Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – July 15th to 22nd, 1958

Click on photos to enlarge;

Dedication of the new outdoor chapel at Camp Kitchikewana Sunday, July 13, to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Playfair was almost like an old boys’ reunion, as dozens of former “Kitchi” members turned out for the event. Rev. Len O’Neil of Leamington, camp chaplain, officiated. A portion of the crowd which attended the dedication service at the new chapel is shown. 

New harmony in camp, this new organ will provide music for the new outdoor chapel dedicated to the memory of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Playfair of Midland at ceremonies held at Camp Kitchikewana July 13. New chapel replaces one destroyed by a storm last year. 

   There’s something about the 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay that’s hard to define or to beat. Seen above is a typical scene at Midland YMCA’s Camp Kitchikewana on a recent visitors’ day. Various forms of entertainment are well illustrated in the picture with swimming, diving, canoeing, rowing, and sailing. Or just sitting in the shade, like the couple in the foreground. 

Saturday saw hundreds of North Simcoe Orangemen Collingwood-bound to take in the big July 12 parade. Among the veteran members of Midland lodges who took part were Mr. and Mrs. John Ney and Mrs. Charles Haines, left, in the upper photo. Other members are seen boarding one of several buses for the Collingwood trip. 

Five of the hundreds of the marchers who took part in the July 12 Orange parade in Collingwood Saturday were these five members of the girls’ juvenile lodge of Midland. Left to right are, front row, Heather Crawford, Audrey Hoy, Florence Chapman; back row, Nancy Thayer, Karen Atkinson. 

“Where’s my other shoe?”, asked the little girl on the left as she appeals to Rev. P. E. Sullivan (right background) for help during a picnic at Paradise Point last week. The picnic was a portion of the program carried on by Sacred Heart Church summer school at Port McNicoll during recent weeks. 

Seems that dogs, even as kiddies, must have their “shots” these days, and Sandy was one of the larger specimens that turned up in Midland Wednesday for his anti-rabies vaccination. Elaine Stainton lends moral support, with Dr. T. L. Dale on the business end of the needle. Sandy belongs to J. Stephens of Midland. 

Midland Parks Commission appears to be one step ahead of both the Russians and Americans in space travel. It now has, through the generosity of Midland Y’s Men’s Club, a “manned Sputnik”, shown in the background. In foreground Y’s Men’s Vice-president Cy Ney, Harold Mc Allen, parks superintendent, watch as John Power, chairman of the club’s playground committee, officially turns over the new piece of playground equipment to Wm. Murray, parks commission chairman. At right is Wm. Mutch, Y’s Men’s Club treasurer. Commission hopes other Midland service clubs will emulate the Y’s Men. 

These space aged tads are making full use of the latest gadget for interplanetary (imaginative, that is) travel, the “Sputnik” is located in the playground at Little Lake Park and was donated by Midland Y’s Men’s Club. 

Cafeteria facilities at Martyrs’ Shrine have been greatly improved this year, with sparkling new counter equipment. In lower photo manager Joseph Goetz, right, explains fountain equipment to Fred Cremasco of Guelph, the cashier is Jeanne Sauvé, a brilliant young student from Penetang, now attending U. of T. Setting up wares behind pastry counter, upper photo, are Louise Bellehumeur, Penetang, left, and Marion Lavigne, Midland. 

Eye-filling, as well as creel-filling, was this five-pound, ten-ounce largemouth black bass caught by Bob Gidley Tuesday, July 8. Bob, who lives at 166 William St., Midland, landed the fish (biggest bass he’s ever caught) around 9:30 p.m. at the northeast end of the lake. He was using an artificial lure and a spinning rod at the time. One of the biggest fish caught in Little Lake in some time, Bob will enter it in several contests. 

