Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – July 1st to 8th, 1959

The first week of July 1959 was an exciting time for North Simcoe as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrived in Penetang on board the royal yacht Brittania and departed from Midland by train. During the same week Bausch and Lomb announced the construction of a 10,000 square foot, $100,000 dollar addition to their Midland facility, the inaugural broadcast of CKMP radio occurred and the  Brooklea Golf Course opened.

Unfortunately, there were no royal visit photographs in the museum’s Free Press collection. It seems that many of the important negatives used in the newspaper such as Hurricane Hazel and the launching of the McLagan disappeared before the collection came to us. 

Click on photos to enlarge 

Getting this huge 3,000 KVA power transformer into position at Midland’s new Scott Street sub-station was a man-sized job. The big transformer, weighing 24,400 lbs., towers over PUC Chairman Alex Macintosh, left, and Stewart Holt, manager, (on trailer) and Dave Durgy, sales representative for Ferranti-Packard. More than 12 feet high, the transformer takes up a 9 by 6-foot base. 

Official opening of Reg Mulligan’s new drug store on King Street, opposite the United Church, was held Friday. Another King Street merchant and old friend, Lorne Watson (left) extends best wishes to Mr. Mulligan while ladies serve coffee and cake in the background. 

No trouble getting these Grade 8-B students to smile as they received their graduation diplomas at Parkview Public School, Midland, Thursday night. Seen with them is teacher, Jack Yelland, the pupils are left to right front row – Janice Bowen, Mary Lynn Boyd, Gayle Ellison, Beth Boyd; centre row – John Burke, Gerhard Bezner, Jim Cleaver; back row – Peter Ellery, Dalton Crawford, John Delaney. 

Graduation night for Grade 8 pupils of Midland’s Sixth street Public Schools brought special honours to these pupils. Left to right, they are Charles Scott (Sixth St.), Rickey Mohan, Fay Robins, Beth Boyd, Susan Swan, Betty Morrison and John Burke. Susan and John Burke were named senior girl and senior boy at Parkview, with Fay Robins and Charles Scott taking similar honours at Sixth Street. 

Top award winners at the Grade 8 graduation exercises at Midland’s Regent Public School Thursday night were left to right, Detta Ridd, Nancy Jones and Grant Langridge. Detta won the lODE prize for social studies, while Nancy and Grant were named senior girl and boy, respectively. 

Midland’s legal fraternity increased by one June 15 when Frederick B. Horton joined Edward B. Kendall in the practice of law. A graduate of McMaster University, as is Mr. Kendall, Mr. Horton completed his studies at Osgoode Hall this year and has subsequently been called to the Bar. Prior to attending McMaster, he attended University College of Los Angeles in California where he received his high school education. For the summer Mr. Horton his wife and their young son Peter are staying at a cottage at Honey Harbour. Mrs. Horton is a granddaughter of Mrs. Olive Hunter the former Olive Jeffery of Midland. 

Operated by Mac Perrin, Midland florist, the new Brooklea Golf Course on Highway 27 southwest of Midland, was officially opened July 1. General view of the new course is seen in the top photo, Mrs. Vera Perrin watches Mrs. Bill Howard (left) and Mrs. Clive Park tally up their course scorecards. Raring to get started on another round is “caddy” Russell Howard. 

You don’t have to go to Queen’s, Yale or Oxford to have a formal graduation, say these youngsters, who will be moving up to Grade 1 from kindergarten next year. Wearing black crepe paper “mortarboards” are, left to right, Dennis Salichuk, Kirk Rutherford, Debbie Mount, Doug Howell, Lynne Harmsworth and Debbie Edwards. They attended classes at Regent School under kindergarten teachers Miss Margaret Marks and Mrs. Ken Cowan (Dorothy) this past term. 

Another new thoroughfare is being opened to serve a rapidly expanding Midland. Trucks and bulldozers can be seen above working on Scott Street which runs between William and Johnson Streets, in the Wireless Hill district. 

Great adventure in the Gogama woods lies ahead for these three Midland lads, seen with their father, Pete Pettersen. Boys are (left to right) Bruce, 6, Jon, 12, and Bjorn,15. The boys’ activities will be filmed by two cameramen under the sponsorship of sporting goods and boat firms. All phases such as camping and fishing will he filmed during the one to three-week stay in the northland.

