Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – November 16th to 30th 1956


   Click on photos to enlarge     2006-0020-1884 New Wyebridge community hall is completed on the west side of Highway 27 in Wyebridge. Local Women’s Institute has catered hundreds of local events in the last few years to raise the needed funds.

 2006-0020-2928 George Dudley QC of Midland, barrister and secretary manager of the Amateur Hockey Association, was interviewed in his office Wednesday night by cameraman Bob Crone for CBC Television News. He said that the association, by a vote of 13 to 10, had decided in the light of Russian actions in Hungary, not to send a team to Moscow in February for the world championships. The cup in the background is the world championship trophy won by Canada in 1950.

 [Read more about George and other area athletes at the Midland Sports Hall of Fame web site.]

 2006-0020-2935 Yard engine belonging to the Century Coal Co. in Midland has been converted from steam to diesel. The new engine is actually being repurposed from a Canadian military Sherman tank.

Among other improvements Century Coal Co. has recently replaced the old 400 foot wooden dock with cement and steel.

 2006-0020-2894 First snowman of the season, built by sisters Mary Ellen McCormick, 10, and Cheryl, 3, of 268 Midland Ave.

 2006-0020-2869 Unamotus Hi-Y members with a radio blaring peppy music in the background prepared to clean and paint the hall entrance to the YMCA dance floor Wednesday afternoon. Back to front, Wayne Broad, John Bell, John Edwards, Bryson McQuirter and Don Green.

2006-0020-2895 First Midland winner of the annual oratorical contest sponsored by the Simcoe County Trustees and Ratepayers Association, Winston Schell, 13, of Horrell Ave. displays the trophy he won Friday night in Barrie. Father Norman Schell looks proudly on.

2006-0020-2896 High honours were heaped on these two graduates of Elmvale District High School at commencement exercises in the school auditorium Friday night. Wilmur Giffen and Edith Robertson were winners of Dominion-Provincial bursaries. Wilmur also won the Canadian Legion scholarship. Both have chosen teaching careers.

 2006-0020-2876 Midland’s Caledonian Lodge had enough Y’s Men among its numbers to form a team for the master mason’s degree, exemplified for Ken McCaughen and Haig Abbott last Monday. Back Row, Harold Boyd, Ken Ellis, William Mutch, Tom McCullough, Wells Hartman, George Ingram, Charles Vent, L. S. Wallace, Ange Hartman, Frank Whiteman; front row, John Krocho, Frank Powell, Bev Keefe, candidates Ken McCaughen and Haig Abbott, Mac Perrin and Bill Setterington.

 2006-0020-2939 Coffee tasted extra good to these three Midlanders who weathered a rough passage from Thunder Bay to Port McNicoll on the Paterson freighter S. S. Bricoldoc, especially November 21st. They encountered 100 MPH winds, 40 foot waves and a ship that rolled beyond the 23 1/2 degrees considered a safe maximum. Four Midland people were on the crew, Ernst McKeown, 2nd mate, Mrs. Mary Clay, 1st cook, Doug Robitaille, oiler and Cecil Leclair, porter

 2006-0020-2942 Crewmen and workers at the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll are using hot water to de-ice the hatches of the S. S. Bricoldoc, a scene that will be common until the end of the navigation season. Bricoldoc was 36 hours late reaching Port McNicoll and had a ten degree list to port, but high winds and huge waves were the reason, not icing.

 2006-0020-2920 Nio Gianetto is seen hanging up deer and bear in the walk-in cooler at his store. Nio was part of a gang that hunted near Dorset that included; Ed Copeland, Hugh Blair and Clarence Hall of Midland, A. L. Fitzgerald, Cleo Genier and his father, from Penetang, Charles and Bill Watson and Jack McTavish of Newmarket.

 2006-0020-3095 Three young forwards are being counted on by coach Garnet Armstrong to supply a lot of scoring punch for Midland’s junior “C” team this year. They are Dennis Turner, “Buzz” Deschamp and Doug Campbell. Turner was with Elmvale’s OMHA juvenile champs last winter. Deschamp starred with Midland midgets. Campbell also performed in juvenile ranks in Orillia.

 2006-0020-2889 Replaced by electronic gear the old hand operated Morse key is still music to the ear of veteran operators like Anthony Blouin who has worked for the Canadian Marconi Co. for forty years and is currently the operator at Midland. Mr. Blouin has worked in the Soo as well as several Quebec stations. Anthony was on duty in 1914 at Grosse Isle in the St. Lawrence and heard the Empress of Ireland’s distress call the night she sank with the loss of 1,012 souls, eight more than Titanic two years earlier.

