Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 1st to 7th 1958

Click on images to enlargeTop dogs in the Midland Legion Bowling League include (seated), Bob Somers and Wm. Bryan, who tied for high single; and (standing, left to right), Doug Hebner, high single in playoffs; Les Marsell, high triple; Don Fox, high average; Bill Brooks, high total in playoffs. 

Playoff winners in the Midland Academy Bowling League were members of the Legion Blue team. Seated are Elmer Todd and Les Scott, and in the back are, left to right, Les Marsell, Mike Doherty, Legion president Chas. Scott, Chas. Spiker and Garnet Drinkle. 

Del Hasting’s team, winners of the Midland Academy Bowling League, are pictured at the annual banquet last Tuesday night at Bourgeois Lakeshore dining room. Left to right are seated, Don Fox and Dave Moore; standing. Bob Somers, Chas. Yorke, sponsor Del Hastings, Murray Yorke and Bernard Hamelin. 

There may be no promotion this side of the ocean for some types, but the lads above all moved up a notch in rank as members of RCSCC “Huron” last Wednesday. Promoted to able cadets from ordinary cadets were, left to right, front row —J. Bonnin, Penetang; Don Zabzinski, Midland; B. Grisdale and Ernie Miron, both of Penetang; back row — R. Belanger, R. Moffatt, N. Craig and S. Chambers, all of Midland. Lieut. Jack Sturgeon, commanding officer of the sea cadet corps, is at right. 

2006 0020 4499Senior NCO’s of MPDHS Cadet Corps, which will hold its annual inspection next Wednesday, are seen above. Left to right are — front row, S/Sgt. J. Vincent, SSM J. Wilcox, SSM P. J. McDonald, RSM J. Parker, RQMS V. Leonard, SSM R. Rankin, S/Sgt. G. Wittig; second row — Sgt. T. Kearns, S/Sgt W. Barber, S/Sgt. T. Geere, S/Sgt. J. Rankin, S/Sgt S. Ligowski, Sgt. J. Gignac, Sgt. J. Squire, Sgt. S. Campbell; third row — Sgts. T. Marr, B. Corriveau, P. Smitham, F. Cremer, H. Gouett, J. Brodeur, J. Rumble; fourth row — Sgt. R. Gauthier, M. Moreau, G. Rebhan, R. Wiggins, C. Whetham. 

Canadian singles champ Elmer Hohl of Wellesley, left, was beaten by Midland’s Wray Faint in the horseshoe pitching tournament held as part of the Jaycees’ Sports Show last week. Wray finished two points up on his noted opponent. 

Alderman Wm. Orr of Midland is shown presenting the town of Midland trophy to Wray Faint of Midland, winner of the horseshoe pitching competition at the Jaycees’ Sports Show. He defeated the Canadian singles champ to win the trophy. 

While her hubby chortles with glee, Mrs. Stan Harman seems all set to grab the $100 her spouse won at Midland Jaycees’ Sports Show Wednesday night. Ken Webb, left, is handing Stan the “C-note” for winning the hole-in-one contest. Mrs. Harman feels she has a moral right to a share of the booty. “He wouldn’t have come if I hadn’t pushed him out the door,” said Mrs. Harman. 

One of the most popular events at Midland Jaycees’ sports show last week was the hole-in-one contest. Mrs. Bruce Barrie wasn’t one of the six who turned the trick during the three-day show. Stan Harman proved the eventual winner. 

Winner of the fly-casting tournament at Midland Jaycees’ Sports Show was Bjorn Pettersen, seen receiving his trophy from Bruce Gilbert, right. The 13-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Pete Pettersen tied with Jack Yelland, left, in the regular competition but won the playoff (and payoff) round. Major prize was a two-week vacation at King Whyte’s Northern Ontario fishing camp. 

Trying out the driving tests at Midland Jaycee’s Sports Show proved to be fun as well as instructive for these young Midland matrons. Mrs. Gerry Gerow is trying her hand with the wheel while Mrs. Allan MacMillan, left, and Mrs. Dave Milner lends moral support. The instructor is Art McLean of London. 

