Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – March 16th to 23rd, 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 enlargeHeavy snow on the roof was blamed for the collapse of a multi-car garage at Parkview Terrace apartments, Hugel and Seventh Streets, Midland, Friday morning. Fortunately, there was only one car in the garage at the time. Although not deep, the snow was ice packed following recent thaws and freezings. 

Two Midland school girls were the winners of these huge, plush shaggy dogs as a result of a contest sponsored by Edwards Specialty Shop Ltd. recently. Seen with Jim Hamer, manager of the basement store, they are Elke Krueger, 382 Manley Street, left, and Audrey Clarke, 94 Hanley Street. 

This is all that is left of the tow equipment and the hut housing it, at Midland Ski Club following a fire Friday night. Gordon Wallace, the owner of the burned motor in the background, estimated damage at $500, none of it covered by insurance. Cause of the fire is unknown. 

Little league hockey in Midland got a big financial boost last Tuesday when Barrie Radio-TV All-Stars played a group of Midland Old-Timers in a game that attracted nearly 800 fans to the arena, largest crowd of the season. Among the old-timers taking part were, left to right, front row, Bev Scott, “Sib” Brodeur, Bert Armstrong, “Fawf” Wilcox; back row, Frank Swales, Jack Sager, Jack Toole, Lloyd Roberts, Garnet Armstrong, Bill Mohan and J. A. McCauley trainer. The Old Timers managed to hang on for a 14-13 win.

On almost their last day at Coldwater for this winter, Howard Kennedy, Percy Waples and Clint Gordon (left to right) are completing some of the many chores that must be done around a racehorse stable. They were making ready for a long trip on the weekend as Keith Waples moved some 15 horses to Rockingham Park, near Boston, for another season’s campaign on the tracks. 

Both of these chaps have good reason to be proud —Mighty Dudley because he turned in the fastest mile ever raced by a harness horse in Canada, and Keith Waples, who handled the reins in the 1.59 3/5 jaunt at Montreal’s Richelieu Park last summer. Keith is part owner of Dudley, whose family tree reads “Dudley Hanover-Pronto Mite.” 

An employee of the CNR at Midland since 1939, Harry Howard was presented with gifts by fellow employees last week to mark his official retirement. Taking part in the ceremonies were, left to right, Orville Hawke, Midland agent H. S. Howes, Jack Sturgeon, Mr. Howard, Stan Sturgeon and Jack Labrie. Born in Hastings County, Mr. Howard has been a resident of Midland since 1900. 

Winners in Midland Ski Club’s downhill and slalom Trophy competitions last Sunday afternoon proudly display their trophies. Left to right they are Bob Scott, senior winner, men’s division; Frances Brodeur, senior women; and Ron Jeffery, junior men’s. 

The intense heat generated by the fire at Peoples Store on King Street Friday March 4 cracked windows in stores across the street almost 70 feet away.  Windows in Struthers Drugs shown here and Cross Country Store had to be replaced. 

Penetang firemen were stationed at the rear of Peoples Store during the March 4 disastrous fire in Midland. Action was just as hot and heavy at the back as it was in front of the King Street stores. Grim walls were pulled down last Monday. 

Firemen from Victoria Harbour and Port McNicoll saved this building when fire broke out in it around noon hour Thursday. The frame building, known as Moore’s Hardware, is believed to be more than 60 years old. The fire started around the chimney. 

It’s obvious from this picture that Midland’s “Barbershoppers” enjoy their part in “preserving the art of barbershop singing in America.” They are seen above as they opened the annual “Harmony Night,” staged at MPDHS auditorium before a good audience Saturday night. Conductor at left is Ray Atkinson. 

