Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 22nd to 30th, 1959

Nearly an hour was required from the time this concrete structure was raised from its prone to its upright position at the front of St. Mark’s Church. Here workmen bolt and cement it to the foundation. The tower is in memory of Capt. and Mrs. Ed. Burke, the McCartney family and Bob Thomas.

  • County Herald headline of April 24, 1959; New Industrial Water Line Cuts Town Load One-Third. Midland’s raw water pumping system, in full operation since April 15, has brought about a major reduction in the consumption of water from the town’s domestic supply. Alex Macintosh, the chairman, of the Midland Public Utilities Commission, told a joint meeting of the council, chamber of commerce, planning board and the PUC Monday night that the industrial system has cut the drain on the domestic supply by one-third. At the present time, only Midland Industries is using industrial water. Mr. Macintosh felt when other water-using industries were hooked on to the raw water that the drain on the town reservoir would be cut by an even greater amount.
  • Free Press Herald headline of April 29, 1959; Penetang Docking Point in New Royal Tour Plan. Royal tour plan for this area, now reportedly receiving serious consideration by tour committee officials at Ottawa, calls for the Royal Yacht Britannia to dock off Penetang Point July 4, with the Queen, Prince Philip and the royal party arriving at Penetang dock aboard a tender from the yacht. It is understood the proposed new schedule would permit the Queen to spend about 20 to 25 minutes in each of the towns of Penetang and Midland before she leaves the latter by train for Orillia. The royal party after a half hour stop in Orillia would then leave by train for Gravenhurst, arriving there shortly after the supper hour, it is reported. This newspaper also understands that Her Majesty would move from Gravenhurst to Torrance by car, rejoining her train there for the trip to Parry Sound. It is understood that on her arrival in Parry Sound, the Queen will tour the town by car, spending about 20 minutes in that center before she embarks on a tender to board the Britannia, awaiting her off Red Rock outside Parry Sound harbor.
  • The 1959 navigation season opened in the Bayports today with the arrival of the CSL’s Sir James Dunn at Tiffin Elevator, Midland, at 7.15 a.m., and the same line’s Coverdale at Port McNicoll a short time later.
  • Students at Midland-Penetang District High School will have a new sidewalk to serve them on Hugel Ave. west as the result of a decision of Tay Township council. Work on the five-foot-wide sidewalk, now underway, is being supervised by Councillor Laurence Olimer under the federal-provincial winter works program. It is hoped that Midland will complete the sidewalk from the township boundary to Hugel and Eighth Streets in the town.
  • Philip Blake of 161 Yonge Street, Midland, is all done “workin’ on de railroad”. Mr. Blake’s employment with the CNR — 22 years in the car department at Midland — officially came to an end yesterday on his 65th birthday. Actually, Mr. Blake worked 27 years on the railway in all, including five with the old Grand Trunk system before it was incorporated into the CNR. Born in Ottawa, Mr. Blake was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Philip Blake, Sr., who brought him to Midland when he was 12 years old. Blake Sr. was a lumber inspector for the old Turner Lumber Co. and later served as a foreman for a number of Midland firms. Upon leaving school, young Phil Blake sailed for a couple of years before deciding his future didn’t lie on the Great Lakes. He then worked for a number of Midland stores before joining the car department of the Grand Trunk in 1920. After five, years with the GTR he quit becoming a policeman at Little Lake Park. He also was employed as a driver-salesman for a bread firm here for a number of years. Mr. Blake joined the CNR as a car helper in December 1937 and was promoted to car man in June 1943. He held that post until his retirement this week.
  • Each Wednesday evening at Midland YMCA during the winter, gym classes for married women were held under the direction of Mrs. W. F. Neale and Mrs. John Courtémanché. In the main, the project was organized by former members of Hi-Y girls’ gym classes. At one time during the winter about 30 young women and one grandmother were taking the exercises. Music for the floor work was provided by pianist, Mrs. Laverne Wright. It was a cosmopolitan crowd, for some of the young women originally came from Italy, Belgium, and Germany, while others had home towns in every province from Newfoundland to  Saskatchewan.
  • When Hubert Patenaude decided to open an electrical, plumbing and heating store in Penetang, he remembered his own yen for “do-it-yourself” projects, and immediately resolved to give assistance to do-it-yourselfers so far as his own lines of business are concerned. Although Hubert’s business venture is to be known as Patenaude Electric, he is selling plumbing and heating appliances as well. In addition, he will continue his electrical contracting work, along with plumbing and heating.