Archery was a popular feature of Midland Jaycee’s Sports Show this week. Scoring a “bull’s eye” is Shirley Hebner, while John Power looks on. 

The ill wind that has cottagers all over the Georgian Bay area wondering how they are going to get their boats in the water this year will, conversely, be a boon to the sunbathers, as witness the wide beach area at Balm Beach this year, above. Only a few years ago it was impossible to drive along famed Wasaga Beach because of high water. Now the beach is more than 200 feet wide again in most places. Experts say it’s part of a seven-year cycle. 

Seen above with Rev. F. C. Robinson is the new executive of Mount St. Louis branch of the Catholic Women’s League. Left to right are Mrs. Joe Drury, secretary; Mrs. Clarence Crowe, 3rd vice-president; Mrs. M. J. Frawley, president; Mrs. John Drury, 2nd vice-president; Mrs. Maurice Fitzgerald, treasurer. Mrs. Reg Morrison, 1st vice-president, was absent when the picture was taken. 

When September rolls around again, Gary Valcheff will be one of the new pupils at Port McNicoll Public School. Gary, 6, is being “signed in” by Mrs. Herb Carpenter of Midland, Simcoe public health nurse, while his mother, Mrs. Henry Valcheff, and sister Gail, 3, watch. 


  • Board Cuts School Rate Four Mills Lower in ’58 – County Herald headline of May 2, 1958. While complete details of the high school budget will not be available until next week, Midland council was informed at a special meeting Wednesday evening that town taxpayers will be paying 4.71 mills less on the Midland – Penetang District High School levy this year. Midland’s share of the total levy for high school purposes amounts to $51,316.03. Based on the 1958 assessment of $7,204,230. This means a tax rate of 7.13 mills for Midland ratepayers. Last year the levy was 11.84 mills. Council received the information during a semi-final review of its own budget. The preliminary review of the town budget, which is to be finalized tonight revealed there was a possibility of a three-mill cut in the overall tax rate for the town this year.
  • Century-Old House Razed Elderly Woman Burned – Free Press Herald headline May 7, 1958. Fire destroyed one of the oldest homes in Penetang Monday morning when the Main Street residence of Mrs. Emma D’Aoust was razed. The house is believed to be more than 110 years old. The blaze is believed to have started from an overheated stove in which Mrs. D’Aoust had lit a wood fire a short time previous to the fire breaking out. The 84-year-old woman suffered severe burns to her arm, back, and shoulder when the dressing gown she was wearing caught fire. Wakened by the cries of her mother, Miss Louise D’Aoust managed to extinguish the flames on the burning clothing and get her out of the house. Following treatment by a doctor, she was taken to the home of her son, Phil D’Aoust. Firemen said they experienced considerable difficulty in battling the flames owing to the construction of the building. Part of the house was a log structure, and the entire building had been insulated many years ago with tanbark.
  • Following the resignation of Ed. Dilworth as building inspector for the town, Penetang council experienced less difficulty than had been anticipated in securing a replacement. Monday night, council approved the application of Alf. Atkins and appointed him to the position. His duties will commence May 1. Remuneration will be the same as for the last inspector, which is a percentage of the permit fees collected.
  • Midland Y’s Men next Tuesday night will embark on a tree planting spree at the Forget site, following their dinner meeting. This week a work party headed by Frank Bray brought in wood from the Forget site for use in the Indian village. Trucks for hauling the wood were provided by “Toots” Wallace and Lloyd and Harold Wilcox.
  • A 22-year-old Midland man will likely be charged with criminal, negligence, drunk driving and careless driving following the death of Caleb A. Truman, 84, last night, police said this morning. Mr. Truman was struck and killed a few yards from his Bay Street home between Second and Third Streets by a car. Sgt. George Wainman said Mr. Truman, who was said to have been returning from a choir practice, appeared to have been crossing from north to south on Bay Street. [See “Looking Back April 1st 1955” for a photo and biography of Caleb Truman.]
