Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – September 16th to 22nd, 1957

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” All I want is a room somewhere” from My Fair Lady has long been the theme song of Midland car czar Lionel Bourgeois. Not long after he opened his Modern head office, parts and service department on Hugel Avenue five years ago, he was faced with the problem of finding a spot for a new-car showroom. Showing the new models outside in the winter was inconvenient for both customers and salesmen. Finally, the solution appeared to be in combining a showroom with the service station operated by Bourgeois Motors at Hugel and Midland Avenues. But to have enough depth, the showroom would have to extend onto the property next door. Never one to be stumped by minor difficulties, Mr. Bourgeois purchased the house next door, moved in, shifted the intervening driveway closer to the house and up went a gleaming new showroom. Glassed in on two sides and with fluorescent fixtures, the showroom is more than amply lighted. Four cars can be easily accommodated in the 50 by 30-foot space, complemented by wall panelling in a natural wood finish. Of cement block construction, the showroom has a facing of red brick, with attractive flower beds along two sides. The entire corner has been paved. Other departments, too, benefited from the $25,000 face-lifting. The service station itself now has three car stalls with two lifts, and the annex joining it with the service department can hold four cars. There will be more room in the used car lot on Midland Avenue. Concrete block construction was by Beauchamp Construction Company of Penetang, wiring by Barber and Haskill and plumbing and heating by James Bath and Sons. Staffing the showroom and car lot are Mr. Bourgeois himself, Larry Dumais and salesmen Don Argue, Les Marsell and Newton Train. The official opening, when the service department will also be open for inspection is slated for Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20 and 21. The ‘hoopla’ includes square dancing Friday night to Mel Lavigne’s orchestra, a draw for a used car Saturday, roses for the women, children’s prizes and novelties, and pop for all. 

Another Midland Fall Fair officially opened last week, Simcoe County Warden and Reeve of Medonte, Fisher Ganton, right, doing the honours. Mayor Parker on the left and Arthur Gardiner, president of the Tiny Tay Agricultural Society also spoke. 

St. Andrew’s Hospital Ladies Auxiliary raised $480.00 in a recent drive for funds at their booth at the fair. Pictured are Mrs. Ed Lawlor, Mrs. Ernie Nicholson and Mrs. Tom McCullough. 


Rev. Lloyd J. Delaney’s family appear happy to be in Midland where father took over as rector of St. Mark’s Anglican Church Sunday. Family members are Anne, 9, Mary, 3, John at left, 11, Mrs. Delaney, the former Helen Carr of Toronto and Paul 13.  [Reflect on the positive influence this family has had, not only in Midland but many parts of the world. Their contributions to social equality,  education, youth, religion, music and the arts is truly amazing. Midland would do well to honour them in some permanent way.]

Another step in the building of the Waubaushene to Sudbury leg of the new Trans Canada Highway is nearing completion at Waubaushene. Seen are the concrete pillars which will carry the new road over the CNR tracks. Thousands of yards of fill have been used to raise the approaches to the bridge. 

Alcime Dorion of 57 Elizabeth Street holds a 38 inch Northern Pike taken on a Mepps spinner off the shipyard pier. While this one weighed 12.5 pounds, Alcime caught a 23.5-pound pike at the same location in 1945. 

