Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – October 16th to 22nd, 1958

Click on photos to enlarge; Honey Harbour was the site of the Teachers’ Institute for Simcoe No. 1 Inspectorate convention on Oct. 3. Official representatives are, left to right, Miss Thelma Sovey of Port McNicoll, Jack Yelland of Midland, Mrs. Ada Leonard of Waverley, Mrs. Lillian Hall of Wyevale, Mrs. Dorothy Edwards of Vasey and Mrs. Gertrude Cronin of Waubaushene. 

Students of MPDHS are hoping for another great year on the football field following last year’s successes. Seen above is the junior squad, with Principal L. M. Johnston and coach W. E. Kennedy seated in front. Players are, left to right, front row — Bob Popple, John Bonnin, Keith Cleary, Ken Ball, Jim McKinnon, Sandy Campbell; centre row — John Dubeau, Bill Binkley, Bob Rawson, Dennis Larmand, Ben Archer, Brian Dubeau, Ron Marchildon, Bill Swann; back row — Fred McElroy, Doug Setterington, Christian Rebhan, Dave Stainton, Dalfred Gouett, Eudger LeClair, John Gignac, Don Squire; missing — Frank Wice, Bill Atkinson. 

A retired Toronto Transit streetcar on the highway to Honey Harbour. The photo was used on the front cover of the second section of the October 15th, 1958 Free Press Herald with the caption “Not Desire”. (A familiar landmark to those who drove the Honey Harbour road) 

Present as a guard of honor for James Cardinal McGuigan when he visited Midland recently to bless the new St. Theresa’s High School were these Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus members. Knights are Jerome Gignac, Bernard LeClair, Ray Lesperance, Joseph Desroches, Laval Dubeau, and Maynard Thiffault. 

Veteran local mail carrier W. R. Stainton at work. In reporting to parliament this year, the Hon. William Hamilton Postmaster General indicated that some 600,000 householders are now served by five thousand rural routes and that more than 37 million miles are travelled annually by the R.R. couriers. He also stated that more than 4,000 group mailboxes now accommodate 40,000 patrons. (If you zoom in on the second photo you can read the familiar names of customers south of Midland on Mr. Stainton’s route.) 

Easter Lily, owned by Mrs. Mike Pinkert, Bay Street, Midland, may have got its seasons crossed. At any rate, it was in full bloom on Thanksgiving. Mrs. Pinkert and her 18-month-old grandson, Jimmy Woolley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Woolley, Midland, are shown examining the plant. It bloomed at Easter, was transplanted June 13, and now has three blooms on it and a bud ready to burst. 

Seen above is the start of the final heat at Orr Lake race track Monday, in which a Dundalk horse named Ambitious romped home first, only a second off the track record. A large crowd of fans was on hand for the first Thanksgiving Day harness meet in three years. 

Speaking at a dinner meeting Friday night of Fort Penetanguishene Museum Committee, Dr. W. W. Jury lovingly patted this 300-year old cannon and called it “The most prized possession we have in our museum.” The military piece was brought from France and lay buried for many years on Christian Island. 

Three hundred Bibles were distributed to Protestant students at Midland – Penetanguishene District High School October 10 by the Gideon’s. Surrounding the stack of Bibles are Ed Webster of Penetang, Carl Harvey of Washago, representing the Gideons, Rev. Ralph Wright of Midland, MPDHS Principal Lorne Johnston, Rev. J. L. Self, Midland, Rev. Lloyd J. Delaney, Midland, Rev. Beverley Brightling, Penetang, and Rev. Wilson Morden, Midland. 

The Huronia Handgun Club had its official opening shoot Thursday night, Oct. 2. Officers are, front row left to right; range officer Bud Preston, president John Power, secretary-treasurer Betty Abram; back row, director C. P. O’Dale, range officers, Pete Abram, and Horst Haseneier. Absent are vice-president, John Magnus, and range officer, Bill Mohan. 

Believed to be the first time in history, women of Christian Island bestowed an Indian name on Mrs. C. J. Thomson, third from left. She is shown here surrounded by the group who performed a tribal dance around her after giving her the name of “Min-Waz-Ka-Qua”, which means “Lady of the bright sky”. 

Christian Island Indian band (Beausoleil First Nation) gained two honorary chiefs recently when feathered headdress and Indian names were bestowed on two white men in recognition of their work on behalf of the band. Left to right, Chief Riley Root, George Johnston, MPP, Simcoe Centre, named “Mai-Yow-Sand”; R. B. Cowan, named “Shou-Non-Quod”; and Louis Jackson. 