  • The McMurray Beauty Salon, Penetang, wishes to announce that on May 12th, Miss Denise Marchand will take over the business.
  • Obituaries – Native of Penetang, Andrew Odesse died unexpectedly April 2, in Penetang General Hospital. Born Valma M. Boucher, March 15, 1898, she had lived in Penetang all her life. She married Andrew Odesse in 1918. A Roman Catholic, she was a member of St. Ann’s Society. Surviving are two sons, Philip and Paul, Penetang, and two daughters, Mrs. E. Gauthier, (Lenai), St. Hubert, Que., and Mrs. T. Gignac, (Elaine), Penetang. Her husband predeceased her by 11 months. * * * A resident of Midland for the past 43 years, Mrs. Adeline Davis died April 15 at St. Andrews Hospital following a lengthy illness. Funeral service was held April 18 at Nicholl’s funeral home with Rev. W. E. Auld officiating. Burial was at Lakeview Cemetery.  Born in 1893 at Lundy’s Lane, Ontario, Mrs. Davis was educated at Newmarket. In 1913 she and Earl Davis were married in Toronto. She had resided in Lundy’s Lane for five years, Aurora 15 years, Orillia one year and Midland for the past 43 years. * * * Funeral service was held April 9 at Robinson’s funeral home, Coldwater, for Claude Bolyea, a lifelong resident of  North River, who died unexpectedly April 7 following a coronary attack. Rev. Ross Gumming conducted the service. Interment was in Coldwater Cemetery. Born Dec. 1, 1914, at North River, Matchedash Township, Mr. Bolyea was educated there. On April 201 1946, he and Lois Page were married in Orillia. Residing all his life in North River, Mr. Boylea built a new home following his marriage and had lived there until his death. * * * Funeral service for Mrs. Clara Boyer was held April 16 from, her residence to St. Mary’s Church where Rev. J. S. Howe conducted the service. Pallbearers were six of her sons: John, Joseph, Stanley, Andrew, Edward and Donald. Mrs. Boyer died unexpectedly April 13 from thrombosis while in the Toronto, General Hospital, where she had undergone eye surgery. Born Clara Belle Meyers April 3, 1887, in Bradshaw, Lambton County, she received her education in that place. She was married Nov. 25, 1907 in Penetang to Peter Boyer, who predeceased her in March, 1950. They had lived in Penetang 10 years, then in Moon River previous to coming to Victoria Harbour where Mrs. Boyer had resided for the past 41 years. * * * * Funeral service was held April 17 for Annie Violet May Hebner who died at St. Andrews Hospital following a coronary thrombosis. Pallbearers were Guy Hebner, Elmer Hebner, Bill Hebner, Neil Brandsen, John Lepage and Bernard Hamelin. Mrs. Hebner, the former Annie Smith, was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. She was born in Midland and lived here all her life. Besides her husband Bert, she is survived by three sons. Bill who is in the Canadian Army stationed at Winnipeg, Man, Marvin on the ship Alexander Leslie, and Ross at home. Mrs. Hebner is also survived by four sisters, Marjorie (Mrs. Fred Contois), Myrtle (Mrs. M. Dubeau), Grace (Mrs. Art Parizeau) and Minnie (Mrs. James Bremner).
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – Rev. A. J. Eagle, who had been minister of St. John’s United Church, Victoria Harbour, for six years, had accepted a call to Gerrard Street United Church, Toronto. * * * The Ontario Department of Education announced that it planned to conduct summer courses for teachers. Subjects being offered were agriculture, art, health, domestic science, manual training, physical training, commerce, vocal music and vocational guidance. * * * Groceterias in Midland were offering back bacon at 17 cents a pound; sirloin steak roasts at 18 cents a pound, pork roasts at 12 cents a pound and butter, 24 cents a pound. * * * * According to a Swiss beauty expert, women who had their hair tinted to match the color of the gowns they were wearing were complying with the latest fashion edict. * * * E. W. Beatty, president of the CPR, urged the government to enact legislation which would force all motor vehicles to come to a halt at railway crossings. * * * A party of British biologists, who had explored the inland regions of British Guiana, reported they had found a species of fish that preferred to breathe through their mouths at the surface of the water, instead of through their gills under the surface. * * * Pens of pheasants, the gift of the Department of Lands and Forests to Midland Parks Commission, drew record crowds to Little Lake Park. Children especially were said to have been captivated by the colorful birds. * * * Nearly 2,000,000 bushels of grain had been transported from the head of the lakes to elevators in Midland in less than four days. The largest cargo — 360,000 bushels of wheat was carried by the Gleneagles.
