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

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(Not being very computer literate this may only apply to my browser; one left click of the mouse enlarges the image, the second enlarges it again, the third reduces it once and if I then move the cursor off the image and left click on the mouse I can select “Back” to return to the page. If I use the “X” tab it takes me out of the web page completely.)

Mary Popple of Penetang uncovers the largest collection of native copper tools ever found while working at the Forget Site south of Wyebridge. Mary is one of the group of students in the University of Western Ontario’s Summer School of Archaeology with Dr. Wilfred Jury. 

Spectators examine the damage to a CPR locomotive that was one of two pulling the Dominion passenger train involved in a collision with a car at a level crossing near Craighurst Saturday morning that resulted in the death of three passengers in the car. 

Remains of a car involved in a collision with a CPR train at the level crossing at Craighurst Saturday morning. The driver was unhurt. Hours later a second accident at the same crossing claimed the lives of three men from Goderich. 

Getting ready to practice their kicking is a group of boys enrolled in the summer playground program at Little Lake Park sponsored by the Midland Y’s Men’s Club. 

Ring around the Rosie” is a good way to warm up after a swim for these girls who are part of summer playground program at Little Lake Park sponsored by the Midland Y’s Men’s Club. Instructor Shirlie Perrin is at the far side of the circle. 


Hurricane Audrey put a crimp on activities at the annual Waubaushene Chamber of Commerce regatta over the holiday weekend. Sole activity was a children’s fair held in the village park. Children wait impatiently as members of the CofC assemble a merry-go-round. Midland’s Citizen Band provided the entertainment. 

Foundation, fireplace and chimney are all that remain of the two-story home of the late Ernie Moores in Sunnyside, which burnt to the ground early Thursday morning. Lightning was thought to be the cause of the blaze. 


