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

The Free Press negatives came to the museum in their original Ilford film boxes, each box containing a month’s worth of negatives, roughly 100. It appears that the month of April 1959 was not included. We know that the photos are the most interesting part of these museum postings for many people and we will “copy and paste” from the newspaper whenever the quality permits. 

Saturday marked another milestone for Mrs. Elizabeth Archer of Waverley who marked her 91st birthday at the home of Mrs. James Truax. Born in Tecumseh, Township, she was married 72 years ago to William Archer, who passed on some ten years ago. The Archers had farmed on Con. 2 Medonte for many years, later retired to Elmvale. Mrs. Archer, who has no family, came to Waverley to live some three years ago. Aside from a slight defect in her hearing she still enjoys reasonably good health for her years. 

The second event in the 10th annual mixed bonspiel here last week produced an all-Midland final between rinks skipped by Dr. Jim Small and Lloyd Wilcox. Dr. Small emerged the winner. Left to right are; front row, Mrs. W. McConnell, Mrs. Lloyd Wilcox, Mrs. Ken Ellis, Mrs. Mac Perrin; back row, “Woody” McConnell, Lloyd Wilcox, Dr. Small, Mac. Perrin.

Unlike younger members of their sex, ladies at Georgian Manor don’t try to cut a few years off their age. Shown here celebrating her 81st birthday at the home of her niece Mrs. Wm Carr, is Miss Nellie Evans, seated, who lived near Victoria Harbour until about a year and a half ago. Standing left to right, Mrs. George Ingram, Mrs. A. B. Murcklen, Mrs. Wm. Carr, Mrs. Elsie Fountain, Mrs. Douglas Hardy, and Carol Anne, Mrs. Gordon Carr and Linda, and Mrs. W. A. Argue. 

