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

The contents of this blog come entirely from the Huronia Museum’s archive of Midland Free Press original newspapers, which have been preserved on microfilm, and the museum’s collection of Free Press negatives which date from 1954. Most of the images can be enlarged by left clicking on them, then using the “back” button to return to normal viewing.

A quick way to find people in these posts is to use your browser, search for “the name plus Huronia Museum”,  for example, “Bud Todd Huronia Museum”

The museum is interested in collecting the given and maiden names of the women in the photos and would appreciate any positive identification you can provide. We hope you enjoy these glimpses at our shared past.

 Two captains, Bobby Delorme and Peter Dubeau helped the Pittsburgh “B” team in the AHL section of Penetang’s Little NHL to emerge as champions. Kneeling, Jim Mason, Richard Lalonde; standing, left to right, front, Eddie Svoboda, Terry Lapere, Bobby Klug, Stan Gascagnette; middle row, Richard Duval, Alvin Dupuis, John Marchand, Ken Popple, Norbert Lortie, Danny Beaudoin; Coach Murray Dubeau. 

Brian Dubeau, the captain, proudly displays the trophy won by himself and mates in the NHL section of Penetang’s Little League. Left to right, front, Jim Martin, Ian Dick, Brian Dubeau, Bert Mason, Ernie Cascagnette; middle row, Maurice Lacroix, Paul Maher, Venard Desroches, Lawrence Hamelin, Andre Cascagnette; back row, Richard Quesnelle, Bro. Donald, Martin Robillard, Jacques Vallee. 

Captain Mike Dubeau, seated, holds the trophy won by Syracuse “A” and presented at Penetang’s Little NHL trophy banquet, last week. His teammates are, left to right, front John Quesnelle, Ron Parent, Larry Desjardins, Nicky Duval; middle row, James Quesnelle, Art Desroches, Paul Solmes, Richard Secord, Bill Lepage; back row, Danny Ladouceur, Bro. Donald, Ron Dupuis. 

Trophy, emblematic of the championship of Georgian Bay District Little NHL, was presented to “Buster’ Somers, right, by Mayor A. B. Thompson when the Penetang League held its trophy banquet Monday, May 26. 

Peterborough Junior A champions of Penetang Little NHL are shown with their trophy and crests. Left to right, front: Martin Tannahill, Donald Tannahill, Bill Couling, Jim Peden, John Gignac, Patrick Latour, Nelson Leroux, Leo Vallee. Back row, Wayne Howell, Sydney Duval, David Scott, Allan Robillard. Jerome Gignac, Little NHL president, substituted for the regular coach, Bro. Raynal. 

Penetang All-Stars of the Little NHL league, who were edged out of provincial competition at Whitby are shown with trophies received at a banquet held last week. Left to right, front, Terry Timmins, Jim Pollard, Bill Lepage, Art Desroches, Mike Dubeau, Paul Solmes; second row Bob Delorme, Peter Dubeau, Doug Scott, David Zwicker, Paul DeVillers, Peter Berry; back row, Mike Borsa, Joe Somers coach, Ronny Dupuis.  Pete Emery contributed the cost of engraving all trophies.


Newly designed letters were awarded top athletes at the athletic banquet held at Midland-Penetang District High School Tuesday night. Girls who won their coveted M-P’s were, left to right, Ellen Barber, Jean Lethbridge, Elizabeth Cook, Anne Maher, Pamela Perkins, Bev Scott and Anne Hamilton. 

Winning a school “letter” is always a thrill for any young athlete. The lads above were awarded theirs at the annual MPDHS athletic banquet May 22. Left to right are, front row, Ron Marchildon, Frank Okenka, John Dubeau, Ken Mackie; back row, Joe Huston, Lloyd Farquhar, Ron Blair, Bill Offord, Doug Setterington. 

Three girls and three boys above were presented with trophies at the annual MPDHS athletic banquet. They were the winners in their respective age divisions in the school’s track and field meet last fall. Left to right are, Lynn McAllen, Ellen Barber, Nancy Somers, Ron Blair, Bruce Bowen and Tony Moffatt. 

Top athletes at MPDHS were honored at the annual athletic banquet last week. Faye Swann is congratulated by her coach, Miss Dorothy Enright, after being named the school’s top girl athlete for 1957-58. 

