Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – October 23rd to 31st, 1957

Click on Photos to EnlargeFree Press Herald reporter-columnist Barry Hughes prepares to eat the king-sized potato found by Lawrence Moreau of Victoria Harbour in potatoes he purchased from Joseph Gratrix, Rosemount. The big spud was nine inches long and fourteen inches in circumference. 


Cleaning out his old office in the Ingram Block before moving to the new Municipal Building, Midland’s clerk-treasurer Bill Hack came across three World War 1 medals and the number one dog tag for 1917. Awarded by the town to first war veterans, the three medals never picked up were intended for F/L, G. Black, Seaman R. White and Lieut. J. M. Watt. 

Where to put the sign, R. B. Moffatt, secretary-manager and Frank Bray president of the Chamber find the spot. The new office is on the ground floor of the new building. 

Prospect of getting into their new offices at the new municipal building seems to be making the task easier for police chief Bob Cameron and Constable Ross Willett. 

New office furniture being inspected at Midland’s newly opened municipal building on Dominion Ave. W. Showing one of his new filing cabinets is public works superintendent “Bud” Turnbull, right. Others are l to r, A. R. Brown, superintendent for Marino Construction Co.; J. A. Knox and T. L. Hawkins of Canadian British Engineering Consultants. 

Many local agencies were busy on the weekend moving their offices into the new municipal building on Dominion Ave. W. Unpacking a few of their law books are probation officer Bruce N. MacIntosh and his secretary Miss Diane Anest. 


“Apple Day” this year for Boy Scouts and Wolf Cubs of South Georgian Bay District netted the association more than $600.00. Starting out from their tent pitched on King Street (Beside A. Barrie & Sons, the location in 2017 of the Arcade & Jory Guardian Pharmacy 286 King)  are Midland Scouts, Paul Delaney, Ken Cleary, Andy Desroches and Frans Kes. 

Things are looking much brighter for the coaching staff of the MPDHS athletic department this fall, with the football teams undefeated to date. Obviously pleased with the way things were going at a recent practice are, left to right, Tom Cavanagh, assistant football coach and basketball coach; Doug Swales, head football coach, gymnastics and basketball coach; Bill Setterington, head of the Athletic Department; Ed Cable, junior basketball coach; Bill Kennedy, assistant football coach, in charge of the junior team; Perry Rintoul, track and field and volleyball coach. 

