Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 7th to 15th, 1957

Click on Photos to Enlarge  An overheated unlined chimney is considered the cause of this Saturday morning fire that destroyed the top two stories of the home of CNR railwayman J. F. Langevin at 154 (now 166) Fifth Street.  Fifteen firemen battled this blaze for three hours but only the furniture on the first floor was saved, there were no injuries and the loss is estimated at $7,000.00. The family has been taken in by son in law Pat Moreau on Sixth Street. Large crowds toured the new Bell Telephone building on Hugel Ave. last week during a three-day open house. Young Donald Atkinson is seen getting some pointers on cable construction from Tom Brodeur. Donald is the son of Mrs. Atkinson, in the photo, and Ross Atkinson who live just across the corner from the new building. 

“My feet are killing me” was the general complaint of these young ladies after they escorted hundreds of visitors on tours of the new Bell Telephone building on Hugel Ave. during the three-day open house last week. Midland manager H. A. Kilroy, seen tallying up the total which came to over 600, was glad to sit down when it was all over. Receptionists are Mrs. Marie Miller, Miss Verna Lambie, Mrs. M. Kennedy, Miss Donna Brandon, Mrs. A. Gauthier and Miss Yvonne Leblanc. 


Wayne Holden gets a hit as Little League baseball got underway in Midland Saturday. This action took place on the three diamonds at Parkview School. Games were also being played at Regent School, Town and Little Lake Park. 

A big event in most secondary schools each spring is the annual inspection of the cadet corps. Major W. C. Setterington is seen with a group of cadet officers as they prepare for the MPDHS inspection on May 16th. Cadet Major Bob Deakos, Cadet Major Bob Megaw, Major Setterington, Cadet Lieut. Col. Dean Nicholls commanding officer, Cadet Major Dennis Murphy, Cadet Major Ken MacEachern and Cadet Adjutant John Hilliard. 




Midland Huronias Soccer team has won both of their games this year in the Barrie & District Soccer League. They are pictured here during the halftime of a game against the New Lowell Rangers which they won 5-0 Tuesday. Members of the team not in order are Ernst Schneider, Allan Sparks, Peter Van Velden, Wili Schwarz, Andy Clapperton, Karl Lehr, Horst Gatzek, Bill Rittershofer, Wolfgang Jaenisch, Harry Weber, Horts Sorensen and Gunder Raab-Faber. 

Vast new addition to the Midland Industries plant on Elizabeth Street as viewed from Hugel Ave. Steel is up and the roof is going on this 42,000 square foot addition at a cost of $285,000.00. 

Included in the contest was a written test of 50 questions, one-half of which required choosing one from several printed answers to each question, and the other half being a straight “true or false” proposition. Lloyd Bourgeois came out on top with 403 out of a possible 500 points. Terry Dumais was second with 392 and Ken Arbour placed third with 388. All are 18 years old. 

