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All dressed up in their first communion dresses, these three little girls were all set to take part in the holy rosary parade and rally in Midland Town Park May 10. Members of St. Margaret’s parish, Midland, they are, left to right, Eileen Asselin, Brenda Contois and Barbara Anne Doucette. A short time after the picture was taken the rally had to be called off because of a sudden downpour at the park.
Persons attending the first “spring luncheon” ever held by the Woman’s Association of St. Paul’s United Church termed the event a “great success”. Among the head table guests were, left to right, Mrs. W. N. Keefe, vice-president, Mrs. Wilson Morden, Mrs. G. A. Perkins, president of Simcoe WMS, Mrs. Milt Trace, Elmvale, president of Simcoe W.A., Mrs. Stan Harman, president of the St. Paul’s group, controller Mrs. Jean Newman, Toronto, the guest speaker, and Rev. Wilson Morden, minister of St. Paul’s.
Most of the spectators who took in the annual inspection of Midland-Penetang District High School cadet corps last Thursday would have liked to change places with these girls. A few minutes with the skipping rope would have been welcomed on the cold, windy day.
This cadet, Bill Laramey, was one of the better “casualties” on display during the first aid demonstration held as part of the MPDHS annual cadet inspection Thursday. Looking on while Grant Robinson completes his work are Cadet Lieut.-Col. K. MacEachern, left, and Lieut. Jim Downer, Grey and Simcoe Foresters, the inspecting officer of the day.
So far as is known, Francis Somers, left, is the first angler to haul in a “Splake” while fishing in bay waters. With him is his uncle, Bert Martin. The Splake is a hybrid trout which Lands and Forests officials have developed by crossing lake and speckled trout. In this one, the lake trout characteristics predominated.
Sunday morning saw the dedication of this new organ and the 50th anniversary of the present church building, at Vasey United Church. Left to right, around assistant organist Mrs. Ross Faint, are Mrs. Horace Vasey, Mrs. Harold Cowden the regular organist, Rev. Gordon Nodwell, Ross Faint, Harvey Fallis and Frank Rumney. Two other members of the committee who helped raise funds for the $1,500 organ and who were not present for the picture were Mrs. Frank Rumney and Miss Eleanor Edwards.
Cold windy weather greeted the annual inspection of MPDHS cadet corps Thursday, making things difficult for both spectators and cadets. The corps demonstrates the use of Bren guns (foreground) while the big tank swings into action in the rear.
Mass production plus, that seems to be the only way to describe this pure-bred Yorkshire sow owned by Ken Robinson of Con. 3, Medonte. Mr. Robinson was quite pleased when the sow brought forth a litter of 16 piglets May 2. He was flabbergasted when he went to the stable on the morning of May 15 and found the sow had ten more tiny mouths to feed. So far as can be learned, this production mark is unheard of hitherto in this area at least.
One of nature’s most eye-catching displays is provided by the amaryllis, a large lily-like bloom. The one above is owned by Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Jeffery, 360 Midland Ave., Midland. It has eight huge red and white blooms, each a good six inches in width, four on each of two stems. The stems, incidentally, grew almost an inch a day for three weeks. At one stage the Jefferys had relegated the plant to the cellar, fearing it would not bloom.
This panel discussion group was one of the features of the tourist trade conference in Midland YMCA Wednesday night under the sponsorship of Midland Chamber of Commerce. Left to right are R. B. Moffatt, chamber secretary-manager who acted as moderator; Wilfrid Jury, well-known archaeologist; Frank Dale, proprietor of a tourist resort at Ossosane Beach; V. G. Edwards, Vice-President of Edwards Specialty Shop; and Phil Robitaille, manager of Penetang’s Hotel Brule.
- Free Press Herald headline of May 20th, 1959; Four Flee in Night Attire as Fire Razes Farm Home. A family of four escaped in their night attire when their two-storey frame and insulbrick home was levelled by fire about 1.30 a.m. yesterday morning. Not-so fortunate was the family’s pet dog, “Ring,” who perished in the flames. Loss in the blaze was severe and it is understood that comparatively little of it was covered by insurance. Burned was the home of James Borrow, who built it in 1940. It is reported to have been equipped with many modern conveniences. The house was located on Lot 7, Conc. 1, Matchedash, known as the Irish Line. Mr. Borrow said he was awakened by the crackle of flames and the smell of smoke. When he spotted it, the fire had gained considerable headway in a back shed. He awakened his wife, son Allan, 15, and daughter Isabel, 13. They barely had time to get out in their night clothing.
