Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 8th to 15th 1957

Click on Photos to Enlarge  This rare orchid should be a welcome sight to snow-weary Midlanders who tour the greenhouses of Perrin’s Flower Shop Sunday. Tour is being sponsored by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the YMCA. Besides a host of flowers in full bloom, Mr. Perrin has arranged a number of plots, showing growth from seedling to maturity. Examining the orchid above is Patsy Perrin. 

 A heap of wreckage being towed behind a wrecking truck was all that was left of a heavy truck after it had been struck by an outbound CNR passenger train on the William Street level crossing. Climbing out of the coal yard in low gear in a heavy rain storm the driver did not see the train coming.  The driver of the vehicle escaped with only a severe shaking up. 

 A familiar landmark in Midland’s east end is the old Shearlings (Woolen Ware) plant that was destroyed by fire several years ago. The location is the north side of Yonge Street between Princess and William Streets. The top picture was taken during the fire in March of 1954. It is being demolished by the owner and local contractor Henry Bernick. Demolition and salvage are being carried out by Sylvester Sutter of Port McNicoll. All buildings except the former warehouse will be razed. 

 Officials say the water is low all over Ontario this spring, but nowhere is it lower than in this man-made pond in Midland’s reservoir area. In some manner, the dam was weakened under the cement sluice-way in the centre background of the picture. Muskrats are considered the culprits. This is the smaller of two dams built in recent years by Midland PUC in an effort to maintain the town’s artesian well flow. 

 Applying a plaster base coat to the walls of one of the bright, airy offices in Midland’s new municipal building are Monty Lalonde, left, and Ray Boucher. Both are employed by Lloyd Murday, the Midland general contractor. Non-arrival of steel frames for some of the huge windows has caused considerable delay in the progress of the building.  Both men went on to establish their own businesses and were considered locally, the best in their profession. 

 Delay in the delivery of materials has slowed progress on the new Municipal Building in Midland. Looking over the plans are Midland Planing Mills employee Thomas Trew and his son Garnet. 

Cup Cakes lined up and ready for the annual Midland Lions Figure Skating Club carnival on the weekend. From front to back, Nancy Tully, Jane Spiker, Grace Ellen Parker, Valerie Somers, Sharon James and Kathy Brandon.

Three more tasty members of the Cake Land group who performed in the Lions Figure Skating Club revue this weekend. Miss Jelly Roll, Barbara Jean Parish centre is flanked by a pair of lemon chiffon cakes. Susan Harries left and Judy Fitzgerald right. 

Three more members of the Cake Land group who performed in the Lions Figure Skating Club revue this weekend. Angela Magnus, who was Miss Strawberry Shortcake, Geraldine Borsa and Linda Roach. 

 Extending its original field of making boat hulls, Midland Reinforced Plastics Ltd. is now turning out other articles, such as this handsome bucket-type chair. They come in colour combinations of red and onyx, green and shamrock, canary yellow and onyx, and grey and onyx. Examining the finished product is Miss Joyce Bowman. 

 In the Federal political ring for a second try is Dr. P. B. Rynard of Orillia, nominated Progressive Conservative nominee for the Simcoe East riding. Raising Dr. Rynard’s arm in victory at the convention held in Midland Thursday night is Oliver H. Smith, Q. C., vice president of the Simcoe East Conservative Association.


The battle at Vimy Ridge is being commemorated by Canadians both here and at the memorial in France. John Lowes was born in England, emigrated with his family in 1905 and lived at 162 Sixth Street Midland. John enlisted at the age of 20 and was killed on the first day of the battle of Vimy Ridge,  April 9th, 1917. For many years the “In Memoriam” above was posted in the Midland paper during the second week of April. His mother Mary died at the age of 82 in November of 1956 and his father Septimus died on June 14, 1960. He was one of sixty-eight local men who died during the first war.