Four Orillia players watch entranced while teammate Nels Kennedy and Midland Flyers’ Jim Lemieux battle in the third period of Saturday night’s game. Minutes after referees Red Favero and Andy MacLean finally pried the warriors apart, Kennedy departed the scene for the night. He had already picked up two majors and a misconduct, in addition to the match misconduct rap. Orillia won the game, 6-1. Orillia players are Howie Forbes (14), Turk Lees (4), Ron Rowe (15) and Whit Mousseau (6). 

You’d never guess it from the picture, but you’ll be seeing these chaps in church Sunday — and in the pulpits, no less. In more serious moments they are, left to right, Rev. Frank Voorwerk, of St. Margaret’s, Rev. Lloyd Delaney, St. Mark’s, Rev. Al Smith, Creemore United, Rev. Len Self, Knox, and Rev. “Bud” Morden St. Paul’s. Aided by layman Bob Stanway at rear, they formed the clergy’s line that took part in the “Old Timers vs Barrie Radio-TV All-Stars hockey game at Midland Arena Tuesday night. 


Oppose Current Proposal for CAS Centralization
Free Press Herald headline of March 16, 1960. Five years ago Simcoe County council paid to the now-famous management consultant firm of J. D. Woods and Gordon Ltd., a substantial sum of money to examine the operation of the county children’s aid society. Council members felt at that time that the society was costing too much in relation to the services performed. In the course of their rather extensive study, Woods and Gordon studied the operations of a number of children’s aid societies in Ontario. The conclusion was firmly put: “We recommend that the branch organization structure be continued.” This is the system under which social workers and offices are maintained at Orillia, Midland, Collingwood and Alliston in addition to the head office in Barrie. Now, less than five years later, the county children’s aid society, whose operating costs are borne by the taxpayers through taxes paid to the county, has completely reversed its policy, disregarded the recommendations made by the Woods and Gordon study, and is rapidly centralizing all its staff in the city of Barrie. The bills are still being paid by the entire county but local offices are being steadily closed down and workers withdrawn. For example, in this district, the children’s aid staff will soon consist largely of a phone answering service plus periodic visits by Barrie personnel.  

Cars Hamper Brigades, Medonte Home Razed” County Herald headline of March 18, 1960. Hampered by about 100 motor cars at the scene, the efforts of fire brigades from Hillsdale, Elmvale and Moonstone proved fruitless to save the two-storey residence of Mr. and Mrs. George Mino, two miles east of here on the 2nd Concession. The fire completely destroyed the house and all the possessions of the occupants. Living in the same building with the Minos were their son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Duncan Barr, and their children Keith, 6, and Helen, 7. 

Establish Seasonal-Fee for Admission to Park” Free Press Herald headline of March 23, 1960. In line with a policy already established by the Department of Lands and Forests, several conservation authorities and by other Ontario municipalities, Midland Parks Commission has decided to charge an admission fee to non-resident vehicle owners wishing to use public accommodation in Little Lake Park. Commission secretary Wm. A. Hack said Saturday an admission charge of $1 for the season will be levied. A windshield sticker is to be issued to those who pay the fee. Mr. Hack said Midland vehicle owners would not have to pay the fee. Separate windshield stickers will be issued to town residents free of charge. Midland citizens merely will present their licences as proof of residence. The stickers will be distributed from the camp office at the west end of the park on or before May 24. The commission secretary said park guests and pedestrians would not be required to pay the admission fee. Chartered buses, however, will be charged a daily $5 fee, he stated. 