  • The Free Press Herald headline of July 16th, 1958; Ossossane Group Ired, Urge Beach Parking Ban The “battle of the ditches” being waged on Tiny Township beaches is becoming an increasingly sharp thorn in the side of Tiny council. Cottagers at Ossossane Beach joined in the fray Sunday afternoon when they held an indignation meeting which finally concluded with a resolution to send a delegation to the next meeting of council. Chairman of the group, Mr. Sherry, contended that a road which has been established on the beach in front of their cottages for many years is “not a road for cars”. He displayed a surveyor’s plan which indicated the right-of-way ran to a dead-end near his cottage. “The people below us (Mountainview Beach) have a so-called private beach. They stop cars and have even been reported to have stopped bathers from using their beach. We are forced to take all of the cars, including the filth they leave after them,” Mr. Sherry continued.
  • The County Herald headline of July 18th, 1958; Worst Storm in Years, Park Facilities Hit Hard Termed the most severe electrical storm in years, Tuesday night’s thunderstorm and driving rain kept Midland Public Utilities employees working until the early hours of Wednesday morning to effect repairs. The severe lightning caused power interruptions in all sections of Midland that ran the gamut from momentary dimming of lights to blackouts of nearly two hours’ duration. Probably the hardest hit section in town was Little Lake Park. Parks Superintendent Harold McAllen said the service box in one new cottage was burned out and would have to be replaced; nearly 50 street lights in the park were blown out by the storm. Mr. McAllen said water damage, caused by the heavy rain which accompanied the storm, was severe. Park roads that had been filled and graded before the storm were washed out. One of the major headaches, he explained, was the overflow off Yonge Street which was diverted into the park in a ditch excavated about two years ago by the town’s public works department. The tennis court and property, to the north of it, was covered with six to eight inches of water. Numerous tenters had their bedding and equipment saturated with water and had to be housed in cabins overnight, he said.  The run-off from the ditch also eroded an embankment south of the tennis court. If the surface run-off continues there is every possibility that the tennis court will be undermined and the surface ruined. The sidewalk at the park booth was undermined as well, he stated. The top of one large tree in the ballpark was blown down across the race track, he said.
  • Perfect summer weather and the blue waters of Georgian Bay provided a pleasant setting for the dedication of the new outdoor chapel of Midland YMCA’s Kitchikewana on Beausoleil Island Sunday afternoon. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Playfair, Nancy Playfair unveiled a handsome wooden plaque dedicating the chapel to the memory of her grandparents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Norman Playfair. Also dedicated was a new organ for the chapel, which had been badly wrecked by a windstorm early last year. The organ was a gift made by family and friends in the name of another son, Jack Playfair. The senior Playfairs had played a prominent part in the life of both Camp Kitchikewana and Midland YMCA for many years prior to their passing. Outlining some of the good deeds of Mr. and Mrs. Playfair, camp director J. W. “Win” Smith said the chapel was dedicated to the memory of “two very good friends down through the years.” They had been intensely interested, even before the camp actually came into being, he pointed out. It was Mr. Playfair, he said, who led the YMCA group looking for a campsite to the present site of Kitchikewana. He had come there before Beausoleil Island became a part of the National Park system.
  • Tay Township council has been asked to issue debentures amounting to $30,000 to cover the erection of a new telephone building, purchase a switchboard, improve the lines, and purchase new telephones where needed. The request was made following a meeting of Tay Telephone System in the public school at Victoria Harbour last week. Some 40 subscribers attended the meeting; along with representatives of the Bell Telephone Company and the Ontario Telephone Authority.
  • Midland Citizens’ Band has added new laurels to its star-studded musical crown. At the Orange walk in Collingwood Saturday afternoon, the Midland band won first prize as the best band in the parade. The prize was $10 in cash. The three-mile-long procession was said to be the largest parade North Simcoe has had for July 12 celebrations. More than 120 lodges from southern Ontario centers took part.
