Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – February 16th to 23rd 1958

Click on photos to enlarge Just a few months more and summer will return; will scenes like the one above from Little Lake Park in 1954 ever do the same. Most local people are too young to remember when it was hard to find a place for your towel on the grass.

 But for now, this is what we can expect! In February 1958 heavy snowfall in North Simcoe closes many roads for days with drifts ten to fifteen feet deep. Winterama postponed for two weeks, too much snow.

Big event of the year, “Final Night” for hundreds of youngsters in Midland’s Little NHL has been set for February 26. Among the prizes to be given out are three hockey sticks autographed by stars of the pro NHL Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.  Trying out the sticks are, left to right, Bruce Wilcox, Lennie Roach and Vince Ellery. 

Big event of the year, “Final Night” for hundreds of youngsters in Midland’s Little NHL has been set for Feb. 26. Among the prizes to be given out are three hockey sticks autographed by stars of the pro-NHL Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Leafs. Rev. Len Self shows one of the sticks to Rusty Marsell, Larry Hebner, Bill Black, Ian Dalrymple, Ken Edgar, Mike Dion, Fred Cousineau and Ralph Battrick. 

Despite zero temperatures Saturday night’s fire in Victoria Harbour attracted a large number of spectators. Some young lads are seen above seeking shelter behind one of the fire trucks as they watched the home of Earl Asselin go up in flames. Waubaushene and Port McNicoll brigades came to the assistance of the Harbour brigade in limiting the fire to the residence. 

Rudy Kvasnak, right, and another member of the Port McNicoll fire brigade are seen above as they worked on the blaze which destroyed the home of Earl Asselin in Victoria Harbour Saturday night. Firemen were able to save the home of Ted Walker, less than 50 feet south of the Asselin residence. 

Thought to have been under control in the early stages, the fire destroyed the home of Earl Asselin in Victoria Harbour Saturday night. Failure of water supplies due to a frozen hydrant eventually resulted in the two-storey building burning to the ground.

Representing urban centers in Thursday night’s “Queen of Hearts” finals at the Roxy Theatre are Judy Bellaire, left, and Judy McIntyre. Miss Bellaire is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Bellaire, Penetang, and Miss McIntyre is the daughter of Mrs. Hugh McIntyre, Midland. The pair of Judys, plan to embark on teaching careers when they leave high school, which should be good news for the department, hard put to find enough teachers to meet requirements these days. 

It shouldn’t be hard to “keep them down on the farm” when there are gals around like these three entrants in the “Queen of Hearts” finals at Roxy Theatre Thursday night. They are Shirley King, Mount St. Louis; Rosemary Shiels, RR 1 Waubaushene and Jackie Edwards, Vasey. 

 Hard to imagine how beautiful this part of King Street must have been under the canopy of those beautiful trees.

The apron table was a popular spot during the open house at Sacred Heart School in Midland last week. Grade 10 girls were selling handiwork made in their home economics class to raise money for the new separate high school. Left to right are Vicki Noquet, Marilyn Wilson, Mrs. Edward (Marg) Mechan and Mrs. Stan (Marg) McLaughlin. 

Scientific progress, from rockets’ to faucets, was the subject of this blackboard display prepared in Room 8 at Sacred Heart School for the open house held last week. The colorful display was made by Grade 7 and 8 pupils under Sister St. Barbara. 

Mr. and Mrs. John Hamelin didn’t expect to have their photos taken when they attended the open house at Sacred Heart School in Midland Wednesday night. Miss Veronica Lindale, right, teaches their son, Brian John Hamelin.


Trying to keep Ron Blair from potting baskets has been a big headache for other teams in the Georgian Bay COSSA group this season. Ron has potted 101 points in five games for a 20 point per game average. Guarding the MPDHS sniper in this practice session is team captain Lloyd Farqhuar. Looking on are Marty Reynolds, left and Ed Trudeau. 

Mrs. Charles Laughlin came to live with her daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. John G. McArthur of 313 Manley Street, only a year ago. But neighbors surprised and delighted her on her 90th birthday last Tuesday, with visits, gifts, notes, and flowers. Born at Sparrow Lake and educated in Waubaushene, she was married in 1885. Here, Mr. and Mrs. McArthur admire Mrs. Laughlin’s corsage. 

A thousand dollar cheque brought a delighted grin from Gordon Moss, left, chairman of the St. Andrews Hospital Board. President Cecil English of the Midland Lions Club, right, made the presentation of the donation from his club at Monday night’s meeting of the hospital board. 

