Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – February 23rd to the 28th, 1959

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“OPEN HOUSE” at Midland-Penetang District High School Wednesday night brought out a large number of parents to see their children’s work and discuss problems with teachers. This jumper, made by Carolyn Blythe of Grade 10, drew favourable comment from Mrs. Marie Desrochers (Marie’s Dress Shop), left, and Mrs. W. G. D’Aoust of Penetang, seen chatting with teacher Mrs. M. I. Rayner, right. 

A practicing dentist and a resident of Midland for the past 36 years, Dr. C. N. James died unexpectedly at his Midland home early Thursday morning. Active in lodge, curling and golf circles, Dr. James succumbed to a heart condition. He was in his 60th year. Dr. James had curled in Barrie Wednesday with Reg Mulligan, Dave Milner and Jerry Gerow. He had complained of feeling tired during the afternoon, Mr. Mulligan said. The body is resting at Nicholls funeral home until Saturday when it will be taken to St. Paul’s United Church for service at 2 p.m. 

The walls come out and the roof drops in. That’s what happens when the snow load on a summer cottage roof gets too heavy. Cottage owned by Harold Collins, Toronto, and fronts on the main road between Balm and Cawaja Beaches. It was built only about a year ago and contains a considerable amount of furniture. 

This string ensemble brought honour to Midland-Penetang District High School this week by placing first in its class at the Kiwanis music festival in Toronto. Seen with their director, W. A. Bartlett, are, left to right, seated, Marion Miller, Catherine McAllister, Karen Blair; standing Elizabeth Holt, Lois Cowan, Ellen Barber, Lloyd Preston, and George Haskill. Also a member of the group, Robin Benson was not present when the picture was taken. 

Shiny new typewriters in the commercial room attracted the interest of Mrs. Walter Lumsden as she and her husband attended the Midland-Penetang District High School “open house” Wednesday night. Typing critics are Mr. Lumsden, left, and Edward Cable, of the MPDHS staff. 

It was a proud night for Mr. and Mrs. Crawford “Fawf” Wilcox when their son Don came back to Midland Arena Tuesday night in the uniform of the Hamilton Cubs, an OHA junior “A” team. Don, along with his brother Jim, who plays for the Toronto Marlboros, are products of Midland’s extensive minor hockey set-up. Unfortunately for Don, Barrie Flyers edged his Cubs 4-3 in the exhibition encounter. 

One of the most avid hockey fans in Midland, Miss J. Carson, a teacher at Regent Public School, didn’t pass up the chance to see Hamilton Cubs and Barrie Flyers meet in an exhibition game in Midland Tuesday night. Here she chats with an old friend, coach “Hap” Emms of the Flyers. 

North Simcoe is tired of the long, cold winter but nobody, probably, is more so than the men engaged in outdoor construction and road work. Heavy snow and subzero temperatures have been the steady diet of the men working on the branch of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Coldwater. Top is a portion of the road stretching towards the Medonte hills, with the new bridge over the Coldwater River in the foreground. Lower photo, a big truck pours cement for a foundation of the bridge, despite temperatures many degrees below freezing.It looks pretty rough at the moment, but a few months from now motorists will be speeding around Coldwater on this new road, linking Highway 12 and the Crown Hill – Coldwater arm of the Trans-Canada Highway. 

It took Harold Barbour, 307 First Street, Midland, more than half an hour of thrilling action to land this 14 pound Lake Trout in Lake Simcoe on the weekend. Harold, who enjoyed every minute of it, said it was the biggest trout he had ever caught. It was taken in 70 feet of water off Eight-Mile Point, using a live minnow and light tackle. Wilfred Ball of Waubaushene helped Mr. Barbour with his prize catch. 

Giant squeeze play between CSL freighter Sir James Dunn and the Thunder Bay resulted in some odd snow formations at Tiffin elevator, Midland. Snow packed as hard as ice was forced up between the ships when one was lightened of its winter storage cargo. The same thing happened on the other side of the ship, between it and the dockside. 