  • Drivers of two big trucks must have aged several years in a few seconds on Highway 12 near Victoria Harbour early Tuesday morning. The two big vehicles met and passed in the narrow subway underneath the CPR tracks, about two miles west of the Harbour, where ordinarily two cars have all they can do to pass safely. By skillful driving or good fortune, only minor damage amounting to $40 resulted as the two vehicles touched briefly, then proceeded through the tunnel safely. Each was minus the side mirror on the driver’s side.
  • Two major Midland industries recently have been awarded substantial contracts by the Department of National Defence. Ernst Leitz Canada Limited, world-famed camera and precision instrument manufacturers, have been given a $60,000 contract for further camera work. Midland Foundry and Machine Co. Ltd. received a contract for $17,483 for aircraft servicing equipment. The firm has constructed equipment of this type for the defence department on numerous occasions.
  • Noted author-traveller Ken Wells of Medonte will be interviewed “live” on CBC’s “Tabloid” program at 7 p.m. Friday. CBC crewmen were in Port McNicoll Monday taking pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Wells and their new ship, the “Sea Owl. Later the CBC men shot pictures in other well-known North Simcoe spots for use on the same Tabloid program Friday night. The Wells expect to leave Port McNicoll next Wednesday on the first leg of a tour (down the Trent Water System) that will eventually lead to the Bahamas.
  • More than 800 people from widely scattered towns in Central Ontario converged on Penetang Sunday afternoon when Alcoholics Anonymous staged a family picnic, at the new beach park. With free coffee in the pot throughout the afternoon, grownups contented themselves with chin-wagging, meeting new and old friends, swimming, and entering an occasional contest. Children were kept busy with races and a variety of contests as well as swimming and playing on swings and teeter-totters. A quick count of children present was taken when 250 free ice cream bars were consumed in a single round. Largest contingent other than Midland and Penetang groups, came from Toronto, with 25 separate groups represented. Other groups registering came from Whitby, Peterborough, Lindsay, Elmvale, Meaford, Guelph, Collingwood, Orillia, Barrie, Aurora, Camp Borden, Ajax. Most distant Ontario group came from Sudbury, but the big prize for distance went to a member from Washington, D.C.
  • Jack Hendrickson belted a triple to the deep right-center field at Town Park here Monday night to give Midland Indians a 7-5 win over Stayner Motormen in a Bruce Baseball League contest before a good crowd of fans. Hendrickson’s blow came with the bases loaded, two out, and Indians on the short end of a 4-3 count at the time, in the 6th The win broke a two-game losing streak, longest of the season for coach “Bun” Deschamp’s men.
  • Personals LADIES — Unwanted hair permanently removed. For appointment phone LA. 6-6570. D. Boyce, Electrologist, Yonge St. W., Midland. Ontario — SKINNY MEN, WOMEN! Gain 5, 10, 15 lbs.; new pep. Try Ostrex Tonic Tablets. For body skinny because of appetite impaired by lack of iron. 6-day “get – acquainted” size costs little. Or buy economy size and save 75c. All druggists. — SEE Paintings by Tony Gendron at John McGuire’s Furniture Store, Penetang. On sale at low prices. — REV. A. J. and Mrs. Lewis will be at home to their family and friends at the United Church Parsonage, Penetang, Sunday, July 20, from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9, to mark the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary.
  • COLDWATER — A Fesserton man called on several Coldwater Main Street merchants Saturday afternoon in an effort to sell a live skunk, which he was carrying in a bag. He claimed the animal’s “armament” had been removed. The animal was removed from under a pop cooler, by Joe Barden in the latter’s tobacco store, where it had scampered while the owner gave a sales talk. He wanted $5 for it. The latter draped the skunk around a youth’s neck in the store and later struck out across the road to interview other prospects. Chester Martin firmly declined to negotiate. When the skunk vendor reached Russell’s Corner store, he lost his grip on the sack, which dropped to the sidewalk. As the bag struck the unyielding pavement and opened up, a fog-like mist billowed up from the interior and soon all in the vicinity of the Main Street were thoroughly convinced the skunk was still in full possession of the characteristics provided by nature.
