Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – August 8th to 15th, 1959

Click on photos to enlarge

A photo such as this was used in the masthead of the editorial page every week. They were mostly local images of area beauty spots. This one was entitled “Down a Lazy River” and we believe it is the Sturgeon River looking north from the highway bridge. 

Visit of some 40 ancient cars to Midland Monday aroused great interest among local citizens and summer visitors. Beverley and Rhoda Rotenberg, Toronto, pose with a 1912 McLaughlin owned by G. Edington, also of Toronto. 

When you and I were young, Maggie, this 1913 Ford roadster owned by Mr. and Mrs. D. Belfry, London, was pretty hot stuff. Kept spic and span, it was one of some 40 cars of the Horseless Carriage Club which stayed overnight in Midland Monday on their way to a tour of Muskoka centres. (The photo location is  the parking lot of the Midtown Motel on Hugel Ave.) 

Vasey made a clean sweep of Georgian Bay Rural Softball League honours this year, finishing first in the regular schedule to take the Dr. Garnet E. Tanner Trophy and then winning the playoffs and the J. B. Brown Memorial Trophy. Team members are, left to right, front row, Arley Taylor 2b, Ernie Cowden rf, Stan Robinson ss, Al Lumree cf, Carson Brown p; back row, Earl Widdes 1b. Grant Robinson of, Don Hawke of, Bob Rawson c, Clair Whetham of, Jack Banks 3b, Bob Todd If. (Played the elastic right out of their socks!) 

Vacating the King Street site (constructed in 1901) that was their home for nearly 60 years, F. W. Jeffery and Sons Ltd. have opened a new store one block away, on Dominion Avenue west.   The store is now a part of the Independent Hardware Association, with some 50 stores operating in Ontario. Utilizing the very latest in design, the store features the self-serve, check-out type of operation that has become so popular in the grocery trade. There will be orchids for the ladies, door prizes and other features as the staff officially opened for business this week. Nap Beauchamp Construction Company was the contractor for the building, which also includes warehouse facilities not seen above. 

Dan Webb in charge of tool section at F. W. Jeffery and Sons new store. 

Bob Bell aids decorators at F. W. Jeffery and Sons new store. 

Bob Harrell shows customers fine china at F. W. Jeffery and Sons new store. (Note the angle parking across the road and the houses where the Federal Building is now located.) 

Ed Jeffery examines small arms at F. W. Jeffery and Sons new store. (Ed is a co-owner of the store with his brother William and his mother Mrs. Hazel Jeffery, president.) 

Bill  (Buck) Jeffery, co-owner, ready to serve at F. W. Jeffery and Sons new store. 

Midland’s new Parkview Terrace apartments are rapidly taking shape on Hugel Ave., at Seventh Street. Miniature elevator (left) has been installed to take building material to the second floor. The new unit will house 12 apartments when completed. (How many of us, girls included, have climbed at least partway up a telephone pole equipped with those steps?) 

Something new was added to the weekly wrestling at Midland Arena Monday night with the appearance of “Rocky”, the alligator, and “Tuffy” Truesdale, billed as world’s top alligator wrestler. “Tuffy”, who performed the trick himself, invited any of the ladies present to come in the ring and kiss “Rocky’s” nose. There were no takers. 


