Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – February 15th to 21st, 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 enlargeKeith Cleary, left, was awarded the Roxy Theatre Trophy by Rev. J. L. Self Thursday night in ceremonies held in conjunction with the Queen of Hearts contest at the theatre. The trophy is awarded annually to the senior student who best combines athletic, scholastic and other abilities. 

With only a little more than a week of February left, the winter’s back appears to be broken for another season. In a few weeks North Simcoe mariners will be returning to their ships and navigation will be underway for another year. Here Jess Handy, Ernie Quesnelle and Mike Ianosch do some repair work on the bow of the “Assiniboia” at Port McNicoll. 

Representing the four teams in Midland YMCA’s Little Basketball League, each of these lads is hoping his team will win this trophy during the playoffs slated to start Feb. 20. Lads are, left to right, Wayne Holden, Keith Craig, Morley Bath and Rickey Lemieux. 

“Safe Hunter” badges like these are the goal of a number of Midland youths attending classes sponsored by Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers Association at the Midland YMCA. Left to right are; Leib Shulman, Jim McKinnon, Terry O’Dale, Richard Charlebois and Conservation Officers, Fred Bowes, Midland, and Sandy Ellis, Maple. 

Refreshments were provided donors at the Midland Red Cross blood clinic in the municipal building. Here a group of donors sample some of the fare provided those who gave blood. Midland Lions Club, St. Andrews Nurses Alumnae assisted at the clinic. 

Chosen to reign over the MPDHS campus for the coming year as ‘Queen of Hearts” Thursday night was Jill Phipps, seated right. Other finalists in the contest held at the Roxy Theatre were Mary Lou Brissette (seated left) and Jean Abbott, Catherine Burns and Pat Playford (standing, left to right). 

Co-owners of the general store at Wyevale which was robbed Saturday night, are Mrs. Wallace MacDonald, left, and Mrs. Ruth Marcellus. Only Mrs. MacDonald and one lone customer were in the store when a man entered around 10.10 p.m. and took around $150 at gunpoint. The money was later recovered.

This general store at Wyevale was the scene of an armed robbery Saturday night, shortly before closing time.  About $150 taken from the store, which also houses the village post office, was recovered later in a snowbank near Martyrs’ Shrine, some 10 miles away, by OPP Const. George Winter of the Victoria Harbour detachment. Two Midland youths have been arrested in connection with the incident. 

The ice surface at Penetang arena got a king-sized shave Tuesday when two inches were taken off the surface with an ice-shaver. This operation will level the surface which becomes “saucered” from skating and hockey. It took four sweeps over the ice-surface to cut the depth by two inches. Each cut was a one-half inch in-depth, and it required a little more than two hours to complete a cut. Don Shave, (not a pun) arena manager, estimated several tons of ice was removed during the operation which brings the level down close to the freezing pipes. A jeep snow plow, a front-end loader and half a dozen men were used to remove the shaved ice from the arena and pile it alongside the building. 


“Hold Two Midland Lads on Armed Robbery Count”

    Free Press Herald headline of February 17th, 1960.  Two Midland youths are awaiting trial on charges of armed robbery following the hold-up of a general store in Wyevale Saturday night. They were picked up through the quick co-operation of members of the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour, within a half an hour after the robbery was reported. Mrs. Wallace MacDonald, co-owner of the Wyevale Store, said the robbery occurred at 10:10 p.m. Saturday, shortly before the store was to be closed for the night. The other owner, Mrs. Ruth Marcellus, had already left for home. Last male customer, Douglas Hill, had also left a few minutes prior to the hold-up, she said. When a lone man entered the store, the only other person present besides Mrs. MacDonald was Mrs. Brent Moreside, a customer. Wearing a section of nylon hosiery, doubled over his face, the man told Mrs. Marcellus — “I want the money out of the till — get it.” He was carrying a revolver, the I owner said.     

