Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe 1955 April 23rd to the 30th

Click on photos to enlarge

  • Tiny Township council, at a special meeting, adopt Daylight Saving Time, following the lead of Midland & Penetang
  • Hundreds motor to Medonte or Midhurst to see the CPR’s new streamlined passenger train “The Canadian”
  • Over two thousand local grade one, two and three students are eligible to receive the free polio vaccination, Simcoe County Health Unit will start program next week
  • Sir James Dunn, first ship into Port McNicoll with 607,000 bushels of wheat
  • Gammon Tires, Dominion Ave. East is offering re-treaded tires for $10.49.
  • Measles cases on the rise, April report from the Simcoe County Health Unit, 452 cases, 10 times the March total
  • Weather changes but never changes, 25 years ago on April 23rd North Simcoe was blanketed with several inches of snow and a week later the temperature was 78 degrees.
  • Midland Park Commission calls for tenders on three more cottages to be built in the tourist park this year. Designed by the town engineer R. M. White, the 18 by 22 foot structures will feature a picture window and shower facilities.


 Napoleon (Paul) Lagree died of a heart attack while fighting a grass fire at his home. Born and educated in Victoria Harbour, married in St. Mary’s Church to local girl Stephannia DeCaire, the couple lived in the Harbour all their married life. Paul worked for Waldie Lumber then the CPR in Port McNicoll.

 Alfred Gingras, area resident for fifty years, died at his home 238 George Street (now 262 George) on April 17th in his 71st year.

Melina, Mrs. Israel Dumais nee Chevrette, died at the Beechwood Nursing Home on March 22 at the age of 82. Survived by daughter Annie and sons Ernest, Marcel, Gilbert, Peter and Alfred.

1994 0132 0132 Hydro Houseboat

This floating boarding house will provide accommodation for 20 hydro linemen when completed. Seen here in Penetang Harbour having the superstructure built is the 12 ton scow constructed by Daniels Welding Service, Midland. Art Ridout, Balm Beach, has the contract for the building. When complete it will contain a galley and dining room on the lower floor and ten double deck bunks upstairs.

2006 0020 1703

Despite difficulty getting material to the construction site good progress is being made on the new Midland Penetanguishene District High School. Fortunately much material was moved while Hugel Avenue was still frozen. Fred Lalonde of Midland is seen spraying a protective coat of paint on the steel work.

2006 0020 1158

MPDHS students from Bob Joyce’s grade 10B class cook up the few smelt they caught at Dault’s Bay Thursday night. The smelt weren’t running too well but everyone got a taste. The Free Press cropped the photo for publication so we do not have the names of the two boys on the left or the man on the right. Kneeling, Rodger Gray, Alice Campbell, Mary Ann Wheeler,  Marlene Burnett, standing, Norma Lyle, Ron McQuaig, Glen Mitchell and Marion Shaw.

2006 0020 1157

Another photo of the MPDHS smelt fishing excursion which was published but the students were not identified. Anyone remember?

2006 0020 1159

Navigation season officially opened in Port McNicoll when Capt. J. W. Scarrow of Hamilton brought the Sir James Dunn to harbour with 607,000 bushels of wheat for the nearly empty CPR elevator. The Dunn was the last ship to leave Port McNicoll this spring, having wintered there. Left, R. E. Stephens  chief engineer, Captain and Mrs. Scarrow and George Burns, the new Port McNicoll harbourmaster. Betty Jane Zummach, daughter of councillor John Zummach presented Mrs. Scarrow with flowers. Captain Scarrow has been a master for 34 years and this was his first top hat. He also commended the village for recognizing the chief engineer as” he deserves as much credit and is often overlooked.”

2006 0020 1165

Midland Lions Club safety committee members are busy attaching red reflective tape to the rear and silver reflective tape to the front of the bicycles of all public and separate school students in Midland. Bob Stanway, Jack Frame, Jim Moss and Don Swinson at Regent School.

2006 0020 1164

Robert Rhodes of Sixth Street School watches while Walter Woods and Dan Nicholls apply safety reflective tape to  his bike.

2006 0020 1644

In doing this cataloguing for Huronia Museum I see the photo before the description and to me part of the challenge is trying to guess the reason for the photo. The location was obvious by observing our cenotaph through the window, between the tree trunks, but I had to drive by to identify the exact house which was 347 King and is now 437 King.  The interior of a well kept living room of the time, a chance to peek inside someone’s home. The portable phonograph, mantle radio, stand ashtray, leaded glass window, old style phone, but why a pistol and a tobacco cutter.

Toronto born William Steggles, former CNR yardmaster in Midland, demonstrates how tobacco used to be cut from plugs for pipe use. The cutter he is using was made from wood salvaged from the first passenger coach used on the old Northern Railway into Penetang. It was presented to railway president F. C. Cumberland who gave it to Steggle’s father when he quit smoking, the nickel plated fitting that holds the cutting knife was made from a valve off one of the locomotives. Williams father was paymaster for the Northern and Northwestern Railway and for protection carried the revolver that William now proudly possesses.

2006 0020 1156

Head Table guests at the annual dinner of the Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers Club, held at the Legion hall in Waubaushene. Lorne “Smokey” Woods, Chris Armstrong,  Department of Lands and Forests biologist and guest speaker, Bill Russell club president and Jack Prentice of Toronto, president of Zone 5 of the association.

Huronia Museum offers condolences to the family of the late “Smokey” Woods  on the passing of his wife Mary Woods nee McKinley on Monday May 4th, 2015 at the age of 103.

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