  • The Midland Free Press headline of August 12, 1959; Midland Won’t Sponsor MPDHS Debenture Issue. Midland council, at a special meeting Saturday morning, turned down a request from Midland-Penetanguishene District High School Board to assume the responsibility of issuing debentures for the new high school addition. The motion, passed by council, was as follows: “This council regrets it cannot see its way clear to assume the responsibility of issuing debentures to cover the cost of the new addition to Midland-Penetang District High School due to other pending commitments facing the council. J. R. Parrott, chairman of the MPDHS board’s property committee, in presenting the request to council, said it had been estimated that the interest rate on the debentures for the $348,600, 14 – room addition would be from one-quarter to one-half a per cent less if Midland carried the debentures than if they were carried by Tay Township.
  • The County Herald headline of August 14, 1959; ‘Pollution Not Sewage’ Health Officials Report.  Simcoe County Health Unit Sanitary Inspector Don Morrow told this newspaper yesterday he had received verbal confirmation from provincial Department of Health officials that pollution in a cove at Woodland Beach is not raw sewage. Mr. Morrow said he expected to receive a written report on the provincial laboratory tests within the next day or so. He said he had discussed the issue on the telephone with health officials in Toronto yesterday morning. He said the Woodland Beach Cottagers Association would be notified of the findings. NOT SEWAGE The district sanitary inspector said provincial authorities indicated that the sediment in the water near the shore was mainly organic matter comprised of decayed leaves, stems of plants and some sawdust. He said that last year, officials of the Ontario Water Resources Commission had taken samples of the sediment in the water in the same area. A microscopic examination had revealed the pollution contained plant and animal matter, the latter being decayed crustaceans. It was not sewage. It did have, however, a fairly high bacterial count, although similar tests made of the same sediment along the shore nearer Wasaga Beach had widely varied bacterial counts. Some were high and some were low, Mr. Morrow stated.
  • Transient traders seeking to do business in Penetang will find things tougher in the future than they have previously, following the passing of a new bylaw, Monday night. One of the main features of the new bylaw is a $500 fee required of transient traders operating in the town. This fee is applied toward business taxes should the businessman remain long enough in a business that can be taxed.
  • The second engineer on the CSL freighter Haggarty, Cecil Merkley of Midland suffered severe injuries to the back of both legs in an accident on Lake Superior July 21. Mr. Merkley was taken first to a hospital in Fort William when his ship arrived there, some 20 hours after the engine room mishap. Later he was transferred by ship to St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. Mrs. Merkley said her husband expects to be able to return home later this week but will not be able to resume work for some time.
  • Only a short time before he was slated to lock up his King Street butcher shop, Jack Argue, prominent Midland businessman, suffered a heart attack and died Saturday afternoon. It was reported earlier in the week that Mr. Argue had sold his business and the new owners were to take over Monday. He was in his 49th year. Rushed to St. Andrews Hospital, Mr. Argue died en route. Funeral services were held yesterday from St. Paul’s United Church, with Rev. Wilson Morden officiating. Interment was in Lakeview Cemetery. In the butcher trade for nearly 30 years, Mr. Argue had worked in various grocery and meat stores in Midland and Collingwood before opening his own business here in 1948. He also opened a branch store in Victoria Harbour in 1954 but this was later sold. At the time of his death, Mr. Argue was assistant captain of Midland Volunteer Fire Brigade, where he had been a member for 18 years. He was prominent in IOOF circles, where he was past noble grand of his lodge, and also was a member of Caledonian Lodge, No. 349, Midland. Surviving are his wife, the former Evelyn Truax, sons Robert and William, and daughter
  • The sudden disappearance of the mobile tourist booth south of Barrie on Highway 400 before the August 1 weekend caused some queries in communities in this area. ‘The booth was moved to Sault Ste. Marie where it was to attend a fair. It is unfortunate that the booth had to be removed just prior to the heaviest weekend of the season but the Department of Travel and Publicity had informed all municipalities earlier in the season the booth would only be on Highway 400 when it wasn’t booked for a definite appointment elsewhere, it was stated. The mobile unit was returned to the Highway 400 location August 5 but may disappear at intervals, during the next two months.
