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

Click on Photos to EnlargeAnne Shiels and Mary Arbour model two Fabulous Formals gowns during a fashion show tonight in the Elmvale Community Hall. The fashion show will be jointly sponsored by the Woman’s Association of the Elmvale United Church and Edwards Specialty Shoppe, Midland. 

Misses and matrons ensembles will be modelled by Lynn Mills and Mrs. Isadore Arbour tonight in the Elmvale Community Hall. 

Participants in the fashion show are Dianne McKnight and Sharon Grant.


Beehives provided a feast for a passing black bear and were completely destroyed in the process. Keepers Dave and Ed Woods of Hillsdale inspect the damage. 

 The new municipal building is nearly complete after months of delay caused by a shortage of materials. Looking over the blueprints are, in front, Alderman Clint Smith, contractor Alfred Rei, clerk-treasurer Bill Hack, Reeve Bill Keller and in the back, Alderman Herb Beauchamp and to his right Alderman Bill Orr. 

Architect Robert Cripps, Mayor Charles Parker, Reeve W. H. Keller and alderman Bill Orr stand on the stairway which runs from the rotunda of the new building. The building was inspected by Midland council Wednesday afternoon. 

A victory over Alliston District High School in Alliston Saturday afternoon will send the MPDHS senior football team into the Red Feather games in Toronto later this season. Members are, front row, Gary Crowe, Martin Reynolds, Charlie Zummach, Bob Megaw, Ken Bell, Milt Budarick; center row, Wayne Morrison, Dale Smitham, Ed Thompson, Lorne Williams, Gary Neff, Vic Cupido; back row, Joe Huston, Bernie Arbour, Pete Gouett, Bob Thomson, Frank Holmes, Bill Offord and Glenn Nichols. 

This has been the best football season at MPDHS in many a moon and the junior team above is keeping pace with the seniors, neither team being defeated yet. Front row, B. Popple, Frank Okenka, J. Gignac, J. McKinnon, K. Ball, R. Lalonde, J. Kingsborough and W. Broad. Center row, B. Dubeau, Bryson McQuirter, J. Dubeau, F. Wice, Bill McQuaig, J. Bell, R. Attridge and D. Belfry. Back row, Don Zabzinski, R. Marchildon, Doug Setterington, D. Henry, G. Carr, G. Donovan, W. Dunn, K. Cleary and R. Rawson. 


