Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – Aug 24th to 31st, 1958

Click on photos to enlarge; 

Citizens from many walks of life were at Knox Presbyterian Church Tuesday to pay their last respects to George Ross, veteran Midland businessman and sportsman who died unexpectedly at the golf club Saturday. The funeral was under Masonic auspices. 

Born at Hardwood on Rice Lake, Ontario, the eldest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Ross, he moved to Midland with his family at an early age. He received his elementary and secondary school education at Midland. Following his graduation from high school, Mr. Ross apprenticed to Midland druggist J. S. Fraleigh in 1909; completed his apprenticeship with W. J. Kent in Peterborough, and enrolled at the Ontario College of Pharmacy, graduating with honors in the 1913-14 class, receiving his degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy in 1914. That same year he served with Wm. B. Riker and during his years in business, he saw the transition of the drug store to a department store type of business. He also saw the changes in public buying habits from the days when customers bought a supply of herbs and mixed their own medicines, to the modem day demand for nationally advertised remedies. He served on Midland council two years, was one of the founders of Midland Chamber of Commerce and served as its president for 20 years, was president of the Arena Gardens Company which up until a few years ago operated the town’s hockey rink, was instrumental in having large American passenger liners make Midland a port of call, was a director of Midland Boat Works and Honey Harbour Navigation Company. A member of Knox Presbyterian Church he was chairman of the church’s board of managers and was a charter member of the Midland Kiwanis Club and Midland Curling Club. He was also a past president of Midland Shrine Club and served many years as Potentate’s Aide, Rameses Shrine Temple, Toronto. In his early years, Mr. Ross played on the defence for the Midland Junior OHA team, was a forward on the senior basketball team and pitcher on the high school baseball team. He also played hockey and football with the Ontario College of Pharmacy team and hockey while he worked In Peterborough. In later years his favourite sports were golf, fishing, and hunting. Besides his wife the former Ida Baker of Port Elgin, he is survived by a sister, Mrs. R. R. Wilson and a niece, Margaret Wilson both of Midland, a brother, Andrew of Chicago predeceased him 12 years ago. Funeral service, under Masonic auspices, was held in Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, at 2 p.m., Tuesday. Dr. John McNab moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and a former minister at Knox conducted the service. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery, Midland. 

N. Larose (Wilf), manager of Roxy Theatre and the Midland Drive-in, right, presents a copy of “Moses and Egypt” to Don Swinson, vice-chairman of Midland Library Board. The book was published by University of Southern California Press, and is the story of the research done in preparing the movie, “The Ten Commandments”. 

A cheque for $250 from Branch 80, Canadian Legion, Midland, brings a smile of appreciation from Gordon Moss, chairman of St. Andrews Hospital Board. Presented by Legion President Charles Scott, right, the cheque is the third given by Branch 80. They total $1,000.

A souvenir to take back to Toronto with him prompts a happy grin from John Mulvihill. He caught the five-pound, 12-ounce largemouth black bass while surface fishing at Little Lake Saturday night. 

Everybody helps at harvest time, on Tay Township farms as elsewhere. Above, Mrs. John Isaac drives the tractor while her husband (on the wagon) and her father-in-law, Elmer Isaac, gather up-the last sheaves of oats and barley, in this field on their Con. 3, Tay, farm. Meanwhile, Rover goes in search of a few field mice. 

The thrill of a lifetime for Lorne Fenton, son of Mr. & Mrs. Roy (Eunice) Fenton, Midland came on his 11th birthday Tuesday when he got a chance to make like Casey Jones on the engineer’s seat of the Midland-Orillia afternoon train. It was Lorne’s first ride on a train, much less the engine. With him is fireman George Watson. 

First train trip “Hmm, so this is a train,” mused these youngsters as they set out Tuesday for what was their first train ride, from Midland to Orillia. The occasion of the picnic was the 11th birthday of Lorne Fenton, top right, and other children, from bottom to top, are Ruth Davidson, Craig Davidson, Ann Davidson and Bruce Henderson. 

Buckled timber can be seen beneath the bridge over the creek which joins Tee Lake and the Severn River (Just east of the marine railway). The driver of the heavy truck which caused the accident was heading for Elliot Lake, but became lost and ended up on the Severn Falls Road. 

Repair crew rushed from Waubaushene Lumber Co. Friday morning made temporary repairs to the Tee Lake bridge after a heavy tank truck caved in the main supporting timber. Provincial member Lloyd Letherby of Coldwater, at right in light shirt, talks over the situation with workmen. (If you haven’t travelled this road in a while consider the trip from Hwy 400 around to Coldwater in your fall colours itinerary, the road is much improved recently.) 