- County Herald headline of May 22nd, 1959; Four-mill Hike Forecast in Midland 1959 Levy. Although the 1959 budget for the corporation of Midland has not yet been finalized, indications are that the tax rate this year will be up at least four mills. At a budget meeting Tuesday night, two tentative rates were suggested which, if adopted, would have meant a 5.2-mill increase for commercial taxpayers and 5.8 for residential. Contributing more than two mills to the increased levy this year are the costs of education in the municipality. The public school rate is .37 mills higher than the 1958 levy and the district high school levy is up 1.98 mills. Council pointed out both were items over which it had no control.
- Births – ELRICK — To Mr. and Mrs. William Elrick, King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, May 12, 1959, a daughter. HEWITT — To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hewitt, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, May 14, 1959, a daughter. LEFAIVE—To Mr. and Mrs. Harold Lefaive, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday; May 14, 1959, a son. LALONDE— To Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Lalonde, 115 John St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, May 17, 1959, a daughter. MORLEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Roy Morley (nee Velma Gilson) at Grace Hospital, Toronto, Thursday, May 14, 1959, a son.
- by HARVEY H. BOYD – The Scout Badge Board session Monday, May 13, saw 39 badges go to the following groups of the district: 1st Midland, 3rd Midland, 1st Penetang Troops; Packs, 1st Midland, 3rd Midland “A” and “B”, 4th Midland. Badges awarded were: ambulance man, Jim McKean, Paul Delaney, Tom Gordanier, Ken Cleary, Marvin Howard, Doug Mutch; athlete, Denis Larmand; musician, Bert Mason, Fred Hacker, Allan McElroy; plumber, Denis Larmand, Bert Mason, Bob Prevett, David Hook, Frank Wice, John McLaughlin, Ken Ball; despatch rider, Fred Hacker; entertainer, Allan McElroy; Re-pass of ambulance man, Ken Ball; artist, Harold Belfry, Lawrence Thomas, Keith Stratton, Keith McCaughen; collector, Lawrence Thomas, Keith Stratton, Blair Shakell, Brian Scott, Freddie Hopkins, Ralph Brookman, Art McComb; swimmer, Ron Henderson, Gary McCaughen; toymaker, John Cardwell; Second star, Kennedy Self, Sandy Corcoran, Ian Dalrymple; house orderly, Freddie Hopkins, Ralph Brockman; team player, Bob Montgomery.
- 25 Years Ago 1934 – Heavy rains in Western Canada brought an end to a lengthy drought and new hope for a reduction in the grasshopper plague. * * * The Ontario and federal governments were planning a major switch of properties. In the land exchange, the Ontario government was to get the 24-square mile Camp Borden military station for turning over to the Dominion government 60 square miles of property at Petawawa. Officials at Ottawa announced they intended to abandon Camp Borden and move the flying station to Trenton. * * * Midland anglers, fishing off the dam in the Wye River, caught “several snake-like creatures with a small head and large sucker-shaped mouth.” One of them was put in a sealer full of water and was brought into Midland for identification. The anglers were informed they had been catching Lamprey eels. * * * Five tiny baby girls were born in a farmhouse near the Northern Ontario settlement of Corbeil. The mother of the quintuplets was 24-year-old Mrs. Ovila Dionne. Attending physician was Dr. A. R. Dafoe of Callander. * * * George Lynn, caretaker of Beausoleil Island National Park, was made an honorary chief of the Christian Island Indian Band. He was given the name of Oge-mah-me-she-newa, meaning Chief Messenger. The honor was bestowed on Mr. Lynn by Chief Peter Toby, a venerable member of the Christian Island Reserve. * * * Mitchell F. Hepburn, Ontario Liberal leader, addressed a crowd of 2,500 in Midland Arena Gardens. He was speaking on behalf of Dr. G. E. Tanner, the Liberal candidate in the provincial election.
