Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 1st to 7th, 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.There were “spooks” galore at St. Mark’s parish hall last Saturday afternoon when the Brownie pack held its Halloween party. Costumes ran the gamut from the “spaceman”, centre front to the quaintly dressed miss, extreme right, back row. 

This quartet of masqueraders had a high old time at St. Mark’s parish hall. They are members of the Brownie pack at St. Mark’s who held a Halloween party Saturday afternoon. Girl Guides helped to supervise the program. 

Playing in the street can be fatal as this posed photo demonstrates. Had this boy really fallen in front of the car while he was chasing the football, he could have been seriously injured and perhaps killed. The picture also holds another lesson for drivers — keep the car under control at all times. 

Construction of an addition to the Bell Telephone building in Midland is now underway. The structure will be 47 by 32 1/2 feet and will provide space for equipment needed to expand and improve telephone service in this area. It will house switching equipment for 600 more telephones.

Attracting wide attention and acclaim at the art show in Midland Armory on the weekend was this exhibition of handicrafts by the children of the Ontario Hospital School in Orillia. Miss Claudia Stewart, the nursing instructress, explains some of the work to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Tweedle of Midland. There was also an exhibit of paintings by the OHS children.

Everybody seems quite happy as Dorothy Stevens, RCA, OSA, checks the entries at the art show in Midland Armory with Louise Colley (left) secretary of Simcoe County Arts and Crafts Association. The show was held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

There isn’t much a fellow can do but wait for the verdict while his daughter casts a critical eye on his painting. Mrs. Frank Hartman (Jean Haig), along with hundreds of other visitors, gave the O. K. to Dave Haig’s “Late Autumn” (top picture). It proved quite a contrast to the impressionistic “Lilliom” by Karen Smith of Barrie, hung immediately below the landscape at the county art show in the Midland Armory. 

Formerly a rendezvous for dancers, this building on Penetang Road is the new home of Harrison Metal Works and is undergoing extensive renovations for the manufacture of aluminum and wrought iron products. William Harrison, the proprietor, hopes to provide work for some 30 employees when the plant is in full production. 

Manufacture of aluminum windows and doors is one of the main operations carried out in the new Harrison Metal Works plant on Penetang Road. William Harrison (left) watches Lionel Maurice assemble one of the window frames. 

Mrs. Ernest Godin (foreground) cuts screen to size while Mrs. Gerard Moreau inserts glass in another frame. 

Two of the proudest budding hockey players in Penetang are Lawrence and Ronald Gregoire, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Urbain Gregoire, Penetang, shown here with hockey sticks autographed by both Rocket and Henri  Richard. They also received good-luck wishes from the stars. 

A rocky barren field just a few months ago, the old Grant farm on Midland’s Wireless Hill is now dotted with new homes like the ones seen above. Even the road, Scott Street, is brand new. Workmen are rushing work on both homes and streets to get as much done as possible before winter sets in. On Halloween night last year, the old Grant home was burned. 

Evidence of growth in Midland can be seen in this photo of the Wireless Hill area, looking northwest toward Regent School and the Ernst Leitz Canada Limited plant. Not too long ago, the land in the foreground, now dotted with fine new homes, was an open field. 

Speaking at the recent reunion of the 157th and 177th Battalions of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters in Midland, Premier Leslie Frost reminded his old comrades that things were pretty primitive at Camp Borden back in their day, 1916. Midland’s George Parr later recalled making a drawing of the camp when he was serving as a scout for the 157th. The 157th and 177th were camped close together near the left-centre of the picture. 

While waiting their turn before the examining officer, these Midlanders are doing some last-minute boning up on their St. John Ambulance bandage procedures. Here, Police Chief George Wainman fixes a “broken wrist” for Const. Arthur Ambeau. Watching, left to right, are Const. Mel Moreau, Const. Tom Currie, Const. Ross Willett, Const. Bill Nicholas and Fire Chief Arnold Tippin. 

Police and firemen from Midland and Port McNicoll get all “bound up” in their work as they tried their St. John Ambulance tests in Midland last Wednesday night. Left to right are Dr. Ike T. Weldon, examining officer, Bruce Duncan, Port McNicoll fireman, Cpl. Ernest Bates of Midland police department, and Don Duncan of the CPR police, one of the instructors for the group. 


