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

George Cooper, left, and brother Bruce, proudly display their 300-pound catch of sturgeon; netted in the narrows near Waubaushene. Fish in the center weighed 140 pounds, and the other two 95 and 65 pounds, respectively. The two obtained their licences Tuesday and the fish were caught Wednesday, the first day the nets were set. The fish sell at $1 per pound dressed and will be shipped to a market in New York City. 

In Dutch in Rome was Claudia Reynolds of Midland, who ran afoul of two members of the Praetorian Guard at the Roman dinner at MPDHS Wednesday. Soldiers are Don D’Aoust of Perkinsfield, left, and Arthur Patenaude of Penetang, grade 10 Latin students, they made their own costumes.

“PEEL ME A GRAPE,” cries Francis Cremer, and Robin Benson obligingly pops one into his mouth. The two Midland Latin students were among 150 who took part in a costumed Roman dinner at MPDHS Wednesday.

Hockey notables from far and near were present in this area Monday to honor George S. Dudley, CAHA secretary-manager and Midland’s “Mr. Hockey”. With Mr. Dudley, left, at Delawana Inn are Mrs. Dudley, Mrs. Foster Hewitt, Foster Hewitt of hockey night in Canada fame, and his father, W. A. Hewitt, for 56 years secretary of the OHA. 

Wednesday was a great day in the life of Midland’s “Mr. Hockey,” George S. Dudley, seen at right above with a group of prominent officials who attended the civic reception tendered delegates to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association’s annual meeting, at Parkside Inn. With Mr. Dudley are, left to right, Robert LeBel, CAHA president; Lorne Cooke, OHA president; Tommy Lockhart, president of the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States. 

Just before the “battle”, three members of the staff enjoy a brief breather beside a tank used at the inspection of MPDHS Cadet Corps last Wednesday. Officers are, left to right, Capt. R. C. Gauthier, Capt. D. F. Powell, and Lieut. John Dalrymple. 

Annual inspection of MPDHS Cadet Corps drew a large crowd to the school campus last Wednesday. Capt. J. S. Corcoran of Midland, (on the stand) was inspecting Officer. Other members of the inspecting party included, left to rights Capt. H. Hutton, cadet training officer of Oakville; Lieut. K. J. Macdonald, Penetang; Sgt. Major David Bell, Midland; board members T. M. McCullough, Midland, and William Morrison, Penetang; and Lieut. L. M. Johnston, who is also principal of the school. 

It’s the traditional “eyes right” for cadets of Midland-Penetang District High School as they march past the reviewing stand in a column at the annual inspection Wednesday. Capt. J. S. Corcoran, Midland, is seen taking the salute as inspecting officer. Watching his men file past is Cadet Lieut-Col. John Hilliard. 

What better day than May 1 to erect a Maypole? That’s what Harold McAllen, parks superintendent, and his men were doing as they prepared to transfer playground equipment to its new site at the southeast end of Little Lake. Children will be well removed from the dangers of the main road which runs through the park. Many local residents and visitors have praised the new set-up and have commended the commission for its foresight. 

The newly-developed area at the east end of Little Lake was given its official send-off this past weekend. In the foreground, picnic tables have been arranged in a sylvan setting. In the background, the playground equipment waits invitingly for children. The area has been fenced off along the park road with a chain link fence to keep little folk away from traffic.

A section of the crowd which attended the rosary rally in Midland Sunday is shown standing for the congregational hymn singing. Hundreds more, who were unable to find seats, sat in their cars parked around the race course. 

Grouped around the altar in Town Park, Midland, are members of St. Margaret’s girls’ choir. At the organ is Ted Johnstone. In the background can be seen some of the boys who took part in the parade. 

Shirley King, Marie Gignac, Betty Juneau, Nancy Somers and Ed Trudeau, all of Penetang, members of St. Ann’s CYO, are shown on their float in the rosary rally procession in Midland Sunday. It was one of five in the parade.

Midland Girl Guides line up to board a bus, bound for a Guide and Brownie rally in Orillia last Saturday. More than 1,700 girls attended. Guides and Brownies from Penetang, Midland, Christian Island, and Waubaushene attended. 

Here a party of Midland Brownies line up for transportation while Mrs. Ed Lawler, right, directs another group to a waiting car.