- Bit of Fun – “What did the skunk say when the wind changed?” “It all comes back to me now.”
- A GROUP OF TAXPAYERS in the town’s east end are not too happy about Midland council’s action with respect to outdoor privies that have been permitted to remain on properties in that part of the municipality. Apparently, one of them is located not too far away from the new St. Andrews Hospital. The other is on a property which, in effect, belongs to the town. The taxpayers concerned point out that, as there is a bylaw prohibiting these ‘facilities’ within the corporation, and council has forced other property owners to remove privies and install adequate indoor plumbing, council’s position in these instances is particularly vulnerable. On the other hand, council found itself over a barrel on the issue when both cases were discussed at last week’s regular meeting. While the bylaw gives it authority to install sewers and toilets and to charge the costs to the properties concerned, there is, apparently, little hope of the town recuperating the charges from those now occupying the homes. In one instance, an agreement of sale was negotiated with the municipality some fifteen years ago. Since that time, and then only under duress, token payments have been made but they have not been sufficient to cover tax arrears that have accrued against the property, let alone the principal. The outcome of the discussion was that the town would advertise the property for sale by tender, in the hope a new owner would be obtained, who would pay for the plumbing and sewer installation costs. Some east end taxpayers contend, however, that the condition of the building is such that few if any, bids will be offered. They fear this unsavory privy condition will continue for some time. And they may be right. Since the municipality has plumbing equipment salvaged when public washrooms were torn down some years ago, since water is installed in the buildings, the cost of installing the facilities and the sewer laterals should not be too prohibitive. Council must admit there has been what could be termed “more frivolous expenditures.” But the question of how or when, if ever, these costs are recovered, while having an important bearing on the issue, should not be permitted to cloud the fact that so long as the privies exist, they constitute a public nuisance and a menace to the health of citizens of one section of the municipality. A statement made by Alderman Clinton Smith seems to sum up the case adequately. Council as the law-making body “should set the example.”
- The new red and white “STOP” signs erected at intersections in Midland are a decided improvement over their old black and white counterparts.
- (For the ship fans) Scheduled for christening and commissioning a few weeks prior to the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway by Queen Elizabeth June 26, the new flagship of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. will be named the Seaway Queen. The 717-foot bulk carrier, one of the largest Canadian carriers on the Great Lakes, will be in command of Capt. Frank Harpell of Midland. The Seaway Queen is designed to carry 23,000 tons of iron ore or 850,000 bushels of wheat. Weighing 7,650 tons, the vessel will travel at 16 ½ mph loaded. A crew of 31 will operate the ship. J. D. Leitch, president of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., said the Seaway Queen would be christened by Mrs. Gordon Churchill, wife of Canada’s minister of trade and commerce, and that Hon. Gordon Churchill would be the principal speaker at the May 30 ceremony. The latest addition to the 34-ship fleet of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. was designed to permit operation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the transportation of bulk cargoes between the Upper Lakes and Gulf ports. She was built at Port Weller Drydocks Limited, Port Weller. (I always thought she was one of the best-looking lake boats.)
- A new summer playground is to be developed right on Penetang’s doorstep. Work will start almost immediately. The development is to provide some 3,000 acres of cottage sites, an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts and marina, and yachting facilities. The development lies on the south shore of Georgian Bay and includes the 1,200-acre Giant’s Tomb Island. It is being developed in conjunction with Miss Edna Breithaupt; sister of the former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario and a patroness of the arts for almost half a century. In the centre of the project, she will maintain a 50-acre estate for the advancement of the arts in the tradition of the Wakunda Art and Community Centres of Canada which she founded in 1928. Some 5,000 cottage lots with maximum access to the waterfront and other facilities have been designed for the development, said Joseph Axler, of Axler and Palmer Ltd., exclusive real estate brokers for the project. The lots, a minimum of 100 by 150 feet, comply with all requirements of the Ontario Planning Act and will be, fully registered so that purchasers may obtain a proper deed. Inland lots will face on access parkways that lead to many community waterfronts averaging 400 feet to be shared by fewer than 40 families. Cottage manufacturers are assembling models of cottages on the site for public viewing sometime in the first two weeks of June.