  • County Herald headline of July 3, 1959; Optical Firm Announces New $100,000 Addition. A 10,000 square-foot addition to Bausch and Lomb’s Midland plant, almost doubling the size of the firm’s existing building, was announced at noon hour yesterday by Roy O. Pennock, vice-president and general manager of Bausch and Lomb Optical Co. Ltd., and Larry Curran, head of Midland operations. The new wing, which will cost $100,000, will be built, at the northeast end of the present building and will extend northerly toward Hugel Ave. Mr. Pennock said the company hoped it would be able to move into the new wing by early November. Of structural steel, masonry and brick construction, the proposed new building will house the lens inspection department, packaging department, frame manufacturing and assembly, shipping and receiving departments, offices and a lunchroom for employees. One storey in height and 80 by 120 feet in size, the building has been designed to blend in with the existing plant.
  • Free Press Herald headline of July 8, 1959; Three Drown in Channel One Body Still Missing. In addition to their duties in connection with the visit of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, police in this area had a busy time keeping up with accidents over the weekend. Four-deaths were recorded, one on the highway and three by drowning. Another man received a badly gashed foot when struck by the propeller of his own motorboat. It might easily have been his head. The drowning occurred early Saturday morning as four people were being transported to Christian Island in a small boat. All four were from Buffalo N.Y., but one victim, Patricia Marsden (nee Hawke) was originally from the Island and was coming to visit her mom. The fourth person to lose his life was Pte. Gerald Paupst, 31, of Toronto, who died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, as a result of injuries received in a motor accident on Highway 103.
  • After an absence of more than 30 years, the Midland Penetang area again has a radio station of its own. Midland’s first radio station (It was also one of the Canadian pioneers) was CKPR operated by Ernie Swan and Ralph Parker. Some of the first sports broadcasts ever aired in Canada came across CFPA, which later moved to the Lakehead around 1928. “Its call letters can still be seen on a door of the Georgian Hotel where it had its studios,” Mr. Armstrong noted. CHMP (the MP stands for Midland-Penetang) went on the air for the first time July 1 and got a “very favourable” reception for its efforts, said Bruce Armstrong, general manager, and one-third owner. His partners are Stan Tulk, Vice-president and chief engineer, and Grant Forsythe, program director. All three were formerly associated with the CBC. Operating on 250 watts at the 1250 spot on the dial, the station broadcasts from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily except Friday and Saturday, when it will remain on the air an hour longer for the summer months at least. We hope to offer good coverage for the Georgian Bay – Muskoka area, from Collingwood to Parry Sound.” said Mr. Armstrong. The station will feature hourly news updates, musical programs, sports and public events. CHMP gets a good break in the public events field right bang off with the royal visit scheduled for this area Saturday. Extensive plans have been made to cover the event from the time the royal yacht Britannia drops the royal barge outside Penetang Bay until the party leaves from the CNR station in Midland. Other members of the staff of 12 include Bob VanStone, former Midlander, as commercial manager, John McCullough, news editor, Kim Maitland, women’s editor, Lorne Tulk technician, Roy Goran and Walter Hume, announcers. Cy Tulk, Western-style singer and announcer, Arlene Armstrong, (Bruce’s daughter), receptionist and Madeline Vallee of Penetang, secretary. CHMP’S transmitter is located at the southwest corner of Little Lake, on Cecil German’s farm. It will be remotely controlled right from the studio, located in the Cumming-Nicholson Building. [We assume the CHMP is a typo, the actual call letters being CKMP?]
  • Many thanks to Brent Armstrong, grandson of station owner Bruce Armstrong for providing us with this link to the very first broadcast from CKMP.
  • Police Chief Robert Cameron of Midland warned all merchants and businessmen in Midland to lock the back doors of their premises while watching the royal procession Saturday. Chief Cameron said he had received information that merchants in other centers had been victimized by sneak thieves, who entered places of business by the back door while the owners were standing out in front watching the royal cavalcade pass by.
  • An official of the CNR freight office confirmed yesterday that the railway intends to bring in a number of new freight cars and spot them at the extreme east end of Midland on the north side of the mainline, while the royal tour train is en route from Midland to Orillia. The cars will be placed in front of the grain doors at the Tiffin elevator; it was explained as that is the area where the cars get cleaned out.