  • The County Herald headline of May 16, 1958. Request Budget Increase for Industrial Promotion; the Industrial committee of Penetang Chamber of Commerce is asking for the largest budget ever for this year’s activities. While reporting on committee activities this Week, Chairman Jerome Gignac asked for $1,500 for the 1958 budget. In his report, Mr. Gignac said his committee is almost ready to produce one of the most comprehensive brochures ever published for the town. It will be designed that with a change of only one or two pages, it can be used for several years. “We will have something we can be proud to distribute when we receive an inquiry or a lead on industry,” he maintained.
  • The Free Press Herald headline of May 21, 1958. Tay Man Loses 15 Sheep in Rabies Stricken Flock; Clerk Ralph Dalton announced this week Tay Township will rigidly enforce its bylaw which requires citizens to keep their dogs from running at large. The necessity of enforcing the bylaw was highlighted by the death of 15 sheep belonging to Walter Knechtle, Con. 13. Mr. Knechtle’s farm is along the new Trans Canada Highway, about twelve miles north of Waubaushene. Officials of the federal department of agriculture have confirmed that the sheep died from the effects of rabies. Mr. Dalton said only two of the sheep had died immediately as a result of the attack by a dog or dogs. The other 13 involved appeared to have escaped serious injury until Thursday when they died, the clerk reported.
  • County Herald headline of May 23, 1958. Report May Bring Switch in Water, Sewage Plans; Recommendations made by Ontario Water Resources Commission engineers may result in a change of water and sewage system plans for Midland. They recommended that a report should be secured, from a consulting engineer on the “provision of a waterworks at the bay to augment the present supply.” They felt this was a better long-range proposal than continuing the search for groundwater and the provision of raw water industrial supplies. Secondly, they suggested the proposed industrial water system from the bay be chlorinated to minimize the hazard to the industries concerned and the municipality from the sewage discharge contaminating the water. Thirdly, they stressed that an evaluation of proposed sewage disposal plans should again be made in view of the fact that there is some possibility that a water supply may eventually be installed at the bay to the east of the town. (Midland never went to the bay for water but continued to find and develop well water which now provides all of the town’s supply.)
  • Alderman Douglas Haig has agreed to meet with Albert Taylor and discuss the leasing or purchase of The Lookout on Wireless Hill. (What is now Tiffin Park off of William Street) Walter Woods, chairman of the chamber of commerce tourist committee, asked council in a letter to try to negotiate with Mr. Taylor for the Lookout property. It was pointed out Mr. Taylor had declined to renew the lease on the property in 1957 because it had been poorly maintained, and had been permitted to become a garbage dumping area. Mr. Woods said the Huronia Historic Sites and Tourist Association had urged that the town retain this natural beauty spot, and asked that council take steps to make the property a public park.
  • Discussions are already underway on plans for a possible addition to the million-dollar Midland-Penetang District High School. At a meeting of the MPDHS Board last week, it was decided that before the board’s next meeting, a committee will go to Toronto to discuss the subject with Department of Education officials. At the board’s April meeting, Principal L. M. Johnston told members that MPDHS would need; one additional classroom and that his studies had indicated a total of 14 new classrooms would be needed by 1965.
  • The first skirmish of what could develop into a full-scale gasoline price war in Midland and district was opened Saturday when regular grade gas went down about six cents. Friday morning, most service stations in the area were selling gas at 39 and nine-tenths cents per gallon. The action followed about six months of cut-rate prices at about half a dozen stations. District service station operators had met three times in an attempt to avert a price war, but decided to meet the lower price after, suffering serious gallonage losses, one operator stated. It was understood that the major oil companies had guaranteed the operators a certain profit per gallon, so prices could conceivably drop lower. This appeared unlikely, however, as the new price had not changed by yesterday.