- Midland police have decided to take their wage and working condition demands to arbitration, council was informed at its meeting Tuesday night. Police brief signatories informed council in a letter that they had engaged the services of Penetang barrister, A. B. Thompson as their arbitration board representative. They asked council to name an arbitrator. The officers said they were unable to accept councils offer as of May 12. Police Chairman James Mackie told council the main objections of the officers, so far as he could learn, were that they wanted a 40-hour week and time and a half for overtime.
- What is the biggest problem of people concerned with the tourist industry in the Midland-Penetang area? Judging from comments heard at the tourist trade conference in Midland YMCA Wednesday night it can be summed up in one word. “Parking.” Closely allied with parking, or the lack of it, is the old bugbear of the parking meter ticket. A visitor who comes out of a store in which he has spent $30, $20, $25, or even 25 cents, is not happy when he finds a parking ticket on his car, it was agreed unanimously. The problem, of course, is not unique to Midland or Penetang.
- NAP BEAUCHAMP —well-known Penetang and Midland businessman, died suddenly from a heart attack this morning at his Yonge Street, Midland, home. Funeral services for Mr. Beauchamp will be held Monday morning.
- President of Midland Planing Mills, Milton Johnston Bray, died Wednesday at St. Andrews Hospital. He was in his 80th Mr. Bray who came to Midland in 1901, married the former Effie Eugenie Sherwin in June 1906. The following year Mr. Bray and James A. Benson joined forces to form the firm known as Benson and Bray. They soon outgrew their modest plant at Montreal and Third Streets and a new company was formed, Midland Wood Products, which erected the building now used by Bay Mills Ltd. Extra capital was added and the company later became a limited firm. In 1935 the firm was liquidated and Mr. Bray returned to the site of his earlier operation. Associated with him was the Iate Norman J. Playfair, whose interests have since been purchased. Mr. and Mrs. Bray who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 26, 1956, are both gardening enthusiasts and Mr. Bray was president of the Midland Horticultural Society for several years. He was recording secretary and elder of St. Paul’s United Church for 33 years. He was a charter member of the Midland Curling Club and was for many years a member of the YMCA board. During the building campaign for the new Sunday School at St. Paul’s United Church, Mr. Bray was co-chairman along with the late H. J. Thompson. Besides his widow, Mr. Bray is survived by son, Alan S. Bray of Port Arthur, daughters Marion A. Bray of Woodstock and Mrs. Clarke Edwards (Doris) of Midland, Mrs. R. Beaumont (Agnes) of Sault Ste. Marie and a son Frank of Midland. Funeral service will be held at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home Saturday at 2 p.m. with Rev. W. L. Morden officiating. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery.
Looking back 80 years.
CHARLES HARTMAN’S reflects on his 37 years in the hardware business in Midland as told to Herbert Cranston and published in the Midland Free Press Wednesday, May 3rd, 1939.
Fifty years is a long time in any man’s life. It was fifty years ago, on Monday, May 1, 1889, that Charlie Hartman entered the hardware business. Thirty-seven years of that fifty have been spent in Midland. This town has a no more deservedly popular citizen than the said Charlie, who all this week has been receiving the congratulations of his friends. W. D. ‘Bill’ Ross, who has kept store next door to him for the past fourteen years, says that there is not a whiter man in all of Simcoe County. “If Charlie Hartman gives you his word that’s all you need,” says Bill. And no higher tribute could be paid to any man. [Please excuse the racist innuendo above, this article is verbatim from 1939.]
It was on September 5th, 1870, that the stork left a third boy baby at the farm home of John W. Hartman, eight miles southwest of Meaford, in St. Vincent Township. The little lad was christened Charles Edward. All four boys born to John Hartman and his wife, Susan Machell, are still living. Joseph, the oldest, is farming in St. Vincent Township. Frank is in the hardware business in Thornbury, and William, better known as “Bill,” who for many years was a partner with Charlie, now is Midland’s deputy reeve. Charlie Hartman loves to tell tales of his boyhood. He attended a country school in S. S. 11, St. Vincent until he was sixteen years of age and like other boys, he played “hookey” when the weather was too fine to be indoors. He remembers one teacher by the name of Frizell, who used a rung from a maple chair in place of a strap. “When he got through you didn’t want anymore,” said Charlie, as he reminiscently looked at his hands which had tasted that chair rung many times.
