Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 16th to 23rd, 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.One of the founders of Beaverbrook Branch, Canadian Legion, Waubaushene, Frank Goatcher of Midland and Mrs. Goatcher (In-laws of Pete Pettersen) stand beside the new cenotaph unveiled Sunday afternoon in the village. District Legions and Legion Auxiliaries were represented at the services. 

Mrs. James Plouffe, Mrs. M. Hodgins and Mrs. H. Blanchard represented the Silver Cross Mothers at the unveiling of the new war memorial in Waubaushene Sunday afternoon. The memorial, erected through the efforts of the Legion and community organizations, is located in the village park. 

Jo-Anne Moreau, Grade 8 student al Regent Public School, Thursday evening earned the right to proceed to the district finals, in Barrie, of the public speaking contest sponsored by the Ontario School Trustees and Ratepayers’ Association. 

For the second year in succession, Bob Rawson achieved the highest standing in Vasey’s 4-H Calf Club. He’s seen here (right) receiving a silver tray from W. A. Child, Midland manager of the Bank of Montreal. The presentation was made during a banquet held in Vasey United Church Tuesday night. 

Climaxing big year for Vasey 4-H Calf and Tractor Clubs and Midland Strawberry Club, a banquet was held in Vasey Tuesday. Here calf club leader Murray Edwards presents a cheque to John Stewart, Sandra Curry and Jim Cowden, first-year members. 

These girls knew most of the answers posed them during their work with Vasey 4-H Calf Club this past year. Receiving cheques from E. Christopherson of Midland are, Carolyn Edwards, Janet Stewart and Madeline Stewart. 

An addition to the Penetang Bottling Co. plant will provide more storage space, and Ieave room in the plant formerly used for storage, available for the advertising department. 


