Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – February 22nd to 29th, 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 enlargeWendake District Girl Guides and Brownies celebrated their golden jubilee birthday Tuesday at the Midland home of Mrs. J. E. Lawlor, district commissioner. Here, Bonnie Bray and her sister Peggy, examine the trefoil shaped cake which formed part of the celebrations. They represented the 323 members in the district as well as their sister Guides and Brownies in Canada. 

Baby, Joy Elizabeth, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Shannon of Victoria Harbour was born at 4 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19, and weighed seven pounds seven ounces. She is the Shannons’ eighth child. She was the third Victoria Harbour baby to be born on the same day as the prince. (Prince Andrew, the third child of Queen Elizabeth II.) 

One of two little girls born in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, the same day as the royal prince, was Elizabeth Marie, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Bressette of Victoria Harbour. The Bressettes’ second child, she was born at 3.30 p.m. and weighed 7 pounds 9 1/4 ounces. 

Friday night’s big snowstorm, while it did not hit Midland area as hard as it did Barrie district, still left plenty of work for North Simcoe residents before they could “dig themselves out.” Above, a Department of Highway’s plow widens a section of Highway 12 near Old Fort school. Owner of the truck at left has considerable digging ahead before the vehicle can make the 15 feet to the open highway. 

Although the snow had stopped falling by midafternoon Saturday, snow blowing across the highway from banks along the road made driving hazardous for North Simcoe motorists following Friday night’s big storm. Several stretches of Highway 27 were still reduced to one lane traffic as late as Sunday afternoon. 

Sides of the buildings in the lee of Friday night’s storm were piled high with snow the following morning. Here the snow reaches almost halfway up the side of this King Street store in Midland as it blacks out a first storey window. 

When Simcoe County’s Mutual Aid Association met in Penetang last Wednesday night, the evening concluded with a bean feed. Chief Bob Stewart, standing, makes sure his guests get plenty to eat. Clockwise in this photo: Ivan Eberhardt, Wasaga Beach; Chief Arnold Tippin, Midland; Bob Stewart; Chief Ed. Gapp, Bradford; Chief Tiny Hall, Creemore. 

One of three of Victoria Harbour’s “Leap Year Babies” is Fred Miller, Jr., who will have only five candles on his cake Monday, Feb. 29. Fred got a chance to work up an appetite as he cleared his laneway following this week’s heavy snowfall. Actually, Fred, employed in the Victoria Harbour area, will be 20 years old Monday.  

Midland has two new Queen’s Scouts in Ron Ellis, centre, and David Walker, right. Here Ron gets his Queen’s Scout badge from Jack Brownlee, former Scoutmaster for 3rd Midland Troop. 

The first boy in the South Georgian Bay District to attain his 13th Cub proficiency badge; Kennedy Self gets his award from Mrs. George Williamson, assistant Cubmaster for the 3rd Midland Pack. At the rear are Don Pringle, another assistant Cubmaster, and Kennedy’s father, Rev. J. L. Self. The ceremony was held at Knox Presbyterian Church Monday night. 

Monday night was a gala occasion for members of the Midland District Women’s Progressive-Conservative Association as they held their fifth birthday party at the lOOF Temple, Midland. Executive of the association; seen with their birthday cake, are left to right, Mrs. Ira Rumney (nee Mary Ruth Crooke), Mrs. Elmer H. Zimmer, Mrs. Ward White (nee Cora May Ferguson), Mrs. Hector Adams (nee Sarah Haughton), Mrs. Ben Cowie, Mrs. James Caswell (nee Mary Dudley), president, Mrs. S. Willman, Mrs. John Gillette (nee Gertrude Silvey), Mrs. Percy McMurtry (nee Alice Bernice Sharp), Mrs. Wm. Rutherford, Mrs. Sergeant Ruby (nee Meda Evelyn Singleton) and Mrs. Theo. Hook.


