Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 24th to 31st, 1958

Click on photos to enlarge


” You hold it this way”, says Andy Sedore, of Canada Packers, as he showed a group of Waverley 4-H Girls’ Club members the proper way to separate a prime rib from a chuck during a demonstration at Argue’s meat market, Wednesday night. Girls are, left to right, Jacqueline Robinson, Carol Armstrong and Dianne Truax, with Jack Argue, proprietor of the store, watching proceedings. 

Bulging with chicken and banana cream pie, members of the K-W Dutchmen, Legion Branch 80’s entry in the senior OHA division of Midland’s Little NHL, posed for the County Herald camera following a dinner in their honour at Bourgeois’ dining room Tuesday night. The boys are wearing snappy new sweater coats donated by the Legion branch. Also in the picture are Legionnaires Graydon Rodgers, Don Gallivan and President Charlie Scott, along with coach Morley Spiker. [There were no team  names in the caption, this list is from an earlier article; K-W DUTCHIES — Nichols, Cripps, Carr, Hamilton, Dorion, Manson, Rogers, Larmand, Woods.]


One night late last week pranksters called the home of Gordon Moss, chairman of the St. Andrews Hospital board, to ask if they could leave their ‘car’ at his place overnight. Next morning, the Midland industrialist found this museum piece perched on the verandah of his model home. (You know who you are!) 


Residents of Midland since 1921, Mr. & Mrs. George Stephens marked their golden wedding anniversary at their Manley Street home last week. Caretaker of Regent Public School since 1942, Mr. Stephens was a noted lacrosse player in his younger days. 


Future hockey stars maybe, Bobby Clayton left, and Ernie Boast are centered by Hap Emms, 12 year veteran of the NHL and currently coach of the Barrie Flyers. Hap spoke at the father and son banquet of the Knox Church Men’s Club Wednesday last. Hap also distributed sticks, sweaters and other articles from big league teams. 


