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

 Click on photos to enlargeWell known to many district residents as well as summer cottagers, the Ardmore Beach store owned by Phil Lefaive and commonly known as “Lefaive’s Store,” suffered considerable damage when the weight of snow caved in the roof Sunday night. Walls were bulged out of line as shown in the picture. (Tiny Concession 11) 

Freak stresses caused by snow on the roof, popped the end wall of this cottage owned by Albert Hamelin of Tiny Township, right off the building, where it now leans against a row of trees. Not one pane of glass was broken. The cottage was only one year old. 

While documenting the destruction caused by the snow in the photos above the photographer (likely Ken Somers) could not resist this humorous road sign at the beaches. (I think they have miscalculated their North Pole distance.)  

These unoccupied quarters in Midland’s new municipal building, slated for the North Simcoe Branch of The Simcoe County Children’s Aid Society, still remain empty. The branch is presently located in the old civic building on King Street, where its lease expires in July. CAS managing director Dorthea Jackson says the branch had been promised “similar accommodation” in the new building, while the present quarters’ have three private consultation rooms the new quarters are open. 

Midland’s own “Mr. Hockey”, George Dudley, is seen with two top Little NHL stars, Ed Zablotny, left, and Fred Burgie, a cousin of the great Rocket Richard. The two noted hockey figures were guest speakers at Knox Church Men’s Club father and son banquet Wednesday night in Midland. 

Eyes closed, famed coach “Hap” Emms may be dreaming of the day some of these Midland youngsters may restore his Barrie Flyers to the top of the junior “A” heap. With “Hap” in the photo, are left to right, John Swan, Kennedy Self, Bill Howard, Bill Young, John Cranston and Marvin Howard. Two noted hockey figures were guest speakers at Knox Church Men’s Club father and son banquet Wednesday night in Midland. 

Bedlam will reign supreme at Arena Gardens Friday night as hundreds of youngsters cheer their favourites in the Midland Public Schools hockey finals. In the top picture above, referee Jim Wilcox gets play underway in a recent game between East and West Side teams. Below, teacher-coach T. A. Robertson talks things over with some of his East Side players. 

Still spry and active, Mrs. John Ruston marked her 85th birthday Friday. John Ruston and Lilly Kelf were married June 3, 1895, and already had four children when they came to Canada, as Mrs. Ruston says “to make our fortune,” in 1906. The Rustons brought only three of the children with them at the time, one remaining in England. Mr. Ruston already had a sister, Mrs. John Belsey, living in Midland, and the new immigrants came directly to Midland. At that time the Belsey s lived on land now occupied by the Midland Golf and Country Club. The Rustons stayed there for a short time, finally getting a home of their own on Fourth Street. An interior decorator in England, Mr. Ruston worked at the old smelter and at the coal dock for a number of years before resuming his old trade. 

This year’s skating carnival at Midland Arena Gardens will have a marine motif, as witness sisters Joyce (left) and Margaret Walker in the above picture. Joyce, complete with aqua-lung, is a pearl diver. Margaret is a member of the seashell ballet. 

Skating cowgirl — One of the featured performers in Midland Figure Skating Club’s annual carnival; cowgirl Dawn Annand is ready to tie up any stray mavericks during early rehearsals for the show. 

These are busy days for members and officials of the Midland figure skating club sponsored by Midland Lions. Getting in a few practice licks for the carnival March 28 and 29 are left to right, Bev Hagedorn, as a pirate, Joan Child, a jellyfish, and Sharon Biggar who is just the right size for a goldfish. 

Two of the more experienced skaters who will take part in Midland Figure Skating Club’s carnival at Arena Gardens are Linda Stewart, left, and Elizabeth Boldt. The girls are members of the “Southern Belles” group. 

Edwards Store ran a full-page advertisement highlighting their boys and girls department for Easter.  You will probably recognize many of the models pictured below. L-R, Susan Perkins, and Joan ChildJane Campbell and Nancy Jones Valerie HarmsworthJimmy Swales and Kathy Henderson Susan Rodger and Dan Keefe. Giant pinwheel, that is what the fishing derby at Penetang’s recent Winterama looked like from the air. The arrangement of the holes and the anglers gives an appearance of a giant pinwheel. The photo was taken by Free Press photographer Vern Farrow from a Georgian Bay Airways plane.

 Some things never change!!