“He was a bad actor, that Frizell.” continued Mr. Hartman. There was a big cupboard in the schoolroom in which we used to put our lunches. One day we had an exam in geography and there were three of us who didn’t know the answers. As punishment, he shoved us into the cupboard, locked the door, and went home to supper. There was so little space that we could not move. When Frizell got to his farm boarding place he gleefully told the farmer what he had done. “You will smother them said the farmer.’ Let them smother.’ said Frizell. The farmer ran to the school and let us out, and just in time. We could not stand up and collapsed on the floor, in fifteen or twenty minutes more we might have been dead.” “The boys make much trouble for the teachers”, continued Charlie. “We did have a lot of fun, however. There were two gangs, the “uproads” and the “downroads”, depending upon which way we came to school, and when winter came we had many a snow fight, which usually ended in a fist encounter.
“I must tell you about a mean trick some of us played on a farmer neighbor, old Richard Belshaw, who was so lazy he wouldn’t cut his lambs’ tails off at the proper time when they were very small, but let them grow until they were quite big. One day a bunch of us decided to teach him a lesson. On the way home, we cornered two or three of the Iambs and cut off their tails. Next day Mr. Frizell asked the boys who went north to stay in after school. We knew what was coming, and we declared we knew nothing about what had happened. So Frizell went to see another chap who had been with us but was not at school that day. He did not know what we had said, and as he was not coming back to school, he told the truth. The next night we got a whaling that I shall never forget. Of course, it was the wrong thing to do. The lambs might have bled to death, or their tails might have been infected as the weather was warm. But we were not thinking about the lambs. We were just playing a prank on old Belshaw.”
At seventeen Charlie Hartman decided the time had come to prepare himself for his life’s work. He went to Owen Sound and tended business college for months, getting a training in bookkeeping. He boarded with an uncle, a carpenter, who secured a job for him with T. I. Thompson, a hardware merchant. So when his course was over young Charles began his apprenticeship. “I was general kickabout” said he. “The first year I got $2, the second $4 and the third $5. I worked under an oral agreement and the hours were 7 a.m. till 9 or 10 o’clock every night in the week, but I did not complain. I was tickled to death to get a job. Father and mother, of course, helped me, for I could not pay my board on $2 per week.
WENT TO BUFFALO
“I liked it in Owen Sound. There were a lot of lovely people there and I got along fine. At the end of the three years, Mr. Thompson claimed he had not guaranteed me any advance, although I certainly expected to receive a clerk’s pay when my apprenticeship was up. So I quit. Times were just as bad as they are today, If not worse, and there nothing to be had. I took a trip to Buffalo to see if I could get a job, but I could not find one in my trade. Finally, I got a chance at carriage and wagon painting. I stuck it out for three months and then decided to go back to Canada. Mother was anxious for me to come home and had got a job for me in a Meaford hardware store. The morning I left Buffalo was very hot, and as the train passed through fields of Ontario clover I thought I had never seen anything lovelier, nor had fresh air ever seemed so refreshing. I swore I would never go back to a city to live. It was while working for William Butchart that young Charles Hartman met the young woman who was to be his wife. She was Margaret Edwards, daughter of Albert Edwards, proprietor of Meaford’s grist mill. Charlie lived in the Edwards’ home during his four years in Meaford and got a chance to become well acquainted with the lady of his choice. He did not marry her, however, until he had purchased the hardware business of Thomas Carscadden at Thornbury, and set up in business for himself. ”I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself and marry before I was in a position to take care of a wife like so many young fellows do today,” he said.