Expand Fire Protection – Tiny Seeks Truck Costs
The Free Press Herald headline of Wednesday, February 24, 1960.
The likely outcome of a series of discussions concerning fire protection for Tiny Township will be the purchase of two completely new firefighting units with 10-year debentures to cover the cost. Latest talks on the subject were at Thursday’s special meeting of council when Harold Hunter of the Fire Marshal’s Department spoke to council on the department’s survey and its recommendations. The debenture issue, which might run as high as $50,000, would cover the cost of purchasing two completely equipped trucks and provide funds for the construction of buildings to house them in Lafontaine. 

Two District Hospitals to get $13,350 in Grants
The County Herald headline of Friday, February 26, 1960. Two North Simcoe district hospitals will receive a total of $13,350 in special grants announced by Hon. James N. Allan, provincial treasurer, when he brought down the current Ontario budget in the legislature yesterday. The special basic grants of $75 a bed will be paid to all approved public general hospitals Mr. Allan said. Approximately $5 million of this year’s revenues to be appropriated for this purpose, he revealed. On the basis of the basic grants, St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, with a rated capacity of 105 beds will receive approximately $7,875. Penetang General Hospital with 73-bed capacity will receive $5,475. (With the population of North Simcoe at least doubled we now have 122 hospital beds compared to 178 in 1960)

    Eleven representatives from five North Simcoe municipalities learned at a dinner last week that the Ontario Department of Highways is giving serious consideration to a proposal to give the Evergreen Sideroad (connecting road between King St. and Hwy 93 past Wal-Mart) a hard-top surface. Tay Township council last year asked the department to take over the maintenance of the sideroad as a possible bypass route between Highways 27 and 12.  

    Tiny Township council, at a special session Thursday, held over a request for payment of its share of the subsidy to Midland-Penetang Ambulance service. The amount in question was $192. An investigation will be made into a question as to whether the Tiny share was based on the inclusion of calls from Christian Island. It was felt the Island share should be covered by the Department of Indian Affairs. Approval was given for a grant of $25 to the Salvation Army campaign for funds. Doug Holt was named township representative on St. Andrew’s Hospital Board. No action was taken on a complaint from Tondakea Lodge regarding dumping of garbage on Con. 9 road allowance. The investigation will be made into the complaint before any move is made. 

    Residents along highway 103 and 12, from Port Severn to Orillia, rubbed their eyes in disbelief last week as two heavily bearded men, dragging a canoe of all things, hove into view and later disappeared in the distance. At this time of the year, the sight of a canoe on a  North Simcoe road is almost as improbable as a return visit of the “Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow”. Yet it was not a mirage. The two men and the canoe were most certainly real. On Monday evening the two men, Al Welenofsky and Ted Nothaft of Nutley, N.J. (and their canoe) pulled into Otto Rawson’s Riverside Inn at Port Severn. They had just finished walking a stretch of 30 miles, from the Lake Joseph hotel, thereby breaking their previous record of 29 miles from Spanish, Ont., to Espanola. When the two men reached Port Severn they had completed 3,597 miles of a coast-to-coast trip by canoe which began April 5, 1959, at Hammond, Ore. They travelled up the Columbia River through Oregon and Washington, through the Pende Oreille River and lake to Idaho, and on to Montana via the Clark Fork River. First big portage took them over the continental divide to the Missouri River. They met their first taste of winter on the Souris River in North Dakota, forcing them to portage to the Assiniboine. They got as far as Portage La Prairie, Manitoba when the “big freeze” set in for keeps. There they loaded their aluminum canoe onto a two-wheel cart fashioned from bicycle wheels. Since then they have tramped their way through Manitoba, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario. At Sudbury, they cut south on Highways 69 and l03 to Port Severn. From Orillia, the two men will go to Barrie, Toronto and finally N. Tonawanda, N.Y., where they will again take to the water (they hope). The final portion of the journey will take them down the Erie Canal and Hudson River to New York City. Estimated overall mileage the two men will travel is 4,300 miles. So far, only 1,764 has found them able to have their canoe carry them, instead of having to pull it. The last “portage”, brought about by the severity of the Canadian winter has been a long 1,260 miles. Nothaft is a graduate of a mechanic’s school and Welenofsky has just completed a hitch in the U.S. Navy. Reason for the rugged hike? “We wanted to see a lot of the country and have some adventure at the same time,” they told reporters. 

