Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – August 16th to 22nd, 1959

Click on photos to enlargeDaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lorne Ball, Victoria Harbour, Diane Ball placed second in upper school departmental examination results at Midland-Penetang District High School this year. Diane, who is working in her father’s drug store for the summer, will begin training as a nurse with another Victoria Harbour girl, Nancy Jardine, at Hamilton General Hospital in September. 

Robert Belanger top photo. A joint funeral service was held in Mount St. Louis Church recently for Robert John Belanger, son of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Belanger, and Kenneth King, son of Mr. and Mrs. Theophile King, all of Mount St. Louis. The two boys were killed by a car while crossing the busy intersection of Highways 103 and 501, at Port Severn. They had been visiting friends. Robert was conscious when his father, who was only a short distance away, arrived at the scene but he died in the ambulance en route to the hospital.  (It has been our policy to avoid tragedies in these posts but this one is so profound and moving we are compelled to include it.)

Heading the list of graduates at Midland-Penetang District High School this year was Sheila Catherine Armstrong, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Armstrong, Port McNicoll. Sheila, who hopes to attend Victoria College and later enter social service work, obtained six firsts, two seconds and one third in her upper school departmental examinations. She also obtained a first in music. During the summer Sheila is working in Edwards’ store. 

This “dinosaur” is now part of the equipment in the playground section of Little Lake Park, should enable local and visiting children to work off plenty of energy harmlessly. Erected only recently, the dinosaur was donated by Midland Rotary Club and is located at the south end of the playground area, now one of the best equipped in the district. 

“You’d never get me to holiday in a tent,” say many people who have never tried it. But many people still prefer tenting, as witness the line above. These are just a few of the more than 100 tents in Midland’s Little Lake still popular tourist park last week. And that’s only half the number that was there Civic Holiday weekend, said Harold McAllen, park manager.

Still another type of accommodation used by tourists in Midland’s Little Lake Park is this collapsible summer house, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hunter Irwin of Mimico. It has canvas walls and roof, with plywood partitions. The Irwins have been visitors at Little Lake Park ever since their son and daughter, both now married, were babes in arms. They’ve been here all summer again this year. 

Besides tents, Midland’s Little Lake tourist camp always has many of the popular house trailers. Capacity for this type of tourist is 29 trailer sites — all of which have been taken every day since July with the exception of Monday of last week. They were all full again Tuesday. Trailer in the right foreground even has its own flower beds. 

Not many ocean-going cruisers find their way into Midland harbour, so the arrival of the Huborton on the weekend aroused much interest. Built in Halifax N. S. this 60-footer is owned by F. E. Newman of Montreal but was chartered to J. K. Crang, Toronto, when it visited Midland. In winter months the boat, which has a 16′ 6″ beam and a five-foot draft, is based in Florida waters. 

Enough to turn adult fishermen green with envy this 47-inch, 24-pound muskellunge was caught by two young boys at Sturgeon Bay Beach Wednesday afternoon barehanded! David Ireland, 10, Woodbridge, and Gordon Price, 9, of Cooksville found the big lunge in two feet of water, trying to swallow the 5 lb. carp being held by Terry Ireland, 8. Aided by some other young friends, the two older boys rolled the big fish onto shore. 

  • Midland Free Press headline of August 19, 1959; Five Bogus Bills Passed, Arrest Woman as Suspect. The sharp eyes of Orville Ambeau, the cashier at Penetang liquor store, resulted in the arrest Monday of a woman who later was charged with passing counterfeit American money in Penetang and Midland. Acting Police Chief George Wainman of Midland said yesterday that four of the bills had been passed in Midland business establishments. A 29-year-old woman, who gave a North Bay address, was arrested by Penetang’ police, and lodged in the county jail on a charge of “uttering”. She will appear in Penetang court Thursday.
  • County Herald headline of August 21, 1959; Find Pre-Ice-Age Fossils on Farm in Tay Township. A Tay Township resident, Nelson Bumstead of R.R. 1, Victoria Harbour, Wednesday made a unique discovery for this area. Mr. Bumstead was digging a hole for a septic tank at his home on lot 6, Con. 6, Tay, when he found several “stones” embedded about four to six feet below the surface. When the pieces were removed it was discovered they contained what appeared to be sections of bone of some unknown animal. He said he knew they were not human bones. Mr. Bumstead brought the stones to this newspaper office Wednesday afternoon. Thursday morning. Dr. W. W. Jury, the curator of University of Western Ontario’s museum of Indian archaeology, identified the strange objects. He said they were more than a million years old. Dr. Jury said this type of rock formation is found in glacial deposits and the three pieces found near the Harbour probably were left in this area when the ice-age receded. He termed them “pudding stones.” The outer shell he said was limestone and the inner pieces, which resembled bones of some prehistoric animal, were actually rocks.

Again we regret not having the original negatives of the hundreds of Tiny and Penetanguishene photos, including these below, but as each one holds a memory for someone we will continue to post them directly from the paper.