Two former Midland residents, Robert Thompson, 19, and Alice Campbell, 18, escaped with only minor injuries when this small European car flipped over on its roof and burned one mile west of Waverley Saturday afternoon. The two occupants were thrown out onto the highway free of the burning vehicle. 

Mayor Charles Parker is seen receiving the keys to Midland’s new $19,000 fire truck which officially became part of the Midland Fire Brigade’s equipment Saturday afternoon. To mark the occasion, a parade was held which included all the brigade’s equipment, including its old 1928-model pumper. Following the parade down Yonge and King Streets, the keys of the new truck were officially turned over to the town of Midland by Mayor Fred W. Cox of Stratford. Mayor Cox got into the picture because the new truck was made in his city by American- Marsh Pumps (Canada) Ltd. He assured Midland firemen and members of council present that they were getting “the finest in fire-fighting equipment available today.” Mayor Cox said he was very impressed with what he saw in Midland during a 24-hour visit here. 

Mayor and members of Midland council line up along the side of the new fire truck officially turned over to the town last Saturday. Left to right are Clerk Wm. A. Hack, Alderman Clinton Smith, Reeve W. H. Keller, Alderman Herb Beauchamp, Mayor Charles Parker, Alderman Wm. Orr, chairman of council’s fire committee, and Alderman Douglas Haig. 

All of Midland’s fire-fighting equipment is gathered together in this picture. It was taken Saturday afternoon during the parade which introduced the brigade’s new $19,000 fire truck (in foreground) to the residents of the town. Made by American-Marsh Pumps (Canada) Ltd. of Stratford, the new fire truck embodies the very latest in fire-fighting equipment. 

Manager of American-Marsh Pump (Canada) Ltd., of Stratford, Bob Gunn (in the truck) explains the working of radio phone to a group of Midland firemen who will be using this new $19,000 truck. Left to right are Harold Hamilton, Ben Cowie, Mr. Gunn, Doug Martin, W. E. Allsopp and Dave Hudson. Firemen have been patiently awaiting the arrival of the new truck for many months. The Ford truck chassis was purchased from Bourgeois Motors, Midland.

All but a few members of Midland’s fire brigade were present for the unveiling of their new truck at a parade held Saturday afternoon. Left to right are: front row — Dave Hudson, Andy Sedore, Lieut. “Hank” Wood (member of the brigade since 1903), Lieut. W. E. Allsopp, Harold Hamilton; center row — Assistant Chief Erwin Jackman; Alderman Wm. Orr chairman of the fire committee, Capt. Dalt Jennett, Asst. Capt., Jack Argue, Mac Perrin, Ben Cowie, Harry Howard, Francis Miller, ex-chief Peter Grigg, Jack Small, Fred Grigg. back row—Chief, Arnold Tippin (in the cab), Peter Staruck, Doug Martin. 

“Wow! Lots of pressure now,” say firemen Dave Hudson and Harry Howard, as they struggle with a line from Midland’s new Midland Fire Department’s brand new truck. The truck was taken to the dock area for a practical demonstration of its capabilities following a parade and other ceremonies Saturday afternoon. 

There are plenty of dials, levers and other gadgets for Midland firemen to get used to on their new fire truck, unveiled to the general public at a parade last Saturday. Inspecting the truck are left to right, former chief Peter Grigg, Jack Small, Ervin Jackman, Alderman Bill Orr, chairman of the fire committee, Chief Arnold Tippin and Francis Miller. All four firemen are members of the permanent force. 

It’s up and out for the season for the “Vagabond”, a familiar sight on the Midland waterfront for more than 30 years. For the past 26 years, the boat has belonged to Charlie Hansford, watching from the dockside as his craft is taken out for the long winter’s rest. 

Production lines are really starting to roll now at Pillsbury Canada Limited’s new Midland plant. Production manager Cecil Launder is seen above checking the machine which makes the package and inserts the liners in one operation. Two new products, produced for the first time in Canada and being introduced across the country this week, are cherry angle food and pineapple cake mixes. The company claims a new crystal process is used to retain the fresh fruit flavour. 

Midland YMCA for many years supplied the only suitable basketball facilities in this area. It is still a stronghold of the sport. Midget team above includes, left to right, Allan Holt, Bob Barbour, Doug Carr, Laurie Belsey, and Brian Small. The Y’s annual fundraising campaign begins next week. 

