property. Alderman Haig agreed and said that the worm pickers should obtain permission from the property owners before they trespass.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Because of financial difficulties encountered by the town of Penetanguishene in the 1930s, the Ontario Municipal Board refused to approve a request for a $75,000 debenture issue by the town without prior approval of the ratepayers. The money was to be used for the construction of a new hospital and a recreation centre. As the projects would add seven to eight mills to the rate, council abandoned the idea. * * * Three men and a girl were contesting Simcoe East riding in the June 27 federal election. The four candidates were Marguerite Marchildon, Union of Electors, W. A. Robinson. Liberal, J. E. Skelton, CCF, and J. E. Wood. Conservative. * * * Approximately $14,000 damage was caused to the garage, buses and equipment of Penetang – Midland Coach Lines Ltd. in an early morning fire at Penetang. One large 29-passenger bus was completely destroyed. * * * Coldwater council estimated that, if the $11,300 budget, requested by the public school board — $2,500 more than the previous year — could not be pared, the village tax rate for 1949 would be eight mills higher than the 1948 levy. * * * A former warden of Simcoe County and county clerk for 27 years. J. T. Simpson announced he would retire at the end of the year. * * * At a district convention of Women’s Institutes at Waubaushene, delegates approved a proposal to split the East Simcoe District and form a new district of North Simcoe. The split was agreed upon because the larger area was causing administrative problems. * * * Some 25,000 persons were eligible to vote in Simcoe East on federal election day, June 27. In Midland 4594 were eligible and in Penetang, 2,433.