  • The Free Press Herald headline of October 23, 1957; Seek Taxpayers’ Approval of Two-Year Council Term. Midland ratepayers will vote this year on the question of a two-year term for future councils. The proposal was introduced by Alderman Douglas Haig at the tail end of a marathon session that finally adjourned at 2.30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The motion calling for the vote on the two-year term question was supported by every member of the council but Deputy-reeve R. J. Pinchin. The mayor did not have a vote. The motion reads as follows: ” That the question of a two-year term for council will be presented to the electorate in the coming election, to be effective for the council elected in 1958.”
  • The County Herald headline of October 25th, 1957; Town Population 8,266 Assessment $7,254,410.00. Expansion of two of the town’s large industries, Ernst Leitz Canada and Midland Industries, has been a major factor behind a $247,63.50 increase in the assessment for 1958, Midland Assessor Lionel Diver told this newspaper yesterday. Mr. Diver said the total taxable assessment for 1958 for Midland amounted to $7,254,410. The 1957 assessment, prepared last year, was $7,006,775.
  • The Free Press Herald headline of October 30th, 1957; Police Offer $100.00 Reward in Hit-Run Driver Search. A special meeting of Midland police commission Monday night authorized Chief Robert Cameron to offer a $100 reward for information leading to the arrest of a hit and run driver, involved in an accident in Midland Saturday night. Hit by an as yet unidentified car and carried 55 feet from the established point of impact was Mrs. John Jenkinson, 52, of 187 Charles Street, Midland. Jenkinson suffered two broken legs, a fractured pelvis, possible internal injuries, facial lacerations and concussion. It is reported that 30 stitches were required to close a cut on her face.
  • Influenza sweeping Simcoe County was a factor in the deaths of two Midland children last week. Thursday, little Randolph Scott Grant, son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Grant, 291 Dominion Avenue, died at the Ontario Hospital in Orillia. His parents said death was brought on when the child contracted Asian flu following a lengthy illness. He was three years, nine months old. Saturday, 13-year-old Julia Alderson died at Midland. A Grade 7 student at Sacred Heart School, she was the daughter of Mrs. Norman Alderson and the late Mr. Alderson. Her doctor said she had apparently been suffering from the flu for some time before she contracted both lobar and bronchial pneumonia.
  • A 50 by a 90-foot lot on the east side of Eighth Street was sold to Mrs. Violet Latondress by Midland council Monday night. Mrs. Latondress is to receive the deed for the property when a satisfactory building is erected.
  • Effective April 30, 1958, Midland citizens who have been keeping domestic animals such as cows and goats will have to dispose of the animals. At its meeting Monday night Midland council approved a bylaw prohibiting, within the corporation, the keeping of goats, cows, swine, mink, foxes and rabbits in excess of two on lands not assessed as farmlands. Although the bylaw’s original intent was to prohibit the keeping of chickens as well, the council declined to ban fowl when it learned many citizens were forced to keep chickens to augment their livelihood. However, the new bylaw stipulates that, where chickens or other domestic fowl become a nuisance and the subject of complaints from residents living nearby, the owner will have to dispose of them.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – Classes in violin instruction were to be held in Midland’s four public schools. The one hour sessions were to be held once each week after regular school hours. * * * The 466-foot “Midland Prince”, built in Midland Shipyard, ran aground on a shoal at the entrance to Key Harbour. Part of her 7,006-ton cargo of coal had to be removed from her bow before she could be freed. *  *  * More than 30 sheep and lambs had been killed on Tay Township farms by marauding bands of dogs. The township paid out more than $165 to recompense farmers for their losses. * * * Clergy of the Anglican Deanery of West Simcoe met in the rectory, Penetang. Rev. W. C. Stubbs of Elmvale was elected rural dean for a second term. * * * Approached by a large delegation of unemployed men, Victoria Harbour council set up a welfare committee to plan relief work. The committee was comprised of Reeve E. Dutton, Councillor Wm. Dunlop, Ed. Crooke, Hamilton Vent, Mrs. George Watson, Mrs. Thomas Lumsden and Miss Laura Gouett.  * * * Midland Public Utilities Commission, faced with street light vandalism on Fifth Street and in the Wireless Hill area, proposed to shift the standards to other areas requesting street lights. Bulbs and lamp sockets in the two areas were being broken as fast as they could be repaired.
  • Junior girls’ track champ Lynn McAllen 13, broke both wrists Wednesday when she tripped during a gym class at Midland-Penetang District High School. Hospitalized overnight, she was back at school yesterday afternoon, in casts from her knuckles to her elbows. The fractures were described as clean breaks. A Grade 9 student, she is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Harold McAllen, 372 Russell Street.
  • Richard Harwood, a Toronto industrialist, might not like to hear himself termed a philanthropist. So quite probably residents of the Wyevale area won’t call him by that name, although they may think the term entirely justified. Certainly, he could at least be termed a benefactor, without stretching any points. Haywood, in fact, recently stretched his own pocketbook to the extent of nearly $1,500 to make a gift of a badly needed fire engine for use in the Wyevale area. Heavily wooded, both naturally and in reforestation and Christmas tree projects, fire is an ever-present menace to the little Tiny Township hamlet.
  • Two unidentified assailants jumped Sgt. Ernest Bates of Midland police force Saturday night when the officer attempted to arrest them for creating a disturbance. Chief Robert Cameron said Sgt. Bates was patrolling First Street when he heard some youths speaking profane language behind the YMCA. When he investigated four youths ran into the lane and Sgt. Bates fired a shot in the air to halt the foursome in their flight, the chief said. The Midland officer entered the shed behind Mostyn’s store and arrested two of the youths. As he was bringing them out and along the lane near the rear of the Ontario Cafe, the two jumped him and kicked him as he wrestled with them. In the scuffle Sgt. Bates had a tooth broken and several ribs bruised.
