Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – January 24th to 31st, 1960

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“Bull in a china shop” might be a good title for this picture, taken at the hobby show held at the Midland YMCA last week. Here Mary Lou Graham, director of a girls’ craft class at the ‘Y’, admires the collection of cattle gathered by Gene Crawford. 

Hobbies run in the family for Mrs. George Smallwood, Eighth Street, Midland, and her granddaughter, Jane Sheriff, 10, who lives on the same street. Here they compare some of their prized items at the “Hobby Show” held in Midland YMCA last week. Mrs. Smallwood collects china shoes and little Jane goes in for birds. 

If Midland’s George S. Dudley seems to be staring out into space these days, blame it on the miniature “sputnik” which decorates his desk. Presented to him by the touring Moscow Selects hockey team, it’s a replica of the famous space pioneer sent into orbit by the Russians. It even has a music box in the base, which plays Moscow radio’s theme music and also emits the famed three “beeps” by which scientists traced sputnik’s progress through outer space. 

Chosen from among the many competitors who took part in the “talent hunt” conducted by radio station CFRB in Midland recently were Bob Stanway of Midland, left, and Vola Leroux of Penetang. Seen with Wishart Campbell, the station’s music director, they’ll be heard over the Toronto station Feb. 5. 


PENETANG COUNCIL HEARS ARENA FINANCIAL STATUS; Free Press Herald headline of January 27, 1960. Reporting to Penetang town council, Monday night, councillor Clarence Sinclair, newly appointed chair of the Penetang Community Centre Board of Governors gave a rundown on the financial situation as he sees it to date. Mr. Sinclair said that although the rink is faced at present with a debt of $10,000 in one note plus a number of current accounts amounting to less  than $2,000, he felt there was no reason why it shouldn’t eventually stand on its own feet. 

NEW TELEPHONE SERVICE WILL BEGIN THIS JUNE; County Herald headline of January 29, 1960. Postponed because of a delay in building construction, toll-free calling between Midland telephones and those in Penetanguishene will be introduced this June. It had previously been announced that the new plan would start earlier this year. This was revealed by H. A. Kilroy, Midland Bell Telephone manager when he said this week that construction of the extensions to the dial exchange building in Midland and in Penetanguishene is now progressing on schedule. 

     Meeting Monday night, Midland council accepted the tender of Bourgeois Motors Ltd. for rental of a police cruiser at $145 per month. The only firm submitting a tender, the Midland firm will supply a four-door vehicle at the above rental, starting Feb. 1. At an earlier meeting this month, council had decided to try the rental proposition for the remainder of this year, at least. A number of other communities in the area are also using the rental plan, it was noted. 

    “We must make parents understand that pupils must get their required percentage or they will have to repeat,” Midland-Penetang District High School principal R. C. Gauthier told 1,000 parents at the high school’s annual parents’ night last Wednesday, “I think it is to their (the parents) advantage to get the accurate picture,” continued the principal, suggesting that the parent should accept such a disappointment as it was better for the student in the long run. Mr. Gauthier in telling of his proposal for promotion, which was the result of a four-year survey of students’ marks, noted that his recommendations had yet to be discussed with the high school Inspector and the MPDHS board. For promotion from Grade 9 to Grade 10, the principal proposes that a student with, an average per cent of 66 and not less than 60 per cent in any one subject, would be promoted to Grade 10 and permitted to take five options in Grade 10 as is presently the case. The student, with an average of 60 per cent and not less than 50 in any one subject, would be permitted to take four options and thus have more time and more, help for each subject. 

    Penetang town council took no action Monday night on a brief submitted by all members of the police force with the exception of Chief Jack Arbour. The submission was shelved for a special meeting to be called later when it will be placed on the agenda. The three constables and one sergeant are asking for an increase in salary of $300 per year. In addition, they are asking for a 40 hour week, which, according to Chairman Alf Cage, would necessitate hiring an extra constable. Another requirement is one and one-half days per month sick leave, accumulative to a total of 180 days. On termination of employment, after five years, they ask full pay for accumulated sick leave up to the maximum, and payment to the widow should an officer die. 