  • Free Press Herald headline of November 4, 1959; History Project Tee-Off Slated for Area Schools. Simcoe County will be the pilot project for a new Department of Planning and Development proposal to introduce historical documents into elementary schools. This was revealed at the annual meeting of Huronia Historic Sites and Tourists Association by Deputy Minister of Travel and Publicity Guy Moore. The tourist association met in Orillia Monday. Moore said the archives and public records branch of his department would make available to school inspector copies of all documents pertaining to local history. He added that the travel and publicity department, working in conjunction with the department of education, had asked school inspectors to indicate the material they considered would be the most helpful in social study courses. Copies of documents requested will be made by the archives and public records branch and then returned to the inspectors for classroom use, the deputy minister stated.
  • County Herald headline of November 6, 1959; Six Contest Three Seats on Public School Board. Penetang electors will have an election for school board members only this year. At the 9 p.m. deadline for qualifications last night, the mayoralty, the deputy-reeveship and six council seats were filled by acclamations. Councillor Ray McDonald signed his qualification papers last night. Candidates who qualified were Ken Tannahill, Dr. Henri Marchildon, Charles O. Martin, Mrs. Joyce Hamelin, Gilbert Gignac and Albert Blondin. Eric Ulrichsen also was nominated but did not qualify Wednesday night.
  • “We had a very orderly Hallowe’en. There didn’t seem to be nearly as many children or young people just roaming the streets,” Midland’s Acting Police Chief George Wainman said yesterday. “It was quite orderly and we had no trouble at all, ” continued the chief. He said the lack of people on the streets may have been due to a number of parties and dances that had been planned for that night. Two telephone coin boxes were broken into over the weekend the chief noted, “but that was not the work of the Hallowe’en crowd. We are still investigating that situation.” The phone boxes were located at the town dock and one at the park information booth.
  • Another of Penetang’s large old elm trees fell prey to progress in the business section on the town’s Main Street this week. The big tree, almost four feet thick at the butt, was standing almost directly centre in front of a new store to be opened by Lionel Robitaille, south of Poyntz Street. Permission for cutting the tree was given by council at a meeting held earlier this month.
  • Three weekend accidents resulted in $2,600 damage and one person being sent to hospital, officers of the Victoria Harbour OPP detachment said yesterday. A tractor driven by Robert Wilcox, Midland R.R. 2, and a car driven by Carl Hubbard, Midland R.R. 1, were in collision on Highway 27 about 1 p.m. Saturday. The accident occurred about a mile south of Midland. Both vehicles were proceeding south. Damage to the tractor amounted to $1,200 and to the car $400, police said. Mr. Hubbard has been charged with following another vehicle too closely. Miss Alene Latour, 33, Wyebridge, was seriously hurt when her car skidded and rolled over on Highway 27 about a mile north of Wyebridge. The accident, which caused $600 damage to the car, occurred about 7.45 a.m. Monday. Miss Latour was taken to St. Andrews Hospital. OPP Const. Tom Heels investigated. Dr. C. Swan, who is attending Miss Latour, said she has a fractured pelvis. Louis Howell, 66, of Coldwater caused $400 damage to his truck when it skidded on Highway 27, one mile north of Wyebridge at 3.35 a.m. Nov. The truck hit three guard rails and then turned over, according to OPP Const. Jack Ambeau who investigated. There were no injuries and no charge is being laid.
  • The fact only a light breeze was blowing at the time, was all that saved a large barn and other buildings from catching fire when U. C. School No. 1 on Christian Island fell prey to flames early Thursday morning, according to F. W. Purser, Indian agent. Mr. Purser said the fire was discovered by the janitor, Wilson King, about 2.30 a.m. Thursday. As no firefighting equipment was available, nothing could be done to quell the blaze. The frame building which housed two class rooms and a five-room teacher’s residence was leveled to the ground. Approximately $8,000 had been spent on an addition to the building a year ago. Plans are under way already to start building two classrooms to accommodate the 55 to 60 pupils attending the school.
  • Workmen of A. S. Nicholson and Co., Burlington, started work Tuesday morning to strengthen trusses in Penetang Memorial Community Centre. It is expected that about two weeks will be required to complete the work. Pieces of lumber are being added to the angles of each truss where roof and wall lines meet. Earlier, inspecting engineers had found there was some slight separation at this point. The construction company finally agreed to carry out the work at no cost to the municipality. It is understood a proposal to strengthen the east wall of the building has not yet been submitted. As a result, no announcement has been made yet as to whether or not this work will be carried out. Other improvements; recently completed, at the rink, include elimination of a very dark spot around the east end nets. When lighting was first installed in the rink, the ice surface was laid out farther toward the front than it now is. This left an area of considerable darkness. Two new lights there have brightened up the ice surface comparable to the westerly end. A new public address system is now in use which provides considerable improvement over the echoing system formerly used. The new set consists of speakers over centre ice facing in all directions. Announcements can now be heard quite clearly.