Judges Friday night will choose a queen and two ladies in waiting from this sextette of entrants in the Penetang Winterama Queen contest at the Pen Theatre. Left to right, front, Mary Lou O’Leary, Karen Robinson, Barbara Labatte; back row. Marguerite Gervais, Anita Fournier, Marita Lalonde. 

Mayor Charles Parker of Midland, right, on behalf of the Canadian Weekly Editor, a weekly newspaper trade publication, presents the CWE  editorial competition trophy won by the Free Press Herald to Wils Harrison, the managing editor. The competition, an annual one, was held in November 1957 and the results were announced in the latter part of January. 

  • The Free Press headline from February 19th, 1958 –  “Storm Blocks Area Roads, Curbs School Attendance”.   Schools throughout the area seemed to be the hardest hit by the severe cold and high winds that swept across North Simcoe Monday and Tuesday. It was one of the worst storms in some years.
  • The County Herald headline from February 21, 1958 –  “See Break-Even Stage in Hospital Operations”.  St. Andrew’s Hospital could be breaking even on its operating expenses by the end of March, and have its overall accounts balanced in 1960, board members predicted Monday night. Consensus of the board meeting was, however, that much co-operation would be needed to wipe out the indebtedness which totalled nearly $141,000 as of Feb. 1
  • Three veteran members of Midland – Penetanguishene District High School Board, one of whom has served for more than a quarter of a century (six as chairman) have resigned. The three, Tom McCullough, this year’s board chairman, Clarke Edwards, chairman of the management committee, and Dr. J . R. Parrott, chairman of the building committee, submitted their resignations Saturday. They asked that the resignations take effect immediately. The resignations followed on the heels of their receipt of letters, sent out by the town clerk on the instructions of council, requesting the three board appointees to prepare a report on the “activities, progress, problems, etc., that confront the members” and submit it to the March 10 meeting of Midland council. The report was to cover the year 1957. The letter further requested that quarterly reports on the activities of the board be submitted to the council. All three indicated in the letter of resignation, they felt council’s letter was an expression of non-confidence in their work on the board.
  • Reports on Sunday night’s cold snap ranged up to 30 below zero. The gauge in James Lazonby’s backyard, which is somewhat protected from north and west winds gave an official reading of 12 below zero. Mrs. Lazonby stated it was still 10 below zero at 11:30 a.m. Monday. Orillia’s Main Street reported an unofficial reading of 14 below zero at 11 a.m. Some Coldwater residents who delayed bringing in their milk, found bottles split with the frost.
  • Eleven music pupils from Midland and Penetang achieved first class honors in music theory exams conducted recently in Midland by the Royal Conservatory of Music. First class honors were attained in Grade 2 theory by Bill Bates, Peter Bramah, Marion Miller, Sharon Armstrong, John Richardson; Sheila Armstrong, Danny Richardson, and Frank Okenka.  Carol McConnell obtained honors and Catherine McAllister, pass, in Grade 2 theory. First class honors in Grade 1 theory were obtained by Barbara Gropp, James Cleaver, and Mary DesChenes. All three are pupils’ of Miss Dorothy Swallow, and Peter Bramah.
  • Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at Logan’s funeral home, Parry Sound, for Charles Myers, veteran Moon River district resident who died in Parry Sound General Hospital Friday morning. Mr. Myers is the father of Free Press Herald columnist Juanita Rourke. He is survived by his wife and one daughter, Mrs. Frank Rourke of Midland.
  • Ten (70) Years Ago This Week 1948 — Midland Public Schools Board, deferred its decision on a proposal to establish kindergarten classes in two of the town’s public schools until it could determine what effect such a move would have on the annual budget. * * *  District citizens were being notified by the Hydro-Electric  Power Commission that unless electric power consumption was cut ten percent from the October 1947 level, that it would be necessary to discontinue the electric power supply for certain periods each day. *  * *  Keith Robinson of Coldwater reported he had attained speeds up to 65 miles per hour in a snowmobile he had built in his workshop. He felt the machine was capable of hitting the 100-mile-per-hour mark.  * * * Penetanguishene Chamber of Commerce was completing plans for its first winter carnival. Secretary of the carnival committee was Marcel Bellehumeur. * * * George Grise of Honey Harbour drove his scoot at an estimated 115 miles per hour in a race held on a three-mile course between Honey Harbour and Beausoleil Points  * * * The highway between Midland and Barrie was drifted so badly that a Midland motorist spent eight hours making the 32-mile trip. His car consumed nine gallons of gasoline.  * * *  Two leap year babies were born to residents of Elmvale.  The children were born at Royal Victoria Hospital.