  • The headline, Free Press Herald, Wednesday, April 10th; “CUSTOMS PORT REVENUE HITS POST-WAR RECORD” Indicative of the industrial expansion in the area, customs and excise collections at the Port of Midland have hit a new high since the 1943-44 World War II years. The collector of Customs and Excise A. E. Martin revealed in his report this week that total collections for the 1956-57 fiscal year amounted to $917,745.20, an increase of $165,329.67 over the previous fiscal year.
  • The headline, County Herald, Friday, April 12th; “DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES RE-ORGANIZE  – BACK DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION PLAN” In a virtually unanimous decision, municipalities of North Simcoe voted Wednesday night to continue the Huronia and Georgian Bay Development Commission program of tourist promotion and conservation.
  • The opening of the navigation season brought an early taste of bad luck to the CSL freighter Coverdale, which left Midland early last week. One of its crew members, Graden McLennan, of Hilton Beach (Algoma) is presumed to have drowned at Toledo, Ohio, Friday. Other members of the crew said McLennan had boarded another freighter, the Hochelaga, which left Port McNicoll the same day as the Coverdale, to visit a friend. He fell from the ship’s ladder as he was leaving. The incident occurred at the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway’s Presque Isle dock.
  • Jerome Gignac, chairman of the board of directors of Penetang General Hospital, in presenting the 1956 auditors’ report at the annual meeting of the board Wednesday night, announced a net deficit for the year of $17,243. In 1955 the hospital had a surplus of $1,021.
  • Annual financial statement of Fort Penetanguishene Museum indicates a healthy balance at the end of the year of $1,222.45. Expenses during 1956 amounted to $3,898. Major expenditure incurred during the year was the replacement of the roof on the Officer’s Quarters building, the cost of which was $1,475. A large part of this had been underwritten through an anonymous donation of $1,000. Salaries for caretaker and curator amounted to $1,056. Admissions during 1956 accounted for $915 of the total revenue received.
  • A citizens committee, organised to oppose the establishment of a liquor store and brewers’ warehouse in Midland, has named J. W. Smith chairman, to head up the committee’s program for the forthcoming liquor vote in Midland. Other officers are vice-chairman Rev. M. A. Beriault; treasurer, James Playfair; campaign manager C. M. Whitcher; finance, V. G. Edwards; and publicity, Rev. Ralph D. Wright.
  • The Bank of Montreal has announced today that H. Gordon Paice, manager of the bank’s Midland branch for the past five years, will be transferred to the Montreal head office as an inspector. Mr. Paice, who has served four years in an executive position on St. Andrews Hospital Board of Directors, several as treasurer, and four years on Midland Chamber of Commerce (president in 1956), will be succeeded as manager at Midland by Wm. A. Child.
  • As of yesterday, at least six new teachers will be required for the MPDHS staff when fall classes begin in September. The MPDHS Board has already placed advertisements for five positions in metropolitan papers. Lorne M. Johnston, the principal, said yesterday that a sixth new teacher will be necessary with the retirement of Robert Donovan. He is a social studies’ teacher who has been at MPDHS several years. The retirement of Mrs. William Bartlett, a home economics, foods, teacher, may cause the board the most trouble in securing a replacement if past experiences hold to form. Wife of instrumental music teacher William Bartlett, Mrs. Bartlett joined the staff last September. Two new teachers will be required for girls’ physical education. Retiring is Mrs. Robert Elliott, who taught other lower school subjects as well. She came to MPDHS in September. Head of the girls “Phys. Ed” department, Miss Barbara Murphy is taking a similar position with Oshawa Collegiate and Vocational Institute. She joined the staff of Midland District High School in 1952.  Another history and social studies teacher will be required with the resignation of Donald Kenwell, who is going to Parry Sound District High School. Although last year was his first at MPDHS, Mr. Kenwell taught for several years in Midland and Penetang public schools. Head of the history department for the past two years, Miss Reba Young is moving on to Tilbury District High School.
  • J. W. Bald celebrated his 89th birthday Sunday, April 7. Until his retirement a few years ago Mr. Bald was Midland’s oldest King Street businessman. He operated a photographic studio in a section of the building now occupied by R. E. Simpson & Sons (Simply Country).
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK; At the annual meeting of Ontario Educational and Trustees’ Association two resolutions to abolish final examinations for entrance into high schools or continuation schools were rejected. * * * George Marchand and Sons of Lafontaine were selling maple syrup for $2.25 a gallon. * * * Captain Percy Beatty of Midland won the Harbourmaster’s silk hat April 6 for being the first ship to enter Toronto harbour that season. He was captain of S.S. Coalhaven. * * * The question of disbanding the band was before Midland council but no decision was reached. Some councillors had stated the money could be used to alleviate the problem of unemployment. * * * Breakfast bacon, which now ranges from 79 cents to 89 cents per pound, sold for 16 cents at a grocery store in Midland. The Free Press Herald, however, was sold for 5 cents, both then and now. * * * About six inches of snow fell April 13 in Midland and eight in Orillia. It was difficult to estimate the exact amount because of drifting. *** The steamer W. J. Stewart, see photo below, was launched at the Collingwood shipyards. Mrs. J. S. Leitch performed the christening ceremony.

For more than 40 years this vessel, named for the celebrated Canadian Dominion Hydrographer, William J. Stewart, operated on the British Columbia coast collecting data needed to create new marine charts. She was built in Collingwood, Ontario in 1932 and was sailed to the west coast for service as a Dominion Government Ship (D.G.S.) and later as a Canadian Survey Ship (C.S.S.). With her white hull, she was one of the most distinctive and recognisable ships on the Pacific coast. In 2017 she is being broken up for scrap. Attributed to, MacFarlane, John M. (2016) The Canadian Princess ex–C.S.S. William J. StewartNauticapedia.ca 2016. http://nauticapedia.ca/Gallery/TITLE.php

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