“APPLE DAY”, the traditional method of Boy Scout organizations for carrying on their work, netted more than $600 in the Georgian Bay district on the weekend. Some of the Midland workers seen above are, left to right, Scout Rodney Todd, District Commissioner Harvey Boyd, Milt Ellery, Scoutmaster of 1st Midland Troop, and Scout Bill Argue. 

Real good salesmen on “Apple Day” were Cubs Bobby McIntaggart, left, and David Heath. Their baskets empty and coin tins jingling a merry tune, they are shown heading back to headquarters for more “ammunition” to sell on Midland’s King Street. (We were always reminded that we were not selling apples, not to say “would you like to buy an apple”, the apple was a thank you for a donation.) 

  • The Free Press Herald headline from October 15, 1958; Punches Hole in Bricks Man Escapes Jail Cell. A simple charge of being drunk in a public place mushroomed into a pair of serious charges when a resident of Penetang smashed his way out of a cell in Penetang jail early Saturday morning. Besides the charge of drunkenness, he is now faced with charges of escaping custody and causing property damage. He is free on $5,000 bail, until his trial, according to Chief Jack Arbour. The man made his escape from the solid brick cell in less than an hour, according to Penetang police. He was in the cell at 12 o’clock midnight, where he had been placed by Sgt. L. Robillard. When Const. Art Lizotte and Const. Wally Lacroix returned from patrol at 1 a.m. the cell was empty. According to Chief Arbour, he returned to the police office about 10.30 Saturday morning and gave himself up. (We purposely remove the names of local people involved in crimes to protect the families but we are sure this story is retold often.) 
  • The County Herald headline from October 17, 1958; Delegation Urges Action to Curb Plant Vandalism. A delegation, comprising more than a dozen of the town’s businessmen, industrialists and chamber of commerce representatives, asked Midland council Wednesday night to take some action to curb damage being caused to industries in Midland by youthful vandals. L. H. Taylor, the chief spokesman of the group who was acting on behalf of the chamber of commerce, told the council that damage through vandalism has been extensive and amounts to a substantial sum of money. Taylor told council numerous panes of glass had been broken in factory windows, construction work had been tampered with and that damage had occurred in new homes under construction in the town. He recommended that a curfew be implemented by the council and enforced by police. Chamber of Commerce President Frank Bray, and also chairman of the School Board, said damage being caused to town schools by vandals is costing the public a considerable amount of money. He said the board had recommended to council a year ago that a curfew should be established. The outcome of the session may be the formation of “a committee of plant owners, chamber of commerce representatives, businessmen and the juvenile court probation officer to study the problem and bring recommendations to council.
  • The Free Press Herald headline from October 22, 1958; Continuation School Plan Studied by Tiny Council. An indication that consideration is being given to the establishment of a continuation school in Penetanguishene came at a meeting of Tiny Township council Monday night, during a discussion of a proposed addition to Midland-Penetanguishene District High School. Councillor Etienne Marchildon asked, “What has happened to the idea of building a continuation school in Penetang?” He contended such a move would remove the necessity of expansion at the district school.
  • Yegg steals fags at Midland store, Midland police are investigating a break-in which occurred Sunday night or early Monday morning at Stan Ligowski’s store. Dominion Ave., E. Police said the owner reported only a few packages of cigarettes missing, Sgt. George Wainman investigated. Otherwise, police said, the holiday weekend was quiet with no serious accidents reported. (An indication of how our language evolves, the word ‘yegg’ is no longer used and I haven’t heard the slang ‘fags’ in many years.)
  • A Midland firm has been awarded a substantial contract by the Department of National Defence. Ernst Leitz Canada Limited, manufacturers of the world-famed Leica camera and precision equipment, has been awarded a $68,588 contract for telescopes. It is one of 80 Canadian firms who have been awarded contracts totalling $10,668,899 by the Department of Defence Production and Defence Construction.
