Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 24th to 30th, 1957

Click on Photos to EnlargeNew eye-catching sign has just been erected at the western outskirts of Midland on Yonge Street at Seventh. Chamber of Commerce Secretary-Manager R. B. Moffatt, Publicity Chairman Al Perkins and President Frank Bray examine the sign. The Midland Horticultural Society plans to landscape the bank in front of it. 

Some youngster, or youngsters, in this area, will get financial assistance for a holiday at Kitchikewana YMCA Camp this summer, through the efforts of the Adelphi Hi-Y Club of Midland YMCA. Several club members toured Midland homes Wednesday in quest of baskets, bottles and coat hangers, proceeds from the sale of which will be used to send a lad to camp. Sorting out the pile of bottles and coat hangers are Bev Day, left, and Wayne Morrisson. 

Stacking up the big pile of baskets in this photo are Marty Reynolds, left, and Len Wood. 

In the service station business in Midland for the past 20 years, Frank Wilford, left, sold his business last week to Henry Laurin. Mr. Laurin also operates the Midland – Penetang ambulance service. After a few weeks holidays, Mr. Wilford expects to enter a new field of business in Midland. 

Well-known to patrons of Penetang and Midland hotel dining rooms, where she served for many years, Mrs. Garnet Hanes has taken over the operation of the former Wilford snack bar on Midland’s King Street. Mrs. Hanes is seen above admiring some of the flowers sent by well-wishers when she started her new business venture this week. 

Can they repeat again this year? That question will be answered in Collingwood today and tomorrow as these youngsters battle to retain the provincial championship they won in the LHL Junior OHA series at Parry Sound last spring. Kneeling; Bobby Clayton, Earl Scott, Tom Gray, Doug French. Second row; Greg Somers, Jim Tippin, Allan Mostyn, Jon Pettersen, Chester Graham, Bob Weckman, Keith Bath. Back row; Bill Brooks, Wayne Holden, John Swan, Don Pringle, Dave Brooks, Doug Taylor, Dennis Abbott, Randy Small, Rev. Len Self. 

Residents of Port McNicoll for 45 years, Mr. & Mrs. Alphonse Maheu are seen cutting their golden anniversary cake at a reception held for them at the Bourgeois dining room on Tuesday. Both born in Perkinsfield they have also lived in Depot Harbour and Penetang before settling in Port. (A detailed article accompanied the photo) 

Joseph Leeking of Midland is in the hospital with serious chest injuries after the car he was driving was in collision with a car driven by Melvin Ritchie of Elmvale. The accident occurred Tuesday afternoon on Vinden Road. Also involved were Mrs. Melvin Ritchie and James Hawke who was riding in the Leeking car. Mr. Ritchie is seen surveying the damage to the front of his car. 

 Ten years of “friendly business relationship and outstanding service to the motoring public” by Doug Swann, veteran Midland garage man, has been recognized officially by the Shell Oil Co. of Canada Ltd. In addition to this handsome plaque, Mr. Swann also received a gold pin. 

“IN THE DOUGH,” as a baker that is, for 57 of his 71 years, Norman Dunn can recall the days when Hillsdale was one of the most important centres in North Simcoe. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn marked their golden wedding anniversary April 10, in the home in which they have lived for 37 years.

