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

Click on Photos to Enlarge It was a lucky thing for Ed Thorne, left, that his wife attended the Lions Club bingo in Midland last Tuesday night and bought tickets on the boat and motor the club was raffling. One of them proved to be the winner and Mr. Thorne can be seen accepting his prize from Harold Humphries, 1st Vice-President of the Midland club. The Thornes operate a tourist camp in Orillia. 


The Midland Golf & Country Club held their annual juniors competition Saturday. Susan Swan, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. D. C. Swan emerged as the top girl with David Bertram taking home the Gordon Moss trophy for boys, for the third year in a row. Happy with the results is club pro Mark Sandow, center, who has operated a junior clinic at the club for several seasons.

 Work on the new junction of Highways 12 and 27 and County Road 6 is nearing completion. The car in the foreground is heading East into Midland from Balm Beach Road, Cty. Rd. 6. 

 Midland family returns home after three years stationed at the RCAF base in Baden Solingen Germany. Aero-engine technician Cpl. Gerald Hurl displays jackets embroidered in Germany with folklore images. Children are Raymond, 8, and Valerie, 6.

 Jesuit scientists. Standing on the steps of the rectory at Martyr’s Shrine is part of a delegation of eleven Jesuits who attended the 11th general assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics at the University of Toronto from September 4th to 14th. In front is Rev. Walter Burke- Gaffney, S. J., Canadian astronomer and leading authority on Kepler, now on the staff of St. Mary’s University, Halifax. Back row, Rev. Jean-Paul Mayaud, S. J. Paris, France, who spent 18 months in the Antarctic with a French polar expedition and Rev. R. E. Ingram, S. J., an Irish seismologist. 

Nearly 300 Canadians of Lithuanian descent listen to a talk in their native language, given by Rev. J. Gutauskas following the dedication of a cross at the Martyr’s Shrine Sunday. Cross was erected as a memorial to Lithuanians killed and persecuted by the Russians. 

This massive Lithuanian wayside Cross was dedicated at Martyr’s Shrine on Sunday by Most Reverend F. A. Marrocco, auxiliary bishop of Toronto, as a memorial to Lithuanian clergy and lay people martyred since Soviet occupation of the country in 1940. Examing the 27-foot high cross are Rev. J. Gutauskas of St. John the Baptist parish, Toronto, Rev. J. F. McCaffrey, shrine director and Rev. P. Azubalis of St. John the Baptist parish. 

High winds last week are believed to have been the cause of the sailboat “Mary Anne,” belonging to RCSCC “Huron,” sinking in the slip nearest Midland Shipyard. Only the two masts of the vessel are above water when this picture was taken. The rest of the boat can be seen just below the surface. 