Top athletes at MPDHS were honored at the annual athletic banquet last week. Bob Megaw (Bob looks the same today, someone is taking good care of him.) is seen receiving Olympic Sporting Goods trophy from John Power. 

Named most valuable player on MPDHS senior basketball squad last season, Lloyd Farquhar, right, is congratulated by W. C. Setterington, director of athletics at the school. Lloyd won the Ray Oakley Memorial Trophy, which honors a former Midland high school student who was killed in the Second World War. 

Fore-runner of the present-day “Viewmaster”, the old stereoscopes provided lots of fun in the “good old days”. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Clayton got a big kick looking over this old set, one of the many items on the list at the auction sale sponsored by St. Mark’s Laymen’s Association at the curling rink Saturday. 

There were hundreds of items, ranging from old pianos to kiddy cars, eagerly gobbled up at the auction sale held by St. Mark’s Laymen’s Association in the Midland Curling Rink Saturday. Barbara Deschambault of R. R. 2, Penetang, tries out one of the pianos for her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Antoine Deschambault . Proceeds from the sale will be used by the association for charitable and other church work. 

Marianne Lenchuk, Miss Toronto of 1957, left, and Judy Welch, Miss Maple Leaf Canada and Miss Toronto 1956, were among the group of Toronto model’s who greeted shoppers in the IGA last Friday night. Miss Lenchuk was in Midland last year as Miss Florida Orange. Miss Welch is starring in Canada’s first feature-length movie.

 Soft-hearted painter, Jack Puddicombe of Midland, working on a house at 133 Hugel Avenue East last week, left his work undone when he encountered a robin hatching her eggs. Here he paints gingerly around the nest watched by the worried mother.

Visitors at the ‘open house’ at St. Theresa’s High School in Midland last Sunday included some potential students and their parents. Seen in the partially-completed auditorium of the new school on Dominion Ave. are, left to right, Mr. and Mrs. Martial Moreau, Bill Knicely and Mr. and Mrs. J. Knicely. In front is David Knicely, 4. (the official opening is in October)

Poised and ready to make music are these Grade 1 pupils of Port McNicoll Public School. Taking part in the spring concert last Tuesday night were; Gerry Garrett, Norma Valcheff, and Marty Smith. 

Sgt. John Clark of Port McNicoll, right, was awarded a citation for “exceptional and outstanding service furthering the work of the St. John Ambulance Corps”. Port McNicoll public school principal Lyall Thorpe made the presentation at the school’s spring music concert last week. 

Meat in the menu was the subject of the 4-H Club Achievement Day in Elmvale, May 24. Pretty Gloria Luck of Minesing explains the making of savory dishes for leftover meat to a Toronto visitor, three-year-old Kimberley Anne Young. 

MPDHS staged its own fashion show last week, a large crowd of parents and friends attending. Among the young models and their escorts taking part were, John Moreau, Rosemary Shiels, Ken MacEachern, Karen Robinson, Janice Edwards and Gary Crowe. 

Two lovely young ladies above and their handsome escorts were part of the fashion-show held by students of Midland-Penetang District High School last week. Left to right are Ed Trudeau, Shirley King, Judy Bellaire and Dave Bertrand. 

District shield for pack achievement was awarded to the Second Penetang Wolf Cub Pack last week. Cubmaster Robert Martin left, is shown receiving the shield from District Commissioner Harvey Boyd. The Scout award went to Third Midland Troop and Scoutmaster Jack Brownlee, for patrol system and efficiency. 

“The oldest hat in our community” was the roll call at the North Simcoe W. I. convention at North River last Thursday. Modelling the creations are left to right, front row; Mrs. Clarence Walker of Eady, Mrs. Sam Elliott of Grenard and Mrs. Currie Bell of Waubaushene; back row; Mrs. Kent Dunlop of Moonstone, Mrs. J. R. Cook of Jarratt and Mrs. Clifford Wells of Coulson. 

All dressed up for the ninth annual meeting of North Simcoe Women’s Institutes at North River last Thursday, were these three members. Sporting historical headgear are Mrs. Ted Archer of North River, left, and Mrs. Walter Bannan, right; flanking Mrs. Murray Johnston of Coldwater Jr. Branch who wears a sari brought from Ceylon by the guest speaker, Mrs. Gordon Maynard. 