Plans announced this week by Alvin Gropp, chairman of the committee in charge of completing the Penetang arena, indicate an ambitious piece of work, which should provide the town with winter ice facilities second to none in a community of this size. According” to the chairman, work includes completion of the building both inside and out, as well as the installation of an artificial ice plant and heating system. Work planned for the building itself includes adding a 45-foot canopy over the entrance, installation of large double swinging doors, and finishing the front elevation with a stucco surface. With the plan calling for use of the building and ice surface by curlers, the interior work will include a considerable amount of construction. Complete dressing room facilities will be built inside as well as washrooms, and office space. A snack bar is planned which will be capable of turning out complete meals when required. Seating capacity installed last year on the north side is to be increased to accommodate 500 people. South side of the ice surface will be left bare as at present with the exception of a concrete floor for standing room patrons. A large mezzanine floor is to be built across the entire front of the building and extending out to the ice surface. This will provide space for a club room and lounge for the curlers. It will have a 45-foot glass wall in the front providing for a view of the curlers on the ice. The glassed area will be built several feet out from the rest of the floor. Provision is being made to serve meals, to patrons at tables and chairs. If sufficient funds are available lockers and a washroom will be installed in the one end of this floor. As the second floor is to be available to members of the curling club only, an outside stairway and entrance will be added. The chairman said a heating plant will be installed capable of heating all dressing rooms, office, snack bar, and the curling club quarters. This plant will be installed, along with the ice machinery in a new section of the building to be erected on the south side. 

Gay decorations greeted the more than 250 guests who gathered on adjoining lawns to witness the unveiling ceremony, sponsored by the village council. Chairman was clerk Chester Martin, and Reeve Lawrence Devine welcomed visitors. 

“Present mill owner C. H. Eplett, centre, with descendants of Indians who were herded out of the area soon after the mill was built for them. Smiling braves are Abraham King, Leo Norton.”


