Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – June 15th to 22nd, 1957

Click on Photos to Enlarge 

Honouring two decades of service to the Midland Lions Club, founding member and treasurer for eight years, Lion Gilmour Nesbitt (Nebbie) is presented with a rocking chair and a new TV to go with it. The presentation was made at the annual dinner of the club held at the Delawana Inn in Honey Harbour. Gilmour is surrounded by past presidents; Webb Struthers, Bill Jeffery, Alex McIntosh, Ed Walker and Gord Boyd. 


Town employees raise the newly re-painted flagpole at Midland’s Huronia House Museum in preparation for a new season. 


Just about the happiest bunch of fellows in Ontario at the moment are the members of Port McNicoll’s volunteer fire brigade. Some of them, with Chief Lloyd Cameron in front, are seen grouped around their brand new fire truck, which arrived Saturday. Still, others are seen on the old 1919-model engine purchased from Toronto Fire Department in 1950. Along with the new $17,500.00 truck, the brigade also has the latest type resuscitator.

Nearly ninety golfers from several Simcoe County clubs turned out for the open invitation match held at the Midland Golf & Country Club June 12th. The eventual winner was Walter “Windy” Varty from Orillia with a gross of 76. Pictured are A. I. “Doc” Merchant checking the scoreboard while club captain Norm Greene takes Clive Parks entry fee. 


One of the highlights of the annual year-end dinner held by the Midland Lion’s Club at the Delawana Inn is the installation of new officers. Pictured is the new president Cecil English and his wife Maddy and the outgoing president Bill Jeffery and his wife Judy.

 A dunk in the washtub was the solution these Fifth Street youngsters found for beating the heat earlier this week. It was an obviously sheer delight but those in the queue were getting a trifle impatient.(There are several favourite photos we have found in the Free Press collection to date, this being one of them, and they almost always feature children.) 

Back in 1909 two brothers from Vasey married two sisters from Omemee. One-half of that combination is pictured, Mr. & Mrs. Louis Jones farmed just west of Port McNicoll on Highway 12 and still live there. Mrs. Jones’ sister Minnie died a few years ago and her husband James Jones lives with his daughter Mrs. Delbert Reynolds at Wyevale. 

  • The headline, Midland Free Press, Wednesday, June 19, 1957. Council Orders Government Probe Ask for 15 Year Civic Affairs Study. A four-hour meeting of Victoria Harbour council was marred by threats and accusations among the councillors. “This is a council of hate. It’s the rottenest council in Ontario. The town is run just like a little Chicago.” These were the words of Reeve Florence Belcher, repeated on several occasions, during a session of the council at Victoria Harbour Thursday night that ran the gamut from periods of comparative quiet to almost riotous scenes in which all members of the council, and some of the audience, took part simultaneously. The issue causing the upset is a multi-year debate over water access and road allowances at Robins Point. (Sound familiar?)
  • The headline, County Herald, Friday, June 19th, 1957. Severe Electrical Storm Causes Extensive Damage in North Simcoe. Following on the heels of a three-day heat wave, a severe electrical storm caused extensive damage to district telephone and power lines, damaged numerous household appliances, radios and TV sets and struck one summer home in Tiny Township Tuesday morning. Although it brought cooler weather in its wake, the storm left a trail of toppled trees, leaning telephone poles on some rural lines, and scattered tree branches.
  • Paving operations on County Road 6 from one mile north of Elmvale to Wyevale got under way last. week. The four and one-half mile stretch of work is being done by Brennan Paving Co.
  • No lawn or garden sprinkling will be permitted until further notice. Midland Public Utilities Commission.
  • Motorists returning to Midland, northbound on Highway 27, report that on Sunday night cars were lined along the southbound lane from Highway 400 to near Elmvale. Greatest bottleneck, they said, still exists at the junction of Highways 26 and 27. (At this time Highway 400 ended at Crown Hill. Tiny, Tay and Severn tourists and cottagers were using Hwy 27 to go south or in the east, Hwy 11 at Orillia. Wasaga Beach tourists were using Hwy 26 to get to the 400 at Barrie.)
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Public Utilities Commission representatives from Georgian Bay district municipalities held a special meeting in Collingwood. The main item under fire was a practice of the Ontario Hydro of demanding large sums from municipalities two years after all accounts have been paid. The 43 delegates present decided to hold an organizational meeting in Midland in September and to elect officers who would lodge a determined protest against the practice. * * * A Toronto construction firm had been awarded the contract for constructing the extension to Midland dock. It was the lowest of ten who bid for the work. * * * Thiffault opened a new bakery at Waubaushene. More than 600 district citizens attended the official opening which featured dancing and refreshments. * * * A Romanian girl parachutist, Samaranda Braescue had established a new world record jump, Miss Braescue and pilot Harry Dosshardt climbed to 24,000 feet over Sacramento, Cal., in a light bi-plane. Miss Braescue bailed out and landed safely at Marysville, near Sacramento. * * * Millions of feet of lumber were destroyed in a fire which swept through the lumber yards at the Letherby-Nicholson plant in Midland. The blaze, of undetermined origin, broke out about 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night. Penetang brigade was called to assist the Midland firemen. * * * Provincial police officers arrested two men and a boy in connection with a series of cottage break-ins in the Go-Home-Bay area. One of the two men was later given two years in Kingston Penitentiary, the other received from one to two years in Burwash and the boy received a 30-day jail term.
  • When the old community center in Little Lake Park was cut into three sections for transportation to its new site on ski club property, it was discovered that the flooring was three inch by one inch Douglas fir—LAID ON EDGE! 
  • OBITUARY: Funeral service for Mrs. J. Cena Brunelle, Penetang, was held in St. Ann’s Church, Penetang, Monday, June 3, with Rev. L. McGough officiating. Interment was in St. Croix Cemetery, Lafontaine. Pallbearers were Roger and Martial Brunelle, Roland, Celestin, Gabriel and Urbain Maurice. The former Lena Payette, Mrs. Brunelle died in Penetang General Hospital Friday, May 31, following a short illness. Born in Lafontaine. June 13, 1892, she spent her early life and married J. Cena Brunelle there in 1910. The couple moved to Penetang 30 years ago. She was an ardent gardener, and particularly interested in horticulture. Many people in Penetang admired her flower gardens which were one of the town’s show places each year. She was a Roman Catholic. Surviving, besides her husband, are six sons. Maurice, Eugene, Marc and Joseph of Penetang, Cleo, Montreal, and Jacques, White River; and five daughters. Mrs. J. Crawford and Mrs. Art Roy, Sudbury: Mrs. E. C. Macleod, Toronto: Mrs. Ross MacDonald, Montreal, and Annette at home. One sister, Mrs. A. Desroches, also survives.
  • Two historical plaques, both connected with the famous old military and naval establishment which guarded British interests on the upper lakes from about 1814 to 1852, will be unveiled at Penetanguishene Wednesday, June 26 at 2 p.m. One plaque commemorates Admiral Henry Wolsey Bayfield, while the second marks the old Garrison Church of St. James-on-the-Lines.
  • Work has begun on a new three-classroom continuation school for the parish of St. Margaret’s, on property at George Street and Dominion Avenue, Midland. It is hoped the one-storey frame structure will be ready for occupancy in September. The school will accommodate Grade 9 and 10 pupils, with the possibility of other grades later. Rev. M. A. Beriault said yesterday. Grade 9 and 10 pupils were formerly housed in two upstairs rooms in Sacred Heart School.