Looking Back to June 1939

William Casselman, 74, Farmer Son of Pioneer Lumberman Tells Tales of Early Days in Village – When Hotels and Industry Flourished
by J. H. Cranston
   It may astonish many of the oncoming generations to be told that the pretty little hamlet of Wyebridge was once a much more important business centre than Midland. Way back sixty or seventy years ago when Midland was just beginning to poke its nose out of the primordial mud Wyebridge was humming with activity. It was the most populous place between Barrie and Penetanguishene and boasted three hotels, three general stores, a woolen mill, two blacksmith shops, a grist mill, a lumber mill, and a number of minor industries. Big twelfth of July celebrations were held beneath gaily decorated arches, and every spring when the lumberjacks came in from the woods to squander their hard earned cash on red eye there were fights galore along the main street of the village.
    I had a chat the other day with William Astor Casselman who has lived in  Wyebridge or thereabouts all his 74 years. He has many tales to tell of the early days. Born on May 12, 1865, he was the son of Zachariah Casselman and his wife Mary Rebekah St. Lawrence Rowley. The Casselmans were strong on biblical names. Mrs. Casselman was given the name St. Lawrence because she was born on shipboard in the Gulf of St. Lawrence Her father was a veteran of the battle of Waterloo. The Casselmans originally came from Holland and took up land in the United States. When the United States broke away from Britain they came to Canada with other United Empire Loyalists and settled near Morrisburg, where Zachariah was born. One of the family heirlooms in the possession of William Casselman is a sword
worn by his maternal grandfather at the time of the Fenian Raid, and another is a stool on which his grandmother washed him as a baby.
    Zachariah Casselman came to Northern Simcoe, along about 1858-60 with his first cousin H. H. Cook to go into the lumbering business. They hired gangs of men and got out square timber which they made into rafts in Georgian Bay and towed down through the Great Lakes and the Welland Canal, running the rapids of the St. Lawrence and ultimately landing the logs at Quebec where they were put on ships
and taken to Europe, one of the other Cook brothers looked after the Quebec end of the business. “My father often made the journey to Quebec,” said Mr. Casselman. He told me that the worst storms he encountered were on Lake Erie. There they sometimes lost the rafts when they had to cut them loose. Father and Mr. Cook secured timber concessions, cut down only the choicest of the trees, not cull stuff like one sees in the mills now. They sold plenty of land for forty cents an acre to settlers after they had taken their pick of the timber.   
   “Midland was not even thought of in those days. Later on, however, Hiram Cook built the first mill in what is now Midland while father erected a sawmill on the west side of the Wye River right across from the ruins of Old Fort Ste. Marie, at the outlet of Mud Lake. The machinery had to be teamed in from Barrie in the winter. There was quite a little village down at the Fort in those days. Father owned all the property around including the Fort. When I was a boy I used to have a good time playing around there. Our home was in Wyebridge and father drove down to the fort to work.
  “You would hardly believe it to look at it now but the Wye River was big enough then to float logs down. I have seen it jammed with logs for five miles. There was a big dam at Wyebridge and quite a sizable millpond. “Father used to ship the lumber from the sawmill on the Wye to Courtright, down near Sarnia, on sailing vessels which came up the river. There was a swing bridge where the road crossed, but no railways then, of course. It was in Wyebridge that Zachariah Casselman met his wife. She was the widow of James Jeffery, who, over 85 years ago built and operated the old Commercial Hotel, the first in Wyebridge. The little frame building structure still stands and is the oldest building in the village, carrying on its ancient trade of catering to the travelling public. The present proprietor is Harry J. Howard. Zachariah Casselman was married to Mrs. Jeffery in the Church-on-the-Lines, Penetanguishene. Of this marriage were born William Casselman and three sisters. Two of the latter are living, Annie Maud, who is Mrs. John McWatters of Port Robinson, near Welland and Sarah Alexander, Mrs. Bishopric of Toronto. Mrs. H. Bishopre’s twin sister, Alberta, was Mr. McWatters’ first wife. William
Casselman married Elizabeth Ann Preston, daughter of James Preston, Tiny township farmer, on December 22, 1894. They have had no children. “Father had no use for the hotel business,” said William Casselman, “and he soon moved into the house which he built on lots 98 and 94 on Mill Street, where I now live. My uncle Herman, who had married my mother’s sister, ran the hotel for some years. Father continued in the lumbering business until he decided to go farming on lot 92 the first concession of Tiny. He did not do much at it, however, and soon moved back to Wyebridge.
   I got all my education in Wyebridge. My first teacher was a Mrs. Firth, later of Firth’s Corners, who conducted a sort of kindergarten school. Afterwards, I attended the school about one and a half miles south of the village. Do I recall some of my teachers? Yes, there was Mr. Hook and Mr. Montgomery, Miss Clarker and Miss 
Blair. There were plenty of big fellows at school in those days but Montgomery had them as much under control as if they were kids. He scared me pretty badly one day. I had done something to make another fellow laugh right out. He told me to stay in after school. When all the others had gone he ordered me to take off my coat.
Then while I stood trembling in fear of what he was going to do to me he gave me the severest lecture I ever got and let me go. I might just as well have had a good threshing for I was sure it was coming all the time. There are some of his descendants still living in Tay Township. He kept a store in the village for a while. “I went to school until I was somewhere between 18 and 20. I took book-keeping lessons from the teacher, and in return, I helped him out by teaching some of the smaller classes.”
   That experience gave Mr. Casselman an interest in education. In later years he served school trustee and secretary-treasurer of S. S No 5, Tiny, for 35 years. “I was the means of getting the school moved from out in the country into Wyebridge.” Said he, “We were the only village between here and Barrie that did not have the school in the settlement. The country people wanted to keep it where it was. Finally, it was put to a vote, and it was decided to split the section. Our school is only a small one-room affair.
   After he left school young Casselman took charge of his father’s farm. There he built a house and got married at the age of 29. In the meantime, however, he had done some work at lumbering. He continued on the farm for thirteen years. His health not being too good he rented his farm and came back to live in the village.
For some years he worked his uncle’s farm, now owned by William Preston on the outskirts of the village. He then bought out Kennedy’s general store, which he conducted for two years. Selling out he moved into his present home, his father having died in the meantime. He has lived there for more than 26 years, more or less retired, but has cut and sold considerable marsh hay from some land he owned on the verge of Mud Lake.
“When I was a boy in Wyebridge there were many buildings standing which have since been torn down,” said Mr. Casselman. “Besides the old Commercial Hotel, there was another just across the road on the northwest corner which was built by Hiram Tripp. It was called the Dominion. There was still another on the east side of the road, the name of which I cannot recall. There was a big shed just north of the Dominion Hotel in which the farmers stabled their horses and above it there was a hall which was used for political meetings. “There was a lot of heavy drinking went on in the village when the three hotels and one liquor store were in full swing, particularly when the shanty men came out with their winter’s wages. One camp would fight another, but though there was plenty of bloodshed I cannot remember any serious casualties. The Twelfth of July also saw much scrapping. I have seen fights going on all the way from the Dominion Hotel to the bridge, perhaps as many as forty or fifty men engaged. Whiskey was sold over the bar for five cents a glass, and a flask full cost only a quarter. The Dominion was a pretty wild place in Jack Enright’s day. He usually got all the shanty men’s money. It was burned down when he was the proprietor and never rebuilt.
“After the Casselman family moved out of the Commercial it passed through a number of hands. There was Chris Varty, Alf Swaisland, John Clappen, Jim Demorest, who is now in Midland, George Taylor, now in Lindsay, Peter McPhee, and Harry Howard. There has been no liquor sold there since the passing of the Scott Act. Mr. Howard sells soft drinks and tobacco and operates pool tables. “Herman Tripp, who erected the Dominion, sold out to William Edwards, who also conducted the liquor store and operated a 100-acre farm. He was followed by Tom Rogers, Sr., and two men named Bale and Deacon and then by Bill Leith. It came into the hands of Jack Wright and was burned down just about the time the railway was built. The other hotel was also burned down. I think it was run by Mr. Robins. “There were three stores in the village at that time,”   continued Mr. Casselman. There was Nelson McRae’s where the present Rawn store now is, the Gilbert Kennedy store, south of the river, and a small store run by a Mr. Moses.
   “The woollen mill was owned by John Lummis and operated by the family of John Wallace. He had three sons with him, Bob, Jack and Bill. The farmers came from all over the countryside to get their wool made into yarn. The mill made cloth and blankets and did a big business operating by water power. “My father owned one of
two blacksmith shops, and also a wheelwright shop in which waggons
and buggies were made. Jack Detweiler ran the blacksmith shop and Bill Foster the wheelwright shop. Later Bob Elliott was blacksmith and George Steer, now of Midland, ran the wagon business. “The grist mill, which was built by James Plewes, was operated by him, his five sons and three daughters. They did big business and would still be able to do one if they were running it today. They took a percentage of the grain brought to them as their pay. The flour that they made was stone ground and much healthier than that made today by steel mills.”
   “After the mill, which worked the year round, was sold to John Lummis, the five Plewes boys worked elsewhere in the grist mill Business, Angus at Markdale, John at Bracebridge, George at Sarnia, and James at Shelburne. The mill was operated for a while by Mr. Lummis and his son Adolphus, but after the dam went out in the big flood he tore it down. Mr. Lummis also owned and operated a sawmill on the other side of the river. He used to cut a lot of lumber.“
    William Casselman was warden of the Church of the Good Shepherd
for 35 to 40 years. “Father used to order me to make the fires and look after the church when I was a boy,” he said. “The old church which was 100 years old, was burned down and the new one built in 1910.
“Politics, I have been a Liberal all my life.” Confessed Mr. Casselman. “Father was too and so were the Cooks. I am a Mason but not in good standing. I have been keeping the books for the Maccabees* for thirty years. There are only about thirteen members in North Simcoe now, there used to be fifty. Yes, I remember James Playfair and often had a chat with him about the days he spent in Wyebridge. He was working for Dodge Lumber Company and was scaler and kept time in the shanty. He was a fine lad. In later years I sold him some of the lands that formed part of the Mud Lake shooting preserve, at a good price. I still own some but cannot get rid of it for love or money.
   “What difference would you say is most noticeable between the Wyebridge of your day and that of today?” I asked. “People seem to be more sociable then, than they are now,” was the reply. They enjoyed themselves more than they do today. Now there is more style and class even among farmers. They are just as bad as the village or townsfolk. I would not want to live in a city for I do not like crowds. There is no better occupation even today than farming, and there is no reason why a farmer cannot make a good living today if he keeps abreast of the times. “People seem to want more play and less work today. When a man got a dollar a day in the harvest field it was thought big money and he was well satisfied. Men seemed to be stronger then. They would work all day reaping with cradles. The present generation could not stand that. I would never have left the farm if my health had kept good.”
*(The Maccabees were one of the more successful of fraternal benefit societies which sprung up after the Civil War. Many insurance companies were not interested in sales to ordinary people and there was little in the way of “safety nets”. Groups like the Maccabees, Foresters, Woodmen, and so on provided a safety net along with pleasant social meetings and other gatherings. Each had its own ritual legend — the Foresters, Robin Hood, for example, and the Maccabees the story of Mattathias Maccabee and his sons, the leaders of the Jewish revolt against Syrian desecration of the Temple.)