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Professor and Mrs. Picard ascended 10 miles into the stratosphere in a balloon. Purpose of the flight was to determine the effects of cosmic rays on equipment and human beings. * * * Flos council at its November meeting approved the payment of $I52 to township farmers who had sheep killed or injured by roving dogs. In all 19 sheep had been killed and 18 had been injured. * * * Twenty one World War I veterans at Coldwater organized a branch of the Canadian Legion. Charter president was Tom Langton. * * * The provincial inspector of public libraries in Ontario reported that Midland library had nearly nine thousand more books than any other library in Simcoe County. His annual report showed Midland library had 22,175 volumes on its shelves compared with 13,321 in Barrie, 13,451 in Collingwood and 13,135 in Orillia. * * * Little in the way of rowdy-ism was noted Hallowe’en night in either Midland or Penetang. Police in the two towns said the masqueraders appeared to be content with treats and refrained from playing tricks. * * * Dr. L. J. Simpson, Ontario Minister of Education, told the annual meeting of the Canadian Education Association that the era of costly schools had ended. He said “the time of great capital outlay on the construction of palatial new buildings has gone, never to return.” * * * Archbishop Derwyn T. Owen, primate of all Canada, confirmed 22 candidates at a special confirmation service in St. Mark’s Church, Midland. * * * A 50-mile-an-hour gale, which whipped huge clouds of dust from summer fallow land in Southern Alberta, caused extensive damage in some sections of the province. Nanton, 75 miles south of Calgary received the heaviest damage.
  • Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers named a special committee at their October meeting, to complete the interior of the association’s new club house in Tay Township, near Martyrs’ Shrine. Ken Walker was appointed to head up the electrical wiring and line work crew and Smoky Woods was to take charge of interior improvements. The committee was the result of an appeal by President Lloyd Wilson for volunteers to complete the project. Fifty-five members attended the dinner meeting. It was expected that the work would be completed on the weekend.
  • Special Remembrance Day service for citizens of Midland and district will be held in the Roxy Theatre, Midland, Nov. 11. The service, which will commence at 9.45 a.m., will be in charge of Legion chaplain Rev. J. L. Self. He will be assisted by Rev. Ralph Wright, Rev. Wilson Morden, Rev. R. Barker and Rev. L. J. Delaney. Principal speaker will be Lieut. William Johnston of the Midland Salvation Army Corps. Midland Citizens Band will provide musical accompaniment for the hymn singing. Special music will be provided by a choir of public school children under the direction of R. C. Ireland. Piano accompaniment for the choir will be by Stan Harman. Soloist will be Graydon Rodgers. The parade of veterans and Legionnaires will leave the Legion hall at 30 a.m. Service at the cenotaph will commence at 10.55 a.m. Midland ministers will assist at the service and during the laying of the wreaths. Rev. Wilson Morden will be the Remembrance Day dinner speaker. The dinner will be held in Knox Sunday School auditorium.
  • BIRTHS – COTE — To Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cote, 34 Ffth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital. Friday, October 30, 1959, a daughter. DUVAL — To. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Duval, 49 Olive St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, October 31, 1959, a son. FLETCHER — To Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Fletcher, 157 Sixth St., Midland; at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, October ,30, 1959, a son. GENDRON — To Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Gendron, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Sunday, November 1, 1959, a daughter. HOUNSOME — To Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hounsome, 356 Bay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday. October 30, 1959, a daughter. LIGHT — To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Light, at the Branson Hospital, Willowdale, Sunday, November 1, 1959, a daughter. MARCHILDON — To Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Marchildon, Perkinsfield, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, November 3, 1950, a son. NEALE — To Dr. and Mrs. William F. Neale, 240 Yonge St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, October 31, 1959, a son. QUESNELLE – To Mr. and Mrs. Regis Quesnelle, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, November 3, 1959, a son. WOLOSKI — To Mr. and Mrs. Adam Woloski, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, November 2, 1959, a daughter.
  • Frank Spence, president of Midland Figure Skating Club told this newspaper yesterday that 250 persons, 70 of them adults, turned out for the afternoon of family skating in the Midland Arena Gardens Sunday afternoon. He said this family recreation activity would be continued, as long as people showed they were interested in it.

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