   BIRTHS – BARRON — To Mr. and Mrs. Laurence Barron, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, January 26, 1960, a son. DONALDSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Donaldson, 120 John St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, January 25, 1960, a daughter. GRAY — To Mr. and Mrs. Melville Gray, 311 Russell St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, January 22, I960, a daughter. HENDERSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Henderson, 133 Hugel Ave., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, January 23, 1960, a daughter. NICHOLSON — to Mr. and Mrs. Nevin Nicholson, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, January 25, 1960, a daughter. THOMPSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Alan Thompson, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, January 21, 1960, a son. 

    OBITUARIES – MRS. ALDEN N. FRENCH On January 18, the victim of an unexpected stroke, Mrs. Alden N. French died at her home, 315 King St., Midland. She was in her 50th year. Born in Penetanguishene Dec.  18, 1910, the former Irene Beauchamp, married Alden French of Midland. Nov. 7. 1938. After two years’ residence in Bala, they moved to Midland where they had resided ever since. Requiem mass was celebrated at St. Margaret’s Church by Rev. F. Voorwerk, Jan. 20. Pallbearers were Leo Beauchamp, Pat Beauchamp, Alfred Beauchamp, J. E. Ayres, Murray McEachnie and M. Gignac. Mrs. French is survived by her husband, Alden N. French, one daughter, Betty; five sons, Neil, Bobby, Douglas, Billy and John; her mother, Mrs. Julien Beauchamp of Toronto; three sisters, Mrs. Hugh Melville (Jenny), California; Mrs. Don Jaeger (Theresa) California; Mrs. M. Gignac (Marie) Penetanguishene; four brothers, Leo and Alfred, Toronto, Pat, Windsor, and Ernest, Hamilton.  – ALMA ALFRETTA GANTON A lifelong resident of Medonte Township, Miss Alma Alfretta Ganton died at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Dec. 14. She was in her 79th year and death resulted from a stroke. Funeral service was conducted at the Bishop Lynn funeral home, Elmvale, by Rev. Robert Dingwall, Dec. 16. Pallbearers were Jack Rumble, Joseph Lea, Cliff Porter, George McFadden, William Douglas and James Barr.  Miss Ganton was born in Medonte Dec. 14, 1881, and attended Hillsdale public school. A member of the United Church of Canada, she was a past president of the local Woman’s Association. She is survived by a sister, Violet, and a brother, Fisher Ganton, former warden of Simcoe County. 

     A group of local sportsmen Sunday night sat in on what was only the second screening of King Whyte’s new film “Weekend in the Woods”, featuring a Midland father and his three sons. Taken at the well known Toronto TV commentator’s Shoe-Fly Lodge in Northern Ontario, the film tells the story of Pete Pettersen and his sons, Bjorn, Jon and Bruce, on a typical weekend on the crystal-clear Shoe-Fly Lake. Both the scenery, and the huge speckled trout netted by the youngsters, their dad and their host were mouthwatering to the snow-bound anglers who watched the film in the Georgian Hotel. Even tiny Bruce was pulling in four-pounders or better. Mr. Whyte said the record for this particular lake is 7 3/4 pounds. 