  • “Years before the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, these shores and the surrounding hills knew white men and white men’s dwellings, and heard the white men’s prayers.” So says Elsie McLeod Jury about Penetanguishene — the place of white rolling sand — in the opening chapter of her book, “The Establishments at Penetanguishene — Bastion of the North — 1814-1856. This is no story of sticks and stones, dimensions of buildings and dates of wars. It is the true story of men and women, their achievements and failures — hardships and frustrations as they built the naval and military establishments that were to guard Penetanguishene — ‘”the key to Upper Canada”. “Penetanguishene, home of the Hurons and then the Chippewa’s, fur trading centre, the base for Canada’s first explorers and missionaries, became the protector of a burgeoning nation, the hub from which has developed much of Canada’s story,” the author writes.
  • Two years after its opening, Simcoe County council is already considering enlarging Georgian Manor, the senior citizens home at Penetang. Following approval given at the June session, the home committee this week authorized an architect to draw up preliminary plans and provide estimated costs for a 50-bed addition to the Manor. When preliminary costs have been ascertained the project will again be referred to the county council, likely at the January, 1960, session. Manor Superintendent Ivan Vasey said the trend in residents of homes for the aged is changing from ambulatory to bed care. He said at the present time ambulatory applications for admission are being maintained on a current basis. There is, however, a considerable backlog of applications for bed care admission. Work on the enclosed verandah addition to the Manor, started early this summer, is nearing completion. Painting is in progress, and the installation of screens and windows will complete the job. The enclosure of what was formerly an open verandah will provide a lounging space for residents where they may view the outside world, particularly in inclement weather.
  • 25 Years Ago This WeekNearly 400,000 bushels of wheat were brought to Tiffin elevator in two days. The grain was transported from the head of the lakes by the freighters Alexander Holly and the John Ericson. * * * The Saskatoon docked with 1,575 one hundred pound bags of sugar aboard. * * * It was estimated that weeds were costing western farmers $179,200.00 annually. The amount represented about $120 per person in the rural sections of the three prairie provinces. * * * Midland tourist camp at Little Lake Park broke all records with 552 tents pitched over the Civic weekend. The figure was 42 more than the same period the previous year. * * * Nearly 6,000 persons attended a Liberal picnic at Little Lake Park, Midland, honouring Dr. G. Tanner, newly-elected member for Simcoe East. Among the speakers at the picnic were Premier Mitchell F. Hepburn and Hon. E. C. Drury, former Ontario premier. * * * Midland Preceptory of the Black Knights won first prize in a parade in Barrie commemorating the 246th anniversary of the relief of Londonderry. Some 3,000 marchers, representing 89 lodges, took part in the Derry Day procession. R. E. Simpson was the worshipful master of the Midland Preceptory. * * * The proprietor of a dance hall at Triple Bay Park announced he planned to convert the hall into 14 large-size apartment with running water and all conveniences. * * * According to a hydrographic survey, Lake Huron was 8 ½  inches lower than in July 1933, and 40 3/4 inches lower than the average level for 74 years.
  • Phillip Pillsbury, chairman of Pillsbury Canada Ltd., revealed this week that W. H. Pinchin of Midland had been elected president of Pillsbury Canada Ltd. Mr. Pinchin was vice-president of the Canadian firm. He is also a director of Viceroy Manufacturing Co, Ltd., Toronto and of Tower TV Ltd. Mr. Pillsbury said that with the completion of the million-dollar consumer goods manufacturing plant in Midland this year the firm will become more energetically engaged in the consumer market.
  • A dozen Indian Reservations were represented at Christian Island this week when the 14th annual Homemakers Convention for the Southern Ontario region was held there Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Homemakers groups on Indian Reservation are the equivalent of Women’s Institutes. For the convention, the more than 60 visiting delegates were accommodated in homes on the island. Meals were served in the auditorium by various groups of the Christian Island Homemakers. Overall chairman of the convention was Mrs. Nicholas Plain of Sarnia, Homemakers regional president for Southern Ontario. Assisting in preparation of the program were J. E. Morris, regional supervisor of the Department of Indian Affairs, and Miss H. Martins, social worker in the same department.
  • PERKINSFIELD—While Marcel Marion was stooking grain in a field near here last Saturday, he was struck and stunned by a bolt of lightning, but remained on his feet. He said when he opened his eyes, he saw a sheaf of grain on fire a few feet away from him. 

