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

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.  

Click on photos to enlarge.Deliverance day for mothers came Tuesday as their offspring finally got out from under their feet and off to school again after what seemed like a very long summer. The children don’t look too unhappy as they await the first bell at Sacred Heart Separate School. 

The same scene was being enacted a few blocks away at Regent Public School. The boy in the white shirt is Stewart Duncan, two to his left beside the post is Judy Ridyard, three to the right also in a white shirt I believe is Brian Hopkins. 

Getting registered for school for the first time is supposed to be a serious business. But Sharon Stewart (left) and Wendy Cornett seem more interested in the County Herald camera. Meanwhile, Mrs. D. Cornett gets on with the more serious business as Miss Margaret Marks (seated) and Mrs. Ken Cowan take particulars for Regent School’s Kindergarten classes. 

Camp counsellor — Robin Benson, recently completed the Canadian Girls-In-Training camp counsellor’s course at Port Ryerse. Sponsored by the W.A. and WMS of St. Paul’s United Church, Midland, Robin, was one of 74 girls representing all of Ontario on the 10-day course. 

It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow some good and the winner of Midland Rotary Club’s boat and motor, Arthur McGarr of Port Dalhousie has discovered the truth of this axiom. The McGarr family was shopping in Midland this summer, left the car parked in one spot too long and received a parking ticket. Lacking proper change to pay the fine at one of the street fine boxes, Mr. McGarr bought a ticket on the boat to obtain the change. Here Rotary President Jack Duggan congratulates the winner while Parks Superintendent Harold McAllen, Rickey McGarr, 8, and Mrs. McGarr look on. 

Midland firemen had a difficult time lighting (not fighting) this fire in an abandoned house on Victoria Street. The weather-beaten, water-soaked old frame building was ordered demolished by the council, it took a lot of persuasion in the form of gallons of gasoline before it would burn. 

There was plenty of action for motorboats of all sizes and types at Victoria Harbour regatta over the holiday weekend. Photo shows some of the speedy hydroplanes, capable of 70 mph. Drivers front to back are George Simpson, Toronto; Syd Aldridge and Ken Allen Highland Creek; George Onuluk, Richmond, Hill; and Jim Alderidge, Highland Creek.

Frank Shaver of Brampton, a Paradise Point cottager won the 35 hp and free-for-all class in this boat. 

It takes both nerve and skill to drive these hydroplanes (they used to be called sea-fleas), and there was one spill at Victoria Harbour regatta Monday. But the driver climbed back into his boat and finished the heat, although well back of the pack. These craft were hitting 60 mph Monday, officials estimated. 

This year’s Victoria Harbour regatta included events for water skiers as well as swimming and boat races. Bernice Bridges (left) and Frances Brodeur, both of the Harbour, are being presented with trophies by Ken MacDonald, sponsor of the regatta. 

Seen with Frank Whiteman; Midland CNR agent, this crew pulled what is believed to have been one of the longest trains ever assembled in Canada last Thursday. Leaving Toronto at 6 a.m., they had 205 cars of freight and coal, behind their four engines in the stretch between Allandale and Uhthoff. They still had 122 cars left when they reached Midland. Left to right, Cecil Flaherty, conductor; Mr. Whiteman; M. C. Crux, engineer; back row, Bud Broderick and Jack Tasker, brakemen, and Bob Armstrong, fireman. (The caption is somewhat misleading in that most of the cars were empties, stone cars for Uhthoff and grain cars for Midland) 

The season came to a sudden end for Midland Indians on the weekend, as they were eliminated by Campbellville Merchants in the intermediate OBA major “A” playdowns. First Campbellville batter of Saturday’s game, second baseman Ken Moore, is seen missing the third pitch but Merchants went on to win 7-2. 

What better way to end the wrestling season than with the popular midgets, on the August 31st card at Midland Arena. Some of the torrid action is seen above as Brown Panther gives Sky Low Low “the works”, under the watchful eye of referee “Bunny” Dunlop. 

The magnitude of the new Greening Wire Co. plant being built along Highway 12 in Midland’s east end is evident in this picture. Steel is all up as the concrete block walls are nearly complete except for a small section in the foreground. Officials hope to have the plant ready for operation this fall. 