Morley Spiker passed away on Father’s Day, last Sunday, he was in his 91st year. The museum has a few photos of Morley we would like to share in tribute to this popular Midland son.
“From the mid-1940s until the end of the 1960s, Morley Spiker proved to be the touchstone for dependability, work ethic and sustained excellence for Midland’s junior, intermediate and senior hockey teams. Even after he had retired from the local hockey scene, members of the media, players, teammates and opponents alike, when recalling those days, would immediately speak of his magnificent skills and his undying commitment to his hometown.”

“Morley seemed to go on forever,” said the late Charlie Noquet, also an honoured member of the Midland Sports Hall of Fame who covered Morley’s games for the Midland Free Press. “He was like our own Gordie Howe.” 

Three Midland Orphans hockey team players, Morley Spiker has Peterborough Petes jersey, Pit Legault has number 14, the third is Harry Morrison. Coach not pictured is Ed Bolan. December 11th, 1953. 

Three players who have played a big part in the Midland Monarchs of the Intermediate “A” Northern group’s five-game winning streak. Jim Green, Morley Spiker and Marty Desroches. Green and Spiker are forwards, Desroches normally plays defence but is filling in on the right wing for the injured Leo St. Amand. December 24th, 1954. 

Bulging with chicken and banana cream pie, members of the K-W Dutchmen, Legion Branch 80’s entry in the senior OHA division of Midland’s Little NHL, posed for the County Herald camera following a dinner in their honour at Bourgeois’ dining room Tuesday night. The boys are wearing snappy new sweater coats donated by the Legion branch. Also in the picture are Legionnaires Graydon Rodgers, Don Gallivan and President Charlie Scott, along with coach Morley Spiker. March 28, 1958 

Coming up with one of his greatest efforts in a long career, Midland Flyers’ Morley Spiker scored five of his team’s goals in a 6-4 win over Meaford Chevvies here last Wednesday night. Spiker is seen poking the first of his quintet behind goalie Elgin Cubitt while Meaford forward Barney Walmsley (10) rushes in too late to help. Flyers host Collingwood here tonight. January 13th, 1960. (Not the best photo but it shows how Morley got his nickname, the “Haunt”, for the way he was always around his opponents net.”

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