  • SAY WOODS TINDER DRY – BANS PERMITS FOR FIRES, headline, Free Press, Wednesday, May 8th, 1957. Warning that tinder-dry woods throughout North Simcoe and South Muskoka districts have reached an extremely high forest fire hazard condition. Major G. R. Lane of Coldwater, forester for the Severn River Management Unit, yesterday told this newspaper that no fire permits will be issued until after the next heavy rain. He said Lands and Forests firefighting personnel had already been called out to fight five fires, one Friday, May 4, and four Sunday. One of the four fires, which they battled Sunday, burned down the headquarters building of a summer resort on Morrison Lake, north of the Severn River. He said another fire in the Honey Harbour area Sunday was started by boys who were shooting off firecrackers. About 10 Acres were burned over before it was extinguished.
  • 6.74 INCREASE IN INDUSTRIAL LEVY – RESIDENTIAL RATE CUT 6.32 MILLS, headline, County Herald, Friday, May 10th, 1957. Residential taxpayers of Penetang will find their tax bills somewhat lower this year, while industries and commercial taxpayers are faced with an increase. The figures were determined when council set the 1957 budget at a special meeting Wednesday night. Public School supporters in the Residential class will pay 82.87 mills while industrial and commercial assessments will have a levy of 93.23 mills, a differential of 10.36 mills. Protestant Separate School residential taxpayers have a rate of 79.58 mills with commercial and industry set at 89.94. The differential is the result of unconditional grants announced this year by the provincial government and specified for the benefit of residential taxpayers only.
  • Ontario Department of Lands and Forests reforestation crews last week were at work in county forests on Crown lands in the Severn River management unit. Officials said about 660,000 trees are to be planted by the crews this spring.
  • More than 3,000 persons from North Simcoe district and as far distant as Toronto are expected to attend the second annual Roman Catholic rosary rally in Midland Town Park Sunday. The rally will be preceded by a parade of school children, Cubs, Scouts, Guides and lay organizations representing the seven parishes of the Huronia district, including Lafontaine, Perkinsfield, Penetang, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour, Waubaushene and Midland. Accompanying the procession will be St. Mary’s Boys’ Band of Toronto. The parade will form up at St. Margaret’s Church and proceed along Third to Bay, along Bay to King, and south on King to the Town Park.
  • The refreshment booth, operated by John Deakos in Little Lake Park, Midland, was entered early Monday morning by youths, who took merchandise and cash amounting to about $10, Police Chief Robert Cameron said yesterday. The chief said the building was entered about 2 a.m. Monday. The theft was discovered by Constables Ray Atkinson and Ed Armstrong while they were on patrol about 6 a.m. Using a telephone headpiece they yanked off the wall of a nearby pay telephone, the youths gained entry by breaking the large east window. A few large bottles of soft drinks, several cartons of gum, several packages of cigarettes and 60 cents in cash were taken. One youth, a juvenile, who went to a Midland doctor’s office Monday night to have a cut finger dressed, was later questioned by police. The lad, already facing additional theft charges, will also face charges of theft and willful damage. (Maybe sitting at home playing video games isn’t so bad after all.)
  • Typical of the ladies who will be guests of manager Al Perkins at a special “Mother’s Day” program at the Roxy Theatre Monday night is Mrs. Eliza Bath. Now in her 88th year, Mrs. Bath is one of Midland’s oldest living mothers, if not the oldest. Mrs. Bath, and all Midland mothers of any age will be admitted to the Roxy and Drive-In theatres free of charge Monday night. Born near Sunderland Dec. 5, 1869, Mrs. Bath was the former Eliza Calhoun, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Calhoun. There were eight children in the Calhoun family, only three of whom are still living. In addition to Mrs. Bath, there are two brothers, John, who has been a patient in St. Andrews Hospital for many months, and George of Beeton. Mrs. Bath’s life has not been an easy one. She came to North Simcoe as a girl of nine, when her father bought a farm between Coldwater and Waubaushene. Her mother died on Eliza’s 15th birthday, and the young girl had already been working in Jim Ryan’s Denison House hotel in Coldwater for some time. Eliza Calhoun came to Midland when she was 20, where she found employment in the home of the late Mr, and Mrs. Fred Jeffery, one of the town’s pioneer hardware merchants. A year later she married Frederick James Bath, who died many years ago. Mr. Bath, a bricklayer, was a member of another pioneer Midland family and a brother of Tom Bath, still a familiar figure on Midland streets. Following her husband’s death, Mrs. Bath went to Toronto to work, returning to Midland about 10 years ago. Although she still has many relatives in Midland, including all six of her eight children who are still living, Mrs. Bath prefers to live alone, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Campbell, 293 Midland Ave. “This way I can get up when I please and go to bed when I please, without disturbing anybody,” said Mrs. Bath. “Not that I sit idle for very long. I still like to do a bit of crocheting, quilting or knitting, and I get my own meals,” she told this reporter. Two of her sons, both veterans of   World War I, have passed on, John Wesley Bath only recently at Sunny brook Hospital, Toronto. Albert also died from the effects of war wounds many years ago at Mimico. Surviving are three sons, Arthur, James and Stewart, and three daughters, Mrs. Violet Blair, Mrs. William Best (Evelyn), and Mrs. James Offord (Margaret), all of Midland. Mrs. Bath needs never lack company. In addition to her six living children, she has 35 great grandchildren and 27  grandchildren, “Enough for a good picnic.” said her daughter, Mrs. Offord.