  • Obituaries; CUTHBERT ANNAND Roofing contractor, Cuthbert Annand died June 14 of a heart attack following an operation. Funeral service was held June 17 at Nicholls’ funeral home with Rev. W. L. Morden conducting the service. Pallbearers were Ivan Vasey, Ian Bowman, Wallace Daniels, John Fagan, Homer Spring and Gerald McNamara. Born at Penetang, Dec. 27, 1911, he received his schooling at Wyevale and Wyebridge. On July 20, 1939, at Penetang, he married the former Annie M. Adamson. Following his marriage, he lived for two years in Waverley and then moved to Midland where he had lived for the last 17 years. He was a former member of the Midland Lions Club and a member of the Midland Chamber of Commerce. He starting his roofing business in 1944, Mr. Annand had been a licensed crane operator at Midland Shipyards during the war. In 1957 he purchased property at Ossasane Beach and built a summer store and tea-room. Besides his widow, he is survived by a daughter, Dawn, his father, James Annand Sr. and two brothers, James Annand, Jr. of Penetang, and George of Midland. His mother predeceased him in 1957. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery. LEWIS E. JONES, A farmer all his life, Lewis Edmund Jones died June 23, on his farm, R.R. 1, Midland; in his 76th year. Just two years ago, he and Mrs. Jones, who was the former Rhoda E. Switzer, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary at their Con. 4, Tay, farm home about a mile west of Port McNicoll. Mr. Jones who had always looked after large stocks of both cattle, and sheep, was for some 16 years in the wholesale milk business, the CPR  boats at Port McNicoll being his largest customers. A resident of this district practically all his life, Mr. Jones had lived for the first six years following his wedding, June 19, 1907, on the old homestead at Vasey and in the spring of 1914 moved to the present farm outside of Port McNicoll. Funeral service for the former elder of Port McNicoll United Church was held June 26 at the A. Barrie and Sons funeral home and was conducted by Rev. Gordon Nodwell. Pallbearers were George Marchant, Wm. Grigg, Victor Beatty, Edgar Heels, Albert Calvert and B. J. Brownell. He is survived by a son, Edmund of R.R. 1, Midland, and a sister, Miss Annie Jones, of Midland. His wife died in July 1957 and two brothers, James and Wilmot, also predeceased him. Burial was in Omemee Memorial Cemetery.
  • Increasing sales of home freezers is affecting locker plant establishments, according to the Simcoe County Health Unit. In a recent report, it was noted that a number of plants are planning a reduction in locker space, and one plant has closed down entirely.
  • The newest addition to the recreation facilities of this area, Brooklea Golf Course was officially opened for play on the holiday. Operated by Mr. and Mrs. Mac Perrin, Midland florists, the new course is located on Highway 27 about two miles southwest of Midland. Directly across the road is a driving range which is being operated in conjunction with Brooklea. The golf course and the driving range are only two features of a long-range plan which Mr. Perrin hopes to complete within a few years. Included in the plan are riding stables, swimming pool, lawn bowling and a large clubhouse. For this season, what is to be eventually the pro shop and golf cart storage building will serve as the clubhouse, pro shop and lunch counter. Dressing room facilities are provided for both men and women. Work on the new course got underway Sept 20, 1958. While Mr. Perrin is the first to admit playing conditions are as yet not ideal, remarkable progress has been made in that comparatively short time. Several of the fairways are already close to “summer rules” conditions. A few of the fairways have been laid out on what was a cornfield as late as October. Even these are in quite a playable condition. Getting rid of the wrong type of grass that persists in popping up on his greens is “Mac’s” big problem at the moment. By mid-summer, however, he expects the greens will reach the “good” status, with play and cutting. At a casual glance from the highway, the new course still looks somewhat on the bare side for trees. A few years from now a lot of golfers are going to wish it had remained that way when the 900 deciduous and 4,000 evergreen trees Mr. Perrin has planted begin to reach mature size. On his fairways, “Mac” has seeded 2,000 pounds of Highland bent, Kentucky blue, creeping red fescue and ryegrass. Marion bluegrass, Kentucky bluegrass and Highland bent is the composition of the tees. Greens have been seeded in Pencross, a new hybrid grass developed especially for its wintering qualities, long a problem with most Canadian courses. It also provides a fine, matted base for putting. Although there are only nine greens as yet (another full nine will be built on land across the road when conditions warrant) the provision of alternate tees makes it possible to alter the yardage to give the effect of an 18-hole course. Men’s par out is 36 on a 3,100 yardage. The “in” nine has a par 35 for 2,999 yards or a total of 6,099.