Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe- September 1st to 7th, 1959

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The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Large limb blown from a tree in Wednesday afternoon’s rain and wind storm caused some $200 damage to the electrical wiring in the James Clarkson residence, 230 Elizabeth Street, Midland (Just west of First Street.). When the limb fell it narrowly missed hitting a new car in the foreground. 

There’s plenty of eating in this cucumber held by Peter Muirhead, grown by C. Moreau, 96 Donalda Street, it was 30 inches long, and there were some even longer in the Moreau garden, Mr. Muirhead reported.

Fellow members of Midland Golf and Country Club turned out Friday night to welcome Mrs. Cecil (Maddy) English after she won the Simcoe County women’s golf title in Barrie that afternoon. It was the ninth time Midland ladies have taken the top county honour since competitions began in 1922. 

Tuesday was a proud day for Lloyd Dunlop and family as they opened their new furniture wing of their Moonstone store; son Douglas, a vice-president of the firm at 18 years of age, was given the honour of cutting the ribbon. Watching are his father, brother Jim, and Mrs. Dunlop. 

Opening of the new wing of Dunlop’s Furniture and Appliance store drew large crowds to Moonstone Tuesday. Lloyd Dunlop is seen greeting old friends as they filed into the new wing, a general view of which is seen. 

Some breathtaking views can be had from the top of the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll. This is how Port McNicoll looks from more than 100 feet up, with the CPR steamship Assiniboia nestling in the foreground, in front of the freight sheds. 

Both natives of Lafontaine, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Contois marked their 57th wedding anniversary at their Midland home August 30. The first 21 years of their wedded life was spent in Britt, the rest in Midland. 
There aren’t too many couples in this area who can count 57 years of married life, or 57 grandchildren and, 12 great-grandchildren. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Contois of 20 Olive Street, Midland, could do all these things as they marked their 57th wedding anniversary August 30. Forced to take things easy for the past two years because of ill health, Mr. Contois, now 76, was born in Lafontaine. So was his wife, the former Rose Hanna Bottineau, two years his junior. Following their marriage in Lafontaine in 1902, the young couple (she was just 16) went to Britt, near Parry Sound. They remained there 21 years, with Mr. Contois being employed as a labourer in various lumber mills. Then they came to Midland and have lived here ever since—36 years in all. Mr. Contois continued to find employment in the lumber mills and later at the shipyard. Fishing and gardening took up most of his spare time. Mr. and Mrs. Contois had Í4 children of their own, equally divided between boys and girls, and later raised two of their grandchildren. Nine of their own children are still living. Included are their sons Peter Jr., Frank, Tommy, Wilfred and Clement, all of Midland and daughters Rose (Mrs. Phil Delorme), Midland, Marie (Mrs. Robert Merkley), Midland, Vina (Mrs. Gordon Nelson), Niagara Falls, and Yvonne (Mrs. C. Cruise), Midland. 

Only 12 years of age, pretty blonde Kathleen Beatty of Midland, already shows great promise as an artist and dress designer. In fact, Kathleen already has had a number of her articles, about a dozen of them, accepted by the teenage magazine “Katy Keene”, printed in Santa Barbara, California. 

This old wooden pestle was found by Teddy, 12, and Tommy Parkes, 14 of Toronto on the south shore of Midland’s Little Lake last week. Dr. Wilfrid Jury, University of Western Ontario archaeologist, has identified the pestle as of the type used by the Huron Indians of this area to pound grain into flour some 300 years ago.

Sweeping view of Hog Bay and Victoria Harbour can be had from the roof of the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll. Trees in the foreground are part of Maple Island, which contains the elevator and grain door divisions of the company’s vast operations in Port McNicoll. 

Just before the battle between Midland Indians and Campbellville Merchants Saturday, the umpires went over the ground rules with representatives of the two clubs. The game was “called after 13 innings with the score tied, 1-1. Left to right are Murray Yorke, the plate umpire, Andy McLean, manager “Bun” Deschamp, umpire Jim Cauthers, manager Len Andrews and Bill Elliott of Campbellville. Same teams meet here again Saturday at 5 p.m.

Employees of Penetang Bottling Co. have discovered that a front-end loader makes an ideal adjustable picnic table. When lunchtime comes round they roll a loader into position in the spacious storage area and enjoy their meal at a table set to their desired height.

One of the items on the agenda of the summer meeting of the directors of the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association in Midland this week was a visit to Pillsbury Canada Limited cake mix plant. Of particular interest to the women was a visit to the laboratory, where home economist Mrs. Don Robertson is explaining the good points of a pineapple cake. Allan James, analytical chemist, is seen at left. Delegates examine another phase of production in the modern plant. 