    A new telephone numbering system which eventually will eliminate exchange names is to be introduced gradually in Ontario and Quebec exchanges operated by The Bell Telephone Co. of Canada, H. A. Kilroy, Bell manager here, announced this week. The new plan — known as All Number Calling (ANC) — will eliminate exchange names from telephone numbers and substitute figures for the letters now used to designate exchanges. For example, a number such as UNiversity 6-3911 — dialed UN 6-3911 — would become 886-3911. Extensive studies indicate that ANC is the most practical numbering method for today’s condition, Mr. Kilroy said. An important advantage of ANC to the telephone user is that calls can be dialed faster and more accurately, using numerals only. ANC prevents misspelling and misinterpretation of office names and letter codes — of great significance where more than one language is spoken. It also eliminates the confusion between the figure 0 and the letter O and between the figure “1” and the letter “i”. Tests indicate that seven-figure numbers are as easy to remember as name and figure numbers and in practical use customers have not found it difficult to memorize frequently called seven-figure numbers, he stated. 

    COLDWATER — When Mr. and Mrs. Doug Miller and family returned to their Eplett Street home Sunday night after a visit to Tottenham, they were startled to see a horse waiting for them on the front verandah. The horse, being led by its owner, was left at the roadside while he made an inquiry at the door, but followed the latter onto the porch 

   25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK H. N. McMaster, president of the central division of the National Association of Marine Engineers, requested the federal government to take action which would protect the Great Lakes shipping industry and its employees from the toll-free competition of foreign ships on the lakes. He suggested that foreign vessels entering inland waters be forced to pay canal tolls. * * * A nine-man committee of Midland citizens was formed at the request of Mayor S. W. McKinley to promote industrial development in the town. * * * Fifteen ice fishermen were marooned on an ice floe in Midland harbour when the tug Strathbogie moved the freighter Mantadoc from Aberdeen elevator to the Century Coal dock. After the freighter had been moored, the tug returned and picked up the stranded fishermen off the floe. None suffered ill effects. * * * Dr. L. J. Simpson, Ontario minister of education, announced that all secondary school examination fees, including the charge for trying high school entrance examinations, would be abolished, effective June 1935. * * * The county tax rate for 1935 was three-tenths of a mill higher than the 1934 level. The general rate, struck by county council, was 6.5 mills and the road levy was eight-tenths of a mill, giving a total of 7.3 mills. The total amount to be raised by the levy was $435,591. * * * A new coin silver coin was to be introduced into Canadian currency in May 1935. The dollar was struck in commemoration of the king’s silver jubilee. * * * Penetang council decided not to take any action for the time being on a request from Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Nettleton, that all elementary school children in the town be forced to have a smallpox vaccination. One councillor said his family doctor had pooh-poohed the idea.   


THOMAS MASON – The death of Thomas Mason, well-known in this district as an electrician, and member of the Orange Lodge and Black Knights, occurred Feb. 6 in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. Mr. Mason had lived in this community for 44 years, coming here in 1916. His marriage to Olive Wice took place in Barrie in 1907. Mrs. Mason pre-deceased her husband in 1948. Born in Grenfell July 1, 1884, he received his schooling there. He was a member of the Baptist Church. Rev. R. Wright conducted funeral services at the Nicholls Funeral Home Feb. 9. Acting as pallbearers were J. Borland, C. Allsopp, W. Edwards, George Parr, G. Elsom and E. Bates. He is survived by one son, Roy of Midland. There are two sisters, Mrs. Eva Reid of Toronto and Mrs. Gertrude Bagley of St. Catharines, and two brothers, George and Harry, both of Toronto. Relatives and friends attending the funeral services were from Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, Toronto and Barrie.