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

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This ancient washing machine brought smiles from Mrs. M. Doucette and her daughters; Diana, 13, and Barbara, 6. It was one of the many articles donated to the Laymen’s Association of St. Mark’s Anglican Church for their auction sale at Midland Curling Club Saturday. The sale raised about $500 for the association’s “kitchen” and “needy family” projects.

Everything from “soup to nuts” just about describes the articles donated to St. Mark’s Laymen’s Association for their auction sale at Midland Curling Club Saturday. Here Mrs. (Betty) Cliff Irvine tries out a pair of garden shears while her sons, Brian, 5, and Charles, 3, seem more interested in a miniature deer head.

Massed flags of the colour parties from various branches of the Women’s Auxiliaries to the Canadian Legion provided a colourful touch to the parade and rally held in Midland Wednesday night. The Midland Women’s Auxiliary, Branch 80, played host to the visiting auxiliaries who arrived by car and chartered buses. The parade formed up at Midland Armory.

The laying of flowers on the cenotaph was an important part of the rally held by Zone E-4 Women’s Auxiliaries to the Canadian Legion here Wednesday night. Pictured left to right are Commander Mrs. Len Maheu, president of the Midland branch; Chairlady Florence Pegg, of the Ontario Provincial Council, Toronto, and Zone Commander V. Adams of Barrie.

Happy smile mark the faces of the trophy winners at Midland public schools’ field day Wednesday. Left to right, Nancy Higgs, intermediate, Janice Weeks, junior, and Elaine Stainton, the senior winner among the girls. Nancy set new records at this year’s meet.

The boys were Ron Merkley, senior, Frank Reynolds, intermediate, and Max Morden, junior. Max set new records at this year’s meet.

Despite their unexpected defeat at the hands of Alliston last week, Midland Indians are considered strong contenders for the South Simcoe Baseball League pennant this year. Three former Orillia players are now playing with Midland. Left to right are outfielders Dean Heliotis and Ken Hipwell, and catcher Court Braley.  

Three native sons are Murray Yorke, Joe Faragher and Jim Wilcox. Indians met Lisle here last night.

Separated by great distances for more than 50 years, Miss Isabella Gawley of Londonderry, Ireland, and her brother, George Gawley, are having a real get-together these days at the latter’s Sunnyside home. Miss Gawley, matron of a Londonderry hospital for more than 30 years until her retirement in 1954, plans to spend a year in Canada.

   For some 31 years, Mr. Gawley farmed in Manitoba, and also for a short-time near Sudbury. He had also worked for a time as “top filler” at the old smeller when it was “the industry” in Midland. For the past 19 years, he and Mrs. Gawley have operated Gawley’s Park, a summer resort located just a stone’s throw from the site of the old smelter.
   Undoubtedly Mr. Gawley and his sister will have many stories to tell each other concerning the happenings of the half-century they have been apart. Mr. Gawley will be able to tell about the hardships of farming in Manitoba in the early days, and of happier times, perhaps in Midland.

Top Cadets of RCSCC “Huron” are seen above receiving their awards from Commander G. J. Manson at the annual inspection last Wednesday night. Cadets are, left to right, A/B Kirk Mitchell, L/C Terry McIlravey, and L/C David McIlravey.

Another ancient art of the mariner is knot tying, a part of the training of all sea cadets. “Huron” cadets Gary Hood, left, and David Mcllravey show their proficiency to Commander G. J. Manson of Hamilton, during last Wednesday night’s annual inspection. 