Just like “Rocket” Richard, little Ross Cousineau, right, pulled the fans out of their seats every time he started down the ice with the puck during Midland Little NHL’s junior “B” final at Arena Gardens last Wednesday. Ross fired both Weston goals past Scarborough goalie Jerry Deschamp but it wasn’t enough. Scarborough won, 3-2. The tiny lads could skate under the crossbar of the goal without bumping their heads. Another “final night,” featuring three more games, is slated for tonight. 

  • Midland Free Press headline of February 25, 1959; Report Hospital Finances Improved by $56,685. Citizens attending the March 25th annual meeting will be greeted with a much healthier financial picture than at this time last year when a ”state of emergency” existed, resulting in a special meeting to re-organize hospital affairs, it was stated. According to figures presented by the board Monday night, the “net improvement” in the picture amounts to $56,685. As of Dec. 31, 1957, it was noted, liabilities exceeded current assets by $42,484. By Dec. 31, 1958, the picture had changed so that current assets exceeded liabilities by $14,200, making the change of $56,685. Contributory factors to the improved financial picture were said to be operating surplus (excluding depreciation) of $13,278; and donations to the operating account of $8,000 by the doctors, $1,000 by the Lions Club, and $1,275 from private sources, a total of $23,553.
  • County Herald headline of February 28, 1959; Hospital, School, Benefit in New Ontario Budget; Ontario’s biggest-ever spending program, unveiled Wednesday in the Ontario legislature by Provincial Treasurer James N. Allan, will bring new financial assistance to North Simcoe district hospitals and the Midland-Penetang District High School. The no-tax-increase budget will see hospitals in this county receive $73,800 in special grants this year. Budget figures reveal that St.Andrews Hospital, Midland, is to receive $15,750; Penetanguishene General Hospital, $9,450; Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, $15,750; Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, $12,900; and Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie, $19,950. The grants amount to $150 for each bed available for service, as of Dec. 31, 1958. They may be used for the retirement of capital debt, to be placed in a special account to assist in a future expansion program, or set aside in a special account to meet depreciation on items of fixed equipment, Mr. Allan said. Of major importance in North Simcoe is the government’s decision to include the costs of industrial arts shops and home economics classrooms in the base for computing grants. Also, altered is the approved cost for each classroom and science laboratory in secondary schools. This has been raised to $25,000 from $20,000 per classroom.
  • Completely bedridden with arthritis for the past 16 years, Charles Stephen Carter died at his Victoria Harbour residence Monday in his 72nd year. Before his illness, Mr. Carter was well known throughout the district for his active interest in the Conservative Party. A veteran of World War I, he was a former general manager of the Holt Timber Company which operated at Parry Sound. Mr. Carter is survived by his widow, the former May Scott, a daughter, Mrs. Cameron Grey (Helen) of Toronto and two sons, Rev. Charles Carter, and Walter of Victoria Harbour.
  • Plagued in past years with the possibility of thin ice or thawing conditions, Penetang Winterama Committee this year faces a different problem—deep snow. George Kerr, the committee chairman, this week issued a plea to residents to leave their cars at home Saturday. “Conditions created by the abnormal snowfall have greatly limited our available parking areas. Space to accommodate out-of-town visitors will be at a premium, and the situation can be helped greatly by local motorists if they win follow our request,” he said. Preparations were well underway Tuesday for a start in clearing the area for the fishing derby. It will be necessary to push aside several feet of snow before a large number of holes can be drilled.
  • “We have quite a smattering but it is not serious,” Regent Public School Principal M. 0. Lewis stated yesterday afternoon when asked by this newspaper if there were many cases of chickenpox among the pupils of his school. “There are about four cases per room up to Grade 3 and an average of one in the grades above that,” continued Mr. Lewis, “It is definitely on the wane for two weeks ago we had ten cases per room in the lower grades.”
  • Penetang Clerk W. A. Argue said this week that preparations are proceeding for a plebiscite on liquor lounges to be held in April. Mr. Argue said enumeration of voters’ lists would start soon in the town’s eight polling subdivisions.