  [At this time a battle had been raging in North Simcoe over the French language issue in Penetang. Even Le Devoir, the Montreal newspaper had been involved, declaring Mayor Jerome Gignac and Father Castex traitors to the French language cause. The following article was placed at the top of the March 16th newspaper.]  Penetanguishene and the North Simcoe district have for years proudly boasted that they represented “a little Canada”. Here people of French and English origins and of both tongues lived together in full harmony. Here were Catholic and Protestant, Englishmen and Frenchmen, and many new Canadians working together for the good of the community. It was not French Catholic versus English Protestant. In Penetanguishene’s beautiful St Ann’s Church, services were and still are said in both languages. The town was and is bilingual in the best sense. At its approaches are two statues. One is called “Ontario” and one “Quebec”, not because as many tourists used to say Penetang is on any dividing line between the two provinces, but because the people of Canada’s two major races here lived together happily. True, English was the main language, spoken by nearly all of its inhabitants. Penetanguishene was and is deep in the heart of an English speaking province. Its young people, while continuing to speak and to learn French, realized that their future ability to earn a good living depended on a good knowledge of English, especially if finding a job required moving to Toronto, to Barrie or even commuting to other nearby centers in which French was not as frequently used. There was little or no opposition to this general pattern of life. It was accepted as practical and correct. If anything, throughout the North Simcoe district, more and more children of English-speaking families were starting to press for the teaching of more French in the schools. They did not argue that it “must” be, but rather that in a bilingual country, the non-French-speaking families had some responsibility to have their children learn at least some French. The new principal of the district high school in predominantly Protestant, English-speaking Midland is a Roman Catholic of French origin and the community accepted the appointment without outcry. 

    At the suggestion of Reeve Herb Beauchamp, Midland council Monday night agreed to open each meeting with the Lord’s Prayer. Both the reeve and Deputy-reeve Clinton Smith said that county council sessions were opened with a prayer. Mr. Beauchamp pointed out that council had a brief religious service at its inaugural meeting and he felt that each meeting should at least be opened with prayer. 

    The near-mile stretch of Highway 12 west of Midland town limits to the junction with Highway 27 is now officially a 45 mph zone. This was revealed by Magistrate K. A. Cameron during a police court hearing in Midland Monday. Mr. Cameron said he had received notification that the necessary Order in Council reducing the speed limit on this portion of the highway from 50 to 45 mph had been passed. (Eventually 30 MPH) 

    In future, motorists who block the access of fire trucks and firemen fighting fires in the Midland area may find themselves in front of a magistrate. This was intimated by Midland Fire Chief Arnold Tippin, following a fire Sunday afternoon which completely destroyed a 1 ½ storey brick home at Sunnyside. Chief Tippin estimated the loss at between $5 to $6,000, only partially covered by insurance. Two Midland pumpers, each equipped with 500-gallon water tanks, were rushed to the scene, around 3.15 p.m. One of the trucks got to the Quesnelle residence without trouble. The other had to fight its way through parked cars on the narrow road and arrived too late to be of any material help, Chief Tippin said. More trouble was encountered when the trucks attempted to get back out to replenish their tanks as there is no hydrant or other water supply in the immediate area. “If a provincial policeman had been available I would have had him tag the lot of them (the parked cars),” said Chief Tippin. 

