Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 1st to 7th, 1959

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Visitors to Midland-Penetang District High School’s open house last Wednesday night got a warm welcome and information on various classrooms from these pretty receptionists. Seated is Anne Hamilton and standing, left to right, Pat Crompton , Marjorie Blyth, and Madeleine Vallee. Despite other attractions, a large number of parents turned out. 

It was a good job the Waubaushene fire brigade didn’t really have to fight a fire when its members tried out their new fire engine at the government dock Friday afternoon. They had to cut through 48 inches of ice beside the dock to get the water to test this new piece of equipment. Once the engine did get some water to work with the new truck “completely satisfied” Fire Chief Joseph Moreau, several members of the brigade, and Tay Township officials. A few minutes later, Reeve Fred Kinnear had no hesitation in accepting the keys from Murray Holland, sales representative of King Seagrave Ltd. of Woodstock, makers of the truck. Mr. Kinnear, in turn, presented the keys to Chief Moreau. Completely equipped and costing approximately $17,000, the truck was purchased by Tay Township in an effort to provide better service for ratepayers in the northeastern portion of the township. It will be stored and operated by the Waubaushene volunteer brigade, which will also keep-in-shape the old model purchased from the City of Toronto years ago.

Obviously proud of their new fire truck, these four members of Waubaushene volunteer fire brigade were on hand to try out the new equipment at the government dock Friday afternoon. Left to right are; Elmer Tucker, Maynard Thiffault, Murray Moreau (in the cab) and Chief Joseph Moreau. The truck was purchased by Tay Township to service the area around Waubaushene. 

Members of Tay Township council look pleased as Reeve Fred Kinnear receives keys for a new $17,000 fire truck from Murray Holland, right, sales representative for King Seagrave Ltd., manufacturers of the truck. Left to right are Councillors Norm Widdes and Lawrence Olimer, Deputy-reeve Ray Atkinson, Reeve Kinnear, and Mr. Holland. The truck will be stationed at Waubaushene. 

Herald of spring is the open stretch of water below the bridge at Port Severn, despite the fact that the land around is still covered with several feet of snow. At rear centre can be seen a portion of the three new Trans-Canada Highway bridges that span the mighty Severn River at this point. 

Not the least dismayed by being two goals down on the round, Len Self’s junior OHA team is preparing to turn the tables on Collingwood in the second game of the Little NHL district semi-finals here Saturday. The Midland NHL squad also faces a two-goal deficit but the AHL-ers are in the happy position of having a 3-goal edge on the opposition. Three games will be played on Saturday. 

Happy trio of Penetang Little NHL pucksters won the playoff game for their “Guelph” team. Left to right, Don Tannahill scored twice; Ed Tugwell, goalie, kept the opposition down to three goals, and Patrick Quesnelle scored twice. 

There’s a lot of unprotected goal area around Ernie Dubeau, one of Penetang’s Little NHL goalies. Fans at last Wednesday night’s playoffs were amazed at the way the midget sized net-minder kept the puck out of the nets. 

Seventy-one safe driving awards were presented to drivers of commercial vehicles at a meeting of the Transportation Safety Association of Ontario in Guthrie Saturday night. Among the Midland and district men who received awards were, front row, Douglas Hebner and Jack Holden, of Hebner’s Taxi; Gilbert Ladouceur, Penetang-Midland Coach Lines; and back row, Laval Dubeau, Leo Desjardins, Ed Moreau, and Kenneth Roduck, all of Penetang-Midland Coach Lines. 

Sgt. Blake Ball of the Victoria Harbour OPP detachment congratulates Elwood Dalziel and Walter Cook of Hanson Transport Midland, on their safe driving records. Others in the picture are Joe LeBlanc, manager of Hanson Transport, and George Moore, Transportation Safety Association of Ontario field man. The two drivers were among a group of North Simcoe men who received safety awards and prizes at a dinner in Guthrie Saturday night. 

The cry here is not “Timber!” but it still paid to be alert as workmen dislodged this huge chunk of snow from the coping of a Midland store, high above the sidewalk. The sidewalk was blocked off while the dangerous but necessary job was carried out. (This building, known as the opera house, would be completely destroyed by fire exactly one year from the date of this article; the People’s Store fire.) 

 Awarded the trophy for the best float in the parade, at the Penetang Winterama Saturday and Sunday, was this entry of Gropp Motors. The boys and girls on the float depict the various winter sports in the Penetang area. 

This happy group of children rode Tessier’s float in the Winterama parade in Penetang Sunday. Thousands attended the two-day event. 

Winner of the open and l00 hp and over classes in scoot races at the Winterama Sunday, Leo King of Go Home Bay receives the world championship trophy from Cliff Bower. 