  • 25 Years Ago This WeekA rooster raised by an Orr Lake resident that had been killed for the market was found to have a gold nugget in its crop. A few months previously a gold nugget had been found in the crop of a duck from a farm in the Wyevale area. * * * Two Midland youths who went swimming at the Portage had their clothes and wallets stolen from their car. The thieves gained entry to the locked vehicle by cutting a hole in the roof. * * * A total of 127 properties in Midland were listed in an advertisement for treasurer’s sale of lands for tax arrears. Tax arrears and costs against one property amounted to $5,610. * * * Contracts had been let for paving 10 miles, 10 feet in width, of each of No. 26 and No. 27 highways. Paving on Highway 27 was to be laid from Waverley to Fergusonvale. On 26, the hard surface was to be laid from Stayner to Edenvale. * * * For the first time since the highway had been constructed, a motorcycle officer was patrolling Highway 27 between Midhurst and Penetang. The road to Wasaga Beach was also included in his “beat”. The officer was Ray Hodgson. * * * Five large, privately-owned gasoline and steam driven yachts had made Midland harbour their headquarters for a week. Three of the yachts were owned by Americans. * * * Italian General Balbo’s air armada flew over, Midland on the last leg of their air flight from Italy to the World’s Fair at Chicago. There were 24 planes in the flight.
  • The Ontario Department of Travel and Publicity has prepared some pertinent information for those who are inclined to scoff at the actual value of the tourist industry to the economy of this nation and this province. Reports on 1957 tourism indicate that 1,550,000 cars entered Ontario from the U.S. All told, these approximately 17 million visitors spent an estimated $250 million in the province.
  • At its June meeting, Tay council had directed Clerk Dalton to instruct the owners of four boathouses at the foot of Hazel Street in Waubaushene to have same removed. Waubaushene Chamber of Commerce has advocated the removal of the boathouses off the road allowance to provide boat-launching facilities for residents and tourists.
  • Wednesday, two lads appeared in Juvenile and Family Court, Midland, charged under the Juvenile Delinquents Act with committing an indecent act upon a younger child. Sentencing the offenders, Family and Juvenile Court Judge, Marjorie Hamilton expressed deep concern over the pattern of behavior and the gravity of the offence. Each lad was placed on probation and in addition was ordered to be spanked on his bare buttocks by his father, in the privacy of his home, under the supervision of the officers present in court.
  • Two Canada Steamship Lines freighters, the Hagarty and the Donnacona; have been tied up at the winter berth in Midland for an unknown period, CSL manager in Midland, J. G. Hendrickson said the ships were forced to lay up because of lack of cargoes on the Great Lakes this summer. Mr. Hendrickson said he had not been advised of any further ships being tied up at the moment.
  • As a result of public outcry, at least one large Canadian meat packing firm has adopted more humane methods for hog slaughter. It has installed carbon dioxide equipment which renders hogs unconscious as they pass through a chamber on a conveyor belt. Although the entire operation, from the time the animal enters the chamber until it is slaughtered, takes only 75 seconds, the hog receives sufficient gas to keep it unconscious for six or seven minutes. This seems incongruous in a country that clings to the barbaric custom of the gallows tree as a means of capital punishment for humans.
  • COLDWATER — A double funeral service was held at Robinson funeral home, Coldwater, Wednesday afternoon, for Mr. and Mrs. Frank Athron, Sr., of Waubaushene. Burial was at Coldwater cemetery. The couple died at Waubaushene within two days of each other. Both were in their 79th Mrs. Athron died Sunday and her husband’s death was Tuesday. Immediate survivors are two sons, Denis of Waubaushene and Frank Athron of Toronto, and a daughter, Mrs. Roy Rankin.

   Looking back a bit further to the third week of July 1937. The Midland Free Press prior to the County Herald published a second section that featured the news of Penetang and area. Below are the two headline pages from the 21st of July 1937. Adobe Reader is required to open these attachments and is available free from Adobe online.  

The Midland Free Press_1937-07-21 1

The Midland Free Press_1937-07-21 9

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