LETITIA MAUGHAN – Funeral services were held Feb. 12 at Nicholls Funeral Home for Letitia Maughan, widow of William Maughan who predeceased her in September 1934. Her death occurred Feb. 9 at her home at 148 Yonge Street following a lengthy illness. She was born May 30, 1865, in Janettville and attended school there. Her marriage to William Maughan took place in Midland in December 1885. The couple moved to a farm in Tay where they lived for 30 years. Following this, she lived for 33 years in Port McNicoll before coming to Midland in 1947. She was a member of the United Church. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. W. Morden Feb. 12 with entombment in Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers were Ray Maughan, Bruce Duncan, Cal Duncan, Bill Walmsley, grandsons, Lorne Taylor and Gordon Vipond, a nephew. Surviving are two daughters, Gertie (Mrs. W. Foster) of Brockville and Florence (Mrs. A. Evans) of Kitchener, and one son, Oswald of Kingston.

CHARLES H. RUSSELL – A resident of Waubaushene for the greater part of his life, and postmaster there for 28 years, Charles Henry Russell died unexpectedly in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Feb. 13 following a heart illness. He was in his 69th year. Born in Waubaushene August 13, 1891, Mr. Russell attended Waubaushene Public School, Orillia Collegiate and later the University of Toronto, where he graduated with his B.Sc. in electrical engineering. Following his graduation from the University of Toronto, Mr. Russell was employed for eight years by Canadian Westinghouse at Shawinigan Falls, Que. He had lived in Waubaushene from 1922 until his death. An Anglican, he was also a member of Victoria Lodge No.470, Victoria Harbour. He was fond of boating and was an enthusiastic curler. His interest in the latter sport was first stimulated in Shawinigan Falls in 1914. He continued to curl in Waubaushene and Midland after he returned to this district. For many years, he served as a trustee on Waubaushene Public School Board. He is survived by brothers Frank A. Russell, Port Severn, William Earl Russell, Toronto, and Clarence J. Russell,  Waubaushene. Funeral service at Nicholls’ funeral home, Midland, Feb. 15 was conducted by Rev. D. G. Churcher and Rev. Ross Cummings of Coldwater. Pallbearers were Curry Bell, Frank Cheetham, Bruce Lang, Ian Millar, Ross Millar and Dr. James Small. Out of town relatives and friends attended the service from Toronto, Collingwood and Port Severn. Temporary entombment was in Lakeview Cemetery chapel vault at Midland. 

    The urgent need for larger quarters has been reemphasized in the annual report of Midland Public Library, where circulation in 1959 hit an unprecedented high of 70,962 books. The figure represents about a 41 per cent increase over the circulation at the library 15 years ago. In 1945 the circulation was 50,391. The annual report notes that 15 years ago, patrons were impressed by the “cheerful, attractive and spacious atmosphere” of the library. Aisles were broad and encouraged browsing and tables were “conveniently located for reading in comfort.” “Today,” the report continues, “all one can say is the library is a place for housing many books. The building is crowded and cluttered and quite without its former pleasant atmosphere. In places, the aisles are so narrow that only one person can pass and, at best, there is room for two people only. Windows are blocked out by shelving. There are few places where one can sit and read in comfort.” 

    Nearly 60 teen-agers and teachers, some of them from Midland – Penetanguishene District High School, last Friday night slept in the gymnasium and classrooms of Camp Borden District High School. They used cots, mattresses and blankets provided by Brigadier R. L. Purves, camp commandant, and his aide, Major S. W. Lander. The army also provided food for the storm stranded students. The largest group were students from Collingwood and MPDHS schools who were in Camp Borden to take part in the annual secondary school drama festival. Elwy Yost, festival adjudicator, got as far as Cookstown when he was halted by the storm, said to have been the worst to strike Ontario in 25 years.

One thought on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – February 22nd to 29th, 1960

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s