  • Opening day of his new store Thursday is one that will be well remembered by Hubert Patenaude. Along with the usual excitement of the opening day, he had to deal with a serious fire in the building. It caused several hundred dollars damage. Smoke was noticed at the rear of the store about 5 o’clock, and investigation revealed flames licking up the side of the frame addition. Firemen found the fire was burning in the back of the Patenaude store and a shed behind a restaurant next door.
  • Tay council has decided to explore opening up the 9th concession south from Highway 12 to permit access to Steve Gratrix’ property, adjacent to the former township dump.
  • John Power – Outdoor Diary; Heard some talk about all the camping on Beausoleil Island is prohibited with the exception of the site at the park headquarters. I understand they are dividing this into lots and, if you want to camp on the island, this is where you have to do it. The reasons for these drastic steps? Because they couldn’t control it otherwise. Too much wood was being wasted and too many people getting away without paying, as all the sites couldn’t be patrolled often enough to collect from everyone before they left in the mornings. I was under the impression this wasn’t a money making project but a project to give people the pleasures of camping outdoors.
  • OPEN HOUSE, Ontario Hospital, Penetanguishene. The Superintendent and staff cordially invite the public to visit and inspect various facilities during Open House, Wednesday, April 29, from 1.00 to 3.30 p.m.
  • St. Margaret’s rectory was the setting for the wedding of Anne Mary Shiels, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Shiels, to Joseph Edward Faragher, the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Lorne Faragher. The 2 p.m. ceremony, April 4, was conducted by Rev. F. Voorwerk. The bride, given in marriage by her father, chose a satin brocade dress with long sleeves, bateau, neckline at the front and, a deep scoop at the back ending with a large bow and falling into a bouffant skirt. She wore a matching coronet headpiece with seed pearls, a fingertip veil and carried two mauve orchids, with sprays of stephanotis. The matron of honor, Mrs. Ron Shiels, and bridesmaid, Lenore Faragher, wore matching dresses of cocktail-length white organza embossed with blue forget-me-nots over white taffeta. They had scalloped necklines, scalloped capped sleeves, and pleated cummerbunds ending with bows at the back. They also wore matching headdresses, mittens and shoes and carried sprays of blue and white carnations. Ron Shiels, brother of the bride, was best man and Jim Lemieux was attendant. The reception for 125 guests was held at the Knights of Columbus Hall. Mrs. Wilfred Shiels, the bride’s mother, received the guests in a sheath dress of beige peau-de-sole, matching accessories of beige contrast, and a corsage of coral baby roses. She was assisted by Mrs. Lorne Faragher, the groom’s mother, who wore a sheath dress of romance blue shirred crepe, matching accessories and a corsage of yellow baby roses. For her wedding trip to the northeastern United States, the bride wore a rose-beige stroller suit, dark brown accessories and her flowers were coral sweetheart roses. Out-of-town guests attended the wedding from Toronto, Barrie, Orillia, Victoria Harbour, Mount St. Louis, Penetang and the surrounding district. They are residing at 148 Robert Street, Midland. (A much loved and respected couple, our condolences to Joe and the Faragher family.)
  • The principal of Midland – Penetang District High School since its inception in 1954, Lorne M. Johnston resigned last week to accept a position with the Department of Education. Now a resident secondary school inspector, Mr. Johnston, and his family will make their home in Belleville. He will have 30 high schools and collegiate in his large territory which includes the cities of Belleville and Peterborough, and the counties of Halliburton, Hastings, Lennox-Addington, Northumberland and Durham, Peterborough and Prince Edward.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Coldwater firemen announced plans to hold professional wrestling bouts in the village skating rink during the summer months. The brigade had approached the rink commission to obtain a rental agreement. * * * One of Midland’s newest business establishments — Canadian Tire Associate Store — was preparing to open its doors to the public. The proprietor was David J. Finch, and store manager, Murray McComb. * * * National Employment Service office in Midland reported there was a drop of 57 percent in the number of persons seeking employment in April. The number of jobless men declined from 572 to 238, and the number of unemployed women dropped from 49 to 29. * * * It was announced that the S.S. City of Cleveland would dock at Midland June 14 with 200 members of the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce on board. * * * Temperatures throughout North Simcoe remained warm with a high of 86 being recorded. This thermometer reading was said to have been the highest in a number of years for so early in the season. * * * Huronia Council, Knights of Columbus, received its charter at a ceremony in St. Ann’s Church, Penetang. George Mead was named grand knight of the new council. * *  * A survey of Simcoe County farms revealed that spring seeding was completed on half of the county’s farms. It also noted that fall wheat and winter rye had suffered very little damage from the cold weather. * * * Canada was preparing for a federal election June 27. Enumeration of voters’ lists was to get underway early in May. 