CAME TO MIDLAND
After five years in Thornbury Charles Hartman came to Midland and in partnership with his brother William bought out the hardware establishment owned by William Peters. It was a little old frame building and occupied the same site as the present Hartman store. When he purchased the property a few years later Mr. Hartman tore down the old Peters building and erected the present store in 1913. “Bill and I never had a partnership agreement,” said Charlie. “He had had no previous hardware training. He came direct from the farm, but we shared everything on a fifty-fifty basis. He was with me for eighteen years and we always got along splendidly together. The partnership was dissolved on his initiative. He never cared much for the business, and he saw the boys coming along. In half an hour we settled all the details as to dissolution. In 1933 my two sons Albert and Wells became my partners. Each of us now owns a third. My other boy Ainsley also worked in the store, but as yet he has no partnership interest in the business. Those boys pull together wonderfully. “Some of your clerks have been with you a long time, have they not?” l asked. “Oh yes. Bill Stephens, who drives and delivers, has been with us for 21 years, and Mrs. Norman Chew has been bookkeeper off and on for nearly 25 years. Watson Battrick has been with us for twelve years.”
“You have seen many changes in the hardware business in the past fifty years?” I suggested. Indeed and I have. There has been a great improvement in the finishing of goods, such as stoves and kitchen utensils. Old barn framing tools, blacksmith tools, lumbermen’s tools, and most of the heavy hardware has disappeared. Vises, anvils, and machinists’ tools have little sale. Not nearly as many lanterns are sold as in the old days. The old cut nails have gone. We never see them now. All nails are wire, and they are better nails. They should be for they are dearer. We used to buy a keg of nails for 31.90 which today costs us 3.50 “We did the greatest volume of business in the years 1915 to 1929. Those were the days when the lumber yards, the shipyards, and the elevators were flourishing. There was a lot of building in those days. Today there is practically none. “The greatest change is, however, in the hearts of the people. When things were going well and there was lots of work people seemed to be happy and contented. When things went bad in 1930 and men started going on relief it was terrible. So many people who had saved a little were soon drained of all they had. Some nearly went crazy when they found themselves dependent upon public aid. It used to be that if people kept you waiting a while before they paid their bills they would say they were sorry. Today, however, they make you wait and they never apologize. If you ask them for money they get angry and ask how you can expect them to pay when they have no work. It is the most regrettable change I have seen. “Credit is consequently not as good as it used to be and we do not give as much. The people have spoiled their own credit. If they are not as honest it is because of conditions and not all their fault. They have to scheme more to get along. The younger generations are more careless than their fathers.”
Charles Hartman was brought up as a Methodist but became an Anglican after he married. He was churchwarden of St. Mark’s for some years, and on the Y.M.C.A. Board of Management while it was being built. He served as a member of the town council for four years, the last in 1913, and it is his boast that in those days the debt of the town was only $350.000 as compared to $1,500.00 of today. All payments on principal and interest were up to date. “No members of the council, not even the mayor, got any money then,” he said. The mayors I served under were Richard Horrell, J. H. Craig, and John McDowell. The way I got into the council was this, there were some people trying to pass a law which would bring liquor into the town, I was asked to stand as an opponent of liquor and I was elected. I still believe Midland is far better off without booze, and that the people would vote against it if they wore asked to do so today. It is close enough in Penetang.” Mr. Hartman served on the school board for three years but was never chairman. “I never wanted any high position,” said he. “I don’t mind helping, but those jobs are a lot of worry. People are after you all the time. I never enjoyed feeling important.”
BUSINESS HIS HOBBY
“What is your chief hobby?” I asked of Mr. Hartman. “Staying with my business. I like it. I try not to overdo it, but one must be constantly awake to keep up-to-date.” “Don’t you ever go fishing or shooting?” “Oh yes. I am fond of duck shooting, and I used to go out every year when the season came round. I have also done quite a bit of deer hunting, and there is nothing I like better than a motor trip. I have seen quite a bit of eastern America from my automobile.” “How do you feel about the future of Midland?” I shot this final question at Mr. Hartman who has seen the town in alternate boom and depression periods. “That’s hard to answer,” he replied. “This world is in such a topsy turvy state at the present time, and business has been at a standstill for so long that one sometimes wonders if things ever will come right again. However, I’ll say that if things ever become normal again I see no reason why Midland should not forge ahead. We have lost some industries forever, but the tourist trade is steadily increasing in importance. This is a good center. It has many facilities, and it will come out on top yet.”