  • Free Press Herald headline of September 2, 1959; Vandals Damage Tug Sinks at Shipyard Dock.

  • County Herald headline of September 4, 1959; 23 Percent Drop Noted in Area Unemployment. National Employment Service officials in Midland reported, yesterday there had been a drop of 23 per cent in the number of unemployed persons registered at their office on August 31, compared with the same period last year. Harold Humphries, NES office manager, said unemployment conditions in the district were considerably improved over last year. On August 31 this year, there were 199 unplaced males and 92 unemployed females registered at the Midland office. On the same date last year there were 267 men and 111 women registered as unemployed.
  • A fire of undetermined origin levelled a landmark at Tiny Township beaches Tuesday afternoon when the cottage of Miss Charlotte Addison was found blazing shortly after the noon hour. Penetang fire brigade was not called until about an hour after the blaze broke out. The cottage was leveled by the time they arrived. However, as it was surrounded by thick woods, adjacent cottagers were fearful of the fire spreading to their properties. Built in 1913, the Addison cottage is believed to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in Tiny Township. It was the first one north of the Balm Beach Cottagers in the surrounding 13th Concession have nostalgic memories of the Addison cottage. A large rambling structure, it was used throughout the prolonged summer months for church services each week. Miss Addison had an organ brought in to provide music for the services.
  • A tiny tot from Toronto had a prolonged stay in Midland Sunday. The two-year-old boy was left in the Indian village but police and firemen came to his rescue. The lad’s parents from Dundas Street W. Toronto, and 10 other relatives and friends had come to Midland for the Travelling in two cars, the group got back home Sunday night· and found Ray was missing. Everyone thought that he was “in the other car.” A call to the Midland police calmed the mother for the boy had been found unharmed at the Indian Village. The family made a return trip to Midland and found Ray munching on a sandwich and watching television at the fire hall.
  • Two North Simcoe girls were among those involved in the collision of two roller coaster cars at the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, Saturday. The girls were Isabel Borrow and Anne Lovering, 15, of the North River area. Isabel had her glasses broken and Anne was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Sixteen persons, one seriously, were injured in the crash. The accident was attributed to an error in judgement by a brakeman. Officials said he failed to realize his carload of midway visitors was too close to the car ahead. His vehicle struck the car ahead.
  • One of the products of a Penetang plant is now being marketed on a national basis through Canada’s largest supply house for the printing and allied trade. The product is “interlock shelving” manufactured by Grew Boats Ltd. and it is being distributed by Sears Ltd. Whose head office is in Toronto and has branches from coast to coast.
  • BIRTHS – CALDWELL – To Mr. and Mrs. Austin Caldwell, 1381 Chrisiden Dr., Port Credit, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, Sunday, August 30, 1959, a daughter. COWDEN To Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cowden, 278 Midland Ave. Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Monday, August 31, 1959, a daughter. CUNNINGHAM – To Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cunningham, R.R. 1, Honey Harbour, a St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, Friday, August 28, 1959, a daughter. DION – To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dion, 352 Russell St., Midland, at Andrew’s Hospital, Saturday, August 29, 1959, a daughter. DORION – To Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Dorion, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, Saturday, August 29, 1959, a daughter. GILBERT – To Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gilbert, 143 Sixth St., Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Sunday, August 30, 1959, a son. LALONDE – To Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Lalonde, Yonge St., Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Wednesday, August 26, 1959, a daughter. LATONDBESS – To Mr. and Mrs. Donald Latondress, King St. Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Thursday, August 27, 1959, a daughter. McINTAGGART-To Mr. and Mrs. Michael Mclntaggart, 178 Lindsay St., Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Saturday, August 29, 1959, a son.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Two inches of rain which fell throughout North Simcoe brought a temporary respite from a prolonged drought that seared pasture fields and dried up many wells in the district. * * * Midland shipyard officials announced that the new bulk carrier, S. Coverdale, would not be launched in September as scheduled. No reason was given for the change in plans. * * * Dr. Wilfrid Jury of the University of Western Ontario and his staff uncovered a major find in their excavations at Fort Ste. Marie. They had unearthed the northwest bastion of the fort on the edge of the Wye River. Biggest discovery of the week, however, was made at the home of John S. Drinkwater, Orillia, R. R. 2, where a series of maps of Fort Ste. Marie, made by Rev. George Hallen, rector of St. James on the Lines were found. * * * Nine hundred and twenty pupils, 67 more than in September 1948, registered for classes at opening day in Midland Public Schools. There was an increase of 18 pupils noted at the town’s two separate schools. Total registration at Penetang Public School was 742, about the same as the previous year. There were eight fewer at the Protestant Separate School. Midland District High School registrations were 347 or 11 more than in 1948. Penetang had 126 students, the same as the previous year. * * * A Grimsby man had leased the Colwaboard factory in Coldwater and planned to start a canning factory in the building Sept. 15. He expected to employ six or seven persons.
  • BP Canada Limited has announced it is making arrangements to purchase a service station on Hugel Ave., W. operated for some years by Doug Swann. BP officials said that prior to the opening in late September the premises will be completely renovated and modernized. A two-bay fully-equipped station will be the result of these proposed changes, it was stated.
  • The old Cooper-Weeks building has been sold and will blossom out as a modern marina. Operated by Ken McDonald, the new venture will be called Victoria Harbour Marina. Mr. McDonald said last week he hopes to employ 12 men in the new firm. A native of Sarnia, Mr. McDonald more recently served as a machine shop foreman for a Toronto firm. He has been in the business for 15 years. “There is still a lot of work to be down around the building, replacing the glass and making other repairs necessary to a building which has not been in use for some time”, said Mr. McDonald. The new marina will offer complete outboard and inboard service; guided fishing tours, motorboat rentals, chartered boat service, launching facilities for large and small craft, gasoline and motor oil sales.
  • Midland Citizens’ Band has added to their string of successes by winning, yesterday, the class II, CNE brass band championship. Under bandmaster AI Hume the band repeated their success of last year when they also came first in the CNE competition. Success in competition is not new for the Midland Citizens’ Band for since 1955 when Mr. Hume took over as leader it has won eight firsts, four seconds and one third in various band competitions.
  • Believed to have been struck by a train while he was crossing a double railway track in fog near Cartier, Francis Edward Cadieux, 21, died August 28. Requiem mass was said at St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, August 31 by Rev. L. Petitpas. Pallbearers were Leo Cadieux, Larry Cadieux, Louis Cadieux, John Cadieux, Francis Contois and Jack Horsfall. Born in Midland, Oct. 6, 1937, and educated at Sacred Heart School, Mr. Cadieux had sailed for some time, and three weeks ago took employment as an underground miner, at a LeVack mine. He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Cadieux, Olive Street, Midland, a brother John Cadieux and seven sisters, Mrs. D. Chapman (Patricia); Mrs. Robert Hilton (Veronica); Mrs. Emery Ducaire (Géraldine); Mrs. Ossie Frandsen (Stella); Mrs. Jack Horsfall (Mildred); Mrs. E. Quesnelle (Eleanor) and Marie at home. Burial was in St. Margaret’s Cemetery. 