  • The Free Press Herald headline of Wednesday, June 3, 1959; Ask Minister Establish Township Planning Area. Tiny Township council, Monday night, took the first concrete step toward setting up a planning board for the municipality. It endorsed a resolution requesting the Minister of Planning and Development to “declare the township a planning area.” A select group of men who, it is expected will form the board, were present recently when a representative of the Department of Planning and Development gave a comprehensive explanation of the functions of a planning board. Establishment of a planning board likely will put an end to meetings such as the Monday night session, which did not adjourn until 1 a.m. The greater part of the evening was spent viewing a sub-division plan for the Sawlog Bay area, presented by Joseph Axler of Axler and Palmer Ltd., Toronto.
  • County Herald headline of Friday, June 5, 1959; Tiny Council Revokes Licence Stirs up Hornet’s Nest. The controversial licence, according to Clerk Gabriel Marchand, was issued about a week and a half ago. According to the clerk, Homer Spring, owner of the Surf Tea Room came to the office with a Charles Kirke, and asked to have the usual restaurant licence renewed. As the licence was being written, he asked that amusements be added to it, and then requested that it be made but in the name of Charles Kirke. He said he had sold the business to Mr. Kirke. Council apparently was aware of the licence before attending Monday’s meeting and showed no surprise when a letter from Nick Pantos recommended the permit be not granted. Nick Pantos said Mr. Kirke is in the slot machine business. It was anticipated from council’s remarks that the amusements would be of the slot machine nature. The general feeling of the council was that one large enterprise of this type is sufficient for the Balm Beach area. It was contended that this would tend to create more noise, and possibly trouble in the area. Following these remarks, a motion was tabled and passed ordering the amusement part of the licence to be revoked and the money refunded to Mr. Kirke.
  • Wayne Garraway, the four-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Reg Garraway, Penetang, returned to his home Thursday little the worse for an experience of having a peanut lodged in his right lung. Mr. and Mrs. Garraway rushed the child to Sick Children’s Hospital, Toronto, last Tuesday night after he had accidentally inhaled the small nut. Doctors there were successful in retrieving the foreign object from the lung, and Wayne was returned to his home apparently suffering no ill effects from the ordeal.
  • Royal tour officials in Ottawa Monday announced the official schedule for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip when they visit the North Simcoe, Muskoka, Parry Sound area July 4. According to the announcement, the royal barge is to arrive at Penetanguishene dock at 3.15 p.m. After a 15-minute sojourn in Penetang; the royal couple will leave by car for Midland at 3.30 p.m. arriving at Midland at 3.35 p.m. The Queen and Prince Philip are scheduled to leave Midland by CNR train at 4 p.m., arriving at Orillia at 5.05 p.m. They will leave the Sunshine Sketches town by train at 5.30 p.m., arriving at Washago at 6 p.m. and leaving there by car for Gravenhurst where their time of arrival is set at 6.25 p.m. After a 20-minute stop in Gravenhurst, Her Majesty and Prince Philip will leave by car for Torrance, arriving at Torrance at 7.15 p.m. and leaving five minutes later by train for Parry Sound. Their scheduled arrival time at the latter centre is 8.35 p.m. At 8.55 p.m. they are to go back on board the Britannia, awaiting them off Red Rock, to leave for Chicago.
  • A young Victoria Harbour workman, James Cote, 18, may have lost all his fingers on both hands as a result of an accident at the Canadian Name Plate Company’s Midland plant Tuesday morning. Company officials said Cote, a comparatively new employee, was helping operator Joe Klug produce parts on a press brake machine. In some manner, the young man had his fingers in the machine when the clutch let go. Mr. Klug, fortunately, escaped injury. The mishap occurred around 10 a.m.
  • Tomorrow marks another big day in the career of Myer Mostyn; for almost 30 years one of the leading merchants on Midland’s King Street. On this occasion, it is the opening of the most recently remodeled of his two King Street stores, located on each side of the Free Press Herald building. It’s the most southerly one at 238 King, resplendent in a brand new stone front and new windows, set off in shining aluminium. Called “Angel Stone”, the new front has already earned many compliments for Mr. Mostyn and the contractor, Len Berriault, of Midland. Glass work was by Consolidated Glass Co., Toronto. Another feature is a Plexiglas section behind the big block letters that spell out the firm name, Mostyn’s. New lighting arrangements behind the Plexiglas will make the name stand out even more. In future, this store will cater to boys from four years to 14 years — only. It will be one of the few stores in the province dealing strictly in boys’ clothing and accessories, Mr. Mostyn said. This store formerly dealt in girls’ and women’s wear as well as boys’, but these lines are being discontinued. The other store, at 234 King, will handle men’s clothing and accessories, only. Fronts of the two stores, while of different material, now match closely architecturally. It was February 1930, that Myer Mostyn opened his first store in Midland, just south of the present Agnew Surpass store. In March of that same year, he was joined by the former Sadie Bidner, who had just become his bride in Toronto. In the interim Mr. and Mrs. Mostyn have changed locations many times, and still found time to raise a family of five sons in Midland. They stayed in the first store for three years and then moved across the street to 234 King for three more. Next, they operated a store on the site of the present Simpson’s mail-order office for eight years. Then it was north again to 232 King, where Dr. T. J. Johnston now has his office, for three years. The Mostyns next move was one block south and across the street, to the store Reg Mulligan is currently readying for opening soon as his new drug store. They were at this site for five years, coming back to 238 King in 1948. They also took over 234 King again in 1954 and have operated both stores since that time. “Thirty years spans quite an era when you look back on it,” Mr. Mostyn reminisced. From the end of the horse and buggy days to the space age, in effect. Associated in the stores with their parents are sons Stanley and Harold. Their second oldest son, Louis, graduates in law from the University of Toronto June 10. He will join a law firm in Toronto. Two youngest sons, Murray and Alan, are currently attending school in Toronto.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – 1934 – The Ontario Medical Association announced that it was sending out questionnaires to every medical practitioner in Ontario, to determine their opinions on state health insurance. * * * Waverley Anglican Church was preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The special speaker was to be Canon Simpson of Millbrooke. * * * At a meeting in Phelpston, Flos Township council ordered that four farmers be recompensed for sheep and lambs killed or injured by dogs. * * * Midland Boat Works had completed and shipped five boats to Waterways, Alberta, 350 miles north of Edmonton. The craft were to be used on Great Bear and Great Slave Lakes. * * * District farmers were concerned about the effects of an early heat wave and drought. Unless rain came, spring crops would be ruined it was stated. Heavy, frosts during the winter had killed 99 per cent of the fall wheat and alfalfa, it was said. * * * Five hundred young people from the Allendale area made arrangements to hold a one-day outing at Little Lake Park, Midland. * * * Two double-barred silver crosses found with two skeletons on the banks of the Wye River were identified by Father T. J. Lally, director of Martyrs’ Shrine, as Lorraine crosses sent in the 17th century to Jesuit missionaries among the Indians, by the Duchess of Lorraine. * * * The S.S. Hibou was to make a weekly call at Midland during July and August. Her home port was Toledo, Ohio. She was a combined passenger and package freight ship.
  • STREET NAME SIGNS; Elmvale is still progressing. A few months ago, numbers were placed on all stores and residences. Now street names have been erected as an aid to many who visit in the village during the holiday season.
  • Obituaries; NAPOLEON BEAUCHAMP Hotel owner and contractor Napoleon Beauchamp died at his home, 329 Yonge Street, W., May 22 following a heart attack. He was in his 61st year. Funeral service was held from A. Barrie and Sons funeral home to St. Margaret’s Church, where Solemn High Mass was celebrated May 25. Pallbearers were Douglas Wilson, Jr., Robert Wilson, George Gouett, Jack Beauchamp, Raymond Beauchamp and John Beauchamp. Mr. Beauchamp, who was born and educated in Penetang, married the former Edna Brodeur at Grimsby. He had been a Midland resident for 12 years. Besides his widow, he is survived by a daughter, Betty, and a son, Donald, a sister, Hortense and seven brothers, Philip, Moses, Adolphe, Arthur, Herbert, Ted and Lige. Burial was in St. Margaret’s Cemetery.
  • Penetang council, Tuesday night, moved to purchase extra land on two sides of the Memorial Community Centre property for a total cost of $1,300. George Kerr, speaking for the Lions Club, told the council the club held an option on five lots to the rear of the building and two double lots on the south side. He said the club had no use for the land itself and wanted to know whether or not the town wanted it for addition to the centre property. There was some discussion that part of the land could be used for a new tennis club in the summer, and parking facilities in winter.
  • Cecil Stanley Wyley, 73, of R.R. 1 Vasey, lost his life Tuesday afternoon while attempting to blast stumps at the back end of his farm, Lot 14, Con. 3, Medonte. OPP Const. H. R. Banting, who investigated, said the accident occurred sometime between 2 p.m, and 6.30 p.m. It was discovered when Mrs. Wyley, 67, went to find out what was delaying her husband at the supper hour. Mr. Wyley, who was alone in the field, was attempting to clear away some stumps with “stumping powder”, a form of dynamite. The officer said no person has any idea how the mishap occurred. No inquest will be held. Besides his wife, Mr. Wyley is survived by two daughters, Gertrude, 36, and, Adele, 29, both living at home.
  • School section No. 16 Tay Township, near Martyrs’ Shrine, will sponsor a new Scout group to be known as Little Huronia. The first meeting took the form of an informal gathering of interested boys from SS No. 16 and SS No. 17, Tay school areas. The meeting was held in Old Fort School. There were 11 scout-minded boys present and their proposed leader, Ray Worrell. Plans were made to form patrols, select patrol leaders, troop administration, and a meeting night decided upon. The next section to be organized is the Wolf Cub Pack. Plans are already being made for this. Mrs. B. Puddicombe will be the Cubmaster (Akela). The pack is expected to enroll 12 boys of Cub age, eight to eleven years. 