  • The headline September 11th, 1957, Free Press Herald; Oppose Commercial Zoning of Lot May Halt Project With Injunction. This article was not specific to the location of the zoning question but it was in Tiny Twp. and involved the re-zoning of a lot to commercial without formal council approval. The local cottagers were complaining because they did not want their cottage area to become commercial like Balm Beach.
  • The headline September 13th, 1957, County Herald; New Deal For Beatty Steel Section Industry to Remain in Penetang. The announcement was made this week by George Kerr, president of Penetang Chamber of Commerce, that negotiations have practically been completed to keep Beatty Bros. Ltd. Penetang plant in operation, with a probability of future expansion. Mr. Kerr said negotiations had been of a three-fold nature, involving chamber of commerce, town council, labour unions, and officials of Beatty and James Stewart organizations. Assistance from Penetang Chamber of Commerce will come in the way of help with the tax load over a one-year trial period. Labour has agreed to carry on for a year under the existing contract without asking for any increase in wages. In addition, some concessions will be necessary in the matter of seniority regulations.
  • Midland council is considering a proposal to retain the parking meters on the town’s main streets until Christmas at least. Chief Robert Cameron said the meter mechanisms would not suffer anymore if as much, damage from cold weather than they would if they were stored
  • Chief Robert Cameron told council Monday night two drivers had been charged under a parks commission by-law regulating speed in the park. They had been caught racing around the track in Town Park, he said.
  • A couple of old friends teamed up to make the closing day at Richelieu Raceway, Montreal, for this season a memorable occasion for them both. As profitable as it was satisfying was the victory of Champ Volo, a three-year-old pacer, and his driver, Victoria Harbour’s Keith Waples. Satisfying because the champ set a new record for three-year-olds at Richelieu at 2.03 for the Profitable because it was a stake race worth $9,600.
  • 25 (85)Years Ago This Week * * * High winds caused serious damage to field crops and gardens in the district. In some sections, whole fields of corn were laid flat. * * * The new office of the Canadian Bank of Commerce was opened in Victoria Harbour. Formerly, it had been the site of the Bank of Toronto branch. During the month it was being renovated, the Bank of Commerce staff transacted business in the office of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company, as their own building had been destroyed in a fire. * * * Citizens watched a total eclipse of the sun. At Parent in Northern Ontario, the sun was obstructed for 102 seconds. In most centres the eclipse lasted about 98 seconds. * * * Hundreds of Simcoe County citizens attended an outdoor service in Penetanguishene, sponsored by the Holy Name Society. The service was held in a field at the rear of St. Ann’s Memorial Church, where an altar had been set up. It was preceded by a parade which formed up in Beck’s field and marched along principal Penetang streets to the service site. * * * Midlander Harold Brownlee was one of more than 200 men who participated in the 15-mile marathon swim at the Canadian National Exhibition. The event was won by George Blagden, a Memphis, Tenn., barrister. Brownlee swam eight miles before he was pulled from the water. * * * A freak snowstorm, following on the heels of one of the hottest weeks of the season, swept across North Simcoe. The snow melted a short time after it fell. * * * Driving Miss America X, Gar Wood retained the Harmsworth Trophy title in races at Detroit. British challenger Kaye Don, driving Miss England III, had his hopes of victory dashed when his craft developed engine trouble.
  • Additional information on the $5 surcharge on automobile registrations in Ontario for 1958 has been released by the motor vehicles branch of the Ontario Department of Highways to insurance agents, according to Marcel Bellehumeur, Penetang. The original announcement indicated motorists would be required to pay an additional $5 for their 1958 licence plates unless they could file proof that their vehicle was insured for public liability and property damage. This additional fee is to be placed in the province’s Unsatisfied Judgment Fund.
  • In a ceremony Monday morning Sept. 2, in St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, Rev. Kenneth Robitaille united in marriage Barbara Estelle Schram, only daughter of Mrs. Mae Schram of Midland and Ensign William Leo Brennen, San Diego, CA., third son of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Brennen of Niagara Falls NY.

Register for our first Car Rally!

Huronia’s 1st Annual History Car Rally

Come in to the museum and register today! Or Print off the Car Rally Registration form  and email it to us at Make sure you fill out payment information if you do it digitally. The Cost is $50 per person until October 10th, then it’s $65 until we are sold out. Either way, all proceeds are going to support Huronia Musuem.

Here’s the schedule for our fun filled day:

9am-11am Coffee and Donuts at the museum and last minute registrations (if we are not sold out)

11am GO TIME! Start looking for clues.

5pm Everyone should be back at the museum

6pm Awards Dinner with Cash Bar. Catered by ELM catering.

There is only space for 64 participants so get your registration in soon.

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

Click on Photos to Enlarge

The new brass at the GBMEA (Georgian Bay Municipal Electric Association) chosen during their convention in Midland this week. Front, J. Low of Uxbridge, A. T. Smith of North Bay, Col. A. A. Kennedy of Owen Sound, C. J. Halliday of Chesley. Back Row, J. E. Wilson of Barrie, B. A. Evans of Bradford, W. Booker of Meaford, Charles Parker of Midland, E. Faelker of Hanover, H. Thiess of Orillia and V. A. Ellis of Collingwood. 