  • Midlanders should “batten down the hatches” in October when the town will be invaded by some 400 men who haven’t got together in 40 years. Veterans of World War I, the men were originally members of ” A”, “B”, ” C ” and ” D ” Companies of the 157th and 177th Battalions, Simcoe Foresters, formed in 1915. Although the battalions went overseas intact, they were later broken up in England. The men who will gather in Midland in October were transferred to the 116th Battalion (Ontario County) which later saw much action in France. No active association of these outstanding battalions was formed after they were disbanded after the war. “But now, after 40 years, it seems worthwhile to reunite these old comrades,” O. H. Smith, QC, of Midland, told this paper this week. Actual plans for the reunion were laid at Branch 80, Canadian Legion, Thursday. Mr. Smith was appointed chairman and G. E. Hurl secretary. Also in attendance were Andy Tudhope, Orillia; Ed. Partridge and Bill Bradley, Barrie; Claire Trott, Wilbert Foreman, Frank Hewson and Ernie Dickson, Collingwood; George Cameron; Ottawa; Charles Stewart and George Parr, Midland.
  • Nearly 5,000 persons have visited the Officers’ Quarters Museum at Fort Penetanguishene during the present season according to figures presented at a museum committee meeting last week. Dr. W. Jury, chairman of the committee, said it is the best year to date. In his report, Dr. Jury said a grant of $500 had been received from the Historic Sites Board, and this money is being used to improve the site of the naval establishment and the Bayfield Plaque.
  • The operator of a barbershop at the foot of King Street, Bob Zuidema, 44, died suddenly in St. Andrews Hospital Sunday following a heart seizure. Funeral services for Mr. Zuidema, who emigrated from Holland only a few years ago, were held today. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Mr. Zuidema’s mother had left Midland only a few days earlier to return to Holland following a visit to relatives here and elsewhere in Ontario.
  • BIRTHS – GADSBY — To Mr. and Mrs. Fred Gadsby, Ninth and Dominion Ave., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, August 16, 1959, a son. PALMER — To Mr. and Mrs. Charles Palmer Jr., (nee Doris West), 144 Fourth St., Midland at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, August 15, 1959, a son. WEYMAN—To Mr. and Mrs. Richard Weyman, 60 Ontario St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, August 7, 1959, a daughter.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Scarcity of ice forced district ice dealers to purchase artificially produced ice from Buffalo manufacturers. Hundreds of new cottages built in the area during the year and the hottest mean temperature in 110 years, combined to cause the dearth of natural ice. * * * After 22 years during which the office of secretary-treasurer of Gloucester Pool Cottagers Association was held by her late husband or herself, Mrs. W. B. Leatherdale of Coldwater resigned. She was extended a vote of thanks at the association’s annual meeting. * * * Owing to a shortage of water in the village reservoirs, Coldwater council decreed that water service to consumers would be cut off six hours each day, twice during the night, and once in the afternoon. * * * Work on the superstructure of the bulk freighter, S.S. Coverdale, under construction in Midland shipyard, had commenced. The aft deck of the freighter had been completed. * * * The Canada Year Book for 1948-49 gave the total number of Indians residing on the Christian Island Reserve as 342. The total for Parry Island Reserve was 349. * * * A Vasey aggregation won the North Simcoe Rural Softball League championship and the Tanner Trophy, defeating Penetang 9-1 on the Vasey diamond. * * * Officials, of the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Co. announced their ship, S.S. City of Cleveland would make two postseason visits to Midland in the fall.  * * * Potato growers from New York and Ohio states and from Chile, South America, toured North Simcoe seed potato farms and cruised among the 30,000 islands during their visit.
  • F. K. McKean, district marine agent, Department of Transport, Parry Sound, revealed this week that the average water level in Lake Huron during July was slightly lower than for June this year. He pointed but that the lake had reached a low point in February but emphasized that this level was not as low as levels recorded in previous years. A record low was, recorded in February 1926; Mr. McKean said that it is predicted the lake will subside slightly in the next few months, going to the usual low in January or February. But officials feel this will not be as low as it was last year. There are further indications, Mr. McKean said, that the cycle of low water is past and that a gradual increase in the lake level may be expected for the next few years. (We could use some of that “low water” right now in Georgian Bay.”)
  • Milan Borysek, 8, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tony Borysek, 309 Yonge Street W., Midland, was seriously hurt last night when he was hit in the eye with a BB gun pellet. Milan was playing with Joell Voorzanger, 5, 301 Fourth Street, and Brian Morden, 11, 230 Yonge St. W., when the accident happened. The gun was owned by the Morden boy and was in the hands of the Voorzanger lad when it discharged. Milan was rushed to a Toronto specialist to have the pellet removed after he had been treated by Dr. W. F. Neale. It is not known whether the Borysek boy will lose sight in the eye or not. Acting Chief Wainman said that under a town bylaw, the use of BB guns or any other guns in town is forbidden. He said the gun owned by the Morden lad was confiscated. The accident was investigated by Cpl. Ernest Bates.
  • Editorial – Wise & Otherwise – Although it has been a bitter pill for many segregationists, and uprisings in Little Rock the other day indicate that in some quarters it still has not digested too well, it now seems that at long last law and reason are to prevail in the integration of white and coloured students in schools in the state of Arkansas. This in spite of the raucous appeals of Governor Faubus and his misguided demonstrators.


Some items of interest from the August 18th edition of the Midland Argus;


One thought on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – August 16th to 22nd, 1959

  1. Looking at the campers in Little Lake Park revives a lot of memories. Town of Midland Councils should take a long look at reviving it. Other than a few transient sites at Smith’s Camp there is really no place for traveelling campers.

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