Article by Ken Somers

Remember when Hillsdale was served by a railway? There aren’t too many people living who were around when the rail service was discontinued. Among them are Mr. and Mrs. Norman Dunn who, on April 10, marked their golden wedding anniversary. Both are well qualified to talk about the early days of Hillsdale. Mr. Dunn was born there, 71 years ago, and his wife came to the then thriving village when she was 12 years old. “It was a much busier place than it is now,” said Mr. Dunn, recalling three saw mills, three shingle mills, a hoop and stave factory and a planing mill which provided employment for a population of around six or seven hundred persons. Things were much livelier then in the business section too, with two hotels, the same number of bake shops and blacksmith shops, and half a dozen stores. Then, as now, there were three churches. There was also a public school, the same one, incidentally, that some of the Dunn’s grandchildren attend even today. “Grandma and grandpa” attended that school together, and it was there they first met.  Norman Dunn didn’t have too long a period to attend school. At the age of 14 he became an apprentice in the bakeshop of the late Louis Roberts. He received, at most, $4 per week. “I had to pay my keep out of that, too,” said Mr. Dunn. He agreed Mr. Roberts couldn’t afford to pay much more, with bread selling at six cents per loaf. Flour, of course, cost only half the price it does today. In any event, Mr. Dunn stuck with the job and is still at it, some 57 years later. He has a small oven right in his home, across the road from Rumble’s Pond, at the easterly edge of  the village.  Although he was a pastry man, too, in his younger days, now he bakes bread only, which he peddles in his car throughout the Medonte side roads.  After their marriage in the parsonage of the old Methodist Church in Penetang April 10, 1907, the Dunn’s lived in a number of places before returning to the village some 37 years ago. Mrs. Dunn, the former Margaret Drennan, was born on a farm near Cookstown, one of four girls and four boys born to the late Mr. and Mrs. James Drennan. Her father built bridges and did other construction work throughout the area, as well as operate a farm. Of the eight children, all the girls are still living and two of the sons, Fred and Norman, both of Toronto. In addition to Mrs. Dunn, the daughters are Mrs. Fred Grigg, Elmvale; Mrs. Tom Fagan, Crossland; and Mrs. William Parker, of R.R. 3, Midland. In her younger days Mrs. Dunn sang in the Presbyterian Church choir with one of her sisters, Mrs. Grigg. She was also an early member of Hillsdale W.I. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn have four children of their own, including three sons, Grant, Hillsdale, Harold, Toronto, and Fred of Barrie; and one daughter, Mrs. George Lockhart (Gladys), who  also lives in Hillsdale. There are eight grandchildren. Norman Dunn was also born on a farm, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Dunn. A brother, George, still resides in Hillsdale, but their only sister died some years ago. [Normand died in 1959 and Margaret in 1971, they are both buried in Hillsdale] 

 Where’s my prize mister? A study in expression at the Midland Arena Saturday as children line up to exchange their tokens, dropped from an airplane, for candy during the annual Y’s Men’s Club Easter egg hunt. [Most of my favourite photos in the Free Press collection are of children, this unknown little girl is another. I don’t believe it is about the candy, it is that strange man with the huge camera pointed right at her.]

Queen of Hearts Marita Lalonde of Penetang receives train tickets and hotel reservations for herself and a chaperone prior to their departure for Montreal Friday. The queen’s trip was jointly sponsored by the Free Press and the Roxy Theatre. Managing editor Wils Harrison on the left and theatre manage Al Perkins. 

Red, white and blue is the colour scheme of children’s playground equipment at Midland Drive-in Theatre this year. Two painters are shown putting finishing touches to swings in the background, while two little girls amuse themselves in the sandbox centre foreground. The drive-in, which opened on the weekend, was undergoing general spring face lifting operations when this photo was taken.

New picture of Queen Elizabeth to replace the one destroyed by fire last fall, was donated to St. Mary’s Separate School by Dominion Stores Limited last Monday. The picture presented by Ross Hart, manager of the Midland store, was accepted by Sister Frances Matthew, the principal. Other staff members in the picture are Mrs. N. Butineau, Sister Mary Imelda, Mrs. N. Tremblay and Miss Margaret Ambeau. 


Still compelling arguments in 2017! 