 2006-0020-2893 Tony Blouin, the “wireless” operator at Midland, explains the operation of a “Maggie” detector to K. V. Rainberg. This equipment is now a museum piece although in use during Mr. Blouin’s career. They are surrounded by all the electronics now used in a modern Marconi station.

  Midland’s wireless station, call letters VBC, was located at what was then the south end of William Street at the highest location on the west side. The station and the operator’s house are still standing. A Midland contractor (I am searching for the name) built the identical stations in Midland, Kingston, Tobermory and Port Burwell. The Midland station operated from 1912 till 1961.

 2006-0020-2963 Things are a little easier for the picketers manning the line at the Canadian Name Plate plant on Bay Street during the recent strike, by the erection of a shelter to give some relief from the cold.

The November 30th County Herald contained an article regarding this two week old strike by the 126 UAW workers. It was presented as a discussion, with the union representative making a point and Mr. Gordon Moss responding to it. The points on both sides seemed quite reasonable.

 2006-0020-2965 Upside Down Cake? – Dempster’s bread truck headed to Midland and driven by Ernest M. Foster of Barrie got into trouble on the slippery road at the south end of King Street. No charges were laid, damage estimated at $50.00. 

  • Simcoe County forester Joe Lea retires after 28 years of building the forests of the county.
  • Ontario Department of Highways has refused Tay Townships request for a 30 MPH speed limit on Hugel Ave. W. from Eighth Street to Hwy 27. The township is concerned because there are no sidewalks past Eighth Street, 750 pupils have to walk on the roadway.
  • Ad in the paper announcing that Walter Zimmerman has taken over the Meat Market formerly operated as Argues Meat Market in Victoria Harbour.
  • MPDHS to get $400.00 electric timer and scoreboard for the gym.
  • Realtor W. J. Sansford is offering a stucco bungalow in the south end, 3 bedrooms, hardwood floors, oil heating, clothes closets in all bedrooms, laundry tub, 4 piece bathroom, built-in cupboards. Heated last year for $72.00. Full price $8,500.00.
  • PUC still looking to increase towns water supply and Little Lake is still the best new resource with water always testing “Grade A” and Department of health supporting the plan.
  • Realtor Vic Strickland at a public meeting suggested that more citizens would run for public office if the stipend was increased. Clerk Wm. Hack explained that currently $2,000.00 is distributed among the mayor and councilors annually, using a graduated scale based on attendance at meetings. The Mayor maintains it is a duty to serve your community. Alderman Clint Smith felt it was an honour to be elected to public office.
  • Newcomer A. B. Thompson, Penetang barrister, will run against the present mayor of Penetang, George Kerr.
  • The real estate firm of W. J. Sansford has launched a new subdivision across the bay behind the Midland Simcoe Elevator. Jim Bennett, the firms representative, said “Sunnyside Heights” would be limited to $10,000.00 and over homes with a possible shopping center behind if interest warranted it.
  • Start will be made next year on the four lane super highway from just east of Barrie (Crownhill) to Coldwater.
  • Bourgeois Motors announces that their car lot for both new and used vehicles is now located at their Midland Avenue site, just north of Hugel.
  • Maritimer A. MacNeil acquires the local General Motors franchise and will open on the former Warman property on Vinden Street, recently occupied by Bourgeois Motors.
  • Local Canadian Tire Store closes half day owing to the death of the firm’s founder, J. W. Billes.
  • Midland’s downtown merchants to circulate a petition proposing a five day work week except during the tourist season.
  • Tenders for the sale of properties owned by the town of Midland –  #1 Community Center 311 King street, 2 1/2 story brick veneer, hot water heating, stoker, full basement, modern plumbing, apartment on upper floor. (currently CompuSolve) –  #2 Band Hall, 218 Midland Ave. corner of Dominion, 1 1/2 storey brick hall, oil heating, basement, 6 room apartment on upper floor with separate entrance. (currently Better Life Chiropractic) – #3 Town Garage, Yonge Street E., solid brick, 50′ x 49′, concrete floor, two 12′ x 12′ folding doors. (currently 382 Yonge St. former home of the McCuaigs)
  • Winner of the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Olympic Games in Melbourne this week, Britain’s Chris Brasher is a brother of Dr. Peter Brasher, Midland.