  • The remaining 20 building lots in Midland’s federal-provincial land assembly project in the Wireless Hill area are being offered for sale to both builders and prospective homeowners it was announced today by R. H. Sprague, manager of the Orillia Loans Office of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Mr. Sprague stated that, through a revision of the subdivision plan, frontages of 13 of the Iots has been increased to 56 feet, the remaining seven lots have 50-foot frontages. Selling prices to prospective homeowners have been set at $200 and $240, depending on the size of the lot,  while prices to builders will be $400 and $480. In the case of a sale to a builder, however, half of the purchase price will be refunded where the selling price of the house erected does not exceed an amount established by CMHC, Mr. Sprague said.
  • A rather unenviable record was set in Midland during the month of April, members of Midland Fire Department learned at their May meeting last week. Records showed a total of 34 fires occurred during the month, the most within the memory of even the oldest members. Attending this large number of fires meant a great deal of lost time from their regular jobs by the volunteer section of the brigade.
  • OBITUARIES: Funeral service for Honoré Thanasse was held Friday, April 26, from the Beausoleil funeral home, Penetang, to Ste. Croix Church, Lafontaine, where Rev. T. Marchildon officiated. Interment was in Ste. Croix Cemetery. Pallbearers were Nap Hamelin, James Hamelin, Robert Maurice, Sr., Ligourie Robillard, Jos. Bazinet and Patrick Moreau. Born in Lafontaine 82 years ago, Mr. Thanasse had lived there until he moved to Penetang 11 years ago. His wife, the former Marie Brunelle, whom he married in Lafontaine in 1899, predeceased him nine years ago. Surviving are four daughters, Mrs. Leone Grenier, Penetang; Mrs. Irma McConnell, Sudbury; Mrs. Germaine King, London, and Mrs. Marie Moran, Montreal. There are seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. (Not a surname I was familiar with, checking I found that Honoré was the only boy of a family of six and his father Louis was one of only two boys in a family of eight. There seem to be only six families with that surname in Simcoe County presently.) * * * THOMAS BOYER a resident of Penetang for the past 20 years, died April 25 at his home. Funeral service was held April 29 from his daughter’s home in Penetang, with Rev. Marc Boyer (nephew of Mr. Boyer) conducting the service, assisted by Rev. J. Kelly and Rev. L. McGough. Interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were six nephews, Julien Gignac, Thomas Gignac, Homer Gignac, Louis P. Brunelle, Benoit Dupuis and Robert Gignac. Mr. Boyer was born in 1877 at Lafontaine and was educated there. In 1907 he married Florella Gignac at Lafontaine. He resided there until moving to Penetang 20 years ago. A member of the Roman Catholic Church, he belonged to the Holy Name Society. Besides his wife, he is survived by daughters, Mrs. Olive Martin, Mrs. Lucrece Bourassa and Augusta Boyer, all of Penetang and sons, Roger of Toronto, Albert and Peter of Kapuskasing and Thomas, Jr., of Essex. One daughter, Georgette, predeceased him in 1948. **** Funeral services will be held tonight at 7 p. m. in St. Paul’s United Church for Miss Emma Baker, who served as superintendent of St. Andrews Hospital for 30 years. Miss Baker died in St. Andrews Wednesday in her 83rd year. A resident of Midland most of her life, Miss Baker operated a millinery shop with her sister prior to going to Montreal to train as a nurse. Following her graduation at Royal Victoria Hospital, she was made supervisor of two large wards in the hospital. Later she engaged in special nursing in California, returning here on the invitation of the Midland Hospital Board to become superintendent of the Midland – Penetang Marine Hospital. When St. Andrews Hospital was established she and her staff moved to the new building.
  • TEACHER WANTED; Go-Home Bay, S.S. No. 2 Gibson Township, one-room school, about 10 pupils, in a Catholic community. Apply giving qualifications, etc. to Mrs. R. C. Sharp, 67 Glengowan Road. Toronto.
  • SELF-CONTAINED, unfurnished cottage on Reinbird Street. Immediately available, $28 monthly includes hydro and water. Apply Denison Hotel, Coldwater.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK; Hon. William Finlayson announced that a township in Northern Ontario had been named after Midland’s fourth term mayor, J. B. Roebuck. The distinction was conferred on the mayor by the Department of Northern Development. * * * Five freighters carrying more than one million bushels of grain pulled into Midland harbour. The five arrived within a four-hour period, four of them docking at Midland Simcoe elevator and the fifth at Aberdeen. * * * Second major fire within a few weeks, destroyed Hillsdale homes owned by Val Kitchen, the Misses C. and M. Turner, and Charles Faragher and a garage owned by Fred Arksey. Both Midland and Barrie fire brigades were called to keep the blaze in check and safeguard other homes and businesses which were being threatened by flying embers. * * * Barking of their dog at 2.30 a.m. sounded a grim warning to Mr. and Mrs. J. McVeigh and family of Port McNicoll. They awakened to find the house filled with smoke and flames sweeping through the ground floor. They fled in their night attire. * * * Fourteen Midland High School students had attained first class honours in their Easter exams. They were Hugh Lloyd, Dorothy Roebuck, Betty Tatham, Stanley Symington, Edna Seymour, Maxwell Perry, Evelyn McKinnon, Ruth Morris, Italy Gianetto, Phyllis Symington, Gladys McGill, Florence McDougall, Ruby Case and Marcia Simkins.
  • Honey Harbour is rapidly becoming an international convention centre. Didace Grisé, the proprietor of Delawana Inn, reveals there are 21 major conventions scheduled for the Delawana at present and several others are negotiating for accommodation.

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