Looking back 80 years to June 1939. 

  • With a view to securing more efficiency in the County Constabulary, the Crown Attorney’s Department in cooperation with the Provincial Police, have inaugurated a new set-up for the County of Simcoe. On May 26, says the Barrie Advance, 22 of the 33 recently appointed County Constables were sworn in at the Court House here before County Judge Holmes. The number of County Constables previously in charge of policing the County was 60, but all were asked to turn in their badges and the number was pared down to thirty, where it is claimed there will be more efficiency under the new plan. County Constables will work under the direction of Provincial Constable Harry Butler of Orillia, acting High County Constable. “The men are on all the time, receive moderate remuneration and act largely because of their desire to serve in their community for the preservation of law and order,” Constable Butler is reported as stating.
  • NO NUDISTS According to a report in the Toronto press, moonlight bathing, which has been the cause of considerable complaint from Simcoe County beach resorts, will occupy the attention of the newly formed constabulary in an attempt to discourage this form of impropriety.
  • PENETANG—A victim of complications resulting from scarlet fever, six-year-old Clarence Cascagnette, son of Councillor and Mrs. Ovila Cascagnette, was buried here Friday. The funeral was held from the home of the child’s parents to Ste. Anne’s Jesuit Memorial Church where services were conducted by Rev. Father Walsh. Interment was made in Ste. Anne’s Cemetery, death occurred Wednesday following an illness of six weeks. The boy who was born here would have been seven years old in July. Besides his parents, he is survived by brothers and sisters. Twelve of his young friends acted as pallbearers and honorary pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Andrew Beaudoin, Patrick Pauze, Remi Gravelle, Frank Longlade, Ernest Gauthier and Lawrence Cascagnette while active pallbearers were John Dumais, Allen, Julien and Thomas Beausoleil, Charles Longlade and Cecil Arbour.
  • One time chief, many years as a councillor, one of the best farmers of the district, and a most respected citizen, Josiah Monague of Christian Island passed away Saturday in his 62nd year after a long illness. Funeral services were conducted by Mr. Cowan, Indian missionary, Sunday morning, with burial in the island cemetery. Mr. Monague is survived by his wife, a son Victor, aged 17, and 3 daughters.
  • HOSPITAL COMMENCEMENT The citizens of Midland are invited to attend the graduating exercises of St Andrews Hospital, to be held in the Capitol Theatre, Tuesday, June 13, at 3 p.m. The speaker will be Rev. Alex Ferguson of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Ottawa. The nurses who will graduate are Misses Hazel Steer, Thelma Shaw, Katharine King, and Sydney Wilson.
  • MARINE NEWS – PORT OF MIDLAND Arrivals in Midland on June 1, included the Arthur Orr from South Chicago at 2 a.m. and the Mariposa from the same port at 5. June 2, arrived: Ericsson, Fort William, 5 a.m.; Saskatoon, Wallaceburg, 8.20 p.m. June 1, cleared: Arthur Orr, South Chicago, 10 p.m. June 2, cleared: Mariposa, South Chicago, 1 p.m.; Ericsson, Fort William, 11; Saskatoon, Depot Harbor, 9. SAILINGS TO AND FROM PORT McNICOLL Arrivals: May 29—S.S. Alberta, cargo grain product from Chicago. May 29—S.S. Keewatin, cargo flour from Fort William. June 1—S.S. Assiniboia, grain products from Fort William. June 2—S.S. Athabasca, grain products from Chicago. June 3—S.S. Manitoba, grain products from Fort William. June 5 — S.S. Alberta, grain products from Chicago. June 5—S.S. Augustus, cargo corn from Chicago. Sailings: May 29—S.S. Manitoba, merchandise, package freight for Fort William. May 30—S.S. Alberta package freight for Chicago. May 31—S.S. Keewatin, package freight for Fort William. June 3—S.S. Athabasca, package freight for Chicago. June 3—S.S. Assiniboia, package freight for Fort William. June 5—S.S. Manitoba, package freight for Fort William.
  • Midland’s third annual Public School Musical Festival held in the Arena Gardens on Friday evening was a great success in every way. Not only was the Arena filled to capacity, but every number on the program was greatly appreciated by the big crowd. Director of Music Douglas Major and the teachers associated with him scored another big triumph. The Musical Festival is here to stay. “A few years ago many of would have laughed at the idea teaching music in the schools, said Dr. Ross Parrott, Chairman of the Board of Education, at the outset of the evening’s entertainment. “Such a suggestion would have been called hooey.” he continued. “I think you will agree with me, however, that the progress that has been made has justified the experiment, and that the cultural development of our children is being taken care of in a very fine way. “The big attendance, here tonight is an indication of the keen interest the people of Midland are displaying in this feature of our children’s education,” declared Mayor James Mackie. “Music is a necessary part of education and should be encouraged as much as possible.” The Mayor paid a warm tribute to Director of Music Douglas Major and the teaching staff of the schools.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 24th to 31st, 1959

Click on photos to enlargeGrouchy-looking old Indian medicine man seemingly holds no terrors for pretty Western University co-ed Dawn Phibbs of St. Thomas, as she gets him ready for another big season at Midland’s Huron Indian village. Supposed to be holding the ladder is Dr. Wilfrid Jury, supervisor of the village and noted archaeologist. 

Getting ready for another busy season, John Bridges nails sign to palisade of Midland ‘Y’s Men’s Huron Indian village at Little Lake Park. Holding the sign for Johnny are Norman Clarke of Barrie, left, long identified with historic sites in Huronia country and workman Wallace Kells. The village, now starting its fourth year, will host more than 5,000 school children in the next few weeks. 