“Want Board’s Power Cut – Taxation Scheme Ended”

     County Herald headline of February 19th, 1960. Midland Chamber of Commerce industrial committee has recommended that the fight against edicts laid down last year by a special committee set up under the Industrial Standards Act, be continued even more vigorously this year. The Midland officials want a formal resolution placed before the Ontario Chamber of Commerce convention this year, requesting the latter organization’s support in a move to halt what has been termed “taxation by government officials and not by Parliament.” Industrial committee spokesmen in Midland, said Ontario Department of Labor officials last year had kept up an unrelenting pressure on firms in the ladies dress and sportswear field, “to persuade, threaten or cajole them into accepting regulations which permit government officials to collect a one percent levy each  from the payrolls of firms and from wages of employees.” The labour department body also has powers to control the operations of these industries and their employees. 

    A Midland woman was among the passengers on a Canadian National Railways passenger train which collided with a 39-car freight train 32 miles west of Hornepayne Saturday. In the wreck, which killed Albert Prairie, 50, the engineer on the CNR’s crack Super Continental, was Mrs. L. E. Thomas of 298 Manly Street, Midland. She was not seriously injured. Mrs. Thomas said there was no panic among the passengers, many of whom were napping after lunch. They gave assistance to one another and to the train crew. 


BRAND—To Mr. and Mrs. G. Brand, 380 King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, February 12, 1960, a daughter.
DECAIRE — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Decaire, 20 Poyntz St., Penetang; at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, February 1, 1960, a daughter. (Baby died.)
GORDON — To Mr. and Mrs. Ross Gordon, 297A Russell St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, February 13, 1960, a daughter.
MAXWELL — To Mr. and Mrs. Donald Maxwell, R.R. 1, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, February 4, 1960, a son.
MONAGUE — To Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Monague, Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital; Midland, Saturday, February 13, 1960, a son.
MOREAU To Mr. and Mrs. Baptiste Moreau, Port Severn, at St Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, February 15, I960, a son.
SANDERSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Sanderson (nee Halliburton) at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, on Saturday, February 13, 1960, a son.
SANGSTER To Mr. and Mrs. Karl Sangster, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital; Midland, Saturday, February 6, 1960, a daughter. 

    Tay Township residents on the outskirts of Midland have reservations about the merits of Ontario Hydro’s slogan “Live Better Electrically.” It seems every time they receive their power bills, issued on a quarterly basis, they find these HEPC bywords an exceptionally bitter pill to swallow. Why? Because these homeowners know their urban counterparts just a hoot and a holler away in the town pay only half as much for the same service and the same power. A resident who lives in the new sub-division on Hugel Ave, about 150 yards west of the corporation limits, the other day compared his electrical bill for the three-month period covering November, December and January with rates for residential consumers in Midland. He found that, if his home had been in the corporation, his net cost for electricity would have been less than half the $48.86 he had to pay in the suburban location, classified by the HEPC as “rural” area. To be specific, he would have paid only $26.06.


    St. Andrews Hospital officials reported that, in spite of rising costs in 1949, the average cost of caring for patients in the hospital was lowered from $6.53 to $3.29 per day. * * * Mayor O. H. Smith of Midland asked the council to make a thorough study to determine the advisability of the town seceding from Simcoe County. He pointed out that the town paid seven per cent of the total cost of county government services, a share which represented 15 percent of the tax levy in the corporation. * * * An influenza epidemic had cut school attendance in district schools from 15 to 35 per cent. In some classes, less than 50 per cent of the pupils were in attendance. Hardest hit of all schools was Victoria Harbour where 60 of the 175 pupils enrolled were absent. * * * Penetang ratepayers were to be asked March 15 to approve a fixed assessment of $50,000 for Beatty Bros. Spencer division. The fixed assessment was to be for 10 years. * * * Midland branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society decided to disband. It was felt since so few persons were taking an interest in the organization that it might as well be terminated. There were seven women and four men at the annual meeting of the group. * * * Deputy-reeve of Vespra Township, Roy Hickling told Midland Kiwanis Club that homes in the county were being wrecked faster than new ones were being built. Deputy-reeve Hickling said this fact was borne out in the $122,000 budget which county council had approved for the children’s aid society. It was the highest amount ever approved for the county organization, he stated. * * * In the first major storm of the year, Ontario Department of Highways snowplows battled wind-packed drifts on district roads and highways to keep thoroughfares clear for traffic. Highway 27 between Midland and Barrie was blocked for several hours. 