  • Midland Free Press headline of April 1st, 1959; Midland Policemen Take Dispute to Arbitration. The above is the outcome of Midland council’s action Thursday night when it turned down for a second time the officers’ requests for wage increases. Alderman James Mackie, chairman of the police committee told council that Collingwood council had granted all ranks in its police department a $150 increase for 1959 and a $100 annual increase for 1960. A two-year agreement had been signed, he said. Reeve Keller asked Mr. Mackie what increase had Collingwood given to its police officers last year. Mr. Mackie replied, “None.” “Well we gave ours $300 each last year,” Mr. Keller said. Mr. Mackie then tabled a motion, seconded by Alderman Haig, that the Midland officers be given a $100 increase for 1959 and a $100 increase for 1960, on condition that all ranks signed a two-year contract.
  • County Herald headline of April 3, 1959; Midland Port Officer Reports Revenue Down. A big reduction in the amount of coal imported through Midland last year is reflected in the annual statement of customs and excise collections for the port of Midland for the fiscal year 1958-59, submitted to this paper by A. E. Martin, collector. The total revenue last year as $755,322.60 as compared with $798,647.99 the previous year, a decrease of $43,325.30.  The Century Coal dock imported only 138,000 tons, as against 331,000 tons the previous year.
  • Today may be April Fool’s Day, but it definitely is no day to be “fooling around”, on the highways with a motor vehicle. On trial for the past two months, Ontario’s new driver demerit system goes into effect today. It’s designed to root out careless and dangerous drivers and put them off the road altogether unless they reform their habits. Similar to demerit systems already in effect in three other provinces and 17 states of the U.S., the Ontario regulation provides three-month license suspensions for motorists who collect 12 demerits in any two year period. All 12 points can be “earned” at one swoop by convictions for criminal negligence, drunk or impaired driving, or obtaining a fraudulent driver’s license. Failing to remain at the scene of an accident is good for nine points. Careless driving, racing or exceeding the speed limit by 30 MPH or more counts five points. Three points can be “earned” by merely exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 and less than 30 MPH, failing to yield the right of way, failing to obey stop sign or signal. Exceeding the speed limit by 10 MPH or less, or any, other moving violation, costs two points. Motorists will receive a warning letter when they build up six points and will be called in for an interview when they reach nine points. Twelve points mean an automatic suspension for three months.
  • Chief Robert Cameron has asked Midland council to grant him a hearing following council’s action Thursday night, requesting that he resign. A motion calling for the chief’s resignation came after a lengthy discussion of police affairs. The motion received the unanimous support of council. The consensus of council was that the chief was not performing his duties satisfactorily and could no longer hold the confidence of the men on the force. Date of the hearing has not been set.
  • Subject to approval by the park’s commission, Midland council has approved a 25-year lease with the Midland Curling Club for the curling rink. Council was informed that the curling club was in accord with the changes in the lease which had been re-drafted by the town solicitor George S. Dudley, Q.C. The new lease grants the club the option of an additional 25-year lease when the present lease expires.
  • by JOHN BRIDGES Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers meeting March 25 at Bourgeois’ dining room had the largest turn-out of the winter. There were 70 in attendance. Guest included Bruce Collins, the local conservation officer who succeeded Fred Chew, and Conservation Officer Fred Bowes. Also present was Mel Moreau, newly-appointed chairman of the Leaders Fellowship Council of Midland YMCA. He asked the Hunters and Anglers Club to assist with a new program for teen-aged youth, being sponsored by the ‘Y’. The program will include camping and hiking. He sought the club’s permission to use its property on the side road north of Old Fort School for the project. (Ogden’s Beach Road)
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – A set of carillonic bells, donated to St. Matthias’ Anglican Church, Coldwater, by the Gover and Tipping families in memory of Howard Gover and Mr. and Mrs. George Tipping, were dedicated at a special service. Archdeacon A. G. Emmett of Orillia was in charge of the service. (The church has now been sold into private hands) * * * A group of McGill University graduates and Orillia admirers of Stephen Leacock were seeking to raise $50,000 to preserve the old Leacock home and its 48-acre property near Orillia. * * * A number of Penetang businessmen had purchased the Georgian Bay Tourist Co. Ltd. boats “Midland City” and “City of Dover.” The purchase price was listed as $50,000 and included as well the “Waterbus,” two 36-foot launches and two scows. The two cruise ships were to operate out of Penetang. * * * Coldwater council, in a deadlock vote which had to be decided by Reeve Ernest Miller, turned down a proposal for Daylight Saving Time in the village. * * * Newfoundland became Canada’s newest and tenth province. The big island became part of the Dominion March 31. * * * First ship into Midland harbor was the S.S. Imperial Simcoe. She arrived here from Collingwood April 9. Several CSL freighters and the government lightship- St. Heliers has left the harbor April 7. * * * Simcoe County Health Unit reported two deaths from poliomyelitis in the county during March. A third polio case was under treatment at Toronto Isolation Hospital.
  • Licence to operate a radio station in Midland was granted last week by the Canadian Board of Broadcast Governors, it was announced today by J. E. Lounsbery, chairman of the chamber of commerce businessmen’s committee. The licence has been issued to a group of Toronto men, several of whom are at present employed by the Canadian Broadcasting Principals in the application for a licence were R. Bruce Armstrong and Grant Forsyth, both of Toronto. According to Mr. Lounsbery, the Toronto men and their families intend to take up residence in Midland. Ownership and management of the new station will be entirely based in Midland. It is understood the operators of the station have already earmarked a location for their transmitting unit just outside of town (The Cecil German farm on the southwest corner of Little Lake).  Arrangements will be underway immediately to locate suitable studio and office space somewhere in the downtown section of Midland (above Cumming & Nicholson Shoes, the Grise block). It is expected that about 12 persons will be employed by the station.