  • The headline from March 19, 1958, Free Press Herald; Back Seven-Point Plan for Harbour Improvement.  A seven-point program to improve harbour facilities for visiting and local watercraft was set up by Midland’s newly organized harbour committee at a meeting in the municipal auditorium.  The committee’s recommendations, which included better dock supervision and policing, reserving of space for visiting watercraft, improved washroom and toilet facilities, water and power sources, garbage pick-up, centralized telephone service and possible provision of docking space for local boats, will be forwarded to Midland council. The program was formed following a brief address by Medonte author Ken Wells, who explained some of the problems he encountered at Midland and at other ports of call along the Georgian Bay shore during his boat tour of Georgian Bay ports last summer.
  • The headline from March 21, 1958, County Herald; Say Job Outlook Bright in Industry in Penetang. Members of Zone 3, Georgian Bay Development Association, meeting in Penetang Wednesday appeared to be impressed with what they saw in a tour of the James Stewart Manufacturing plant. The group saw new styles of oil-fired furnaces under construction, from flat sheets of steel to the finished product. Sold as packaged units, the furnaces are of modern design and resemble a piece of furniture. The visitors were shown new built-in domestic cooking units being assembled on the production lines. They also saw baking ovens designed to be built into a wall. As well as cooking units to be installed in kitchen countertops. The ovens are turned out in a variety of decorator shades, some of which are exclusive to the Penetang company.
  • That Penetang is becoming widely known as the winter carnival center of Ontario is graphically illustrated by a letter received by Marcel Bellehumeur, Winterama chairman. Written in Montreal, March 14, the letter arrived March 15, despite the fact that there was no proper Post Office address. The address read: “Manager, Winter Carnival, Georgian Bay; Ont.”, and there was apparently no hesitation on the part of postal clerks in forwarding it to Penetang.
  • Midland-Penetang young people’s group of Alcoholics Anonymous marked the first anniversary of its inception with a well-attended convention in Penetang Sunday afternoon. More than 150 persons were present for the meeting with approximately 90 of the number coming from points outside the district. One of the main purposes of the meeting was to acquaint clergy and doctors of the area with the values of the AA organization. Several clergymen from Penetang and Midland were present as well as some municipal officials.
  • Under present conditions, navigation in Midland and Port McNicoll will not open much before the end of this month. J. G. Hendrickson, CSL manager in Midland, said yesterday that Capt. R. Belcher had made a survey of ice conditions as far as Hope Island last week. Using a scoot, Capt. Belcher found the ice averaged around 17 inches thick all up the main channel. Nearing open water off Hope Island, the windrows were 39 inches thick, Capt. Belcher reported.
  • Three masters of Great Lakes ships who attended the meeting of Midland Harbour Committee last week maintained that from a commercial shipping standpoint Midland harbour could not be topped. They said it was the best harbour on this continent.
  • Obituaries; Funeral service was held from Nicholls’ Funeral Home March 17 for John W. Penhale who died March 13 at his residence 312 Queen Street, Midland. Rev. J. L. Self conducted the service which was under the auspices of the Caledonian Masonic Lodge, Midland. Pallbearers were Charles Flowers, J. J. Robins, James Mackie, Alex Heron, Clifford Laughlin, and Sam Bell. John Penhale was born July 9, 1909, at Collingwood where he was educated. Moving to Midland 24 years ago, he had resided here since and worked as a projectionist at the Roxy Theatre. * * *  A resident of Tay Township most of his life, Frederick Melbourne Brown died March 7 at his Quebec Street home Midland, following a long illness. Temporary entombment was in Lakeview Cemetery vault and burial will be in Vasey Cemetery, later. Pallbearers were Walter Lumsden, Bert Ball, Bruce Cooke, Gordon Bell, M. Buckland and H. McAuley. Mr. Brown was born April 6, 1890, in Oro Township and was educated in Tay Township. On July 3, 1912, he married Gertrude Tinney at Hillsdale. Farming near Victoria Harbour for 40 years, Mr. Brown had retired and moved to Midland six years ago because of ill health.  
  • COLDWATER — Hon. James Allan, Minister of Highways, has informed Lloyd Letherby, MPP for Simcoe East, that tenders are being called for grading the extension to Highway 400 from Grown Hill to Craighurst. This is the first section of the new highway to be constructed across Medonte-Township, joining Highway 12 at the southern entrance to Coldwater. Construction plans call for a cloverleaf at Highway 12, bypassing Coldwater across properties at the southwest corner of the village, linking up again with Highway 12 near Fesserton, according to Mr. Letherby.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – A bill was introduced in the Ontario legislature which permitted the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission to implement its frequency standardization program. Southern Ontario areas were to be changed over from 25 to 60-cycle power. * * *  Bausch and Lomb Optical Company officials announced that, as soon as weather permitted, the ground would be broken for the firm’s new plant in Midland’s east end. * * * Special spring tune-up classes for novice and veteran golfers were being held in Midland YMCA. Gordon Maxwell, professional at the Midland Golf and Country Club, was the instructor.  * * * George Grise of Honey Harbour and Pete Lepage of Penetang were the winners of scoot races at Penetang’s winter carnival.  * * * Dr. P. A. Scott of Picton was named the director of the Simcoe County Health Unit. Health unit operations were to get underway July 1. Dr. Scott had served five years with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, retiring with the rank of Lieut. Colonel.  * * *  Melville Wilkie and Henry Leo Cada, two escapees from the Ontario Hospital for the Criminally Insane, Penetang, were captured at gunpoint in a sugar bush, two miles northwest of Lafontaine. They had been missing two and one-half days. A young Lafontaine area farmer, Lionel Marion, discovered the pair hiding in the hay in his father’s barn. The two fled from the barn. *  *  *  One of the worst spring floods to hit Coldwater in years, forced back-street residents to their upstairs floors, washed out a section of Highway 12″ at the west end of the village and undermined sections of the Canadian National Railway tracks.  * * * Hospitals in Midland and  Penetang were to receive $8,500 from the Ontario government through increased grants approved by the provincial legislature.

Going further back to March 1927, the year we are currently working on. 


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