80 Years ago, on September 3rd, 1939, Britain declared war on Germany and Canada immediately committed her support. 

  • BRITAIN AND FRANCE GO TO POLAND’S AID WHEN HITLER BEGINS NEW WORLD CONFLICT Ultimatum Ignored by Nazi Fuehrer—German Submarine Sinks Canada-Bound Liner “Athenia”      
  • When Chancellor Adolph Hitler ignored the pleas of the British and French governments that he negotiate the differences peacefully with Poland and instead ordered the German army to attack Poland early on the morning of Friday, September 1st, the long-dreaded world war began. There was just a faint hope for nearly two days that the dogs of war might be called back. Britain and France did not immediately implement their pledge to come to the aid of Poland if attacked by Germany. Instead, they called the attention of the Nazi government to the fact that it had ignored Poland’s willingness to negotiate, and had instead marched on Poland and bombed its cities from the air. The two democracies said they were willing to take part in a five power conference proposed at the last moment by Premier Mussolini of Italy, but only on the condition that Hitler immediately cease hostilities and recall his troops from Poland. If he was willing to do that they were willing to overlook his attack on Poland and begin conversations with the hope of reaching a peaceful settlement.
  • In a radio address to the Canadian people, Prime Minister Mackenzie King on Sunday announced the intention of Canada to stand by Britain in the war against Germany. He declared that Canada as a member of the British Commonwealth was bringing her co-operation voluntarily. He appealed to his fellow countrymen “to unite in a national effort to save from destruction all that makes life itself worth living, and to preserve for future generations, those liberties and institutions which others have bequeathed to us.
  • “D” Company of the Grey-Simcoe Foresters stationed in Midland-Penetang is now up to skeleton strength. It is possible that the present number of 84, in case of Dominion orders, would be doubled, making one company from each town. Other companies of the Foresters are stationed in Meaford, Owen Sound, Barrie and Orillia. There is none at Collingwood at present.
  • PENETANG — An organization meeting of Penetanguishene women in response to a request received by Mrs. J. M. Nettleton from the National Council of Canadian Women was held in the Public Library on Tuesday evening. The purpose of the meeting was to elect a chairman and a committee that would be capable of inaugurating a voluntary registration of Canadian women, desirous of assisting in a National emergency. The idea, started by the National Council of Women, is to have a volunteer organization of women in every community, capable of assisting their country if and when needed. The questionnaire answered by those registering contains questions regarding every type of work the answerer has done or is capable of doing, including questions on ability as camp organizers, mechanics, dietitians, stenographic, airplane pilots, farmworkers, knitters. The officers of the local organizations as set up on Tuesday evening were not available at press time, and it is expected that actual registration will not be commenced for a few days. The plan formulated a few weeks ago before the declaration of war is now being rushed to completion. Registrations will be accepted by Mrs. J. M. Nettleton, after Saturday.
  • “Canada must not repeat the mistakes it made in the last war,” said Col. William Finlayson during a round table discussion at the Midland Kiwanis Club luncheon on Tuesday. “There was a tremendous waste in the 1914 system of recruiting. Men were rushed into the army who had no business being there, while others who could have gone stayed at home. Some form of conscription is undoubtedly the fairest method of getting men, but that will be difficult to introduce because of the fact that one province is so strongly opposed. “There should be a tribunal in every municipality which should have the power to say which men can best be spared for war service. There are some in every community who are key men in the business and industrial life, and much as we admire their patriotism they can give better service to their country by staying at home than by going to the front. There are ample young men without family responsibilities, who should go before those who have wives and children to take care of. It costs the country a great deal more to send old men than it does young men. In the last war, we carried on the strength of the Canadian Expeditionary force thousands of men who should never have been accepted at all.
  • Midland began her preparations for war last week. Starting Saturday afternoon the Public Utilities Commission placed a guard on the town reservoir. At a meeting of elevator executives with the Mayor on Saturday morning, the heads of the buildings in which is stored a large percentage of Canada’s wheat supply decided to place their own guards on duty to prevent sabotage until provincial or dominion authorities took further action. Mayor James Mackie reported that by Friday a large number of young men and old had come to ask about volunteering. “I referred them to Capt. C. Nettleton,” his Worship stated.
  • While war beclouds the world, Port McNicoll is busily engaged in erecting their war memorial for those of the Village who lost their lives in 1914-18. Under the direction of a stonemason, William McKenzie, of Midland, the cenotaph is being quarried from Port McNicoll stone, will be ten feet square at the base and carry an eight square column, two feet and a half through. On the imposing structure which will stand near the Corporation buildings, will be set a bronze plaque. The unveiling is set for November 11.
  • Midland’s veterans of the Great War turned out in such large numbers for the emergency meeting last night that the Legion rooms were inadequate and the hundred-odd men who had assembled moved to the Town Hall in order to secure sufficient accommodation. Albert Smith, zone commander, was in the chair and addressed the meeting. He said that once more the time had arrived when the veterans would be asked to serve again, even though it might not be in any active capacity. He asked that any veterans who had not already registered do so at once. Discussion of guarding vital zones was discussed. It was pointed out that the first men to be called for guard duty and the like will be men who are married and unemployed. The last will be those who are at the present time receiving war veteran’s allowance. Mr. Smith alluded to the time when he was on duty at the wireless station during the last war and made comical reference to the time when one of the guards—not himself—shot a marauding cow in September 1914.
  • The people of Canada have been asked by the British government to send clothing, boots and shoes, blankets and other covering for the children who have been evacuated from London and other cities of England and Scotland. It is explained that many of the little ones come from poor homes where clothing and covering is always scarce, and many thousands of them have been billeted in homes as poor as those they come from. With the approach of the winter, it is necessary to provide that they shall be warm and comfortable. Until some local organization is ready to take care of donations for this purpose the Midland Free Press will be glad to receive them at its office on King Street. Be sure that all bundles are well boxed or papered and securely tied. 

Other items from the Midland Free Press of September 6th, 1939. 