  • Free Press Herald headline of November 18, 1959; Two Way Mayoralty Tilt Looms in Midland Vote. If the present intentions of Midland councillors are any criterion, Midland ratepayers should have an interesting election this year. At the present time, a two-way fight for the mayoralty is looming. Reeve W. H. Heller has stated that he intends to seek election to the top municipal post, and the incumbent, Mayor Charles Stevenson, has indicated he plans to seek a second term.
  • County Herald headline of November 20, 1959; Back Plans in Principle, Delay Action on Addition. Meeting in Barrie Wednesday, Simcoe County council adopted “in principle” the plan for a new 50-bed addition to Georgian Manor, Penetang, but ordered its architects not to proceed with the working drawings and specifications until the January session of the 1960 council has had a chance to study finances more thoroughly. Reeve Fred Kinnear of Tay Township started the delaying action by noting other large expenditures for buildings already started, or proposed, and the separation payment to the city of Barrie. “Where is the county rate going to go”, asked Reeve Kinnear. Reeve Lawrence Devine of Coldwater said a start on a new registry office, already delayed some three years, was urgent. “We must look after living bodies first. The registry office can wait,” argued Reeve Joseph Belford of Tottenham, chairman of the committee of the Homes for the Aged, who brought in the report calling for the $354,000 addition to Georgian Manor. Reeve Belford noted there was a large waiting list for both the Beeton and Penetang homes. Two new applications had been made only this week, he said. “And at least 90 per cent of our applications nowadays are bed patients, making the matter even more urgent,” said Mr. Belford. He said the addition was “very badly needed.”
  • Nyle Arthur Switzer, 18, of Orono and formerly of Midland, died on his way to St. Michael’s’ Hospital Saturday after being hit by a car on Bayview Ave. extension and was thrown 80 feet against a guardrail. Police said young Switzer had been driving behind his brother, Edward, on the Bayview extension when his brother’s car I broke down near the Prince Edward Viaduct. Nyle parked his car on the shoulder of the road behind his brother’s auto and then walked forward and spoke to him through the window on the driver’s side. As he turned to go back to his own vehicle, he was struck by a car, it is reported. The driver of the other car, Frederick George Thomas, 32, of Redwater Dr., Etobicoke, has been charged with criminal negligence in the case which brought the number of persons killed in Toronto to 83. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Switzer. Funeral services will be held this afternoon at Nicholls funeral home. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery.
  • Simcoe County council yesterday approved, without a dissenting vote, the report of its separation committee estimating the new City of Barrie’s equity in county assets as $139,381. The county separation committee will now meet again with its Barrie counterparts for final approval of the deal. The Simcoe group has recommended that the $139,381 be paid in five equal annual instalments, without interest, spread over a period, of five years. The first payment is due in December 1960. The committee also recommended that all agreements with Barrie for the use of the courthouse, health unit and homes for the aged be for a five year period, to be terminated by either party giving notice one year previous to the termination date. The report also said Barrie had agreed to pay the county treasurer $1,500 yearly to compensate him for the extra work he will-have in connection with the above agreement.
  • Tiny Township council is undecided whether it will continue to pay an annual $500 grant to the Penetang General Hospital. This problem arose after the council learned the institution had been turned over to the order of Grey Nuns. Councillor Normand Marchand said he didn’t know whether or not the municipality can legally pay a grant to a privately-owned institution. “What do they do with the profits they make?” he asked. Reeve Montcalm Maurice said he hadn’t known of the transfer until he attended a meeting of the hospital board in September. “I heard them talking about the Sisters owning the hospital, and I didn’t know what it was all about until I asked some questions,” he said. Councillor Doug Holt suggested the grant bylaw was passed before the hospital was taken over, and he felt the municipality was morally obligated to pay for the 10-year period it has to run. Both Midland and Penetang hospitals were included in the bylaw with $500 to be paid annually. “I believe these hospitals really need the money,” he said.
  • Cold, wet and generally poor weather conditions for the last couple of years was the main reason for the cancellation of Midland’s Santa Claus parade this year according to D. J. Finch, chairman of the business men’s committee of Midland Chamber of Commerce. “We also felt that the parade must be improved if it was to continue and at present, we could not come up with any way of improving it,” added Mr. Finch, yesterday. Mr. Finch said he and his committee with the co-operation of the town businessmen are working on an alternative plan. He did not wish to disclose details of the project at present.
  • Del Hastings, well-known Midland men’s wear store owner, was rushed to St. Andrews Hospital early yesterday morning, following a heart attack at his home. Mrs. Hastings said today that her husband was as well as could be expected. He had curled for the first time this season Monday night and appeared to be in the best of health.
  • BIRTHS – BATH — To Mr. and Mrs. Stewart Bath, Fourth Ave., Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, November 6, 1959, a son. BEFORT — To Mr. and Mrs. Horst Befort, 94 Fourth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday November 10, 1959, a daughter. DESJARDIN — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Desjardin, 190 Russell St., Midland, at St Andrews Hospital, Saturday, Nov 14, 1959, a daughter. FRENCH — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence French, Waverley, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, November 5, 1959, a daughter. HAIG — To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Haig, 345 King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, November 14, 1959, a daughter. IRVINE — To Mr. and Mrs. Alec Irvine, 186 King St. Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 11, 1959, a daughter. (Stillborn). LEDUC — To Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Leduc, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, November 12, 1959, a daughter. (Baby died) LEVESQUE —To Mr. and Mrs. Annand (maybe Armand) Levesque, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Saturday, November 14, 1959, a daughter. TOBEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Tobey, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, November 12, 1959, a daughter, (Stillborn). TROLLOPE — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Trollope, Scott St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, November 15, 1959, a son. WEBB To Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Webb (nee Verna Lambie), I26 Fourth. St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, November 22, 1959, a son. (Brian Kenneth).