  • The Free Press Herald headline of March 26, 1958; Industrial Water Plan Gains Council Sanction. Midland council has agreed to finance the Public Utilities Commission in providing an installation to supply raw (untreated) water to Midland Industries Limited. PUC Chairman O. H. Smith said yesterday the contract will definitely be awarded next week, and work will start as soon as material can be assembled. The total cost of the project will be more than $40,000. The method of repayment by the PUC has not yet been decided upon. It was estimated the raw water installation would provide an increase of 50 million gallons per year to the total gallonage available in Midland.
  • County Herald headline of March 28, 1958;  29,152 Area Residents Eligible to Vote Monday. Returning Officer J. D. MacNamara revealed yesterday that 29,152 citizens are eligible to vote in Simcoe East riding, in the federal, election Monday. The figure represents an increase of 848 electors over the numbers who were eligible to cast ballots in the June 10, 1957, federal election. There were 28,204 at that time. The returning officer said there were 129 ballot boxes for the 115 polls in the vote last year. Unofficial figures show that 22,427 persons voted in the last Dominion election in this riding.
  • Million-dollar St. Andrews Hospital is one of the most up-to-date small-town hospitals in the province, board chairman Gordon Moss told two Midland service clubs this week. Mr. Moss compared the cost per day to the patient in St. Andrews with the cost per day to a person in a hotel. Average hospital rate in the area, excepting special private rooms and nursery, he said, is about $8.50 per day including meals. “Today St. Andrews has approximately 70 patients. Looking after those patients are 75 people, 25 for each eight-hour period of operation. All of these services cost money; not too much per day when you think of the service rendered.”
  • John Power, chairman of Midland Y’s Men’s Club Easter egg hunt committee, announced this week that a new twist will be added to the hunt this year. The Easter bunny will be present. Mr. Powers said the egg hunt would start at 10 a.m. April 5 in Little Lake Park. Tokens and real Easter eggs will be hidden at various places in the park. The assembly point for hunters will be Arena Gardens. All public and separate school children up to and including Grade 5, are eligible to take part, he said.
  • A group of 16 men, including Penetang Arena Board, started the ball rolling Monday night to complete construction of the new rink and install artificial ice equipment. The plan as discussed includes purchase and installation of an ice plant which would have sufficient capacity to provide an ice surface at any time of the year. A regulation sized ice cushion is planned. In addition to hockey and skating, the proposal makes provision for use of the ice on specified nights for curling, with equipment installed to provide pebbling of the surface and removal of the pebble for skating. The design calls for construction of a main entrance, dressing rooms, and cafeteria on the ground floor. A second level would be built at the front of the building and used as a lounge. This lounge, which is to be heated, would have an entire glass front allowing patrons to watch the ice surface when any activity is underway. The cafeteria will be designed to serve both the lounge and downstairs patrons.
  • Police said 176 stitches were needed to close wounds about the face of a Midland woman following a two-car collision at Waverley Sunday afternoon. Opp Const. Tom Heels said Mrs. Tom Bates of Sunnyside was a passenger in a car, driven by her husband, which was headed north on Highway 27 around 4 p.m. Const. Heels said the vehicles collided head-on. The accident occurred when one attempted to make a left-hand turn into a service station near the junction of highway 93. The other driver has been charged with careless driving, Const. Heels said. Mr. Bates suffered three broken ribs and lacerations to the head and face.
  • Obituaries; Fred Dignard, Sr., a resident of Port McNicoll for the past 47 years, died March 14 at his home following a lengthy illness. Born June 18, 1875, in New Brunswick, he married Arselie Girard at Ville Marie, Que., in 1897 and had resided at Ville Marie for four years, Depot Harbour seven years, Mattawa and Port McNicoll. A Roman Catholic, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Holy Name Society. He enjoyed all outdoor sports. Funeral service was held March 17 at Sacred Heart Church and temporary entombment was at St. Ann’s Mausoleum, Penetang. Pallbearers were six sons, Alex, Dominic, Alphonse, Alfred, Arthur, and Francis. * * * Funeral service was held March 8 for Mrs. Charlotte Torrance who died March 6 in Toronto General Hospital. Pallbearers were Allan Nicholson, Stanley Vancamp, Fred Adamson, William Arnold, Gordon Desjardins and Frank Livingstone. Mrs. Torrance, the former Charlotte Knight, was born Nov. 30, 1878, at Waverley and was educated there. In 1905 she married James Torrance in Elmvale. Predeceased by her husband in 1923, she is survived by daughter Irene (Mrs. Luther Vancamp) of Ebenezer, sons Floyd, Glen and Ken, all of Toronto. Also surviving is a brother, Fred Knight of Elmvale, and sister, Mrs. Wm. Livingstone of Ebenezer.
  • Head of the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour for several years, Cpl. Blake Ball has been promoted to the rank of sergeant, retroactive to Jan., 1 of this year. Sgt. Ball also served as head of Penetang detachment for a time when that town was policed by the OPP. With the force for 19 years, he had also been stationed at Burkes Falls. He was promoted to corporal in 1948. There will be more work than ever for Sgt: Ball and his nine-man force this summer. They will patrol a portion of the new Trans-Canada highway north from Waubaushene, splitting duties on the road with the Bala detachment, Sgt. Ball said.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week 1933 – Following a series of meetings Midland Ratepayers Association approved a resolution supporting council’s proposal to implement rigid economy measures with respect to the town’s finances. * * * A new shipping act, designed to remove Canadian ships and shipping from under the wing of the Imperial Shipping Act, and place it under all Canadian legislation, had been tabled in the Canadian Senate. * * *  The Provincial highway between Midland and Orillia was so muddy that teams were being kept near the worst spots to pull cars through the mire. * * * * Henry Hamelin was appointed the chief of police of Penetang. He was one of 15 who had applied for the post. * * * A deputation, representing the towns of Midland and Penetang, the village of Elmvale and the townships of Flos and Tiny, met with the minister of highways and requested a grant for the improvement of the highway between Midhurst and Waverley. * * * Two Midland district men, who had returned from a trip to Western Canada, reported they had seen western farmers using horsepower to pull their cars. They said tongues had been attached to the fronts of cars so teams could be hitched to them. One man drove the team and another steered the vehicle. * * * According to the vital statistic report of the Midland town clerk, there were four more children born in the town in March 1933,  compared with the number born during the same period the previous year. Eighteen births, eleven boys, and seven girls were registered for March 1933.
  • Faced with a deficit of more than $1,000, Penetang Winterama Committee Wednesday night recommended to Penetang Chamber of Commerce that a Winterama be held again next year. From experience gained, the committee felt expenses could be curtailed next year to provide for the possibility of the event at least breaking even financially. The general feeling seemed to be that the publicity gained for the town is worth the effort put into the Winterama.
  • Penetang Parks Board, as part of its winter program, has been making plans to improve its swimming facilities on Penetang Bay. Parks board employees this winter have been constructing a dock, which will be completed shortly. About 140 feet in length, the dock has been constructed in an “L” shape, the arm portion adding an extra 22 feet to the length. Crib piers were built on the ice, were filled with stone, and sunk to the bottom by cutting the ice around them. Workmen found the water frozen right down to the sand bottom when they attempted to cut around the last pair of cribs. When completed the diving tower now standing on the “Red Dock” will be moved to the new swimming area.
  • At 4 p.m. yesterday, Mrs. James Thompson of Midland was out hanging clothes. She noticed smoke coming from the chimney of the home of Marvin Woods, 237 Dominion Avenue. Mrs. Thompson went next door to tell them, as their houses are side by side. The Woods walked over and told the Midland Fire Department, located across the street. A County Herald reporter passed by, heading for the Chamber of Commerce office, in the same building as the Fire Department. At 5 p.m. — clothes hung up, fire out, a story in.
  • As Good Friday, falls on the publication date of the County Herald, only one paper, the Free Press Herald, will be published next week.
  • The congregation of All Saints’ Anglican Church, Penetang, will be visited Sunday by Ven. W. J. Gilling, MBE, Archdeacon of Toronto. Archdeacon Gilling will officiate at the dedication of new paneling and altar in the chancel of All Saints’ Church. The beautiful walnut paneling and the carved altar is the work of Chas. Thompson, Penetang, who constructed and installed the entire work. Material for the work was secured through Andy Morrison.
  • Nobody knows who the people of Simcoe East are going to vote for Monday, but the lists released by returning officer J. D. McNamara show where they’re going to vote. And they’re voting in the darndest places — everywhere from private homes and parish halls, to stores, schoolhouses and even churches. One poll in Medonte Township is at the Hillsdale Lock-up. Other Medonte voters will turn up at the Coldwater court house, Warminster Orange Hall, and the Moonstone Community Hall.  Tay Township voters can cut a caper while voting at Otto Rawson’s Dance Hall in Port Severn. Others will be casting their ballots at the Women’s Institute hall in Waubaushene and Ebenezer Church. All of Christian Island votes at the community hall on the Island — no trouble there. Midland’s pretty dull too, for all the polling stations are in private residences. Penetang voters can pipe up for their candidates at the powerhouse on Fox Street; the Legion Hall, K of C Hall and a number of private homes.