Low water in Georgian Bay, in common with other portions of the Great Lakes, has made things difficult for small-boat owners. Members of the Grandview Beach Cottagers’ Association near Port McNicoll; hired bulldozer (seen in water) to dig a new “harbour” for their craft. Docks will be installed later.

The computers of the day!

 An irony that has happened occasionally since we started this weekly post is the announcement of a birth or a wedding of someone who has died in the same week 60 years later. Donna Kinnear died on May 26, 2018.


  • The Midland Free Press headline from June 4th, 1958; Rate Increased 6-8 Mills For Penetang Ratepayers. Despite an overall decrease of almost $10,500 in levies for educational costs for 1958, Penetang homeowners will find an increase of from six to eight mills in their taxes for the year. An amount of $25,000, added to the budget to cover a portion of the $35,000 deficit in the town’s finances eats up the educational savings and accounts for the difference. Clerk-treasurer W. H. Hewson threw a bombshell into the budget meeting of Penetang council Thursday night when he stated the town’s, accumulated deficit was slightly more than $35,000, as recorded in the auditors’ statement. Council was faced with a 1956 deficit of $20,000 and last year had budgeted to cover one-half the amount. Council had anticipated wiping out the remainder this year. However, an additional $25,000 deficit was incurred in the 1957 operation. Penetang council, after reviewing required expenditures for the current year, has set a total budget of $190,000, for all purposes. Of this amount, taxpayers will be required to foot the bill for slightly more than $140,000. The remainder of the money to be spent will come from municipal revenues such as fines and gravel sales, and from government grants.
  • The County Herald headline from June 6, 1958; To Resurface Highway 12, Call Bids for 11 Mile Area. Sections of the highway to be resurfaced were patched by Highways Department employees earlier this spring. About two years ago, extensive cutting and grading operations and a resurfacing program were carried out on Highway 12 between Midland and Waubaushene. The work was scheduled for completion in July 1958. Work is also underway on sections of the Trans-Canada Highway link between Highway 400 and Coldwater.
  • A veteran Midland mariner, Capt. Frank Harpell, is master of the newest member of Canada’s Great Lakes fleet. Launched at Port Weller dry dock Saturday, the SS Frank E. Sherman is said to be the third largest bulk carrier on the lakes. Capt. Harpell will be its first master and George Miller of Toronto its first chief engineer.
  • Three hundred years’ ago French and Hurons under the watchful supervision of the Jesuit Fathers quarried stone at Paradise Point in Port McNicoll to build Fort Ste. Marie I. Once quarried the stone was transported by canoe along the shoreline to the mouth of the Wye and up the river to the present site. On Saturday, June 7, a cairn and plaque commemorating what undoubtedly was Ontario’s first major construction project will be unveiled at the site where the stone was quarried at Paradise Point.
  • Two former Midlanders, Bob Jackson, and Clinton Albert Brittain, were ordained into the United Church ministry in St. Andrew’s United Church, Bloor Street, Toronto, Sunday. Bob is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Jackson and will preach his first sermon since ordination in St. Paul’s Midland, this Sunday. A graduate of Midland public and high schools, Mr. Jackson obtained his B.A. at Mount Alison, Sackville, N.B., and his B.D. at Pinehill Theological Seminary, Halifax, N.S., where he graduated this spring. Mr. Jackson will return to Nova Scotia to take charge of a congregation. Mr. Brittain served with the YMCA for some years prior to embarking on a career in the ministry. He studied theology at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bumstead of Midland. The two former Midlanders were among 19 ordained June 1.
  • A hitting powerhouse or just another club reveling in a strictly “hitters league?” That’s the question confronting supporters of this year’s edition of Midland Indians in the Bruce Baseball League following the Tribe’s overwhelming 18 – 8 conquest of Orillia Terriers at the town park diamond on Monday evening. Adding weight to the hitting theme as coach ”Bun” Deschamp’s Braves stretched their undefeated skein to three games atop the loop standing is their amazing total of 47 runs scored in the trio of triumphs. Or an average of nearly 16 runs per game, top-line production in any league, bush or otherwise.