  • Midland Free Press, Wednesday, April 24, 1957, headline; New Provincial Education Grants for Six Municipalities Top $9,000. Six North Simcoe municipalities will receive more than $9,000 in new education grants for elementary schools. The new grants were announced by provincial government officials last week. They amount to $3 per pupil based on the 1956 average daily attendance.
  • County Herald, Friday, April 26, 1957, headline; Epidemic of Break-ins Launches Probe by OPP. Numerous reports of cottage break-ins all over the Tiny, Tay and Medonte Township areas which they patrol have kept provincial police at Victoria Harbour exceptionally busy. In addition to the cottage break-ins, there have also been numerous reports of thefts of tires, batteries, boats and other articles, police said.
  • Immediately following the Easter recess, Simcoe County Health Unit will start to vaccinate more than 8,000 elementary school children throughout the county. According to the program released by director Dr. P. A. Scott, children who received two doses of Salk polio vaccine in 1955 and did not receive the third dose in 1956, will receive a third dose this year.
  • Members of lOOF, No. 274 Midland, hope to start construction on a new Odd Fellows Temple around mid-June. Measuring about 40 by 80 feet, the building will be erected on a newly-purchased lot on Dominion Ave. West, between King and First Streets. For many years the Odd Fellows have used the third floor of the Jeffery Block as their lodge room. Noble Grand Ernie Bates, who is also serving as chairman of the building committee, said the new hall would have two storeys but no basement. A banquet hall will occupy the first floor. In addition to the lodge room on the second floor, there will also be a board room, capable of seating around 20-25 persons and which will be made available to the public on a rental basis.
  • Entering its 21st year of selling automobiles, Gropp Motors Ltd. recently announced the appointment of Lloyd LaPlume to the sales staff, and promotion of Ken Tannahill to sales manager. “Lefty” St. Amant is the third salesman. Gropp’s sales staff has two men who know the automotive business from the ground up, having worked their way up from the maintenance shop. The two, Ken Tannahill and “Lefty” St. Amant have a combined total of 21 years in the business.
  • Lack of bread in Penetang grocery stores Saturday afternoon was one item of evidence pointing to the heavy influx of cottagers into the area for the Easter weekend. Before 5 o’clock Saturday it was virtually impossible to buy bread in grocery stores throughout the town.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Johnson announce the engagement of their daughter Kathryn Alfreda to Mr. Gerald Clair Lalonde, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eudger Lalonde of Penetanguishene, the marriage to take place May 11, 1957, in St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, at 9 a.m.
  • CLARK — Jim and Edythe Clark are pleased to announce the birth of their first son, James Frederick, April 21st, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland.
  • SWEETING—Tommy Sweeting, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Sweeting, is happy to announce the arrival of a baby brother Timothy, April 22nd, at St Andrews Hospital, Midland.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK –  Newly-organized Medical Association for Midland and district held its first meeting in St. Andrews Hospital. Doctors and nurses from Midland, Penetang, Victoria Harbour and Port McNicoll attended. * * * Tay Township council approved a motion calling for 24-hour service, seven days a week, on the Tay Telephone System. *** Midland council informed ratepayers that a 10 per cent penalty would be added to all tax arrears, effective May 1. * * * A bakery in Waubaushene, operated by Phillip Thiffault, and two houses adjoining it were totally destroyed by a fire which threatened to spread to other sections of the village. Midland fire brigade was called in to assist the village bucket brigade. *** Houses on Eighth Street, Midland, were threatened by a bush fire which broke out near the Penetang – Waverley highway (Hwy 27). The flames, which were moving along a half-mile front, came within 20 yards of one home before the fire was extinguished by Midland firemen. * * * After a 56-hour battle with windrow ice in Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, the CPR steamer Keewatin of Port McNicoll docked at Fort William. The Keewatin was the first vessel into the port that year. Her skipper was Capt. Davidson.
