Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – February 8th to 15th 1958

Click on photos to enlarge 

Queen of Hearts contestants at Midland – Penetang District High School, sponsored by the Roxy Theatre, Midland, include, back row, left to right, Carol Cowan of Midland; Rosemary Shiels of Waubaushene, Nancy Somers of Penetang. In front are Anne Hamilton, left, of Midland, and Janice Edwards, right, of Vasey. 

More than 100 fellow employees and friends of Ralph Howard attended a dinner at Parkside Pavilion last Thursday, marking the retirement of the Midland CNR car department foreman after 40 years with the company. Mr. and Mrs. Howard, left, were presented with a portable radio and other gifts. Also pictured are Frank Whiteman, right, CNR agent in Midland, and Len Galloway, a district superintendent, who made the presentation.


Ten girls still in the running for Penetang Winterama Queen title will appear on Pen Theatre stage Friday night in third elimination. Left to right, front, Lucille Duquette, Barbara Labatte, Joan Somers, Mary Lou O’Leary, Betty Ann Mayer, Standing, Karen Robinson, Marguerite Gervais, Marita Lalonde, Anita Fournier, Carol Cummer. 

In a few months now, traffic will be speeding over this new bridge that crosses the CNR tracks at Waubaushene. The bridge is part of the construction being carried on in connection with the opening of the new leg of the Trans-Canada Highway that will eventually be linked with Highway 400 near Crown Hill. 

One of the best years in their history was reported at the annual meeting of Port McNicoll Community Credit Union this week. Some of the union’s officers and two guest speakers are seen above. Left to right are, front row Lloyd Cameron, Mrs. M. Lawrence, Arthur Bell, president, Miss Helen Duncan; back row, Jack Fisher, Norman Alexander, Credit Union League’ field representative, Joseph Wallner, from Cuna Mutual Insurance head office, and John Clarke.


