Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe April 1st to 8th 1955

(click on photos to enlarge)

  •  Over 500 men off benefit April 15th, 232 from Midland, 123 from Penetang
  • Frank Doherty elected president of Midland Rotary Club, John Jory is vice-president
  • Trucks to replace rail for express and mail in most of North Simcoe, late night & early morning passenger trains also cancelled
  • Bell starts changeover of dial plates in Penetang, number only dials replaced with number & letter dials
  • More than 2,000 attend Midland Lions Club ice revue “Tropical Heat” at Arena Gardens
  • Fundraising to furnish the new addition to St. Andrew’s Hospital in Midland now over $130,000.00
  • 21 inches of snow in last week’s severe storm
  • Only one paper this week due to Good Friday being a statutory holiday

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Quartet from MPDHS won the invitational section of the school boy bonspiel in Owen Sound last week. Skip John Scott holding the trophy, Ross Hastings, Ken Gauthier and Peter Moreau.

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Accompanied by their teachers, Miss Helen Laidlaw and John Yelland, grade 2 and 3 students from Regent Public School visit Artie Gardiner’s sugar bush near Wyebridge. Bonnie Leclair, 7, is reluctant to sample the sap being offered by John Barber, 8. The little flies make it taste better!

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Gudrun Mandler, 8, and Siegrid Mandler, 9, enjoy the fresh maple syrup, the siblings recently arrived from Germany with their parents who work at the Leitz plant in Midland.

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John Anderson with a huge tank of sap on a sleigh, Elizabeth Boldt, Mary Taylor, Ross Palmer and Dickie Puddicombe inspect the fresh sap.

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 Charles Burton Edwards and his wife, Jessie May Smeltzer celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Charlie was born at Conc. 1 Tay Twp. near Wyebridge on December 21st, 1879. After attending Rankin’s School he worked on his father’s farm before going “steamboating” for five years, tiring of that he got a job at Gidley’s Boat Works in Penetang where he stayed for nine years. He then held a similar position at Monette Boat Works in Bracebridge for a few years, returning to Gidleys for another seven  years. Leaving the boat business to became a building contractor in Toronto a trade he followed for fifteen years. During the war he served as a pattern maker at DeHavilland Aircraft working on the famed wooden Mosquitoe bombers, staying there until he retired in 1947.

  Taking the story back to his farm days, Charlie had decided to go to British Columbia to make his life when he stopped overnight in South River Ontario and stayed at a boarding house where the owner’s sister Jessie happened to be visiting. Charlie never got to B.C., they were married in Penetang on March 29th, 1905 and are now living at 278 Fourth Street (302 Fourth St., new numbering) they have five children, ten grand children and good health. Charlie still works occasionally building cottages, making cupboards and other small jobs but more often now its fishing and gardening that he enjoys most. One son, Howard (Bud), lives in Midland.

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 Caleb Truman and Toby live at 625 Bay Street. Known to many in Midland simply as “the man with the little black dog”. “He goes everywhere I do except to Knox Church on Sunday mornings,” smiles Caleb. Born in Derbyshire England in 1872, at 12 he became a pit pony driver in the coal mines, working from 6 AM till 3 PM for a shilling a day. After seven years in the mines he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery and fought in the Boer War and the Indian border wars before returning to England as a Sergeant. He emigrated in 1905 and on the ship he met four other men bound for Canada, one being Arthur Marks from Midland. The entire group got jobs in a stave and lath mill at Edenville for 18 cents per hour, 10 hour days. His next job was pouring cement for the new Tiffin Elevator in Midland but that only lasted four months.  After that he got a job at the Drummond smelter, Midland’s main industry at the time besides the saw mills, the smelter employed 200 men. There was a strike at the smelter, the men were asking for 3 eight hour shifts instead of the 13 hour night shift and 11 hour day shift. The company refused and the men eventually went back to the old system but the smelter business did not last long after that. Caleb and other employees found work at the International Nickel Company in Sudbury where he became a foreman in the sulphide division, a position he held for 26 years until his retirement in 1945 when he returned to Midland. Caleb married Annie Scott, daughter of Thomas Scott of Midland in 1907. Mrs. Truman died in 1944 and their only child Laura, died at a young age. Caleb belonged to the Sons of England, then one of Midland’s strongest lodges and the Masonic Order. His favourite hobby now is writing poetry, he has 75 compositions he hopes to publish some day.

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