  • A Little Bit of Fun; He: “Will you marry me?” She: “No, but I will always admire your taste.”
  • George Johnson of Minesing, MPP for Simcoe Centre, revealed this week that the contracts had been let for grading on Highway 400 from Crown Hill to Craighurst and for the approaches and structure of the new CPR overhead bridge at Craighurst. Mr. Johnson said he had been informed by the Highways Minister that the contract for grading Highway 400 from Crown Hill to Craighurst had been awarded to King Paving Co. Ltd. Oakville.
  • Acting on the advice of its engineer, S. N. Keyes of Orillia, Midland Public Utilities decided Monday night to use clay fill to repair its washed-out reservoir dam rather than more costly steel or cement methods. The dam was the most westerly of two earth-compacted dams which the PUC has used successfully to boost the supply of water for its artesian wells. The easterly dam was built in a hard clay area and it is this clay which Mr. Keyes proposes to strengthen the westerly dam.
  • Ontario Department of Lands and Forests has plans underway to provide locations in Honey Harbour district of the Georgian Bay where guides with fishing parties and the boating public generally can have shore dinners. The need for such lunching out spots was first brought to the attention of Lloyd Letherby, MPP for East Simcoe, last year by Didace Grise of the Delawana Inn, Honey Harbour, and later by the Honey Harbour Cottagers’ Association. It was pointed out that available cottage sites are being taken up so rapidly that unless some provision is made for guides and their fishing parties, and the public, to land for shore dinners, it would not be long before the shoreline would be closed to the many tourists who look forward to holidaying in this popular resort area.
  • submitted by Mrs. P. Toutant,  Lafontaine;  Seeing the picture of Mr. Proulx and the ox shoe calls to mind the emigration of some Lafontaine people to Manitoba, some 70 years ago. (In the April 23 edition of this newspaper, Dave Proulx of Penetang was pictured showing half a shoe worn by a working ox in days gone by, turned up in a Poyntz Street garden.) My father was one of those who went to the Manitoba town of Ste. Leon, where I was born 77 years ago. Some years before, several Lafontaine families had established themselves there, where the only farm power was that of man and oxen. We were proud to have the largest pair of oxen, called Bright and Brown. The shoes were of two parts, to fit the cloven hoofs, so it took eight pieces to make the set. Our men had learned the trade of making the shoes from their forefathers in Quebec. They kept their oxen shod the whole year round, for it was a protection on the icy roads. So 70 years ago the sight of an ox shoe was a familiar thing for us. They were using the same pattern in Manitoba as had been used in Quebec, and my husband believes what Mr. Proulx has is more than 100 years old and possibly came from Quebec originally. Relatives of the emigrants might be interested in hearing some of their names. Among them were Ovide, Oliver and Charles  Lafreniere and families; Gereme and Eugene Rondeau and family; Napoleon and Phillip Moreau; John and Charles Toutant and  Adrienne Toutant; George and Ovide Maurice. Counting the children, the group numbered about 50. They travelled by boat and train to Duluth and then to Emerson, Manitoba, near the United States border. From there they went by foot and oxen to Ste. Leon, where all have since died and are now buried. 

  • One hundred years ago the Free Press recorded the weekly death toll as the war and the Spanish Flu claimed both young and old. This clipping represents the first week of November 1918.

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