  • A Coldwater district farm was the scene of a disastrous fire Sunday evening. The Biggs family was eating supper after the evening chores when they noticed fire had broken out in the barn. They immediately phoned Coldwater fire brigade. Chief Herb Stevens and a number of other volunteers who were attending church service sped to the fire about two miles north of Coldwater in Medonte Township. Damage was estimated at between $25,000 and $30,000. Some young cattle and a number of pigs were lost. Firemen were unable to save the extensive barn and contents but were able to prevent it from spreading to other buildings and the farm home. The property is owned by George Biggs of Coldwater and sons Cecil and Lloyd. A herd of dairy cows was outside when the fire occurred about 7:45 p.m.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Representatives of 10 North Simcoe and Baxter Township municipalities, boards of trade and chambers of commerce asked provincial authorities to improve route markers to main beaches and resort areas in this district. * * * Groups for and against the question were mustering their forces for a liquor vote scheduled to take place in January 1949, at Victoria Harbour. The original application asked for a vote on a beverage room and on a dining room licence. Some of the “wet” forces felt the ballot also should have contained a question on the establishment of a brewers’ warehouse. * * * Former minister without portfolio, Hon. Louis P. Cecile had been appointed Minister of Travel and Publicity in the Ontario Cabinet. * * * Midland and District Ministerial Association and Tiny-Tay-Flos Religious Education Council announced they would sponsor a leadership training school for parents and Sunday School teachers. It was felt the school would help parents and teachers do better job training children for religious living. * * *  Agricultural officials in North Simcoe expressed alarm at the number of middle-aged and elderly farmers who were selling out and quitting their farms and at the large number of young men who were refusing to stay on the farms and were moving to cities and towns to work in factories and businesses. * * * Bulldozers had completed leveling off work on a four-mile stretch of road linking up the 16th to 20th concessions of Tiny Township. The new road started just north of Marygrove Camp and joined the old north road at Crescentwood Beach.
  • Obituaries – CAPTAIN ALBERT BEATTY, a resident of Midland for 60 years, died Sept. 21 at St. Andrews Hospital. He was 75. Funeral service under Masonic auspices was held Sept. 24, at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home. Rev. J. Leonard Self officiated. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers were members of Midland Caledonian Lodge No. 249. Beatty was born at Fenelon Falls, Ont., Sept. 10, 1883, and was educated at Fenelon Falls. He married Daisy Lethbridge at Toronto in April 1912. He had resided at Fenelon Falls for 15 years and 60 years in Midland. A Master mariner, he was lake captain with the Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Co. until his retirement 10 years ago. A member of Knox Presbyterian Church, he belonged to Knox Church Men’s Club. Active in lodge circles, he belonged to Kitchikewana Chapter, Caledonian Lodge, Midland, Mount Calvary Preceptory, Barrie and Rameses Shrine Temple, Toronto. Besides his wife, he is survived by two children, Mrs. Jack Gerow (Margaret Ellenore) of Midland and Franklin Albert of Orillia. Also surviving are three brothers George and Captain Wilbert Beatty of Toronto and Capt. Percy Beatty of Midland; one sister Mrs.  H. G. Swanson (Mary) of Midland. A sister, Zetta Dunlop of Toronto, predeceased him. * * * RICHARD WALLACE STORY a resident of Midland for 50 years, Richard Wallace Story died Oct. 9 at St. Andrews Hospital following a coronary thrombosis. Funeral service was held Oct. 11 at the funeral home of A. Barrie and Sons with Rev. L. J. Delaney officiating. Burial was in St. James Cemetery, Penetang. Pallbearers were Robert Davis, Herb Wiles, Fred Woods, Wm. Kenzie, Charles Stewart, and James Mackie. Mr. Story was born Jan. 24, 1880, at 34 Oak Village, Kentish Town, England and was educated at London, England. He came to Canada in 1908 and settled in Midland where he resided until the time of his death. He and Mary A. E. Arnold were married May 23, 1932, in Midland. He had been employed in the insurance business for nine years and in the shoe business in Midland for a number of years. He was fond of gardening and was a marathon runner in London, England. A veteran of World War I in which he had joined up with the 157th battalion and had transferred to the 116th battalion, he had held the rank of sergeant. Mr. Story was a member of the Anglican Church and also belonged to the Royal Black Preceptory No. 552. Surviving from a previous marriage are children, Fred, Reginald and Alice (Mrs. F. Whitey) of Toronto; also surviving are his wife, the former Mary A. E. Arnold, son Richard of Midland, stepson Clifford Arnold of Toronto, one brother in Australia, one brother in the USA and two sisters in England. * * * MRS. JOHN A. LETHERBY died in her 82nd year at her home in Coldwater Monday morning. She was the mother of Lloyd Letherby, MPP for Simcoe East, and Lorne, Coldwater representative of this newspaper. A resident of Coldwater for the last 15 years, Mrs. Letherby had been confined to her bed with a lengthy illness. Born at Bass Lake, the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Simeon Cotton, she lived in a number of places, including Orillia, Parry Sound, Midland, the French River area and Penetanguishene. Her father was a millwright and moved from place to place. She married John Amos Letherby and they settled in Midland where