Seven-year-old Mary Lea Rutherford, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. (Lillian) Charlie Rutherford of Midland, holds an oddly shaped carrot which was found last week by Mrs. J. G. McArthur, 313 Manly Street, in her garden. 

Mr. & Mrs. Harold Jackson recently moved to Midland, 277 Manly Street. Mrs. Jackson (Phyllis Maude Henty) is the granddaughter of popular adventure story writer George Alfred Henty. They are holding one of his books, part of a complete set of first editions they own. Mr. Jackson is related to Stonewall Jackson whom Henty wrote about in his book “With Lee in Virginia”. 

The water went around this dam at the Midland Public Utility reservoir site at Sunnyside on Thursday. The far bank washed out but will be repaired. It is the larger of two earth compacted dams that supply water to Midland. 

Water over the dam. The flooding of Sunnyside Road is the result of the failure of one of two earth compacted dams at the Midland Public Utilities reservoir site on Thursday. 

The new manager of Agnew Surpass shoe store in Midland is local son Robert Bates. He has worked for Agnew Surpass for three years, Robert is the son of Mr. & Mrs. William Bates, the husband of Leona Culbertson and father to Donald 18 months and Sandra Lee, a few weeks old. [Don’t tell the Bates but they will have another son, Terry] Robert is replacing another native son, Lionel Parliament who has been promoted to the St. Thomas store. Jack Danby was the previous manager. 