  • The Free Press Herald headline of August 27th, 1958; To Expand Park Facilities in Move to Increase Revenue. An efficiency move, now being studied by Midland Parks Commission, will see Little Lake Park’s trailer and cottage facilities expanded. Although complete details have not yet been decided on, Mr. Murray said between three and five of the new-type cottages would be built next spring and the existing trailer camp facilities extended and equipped with electric lights and outlets and water mains. The section to be developed is in the north and northwesterly area. To make room for the proposed new cottages and trailer site nearly all of the small cabins now in what is known as the cottage area will be removed and sold. These cabins, and those in the back row, about 26 in number, are among the original ones built in the park. As well as being old and substandard the revenue derived from the 26 cabins does not warrant their continued maintenance. When Superintendent McAllen informed the commission that he had been forced to turn away many trailers this season it was decided to expand this section, the chairman stated. As most of the trailer guests stay all season causing little or no maintenance for the parks department, it was felt more revenue would be derived from them than from the small outmoded cabins. Even with the removal of the 26, 54 small cabins will still remain in the park, as well as the 24 large cottages, he said. Long-range plans of the commission call for the removal of all the small cabins.
  • The County Herald headline of August 29th, 1958; Expect Influx of 4,000 for Three Day Regatta. The regatta is the brainchild of Cliff Thomson an executive of the Avro Co. at Malton, who owns a summer cottage at Highland Point. The event is being run under the guidance of Avro Marine Club. Included in the program are boat races, swimming contests, water skiing contests. Plans call for water sliding demonstrations including double and single skis, doubles and pyramids, team skiing and barefoot skiing. With an eye to safety, arrangements have been made to have demonstrations of the correct handling of boats and motors by manufactures. A large group of Indians from Christian Island will be present, in full tribal dress, racing their trick canoes, and providing other entertainment.
  • Residents of this area who heard what they believed were big explosions Saturday afternoon, were actually listening to Canada’s newest aircraft, the CF 105, breaking the sound barrier. Official sources say the “Arrow,” as the jet aircraft is known, was flying tests over our area during the weekend. The sonic booms are said to have come when the machine was at a height of approximately 50,000 feet. Reports that a “Sputnik” or satellite was seen over Midland during the evening hours toward the end of last week, probably came from flights of the new aircraft. The great speeds which it is supposed to attain would mean it would pass quickly from the vision of persons sighting it in the air. The altitude at which it flies would deaden the sound of jet exhausts.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – M. J. Bray and Frank Cook of Midland entered flowers in the Ontario Gladioli Society show in Toronto. Mr. Bray with nine entries won five firsts, three seconds and a third. Mr. Cook won a first and a second. * * * Fire, believed to have been caused by defective wiring, swept through the main auditorium of the Ontario Hospital at Orillia. Damage was estimated at $20,000. * * * The Cleveland and Buffalo steamer Seeandbee arrived at Midland with 451 passengers on board. The ship was met by Midland civic officials, the Midland town band, and fire brigade. Stores along the business section were festooned with flags. * * * The Workers’ Association of Midland had made plans for a big Labour Day celebration at Little Lake Park. Included in the program was a parade of floats, a track and field sports, costume contests and a dance at night. * * * A Midland youth, Frank DuBray, won the across-the-bay swim sponsored by Barrie Kiwanis Club. * * * Under new regulations of the Ontario Department of Game and Fisheries, all residents of Ontario had to have a licence to carry firearms for hunting or shooting. * * * Fire swept through the lumber yard of the McGibbon Lumber Co, of Penetang and consumed the firm’s entire stock of hardwood. Firemen were handicapped in fighting the blaze owing to lack of water.
  • Lloyd Letherby, MPP for Simcoe East, said this week he had received assurance that the Department of Highways is likely to go ahead with the Coldwater bypass in the fall. The extension of Highway 400 passes the village outskirts. It is now expected the extension will be continued past Coldwater to Gravenhurst, by a direct route. Mr. Letherby also announced that two-lane Highway 11 from Crown Hill to Washago will soon be enlarged to four lanes, adding a third lane had at first been contemplated.
  • For the first time since it entered the competitions ten years ago, Midland Citizens Band yesterday won first-place honours at the Canadian National Exhibition band music contest. The Midland bandsmen defeated two other strong contenders for the crown, Metropolitan Band Toronto, and Orillia Silver Band.
  • That big win so necessary to get a club off on the right foot in a title playoff series came up for Midland Indians at the town park diamond Saturday night as they threw a 5-0 shutout at Stayner Motormen. The game was the opener of a best-of-seven final set for the Bruce Baseball League crown with the triumph for coach “Bun” Deschamp’s Braves giving them a much-needed margin to work on for the return trek to Stayner for their second meeting slated for last night. Deschamp’s Dandies said it with equal effectiveness for pitches and hits in applying the Kalsomine (whitewash) brush to Stayner’s hopes for a series opener victory here Saturday. Dyment, in going the full 9-inning route, was working on a brilliant one-hit effort over the first seven chapters. A high spot in his sharp clutch pitching chore came in the fifth as he closed the scoring door abruptly on the Motormen with a runner on third and none out.
  • Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception convent will have a new sister superior and pupils of St. Mary’s Separate School will have a new principal this year. She is Sister Mary Bernadette, a native of Ottawa, who taught in Midland’s Sacred Heart School when it was first opened. A specialist in kindergarten work, Sister Mary Bernadette also taught school in the Dominican Republic for seven years. She came to Midland from Our Lady’s High School in Pembroke where she had taught for 21 years. She succeeds Sister Frances Matthew who has gone to Sault Ste. Marie to open the new St. Anne’s School. Sister Frances Matthew had been in Midland for six years. Other teachers at St. Mary’s are Mrs. Buttineau, Sister Mary Imelda, and two new student teachers, Joseph Lalonde and Paul Henderson, both of Midland.
  • Ken J. Ellis of Midland, public school inspector for Simcoe Inspectorate No. 1, has 55 public schools and 109 teachers and principals under his jurisdiction. Of this total 47 are rural schools of one, two and three rooms. Fifty-four teachers provide the instruction in the schools. Pupils attending the eight urban schools in the inspectorate are taught by 55 teachers and principals. In Flos Township there are 15 schools and 17 teachers; Medonte, 12 schools, and 14 teachers; Tay, 11 schools, and 15 teachers; Tiny, seven schools and eight teachers. Coldwater Public School has a teaching staff of five; Elmvale, four; Parkview, Midland, 10; Regent, 17; Sixth Street, six; Penetanguishene Protestant Separate School, seven; Port McNicoll, five; and Victoria Harbour, two. Thirteen of the teachers in the inspectorate have homes in Elmvale or the Elmvale area, and 11 reside in Coldwater or Coldwater R.R. Inspector Ellis came to Midland from Owen Sound, where he was principal of Victoria Public School, in 1954. He succeeded J. Gibson of Orillia who was transferred to Weston.
  • Sacred Heart Separate School Midland, will have two new student teachers on its staff when the fall term commences Tuesday, Sept. They are Gail Grant and Phillip Pilon, both of Midland. Both will be teaching junior grades. The principal of the school is Sister Mary Ruth of the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception from Pembroke, a member of the Midland convent of the order. Other Sacred Heart teachers are Sister St. Barbara, Mrs. Ernie Bourrie, Mrs. Margaret Fallon; Phelpston, Mrs. Veronica Lindale, Sister Mary Rose and Guy Johnstone.
  • A brief history of the Georgian Queen received as a letter to the editor from W. R. Murray.; Dear Editor: The steel single-screw steamer Murray Stewart, official No. 138,848, was built and registered at Port Arthur in 1918 for the Minister of Marine. Her length was 119 feet, width 26 feet, depth 15 feet 9 inches gross tonnage She had two Scotch boilers and a triple expansion engine and carried a crew of fifteen under Capt. Patchell and Chief Engineer Smallwood, both of Midland. She was used as a lighthouse tender on Lake Superior, and Georgian Bay, and was built with a deck crane for handling navigation buoys. She wintered each year at Sault Ste. Marie. After the outbreak of World War II, she unloaded all her equipment at Blind River and was taken to Halifax to be used in naval service. After World War II she returned to the Great Lakes and is now tied up at Midland shipyard, owned by the Waubaushene Navigation Co., who removed her engine and boilers, expecting to install a diesel motor but this has not yet been done due to slackness in the demands of business. Her name has been changed to David Richard. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s