  • Midland Free Press headline of September 9, 1959; Police Plan Crack-down on Loiterers in Streets. Warning that Penetang Police will initiate a crackdown on loiterers in the vicinity of restaurants in the community, was given yesterday by Chief Jack Arbour. Chief Arbour said the situation has degenerated to the point where citizens hesitate to walk on the sidewalk in front of town dining establishments. The condition is generated mainly by young people who make the restaurants and surrounding areas a “hang-out,” the chief said.
  • County Herald headline of September 11, 1959; March to Queen’s Park to Back Road Demands. Residents and businessmen along the four-mile section of Tiny Township’s Champlain Road, Tuesday night threatened to “go straight to Queen’s Park” to oppose any move to construct a new road west of the existing route. The large group, invited to a special meeting of Tiny council to discuss the road, was told the Department of Highways would not consider paving the present Champlain Road. Members of council quoted highways officials as stating the only road they would put a permanent surface on would be a new one proposed to run along the hill top.
  • Included in the lengthy list of 54 top-flight entries for the Canadian horseshoe pitching singles’ championships at the CNE this weekend will be a pair of Midlanders, Wray Faint and Logan Cruise. A pastime that has grown in popularity in leaps and bounds over the past five years, horseshoe pitching has now reached the status of a major sport in many parts of the country. Especially so in southern and western Ontario, where sizeable leagues have been formed that play on a year-round basis, with both outdoor and indoor courts. (Charlie Noquet wrote this article and titled it Two Midlanders vie for “barnyard golf” titles.)
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – From the standpoint of fire losses, 1933 was the best year Canada has had since 1927. The value of property destroyed by fire was $9,519,501 less than the total for 1932. * * * Marlin Nelson of Fort Dodge, Iowa, won the 15-mile, CNE marathon swim for men for the third year in succession. On two occasions the swim had to be postponed because of low water temperatures. * * * Ruth Wagner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Wagner, Midland R.R., graduated from Midland High School with her senior matriculation at the age of 15. During the five years she attended high school, she did not fail in a single paper. In her final year, she wrote 10 papers obtaining three firsts, three seconds, two thirds and two credits. * * * Mrs. E. E. Stewart, Collingwood, won the Simcoe County women’s golf championship, defeating a Mrs. Walker of Barrie. * * * The Ontario Department of Agriculture announced it was devoting money, and men to perfect a method for controlling starlings which were menacing Southern Ontario fruit crops. * * * Frank Porter, a highly esteemed resident of Waubaushene, died following a series of strokes. He had graduated from medical school in 1898. * * * Seven lake freighters, six carrying cargoes of grain and one a cargo of coal docked at Midland between August 31 and Sept. 4. * * * Sixty-four more pupils enrolled at Midland High School at the commencement of the fall term than had registered the previous year. The total for opening day in 1934, was 430.
  • Editorial – After the new pavement was laid in Midland this summer, a taxpayer said he was willing to bet two-to-one that it would not be too long before a section of it was broken up. If he had any takers, he has won his bet. An area north of the Hugel Ave. – Eighth Street intersection had to be broken up when excavations were made for water mains connecting the new pressure pump system, serving the Tay area west of Midland. Since it was known for some time that the pressure system was to be installed this year, another taxpayer now wants to know why the hard-top surface was applied before the project was completed. (Will we take bets on the new pavement on Hugel Ave. being cut before winter?)
  • Woodland Beach cottagers told Tiny Township council Saturday they were very much concerned about the decaying material in a cove, about which they had been complaining for some time. They said, although they had been assured the material was not pollution, nevertheless it gave off a very offensive odour. The decaying matter was said to be about a foot deep and was located at the shore. Council agreed to have a machine bury the decayed matter. The delegation also complained about beach parties running from 2 a.m. to as late as 6 a.m. They said the revellers tore down fences, ran over lawns, left broken glass, damaged boats, and made so much noise it was impossible to sleep at times. They asked for a bench patrol during those hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Things were really hot at the opening of Midland-Penetang District High School this week, but nobody was expelled. “It (the temperature) reached 95 degrees in the upstairs hall this afternoon,” Principal Ray Gauthier told the MPDHS Board at its September meeting Wednesday night. “The rooms themselves weren’t too bad but the halls were like ovens.” Making his first report to the board since his appointment as principal, Mr. Gauthier said 839 pupils had registered opening day compared with 822 last year. Official count, for departmental purposes, is made at the end of the month, he pointed out. Last year at that time the enrolment was 825. Mr. Gauthier felt the eventual enrolment would be somewhere between 830 and 840 this year. Earlier there had been doubts that the enrolment would reach the 800 mark. At present most classes have between 35 and 38 pupils.
  • Births – ALLSOPP — To Mr. and Mrs. Clare Allsopp, 84 Fifth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, September 8, 1959, a daughter. DIGNARD — To Mr. and Mrs. Leo Dignard, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, September 7, 1959, a son. DUSOME — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Dusome, 92 Quebec St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, September 4, 1959, a son. SALICHUK— To Mr. and Mrs. Norman Salichuk, 209 Lindsay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, September 8, 1959, a son. THAYER – To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Thayer, 151 Gloucester St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, September 3, 1959, a daughter.
  • Bruce Alexander Nicholls, a man who was instrumental in saving the lives of crew members of the Sarniadoc when it foundered in the Lower Lakes 30 years ago, died in St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, Wednesday afternoon. Ill for a year, Capt. Nicholls was in his 73rd year. A native of Burnt River, Ont., where he attended school, Capt. Nicholls married the former Nellie Price in Orillia July 17, 1912. They had lived in Midland, Victoria Harbour for six years, and in Waubaushene 36 years. A sailor all his life, he had served on tugs owned by the Burke Towing Co, and the Waldie Lumber Co. In 1927 he obtained his master’s ticket. His first big ship was the S.S. Valley Camp, a self-unloading coal freighter owned by the Valley Camp Coal Co. of Canada. He was captain of the Valley Camp from 1929 until 1956 when he retired. It was during his first year as master of the Valley Camp that he went to the rescue of the Sarniadoc which had run aground. During World War II he made a record number of trips with his ship, carrying cargoes of coal. His war effort was recognized by his firm in the presentation of a watch. He was also honoured by the Queen, being awarded a Coronation Medal. He was a member of Victoria Harbour Masonic Lodge, a life member of Waubaushene lOOF Lodge, a Conservative in politics and an adherent of the Anglican Church. Surviving besides his widow are four daughters, Mary of Barrie, Dorothy of Midland, Clarke of Toronto and Bette of Gravenhurst; four brothers, Cleve of Stroud, AI and Clark of Blind River, and Capt. Walter Nicholls of Midland; two sisters, Mrs. Jack Wilson of Midland and Mrs. Frank Schissler of Richmond Hill, and six grandchildren. The body is resting at Nicholls funeral home, Midland, where services will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. Burial will be in the Waubaushene Cemetery.


An item from the September 13th, 1939 Free Press.


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