News from the same week of August 1931;

  • Pre-war conditions prevailed in the Midland Harbor over the weekend. In those days it was a common sight to see grain laden freighters waiting their turn to unload at one of the local elevators. Since the world tragedy elevator capacity of the town has of course been materially increased and the facilities for unloading have also been speeded up so that what a few years ago would have taken 2 or 3 days is now done in a few hours. But with four houses equipped to handle grain at a speed unthought-of a few years ago, several boats were compelled to wait their turn on Sunday and Monday. Most of the cargoes were wheat from across the border and it is estimated that two million bushels were discharged into the Midland elevators during Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
  • Continuing its effort to reduce expenses, and in the absence of business, two more trains are to be cancelled over the Penetang Branch of the CNR next Monday. On and after that date there will be no afternoon train going south from Penetang and neither will there be any evening train to Penetang from Allandale. The morning train which up till Monday has been leaving Penetang at 7.30 will, starting on Monday, leave at 6.30, arriving at Allandale at the same hour as at present, 8.48.
  • In an Interesting letter received by The Free Press early this week, one of Midland’s sons, Mr. H. Osborne at Churchill Manitoba, tells of the landing of Col. Chas, and Mrs. Lindbergh at Churchill while on their flight to Japan via Alaska. He says: “We were eating below in the dining saloon of the ship when the dredge alongside us sighted the plane and gave the signal. It didn’t take us long to come up out of the saloon. The plane circled around for some time before coming down, while hundreds of workmen raced for the docks. Every launch was filled with men going out to see the plane.” When the plane came to rest, the correspondent describes Mrs. Lindbergh as standing on one of the floats and the Colonel sitting on a wing looking quite boyish.
  • The peculiar and stubborn fire which has for weeks been burning its way underground at the shipyards, is at last extinguished, as far as it can be learned from an inspection of the site. The Free Press was informed on Friday. Formerly the spot was the site of Mr. James Playfair’s Lumber Mill and is filled into a considerable depth with wood-chips, sawdust and other inflammable litter. When, in some unknown way, a fire was started in the material, it slowly worked its way downward. Being of a smouldering nature, it was difficult to trace and as difficult to extinguish. Frequently the fire would burst into flame. It occasioned considerable trouble during the hot spell a month ago. At the beginning of last week, the fire again broke out and necessitated a call to the department. Other trips were made on Tuesday and Wednesday, which resulted in the fire being thoroughly extinguished. As there could be detected no sign of it during the latter half of the week, Fire Chief Peter Grigg was on Friday hopeful that it had at last been conquered.
  • Leaving their homes in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday afternoon, about 3,000 pilgrims arrived at the Martyrs’ Shrine at 6 o’clock Sunday morning, where all-day services were conducted continuing until 10′ o’clock that night. Two special C.P.R. trains carried the pilgrims, who were welcomed by Rev. Father Lally of the shrine. Right Rev. D. J. Scollard, Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie accompanied the pilgrims.
  • One more highly successful boxing tourney was held in Midland last night when nine well-matched and well-fought bouts were put on in the Curling Rink under the auspices of the Royal Black Preceptory. The program was managed by Mr. Fred. Johnson, who also acted as Master of Ceremonies during the evening. The boxers were more happily chosen than in the last boxing meet, held ten days ago when it, unfortunately, happened that several bouts were badly matched. There were two technical knockouts, but one of these gave two rounds of good fighting, while the other, while it lasted, was of a whirlwind nature that caught the crowd’s fancy.
  • Further evidence that the railways are finding it hard to finance is brought home to the Township of Tiny with the notice that the C.N.R. is applying for permission to close Wyevale station. The railway finds that there has been a considerable reduction in the revenue of the Wyevale station in the past few years. This is likely due in great part to the truck and car competition. Wyevale serves as a shipping centre for the southern part of the Township and the closing of the station will be a hard blow to that section. Shipping would still be made from there but arrangements would have to be made through Elmvale or The Township Officials are vigorously opposing the closing of the station and they hope that their effort will be successful. Should they win their case it is up to the farmers of that section to use the railway in preference to trucks or cars.


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