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Nearly 40 lodges, 1,000 marchers, three King Billies and nine bands took part in the Orange walk in Elmvale July 12. * * * Farmers in the north half of Flos Township and the southern part of Tiny Township were fighting a scourge of armyworms (tent caterpillars). Groups of men spread poison bait to halt the marching horde. * * * Viscount Alexander of Tunis, governor-general of Canada, and Lady Alexander visited the North Simcoe communities of Elmvale, Penetang, Midland, Victoria Harbour and Coldwater. * * * Camp Kitchewana, had the largest enrolment in its 30-year history. All available space, including six new cabins, was filled to capacity. * * * Rev. Ralph Egan had been appointed parish priest at St. Margaret’s Church, Midland. His curate was Rev. Edmund McCormick. The two men replaced Rev. Basil Ellard and Rev. R. J. Monahan. * * * A cast of 500 persons was rehearsing daily for the opening night of the salute to Canada Pageant to be presented at Martyrs’ Shrine in honour of the 300th anniversary of the deaths of the North American Martyrs. The pageant was under the direction of Rev. Daniel Lord, S. J. * * * Survey crews were working in Medonte Township on the proposed route of a three-lane highway that was to run from a cloverleaf at Crown Hill northerly to Parry Sound and Sudbury. * * * Influx of summer visitors hit an all-time peak in a 10-day period. It was estimated that the resort area crowds exceeded the previous year by 10 per cent.
  • Births – HIGGS — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Higgs, 190 Fifth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, June 26, 1959, a daughter. MURRAY — To Mr. and Mrs. Jim Murray, Midland, at Penetang General Hospital, on Thursday, July 2, J959, a daughter, Lori Jane. SEATON — To Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Seaton, Waubaushene, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Sunday, June 28, 1959, a son. WATT — To Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Watt, R.R. 1, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, June 29, 1959, a son. BELLISLE—At Penetang General Hospital, Sunday, July 5, to Mr. and Mrs. Len Bellisle, a daughter, sister for Stephen. BRADLEY — I’m here at last! My name is Amy Bradley and I made my debut at the Penetang General Hospital on July 16, 1959. My proud parents are Bill and Mona. My brothers are Billy and Steven. I am fine, my mummy is doing well and my daddy is recovering slowly. CONTOIS —To Mr. and Mrs. Henry Contois, 52 Ontario St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, July 3, 1959, a son. HAWKE- To Mr. and Mrs. Orville Hawke, 160 Sixth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, July 4, 1959, a daughter. ISAAC — To Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Isaac, 285 Dominion Ave., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, July 6, 1959, a son. JONES — To Mr. and Mrs. Allan Jones, Waubaushene, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, July 3, 1959, a son. MITCHELL—To Mr. and Mrs. Ted Mitchell, 215 King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, July 05, 1959, a son. NIBLOCK — To Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Niblock, R. R. 2, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital Saturday, July 4, 1959, a son. RUTHERFORD — To Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rutherford, 289 King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, July 5, 1959, a son. SCOTT — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Scott, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, July 6, 1959, a son. VASICEK—To Mr. and Mrs. James Vasicek, 410 Bay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, July 3, 1959, a son. WHITE – To Mr. and Mrs. Elgin White, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, July 6, 1959, a son. [We were the baby boomers!]
  • Thousands of small boats greeted the ocean-liner Britannia and her destroyer escort as the Queen and Prince Philip neared the shores of Huronia, Saturday afternoon, following an overnight cruise from Sarnia. Practically every person living around the Penetang Midland area who owned a boat and hundreds of cottagers from the 30,000 islands met the royal yacht as she approached Giant’s Tomb Island. Water in the vicinity was churned to a maelstrom from an estimated 2,000 boats waiting for their first glimpse of the Britannia. Several persons were amazed that none of the craft was upset and passengers drowned in the melee. [Second article] One of the interesting points of the royal tour in the Penetang-Midland area, so far as Queen Elizabeth was concerned was the large number of small craft that greeted the Britannia as she approached the shores of Huronia. According to Mayor Jerome Gignac, at least twice during her short stay at Penetang dock, the Queen commented on the number of boats and wanted to know where they came from. Mayor Gignac pointed out the reason for her amazement was perhaps due to the fact that privately-owned boats are not so prevalent in England as they are here.
  • Flowers were presented to Queen Elizabeth by Katherine McLaughlin of Sacred Heart School and Catherine Brandon of Regent School. Both aged 9, they were selected because they obtained the highest marks in their schools and because they were the same age as Princess Anne. Both wore frilly summer dresses. National press representatives covering the royal tour said both girls made the best curtsey to the Queen that they had seen to date on the tour.

Each week we try to pick an article from the time period in which we are presently working. In 1921 the effects of land speculation in Port McNicol in the late teens can be seen by the list of tax sale properties in 1921. Note that some people purchased multiple blocks of land hoping for a building boom that was to follow the arrival of the CPR. Pages from Midland Free Press_1921-11-10


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