  • Obituaries – ROBERT L. STOTT A resident of Wyevale for most of his life, Robert Leonard Stott died at his residence lot 14, Concession 6, Tiny, on March 1. Funeral service was held, March 3, at Wyevale United Church, with Rev. R. Chapman officiating. Pallbearers were A. Martin, E. Nerpin, S. Lyons, A. Brock, R. Houghton, and G. Hall. Mr. Stott was born at Stroud March 23, 1880. A member of the United Church he had served on the Board of Stewards. He had also served as a school trustee and as representative from Tiny Township on the Elmvale High School Board. Predeceased by his wife, the former Muriel McCallum, he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. C. Blow (Margaret) of Wyevale and Mrs. Ralph Mertz (Grace) of Wyebridge. Two grandchildren also survive. Temporary entombment was in Elmvale Cemetery vault. * * * GAIL ANN BALL Following an attack of bronchitis, Gail Ann Ball, four-month-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ewart Ball, Waverley, died in Penetang General Hospital March 18. Funeral services were held, March 21, at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with Rev. W. Morden officiating. Pallbearers were four uncles; Grant Ball, Charles Ball, Earl Ball, and Roy Truax. Besides her parents, she is survived by both sets of grandparents; Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert Dingman, Burk’s Falls, and Mr. and Mrs. Langford Truax, Midland. Temporary entombment was in Lakeview Cemetery vault with burial to be made later in Allenwood Cemetery. * * * WILLIAM CRAWFORD – A Midland resident all his life, William Crawford died in Penetang March 17 after a lengthy illness. Funeral service was held March 20, at Nicholls funeral home with Rev. J. L. Self officiating. Pallbearers were Doug Martin, Fred Grigg, Ben Cowie, David Hudson, Harold Hamilton, and Francis Miller. Born at Wyebridge in 1885, Mr. Crawford married the former Katie Leona Connor at Midland in 1915. He was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church and a Conservative in politics. Surviving besides his wife are three daughters, Mrs. J. Scott (Norma) of California; Mrs. A. Hamelin (Eva), of Hamilton; Mrs. R. J. Frame (Arlene) Midland; seven sons, Douglas and Gerald, Toronto, and Oakley, Kinsman, Vernon, Morley and Barry of Midland, and 16 grandchildren. Also surviving are a brother, Jack of Midland, and two sisters, Mrs. Wm. Hutchinson (Bella) of Moonstone and Mrs. Wm. Hawkins (Rita) of Wyebridge. * * * Funeral services, under Masonic auspices, will be held this afternoon for Arthur I. (Doc) Merchant, who died at Penetang General Hospital early Wednesday morning. He was in his 67th year. The proprietor of French Dry Cleaners, Midland, for the past 16 years, Mr. Merchant lived just south of Wyebridge. His wife, the former Winifred Stine, survives. There are no children. Mr. Merchant had returned to Midland only recently after spending two months with relatives in California. In failing health in recent years, he entered Penetang Hospital shortly after his return for treatment for a heart condition. Born in Indiana, Mr. Merchant had been a superintendent for Presto-Lite, Niagara Falls, N.Y., and supervised the building of a new plant in Toronto when the firm expanded to Canada. He assumed management of the dry cleaning establishment here upon ‘his retirement’ some 12 years ago. During his years in Midland, Mr. Merchant took an active part in the life of the town. He was a past president of the Kiwanis Club and was also a member of the Lions Club, Midland Shrine Club, Caledonian Lodge, A.F. and A. M., Midland Golf and Country Club, Midland Curling Club, and St. Paul’s United Church. * * * MRS. IRA HILL – An esteemed resident of Midland for 75 years, Mrs. Ira Hill died at the Stewart Nursing Home, Penetang, on March 27. She was in her 85th year. Rev. Ralph Wright, of Calvary Baptist Church, Midland, where Mrs. Hill had played the organ for nearly four decades, conducted services held in A. Barrie and Sons funeral home on March 28. Temporary interment was made in Lakeview Cemetery vault. Pallbearers were Dr. H. M. Wallis, William Scheetz, Don Howard, James Clarkson, Fred Chew and Boy French. The former Josephine Arnold, Mrs. Hill was born at Bradford on Feb, 4, 1875. When still a young girl her family moved to Penetang and later still to Midland. She was married on February 21, 1894, in Hillsdale, to Capt. Ira Hill. The couple marked their diamond wedding anniversary in 1954 and Mr. Hill predeceased her in December 1955. Mrs. Hill’s daughter, Irene, and her granddaughter, Barbara Scheetz, also played the organ at various times in Calvary Church. Surviving is her daughter, Mrs. Irene Scheetz, Toronto; granddaughters Mrs. Barbara Wallis, Toronto, Mrs. Eleanor Chird, Germany; grandson William Scheetz, Port Credit; and seven great-grandchildren. MRS. HERBERT COUSINEAU * * * Resident of Honey Harbour all her life, Mrs. Herbert Cousineau died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, on Feb. 16. She was in her 39th year. Services were held from Our Lady of Mercy Church, Honey Harbour, on Feb. 19, with Rev. V. Perdue officiating. Temporary entombment was made at St. Ann’s Cemetery vault, Penetang. Pallbearers were Frank Òuelette, Albert Cousineau, Frank Cousineau, Frank Copegog, Michael Doyle and Donald Nicholson. The former Margaret Isabel Gendron, Mrs. Cousineau was born at Honey Harbour on April 19, 1920, and received her education there. Married to Herbert Cousineau in Honey Harbour on Dec. 13, 1942, she was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Cousineau is survived by Joanne (Mrs. Michael Doyle) of North River, and Winston, Valerie, Josie, Nancy, Frances, Frederick and Helené, all at home and a granddaughter, Margaret Anne Doyle. * * * JOHN HAMILTON STEWART – A valued member of Penetang volunteer fire department and a well-known sportsman, John Hamilton (Jack) Stewart died at his Robert Street home, following a lengthy illness during which he had been confined to his bed for more than two years. Born in Sault Ste. Marie in 1895, John Stewart moved to Penetang with his parents as a child and had lived there ever since. In 1917 he married Florida Gravelle, and they were devout members of the Roman Catholic Church. For more than 25 years Mr. Stewart was a member of the town’s volunteer fire department. He was very fond of children, and most of them knew him as “Uncle Jack.” He was a member of Huronia Council, Knights of Columbus. Surviving besides his wife are one son, Robert, of Penetang; a daughter, Claudia of Orillia; three grandchildren; two brothers, David of Toronto and William Cosgrove of Sault Ste. Marie; and four sisters, Mrs. Harry George (Irene), Penetang, Mrs. Earl Williams (Edna), Midland, Mrs. A. E. Nosworthy (Agnes), Toronto, and Miss Ellen Cosgrove, Toronto. For the funeral service, firemen from Orillia, Barrie, Midland, Coldwater, Waubaushene, Elmvale, and Penetang marched as a guard of honour from his home to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where Msgr, J. M. Castex officiated, assisted by Father R. J. Egan of Midland, Interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were all fellow firemen: F. Dumais, E. Quesnelle, L. Dubeau, G. Deschambault, E. Paradis, and L. O’Leary. At the time of his retirement in 1957, Jack Stewart had been the local branch manager of the B.A. Oil Co. for 37 years. In recognition, officials of the company attended the service.
  • Measles headed the list of communicable diseases reported for February by Simcoe County Health Unit. Forty-three cases of measles were reported with chicken pox in second place with 33 cases. Jaundice, scarlet fever, and mumps each had six cases and whooping cough, German measles and, meningitis had five, two and one cases respectively.