BISSON — To Mr. and Mrs. William Bisson, William St., Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Wednesday March 9, 1960.
GARDINER — To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Gardiner, 153 Sixth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, March 10, 1960, a son.
KING — To Mr. and Mrs. Abraham King. Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, March 11, 1960, a daughter.
LEHR — To Mr. and Mrs. Karl Lehr, 408 King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, March 14, 1960, a daughter.
McCULLOUGH — To Mr. and Mrs. William McCullough. Croham Ave., Toronto, at the Scarborough General Hospital, Wednesday, February 24, 1960, a daughter.
MOREAU — To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Moreau, 182 king St. Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, March 11, 1960, a son. (Stillborn).
MOREAU — To Mr. and Mrs. Peter Moreau, Edward St. Clarksburg, Ontario, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Sunday March 13, 1960, a daughter.
PAUZE — To Mr. and Mrs. Garnet Pauze, Perkinsfield, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, March 11, 1960, a son.
PHILLIPS — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Phillips, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, March 14, 1960, a daughter.
LADOUCEUR — To Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Ladouceur, R.R. 3, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, March 10, 1960, a son.
BELCOURT — To Mr. and Mrs. Augustin Belcourt, 73 Water Street, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Thursday, March 10, 1960, a daughter.
LADOUCEUR — To Mr. and  Mrs. Ted Ladouceur, 184 Poyntz Street, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, March 11, 1960, a daughter.
FOURNIER — To Mr. and Mrs. William Fournier, First Ave., Port McNicoll, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, March 12, 1960, a son.
BURNS — To Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Burns, R.R. 2, Elmvale, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday, March 13, 1960, a son.
CASTON – To Mr. and Mrs. Lorne (Bud) Caston, Wyevale, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday, March 13, 1960, a son.
LADOUCEUR — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Ladouceur, Main Street, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, March 16, 1960, a son.
LEROUX — To Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Leroux, 122 Poyntz Street, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday,
March 16, 1960, a daughter.
GIGNAC — To Mr. and Mrs. Augustin Gignac, R.R. 3, Penetang,
at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, March 18, 1960, a daughter.
GAISSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Mike Gaisson, Sunnyside, Midland,
at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, March 19, 1960, a son.
SYLVESTER — To Mr. and Mrs. Remi Sylvester, Christian Island, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, March 19, 1960, a daughter.
BUMSTEAD — To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Bumstead, R.R. 1, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, March 14, 1960, a son.
DIGNARD – Mr. and Mrs. John Dignard, Port McNicoll, wish to announce the arrival of their daughter, Janice Elizabeth, a sister for Nancy, at the Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, February 29, 1960. 

    Members of Penetang council will attend two separate meetings scheduled to be held in Midland municipal building Wednesday evening, March 23. Deputy-reeve Bernard St. Amant and his sanitation committee decided Monday night they would accept Midland Mayor Chas. Parker’s invitation to attend a joint meeting to discuss garbage disposal problems. It is proposed to have representatives of Tiny, Tay, Penetang and Midland at the meeting. 

    (I always enjoy Rhoda Downer’s column “Tiny Talks”.) Once again March is here and winter is on the wane. And without looking at the calendar, we know spring will soon be here. The warm bright sun we’ve enjoyed these last few days is really honeycombing the snow on the South sides of the banks. The groundhogs are out and the crows are back. The blue jays and chickadee’s don’t hang around looking for handouts as much as they did a few weeks ago. And to those who were raised on a farm with a sugar bush, March always brings back nostalgic memories. Not too many years ago, most farmers had their own sugar bush, but these days there’s not too many who bother to make maple syrup. So to most people these days, the cry of ‘sap’s running’ means only that maple syrup is on the market; and that they can have pancakes or hot biscuits with maple syrup for tea if they go out and buy the syrup. Nothing very romantic about that! Those who have not been too long away from the farm and who have become city dwellers, what memories it recalls! It takes them back to the farm woodlot where bright tin buckets hung from every maple tree. How they loved to hear the “ping” of the big drops falling into the freshly-emptied buckets. Then there are memories of taffy pulls and sugaring-off-parties when sometimes they had to walk half a mile to the north side of some gully to get enough snow to pour the taffy on to harden. I think it was John Buchan who said, “Human nature loves to dignify the past and decry the future. To look back to a golden age is one means of acquiring hope for the future since what has once been may come again.” So a backward glance in these disturbing times is good for us, though there is much that we would not want back again. It is a little humbling though, to remember those lusty pioneers who knew little comfort yet built a good life for themselves and left a solid foundation for us to build on. “If thou of fortune be bereft And in thy store two loaves be left. Sell one and with the dole, Buy hyacinths to feed the soul.” —Rhoda Downer  

