Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – June 8th to 15th 1958

Click on photos to enlargeThe winning design in a contest sponsored by Midland Foreman’s Club was submitted by Elizabeth Cowan, Regent Public School pupil. Program chairman Clayton Heath presents a cheque to the winner, while guest speaker Jack Purvis of Orillia watches, during a club dinner in the YMCA Wednesday, May 29. The design will become the official emblem of the Midland club. 

Much work has been carried out behind the scenes in Midland’s water reservoir area just north of Vindin Road. Brush and trees have been cleared over a large area, seen in these photos, which is now several feet deep with water as the new dam is in readiness. Beavers had already built their own dam about opposite the lone pine in the center background of the lower picture. 

Greeting parishioner was one of the first jobs for newly-ordained Rev. Bob Jackson, who preached his first sermon since his ordination last Sunday at St. Paul’s United Church in Midland. A native Midlander, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Jackson. 

Pictured at a reception held Sunday at St. Paul’s United Church, Midland, for newly-ordained Rev. Bob Jackson, right, are Rev. W. R. Auld; left, and former Midlander Alex Docherty, center. Mr. Jackson was ordained in Toronto June 1. 

The handsome new building above is the realization of many years of dreams (and hard work) by the Odd Fellows Lodge in Midland. The building is located on Dominion Ave. West, near the heart of town and close to the old lodge headquarters in the Jeffery Building. Lodge rooms are on the second floor of the new building, which has a public auditorium on the first floor. (The hall was sold this year as membership has declined recently.) (Note the fine home where Jeffery’s Hardware is now located.) 

These women from Sturgeon Bay were among many groups of visitors who visited the new Odd Fellows’ Hall in Midland at its official opening Friday. Seated, left to right, around the table are Mrs. Gilbert Ball, Mrs. W. Wilson, Miss Joyce Ball, Mrs. John Todd and Mrs. T. Duffy. Mrs. William Baker is serving. 

Busy but happy were these members of Ideal Rebekah Lodge, Midland, as they served the hundreds of visitors at the official opening of the new Odd Fellows’ Hall Friday. Among the ladies in the picture are Mrs. Alex Herron, Mrs. Lorne Carruthers, and Mrs. Sid Thompson. 

Dear to the hearts of the ladies, this handsome center table was the center of attraction at the tea table held by Ideal Rebekah Lodge to mark the opening of the Odd Fellows’ Lodge in Midland Friday. Left to right are Mrs. E. B. Smyth, Mrs. Arthur McElroy, Mrs. Jack Argue, Mrs. Wm. Baker and Mrs. George Richardson. 

This brother and sister combination arrived in England by air yesterday and were reunited with a brother and sisters they had not seen since infancy. They are, left, William Goldsmith and Mrs. Charles Hall, the former Ann Goldsmith.

Article by Mrs. Victor Hall – Truth is stranger than fiction, they say. Let me tell you a little human interest story to prove this. It began in merry old England some 80 odd years ago when a blushing young bride took her marriage vows and a new family was established. This couple was blessed with four sons and five daughters. But when the father was still a young man in his forties, tragedy struck the little family. The husband died and his widow was left to struggle to support her growing family, the youngest of which was still a babe in arms. After much heartache and sorrow, the mother decided she would have to give up two of her children. She could take them to Dr. Bernardo’s Home in London. But how could she? Which ones would it be? The older ones could help a little. The two youngest girls were just babies. She would have to keep them with her. Finally, she made her decision. She would take the boy, William, aged seven, and the girl Ann (named after herself); aged five, to the home. They would receive care and perhaps a good foster home. Christmas Eve found the little group, mother, Will, and Ann on the doorstep of the great Barnardo Home in London. With tears streaming down her face and trembling hand the mother reached for the door knocker. The brothers and sisters were separated. A new life began for each of them. In a few years, Will was sent to Canada to a little country place (Allenwood) in Simcoe County. From there he went to Wyevale. One day he heard that a girl named Ann Goldsmith had come from England to Vasey. On the chance that it might be his sister Will took a bicycle and set out for Vasey. It was indeed his sister Ann. Later she went to Wyevale. Will went overseas with the Canadian Army in World War I. Ann married and went to a homestead in Saskatchewan. After the war Will returned to Wyevale, married and raised a family of two boys and two girls. Ann raised a family of three boys and seven girls. Her husband died following a car accident at Chilliwack, B.C., where they were holidaying. In the spring of this year, Will’s wife decided she would try to find out something about the rest of her husband’s family. After several letters of inquiry to the home and to people of Brighton (his birthplace), letters started coming to their Midland home. They had found their family. A brother and sister had died; a brother is in New Zealand, and another brother and three sisters live in Brighton. The brother still lives in the old home where the mother died in 1933, never having heard again of Will and Ann. Ann came to Midland from Saskatchewan. On Monday, June 9, Will, his wife and his sister Ann, took off from Malton airport for Croydon Airport, London, to see their newly discovered family.  This boy and girl, as many in this district will know, are William Goldsmith, and his sister, Ann (Mrs. Charles Hall) of Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan. The Parnell family was the family with whom Will stayed at Wyevale and the Roebuck family raised Ann. 

Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie graduated 26 nurses last week; six from North Simcoe. Here nurses are seen approaching Barrie District North Collegiate, where graduation exercises were held. 

The happy occasion for Nellie Rita Brabant of R.R. 3, Penetang, left, and Frances Eleanor Bracken of Penetang, came last week when they graduated from Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. 

Prize winners at the Royal Victoria Hospital graduation in Barrie last week included two North Simcoe girls. Joy Speers of Elmvale, left, had the highest standing in nurses obstetrical nursing; while Jean Woodrow of Moonstone, at right, won the prize for medical nursing. 

Two Midland girls, Sally Ann Bowman, left, and Joan Marie McEachern, were among the 26 who graduated from Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie Iast Wednesday night. Graduation exercises were held at Barrie North Collegiate. 

Site of Ontario’s first stone quarry, near Port McNicoll, has now been marked by a cairn and plaque. Dr. Wilfrid Jury, noted archaeologist, left, explains the significance of the site to Marjorie Johnston of Brantford and Elizabeth Scantlebury, Toronto. Cairn was unveiled at ceremonies Saturday. 

Brothers-in-law recently formed a partnership in the plumbing and heating contracting firm of Wilson and Bell, at 255 Bay Street, at Second. Mr. Jack Wilson, a long-time Midland resident, bottom photo, spent the past four years with H. J. Thompson and Sons Ltd., while Mr. Bell was with Geo. Price Co. Ltd. in Coldwater for 11 years. The firm will also do oil burner service work. 

Close to tears, managing director Dortha Jackson of the Simcoe County Children’s Aid Society reads her letter of resignation at the CAS board meeting in Barrie last week. Seven board members voted to accept her resignation, four opposed the motion and seven abstained. 

Perfect weather helped Midland Public Schools’ athletes set 11 new records last week. Winners in their various age groups are girls, left to right, Elaine Stainton and Susan Swan, who tied for intermediate honors, Penelope Self, senior, and Nancy Higgs, junior girls’ champ. 

Perfect weather helped Midland Public Schools’ athletes set 11 new records last week. Winners in their various age groups are boy titlists left to right, John Jones, intermediate; Wolfgang Zingel, senior; and Barry McIlravey, junior. 