A few items from the summer of 1952;

Dr. Lorenzo Marcolin, whose relatives are pictured above, was born in Port McNicoll and after a prestigious career as a surgeon has authored a book entitled “A Great Lakes Treasury of Old Postcards” which is available at the museum.  https://www.dundurn.com/books/Great-Lakes-Treasury-Old-Postcards

A  queen for sure!!


Bill and Eleanor Leitch.

2 thoughts on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 1st to 7th, 1959

  1. I am hoping this comment doesn’t get posted twice – I tried a minute ago and my internet went poof. So – again, another enjoyable step back into time with this column; and another mention of a family member. In this case, a “great grand uncle”, John Hamilton STEWART. His parents, John Hamilton STEWART and Amelia BELLEROSE were my 3 x great grandparents. What the article doesn’t mention is that this John Hamilton Stewart was born six months after his father’s death in 1894 in the Soo Michigan in a lumber mill accident; leaving his mother a widow with five young children. And though it is mentioned that he was born in the Soo, it was in Michigan, not Ontario. So thank you for doing this – it’s always a pleasure to find this kind of information and bump into relatives and kin.

  2. I look at this every week and see snippets of my family every so often, my mom in grade 6, my grandfather working at Canadian Nameplate and even our house my wife and I once lived in being built up on Hanley. I see this week you have gotten to the reason why I am in Midland. It was my grandfather, R. Bruce Armstrong, that moved his family up to Midland at the end of spring 1959 to prepare for opening day of CKMP, July 1st 1959. My dad, Jim, was 15 years old at the time. My brother does have the first recording on July 1st, 1959, the day the Queen came to Midland. He is currently moving it to MP3. Thanks again, this is very important to me to share with my wife and children since we still live in Midland.

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