  • Obit – Funeral services for Mrs. Leger Marchand were held April 5 from the Beausoleil funeral home, Penetang, to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where Father J . Marchand officiated. Interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers, were Clifford, Gerald and George Bellisle, George Lavery and Marcel and Wilfrid Marchand. Born in Lafontaine, Mrs. Marchand was in her 71st year at the time of her death, April 2. She spent her early life in Lafontaine where she went to school and later married Leger Marchand Sept. 31, 1905. Following their marriage, the couple lived in Kitchener for eight years, 20 years in Midland, and the remainder in Penetang.  A Roman Catholic, Mrs. Marchand, besides her church activities, was very fond of horticulture and sewing. Surviving besides her husband are eight daughters, Matilda Bellisle, Irene Lavery, Della Monk, Helen McGaw, Alice Wilson, Bertha Monk, Rose Steffers and Laura Marchand; and four sons, Arthur, Wilfrid, Marcel and Jack. There are 30 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
  • Obit –  John Fralick conducted the funeral service for Mrs. Samuel Ellery who died March 28 at Wyebridge. Service was held at the Church of Good Shepherd, Wyebridge. Interment was in the adjoining cemetery. Mrs. Ellery, the former Mary Celesta Edwards, was born January 26, 1876, at Wyebridge and was educated there. In July 1895, she married Samuel J. Ellery at Wyebridge where she had lived all her life. An Anglican, Mrs. Ellery was an active member of the Ladies’ Guild, and was also a member of the Women’s Institute for many years. Besides her husband she is survived by sons, Cecil of Wyebridge, Calvin of Elmvale; daughter, Mrs. Cecil Townes (Mildred) of Wyebridge; and a sister Mrs. David Douglas of Wyebridge.
  • Obit –  J. McDonagh conducted the funeral service for Mrs. Georgina Arbour, widow of the late Merrille Arbour, April 15 at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, Waubaushene. Interment was made in St. John’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were sons Dorman Arbour, William Arbour, Gilbert Arbour, Bud Arbour, and grandsons Bernard and Raymond Rivers. Born in Waubaushene July 6, 1881, Mrs. Arbour, the former Georgina Bazinet, was educated and lived there all her life. Surviving are six sons, Orval, Waubaushene, Dorman of Port Colborne, William of Hamilton, Gilbert of Niagara Falls, Lenard of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Bud of Orillia; five daughters, Mrs. Ted Rivers (Pamela) of Toronto, Mrs. Ernest Bourdeau (Alda) of Tecumseh, Mrs. Art Sampson (Alma) of Toronto, Mrs. Barney Johnson (Cecilia) of Midland and Mrs. Arnold Pullen (Doris) of Toronto. Also, surviving is one sister, Mrs. Fred St. Amand of Penetang. There are 39  grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Arbour’s husband predeceased her in January 1957.
  • Obit –  Miss Annie Burton died in Penetang General Hospital April 8 after several months’ illness. The funeral was held April 10 in Elmvale Presbyterian Church with Rev. J . C. Cooper conducting the service. Pallbearers were W. J. Hill, W. S. Campbell, Dr. D. C. Harvie, A. G. Beardsall, C. L. Copeland and S. L. Anderson. Interment was in Elmvale Cemetery.  Annie Burton was born in Elmvale Feb. 7, 1887, the daughter of the late Charles Stephen Burton and Annie Paterson. She spent all her life in Elmvale with the exception of two years at Collingwood Collegiate. Miss Burton worked in the Bank of Toronto during the first World War. Later she entered her father’s office and succeeded him as clerk-treasurer of the village, a post she held for 26 years. In addition, she carried on her father’s business of insurance and conveyancing, keeping the office in the Burton name for almost 70 years. She was a notary public. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. W. W. Shaw (Jean), Mrs. F. A. Stephenson (Alice), both of Elmvale. A brother, Robert P. Burton, predeceased her.
  • Want Ad –  AN INTERESTING position for a teacher at S.S. No. 15 Tay, on Highway 12 between Midland and Orillia. Duties to commence in September. Minimum salary of $2400 with $200 annual increments. Apply, stating qualifications, to Mrs. Cora Connor, Sec.-Treas., R.R. 1, Waubaushene, Ontario.
  • Want Ad –  HIGH SCHOOL Boy, 17-18, to work Saturday mornings till school closes, full time during summer, in Penetang store. Reply to Box 562, Free Press Herald, Midland.

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