  • On May 10, Ann Mecham, the 6-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Mecham, 157 Elizabeth Street, suffered abrasions, bruises, and shock when knocked from her bicycle. The mishap occurred around 6:10 p.m. at Manley and Elizabeth Streets. Const. Tom Currie, who investigated, said the bike and a car driven by James E. Magloughlin, 182 Manley, were both proceeding north on Manley. Both were attempting a left turn onto Elizabeth Street when the accident occurred. No charges have been laid.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – Clifford Woodrow of Coldwater, fishing at the Coldwater dam, caught one of the largest speckled trout that anglers of the district had seen in some years. It weighed three and one-half pounds. * * * Under a new provincial regulation guide, anyone who during the year had violated or attempted to violate any of the fish and game laws and regulations, were to be refused a guide’s licence. * * * Tay council served notice that it planned to cut down on the amount of relief being distributed to unemployed persons in the township. Council offered to buy vegetable seeds for those who were unable, financially, to purchase the seeds themselves. * * * Stayner Board of School Trustees announced that its salary schedule for teachers would be $1,500 for the continuation school principal, $1,200 for teachers and $700 a year for public school teachers. * * * An epidemic of mumps had curtailed average daily attendance at Midland’s three public schools. Hardest hit was Manley Street School where daily attendance for the month was only 73 percent of the total enrolment. * * * In an address in Midland YMCA, Col. George Drew charged that the security of the world was being menaced by the manufacturers of war materials. He urged that these products be produced on a non-profit basis. * * * Midland Board of Education decided to close Manley Street Public School, effective Sept. 1, 1933. The school was being closed to economize on the town’s education costs. * * * Passenger steamers operating between Port McNicoll and the “Lakehead” had commenced their summer schedule. Making the run were the Keewatin, Assiniboia, and Manitoba.
  • Obits – A little more than a month after the death of her husband, Mrs. Ed Burke died at her residence, 216 Manley Street, Midland. May 21. The former Estelle Maude Kerr, she was the wife of the late Capt. Edward Burke, former Midland harbor commissioner and well known Great Lakes mariner. The body is resting at Nicholls funeral home until Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Funeral services will be held in St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Midland, at 2 p.m. Burial will be in St. James on-the-lines Cemetery, Penetang. * * *  A resident of Midland all his life, Cecil Leighton died May 9 at 291 Queen Street following a coronary thrombosis. Born June 11, 1905, in Midland, Mr. Leighton was educated in Midland and Toronto Bible College. He was married in November 1932, at Midland to Dorothy Belsey. A weighman at Tiffin elevator, Mr. Leighton was a member of the Alliance Church. Active in church affairs, he was treasurer of the church, pianist, elder and a tenor in the church quartette. Funeral service was held May 12 from his residence to the Alliance Church with Rev. R. J. Barker officiating. Burial was at Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers were Philip Boden, Cecil Belsey, Albert Hill, Leonard Webster, Donald Fox, and Jack Argue. Surviving are his wife, Dorothy, mother, Mrs. George Leighton, sister, Mrs. Charles Beman (Ann) of Midland. He was predeceased by his father. * * * Pearl Eva Beatty, wife of Capt. Percy Beatty, died In Toronto, May 18, following a stroke. Funeral service was held at Nicholls funeral home and interment will in Lakeview Cemetery. Frank Taylor officiated. Pallbearers were Horace Lawson. Frank Livingston, Harry Rumney, Cecil Smythe, John VanCamp, and Elmer Parson. The former Pearl Eva Chillcott, she was born August 26, 1891, and in July 1913, she married Percy Beatty in Parry Sound and came to Midland to live. Mrs. Beatty was a member of the Jehovah’s Witness. She is survived by her husband, Percy Beatty, two daughters, Irma, (Mrs. A. McKean), Oshawa; Naomi, (Mrs. H. Cotton) Elmvale; one son, Thomas of Waverley. Also surviving are two brothers, Phil Chillcott of Caledonia, and Gordon Chillcott of Vancouver. * * * A resident of this community for 65 years, Delia Dagenais died May 12 at Beechwood nursing home Penetang. Funeral service was held from A. Barrie and Sons funeral home to St. Margaret’s Church May 14. Burial was in St. Margaret’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were Edward Somers, Alex Somers, Marvin Woods, Orvil Ambeau, Bruce Murdock and Joe Machela. Mrs. Dagenais, the former Delia Somers, was born Feb. 11, 1894, at Port Severn and was educated at Midland. In 1901 she and Hormidas A. Dagenais were married in Midland. Mrs. Dagenais was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Predeceased by her husband on May 16, 1957, she is survived by children, Mrs. Harvey Ambeau (Betty) of Midland, Louis Dagenais, Penetang; Fred Dagenais of Orillia; Mrs. Wm. Farrish, (Matilda), Listowel; Thomas Dagenais of Calendar; Mrs. Clara Nadjuion of Toronto. Also surviving are brothers; Charles Somers of Midland, Edward and Alex Somers of Toronto and Peter Somers of Midland; and one sister, Vena Reuther of Vancouver, B.C.