  • St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, had a record-breaking month in January, the board heard at its February meeting in the hospital Monday night. Figures presented to the board showed a total of 2,377 patient days for the hospital in January. The previous high was 2,334 in the same month in 1957. Best month in 1958 had a total of 2,106 patient days. Representative to the board from the medical staff, Dr. Peter Brasher said the hospital usually had an influx of patients in January and February, tailing off to normal proportions by the end of April. Because of the difficulty of obtaining staff, the hospital is continuing to operate on a 75-bed basis, Dr. Brasher said, with two beds reserved for emergency cases. When occupancy drops to 73 beds, two more patients on a somewhat lengthy waiting list are admitted, it was explained. Few patients have to wait more than a week or two to gain admittance. Where possible, the doctor notifies the hospital three weeks in advance. Preference is given to the more urgent cases, and to cases involving the wage earner of the household, it was stated. The business manager of the hospital, Alex Craig said that only a few patients were coming into the hospital now without insurance coverage of some kind. Several municipalities, he said, are paying the Ontario hospital plan premium for persons on relief. “At $50 per year it is a wise move,” said Gordon Moss, board chairman. “At the present ward rate of $15 per day, it would take only three days to use up that amount for an uninsured person.”
  • Five rabid skunks were found in January, Simcoe County Health Unit reports. “The rabies situation has abated somewhat during January with fewer cases in cattle (19) and more cases in foxes (11) and skunks (5),” the report states. “Incidence of the disease in cattle should drop fairly soon,” the report continues,” as most of these animals have been stabled well over three months and the incubation period is generally shorter than this.”
  • BIRTHS – ARGUE — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Argue, 178 Colborne St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, February 22, 1959, a son. HORDIJK — To Mr. and Mrs. Marmus C. Hordijk, 119  Yonge St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, February 19, 1959, a daughter, Darlene Carol. NODWELL — To Rev. and Mrs. R. G. Nodwell, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, February 20, 1959, a daughter. STACEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Stacey, 293 William St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, February 19, 1959, a son. TUCKER — To Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tucker, Waubaushene, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, February 19, 1959, a son. VALCHEFF—To Mr. and Mrs. Henry Valeheff, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, February 17, 1959, a son.
  • Obituaries – ANGUS A. McKINNON – A veteran of the first World War, Angus Alexander McKinnon died in Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto, Feb. 6, in his 70th Mr. McKinnon, was born in Woodville, Ont., and spent 20 years in Victoria Harbour. He was wounded in France and invalided back to England during World War 1. A Liberal in politics, he was active in baseball and hockey. Rev. Charles Carter officiated at the funeral service at Nicholls funeral home, Midland, Feb. 10. Pallbearers were Charles Schissler, Bruce Crooke, Roy Gouett, Leslie Winfield, Fred Hodgins, and William Clark. Mr. McKinnon is survived by a sister, Flora Brown, and a brother, Murdock, of Victoria Harbour, and a sister Mrs. Archibald Smith, Boissevain, Man. * * * ALTON FREEMAN TODD Unexpectedly in his 37th year, Alton Freeman Todd died at St. Andrews Hospital Midland Feb. 14. Rev. L. J. Delaney and Rev. R. Wright officiated at the funeral service at Nicholls funeral home Feb. 16. Pallbearers were Elmer Belfry, Edwin Cleary, Len Webster, Garnet Drinkle, Bob Carson and Irwin Ball. Born and educated in Midland, he married the former Doreen Taylor July 16, 1942, in Midland. Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Shirley Anne; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Todd, and a brother, Aimer, all of Midland. * * * MRS. MILDRED H. SMITH A member of the YMCA Auxiliary and the Women’s Association and Women’s Missionary Society of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, Mrs. Mildred Helena Smith died at St. Andrews Hospital Feb. 6 in her 82nd, year. The funeral service was conducted Feb. 9 at Nicholls funeral home by Rev. J. L. Self. Born and educated at Port Hope, Ont., Mrs. Smith was a member of this community for 74 years. In 1900 she was married to the late Harvey Ritchie of Elmvale who died in 1943. She married W. K. Smith in 1944 and he predeceased her in 1953. Mrs. Smith is survived by a sister, Mrs. M. Campbell, Midland, a brother, George McArdle of Niagara Falls, and two nieces, Mrs. W. Doubleday, Kingston, and Mrs. R. W. Hofland, Midland. * * * ALFRED WAGNER A Tiny Township resident for more than 70 years, Alfred Wagner died at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Feb. 14. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. W. L. Morden at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home Feb. 17. Pallbearers were: James Archer, Allan Hart, Theodore Hook, W. H. Taylor, Wesley Toole, and Stanley Tipping. Mr. Wagner was married twice, in 1904 to the late Elizabeth Rowat, and in 1930 to the late Martha Drysdale. Mr. Wagner had lived with his daughter, Mrs. Stanley Shaw, Midland, for about three years prior to his death. Born in Omemee and educated in Tiny Township, Mr. Wagner was a member of the United Church and a Conservative in politics. He is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Stanley Shaw, Midland, Mrs. James Dean of Toronto and Ruth of Montreal; a son, Arthur of Sarnia; and a sister, Mrs. James Rowat (Carrie) of Dauphin, Man. Two sisters, Mrs. Samuel Archer, and Mrs. D. Jennett predeceased him. * * * MRS. I. C. DAVIDSON A life member of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the United Church and a resident of the Midland district for 57 years, Mrs. Isabella Carruthers Davidson died Feb. 19 in her 84th year. Funeral service was conducted by Rev. W. L. Morden at Nicholl’s funeral home, Feb. 21. Pallbearers were: Campbell Parker, Lome Campbell, Elmer Campbell, Adrian Isaac, Melville Sandercock, and Albert Sandercock. Born at Harwood, Ont., where she was educated, she married Francis Hugh Davidson Jan. 13, 1901, at Midland. Besides her early days and two years at Cold Springs, Mrs. Davidson spent the rest of her life in the Midland district. Besides her husband she is survived by two sons; Roy of North Bay and Leslie of R.R. 2, Midland; two sisters, Mrs. Philis Sandercock, Camborne, and Mrs. Albert Stickles, Clifford, Mich., and a brother, Robert Carruthers, Ladd, Illinois. Four grandsons also survive.
  • PORT McNICOLL — Because Tay Township council has shown a reluctance to enter into an agreement with the council and volunteer fire department here, the fire department has asked Port council to restrict the use of fire equipment to the village limits, other than on Mutual Aid calls.
  • Reported by A. R. LAPERE – Tonight’s the big night for the members of eight Penetang Little NHL teams as they battle it out in the finals for the championships of their respective divisions at Penetang Community Centre. Starting with the junior OHA final at 7 p.m., the AHL, NHL and senior OHA finals will follow at hourly intervals. Some good hockey should be in store for the fans in the four hours of action.
  • Penetang curlers will be battling next month for a 47-year old trophy, unused in competitions for the past 33 years. Donated to Penetang Curling Club in 1912 by The C. Beck Co. Ltd., the trophy was returned by W. Beck, Jr., who asked that it be put up for competition this year. It has not been awarded since 1926. The trophy was never won by a home-town team for the first five years of competition. Barrie, Collingwood, and Stroud kept it until Geo. Robinson skipped the rink that won it for Penetang, March 9, 1919. With him were H. G. Todd, J. D. Flynn, and W. F. Beck. Apparently, there was not another winner until 1921 when W. J. O’Connell won it, assisted by C. T. Devlin, A. R. McDonald and W. H. Hewson Jr.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – North Simcoe residents were caught in a deep freeze. The mercury in thermometers had hovered between the 15 and 13 below mark for three days. Grocery delivery men had difficulty in keeping eggs, apples, and potatoes from freezing while they were delivering orders to homes. * * * Midland Boat Works, which usually had closed down during the winter months for several years, had reopened after the firm had obtained a large order for boats. * * * Nearly 7,000 persons had used outdoors skating and hockey rinks set up by Midland Park Commission in the latter part of December. * * * Midland Simcoe elevator had secured an order to ship half a million bushels of wheat to Halifax for export. * * * Marine men predicted that 1934 would be the latest opening of navigation at Sault Ste. Marie in years. Owing to the thickness of the ice, it was stated that navigation would not likely open until the first or second week in May. * * * For the fourth time in 100 years and for the second time in the 20th century, Easter fell on April 1 in 1934. * * * Penetang’s tax rate had been set at 67 mills for public school supporters and 60 mills for Protestant Separate School ratepayers. The public school rate was down two mills from the previous year and the separate school levy up two. * * * A Midland branch of the Simcoe East 20th Century Liberal Club was organized at a special meeting in the Liberal committee rooms in the Ingram block.