  • The Free Press Herald headline of February 12th, 1958; Estimate Loss at $150,000.00 in Blaze at Fern Shoes The biggest fire to hit Penetang in many years did an estimated $150,000 damage to plant and stock of Fern Shoe Co. yesterday morning. Believed to have started in a corner of the shipping room, the blaze spread quickly sending dense billowing smoke throughout the building. Although outwardly it appeared the entire structure was ablaze, efforts of firemen, coupled with the plant’s sprinkler system, confined the actual fire to the shipping room.  The first indication of trouble came a few minutes after 10 o’clock when Wm. Axton, working at his desk next to the shipping room, looked up and noticed smoke in the southwest corner. As he looked, flames burst out and started up the wall. Firemen battled the blaze for more than two hours before they were successful in bringing it to an end. Difficulty was encountered when the thousands of pairs of spring shoes still continued to smolder, despite streams of water being poured on them. The loss is completely covered by insurance.
  • The County Herald headline of February 14, 1958. Five Men to Investigate Development of Harbour  Harbour Commission Chairman Harvey White told this newspaper yesterday that five top federal government officials will be in Midland Monday to survey the possibilities of developing Midland harbour for deep-sea shipping. The federal government officials will meet with the newly-appointed harbour commission. Representatives of Midland council, the town of Penetang, the Local Employment Committee and Midland Chamber of Commerce have been asked to attend the meeting.
  • Members of Midland YMCA’s Tironae Hi-Y Club, a girls’ organization, now has a little “brother” — in far-off Korea. Recently, as part of their participation in “Save the Children Federation, Incorporated”, the Tironaes “adopted” little Sung Ho Yang, year-old son of Kyung Suk Yang and Mrs. Yang. Little Sung Ho, his parents, a grandmother and an aunt live in the village of Songpo Myun.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week —  At its February meeting, Midland council heard that its relief account for January amounted to $22,709. Mayor Roebuck termed it a staggering figure. He said if it continued for the remainder of the year it would mean a 10 to 12-mill increase in the tax rate. *  *  * A report tabled in the House of Commons at Ottawa revealed there was $1,800,196.00 lying unclaimed in the banks of Canada. * * * Sir Malcolm  Campbell drove his racing car Bluebird over the mile course at Daytona Beach at a fraction over 273 miles per hour. His previous record for the same course was 253 miles per hour. *  *  * Under the watchful eye of 18 guards, 100 criminally insane inmates of the Guelph Industrial Farm were transferred to the new Ontario Hospital at Penetang. Provincial police officers blocked off roads in Penetang while the transfer from the train, on which they travelled from Guelph to Penetang was being made. * * * Tempers flared and a fist fight almost developed at a meeting of Penetang council when one councillor accused another of making false statements with respect to qualifying for a seat on the council. Police intervened before any blows were exchanged. * * * The Ontario Employment Bureau reported that the employment picture had improved considerably. * * * Midland -Kiwanis Club had completed plans for a dog derby. The race for mutts and sleigh dogs was to start at Firth’s Corner and end at the Georgian Hotel. * * *  The Coldwater Intermediates trounced Midland 7-3 to take the two-game round for the series championship.
  • Midland Chamber of Commerce had an all-time record for membership revenue in 1957, Finance Committee Chairman Gordon Moss states in the chamber’s annual report. The 26 percent increase over the previous year (about $1,000) brought the total to $4,632.15. Of the total budget of nearly $11,900 the chamber spent $2584 on industrial promotion, about $3,000 was spent on tourism promotion and $1,800 on general business promotion.  “Mention should be made of the generous financial assistance given by the town of Midland to the chamber,” said Mr. Moss.
  • Hundreds of Penetang people had the opportunity last week to see themselves on the screen at Pen Theatre, in one of the short subjects on the program. The film, produced by the National Film Board as one of its “Eyewitness” series, centers around the Georgian Bay scoots, and the races at the Winterama. It was made at the time of last year’s carnival and covers several other carnival sights as well as the scoots.
  • Midland police collected nearly $3,500 more in 1957 through meter collections and violation fines and recoveries than in 1956. The total of $12,049 included meter collection of $7,453., violations amounting to $520 and fine and recoveries of $4,075. Police made 673 charges and registered 585 convictions. There were 68 convictions under the Criminal Code, 428 under the Highway Traffic Act, 55 under the Liquor Control Act and 34 under local bylaws. Chief Cameron’s report was read at Monday night’s meeting of Midland council. Also read was a letter from Chief Cameron recommending staff changes for his men. The Chief suggested that probationary constable Ross Willett, now on the force nearly eight months, be promoted to a second class constable at $3,000; that Const. Ed Armstrong be superannuated; that Const. Tom Curry be promoted to first-class constable at $3,3OO; that Sgt. George Wainman be promoted to staff sergeant at $3,600; that acting Sergeant Ernest Bates be promoted to sergeant at $3,400.
  • Winning two games last week, MPDHS senior cagers set a new record by winning eight straight games to become district champions. Last Wednesday’s important game for the league leadership saw the Purple and Gold come through with another great effort in upsetting Barrie Central 38-32 in Barrie. They wound up the season with an easy 56-39 win over Collingwood at MPDHS gym on Friday.
  • As we have mentioned before there are weekly reports submitted by area correspondents to the Free Press. To convey the down-home nature of these reports this is the Lafontaine report of February 14th. LAFONTAINE — Miss Evelyn Clement of Montreal is in this vicinity. She is a full-time worker for the Union of Electors. – Mr. and Mrs. Ovide Laurin spent a week in Ottawa visiting their daughter, Mrs. Cusson. – Mr. and Mrs. Anatol Charlebois returned from Montreal just before the storm. – The last frost caught several water pipes around here. – Skiing is good at present. The Thunder Bay Ski Club is out every day on the new private hill rented from Tel. Forget. – The young son of Tel. Forget broke a leg during his first attempt at learning to ski. – Gabriel Brunell, the young son of Hubert Brunell is in Penetang hospital, suffering from an ulcer. – The snow plow went up and down four times Sunday to keep the roads open. – Laurin school was temporarily closed Monday so the furnace could be repaired. – Miss Evelyn Clement was a recent guest of Mrs. Armidos Laurin. – The Parent Teachers Association meeting will take place today in the parish hall. – Mrs. Mark Genier is teaching the pupils of Sister Joseph Victor of Penetang during her absence visiting her sister who is dangerously ill. – Mrs. Art Beauchamp doesn’t mind being snow-bound now: her son has secured a TV set and they are enjoying themselves very much. – Pat Robitaille’s German Shepherd dog had ten pups.
  • Slated to open about April 1, the first branch of the Toronto-Dominion Bank in Midland should provide a pleasing bit of face-lifting for King Street, as well as additional banking facilities for residents of both the town and surrounding areas. Bank officials say the renovation of the two-storey property is about one-third finished. The building accommodated the exchange of the Bell Telephone Co. for many years and was also the temporary quarters of another bank for several months following a fire. (This building is currently vacant and is for rent)

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