they raised a family of eight children. She was predeceased by her husband in 1935. Her sister, Mrs. C. Britton died this past summer. She is survived by one brother, Garfield Cotton of Penetanguishene. She is also survived by her family which includes daughters Mrs. W. B. Leatherdale (Loreen) of Montreal, Mrs. Morley Yon (Gladys) of Toronto, Mrs. Charles R. Wadge (Grace) of Oakville, and sons  Lorne of Coldwater, Lester of Weston, Lloyd of Coldwater, Arthur of Garden Grove, California, and Gordon of Anaheim, California. Mrs. Letherby was at the Robinson funeral home, Coldwater. The funeral service will be held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Coldwater, Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. with interment in St. Mark’s Cemetery, Midland. * * * MRS. JOSEPH BELFRY a resident of Midland for 35 years, Mrs. Martha Maude Belfry died Sept. 30 at Midland following a lengthy illness. She was 82. Born March 20. 1876, in Cartwright Township, the former Martha Maude Ney, she married Joseph A, Belfry December 26, 1894, at Midland. They had resided on a farm near Victoria Harbour until moving to Midland 35 years ago. A member of the United Church, Mrs. Belfry also had been active in lodge work belonging to Lady Parkhill No. 565, receiving a life membership, and to Crystal Chapter No. 3. She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph A. Belfry, on May 19 of this year and a son Everton of Victoria Harbour who died 10 years ago. Surviving are a son, Eldon Belfry of Midland, a daughter, Hazel (Mrs. Sterling McDonald) of Vasey; sisters, Mrs. Sherman Belfry of Victoria Harbour (Essie), and Mrs. Edna Collins of Stayner; brothers, William, and Leslie of Midland and John of Hamilton. Funeral service was held Oct. 2 at A. Barrie and Son’s funeral home and Rev. Wilson Morden officiated; Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery, Pallbearers were nephews Karl Hughes, Donald Belfry, Ellsworth Collins, Cyril Ney, Clifford Newburn, and Ellwood Newburn.
  • Two Roman Catholic priests, well known in this area, combined talents to capture a man suspected of robbing a poor box in the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Whitby. Rev. Leo Austin, who served Sacred Heart Parish in Port McNicoll for a number of years, told police he rigged an electrical warning device with a wire leading from the poor box to the rectory door. He said the box had been tampered with on previous occasions. Father Austin and Rev. A. Quesnelle were in the rectory when the buzzer sounded. Running next door, they nabbed a suspect, who was leaving the church and turned him over to police. Patrick King, 25, of Toronto, will appear in magistrate’s court on a charge of stealing $1.
  • Unless something drastic happens in the interim, the last CNR passenger service still operating out of Midland will come to an end Saturday afternoon. That, as of Tuesday afternoon, was the latest information Frank Whiteman, CNR agent in Midland, had on the subject. “There has been some pressure from Lindsay to keep the service running. But as far as I know the last train will arrive here at 1:50 p.m. EST and leave at 2:30 p.m.,” said Mr. Whiteman. No ceremonies are planned to mark the demise of the town’s last passenger service, as far as Mr. Whiteman knows.
  • Births — Frank and Doreen BRAY are happy to announce the arrival of a son, Robert Franklin, a brother for Bonnie and Peggy, on Saturday, October 11, 1958, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. CHARLEBOIS—Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Charlebois are happy to announce the arrival of their daughter, Janet Rita, a sister for Richard, Danny, and Mary Lynn, born Thursday, October 9, 1958, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – For the first time since 1930, employment showed a sharp rise. Marked increases were noted in the number employed in the lumber, wood, pulp and paper industries. Retailers reported business improved over the previous year. * * * First snow of the season fell Oct. 18. On that morning citizens awoke to find rooftops and the ground blanketed with snow. By noon hour most of it had been melted by the sun. * * * W. B. Armstrong, principal of Penetang Protestant Separate School, was elected president of Centre Simcoe Teachers’ Institute. The convention was held in Allendale School. Miss Cecelia McBride of Victoria Harbour was elected president of Simcoe East Teachers’ Institute when it met in Midland. * * * Attendance at Midland schools showed its first decline since 1920, a report presented to the Board of Education showed. From 1920 to 1932 there had been an increase in school attendance each year. * * * High school students in Midland who required more than six years to complete the course of study were required to pay an annual fee of $40. Following an appeal to the board by several students, the fee was reduced to $20 for the year 1933 only. * * * The United Church at North River, built by volunteer labor at a cost of $630.00 on a site donated by W. D. Lovering, celebrated its 50th anniversary. The building was completed Oct. 1, 1883.

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