  • An application for a licence to establish a radio station in Midland, being submitted by R. Bruce Armstrong on behalf of a company, will be heard by the Board of Broadcast Governors March 16. It is one of nine applications for radio licences to be heard by the board that day. The application made by the company proposing to establish the station in Midland calls for a new AM broadcasting station of 250 watts, operating on 1230 kilocycles.
  • Hotel and motel clerks in this part of North Simcoe are a harried lot these days as they search frantically for a means of caring for the hundreds of reservations pouring in for accommodation during Winterama weekend. As early as Monday of this week it was impossible to find a vacant room in any hotel or motel in the Penetang, Midland and Elmvale area, officials said. It is understood some are booking rooms as far away as Barrie for this carnival weekend.
  • WYEBRIDGE NEWS — Wednesday, Feb. 18, the Ladies Guild met at the home of Mrs. Alvin Leonard with 14 members present. The meeting was opened with prayer by the president. The ladies reported making two quilts and quilting six in the past month. After the meeting, refreshments were served by the hostess assisted by Mrs. James Haughton. Mrs. Clayton Leonard spent a few days in Midland with Mr. and Mrs. John Parker. A number of people attended the funeral in Midland Saturday of Mrs. Frank Davidson, a former resident of this district. Howard Leonard is a patient in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Robins visited Mr. and Mrs. Dean Jones in Toronto last week. Mr. and Mrs. Wm. McCoy and Kathryn of Toronto visited Mr. and Mrs. G. H. Murdoch, Sunday. The W.I. held a quilting bee at the home of Mrs. Howard Toole last Thursday. Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Coghill and family of Toronto are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Howard Leonard. Mrs. Douglas Dawes and Janice of Peterborough spent a few days with Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Downer. Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Bell and Ronnie of Orillia spent the weekend with Mrs. Geo Parker.
  • VASEY NEWS — Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Robinson and Allan visited Mr. and Mrs. Harold Bolander, and Mrs. Ferris at Weston recently. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Brown visited Mr. and Mrs. Ed Wismer and Mrs. David Webb at Barrie Sunday. Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Edwards spent the weekend with friends at Barrie. Mrs. Robert Graham of Elmvale spent last week with her daughter, Mrs. Stanley Robinson, who had fractured her ankle. The Robinson children returned home with her for a visit. Weekend visitors of Nathan Edwards were, August and Fred Rode, of Weyburn, Sask., Jack Rode and Ted Robinson of Camp Borden,  and Mrs. Jack McGurn and Carol of Pembroke and Mr. and Mrs. John Wylie of Stouffville. Mr. and Mrs. Ross Faint, Gwen and Bobby spent Sunday afternoon with Mr. and Mrs. Harold Graham at Wyevale. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Edwards and Kathy of Coldwater spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Edwards. Miss Sandra Robinson, who is affiliating at the Ontario Hospital, New Toronto, visited her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ken Robinson, over the weekend. Miss Eleanor Edwards spent a few days in Toronto. Mr. and Mrs. Eldon Nixon, Bradley and Scott of Toronto spent Saturday at Charles Brown’s. Miss Norma Cowden and Bruce Edwards were married Saturday, Feb. 21, in the United Church. Weekend visitors of Manley Edwards were Mrs. Lockhart and Tom of Hillsdale, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Harper of Willowdale, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Johnston and baby, of Barrie, and Miss Emmaline Edwards of Toronto. Harold Buchanan, Lorna, Arkle, Lloyd, and Dale spent Sunday with Mrs. Mary Buchanan and Mr. and Mrs. Russell Marshall. Glenn Nixon of Toronto visited Mr. and Mrs. Jack Nixon over the weekend.

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