  • One of the oldest softball loops in the County, the Rural League gets underway this week with six teams in the fold. Last year’s champs, Sturgeon Bay are back to defend their title against Elmvale, Vasey, Allenwood, Wyebridge and Victoria Harbour. Games will be played on Tuesday and Saturday nights. The schedule got underway last night with Allenwood visiting Elmvale. Saturday’s games send Elmvale to Sturgeon Bay and Wyebridge against Allenwood at the Elmvale park.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week 1923 – With help from citizens, the village fire truck and district farmers, Coldwater Police Chief Woon captured three robbers who broke into Haskell’s store. The trio jumped the chief and a companion; when they were caught in the act. One was subdued after a fight outside the building and the others were captured in the woods near Medonte station. * * * A Salt Lake City, Utah, man, who was given a five-day jail term for failing to support his wife, was permitted to serve his sentence on the installment plan. If he had been forced to serve the sentence all-at-one-time, he would have lost his job, so the magistrate consented to his serving the sentence in weekend installments. * * * Canada, with 1,114,503 registered motor vehicles, ranked fourth in world countries, in the number of vehicles per person. In 1923, a report showed the country had one motor vehicle for every 9.4 persons. * * * Charles Vent, worshipful master of Caledonian Lodge, Midland, extended a welcome to representatives of 62 Ontario councils Knights of Columbus, who were holding their state convention at Martyrs Shrine.  Welcome on behalf of the town was extended by Mayor J. B. Roebuck. * * * Members of WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) chapters in Simcoe County and Muskoka and Parry Sound districts attended a two-day convention in St. Paul’s, United Church. Midland. President was Mrs. John Rosborough of Waubaushene. * * * Sixty Trail Rangers from United Churches in Coldwater, Orillia, Penetanguishene, Port McNicoll and Victoria Harbour attended a sports day and outing at Little Lake Park, Midland.
  • Obituaries Mrs. Stephanie Desroches of Lafontaine died May 14 Penetang General Hospital, following a stroke. Rev. Thomas Marchildon conducted the funeral service held May 17 at St. Croix Church in Lafontaine. Pallbearers were; four nephews; Ovila, Donat, Paul and Joseph Desroches, and two grandchildren, Henri and Edmond Desroches. Mrs. Desroches was born Nov. 1, 1880, in Perkinsfield, where she received her education; and it was there she and Edmond Desroches were married, Jan. 20, 1902. She spent her married life on a farm in the 17th Concession of Tiny near Lafontaine, and then moved into a small home in the village for 14 years. For the past five years she had boarded in the same village with Mrs. Arthur. A member of the Roman Catholic Church, she was for many years an active member of the Ladies of. St. Ann’s League. Predeceased by her husband six years ago, she leaves three sons; Leo of Toronto, Robert of Midland and Lawrence of Lafontaine. Also surviving are a sister, Mrs. Léger Parent of Perkinsfield, and a brother, George Dault of Toronto; 20 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. * * *  Joseph Albert Belfry, a resident of this district all his life, died May 19 at St. Andrews Hospital following a stroke. He was 88. Born March 11, 1870, at Vasey, Mr. Belfry was educated there. On Dec. 26, 1898, he married Martha Maude Ney at Midland. He had resided 30 years near Victoria Harbour on a farm and 35 years at Midland, where he had been employed for 10 years at Little Lake Park, where he was in charge of the boats. He had been retired for 14 years. A member of the United Church, he was a member of LOL No. 947 for more than 70 years and had been given a life membership. Surviving are his wife, who has been an invalid for the past four years, son Eldon of Midland, daughter Hazel (Mrs. S. McDonald) of Vasey. One son, Everton, predeceased him 10 years ago. Also surviving are five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one brother, Andrew of Victoria Harbour.  Funeral service was held May 21 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home. Interment was in Lakeview Cemetery; Rev. W. R. Auld conducted the service. Pallbearers were Karl Hughes, Jack Mann, Donald Belfry, Clifford Newburn, Ellsworth Collins and Edward Collins. * * * Vasey-born Wallace W. Brown died in a Saskatoon hospital May 17. A pioneer resident of the Hughton district, he was 74. Mr. Brown moved West in 1906 homesteading the Hughton district in 1908 where he had resided since. He is survived by his wife the former Anna Geneva Warden whom he married In 1919, and six sons and one daughter: Bruce, Douglas K, Ralph, Glen W, all of Hughton, Carl L, and Lorne A, of Saskatoon and (Jenn) Mrs. Howard Wagar of Hughton. A brother, Roy E. Brown resides in Elrose and there are two sisters, Mrs. Oda Todd of Toronto and (Ada) Mrs. W. Searl of Midland.

A page from our past, August 1918, one hundred years ago.





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