  • Residents of this area will probably get a good look at the new CF-105 during some of its tests next year if preliminary arrangements made Thursday night between Avro technicians and Tiny Township council are completed. Three Avro representatives asked permission to erect radio test equipment on the beach at the end of Con. 12 right-of-way, explaining they wanted to test fly their aircraft over water which provides a constant known quantity for this purpose. “We will be using Meaford as a checkpoint for the aircraft,” one of the men said.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – A heat wave, with temperatures hovering around the 80 mark, had citizens digging out summer clothes, raspberries ripening in gardens, robins singing and a few brave souls swimming on the south shore. * * *  A petition was being circulated in Penetang to raise $60,000 through municipal debentures for the construction of a new ice rink. * * * Shipyard workers in Midland, Collingwood and Port Arthur had ratified a new wage agreement. The employees were to receive a five cents per hour wage increase, retroactive to September 1947, holidays with pay, double-time for work on statutory holidays, an eight hour day and a 40-hour week. * * * Confronted by two large opposing bodies of ratepayers, Victoria Harbour council decided to close, to motor traffic only, the beach road from David Labatte’s cottage to the Stockhart – Richardson cottage.  * * * Husband of the former Eleanor Rose of Coldwater, journalist Bob Reeds of Toronto, missing in Northern Ontario for several weeks was found by Indians and taken to Moosonee. He was suffering from a severely injured leg. * * *  Tiny Township  Assessor Joseph D. Asselin was carrying out a re-evaluation of farm, beach and village property in the township, to bring their valuation more in line with those prevailing in other municipalities in Simcoe County. * * * One of the last wooden elevators in any Canadian port, the 1,000,000 – bushel frame unit of Midland’s CSL elevator was to be torn down.
  • (Editorial) For some months now the editorials on this page have come from the pen of Wils Harrison and others associated with him on the news and editorial staff of this newspaper. In some ways, we wish they hadn’t because this is one of the most difficult editorials we have ever tried to write. Saying “goodbye” to friends, made on this printed page over nearly twenty-three years, is not easy. But this week we move down to the new plastics building just opened on Midland’s Elizabeth Street, away from the smell of ink and the noise of presses. Away too, from the visits of North Simcoe neighbours dropping in for a chat about community problems, about a story, or about something they thought the newspaper could do to help. We will miss the smell of ink, the noise of the presses and those visits with you and your friends and neighbours. We will miss them more than you know. A newspaper, when it performs its true purpose, becomes in many ways an integral part of the community it serves; and its editor becomes both servant and confidante of its people. He lives in the community and in a real sense, the community lives in him. It is a privilege and a trust to edit a weekly newspaper. We know it has been for us. There are few if any other jobs in this world we would rather have had. But there is a consolation. We are confident that the men and women carrying on this newspaper’s traditions will do a good job. We have been associated with them now for some years. They have a high sense of responsibility, of moral purpose, and of editorial trust. Probably, as you have oftentimes been annoyed at your old editor, you may at times become annoyed with them too. But we are sure of this: they will publish a newspaper of which both you and they can at all times be proud. — Bill Cranston.
  • (Editorial) Few laymen probably ever realize it, but a newspaper is a very personal thing. The very nature of and sole purpose for its production make it so. From its conception on the typewriters of the editorial staff and in the layouts of the advertising department through its formative stage in the composing and printing plants to its birth on the press, a newspaper is the personal baby of the men and women who work to give it life.  Because of this fact, because it is the product of their thoughts and their craftsmanship, a newspaper’s staff from editor to printer’s devil becomes a closely knit group. Like a family. But a paper is a personal item from another standpoint, for it endeavours to mirror the life of the community it serves. It reports the good news and the bad, the births and deaths, the marriages and divorces, the gay times and tragedies, the successes and failures of the people whose interests are wrapped up in that specific area. Little wonder then, that the man who had been editor and publisher of this newspaper for the past decade, and was its general manager from 1935 to 1947, found it difficult to write the editorial which precedes this one. In a sense, it is like severing relations with every friend in the district. And in twenty-two years one makes a good many of them. For employees of this company, whose destiny has been in his guiding hands for a good part of those two decades his move to an executive post in one of Midland’s largest industries is somewhat akin to the loss of the paternal head of a family. Consoling factor is that he will be remaining in Midland where his counsel will be readily available. The Free Press Herald and County Herald, under his and his late father’s direction and editorial acumen, have attained an enviable reputation. They  have been adjudged the best all-around newspapers in Canada four times. The editorial page has won top awards on five occasions. This is the legacy he has entrusted to us. If we prove worthy of this trust, and we will make a sincere effort to do so, it will be because the qualities of who had been, editor and publisher of this newspaper for the past decade, and because the qualities of sincerity and leadership have rubbed off on us.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s