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – More than 200 veterans attended the first “Armistice Day” dinner in Midland. The dinner, held in the Georgian Hotel, was the result of a suggestion of George Parr of Midland. Lorne Lockhart presided and suggested that the event be made an annual affair. * * * Warden Edward Dutton, reeve of Victoria Harbour, noted at the county council in Barrie that he was serving his 27th year in municipal life. * * * William Borrow, Matchedash, J. P. Fitzgerald, Medonte, C. J. Gratrix, Tay, and T. J. Dewell, Tiny, were elected directors of Simcoe County Livestock Improvement Association. * * * Ven. Archdeacon A. R. Beverley, rector of Trinity Church, Barrie, was elected suffragan bishop of Toronto diocese, the first to hold the post in the newly-created office. * * * Prince George of England and Princess Marina of Greece were married in Westminster Abbey. Notables from every part of the world attended the event. * * * In spite of two severe snowfalls, pansies were blooming in the garden of Mrs. W. A. Stephen of Ottawa Street, Midland. * * * Ontario’s deer population became so depleted in 1934 that game and fisheries department officials announced drastic steps would have be taken to conserve the animals. A buck law and closed seasons for several sections of the province were recommended. * * * Forty-one nations indicated they would enter athletes in the 1936 Olympic games. The games were to be held in Germany.
  • OBITUARIES – ROBERT HARRY FERRIS Ill about two weeks, Robert Harry Ferris died in Penetang General Hospital Nov. 12. He was in his 78th year. Rev. J. L. Delaney conducted the funeral services, held Nov. 14, from St. James on-the-Lines Anglican Church. The pallbearers, all grandsons, were John Ferris, Ron Ferris, Charles Corbeau, Eric Corbeau, Gordon Ferris Jr., and John Richardson. Mr. Ferris was born at Alliston Dec. 18, 1881, and at four years of age moved with his family to Penetang where he received his education. In May 1901, at Penetang, he married the former Effie Mara of the southern United States. He spent most of his life in Penetang except for three years in Toronto. He was a millwright by trade and for 46 years worked with C. Beck Co., Ltd. Two weeks after he was married an accident seriously injured one of his legs. He was an Anglican and at one time was  very fond of fishing. Besides his widow, he is survived by seven sons, five daughters, 30 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. “Two sons were killed in accidents, Richard in February, 1959, and John in 1928. The surviving sons are Arthur, at home; Douglas, Penetang; Robert Harry “Bill”, Cleveland; Carl, Midland; Kenneth, Port Arthur; Gordon, Toronto and Donald of Whitby; and daughters, Mrs. E.  Richardson (Ruby), Mrs. Norman Greer (Grace) and Mrs. D. Dorion (Fern), all of Toronto, Mrs. E. Choate (Milla), Windsor, and Mrs. C. Corbeau (Katherine) of Penetang. MRS. MARTHA E. ELLIOTT – A resident of Waverley and vicinity all her life, Mrs. Martha Elizabeth Elliott died unexpectedly of a heart seizure at her Waverley home Nov. 5. She would have celebrated her 80th birthday Nov. 23. Funeral service was conducted Rev. A. G. Fairhead at St. John’s Anglican Church, Waverley, Nov. 7. Pallbearers were John Whitton, Wm. Ball, Frank Lockhart, Bert Reynolds, Earl Thomson and Elba Brown. Born in Tay Township, Nov. 23, 1879, she attended Ebenezer school and in September 1901, at Barrie married Fed Elliott who died April 4, 1916. She was a member of the guild of St. John’s Church and a charter member and past mistress of the LOBA No. 781, Waverley, where she was a member for 32 years. She was a Liberal in politics. She is survived by a son, Fred of Ottawa, and by five daughters, Mrs. Tom Devitt (Gladys) of Toronto; Mrs. Bruce Brown (Stella), Waverley; Audrey at home; Mrs. W. A. Whitton (Mary), Elmvale, and Mrs. Harold Lawson (Edna) of Toronto. She is also survived by three brothers, John E . Johnston and Harold Johnston of Wyebridge and Wesley Johnston of Second Line Flos, and three sisters Mrs. Horace Lamb, Cannington; Mrs. E. Brown, Unionville and Mrs. Wm. Carruthers of Wyebridge. Burial was in St. John’s Anglican Cemetery, Waverley.
  • In his report to the MidIand-Penetang District High School Board last Wednesday evening, Principal R. C. Gauthier said parents of 27 more students were called in for interviews this month because their children’s homework habits were not satisfactory. The parents of only one student, who were called in last month, had to be called again this month, Mr. Gauthier told the board. Assistant principal A. Gardhouse, who was officially introduced to the board for the first time at the meeting, said he believed 100 per cent in the principles that Mr. Gauthier was developing in the school. This homework matter is definitely putting the pressure on the students, and Mr. Gauthier has other plans to improve the standards at the school. He’s doing an excellent job. A letter from the Department of National Defence advised tine board that the cadet corps had received a mark of 82.2 per cent in its latest inspection. Mr. Gauthier pointed out this was a pretty fair mark and that at least 80 per cent must be obtained for the school to get 100 per cent of its grants “amounting to approximately $1,100.” The school had 375 cadets on parade, the principal noted.
  • Lawrence Moreau, a young Tiny Township farmhand, learned the hard way yesterday it doesn’t pay to leave a tractor motor running while the gas tank is being refilled. Moreau drove up to McClung’s service station, south of Wyebridge, around 3 p.m. Thursday for some gasoline. Because the battery was low, he decided to let the motor continue to run. Some of the gas spilt out onto the manifold. Now it won’t start, period, because of the fire which resulted. Midland fire brigade rushed to the scene, but the fire had been put out by the time they arrived. Fortunately, there was no explosion. The tractor was owned by Ralph Mertz, of R.R. 1, Wyebridge.
  • Maude McKillen, found last night in a semi-conscious state on the floor of her bedroom in her Second Street home and rushed to St. Andrews Hospital, today was reported to be in satisfactory condition. Her neighbour, W. Best noticed there had been no lights in Mrs. McKillen’s home for two nights and notified police. Police obtained permission from Mrs. McKillen’s sister-in-law to enter the house. They found her clad only in night attire and no heat in the house, Dr. R. J. Cardwell ordered the woman taken to hospital.
  • The mechanical millenium apparently has arrived at long last. Prominently displayed in a King Street store window this week is an electric can opener! Drudgery for the captains of the kitchens is now a thing of the past.