  • The headline, September 18th, 1957, the Free Press Herald; Freak Twister Whip-Lashes Area Leaves Wrecked Cottages in Wake A miniature tornado cut a narrow swath across North Simcoe cottage areas late Sunday afternoon. Several people narrowly escaped serious injury, and several thousand dollars damage was caused. Winds of 80 miles per hour and higher, accompanied by blinding rain, swept out of Nottawasaga Bay and hit the Cawaja Beach area first. The path of the storm was so narrow only one cottage, that of Mrs. H. J . Thompson of Midland, was damaged. The entire roof flew off, crashed into a pine tree and shattered. Mr. and Mrs. Jack Thompson left the cottage only a few minutes before. They had reached Balm Beach when they saw the storm, “like a sheet of water,” coming across the bay. From Cawaja Beach, the tornado cut across Tiny Township without causing any serious damage. At Midland Point in Tay Township, however, 15 trees were uprooted in about three minutes on the summer cottage property of Dr. T. Weldon of Midland. Next to be hit was 40-acre Present Island, owned by Toronto realtor J. D. Terryberry. Dozens of trees were uprooted and all four cottages and numerous outbuildings were damaged.
  • The headline, September 20th, 1957, the County Herald; District Plane Traffic Increases Sees Need For Airstrip Near Town A landing strip, located near Midland, to serve the North Simcoe and south Muskoka districts is becoming an increasing necessity, an airways official told this newspaper yesterday. He commented that pilots of many wheel-equipped aircraft, now using airport facilities near Gravenhurst, would prefer to land at or near Midland and purchase their supplies before proceeding to points up the eastern or northeastern shores of Georgian Bay. Questioned on the project, Jack Blackburn, manager of Georgian Bay Airways said this summer about 20 owners of wheel-equipped planes indicated to him that they were interested in an airstrip here so they could come to their cottages direct, without the diversion to Gravenhurst. They were mainly men from U.S. centres, he said. Mr. Blackburn said the Iron City Fishing Club brought in more than 100 people by plane this summer. U.S. Steel Corp. planes had also flown in passengers, all were forced to use Gravenhurst facilities. On September 25th a party of 10 men from the US. will arrive at Gravenhurst by plane and will then be flown by Georgian Bay Airways float planes to Pointe Au Baril.
  • Construction work on the addition to the Ontario Hospital in Penetang by general contractors Ball Bros. of Kitchener will involve slightly more than one a million dollars. A further million dollars will be expended on plumbing, heating and electrical installations.  In the new building, there will be 150 cells, each with a toilet and wash basin and some ward accommodation so groups of inmates may be kept under constant observation.
  • Births – HEELS — Susan and Debbie Heels are happy to announce the arrival of their brother at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, on Tuesday, September 18, 1957.
  • Faced with an ever-growing influx of summer weekend guests, Midland Park Commission has undertaken an extensive program to make heretofore unused land available to townsfolk and visitors. In addition to crowded beach areas, parking of automobiles has created an added problem, which was a factor in the commission’s decision. The program, which was started two years ago, will be carried on extensively this fall. Already considerable bulldozing has been done and a large number of tree stumps removed from the southeasterly end of the park. Present location of the children’s playground equipment near, the refreshment booth and boathouse has created a continual source of worry to the commissioners, Mr. Murray said, and it is their intention to have this equipment placed in the newly developed area where it is felt the children will be much safer from vehicular traffic hazards.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK –  Premier Leslie M. Frost laid the cornerstone for the restored Fort Ste. Marie. The provincial government and civic officials, the latter representing North Simcoe centres, took part in the ceremony. * * * Gales travelling at 45 to 50 miles per hour, accompanied by a severe sleet storm-lashed North Simcoe and Georgian Bay ports up the shore. Passengers aboard the steamer Noronic, which docked in Midland, reported that waves whipped up by the storm caused the big ship to pitch and toss severely. * * * Midland property owners approved a fixed assessment for a 10-year period on the new plant of Bausch and Lomb. Of the total votes cast, 499 were in favour and four were against the proposal. * * * According to Ontario Hydro statistics, commercial users of electricity in Midland had the cheapest rate among hydro using municipalities in the district.  * * * Two persons, a man and a woman, were seriously injured when a horse being shown at the Tiny and Tay Fall Fair bolted. The frightened animal, raced around the track and headed for the horse barn at the northwest corner of the grounds, the woman was thrown out of the carriage being pulled by the horse and the man was injured trying to halt its flight. * * * Georgian Bay Airways flew a doctor and a nurse to an Indian girl at Moose Point, who had contracted bronchial pneumonia after a severe attack of measles. The doctor, who gave the girl a penicillin injection, was Dr. D. C. S. Swan. The nurse was Ethel Tushingham.
  • S. DeVries, a Canadian citizen who emigrated from Holland six years ago and established his own business in Midland July 1 this year, today announced expansion plans for his dressmaking operation. Celebrity Formals Ltd. and its ten employees will be moving to 178 King Street, the former RCSCC Huron facility. Prior to setting up his own business Mr. DeVries was associated with Cyril Larkin in Port McNicoll.

2 thoughts on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – September 16th to 22nd, 1957

    • You are Welcome, Betty. Its really all the work and talent of our volunteer Tom Barber, that brings us “looking Back” every week! Thanks for your comment!

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