Following a lingering illness; GEORGE DENIS died Feb. 29, at his residence, 233 Elizabeth Street, Midland, in his 83rd year. He was a Roman Catholic and a member of the Holy Name Society. Father Egan, pastor of St. Margaret’s Church, was at his bedside at his death. George Denis was born Oct. 5, 1877, at Coteau Landing, Quebec, son of the late Jean Basie Denis and Axlasine Miron. The Denis family came to Penetang in 1879. George attended McAveela School. After finishing school, he worked as a saw setter for the Beck Company for a few years. After leaving the company, he took a course as a master of a steam tug boat in minor inland waters. He was known as a competent master. In 1897, George Denis was united in marriage to Albina Lalumier in St. Ann’s Memorial Church, Nov. 23. In 1920 the George Denis family came to Midland and resided on Fifth Street. In 1953 they moved to Elizabeth Street. Besides his widow, the former Albinia Lalumiér, he is survived by three daughters and one son, (Alexina) Mrs. L. Alsrie, St. Clair Shore, Michigan, (Alva) Mrs. Richard Meade, Toronto, (Marie) Mrs. Wm. Garbutt, Willowdale; John Denis, Toronto; and one brother, Edward Denis, Hamilton. He also leaves 18 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Funeral service took place Thursday morning March 3 in St. Margaret’s Church at 9 a.m. Rev. L. Petitpas sang the mass, and among the Knights of the Altar was his grandson Paul Denis. Mrs. Wm. Bourrie was organist and accompanist for Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Bellehumeur. Pallbearers were, Wm. Garbutt, Andre Light, Alcime Light, Ernest Somers, George Somers, Treffle Marchildon. Temporary interment was in St. Ann’s mausoleum. 

   (A call that will never come again in Midland.) Aft-end crews for seven Canada Steamship Lines’ vessels in Midland and Port McNicoll will report to their ships Monday, according to J. G. Hendrickson, CSL manager in Midland.  About 16 men — engineers, oilers and firemen — will report to each ship, along with a cook and a porter. Four of the ships the Coverdale, Hochelaga, Nipigon Bay and Georgian Bay are berthed in Midland. The other three, the T. R. McLagan, Thunder Bay and Sir James Dunn, are at the CPR elevator at Port McNicoll. Mr. Hendrickson said  Thursday that all seven ships will leave harbour “as soon as possible.” They are bound to encounter plenty of trouble before reaching open water, however. More than a week ago Capt. Reg Belcher reported 16 inches of ice between Midland and Port McNicoll as he operated the tug-ice-breaker Bayport between the two ports. A week of sub-zero temperatures in the interim has strengthened the ice even further. “There is no sign of open water in Georgian Bay from any point on the North Simcoe peninsula.

The federal Department of Public Works announced that $417,000 would be spent on marine projects in the Georgian Bay area. About $160,000 was to be spent on improvements to Midland harbour, $50,000 on a new dock at Beausoleil Island National Park, and $207,000 for dredging the Inside Channel from Midland to Pointe au Baril. * * * Ontario government officials’ revealed that the Trans-Canada Highway would pass through Simcoe County, with a link-up at Crown Hill. An alternative route was to be constructed through Orillia. * * * Seven Midland boys, John Bissette, Hugh Smith, Don Attridge, Eddie Maddox, John Pinchin, Dave Gaviller and Ken Walker, were presented with King’s Scout badges at a special awards night at Knox Presbyterian Church. An eight-member of the group, Ted Smith, was absent. * * * Dave Hudson’s Midland rink won the first schoolboy Bonspiel, defeating rinks from Galt, Guelph Penetang, Mount Forest, Orillia, Hamilton, Parry Sound, Gravenhurst, Huntsville, Welland and Fenelon Falls. Other members of the Midland rink were Doug and Pete Hudson and Bob Hodges. * * * Mr. and Mrs. BarthoIamew Kelly of Phelpston celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Mr. Kelly was 92 and his wife was 88. They had been life-long residents of Flos Township where they had farmed until 1937. * * *  A telegram, protesting the regulations which tended to disqualify lake seamen from unemployment insurance benefits, was sent by Midland council to the Minister of Labor at Ottawa. * * * More than $60,000 damage was caused when the Dudley Block on Midland’s King Street was destroyed by fire. Swept by the flames were Midland Flour and Feed Co. Ltd., law offices of Mr. Dudley, and an apartment occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Jeffery. Extensive smoke and water damage was caused to Spiker’s barbershop and to the hydro shop operated by Midland Public Utilities Commission. 