  • The headline, Free Press Herald, October 16th, 1957; Launch Probe to Quash Bulb Smashing Epidemic. Midland police are investigating complaints by officials of Midland Public Utilities Commission that breakage of electric light bulbs and other PUC property has increased alarmingly in recent weeks. Such acts of vandalism now pose a serious, and costly problem for the PUC, police said yesterday. Boys armed with BB guns are apparently causing most of the damage. Area heaviest hit has been the southeast section of town. (Is that the Colborne & Russell Street area, couldn’t have been me, I had a pellet gun) Stones, however, were used to break two windows in the PUC’s Queen Street sub-station recently.
  • The headline, County Herald October 18th, 1957; Enter Ten Area Cottages Break-ins Plague Police. Both the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour and Tiny Township police said cottage owners up for the Thanksgiving weekend had reported a number of their cottages entered. In many cases, including nine in the Georgina – Bluewater Beach area of Tiny Township reported to Chief Fern Maurice, the intruders were apparently searching for liquor.
  • Ninety-two years ago this month the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Robinson came to Tay Township and settled on a farm on Line 5, Con. 5, about two miles south of Highway 12. The old farmhouse, now one of the oldest settled in North Simcoe, has seen four generations of Robinson’s. After Thomas and Leticia Robinson came their son Herman and his wife. Now the farm is being taken over by Herman’s son and his wife, Thomas “Tommie”and Leticia “Leta” Robinson. Completing the roster is Herman’s granddaughter, Karen, who married David Bertram. It was in 1853 that Thomas Robinson came to Canada from Ireland. His wife arrived the following year after a six-week trip in a sailing vessel. Mr. Robinson purchased his land in Tay from the Crown, paying for it in sterling. The year was 1865. After clearing a small area of land and building a log shanty, Thomas Robinson returned to Cartwright Township to bring his wife and four small children back to North Simcoe. The only available bank in the area at the time was on his own property—a hole at the root of a tree. It was here he placed his money between two chips of wood and buried his most valuable possessions. One of the tales the earlier Robinsons told their children concerned the time the oxen strayed from home. Mrs. Robinson set out after them, and in the course of her search came upon some Indian huts. They obligingly sent some of their children out to follow the trail. The children found the oxen and when they returned Mrs. Robinson invited them home for lunch. The children had never seen chairs before, and she recalled them picking them up and turning them round and round with interest. Mr. Robinson belonged to the council which met in Penetang. To attend the meetings he would walk to Waverley and then up the Penetang Road, returning the following day. This was before there was any town of Midland or Victoria Harbour. The house, built in 1872, was long known as “the white house under the hill” but is now covered in Insul-Brick and modern appliances and machinery have long since replaced those which went to the Huronia Museum.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week; Owing to a severe cement shortage, residents on several streets in Penetang were forced to forego new sidewalks for that year. * * * H. McGuire, president of Penetang Chamber of Commerce, warned more than 100 members of the chamber attending the annual meeting that lack of suitable buildings had cost the town four new industries during the year. He advised that a company be formed to construct buildings for rental to concerns. * * *  Reg. McPhee of Port McNicoll had been named recreational director for Kincardine. * * * Tenders for the proposed construction of a water system for Victoria Harbour had to be recalled. Shortages of pipe and other materials caused delays which made earlier bids useless. * * *  Although it was employing 370 men on its staff at the time. Midland Shipyard announced that it planned to expand its workforce week by week. The first ship of several to be built for the French government was scheduled to be launched the week of Oct. 20. * * * Tay Township ratepayers were planning to hold a special meeting following the township council’s announcement that telephone rates for the municipally owned system would be raised. * * * Col. T. L. Kennedy, provincial minister of agriculture, spoke to a meeting sponsored by Midland Kiwanis Club at Vasey. * * * Bausch and Lomb Optical Co. had taken a lease on a large room in Midland YMCA and planned to install machinery in it to train personnel for its new plant under construction in Midland.
  • Midland contractor Alfred Rei turned over the keys of the town’s new municipal building to clerk Wm. A. Hack yesterday. The move signified virtual completion of the new structure at Second Street and Dominion Avenue. Officials said the official opening and ‘open house’ was not likely to be held until the latter part of November when the various departments are settled into their quarters. The building, on the old Central School grounds, will house a large auditorium which will double as the council chamber and courtroom, offices of the school inspector, Children’s Aid Society, the mayor, engineer, assessor and municipal departments. The Chamber of Commerce and the police and fire departments are also included.