Each year the compound behind the palisades of Midland’s Huron Indian village at Little Lake Park gets more and more crowded as new and authentic pieces of every-day Indian life more than 300 years ago are added. This picture was taken from new look-out erected this year at the south end of the village. It makes an excellent camera vantage point. 

Long-time residents of North Simcoe, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reynolds marked their golden wedding anniversary May 19. They are seen above with their anniversary cake during a gathering held in Wyebridge Community Hall. 

   There were, times when things were pretty tough, financially, but Henry Reynolds would be quite willing to do it all over again. Commented Mr. Reynolds as he was interviewed by a representative of the County Herald in Wyebridge Community Hall last Tuesday afternoon. The occasion was the celebration of his and Mrs. Reynolds’ 50th wedding anniversary.  Mr.  Reynolds and the former Maude Carpenter were married in Barrie May 19, 1909. Both were natives of Tiny Township.
   They operated farms in the area all their lives until they retired to spend their remaining days in Wyebridge four years ago.  The Reynolds’ first farm after their marriage was near Wyebridge, but they moved several times in subsequent years to a farm near Waverley and another elsewhere in Tiny. Then they settled down to live on a farm at Lot 86, Con. 1, Tiny, for something like 40 years before they retired.
   Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds had seven children, four sons, and three daughters. All are living and all are married, providing their parents with 23 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Sons are Armour, Albert and Willis, all of the Wyebridge area, and Edwin, who lives at Barrie. The daughters are Mrs. George Marchant (Gladys), R.R. 1, Midland; Mrs. Ed Collins (Leta), Midland and Mrs. Meredith Guthrie (Hazel), Wyebridge. Warden of the Church of the Good Shepherd (Anglican) at Wyebridge for 15 years, Mr. Reynolds also served on the board of S.S. 21, Tiny (MacDonald’s School) for six years. He’s a staunch Conservative in politics. Both Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds enjoy reasonably good health and entertained a large group of friends Tuesday afternoon and evening. 

Thursday night was a happy occasion for these pupils of St. Mary’s Separate School, Victoria Harbour, as they received their Grade 10 graduation diplomas. Left to right are; Bryde Bernard, Margaret Cadeau, Audrey Somers, Mary Deschenes, Carol Roy and Celima Pelletier. Mary will attend MPDHS next year, Celima hopes to register for a business course, and Carol will work for the Bell Telephone Company in Midland. The other three girls will attend St. Theresa’s High School in Midland. 

Chairman of St. Mary’s Separate School Board, in Victoria Harbour, Mrs. Theo Bernard can be proud of the scholastic prowess of her own daughters, as well as other students in the school. Bryde, left, had the highest standing in general proficiency, grades 9 and 10. Minta, right, was tops in religious studies among grades 7 and 8 pupils. 

These five Victoria Harbour boys took another step forward in their scholastic careers when they received their grade 10 diplomas at St. Mary’s Separate School, Thursday. Left to right are; James LaChapelle, Brian Larmand, Willard Larmand, Bob LaChapelle and Pat St. Amand. Jim, Brian and Willard will attend St. Theresa’s High School, Midland, next term. 

Old MacDonald’s farm was the theme for the junior choirs of St. Paul’s Presbyterian and St. John’s United Church as their portion of a musical evening held at Victoria Harbour Public School Friday night. Getting “in the mood” are, left to right, Barry C. Schissler, Lorne Profit, Danny Johnston, Jim Pearsall and Dennis Rutherford.

PC Candidate Lloyd Letherby, left, and Liberal candidate Jack Andre, right, met for the first time on Friday afternoon, May 22, in the office of J. R. Chittick (centre), general manager of the Free Press Herald, where they shook hands as a preliminary to campaigning for Simcoe East membership in the Ontario Legislature. 

Junior and senior choirs of St. Paul’s Presbyterian and St. John’s United Churches in Victoria Harbour combined talents for a musical evening in the public school Friday night.  Looking over their music are senior members Joanne Reid, Mrs. Dorothy O’Hara, Paul Eplett, Mrs. Mary Cameron and Mrs. Norine Schissler.

Among the junior members were, left to right, Patsy Warren, Doreen Todd, Dorothy Eplett and Linda Hutchinson.

Almost as old as man going to sea is the art of signalling messages between ships with flags. Demonstrating their ability at the annual inspection of RCSCC “Huron” Wednesday night are L/C Terry Mcllravey, left and L/C John Doran.


