Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe 1955 May 1st to 7th

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  • Council approves plan to install flood lights at the ball diamond, plan later nixed by the Hydro Electric Power Commission when Midland PUC not allowed to spend rebate dollars on the project
  • The planting of 325,000 trees by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests in the Severn River area is nearly completed, 60 percent white pine, 30 percent red pine and the balance white spruce and white cedar
  • Council approves purchase of new police cruiser with puncture proof tires and the establishment of a public lane way from Hugel Avenue to Elizabeth Street between King and Midland Avenue (Bourgeois Lane)
  • New industry in Midland, Midland Reinforced Plastics Limited to manufacture reinforced polyester Fiberglas products, rent former Blair Construction building on Ellen Street
  • A heavy haze, which looked like smoke but without the smell, settled over North Simcoe reducing visibility, cause was a Montana dust storm that has crippled parts of Saskatchewan
  • Miss Anna B. Magnus retires from Protestant Separate School Board after 45 years of teaching
  • Floor of the garage collapsed this week at St. Mark’s Anglican Church Rectory leaving a five foot deep cavern
  • Stone from Ste. Marie donated by Martyr’s Shrine authorities will be incorporated into the entrance way of the new St. Andrews hospital, linking the two places of refuge separated by 300 years of history
  • Smelts first introduced to Great Lakes from the ocean by the state of Michigan 43 years ago
  • William Harrison establishes a small industry on Manly Street now employing three men in the manufacture of ornamental iron work. The former welder at the Midland Shipyards has also acquired an agency for aluminum storm windows, doors and awnings
  • Elmvale council requests a flashing traffic light at the intersection of highways 27 and 92
  • Parking meters are back on the main street for the summer, mom and dad will be saving their pennies for the meters instead of the kids

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At the Midland Park ball diamond boys who came out for Little Ball are divided into two leagues, the National and the International. Rev Len Self, director of the Midland Lions Club ball program ends up with eight teams in each league compared to the six anticipated.

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“First loss of the season” Gary Hood, left, and Ronnie Josselin use the time tested way to decide in or out. Boys are part of the two hundred youth signed up to play Little League baseball this summer thanks to the Midland Lions Club.
The newspaper cropped the outside boys from the picture so we do not know their names. One of this volunteers favourite photos in the Free Press collection so far.

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Golfers out in force. Fine April weather proved irresistible to these golfers at Midland Golf & Country Club. Watching Don Argue attempt an eight foot putt  are Dr. C. N. James, Lorne Watson, “Ange” Hartman and Del Hastings.

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Building fund for the new St. Andrews Hospital was enriched by $865.00 this week. The cheque came from the CP and T Committee (Cancer, Polio & Tuberculosis) of the  Midland IOOF, Lodge No. 274 and Ideal Rebekah Lodge, No. 190 Midland. Money will purchase an isolette air conditioned infant incubator. Mrs. Eldon Belfry, president of the CP & T Committee, Mr. V. G. Edwards, building fund campaign chairman, Albert Bowie, treasure of the IOOF Lodge, Mrs. J. Argue, noble grand of the Rebekah Lodge, back row, Omery Caudle, secretary of the encampment branch of the lodge, Garfield Steer, vice grand of the 274 Lodge and Stewart Glassier, noble grand No. 274.

Council approves new subdivision, plan submitted by H. J. Beauchamp in April of 1954. There are 36 lots bordered by Ellen Street to the north, Irwin to the east and Colborne to the south. Walter Kluck of Ernst Leitz Canada Limited, whose employees own lots in the subdivision, explained that the owners were anxious to start building and hoped sewer, water and other services would be installed as soon as possible.

Editorial complains of the poor phone service to Coldwater, stating that there is only one circuit and it is always busy. To get to the Hillsdale or Moonstone exchange one is routed to Barrie then back through Orillia.


Ernest Francis Desroches, born in Lafontaine 61 years ago died in Penetang last Wednesday of a heart ailment. Married in 1927 to Angeline Desrochers they have two daughters Vivian and Lucille and two sons Donald and Ronald

Mrs. Majoric Beaudoin died on April 15th of heart failure at the age of 90. The former Marguerite Chevrette was the first female school teacher in Lafontaine. She is survived by two daughters Stella and Alma and three sons Robert, Jerome and Martin. She was predeceased by her husband in 1917.

Mrs. James Mertz, the former Edna Minnie Campbell passed away in Hillsdale April 17th in her 61st year. Born in Innisfil, educated in Waverly, married in 1920, Mrs. Mertz lived her whole life in North Simcoe. Survived by four sons, Clarence, Ralph, Arden and Ronald and a daughter Gweneth.

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