Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe Last Week of February 1955

Fifty Years Married
Shovelled snow for two days to get to church for his wedding;

Joseph Paradis, whose father was also Joseph, got very little formal schooling as he started work at 10. His father was paid $80.00 a month to work on the log booms for the Georgian Bay Lumber Company but was required to pay his own help. Joe Jr. went as the assistant so as to keep all the money in the family. When he was 15 the family moved onto a farm in Port Severn where he worked until he married. Mrs. Paradis, who will celebrate her 68th birthday next month,  is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Edmund Bressette and unlike Joe did go to school and lived at home until married. They were married in the church at Port Severn by Father Laboureau who only came to Port Severn once a month as his parish extended from Penetang to Honey Harbour. Joseph recalls having to shovel all day Saturday and Sunday to open the road to get to the church for the Monday wedding.
When married they moved to Victoria Harbour where he worked for the Waldie Lumber Co. on the sorting jack for $1.75 a day. Later he learned carpentry which earned him .35 cents an hour and a three year job building the locks at Port Severn.
Thirty two years ago they moved to Penetang with their family of five sons and one daughter. Joseph got  a job at Grew Boats as a finisher and worked there until his retirement last year. At the time it was Gidley Boats, later the Stewart Company, then Grew Boats who sold out to another firm who retained the name.
The couple remembers the first bicycle they ever saw, ridden by Dr. Boyd of Coldwater when he came to Port Severn on calls. The same doctor drove the first car they ever saw. The main entertainment in Port Severn was dancing, around Christmas there was a dance almost every night. Square dances held in various homes with fiddlers, an organ if there was one in the house and occasionally an accordion. “And we had a lot more fun than they do now.”
Only one son, Fred, is working in Penetang, Edmund, Joseph Jr. and Felix are working in Kingston and Alden is with the RCAF in Ottawa. There only daughter Valerie, (Mrs. Vic Moreau) died about two and half years ago. They have 24 grandchildren and 2 great grand children.

10 Years Ago (70 years Ago)
Since February the 6th four thousand tons of ice 19 inches thick has been harvested from Georgian Bay at Port McNicoll for the CPR. Four thousand tons were kept in storage for the CPR steamships, the remainder was shipped by rail to Windsor, London, Owen Sound, Orangeville and Trenton.

 50 Years Ago (110 years Ago)
Listed among the merchants in a 1906 business directory is the Midland Boat and Canoe Company operated by W.H. Hacker and Co. W.H. was the father of F.A. Hacker who still operates a store on King Street (1955). “It was located at the foot of King Street where the present Midland Boat Works now stands.” “Perhaps our biggest business was renting houseboats which we had towed wherever desired up the shore,” said Mr. Hacker. “There were no summer cottages dotting the islands then. Only a few permanent settlers scattered about in the wilderness.” The advent of the gasoline motor changed all this, as it did a lot of other things. (Descendants of popular Midland son and retired lawyer Fred Hacker)

2006 0020 0981
Roofing the St. Andrews Hospital addition are Mel Bumstead, Midland, John Fagan, Wyebridge, roofing contractor C. Annand and Elmer Beardsall of Midland.
2006 0020 0983
Plumber Jack Wilson from Waubaushene, Don Gillespie and Albert Atkinson of Midland working on the expansion of St. Andrews Hospital Midland, February 1955
2006 0020 0984
Ernie Robins from Midland Foundry and Machine installing elevator in addition to St. Andrews Hospital, Midland.

2006 0020 0978
St. Andrews Hospital addition construction photo, Carl Newman from Walkers Electric working on electrical panel. Bob Newburn, electrician for Walkers Electric working with conduit.
2006 0020 0974
Midland Lion’s Club sponsored little league hockey MVP’s. Edgar Dorion, AHL, Jim Wilcox NHL, David Simmonds junior OHA. Edgar is holding the new PMCL trophy. Coach unknown and Rev. Len Self.

Esteemed Port McNicoll businessman George Patterson dies in England.
A former Warden of Simcoe County and Reeve of Port McNicoll for 14 years, Mr. Patterson, aged 72, died in a Berwick-On-Tweed hospital while visiting his sister. Born in England on May 9th, 1883 he apprenticed as a tailor but soon followed his father in the masonry trade. He came to Canada in 1906 and obtained work in Hillsdale as a mason then moving to Elmvale to work for a contractor named Parker. In 1907 he moved to Victoria Harbour and worked for Sherman Burns as a mason. In 1911 he moved to Port McNicoll and built many foundations including the one under the Bonar Presbyterian Church. He served in France during the war and returned to Port McNicoll in 1919 and opened a men’s clothing store. He was an elder of the United Church and enjoyed curling and fishing. He was predeceased by his wife Maggie Tooke of Victoria Harbour and leaves six sons, Jack, Jim and David, all of Toronto, Bob and George of Port McNicoll and Donald of North Bay, one daughter, Mrs. Clive Park of Midland.

One thought on “Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe Last Week of February 1955

  1. 🕺 Dancing and playing instruments is what got our ancestors through hardships. We need to bring back large family dance halls with live music even barn dances would be amazing. Josée

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