  • Free Press Herald headline of May 27, 1959; Large Wire Rope Plant Slated for Midland Site. The B. Greening Wire Co. Limited of Hamilton today announced it has purchased 22.8 acres of land on the southeastern outskirts of Midland on which it will erect a 75,000-square-foot manufacturing plant. Frank Bray, chairman of Midland Chamber of Commerce Industrial Committee, said the property forms part of the farm belonging to Kenneth Taylor and lies within the corporation limits. The announcement climaxes negotiations between the company and the Chamber of commerce first initiated in March 1957. Mr. Bray said at that time, Harvey White, then chairman of the Industrial Committee, and R. B. Moffatt, secretary-manager of the chamber, received a suggestion from the Canadian Pacific Railway industrial commissioner that the Greening company might be interested in locating in this area. He explained that in the fall of 1958, representatives of the company toured various Central Ontario towns. They were accompanied by an official of the trades and industry branch, Ontario Department of Planning and Development. They spent some time in Midland, obtaining statistics and other pertinent industrial information.
  • County Herald headline of May 29, 1959; Council Holds Tax rate to Four-Mill Increase. A $20,000 cushion from the 1958 surplus and $l8,900 of accumulated surpluses enabled Midland Council to hold the 1959 tax rate increase to roughly four mills. The new rate was officially set Tuesday night at a special meeting of the council. Commercial taxpayers will have a levy of 78 mills up four from last year, and residential ratepayers a levy of 70.10 mills, up 4.60 mills from 1958. Rates for Separate School residential and commercial taxpayers will be the same as above. Clerk-treasurer William A. Hack said the slightly larger increase in the residential rate is caused by the fact that residential property assessment is up and therefore there is more to share the benefit of the provincial unconditional grants, which have not been increased since 1955. Mr. Hack said there was an 8.83% increase in the town’s population in 1955 which brought about a 7% increase in unconditional grants.
  • Some 30 Penetang councillors and ex-members of the council and their wives were present at a testimonial dinner for veteran clerk-treasurer W. H. Hewson, who retired from that position last year after completing 30 years of service. The guest speaker was J. W. P. Carter of the Department of Municipal Affairs, who spent some time in Penetang during the depression assisting with the administration of the town after it had fallen into default along with a number of other municipalities. “When I first came to Penetang 22 years ago, things were not too rosy, and it was a treat to meet such a thorough gentleman as W. H. Hewson,” he said. “I have many happy memories of working with you Bill, especially since many of the things I had to do were not always popular. Somehow you had a knack of smoothing the way,” Mr. Carter said. Mr. Carter recalled that five of the seven members of the council at that time were on relief, and I had the job of convincing them they were spending too much money.”
  • Representatives of Midland Chamber of Commerce, the parks board and public works department Monday night decided on the location of two tourist information centers at the eastern and western entrances of Little Lake Park. Tourist Committee Chairman Walter Wood said one would be situated at the Yonge Street W., entrance and the other at the King Street entrance. The information centres will be housed in two full-scale summer cottages donated by Midland Planing Mills and Beaver Lumber Ltd. Mr. Wood said. He said the parks board cooperated by providing sites for the two units.
  • Clarence Bannister discovered a unique coin while ploughing his garden with a tractor Friday night. Mr. Bannister said he saw the coin shining in the sun and stopped to examine it. It turned out to be an 1854 United States “Half Dime”. It is about the same size as the old Canadian five cent pieces. Mr. Bannister is attempting to determine the value of the coin.
  • Births – BATES — To. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bates, Sunnyside, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, May 25, 1959, a son. EDWARDS — To Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Edwards, Vasey, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, May 22, 1959, a son. HEBNER — To Mr. and Mrs. Walter Hebner, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland; Monday, May 25, 1959, a son. LATOUR — To Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Latour, 51 Bay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, May 21, 1959, a son. LeCLAIR — To Mr. and Mrs. Patrick LeClair, 109 Elizabeth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, May 25, 1959, a daughter. (Stillborn). WALKER — To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Walker, R.R. 1, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, May 23, 1959, a son, (James Gordon). GRIGG — Helen and Fred Grigg announce the arrival of a new sister for Peter, Jane and Paul, Monday, May 25, 1959, at Penetang General Hospital.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Two stores and a dwelling were destroyed in a disastrous fire which swept the Victoria Harbour business section. The damage was estimated at $75,000. * * * Edwin Walker of Midland was elected deputy district governor, Zone 8, District A-3, Lions International, at the district annual convention in Toronto. Mr. Walker was a charter member and past president of Midland Lions Club. * * * Nearly 400 persons, school children and adults, comprised the first organized pilgrimage of the season to Martyrs’ Shrine, Midland. The pilgrims came from Guelph and Toronto. * * * A new $15,000 combined boat and bath house was officially opened at Little Lake, Midland. The official opening ceremonies were arranged by Midland Junior Chamber of Commerce. * * * Viscount Alexander of Tunis, Governor General of Canada, and Lady Alexander were to visit Huronia the last week in July, an announcement from Ottawa revealed. * * *  Midland’s tax rate for 1949 was set at 49.5 mills, 3.5 mills higher than the 1949 levy. The public school rate was up 1.466 mills and the county levy increased by 1.152 mills. * * * Port McNicoll ratepayers were to be taxed 38 mills for 1949, an increase of six mills over the previous year’s rate. The hike was caused by a three-mill increase in the general rate and an increase of one mill each in the public school, continuation school and county rates. 
  • Midland council has purchased and installed a soft drink dispensing machine in the new municipal building. Price of the machine is $547 and was purchased on an installment basis. Council was informed that the sale of three cases a week of soft drinks from the 80-bottle capacity machine would meet the installment payments. Maintenance of the unit is free.
  • According to the Montreal Star, a Midland skipper Norman Donaldson was the master of the first merchant ship to enter the St. Lawrence Seaway when navigation opened in the new waterway. Captain Donaldson was in charge of the 36-year-old Canada Steamship Lines freighter Simcoe which led the convoy of merchant ships into the 185-mile waterway. The Simcoe was followed by the S.S. Prescodoc, owned by N. M. Paterson Lines. The Seaway will be officially opened by Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower June 26.
  • Midland council has approved the sale of lot 27 on the north side of Scott Street and lot 44 on the south side of Scott Street to Bernick Construction Limited. The lots, assessed at $105 each, were sold for $210 each for a total of $420 cash, with the stipulation that houses be built on them in a year. The action was deferred on a request from Marshall Edwards, Midland Point, offering to purchase lot 36 on the east side of Seventh Street for $200.
  • A young visitor to Midland’s Indian village discovered the other day, much to his own personal discomfort, that this replica of a Stone Age community has its good and bad points. The experience, however, was no joke so far as he was concerned. Apparently, he slipped and fell on a porcupine that Dr. Wilfrid Jury was preparing for display in the village. Medical assistance was required to remove “porky’s quills from the lad’s posterior. 

News items from The Midland Free Press on the last week of May 1939, 80 years ago. 