    A marathon session of Midland Public Utilities Commission, which started Monday evening and lasted until 1.30 a.m. Tuesday, resulted in the settlement of a one day strike by the commission’s nine pump house and electrical department employees. With the signing of the new agreement about 1 a.m., the one man required in the pump house returned to work and the remainder reported back at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The main issue solved by the three members of the commission and union representatives was the matter of wages. Commissioners present were vice-chairman Wm. Logan, O. H. Smith and Leslie Barber. Absent from the meeting because of other business were PUC chairman Wm. Beaton and Mayor Charles Parker. Early in the evening, when it was felt there might be a possibility of a settlement, union members called Gordon Austin, local 1647 business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, in Orillia. He immediately drove to Midland to complete the negotiations. 

    Police committee of Penetang council, at a recent meeting, selected  Bruce Hook from a group of applicants for the position of a constable on the Penetang force. Chairman Alf. Cage said the new constable is at present on a probationary period. We are really using him as a relief man now. Men of the existing force are taking a one-week holiday each to cut down on the usual 10-week period of short staff while holidays are in progress,” Mr. Cage said. 

    Mumps led the field of communicable diseases reported to the Simcoe County Health Unit in February, the monthly report of Dr. P. A. Scott reveals. The health unit report notes there were 240 cases of mumps reported. Numerous cases were reported in Midland and Penetang schools last month and rural correspondents of this newspaper indicated the disease was prevalent in their communities. Other communicable diseases listed were: chickenpox 115; measles 85; German measles 39; jaundice 21; whooping cough 13; scarlet fever 7, and meningitis 2. 

   WAUBAUSHENE — Jack Duggan of Midland held a perfect “29” cribbage hand while playing with Jack Carrington of Waubaushene, recently. Mr. Duggan held three fives and the jack of clubs. When the cut was made, the five of clubs was turned up. 

   AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY. Large living room, 2 bedrooms, well decorated and comfortable. $65, including hot water. Top floor. Adults. L. W. Watson, 310 First Street. Days Phone LA. 6-2671, evenings LA. 6-2902. 

    Midland Public Schools Board Required for September Male or Female TEACHERS Junior Grades SALARY Category system in effect Minimum $3,000.00 Special Allowances for experience Annual Increment $200.00 Cumulative Sick Leave Plan Apply in own handwriting, requesting an application form. WM. A. HACK Secretary-Treasurer Midland Public Schools Board Box 100, Midland, Ontario. 

Neville Keefe of Penetanguishene won the wrestling championship for the 125-pound class at an intermediate inter-collegiate assault-at-arms at the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph. Participating in the tourney were students from the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario and the OAC. Mr. Keefe represented the University of Toronto. * * * A Midlander reported finding two caterpillars basking in the sun on the railway tracks near the old smelter. Disturbed by the passerby, both moved off at a lively pace. * * * The Black Watch Association of Toronto had commenced construction on the first of 10 summer homes it planned to build on a 15-acre site on the Sturgeon River. * * * Annual report of Midland’s industrial commission revealed that the total annual wages and salaries earned by citizens employed in town industries and businesses amounted to $850,000 in 1934. There were 965 men and women employed fulltime and 320 working on a part-time basis. * * * The town of Barrie’s tax rate for 1935 had been set at 50 mills, the highest in the history of the municipality. * * * Officials of the Department of Marine at Ottawa indicated that water levels on the Great Lakes would rise in 1935. The levels had been “exceedingly low” for several years. * * * Sir Malcolm Campbell set a new world’s, land speed record in his Bluebird. At Daytona Beach, Florida, he reached a speed of 276.81 miles per hour over a measured mile.

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