Happenings in Midland, March 19, 1903.

– The public library has been closed for the past two weeks, but will probably be open on Saturday.
-The ice on the bay is becoming dangerous and there are notices up warning people against crossing the ice.
-Mr. F. J. McCallum has purchased the fine residence on Dominion street, at the head of First street, from Mr. E. Ganton.
-Some $22,000.00 have been placed in the estimates by the Dominion Parliament for the dock at Midland and for dredging in the harbor. There is great activity about the boats and tugs that are wintering in the harbor. Men are overhauling the craft preparatory to the opening of the season’s work.
-Spring millinery opening commencing March 26 and continuing
the two following days. Everybody welcome. Don’t forget the dates, Mrs. J. A. MacDougall.
-Engineer Smith has made for the fire brigade a very neat and light hose reel which can be easily operated by a few then. This will be an improvement to the fire fighting appliances.
-Messrs. W. H. Hacker & Co. have built eight fine skiffs and canoes during the winter, and have two more on the way now. This firm intends to build several gasoline launches during the spring. The boats they turn out are well made and of good stuff.
-Easter Term—The Easter term in the Central Business College, Stratford, Ont. commences April 1st. Mr. W. J. Elliott, the Principal of the College, will be pleased to mail a beautiful catalogue to all who wish to secure a business or shorthand education.
-Mrs. W. F. Campbell received word last week that her father Mr. A.
Christie, residing near Rogersville, had died on Tuesday. He had been ill for a long time, Mr. Christie had reached the fourscore years. Dr. and Mrs. Campbell left on Wednesday for the bereaved home, returning on Saturday.
-The Women’s Auxiliary, of the Midland and Penetanguishene General and Marine Hospital, intend holding a bazaar and entertainment in aid of the building fund of that deserving charity. The public is earnestly requested to help, and contributions of useful and fancy articles will be most gratefully accepted. The contributors will kindly leave their work at Mrs. Raikes’ house as soon as possible. The sale will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday of Easter week April 14 and 15.
-The By-law to raise the sum of $20,000 for the purpose of purchasing the electric light plant, removing the same, erecting new machinery, buildings, etc. which was voted on by the ratepayers on Friday last, was carried by a majority of 169 votes. It will be seen that very little interest was taken in the matter when out of a possible 600 votes only 208 were cast, the votes being 188 for and 17 against the by law, or 11 to 1. This is an improvement in one respect on the vote taken two years ago on the same thing. The vote then was 102 for and 64 against.
-There was organized here this week a new marine company which will be a decided acquisition. The Midland Palace Scow Co. is the name by which the new concern will be known. The shareholders are prominent businessmen. The purpose of the company is to build and operate palace scows on the Georgian Bay. There is an increasing demand by wealthy tourists for palace scows, or houseboats and good prices are paid for their use during the holiday season. The company will begin at once the construction of a palatial houseboat and will follow it by as many others as the demand warrants.
-The local pastors and Sunday-school workers have decided upon holding a convention of town Sunday school workers during the month of April. Three sessions have been arranged for, to be held on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, April 6, 7 and 8. The sessions will be held in the Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodist churches. The program which has been arranged promises to be interesting and instructive. This is the first convention of the kind ever held in the town, and for that reason, it will be of special interest. All Sunday school workers are invited to attend and take part, though the meetings will doubtless be open to all who are interested.
-What might be called the crowning act in connection with the erection of the new Presbyterian church was performed on Thursday last when the new bell; which was procured through the efforts of the young men of the congregation, was placed in position, and on Sunday morning it pealed forth its sweet tones, reminding the citizens that the hour to assemble for worship had arrived. The bell is an excellent one, has a splendid tone, and is a credit to the church and town. In fact the building in all its aspects is a splendid structure, and the rumor that was current when the contract was awarded, and which originated outside the town, that there were no mechanics in Midland sufficiently capable of doing the work, was groundless because close scrutiny reveals the fact that the masonry, carpenter work and painting deserves equal praise, and each alike has been performed with care and skill.

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