  • The headline of September 4, 1957, in the Free Press Herald; PUC Recommends Major Rate Cuts for Hydro Consumers in Midland. PUC secretary Stewart Holt announced today that a request for a downward revision had been submitted to the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission. Domestic consumers could expect a 16.8 percent reduction, commercial consumers 23 percent and industrial consumers 7.05 percent.
  • The headline of September 6, 1957, in the County Herald; 400-Low-Cost Home Subdivision Reaches Planning Stage at Port. Another “one dollar agreement,” entered into by the village of Port McNicoll recently, may add some 1,400 to 1,500 new residents to the village population over a 10-year period. The agreement between the village and the Meadows Land Development Company is similar to one which resulted in the successful Paradise Point cottage sub-division. In the latter instance, the village sold the sparsely-settled area formerly known as Flat Point to C. A. Meadows and Associates, several years ago, for $1.
  • 10 Years Ago This Week – Anglers reported that the summer of 1947 had been one of the best bass seasons in years. Both Midland Bay and Little Lake had proved to be fertile grounds for the fishermen. * * * Port McNicoll ratepayer’s voted in favour of the establishment of a utility commission for the village. * * * Midland Boys’ Band under the direction of A. J. Laley won third place honours in their class at the Canadian National Exhibition. They received 76 points, 12 points less than the London Police Band.  * * * Three cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church attended pontifical high mass at Martyrs Shrine. Bernard  Cardinal Griffin, Archbishop of Westminster, London, celebrated the mass, Norman Cardinal Gilroy, Sidney, Australia, spoke to pilgrims, and James Cardinal McGuigan, the Archbishop of Toronto, blessed the cornerstone which was to be placed in Fort Ste. Marie. * * * More than 500 passengers arrived at Midland aboard the S.S. Noronic. It was the first of the ship’s three post-season visits for the year. * * * Midland’s red-brick town hall had been condemned by Midland council. It was termed a menace to public safety. [the 1896 building was upgraded and continued in use as the town hall and courthouse until demolished in 1955, the land being sold to Loblaws]* * * Penetang Lions Club had completed what its directors termed a banner year. One of the major projects of the club was the Lions Club Community Park. * * * More than 1,000 exhibits, the largest number of entries in the 54 years of the fair’s history, were featured in Coldwater’s fall fair.
  • Dear Editor: Your article on July 31 re the near drowning of the little Lepage girl makes strange reading to one who was present. Knowing the reputation of your paper over many years I am sure the mistake was not by design. The facts are the girl was rescued, revived and saved before police, doctor, or respirator arrived at the scene. The person who brought the little girl out of the deep water and revived her was none other than my son, John Brubacher of Guelph, who did a splendid job. Instead of thanks for his efforts, he was ignored in your article on the mishap and his place taken by the police. Being modest he was not inclined to make much of the event but I am not so modest and must ask you to give him the credit due for his successful efforts. Let me take nothing from Mr. Ingram who found the girl and made her rescue possible. If he had not found her so quickly she could not have been revived.  But he was exhausted from his efforts and from there my son John took over, assisted by his brother Carl. He took her to shore and immediately applied artificial respiration. By the time the police, doctor and artificial respirator arrived he had her breathing. When they finally arrived they did all they could to speed her recovery, but make no mistake, by the time they arrived she was saved. John  Brubacher has had wide experience with the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA at their Beausoleil Island camp and is well qualified for such an experience. The girl is indeed lucky he arrived at the scene at the critical moment. The police etc. did all they could and I would not take anything away from them. However, they were not there at the critical moment. I would suggest it should be easy to get the facts from the spectators present when the girl was taken from the water. I leave it to you to publish my letter or make any other correction you deem suitable. Albert Brubacher
  • The body of Douglas Monague, 50-year-old, of Christian Island, was pulled from the waters of Georgian Bay at Cedar Point, Tuesday afternoon. Sighted by another man, the body was lying in the water approximately 40 feet from the dock. The dead man is known to have gone to Penetang Monday afternoon. No one has been found who had seen him after that time.
  • A lifelong resident of Midland, William Scott Bowman died August 24 following a 15-year illness. Funeral service was held August 27 at Nicholls funeral home. Rev. Charles Carter of Victoria Harbour officiating. Interment was in Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers were Dr. James Small, James Moss, Fred Bath, Doug Edwards, Graham Jones and Don Wilson. William Bowman was born April 9, 1914, in Midland and was educated there. He had lived on First Street for 10 years and on Midland Ave. for 33 years. A butcher by trade, Mr. Bowman had been in the business for about 20 years, some of which was spent with his father in Penetang and also in Midland. Mr. Bowman was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Surviving is his mother, Lavina Bowman of Midland, a sister, Joyce Bowman of Midland, and a brother, Murray Bowman of Sioux Lookout.
  • Arrangements have been completed for the launching of “Tagish II “, second of two patrol boats built for the RCMP by Grew Boats Ltd., Penetang, Tuesday afternoon. A number of RCMP officials are expected to be present for the launching. Present plans call for the craft to be sponsored by the wife of an RCMP official. A duplicate of her sister ship, “Carnduff II”, which was launched May 22, the Tagish II is designed for patrol work, probably in the Windsor area. With a length of 50 feet, three inches, and a 13-foot, six-inch beam, the new craft has a depth of three feet, three inches aft. She is powered by twin, 12-cylinder gasoline engines operating twin screws. She also carries a powered aluminum lifeboat in a well, constructed in the after-deck. The vessel features a large uncluttered bridge with the wheel, dual engine controls and binnacle compass. Engines are mounted beneath the bridge deck.
  • J. E. Francis Beckett received a pleasant surprise on her 93rd birthday Sept 1st. While staying at a cottage owned by her daughter at Sturgeon Bay and relaxing on the lawn a band of pipers led a procession into the yard. Mrs. Beckett was being feted by the Black Watch Scottish Regiment pipers and an afternoon of songs, music and highland dancing was enjoyed. Some years ago Mrs. Beckett had donated a piece of waterfront property to the Black Watch camp for their enjoyment. [The Black Watch Camp was located on the current Bell Falls Campground property adjacent to the Sturgeon River]