  • Editorial – All too frequently men who give freely of their time and energies, and who gain international fame, recognition and respect in specific fields of endeavor go unsung in their own countries and communities. At Monday’s civic reception in Midland for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association members, however, it appeared that there are exceptions to the rule — and Midland’s Mr. Hockey, George S. Dudley, Q. C., is one of them. For more than two decades Mr. Dudley has been a leading figure in provincial, national and international amateur hockey circles, guiding the destinies of the OHA, the CAHA and the players and teams under their jurisdiction. His travels on behalf of the two organizations and hockey, in general, have taken him across this nation, to the Orient, to Europe, even behind the Iron Curtain. And wherever he went, whether in his own or an alien land, he took men in this particular realm of sport as he found them. Perhaps it was this attitude as much as his ability to meet and solve the multitude of problems with which he was confronted that paved the way to the international recognition he has received and achieved for the country, his town, for himself and our national game. His success in this respect was attested to in his election a few weeks ago to the Hockey Hall of Fame. It was further emphasized in the sincere tributes of his associates at Monday night’s dinner. While in other lands hockey and Mr. Dudley are synonymous, for Midlanders this distinguished citizen also represents faithful work in the church of his choice since he was a youth of 18. It means more than 40 years of legal service and advice to the town’s elected representatives and its administrative personnel. It was most fitting that he was presented the town’s Award of Merit in the presence of his hockey associates and Midland friends. Although tangible evidence was not necessary to substantiate it, that gesture more than anything else that was said or done indicated he was not a “prophet without honour in his own land”.
  • Recently traffic from Parry Sound district has had a choice of keeping to the heavily used routes of Highways 69 and 11 (via Bala and Gravenhurst) or choosing the partly-finished road from Footes Bay to Port Severn. The new road, slated for paving this summer is bumpy and sandy. At times visibility last weekend was almost zero as the increased volume of vehicles raised choking dust.
  • Lockmasters on the Trent Canal system gave a lift this spring to pickerel on their way up the Severn River to spawn. The pickerel run was so heavy Lands and Forests Department officials report, that lock tenders were letting fish into their locks, closing the gates and raising pickerel over rapids in the same manner boats are locked through.
  • Weekly the Free Press publishes reports submitted by their correspondents from all parts of North Simcoe, every village, and crossroad. This report from Wyebridge exemplifies the down-home nature of these. WYEBRIDGE — Sunday visitors of Mrs. George Parker were Bill and Mrs. Douglas Beacock and family of Richmond Hill, Mrs. Farquharson, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Bell and Ronnie of Orillia, Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Burke and family of Churchill, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Leonard, and family and Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Archer and family, of Midland. Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Kirkup and family and Mr. and Mrs. William McCay and Kathryn of Toronto spent the weekend with Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Murdoch. Sunday visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Downer were Mr. and Mrs. Farnie Davenport of North Bay, Miss Marion Downer, Howard Downer, Lloyd Downer, Hugh Blair of Toronto, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Downer and family, Mr. and Mrs. John Parker and family, Mr. and Mrs. James Downer and family, all of Midland. Mr. and Mrs. Howard Toole visited Mr. Toole’s sister, Mrs. Alex Van Camp, at Balm Beach last Sunday. Sunday, May 11, a rogation (I had to look it up too) service was held at the Church of the Good Shepherd. Communion was also celebrated. Rev. A. Stubbs of Elmvale assisted the new rector, Mr. Fairhead. Mrs. Shaw of Elmvale was organist in the absence of Marilyn Robins Bumstead, who is on her honeymoon. Next Sunday there will be no Sunday School. Instead, there will be a family service at 9.30. Mr. and Mrs. J. V. Eakley were in North Bay recently, Mrs. Reg Dundas came back with them for a few days. Miss Joan Dundas and friend also of North Bay were here for a day and Mrs. Dundas returned home with them. Mrs. Fay Manross of Erie, Pa., has also been a guest of her sister, Mrs. Eakley. Mr. and Mrs. Eakley are driving Mrs. Manross home and spending a few days there. Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth Collins visited Mrs. Collins parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Edwards, at Vasey last Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. Harold McClung and Murray went to Galt last Sunday to see Mrs. McClung’s sister, Mrs. Bob Reid, who has been ill. They came home by way of Toronto and called on their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Steve Smutylo and girls. Mr. and Mrs. Earl Lauder and Heather of Edgar were guests of Mrs. Lauder’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. Wood, Mother’s Day. (Got them all connected Sheila?)

Going further back to spring 1932, depression era, and 1832;



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