  • Work started this week on the new brewers’ warehouse building In Midland, to be located on Bay Street beside the temporary quarters of the municipal fire, police and public works departments. Of brick construction, the new building will have overall dimensions of 30 by 100 feet. The retail store portion will be 32 by 20 feet, with the rest used for storage. Space for about 30 cars will be provided in the parking lot, which will have a macadam surface.
  • Boyd’s service station, Midland, was one of several Chrysler agencies across Canada honoured recently with long service awards. Boyd’s have been in the automobile business since 1923 and became associated with Chrysler in 1925. Gordon and Harold Boyd took over the dealership after the death of their father Bert Boyd.
  •  A promotional idea for his Sunday midnight show gave Bill Belrose, manager of Pen Theatre, quite a surprise when he got more than he had bargained for out of the project. Bill purchased 10 chickens to be given away as door prizes and had them on display in the lobby of the theatre Friday night. When he opened the door Saturday morning he found one of the hens had produced a ready-made breakfast in the form of an egg. Before the fowl were given away they had presented Bill with three extra dividends.
  • First of what will shortly be thousands of truckloads of Christmas trees was seen going through Penetang yesterday afternoon. Plantation owners say this is the ideal time of year to start cutting Scotch pine trees in order to have them at their prime for Christmas selling. When cut too late the trees tend to turn somewhat yellow. Spruce and balsam trees are generally left for later cutting.
  • Chris Gardner of Midland, M.M., IBM., AMAS, known in magic circles as the Mystic Marvel, attended the Canada and New York state conclave of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, held in Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 10. 11 and 12. Chris, well known to those who practice feats of legerdemain, received several gifts for magical inventions he has completed recently and was made a fellow of the Academy of Magical Arts and Sciences. Mr. Gardner has been invited to lecture to several magic clubs in Canada and the U.S. during the forthcoming season.
  • A widely known and respected resident of Penetang, Dr. B. A. Blackwell died at his Water Street home yesterday afternoon, following a lengthy illness. Dr. Blackwell served for many years on the Penetang High School Board. He also served on the building committee when the new Midland-Penetang District High School was being constructed. For many years, he was MOH for Penetang and still held that appointment at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife Grace Thompson.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Oswald St. Amant are happy to announce the arrival of their son, a baby brother for David, at the Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, October 8, 1957. Weight 9 lbs. 2 oz.
  • Obits – An employee of the Midland grain elevator for nearly fifty years, Sidney English died Oct. 3 at St. Andrews Hospital of pneumonia. Funeral service was held Oct. 5 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home. Rev. L. J. Delaney conducted the service. Interment was in Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers were five sons, Hubert (Dede), George (Mon), Bill, Ross, Doug and one nephew, Harold English. Mr. English was born Dec. 8, 1883, at Omemee and educated there. At Penetang, Sept. 3, 1913, he married Gertrude Marshall. He had lived 14 years in Omemee and 60 years in Midland. * * * A resident of the Victoria Harbour area for 50 years, John Holm died Sept. 29 at St. Andrews Hospital. Funeral service was held Oct. 1 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with Mr. E. J. Parsons officiating. Interment was in Union Cemetery, Victoria Harbour. Pallbearers were Harry Beckett, Clarence Mount, Wm. Potter, Wm. Burnie, Jack Low and Elmer Tucker. John Holm was born Dec. 1, 1886, in Sweden and was educated there. On June 29, 1914, he married Lavina White at Victoria Harbour and had resided in that area until his death. He had spent 20 years in Sweden prior to coming to Canada. He was a farmer and a Jehovah’s Witness. * * * Funeral services were held in St. John’s United Church Monday for Robert R. Morris, a respected resident of this village for many years who died in Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Orillia, Oct. 3, following a prolonged illness. Rev. N. B. McLeod conducted the service. Bruce Brown, W. B. Crooke, W. B. Reid, Walter Lumsden, L. A. Ball, C. H. Webb were pallbearers. Interment took place in the family plot in Union Cemetery, Victoria Harbour. Born in Vasey, April 4, 1873, Mr. Morris attended school in Vasey and lived his early life there. He was married March 25, 1896, in Hillsdale to the former Lena Morris who predeceased him in 1951. They lived nearly all their married life in the village, being here 48 years and seven years in Orillia. * * * Wilfred Peter Clute died Saturday, Sept. 28 at Penetang General Hospital in his 81st year. The funeral service was held Monday, Sept. 30 in Elmvale Presbyterian Church, where he had been an elder for 20 years. Rev. J. C. Cooper conducted the service. The pallbearers were Nelson Simpson, W. S. Campbell, George Graham, Howard Spring, Mervyn Beacock and Eldridge Spence. Mr. Clute was born June 22, 1877, on lot 11 Con. 3 Tiny Township, son of the late Peter Clute and Frances Errington. After spending 44 years there, he moved to Wyevale and for nine years he worked with his brother. In 1930 he moved to Elmvale where he conducted a successful insurance business.
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