    25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – After ten years in business in Midland, the partnership of Roebuck and Sharp was dissolved. T. Sharp retired and J. B. Roebuck continued in the furniture, linoleum and tent-making business. * * * Midland’s civic elections returned S. W. McKinley as mayor, Wm. Hartman as Reeve and Oliver Smith, deputy-reeve. Returned as aldermen were: Ward 1, Wm. Offord and Stan Sturgeon; Ward 2, Wm. Wilford and Harry Wright; Ward 3, Alfred Argue and D. L. White, Jr.; and Ward 4, R. D. Preston and James Trew. * * * The steamer Waubic which operated along the eastern shore of Georgian Bay between Penetang and Parry Sound was offered for sale by its owners the Rockfort Navigation Co. of Kingston. * * * Installation of officers was conducted for the newly formed branch of the Canadian Legion at Coldwater. T. Langdon was the charter president. * * * Elmvale Clerk T. E. Smith was instructed by council to write the Department of Highways requesting that no snow ploughing or sanding be done on a reasonable portion of Highway 26 so that sleigh hauling on this road may not be interfered with. * * * Mystery surrounded the sinking of the Patterson Line freighter, Mantadoc, which, filled with water arid sank at the Aberdeen Elevator dock. She held a storage cargo of 230,000 bushels of grain. * * * Announcement was made that Midland and Owen Sound would be points of call for the new 276-passenger steamer “Cape Eternity” operating between Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie.  

     Ten of the 400 boats to be exhibited by 130 manufacturers at the Canadian Boat Show, Toronto, Feb. 5 to 13, will be from Penetang, the product of Grew Boats Ltd. This announcement was made yesterday by Andy Morrison, general manager of the Penetang plant. Grews will be showing in competition with exhibitors from coast to coast of Canada, from various parts of the United States and even from as far distant as England. The Grew exhibit, which is being arranged around a black and white theme of decoration, will include both inboard cruisers and runabouts as well as outboard models. With models ranging from a $500, 14-foot outboard to a $32,000 31-foot cruiser, the Penetang firm, will be showing a retail value of $112,000 in watercraft. They include three cruisers two of 31-feet and one 26-foot. Three other inboards will be of 23, 21 and 18-foot lengths in the runabout class. The outboard models will be two 14-footers and one each of 16 and 18 feet. With exception of the 23-footer which is a solid mahogany smooth skin, the boats are all of lapstrake construction. The 31-foot cruisers are the last word in luxurious boating, with all the comforts of home included in the construction. First Impression is one of roominess. Even a tall man can walk around comfortably in the six-foot two-inch headroom. Wall-to-wall broadloom and lovely drapes add a homey touch to the beautifully finished interiors. Accommodation is provided for six persons in the sleeping quarters, with daytime seating accommodation converting into night-time beds. A full galley is provided for the cooking duties, and at the extreme forward end, there is a bathroom that would do credit to any small home.  

     Wise & Otherwise – Editorial – For the life of us, we can’t understand why $42,000 of public funds had to be spent on a television program before CBC officials suddenly realized the drama would not be suitable for public reception. This type of irresponsibility on the part of allegedly responsible individuals would not be tolerated in a privately-owned system. It should be no more condoned in a publicly-owned corporation.

    In wartime, the slogan was “Join the navy and see the world.” The same effect can be obtained, in peacetime, following George S. Dudley around for the next few weeks. “Mr. Hockey” as he is known wherever the game is played, begins a busy schedule today when accompanied by Mrs. Dudley, he flies to Calgary as the guest of TCA. There he will take in the game between the Moscow Selects and a Calgary club. On Sunday the scene shifts to Winnipeg for another game in the cross-country tour of the Russian team. Following this Mr. Dudley will have just about time to stop off at his Midland home for a clean shirt before hopping a plane again for New York. There he will help set up the schedule for the hockey portion of the winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley, Cal. He’ll be in Squaw Valley himself, starting Feb. 10, where he will be in charge of the hockey program. There his dual roles in the hockey world may cause him some embarrassment. As secretary-manager of the CAHA, and a good Canadian, he will want to cheer the Kitchener-Waterloo Dutchies along the way as they attempt to regain the Olympic title from Russia. This, however, may not win the favor of his cohorts in the International Ice Hockey Federation, of which he is also an executive member.  

    The rumour mill is talking about the end of one of Midland’s original and important businesses. Benson & Bray, Midland Wood Products, Midland Planing Mills Limited, Midland Buildall, Timber Mart, many names through 117 years of operation. We actually find the name of Benson & Bray, contractors and builders as far back as 1903. A book could be written.

  Below are some photos from the museum archives of those years.

Right click to enlarge the print

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