  • Almost three tons of butter has been allotted to Midland in connection with the Dominion government drive to reduce the great surplus of butter now in the hands of Canadian creameries. The butter will be distributed to families on relief and those not on relief but in straightened circumstances. The Canadian Red Cross Society has undertaken the distribution, but the issuing of the vouchers locally will be done by Relief Officer G. H. May at the Midland Relief Office. The plan under which the butter is to be distributed provides that those holding vouchers will receive free one pound of butter for every pound they buy with cash. The vouchers are issued in one, two and three-pound denominations. There are available for distribution 2576 one pound, 1203 two pound and 204 three pound vouchers. Eighty per cent of the vouchers are designed to go to families which are now receiving relief and the other twenty to those which are finding the going hard but are not actually receiving aid. The vouchers will be presented at the various grocery stores at the time purchases are made, and will be accepted by the merchants as payment when accompanied by a cash purchase for an equal amount. The vouchers will then be redeemed in cash by any bank when presented by retailers or wholesalers, and the banks will return them to the Dominion government. If a family is now receiving its butter by voucher it will be entitled to a pound per pound with that now being given. The non-relief vouchers must be applied for and they are not to be given to anyone who is now on relief.
  • Mayor James Mackie of Midland has received definite word from the Department of Public Works at Ottawa, through George McLean, M.P. for this riding, that work will be started in the very near future on the $22,668 dock in Midland Harbor for the use of pleasure craft. Arrangements have been completed with the Canada Steamship Lines,” commented Mr. Mackie, “and the site of the new structure which, it is hoped, will be completed in time for use this summer, will be on the old C. S. L. coal dock east of the property occupied by Canton Dobson. A road will be constructed to it, and the old coal sheds removed, and parking areas constructed. “It is hoped,” continued His Worship, “that some Midland firm will now have sufficient enterprise to construct boathouses in that vicinity in order to provide storage for the craft which now seek winter storage elsewhere”. [I am assuming this is the area between the Unimin property and Central Marina. For a long while known as Downer’s Yacht Haven.]
  • The following have signified their intention of assisting in the promotion of a Boy Scout Association for the Town of Midland. Messrs W. A. Finlayson, Dr. A. H. Pinchin, Donald Swinson, Reginald Tipping. J. J. Robins, Murray Kearns, Rev. Father Belanger, Rev. A. E. W. Ingram, Peter Barr, W. H. Shaver and Les Taylor. A general meeting will be held in St. Mark’s Parish Hall on Tuesday, June 6th at 8 p.m., at which time the election of officers will take place and the meeting will be addressed by Art Paddon, Field Secretary of the Ontario Boy Scout Association. All men interested in the Boy Scout movement are requested to attend the meeting.
  • After a lengthy and full discussion of all applicants, Council accepted the tender of J. E. ‘Chris’ Gardner, returned man, for the position of caretaker of restrooms.
  • Christian Island News– Kenneth Cowan, United Church missionary, Miss O’Toole and Miss Bell, members of the school staff, and councillor Bert Monague visited Mr. Cowan’s parents at Blythe recently. Mrs. Cowan, who has been on vacation for two weeks returned with them. * * * Tuesday of last week, Indian Pay Day, found merchants of Penetanguishene very busy parcelling supplies. Twice annually, when the government allowance is drawn, a decided impetus is noted in trade in Penetanguishene. * * * Mr. Rawlings, former missionary on the reserve, Mrs. Rawlings and their boy Bobby were recent visitors with Mr. and Mrs. George Lumsden at the agency. * * * Rev. Father Labelle is spending a few days with his parishioners on the Island. Services are being held morning and evening each day. * * * Farmers on the island are busy getting their land in shape for seeding. * * * Fishing has started in the Georgian Bay waters surrounding the reserve. * * * Very entertaining concerts were held last week by the Agricultural Society, On-a-Quest Club, and the Catholic Church. In each case the concert was followed by a dance. * * * The death of Mrs. Christine Henry occurred at the Penetanguishene hospital on May 22 following a short illness. She is survived by one son John and three grandchildren. * * * The Island Women’s Institute held a very successful sale of works on payday.
  • S. Arthur Orr, out of Chicago, arrived in Midland Thursday. 
  • After lying idle in Midland Harbor for nine years, the C. S. L. freighter Glenross has been taken to Collingwood to be cut down to canal size. If memory and rumour serve us correctly, she was formerly canal size and was enlarged for lake service.
  • PENETANG — Captain Eddie Mabey, the Ontario-born daredevil stunt artist, flew into Penetanguishene last week to make arrangements for a thrilling performance to be staged at the town dock next Monday evening, June 5, at 8 o’clock. The performance is being sponsored by the local fire department. Captain Mabey’s stunt consists of two fire dives from the top of a high ladder, into the waters of the bay. In the first dive, gasoline is poured over the waters of the bay and Mabey dives from a high ladder into the sea of flames. The second the diver is saturated from head to foot with gasoline and as a living ball of fire, he plunges from a great height into the water. Mabey is the son of A. E. Mabey, formerly of Barrie. He returned from England a few weeks ago after a course of study in the Royal Air Force. Prior to that for nine years he followed his hazardous pursuit as a professional daredevil. Some years ago he worked and lived in Penetanguishene. His air training stood him in good stead last year when he worked in Hollywood in the production of such outstanding air pictures as Men with Wings, Hell’s Angels, and Dawn Patrol.
  • PENETANG — The McGibbon mill whistle sounded an unusually musical note last Wednesday as it called back a number of men who have been waiting for several months to return to work. The entire crew has not yet been called in but they will begin work just as soon as the first log boom arrives. When at full, strength the mill employs about 60 men.
  • PENETANG — Funeral services for Louis Trudeau, professional fisherman and a life-long resident of the Penetanguishene district, who succumbed in his 89th year to a three weeks’ illness, were held at St. Anne’s Jesuit Memorial Church this morning. Mr. Trudeau’s death occurred Monday at his home on Robert Street. He is survived by only one daughter, Mrs. Mary Dusome. His wife pre-deceased him ten years ago. Pallbearers were Alphonse Dorion. Napoleon Levique, Arthur Copeland, Wilfred Lamoureux, Joseph Bellisle and Cyril Carriere.
  • Midland Arena Gardens is expected to be filled to capacity Friday night for the third annual music festival of the Midland Public Schools, which, starting at 7.30 p.m., will feature the vocal and instrumental work of close to 1,000 school children. Douglas Major, director of music in the schools, is in charge of the festival, and Miss Katherine Clark will be at the piano. Chairman of the evening is to be Dr. Ross Parrott, chairman of the Midland Board of Education, while Tom McCullough will be in charge of the announcing. After the address of welcome by Dr. Parrott, the massed chorus of 900 voices will render “Caller Herrin,”  “Killarney,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Primary classes will then sing “Twenty Froggies” (Anon), The Rainbow” (Major), and “Dong Dong” (Gaynor). New features this year, the third number on the program, is to be selections by an 80-piece mass mouth organ band under the direction of Ian MacLaren and Douglas Winfield. A 150-voice massed choir will then sing three numbers, a selection in unison “Where the Bee Sucks,” followed by two three-act renditions, “O Worship the King,” and “Let Us With a Gladsome Mind.” 

Last week we posted an article on the creation of a 4,000-acre resort community that included Giant’s Tomb Island. This much older notice in the local paper indicates that it was not the first scheme that involved the island.

Another interesting item from March of 1914.

And finally, kitchen stoves are no longer manufactured in Canada, possibly not even in the U.S.A, but in 1937 you could buy this “Beautiful Creation” built in Penetanguishene.