  • More than 6,000 residents are eligible to vote in the upcoming municipal elections in Midland & Penetang.
  • Steel windows for the new municipal building, promised for August from a British company, have not yet arrived.
  • Le Camp’s Clothing Store at First and Ney in Port McNicoll is going out of business due to sickness, everything being sold at cost. “P.S. – We’ll sell the store too.”
  • Midland’s first advanced poll will take place on December 1st from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the rear of town hall, off Dominion Ave. Those eligible must sign a declaration stating they will be absent on the day of the regular election. Those allowed will be railway workers, armed forces, transport drivers and others whose business makes it impossible for them to be in Midland on the regular polling day.
  • In 1945 sixty six percent of Canadians who paid income tax earned less than $2,000.00, in 1953 only twenty two percent were below $2,000.00.
  • Two local hunters are wounded during the deer hunt. Port McNicoll postmaster and popular citizen Jack Reedy managed to shoot himself in the foot while hunting in the Cognashene area. Joe Barden, Coldwater photographer and poolroom operator was shot in a hunting accident east of Bracebridge. Shot fired from another hunter 300 yards away fractured his shoulder, broke three ribs and punctured a lung.
  • Vasey United Church Sunday School superintendent Nathan Edwards reported that 85 children were enrolled last year with average weekly attendance of 64.
  • OBITUARIES – Mrs. Damasse Lalumiere died November 5th at her home, she was in her 91st year. She came to Penetang with her parents at age 15 and married Damasse in 1882. She is survived by Aimer at home, Eugene in Buffalo, Adolph in Galt, Lea (Mrs. Simeon Moreau), Anna (Mrs. Theophile Marchildon), and Melina (Mrs. Isreal Robitaille). – A lifelong resident of Coldwater, Mrs. Sarah Rachel Sallows nee Howell died at home on Nov 7th, she was 66.  She is survived by her husband Reuben, two sons, Henry and Theodore and a daughter Margaret, Mrs. Walter Rose of Fesserton. – Mrs. Septimus Lowes nee Mary Ellen Jackson, died at her home Sunday in her 82nd year. She is survived by her husband, and three sons, Kenneth and Francis of Midland, and Tom of Oshawa. – Mrs. Frederick Norman Carruthers nee Edna Lois MacDonald of Wyebridge died November 11th in St. Andrews Hospital in her 64th year. Predeceased by her husband in 1947 and son Allan in March of this year. Survived by one son, Clayton of Midland. – Mrs. Joseph J. Fallis, nee Mary Tinney, who died in the Beechwood Nursing home on November 11th in her 90th year. Predeceased by her husband 22 years ago and a daughter Rita 30 years ago. Survived by two sons, Harvie and William of R.R. Midland a daughter Hazel, Mrs. William Taylor  of Vasey. – Andrew McLawrence Lovering died on November 23rd at the age of 83. An active participant in his community, he served for eight years on council, telephone commission for 15 years, school board trustee for 18 years and captain of the Coldwater fire brigade for 30 years. He and his wife, the former Maude Hawke, farmed the original Lovering homestead deeded from the Indians. He is survived by his wife, a daughter Ruth, Mrs. Charles Danby and two sons, Walter and Horace.
  • WEDDINGS – Muriel Blondin, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Martial Blondin, Lafontaine and Richard Lesperance, son of Mr. & Mrs. Albert Lesperance, Perkinsfield, at Holy Cross Church. Anatole Charlesbois sang two pieces accompanied by his wife on the organ. – Catharine Ann Reid, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. James F. Reid and Douglas Wm. Fagan, son of Mr. & Mrs. Cecil Fagan, Wyebridge, at St. Mark’s Anglican in Midland, Nov. 10th. – Germaine Bellisle daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Bellisle, Penetang, and OPP Officer John W. Ambeau, son of Mr. & Mrs. George Ambeau, Midland at St. Ann’s, October 29th. 
  • 25 YEARS AGO, 1936 – Following a week of below freezing temperatures the thermometers jumped to 68 and 70 degrees. – An old landmark was destroyed when the Waubaushene Inn owned by Henry Gouett burned to the ground in a midnight fire. – Midland YMCA won the 33 mile marathon race from Midland to Orillia for the second time and established a new record by clipping seven minutes off of their previous years record. Midland runners were Stan Symington, Dudley Tushingham, Horace Scott, Charles Noquet, Harold Hornsby, L. Larmand of Victoria Harbour, Cliff Davis, Capt. Merkley, Borland, Switzer, McKenzie, Bremner, Edwards, Coombs and Vosper. 

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