  • The Free Press Herald headline for June 11, 1958; Find Boat Upset in Bay Owner Search Continues. Late last night, members of the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour were still trying to locate the owner of a capsized boat found floating in Georgian Bay early Sunday morning by Herbert Mailloux of Northwest Basin, opposite Penetang. Sgt. Blake Ball said Monday that Mr. Mailloux found the boat about 6 a.m. Sunday. It was floating upside down midway between Beausoleil Island National Park and the mainland at Pinery Point. Sgt. Ball said the throttle of the 5 1/2 hp. outboard motor was in the open position, indicating the boat may have been in operation when it capsized. A pail was dragging behind the stern, attached by a rope to make a rude sea anchor, used by many fishermen to slow the drift of their craft while trolling. (From the next paper comes this report – Sgt. Blake Ball said yesterday the 14-foot boat apparently belonged to Harry Rosen of Toronto, who has a cottage at Sandy Bay. According to information given to Sgt. Ball, Mr. Rosen and another Toronto friend had to swim a short distance to shore when the craft upset Saturday evening as they returned  from a fishing trip.)
  • The County Herald headline for June 13, 1958; County Levy Shares Cut for Eleven Municipalities; Eleven North Simcoe municipalities will pay a lower percentage of the 1959 county levy if Simcoe County council accepts the report of its county assessor, slated to be discussed in Barrie today. Midland, which paid 7.1972 percent of the 1958 levy, would pay 7.1201 percent of the 1959 levy. Penetang, which paid 2.1459 percent this year, would pay 2.0776 percent next year.
  • Gold and blue government plaques commemorating the Penetanguishene Military and Naval Establishments of the last century will be unveiled at the museum park, Penetang, this Friday afternoon. In conjunction with the unveiling, the museum’s committee is staging its traditional garden party and the Officers’ Quarters Museum will also be officially opened for 1958. At 3 p. m, opposite the Red Dock on the park’s shore road, there will be unveiled the plaque to the Naval Establishment.
  • A verbal slug-fest between Tower TV officials in Midland and CKVR-TV owner Ralph Snelgrove of Barrie continues, pending the CBC Board of Governors’ decision Friday on the Barrie station’s request for a power increase. Commenting on press and TV news reports that officials of the Barrie television station had “ordered” Tower TV to stop distributing its signal, Tower manager L. H. Taylor said yesterday: “We would be most happy if we could do so. Indeed that we cannot is the whole trouble. “We would like nothing better, as would all our subscribers and most private set owners in the entire district, if it were possible, to stop carrying CKVR-TV signal on channels 2, 4 and 5. “If we could eliminate the channel 3 signal from channels 2, 4 and 5 merely by cutting off CKVR-TV on channel 3, we would have done it long ago. The point is that the best equipment commercially available has not been able to eliminate the interference from CKVR TV signals on other channels,” he said.
  • Midland solicitor George S. Dudley, Q.C., is being asked by Midland council to draft two bylaws regulating future subdivisions and sub-dividers in Midland. One bylaw is to specify the requirements which a sub-divider must meet to gain approval of council for the registration of a subdivision plan. The other will prevent owners of large blocks of land in the corporation from selling small lots on the property before the land has been registered as a sub-division.
  • Under the direction of Cecil Dunn employees of the Century Coal Co. have constructed a building to house a much-needed facility for the workmen. The Insul-brick covered building on the coal dock property contains space, where the men may eat their lunch, also available, showers with hot and cold running water.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Four passenger cruise ships of the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company were scheduled to make a total of 25 calls at the port of Midland during the season. * * * Moonstone Presbyterian Church was celebrating its diamond jubilee. One of the events marking the 60th anniversary year was a tree planting ceremony when a number of maples and spruce were planted on the church grounds by members of the congregation. *  *  * Kenneth E. Kidd of the Royal Ontario Museum staff revealed that archaeological excavations at the Ossossane bone pit on the D’Aoust farm near Wyevale would resume July 1. * * * A chick with four legs was hatched at the Girard poultry farm near Penetang Road. Another oddity — three tulips growing on a single stem — was reported by a Midland gardener. * * * Dr. D. McPhee of Port McNicoll and George G. Johnston of Minesing were re-elected to the provincial legislature; Dr. McPhee represented Simcoe East and Mr. Johnston, Simcoe Centre. * * * The four Midland Protestant churches, Anglican, Baptist, United and Presbyterian, and the Salvation Army had completed plans to hold joint Sunday evening services during the summer. * * * Three hopper barges were launched at Midland Shipyard. The barges were built for the French government.
  • The highest honor his church could bestow was accorded former Knox Church, Midland, minister Rev. John McNab, D.D., last week in his election as moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. That he was the unanimous choice of the more than 1,000 delegates attending the sessions of the General Assembly in Toronto, bespeaks the esteem in which he is held as a man, as a churchman and editor of the church’s principal publication for the past 12 years. This newspaper joins in the congratulations being extended to Dr. McNab in this his most “shining hour.”

And from the June 24th, 1897 Midland Free Press, the shipping news of that week.

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