Our older item for this week.

The Midland Free Press January 11, 1923 

The last place in the world one would expect to find a unique treasure hunt taking place is in the interior of a great grain elevator. Yet every year during the three autumn months, from September to November, when the wonderful “wheat rush’’ takes place from Western Canada, there occurs a queer treasure hunt in the huge terminal elevators at the lake port of Fort William, Ontario, where tens of millions of bushels pour in from the prairies for transshipment across the Great Lakes.  From all parts of the Great Canadian west, tens of thousands of wheat laden freight cars come hurrying into Fort William, each car to be dumped in a few moments time. At the elevator the men in charge of the ‘‘cleansers” watch the golden grain as it pours through, to see what strange treasurers the cleansers will winnow from the yellow flooding tide of cereal. The most common articles to be sifted out from the grain are knives of various lengths and sizes. When it is taken into consideration that harvesters are continually using knives for cutting binder twine, it is easily understood how so many knives get mislaid, and eventually find their way into the grain. Hundreds are annually salvaged from the wheat. Bottles of liquor, and many more bottles empty than full. Probably the full ones come from tramps or smugglers, and the grain offers a handy place for hoboes to throw empty ones when they have finished drinking. Paper bundles containing leftover food scraps are also common. An odd find made recently was a side of bacon. Hammers, saws, wrenches and other tools are fairly common. Now and then a cheap watch bobs up; at longer intervals a gold one. Occasionally a ring is found, and often a bundle of keys. Letters, bank books, un-cashed checks made their appearance more often than the average man would expect. In one case the owner of un-cashed checks worth several hundred dollars was located; the checks had traveled nearly a thousand miles in the wheat. A dead prairie chicken in a fair state of preservation once reached the terminal elevator. A cat, alive, though very weak and almost suffocated came pouring out with the grain. It was revived and adopted at the elevator. A stranger was the arrival of a human corpse, that of a man who had been hurriedly placed on top of the wheat at a lonely waypoint where passenger trains did not stop in order to get him to the city. Unfortunately, the word of the body’s coming was mislaid and so it was added to the list of strange finds. A cash register, empty, and a pair of lady’s new dancing shoes with silk stockings carefully tucked in are two more articles whose presence in the wheat is particularly mysterious. How all these things got into the wheat would make a wonderfully interesting story if it were possible to trace them back. But as it is not, one can only conjecture on the queer causes that led them to be there.

The collections staff and volunteers at Huronia Museum wish everyone a Happy Easter!

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