    Coach of Penetang Hurons Junior C hockey team and an active member of Penetang’s volunteer fire brigade, Lomer Dubeau, 37, died while being rushed to a Toronto hospital yesterday morning. This newspaper was informed that Mr. Dubeau was stricken while removing snow off a roof. It is reported he had suffered a somewhat similar attack at a hockey game recently. He was one of the so-called “Old-timers” scheduled to meet radio, TV and pressmen in a minor hockey league benefit game in Penetang next week.

   According to Harvey Beauchamp, Fox Street, Penetang, at least one bear has decided to come out of winter hibernation and seek the warmth of the town. Mr. Beauchamp said he found bear tracks around his home when he went to church Sunday morning. Further investigation indicated the animal had come from the direction of Church Street, walked along his driveway and out on to Fox Street. 

    Harold S. Howes, a man who already has been “workin on de railroad” for more than 40 years, is Midland’s new CNR agent. Mr. Howes began his railroad career with the old Grand Trunk Railroad back in 1918 at Vankleek Hill, near Ottawa. He spent eight months there and followed up with many more years in a variety of Ontario communities, mostly as a telegraph operator.  

    Orillia Chamber of Commerce has donated $100 to the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board in a move to have the site of the Indian village of Cahiague authenticated. The late Leslie Wise of Coldwater, during his lifetime, took a great interest in establishing the importance of Cahiague. The mysterious Huron Indian capital has been variously claimed as being located near Warminster, Bass Lake, Hawkstone or north of Lake Couchiching. The Orillia Chamber anticipates that a plaque eventually will be erected marking Cahiague as situated at the Warminster site. Champlain’s notes contain references to Cahiague. 

    That extension of highway 400 to Coldwater is a great boon to motorists travelling between North Simcoe and Toronto. It is an excellent road and when the final surfacing is applied next spring — even though it may be closed temporarily for that action — it will be another excellent industrial and tourist asset for this entire area.  

    Midland’s contentious “hairdressing” problem seemed to be settled amicably at a special meeting of Midland council Saturday morning. Officially on the agenda for many months, the problem concerned the alleged operation of hairdressing parlours by certain persons in residential areas, and the non-assessment for business tax purposes. Hairdressers established in commercial zones and paying business tax were thus being discriminated against, it was charged. Enquiring as to how many establishments were affected. Alderman James Mackie was told there were three. A member of the hairdressers’ delegation present said she knew of six. The exact number was not confirmed. Mayor Parker told council that new provincial legislation, to become effective in March and requiring the licensing of all hairdressers in the province, would largely take care of the problem. The fee, a member of the delegation said is $5 per operator, with a deadline of March 31. After that time it will be $7. Council then passed a motion that hairdressers operating in residential zones must cease operation by Sept. 1. This, however, does not affect persons whose businesses were established in residential zones before the zoning bylaw came into effect. Such bylaws cannot be made retroactive, it was stated. A spokesman for the delegation said this would be satisfactory. 

    A large delegation attended the Tuesday night meeting to ask the Tay council to rescind, in part, the controversial “No Shooting” bylaw it passed last fall. The group consisted of the president and two of the executives of the Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers Club, cottagers, resort operators, farmers, businessmen and interested sportsmen. Included in the group was a good representation of the 55 property owners in the Little Lake area who signed a petition asking that the bylaw be rescinded. The delegation indicated a willingness to leave the areas mentioned in the original bylaw closed to hunting with the exception of the west shore. With but one dissenter, the property owners in this area want Little Lake left open for hunting. The majority of council sympathized with the owners’ request and expressed their agreement that the bylaw should indeed be amended, but the property committee is to submit a report first. (This is about duck hunting on Little Lake.)  

    The traditional hearts and streamers decorated the auditorium of St. Theresa’s High School in Midland last Saturday night for a Valentine dance held by the pupils of the school. During the evening, Doreen Moreau was chosen “Queen of the Ball” from a group of St. Theresa’s girls. She was the recipient of a number of prizes donated by Midland merchants. There were also prizes for the princesses, Pat Knicely, Sharon Moreau, Sheila Parent, Beth McNamara and Joan Chambers. Ronald Belanger acted as master of ceremonies. Spot dance prizes went to Brian Berriault and Elaine Dorion. Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Cadeau and Mr. and Mrs. Sib Brodeur of Victoria Harbour acted as chaperones.

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