  • A native of Lafontaine, Dr. Pierre Marchildon died in Penetang, Jan. 11, at the age of 75 years, following a heart seizure. Born in Lafontaine in 1863, Pierre Marchildon received his elementary education there and continued his schooling in Quebec, and Burlington, Vermont, where he obtained his medical diploma. He had practiced medicine for (edge of the page cut off)? years in Montreal and 20 years in the Abitibi area before going to live with his daughter in France, in 1938. He intended returning to Canada, but when World War II broke out he was forced to remain in France, and it wasn’t until 1946 that he was able to return to his homeland. On his return, he again went to the Abitibi and took up his medical practice, for a short time before retiring to his home village of Lafontaine. He spent his remaining years there and in Penetang. He was extremely interested in music, and for many years was the tenor soloist in Notre Dame Church, Montreal. In 1885 he married Emma Tessier in Montreal, and the only remaining member of his family is his daughter Clorinde (Mrs. Eugene Oulmon) of Suresnes, France. His wife predeceased him in 1938. The Funeral was held Jan. 14 from Beausoleil’s Funeral Home to Holy Cross Church at Lafontaine, where Rev. Thomas Marchildon was in charge of the service. Interment was in Holy Cross Cemetery. Pallbearers were Theophile, Etienne and Gabriel Marchildon, Severe, Jean and Leo LeBlanc.
  •  Funeral service was held Jan. 30 from St. Ann’s Memorial Church, Penetang, for Telesphore Gauthier who died Jan. 27 at Penetang after a lingering illness. Rev. J. Kelly officiated at the service and interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Twelve brothers of the Christian schools were present in the sanctuary. Pallbearers were Gerard Gauthier, Edmund Kyte, Alan Johnson, Eugene Lalonde, Léo Gauthier and Marins Guimet. Born in Penetang in 1896, Mr. Gauthier was also educated there. In 1907 be married Alice D’Ault and lived in Penetang for the remainder of his life. Predeceased by his wife in 1913 and a son, Edgar, in 1948, he is survived by three sons, Bro. Romuald, Raymond of Penetang, and Wallace of Toronto. Also surviving are two brothers; Henry of Penetang and Arthur of British Columbia, and one sister, Eliza (Mrs. Doucette) of Hamilton.
  • Recent discontinuance of the CPR noon passenger train from Medonte station to Toronto and the limiting of service at some stations in the area on both railways is reported in line with a curtailment program because of reduced patronage.
  • A year of steady progress in all departments was reported by Arthur Bell, president, at the annual meeting of Port McNicoll Community Credit Union Ltd. last Monday night. Held in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the banquet and dinner meeting was attended by more than 100 members and guests. President Bell said membership in the credit union had increased by 40 in 1957, bringing the total to 365. Profit on the year’s operation was $6,504, compared with $4,074 in 1956. Dividends in 1957, $3,160, were up $1,439 over the previous year.
  • Tiny Township road crews are battling almost around the clock in an effort to clear storm-clogged roads particularly in the north end of the municipality, road superintendent Les Spring told this newspaper yesterday. “However, the concession roads are so badly drifted in places our plowing equipment is powerless to punch a hole through some of them,” he said. Officials are arranging to bring in a bulldozer to battle the drifts, which at some places are said to be 10 to 15 feet high.
  • Strange as it may seem, “too much snow” was the main reason Penetang’s Winterama committee decided to postpone the event for two weeks at a meeting held Tuesday. “There is too much snow for the parade, too much for the parking, and too much for the 1,000 persons we expect to take part in the fish derby,” explained Marcel Bellehumeur, chairman of the Winterama committee.
  • Letter to the editor; The wooden tug “D. S. Pratt”, official No. 126,655, was built in 1911 at Midland for the Canadian Dredging Co. Ltd. of Midland. Her dimensions: length, 81.3 feet; breadth, 20 feet; depth, 10.5 feet; weight, 161 gross tons; engine, 42 h.p. Her engine was transferred from the steam barge Reliever, owned by the late Manly Chew, which had burned in 1910 at a point 300 yards west of Methodist Point. Weathered and black after 47 years, the remaining oak timbers are used by cottagers and visitors to make coffee tables, lamp stands, and ashtrays.  Signed W. R. WILLIAMS
  • From the MPDHS “Hi-Sterics” column; Congratulations to Red Nicolls who this year has been chosen the winner of the Roxy Theatre Trophy which is presented annually to the member of the senior football team who excels in scholarship, leadership, and sportsmanship. * * * The Latin Club has been far from idle. If they don’t have anything to do they busy themselves at playing Latin bingo using Latin numbers and Latin words.

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