  • The headline from the Midland Free Press, July 10, 1957. “Propose New Boat Club – Explore Sites For Basin” Exploratory moves for the establishment of a new boat club and basin for small watercraft at Midland got under way this week. The proposal is the outcome of a meeting of small boat owners in the YMCA, Midland, Monday night. An eight-man committee, headed by Oliver Smith, Q.C., was named to carry out a survey of waterfront sites.
  • The headline from the County Herald, July 12, 1957. “Young ‘Dig’ School Student Makes Major Archeological Find at Forget’s”. The “dig” was electrified when a Penetang girl uncovered one of the largest groups of native copper artefacts ever found in Ontario Monday. Students of the University of Western Ontario’s Summer School of Indian Archaeology dug up another piece of copper yesterday. Mary Popple of Penetang made the find while digging in the Indian refuse dump on the Forget site south-east of Wyebridge.
  • His Eminence Paul – Emile Cardinal Leger, Archbishop of Montreal, will lead a pilgrimage of 300 French-Canadians to the Jesuit Martyrs’ Shrine Saturday. The Quebec pilgrims will be repeating a journey made by their ancestors more than 340 years ago. At that time the route lay by canoe up the Ottawa River and across to Georgian Bay. In good weather it took three weeks to cover the 900 miles of rough Over the 25 portages that bypassed the worst rapids, the early travellers carried on their backs canoes and supplies that included implements, seed, chickens, pigs and calves for Ontario’s first farm. That pioneer centre of civilization in the province was at the Jesuit mission residence of Ste. Marie near where the shrine now stands. This year’s journey will be different. Canadian National Railways will take the successors of those early travellers by Pullman car from Montreal Friday night and leave them at the Martyrs’ Shrine station at 7 a.m. Saturday morning.
  • One man was drowned, another is missing and believed drowned and three youths were rescued when a 16-foot outboard boat capsized about 100 feet off the point at the entrance to Thunder Bay yesterday about 2 p.m.
  • Three Goderich men were killed early Saturday morning when their 16-year-old car collided with the CPR’s Dominion transcontinental passenger train at a level crossing at Craighurst. Village residents said wigwag signals, scheduled for installation at the unprotected crossing, were lying in a nearby freight shed. A few hours before the fatal crash another car was wrecked at the same Highway 93 crossing, but the driver escaped uninjured.
  • (In 1957 weekly columns cover the social life of North Simcoe communities from Elmvale to North River, from Coldwater to Penetang and all places in between. Each area had a correspondent who compiled the local gossip. We thought we might print an entire one this week, hope you can make some connections.) In Penetang ‘On Dit’ – James McGibbon has returned to Cleveland after holidaying with Mr. and Mrs. Ted Annand. Mrs. Hortense Asselin, Winetka, Ill. spent a few days last week with Mr. and Mrs. Edmond Dubeau. Gordon Weatherell, who has been working at lumber camps in the north, spent the holiday weekend with his mother, Mrs. W. J. Weatherell. Mr. and Mrs. James Kennedy and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Vaillancourt and Tommy, were weekend visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Kennedy, Bracebridge. Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Lauzon, Sault Ste. Marie, were Friday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lacroix. Mr. and Mrs. Donald MacMillan, Toronto, were Saturday guests of Mr. and Mrs. Vic Scott. Mr. and Mrs. Russell Legault week-ended in Bracebridge. Jim Annand, Cutler, and Jas. Annand, Toronto, visited their father and uncle, James Annand, who was ill in Penetang General Hospital, last weekend. Mrs. A. Barbour, Toronto, is visiting Mr. and Mrs. Harry Alton, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey  McMaster, Hamilton, spent the weekend with Mr. and Mrs. Jack McCuaig. Miss Mary McCuaig returned with them to Hamilton for a holiday. Dr. Mary Anne Charlesbois has returned to Toronto after holidaying with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Phil Charlesbois. Dr. and Mrs. W. E. Binkley and Betty have returned following a holiday trip to the west coast. Mr. and Mrs. Art Glover, Mount Dennis, visited Mr. and Mrs. Herman Legault over the weekend. Mr. and Mrs. T. Geere and Terry spent the weekend  in Bracebridge. Sgt. and Mrs. Robert Stalker, Pattie and Barbara Lynn, RCAF Station, Parent, Que., are holidaying with Mrs. Stalker’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Phil D’Aoust, for a few weeks. Sgt. Stalker has been transferred to the RCAF station at Edgar and will live with his family in Orillia. Robert D’Aoust passed his Grade 4 music examinations with honours. Mr. and Mrs. Joe Leblanc, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Desrochers, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Desrochers and Mr. and Mrs. Norm Graham of Toronto attended their brother’s wedding in Penetang July Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred McConnell of Sudbury spent the weekend visiting Mr. and Mrs. Robert Grenier, Mrs. Bob Magnus and two children, Carole and Bobby, of Chapleau are on a two-week vacation in Penetang, visiting friends and relatives. Mrs. Stan Bullock of Hamilton is spending a few days visiting her daughter, Maureen and sister, Mrs. Theo Dion.  Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Westlake and Mr. and Mrs. Phil Stroh, Bobby and Greg of Bancroft spent the holiday weekend visiting Mrs. Stroh’s mother, Mrs. George Todd.
  • The newest addition to Midland’s medical fraternity, Dr. Wm. Neale, has an enviable record both as a scholar and a sportsman. He graduated from the physical education course at University of Toronto as a gold medalist, an honours grad in medicine from U. of T. and played for the Toronto Argonauts when they won the Grey Cup in 1946. He began his practice with Dr. Ed Grise July 1, and has acquired a home at 243 Yonge Street, for his wife Frances and 14-month-old son. (Took out my appendix in the summer of 58)
  • From the Want Ads – BRIDE’S long white dress, veil and tiara, size 16. Never been worn. Very reasonable. Phone L A 6-5175, Midland. (Let’s hope they decided to elope and lived happily ever after.)
  • MOUNT ST. LOUIS — A commemorative service for Ontario’s first choirmaster was held at the site of an ancient Huron town near here Thursday. It was the 309th anniversary of the death of Father Anthony Daniel, resident missionary in the palisaded town of Teanaostaye. Father Daniel died in an Iroquois raid-in-force on July 4, 1648. Many warriors were away on the annual trading trip to Quebec. Surprised during services, the priest walked in his vestments to meet the raiders to gain time for some of the women and children to escape. He was pierced by arrows, felled by a musket shot, then mutilated and thrown into the flames of his burning church. Seven hundred of the 2,000 inhabitants of the place, now an empty field, were either killed or taken captive.
  • From the want ads –  Barbara Ann Beauty Salon, 248 King St., above Jory’s Drug Store; specializing in all lines of beauty culture. Barbara Jefferis, proprietor. For appointments, phone LA. 6-5591, Midland.
  • Penetang, Saturday, will enter the ranks of those municipalities with “across” swims, when Georgian Bay District Hydro employees hold their annual picnic at Bayview Camp. C. S. Wice. Penetang area manager, this week announced that among other competitions there will a swim across Penetang Bay. The starting point will be at Asylum point with the finish line at the camp. To date there have been nine entries; one of which is from the Penetang area.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week —  The Midland-built CSL freighter Gleneagles ran aground on rocks in the Detroit River, when the steering gear jammed. Pumps were rushed to the stricken 574-foot vessel to keep her afloat. * * * Restoration of Fort Ste. Marie on the Wye River was to get under way with the reconstruction of the stone bastions during the summer. It was hoped the complete fort could be restored by 1949.  * * * A cContract for the construction of the second group of 50 “war time houses” in Midland was expected to be finalized within a few days. * * * Extensive damage was caused to the Dunlop Dairy, Coldwater, during an early morning blaze. Andrew Dunlop, the owner, was overcome by smoke while fighting the flames.  * * * Royal Ontario Museum archaeologists had begun to excavate the ancient Huron bone pit on the Joseph Daoust farm, Con. 7, Tiny Township, three miles south of Perkinsfield. * * * Work was under way at the Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture’s new recreation centre at Bass Lake. The co-op park embraced 65 acres of beautifully wooded land. * * * A. B. Cathcart of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Midland, had been named to the executive committee of the deanery of East Simcoe. Other members of the committee were J. S. Drinkwater, F. Cooper, Percy Brimage and Rev. J. J. E. Mason. Jack Tipping was named lay chairman. * * * Plans were under way for the monster “Salute to Canada” pageant to be held at the Martyr’s Shrine during the summer of 1948. Eight presentations were scheduled.
  • From the editorial page “Wise and Otherwise” — Five miles of newly-paved streets make Penetang a much easier town in which to drive. Council is to be congratulated on its foresight in eliminating needless annual expenditures for maintaining gravel roads. Penetang citizens are to be congratulated on the colourful spectacle created by their flag-decked Main Street. The added colour does much to provide a holiday atmosphere for tourists entering the town.
  • More than a year of construction work will be climaxed this afternoon when Hon. Louis Cecile, Minister of Welfare for Ontario, officially opens Georgian Manor. The trim looking building, giving more the appearance of a modern motel than a home for the aged, has been constructed by Simcoe County council to house senior citizens of North Simcoe. Agitation for the home started when Penetang found itself with an empty hospital after the town’s large modern hospital was opened, Following considerable negotiation with the county council, the old building and surrounding land was finally sold to the county for $1. Although the old hospital has been incorporated in the new building, visitors will find it difficult, when inside, to determine where the old leaves off and the new starts. 

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