  • PENETANG — Henry Arthur Columbus, Penetanguishene, believed to be a direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, discoverer of America, was buried in Penetang this morning, following a double funeral service for him and his brother-in-law, James Quigley, both men died on Monday in the Quigley family residence, here. Columbus was the grandson of Louis Columbus who came to Penetanguishene as a gunsmith for the local garrison during the war of 1812-14. Louis Columbus, in turn, was the son of a well known early Toronto gunsmith, Isaac Columbus, who conducted a shop on Caroline St., in Toronto. Isaac Columbus Lived to be one hundred and four years old. Isaac came to Toronto from Montreal where he was born. Isaac’s parents, according to family history came from France. Isaac’s father was supposed to be one of two sons of Christopher Columbus who went to France from Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. The other son of Christopher Columbus reportedly went to Morocco and the local branch of the family has no trace of his descendants. Henry Columbus, who died early Sunday morning is survived by four sons, Frank, Christopher, Cletus and Leo, and one daughter Ethel. Mrs. Columbus and a daughter Edna are predeceased. During his lifetime, the recently deceased Mr. Columbus was a lumber camp foreman for the McGibbon Lumber Co., Penetang. James Quigley, who died a few hours after Mr. Columbus in the same house, had been ill for seventeen months. He was in his 83rd year. A lifelong resident of Penetanguishene, Mr. Quigley was the son of Irish immigrants who settled in this district. He is survived by his wife, the former Susan Columbus, whom he married in 1888, and three sons, James and Arthur in Calgary and Howard in the United States. The funeral cortege of Mr. Quigley met that of Henry Columbus which started from his brother’s home at the outskirts of Penetanguishene, and the combined cortege proceeded to Ste. Anne’s Jesuit Memorial Church, where Requiem High Mass was sung by Rev. Father Walsh, interment of both men was in Ste. Ann’s cemetery.
  • PENETANG — Well over nine hundred public and separate school children in Penetanguishene answered the nine o’clock bell signifying the opening of school for the fall on Tuesday morning. Over one hundred were attending school for the first time. Little was done on opening day, beyond giving the pupils, a list of the books they will need during the school term. Actual school work did not commence until this morning (Wednesday). At the separate school, under principal W. J. Armstrong 175 students were present, on opening day, 18 of them in Grade I. Mr. Armstrong stated that he expected additional registrations in the course of the next few days. In the public school, 747 students were present in the eighteen classrooms. Eighty-four of the total are primary pupils. First work of the public school pupils will be to harvest the crops from their gardens that were planted as a school project in the spring. The gardens are located between Robert and Poyntz Streets, next to the cemetery. The pupils planted many types of vegetables and flowers in their garden.
  • PENETANG—At a very pretty double wedding Tuesday morning, September the fifth at Ste. Anne’s Memorial Church, Genevieve Quesnelle, of Penetanguishene, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Quesnelle, was united in marriage to Francois Andre Charlebois of Penetanguishene, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leger Charlebois. The bridesmaid was Adele Marchildon and the best man was Lawrence Charlebois. The second couple at the double wedding was Electa Maurice of Penetanguishene, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Maurice, who was united in marriage to Hilaire Tessier of Penetanguishene, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Tessier. Bridesmaid was Miss Beatrice Tessier and the best man was Omer Quesnelle. Rev. Father Castex officiated at the double wedding. Both couples will reside in Penetang on their return from the honeymoons.
  • Ability to buy woollen goods at better prices was proved to be one of Canada’s big drawing cards for American tourists as the Western States docked in Midland Labor Day morning with 350 passengers from Detroit. (This was a huge drawing card for the American tour boats, woollen goods and British china.) An immediate beeline was made for the stores carrying blankets, woollen sweaters, woollen coats. When it was found that these were all closed due to the America-wide holiday, the passengers stormed the newspaper office in an endeavour to have the press use its influence to open the shop doors.
  • PENETANG — Well over two hundred Penetanguishene baseball fans attended the Marchildon night at the Maple Leaf Stadium in Toronto, Friday. They comprised over one third of the total attendance. The two special buses chartered for the occasion were filled to capacity and dozens of private cars were heavily burdened. Despite the fact that “Babe” Marchildon was pulled from the game, fans as a whole are pretty well satisfied. “Babe” pitched good ball and seemed to appreciate sincerely the efforts of the Penetang Board of Trade in arranging the night in his honor. The presentation of the club bag and the purse, which had been subscribed to by many local residents, was made by Mayor Joseph Hatton and ex-Mayor Clair Gendron. The Penetang Spencer Rangers appeared on the field in their regular uniforms for the presentation. Further evidence to the fact that the evening was enjoyed by the local people came from the time at which many arrived back in Penetang. The first busload pulled in at 3.30 a.m. on Saturday and the second was just an hour later. Even those who went down by car did not return until long after midnight.

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