A few items from 80 years ago, November 1939. 

  • There will be no change as far as the building of the new government dock at Midland goes according to notice received from the Deputy Minister of Public Works at Ottawa. This fact was made known at a council meeting held in the town hall on Monday night. Mayor James Mackie told the Council that he had received word from George McLean, M.P. to this effect. It was believed in some quarters that the outbreak of war might have caused proposed operations to be cancelled.
  • That two major menaces to Midland citizens may be eliminated early in the new year was forecast at the recent meetings of the Midland Council. The council have asked for tenders on a snowplough, and while the present council may not be able to meet the entire cost of (in) its 1939 budget no obligation (objection) was voiced at Monday’s meeting to the purchase on a two-year basis. Councillors Ed Burke, Alf Argue, Wm. Offord and Mayor Mackie led the discussion. It being introduced by Ald. Offord who suggested that the 1/2 mill returned to the municipality by the gas tax rebate, should be used for the benefit of the motorists in keeping the streets clean. Municipal garbage collection appears to be headed for introduction in Midland also early in the new year. If it can be financed without raising the present tax rate. I am heartily in favour of it,” Commented Mayor Mackie. “By the use of additional relief labour which we have under the new regulations, I believe it is feasible.” Figures at the cost of collection were obtained by Ald. Wm. Offord who introduced the project, from Collingwood and Orillia. Collingwood pays $50 per month for a weekly garbage collection for all citizens, with relief assistance being furnished the trucker. The garbage is collected from 6 to 9 a.m. each day. Orillia lets out the collection contract to two men at $1400 per year each, with no relief labour employed. It was further pointed out that regular garbage collection would undoubtedly decrease medical health costs in areas of the town where sanitary conveniences are not common and garbage is allowed to collect in the ditches.
  • The announcement was made by Peter Jaegge, acting manager of Fine Silk Mills, Midland, that the new company which have recently bought out Dominion Rayon and which occupies the old Wood Products Building, is making plans for immediate construction of a number of new offices in the plant. Present floors are to be changed and either hardwood or linoleum substituted in the office section. Mr. Jaegge stated that while there were several Midlanders working regularly on the staff, a half dozen more would be added as apprentices in the next ten days.
  • Fire of unknown origin Sunday swept through a sawmill at Elmvale leaving it a complete ruin and endangering the rest of the town. The sawmill was owned by the Copeland Milling Company. It was suggested by company officials’ that the fire might have been the result of carelessness on the part of a tramp who had entered the boiler room to keep warm for the night, might have dropped a match. Loss including the main building of the sawmill, the corrugated iron engine room and $5,000 worth of machinery was conservatively estimated at $10,000. As of yet no decision has been reached whether the mill will be rebuilt.
  • Contracts for 24,000 soldier’s hold-alls and 800 officer’s kit bags have been secured by J. B. Roebuck Limited of Midland. Contracts total close to $15,000 and are for delivery in the near future. J. B. Roebuck anticipates that between 20 and 25 men and women will be employed locally in the production of these war orders from Ottawa.
  • PENETANG — Mayor Joseph Hatton officially opened the new dial telephone exchange in Penetang on Tuesday morning, when he telephoned his son, Rev. Noble Hatton in Cobalt at exactly 7 a.m. The call marked the completion of months of intensive work by the Bell Telephone Company in Penetang. The local exchange is now one of the most modern, fully automatic types. “Turning the crank,” for years a feature of the local system, ceased at 10 minutes to seven and in less than 20 minutes the new system was in complete working order.
  • Dave Lamarsh, operator on a crane at the Century Coal Dock had a narrow escape from death early Saturday morning when he took a fainting spell at the controls. The clam and cab ran wild and ended up hanging over the water. Only a few inches kept the big piece of machinery from plunging into the bay. Lamarsh was in the cab but managed to escape from the precarious position. Damage is estimated at several thousand dollars and repair work will occupy some weeks.

4 thoughts on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 16th to 23rd, 1959

  1. Is there any record of Samuel Dube being Mayor of Penetang. He resided at 40 Jeffery St. in Penetang. I am husband of Anne Dube, his deceased daughter. Samuel Dube also played for Hamilton Tiger Cats.
    Thank You
    Peter Zapotocny

  2. Peter we were finally able to find documentation on Salem Dube, mayor of Penetang. I will post it on the Huronia Museum Facebook page. Now that we have digitized many of the papers from that era there are dozens of responses to a search for Salem Dube.

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