Music director at MPDHS, W. A. Bartlett said none of the young instrumentalists have been playing together in any fashion for more than two years. The string ensemble actually was formed only at the beginning of the present school term last September. Their progress in that short period is best told by their success at Toronto. In finishing first with 86 points, they outscored a junior ensemble from the Royal Conservatory, which has been organized for at least 15 years, and another group from University Settlement, approximately five years in formation. The MPDHS string ensemble won its class and this string quartet finished fourth in a field of six. Left to right are Robin Benson, Marion Miller, Catherine McAllister, and Lois Cowan. 

Every year Port McNicoll Public School holds a unique “father and son” banquet, where the sons actually prepare and serve the food. From Grades 7 and 8, the boys are instructed by Mrs. Mary Moriarty. Dads in the above picture are, left to right, Russel Coughlin, Elmer Callan, Bruce Duncan, and Ray Belanger. Boys are Danny Callan, left, and Bobby Duncan. 

Business is a bit slow through the big lock at Port Severn at the moment. But in a few more weeks the ice and snow will be gone and pleasure boats will again wend their way from Georgian Bay through the lock to the Severn River and the Trent Canal beyond. 

  •  The Midland Free Press headline of March 4th, 1959; 16-Month-Old Boy Dies in Isolated Baxter Home. Isolated in a Baxter Township home, three-and-a-half miles east of Highway 103, a 16-month-old boy died in the arms of his mother Friday evening before he could receive medical attention. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Cadeau, Archie David Cadeau had been ill with pneumonia. The roads were blocked by snow. His two-month-old sister, Diane, was rushed to  Penetanguishene General Hospital suffering from the same illness after roads had been bulldozed Saturday. He said his son died in their three-room home while he and his father-in-law, Albert Leduc, 76, were hitching up a team of horses to take the child to a doctor. Just as they had finished putting the harness on the team, his wife said the baby had died. They have eight other children. Mr. Cadeau and his father-in-law then drove the team over the snow-clogged township road to the highway and from there to his brother’s home in Port Severn. He called Coroner R. F. Brown of Coldwater, who told him to bring the baby out. He returned home and he and his wife walked the seven miles back to Port Severn with the body of the child.
  • The County Herald headline of March 6, 1959; Camp Buildings Collapse, Loss May Reach $10,000. Officials of the Simcoe Presbytery, United Church Camp (Simpresca), located on Midland Point about six miles north of Midland, discovered Thursday morning that the camp’s dining room and the kitchen had collapsed under the weight of snow. Walter Coutts of Elmvale, chairman of the camp committee, said the loss could run as high as $10,000.  Both frame structures, the 30 by 60-foot dining room was built in 1949, and the 20 by 30-foot kitchen in 1957. He decided to inspect the camp after he had heard at a special meeting of church elders and stewards in Elmvale Wednesday night that the regular watchman at the camp, Loran Williams, had died in January. He said the committee did not know of the watchman’s death prior to the meeting. As a result, the camp had not been inspected for some time.

  • Coldwater — Cottage owners in the Severn River area have received additional warnings from Lands and Forests officials to have snow removed from roofs. It was reported this week that among the latest casualties of roof cave-ins were two cottages at the Swift power plant and two on the Lost Channel, all in the same day. A total of 20  cottages have been reported destroyed by the weight of snow in the Six Mile Lake area, this winter.
  • Dear Editor: I would like to go on record as making the following statement: I have been a part-time resident of Victoria Harbour for the past 21 years and I have found the town a very pleasant place to live. I think that one of its attractions is that it is a “dry town”. I hope it continues to be a town where “licker” and beer are not sold. I have six cottages which I rent and I feel many of my tenants will feel the same way that I do. —HERBERT C. MERRY.
  • (Railroading was and is a dangerous vocation.) David Moir, a 43-year-old CNR brakeman from Lindsay, met death beneath the wheels of a freight train in the Orillia yards early Saturday morning. Mr. Moir was the head brakeman on the freight which arrived in Orillia at 2.40 a.m. from Midland. It is believed he fell under the wheels as he attempted to board an express car. The accident was the third in a little more than a year in the same area in which a man was killed beneath the wheels of a train.
  • There appears to have been little danger of the tragedy which struck the Western Ontario community of Listowel on the weekend, occurring in the North Simcoe area. Seven boys practicing for a pee-wee hockey game, and the town’s recreational director, were killed when the roof of the community’s Memorial Arena (built in 1954) suddenly collapsed Saturday morning. A check of arenas in this area revealed, that snow had been cleared from all of them BEFORE the Listowel disaster. Several have been cleared three or four times during this winter of abnormal snowfall.
  • Midland Public Library Board has ordered a set of the 36-volume (Thwaites) edition of The Jesuit Relations, Librarian Dawson Leigh announced this week. Mr. Leigh said the first six volumes of the unabridged edition are scheduled to arrive at the library this month, and the remaining volumes would be here by June. He said the original edition of “The Relations” was in 72 volumes.
  • Heavy snow loads are taking their toll of summer buildings in Tiny Township, according to reports received this week. Two large buildings in the area west of Penetang Bay collapsed Friday night. The one was a building approximately 110 by 75 feet at the summer resort owned by Phil Charlebois. A complete estimate of the loss is not yet known, although it will run into several thousand dollars. Used an a community hall for the occupants of more than 20 cottages, the building was almost a total wreck. About a dozen small boats, lawn furniture, and other items stored in the building are believed to be damaged considerably. The other large structure was the big dormitory of the Bayview Scout Camp, sometimes known as Camp Tap-a-Wingo. Substantial sums had been spent in renovating the building within the past few years, and it was only last year that installation of brick siding had been completed.
  • Veteran Midland barber and one-time Midland bandsmen, D. E. “Teddy” Pearson collapsed and died in a taxi near his Sixth Street home Friday afternoon. Mr. Pearson had boarded the Hebner’s taxi at Bay and King Streets shortly after 1 p.m. As driver Jack Holden drove along Sixth Street he heard Mr. Pearson making strange sounds. He stopped, the car and summoned the aid of passerby Stan Hacker and his brother, By the time medical aid could be obtained, Mr. Pearson had died. Dr. John Cardwell, the coroner, was called to the scene. Mr. Pearson had sold his business and retired some time ago.
  • BIRTHS – BOAST To Mr. and Mrs. Frank Boast, 205 King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, Feb. 27, 1959, a daughter. BRISSETTE — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Brissette, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, Feb. 26, 1959, a daughter. BRODEUR—To Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Brodeur, 89 Olive St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, March 3, 1959, a son. DE COLA — To Mr. and Mrs. Victor De Cola, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, March 2, 1959, a son. KING — To Mr. and Mrs. Rufus King, Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, March 3, 1959, a daughter. LEITZ — To Mr. and Mrs. Guenther Leitz, Ruby St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, March 1, 1959, a son. MOREAU To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Moreau, Victoria Harbour, at St, Andrews Hospital, Midland, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1959, a son. MOREAU — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Moreau, 209 George St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, March 3, 1959, a daughter. NEWMAN — To Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle Newman, 124 Seventh St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, Feb,. 28, 1959, a daughter. RUSSELL — To Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Russell (nee June Church) at Grace Hospital, Toronto, Thursday, March 5, 1959, a son. THERRIEN — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Therrien, 273 Third St., Midland; at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, March 1, 1959, a son. THORNTON — To Mr. and Mrs. James Thornton, Waubaushene, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland; Thursday, February 26, 1959, a daughter.
  • Ten (70) Years Ago This Week – More than 5,000 persons attended the second annual winter carnival in Penetang. For the second year in succession, the event had perfect weather. * * * Shipping officials were predicting an early opening of navigation in 1949. Ice depth in Midland harbor was less than 15 inches and there was little or no ice beyond the Giant’s Tomb, it was reported. * * * Coldwater council authorized its public utilities superintendent to make nightly water shutoffs as the water level in the reservoir was becoming dangerously low. The cut-offs were necessary, it was stated, to keep the level from dropping below three feet. * * * Midland Lions Club was providing free checks on eye faults and vision defects in Midland’s elementary schools. * * *  Of the men who tried navigators’ examinations at Midland Marine School sponsored by the  Midland District High School Board, one obtained his master’s ticket and nine others obtained mates tickets inland waters. * * * Penetang council instructed Clerk W. H. Hewson to have a bylaw drafted whereby police and council would have some control over persons driving taxi cabs in the town.  * * * The post office in Coldwater had been moved from the Millard block to new quarters in the McConachie building. The shift was made on a weekend.
  • “Long overdue” was the comment of Penetang Police Chief Jack, Arbour as he read of proposed legislation which will make windshield trinkets a legal offense. “It was getting to the point where I sometimes wondered how some of the drivers could see the road through the dozens of articles they had slung from their rearview mirrors,” the chief said. Announcements made this week indicate the Ontario legislature will enact legislation which will make it an offense to clutter up car windshields with hanging objects. Included also will be windshield stickers.
  • Parents’ night for the 4th Midland Wolf Cub Pack was held at St. Paul’s United Church March 3 with 34 Cubs, four leaders, 49 parents and 12 children present. Rev. W. L. Morden presented 1st stars to the following: Arthur McComb, Bob Montgomery, Bruce Wilcox, Russel Penhale, Frank McLean, Ralph Battrick, Brian Morden, Eddie French, Ralph Rawn, Ernie Boast, Pacey Shulman, Jim Withers, and David Banks. Jamie Lounsbery was presented with his collector and cyclist badges.

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