Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – March 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 enlargeSponsored by Midland Kiwanis Club and Penetang Lions Club, the annual Easter Seal campaign for funds to assist crippled children is now underway in the two communities. Above, Mayor Charles Parker is seen with Betty Morin “Miss Easter Seal” in Midland and Douglas Mayer, Penetang’s “Timmy”. 

Editorial page photo entitled; “Still Riding High”. Stern view of the CSL ship Coverdale sitting empty in the ice at the Town House (CSL) elevator. (In the days when 10 to 15 ships wintered in the two ports every year, holding millions of bushels of storage wheat. Not one this winter!) 

A Hudson type royal class steam locomotive, one of few the CPR still has in operation, hauled the special train which brought members of a Toronto railway fan club to Port McNicoll Sunday. The engine is the same type as those which hauled the royal train during the visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. 

Members of a Toronto railway fan club chartered a special train and travelled to Port McNicoll Sunday. Here F. P. Tingley, Bolton, L. Saundercook, CPR agent at Port, and L. Bowes, Bolton, stand at the side of Port station. 

Frilly dresses and shining faces were the order of the day Monday as Midland Y’s Men’s 14th annual music festival got underway. The children above were among the early winners. Left to right, back row,  Ruth Davidson, Jean Charlebois, Helen Gignac, Sandra Nesbitt and Ann Garroway. Front row, are Judy Hamelin, Ann Cleaver, Ann Montgrain and Tony Svoboda.

The advisory committee to the Canadian National Institute for the blind is making plans for its annual fund drive in aid of sightless in North Simcoe. Members of the campaign committee are pictured following a meeting last week. They are left to right, back row, Bill Murdock, Ernest Cadeau of Victoria Harbour, Dan L. Nicholls, Midland, Herb Stevens, Coldwater, R. G. Gillies, Midland. Front row, left to right, Mrs. D. Bazinet, Mrs. A. Robillard, Penetang representatives, Mrs. M. Black and Mrs. A. Copeland, both of Elmvale. 

Harold McDonald and Fran Brodeur of the Midland Garrison Badminton Club won the men’s and women’s singles championships in the club’s tournament on the weekend. 

No wonder this lad and lassie are smiling. They won the junior singles titles in Midland Garrison Club badminton tournament on the weekend. Titleholders are Elaine Binkley and Jim Cleaver. They also figured in a mixed doubles win. 

Do you remember when smokers were able to roll a cigarette as nonchalantly as we check our cell phones? They would be perfectly formed and filled and I can see that motion as they licked the paper. Or the memory of the rolling machine on the kitchen table, the can of tobacco, the razor blade that cut them into individual “smokes”. Perhaps we should thank the marijuana smokers for perpetuating the art. 

(We reprint this wedding photo in memory of “Betty” Taylor, for those who knew her she was an inspiration, a shining example of the joy of life despite the terrible adversities she faced. A positive spirit, a caring heart, R.I.P. )

County Herald headline of March 25, 1960. Present indications are that 1960 will show a substantial increase in commercial building permits issued in Penetang, with prospects looking bright for several ventures. Only two permits issued to date, according to building inspector Alf. Atkins, have been for commercial establishments. The first was for a renovation of Gignac’s Men’s Wear Store, where the floor space was doubled in a two-month remodelling project. The expanded store was officially opened yesterday and all-new display space filled with stock. The announcement was made this week and the building permit issued for a new store building for Webster’s on Robert Street, W. Owner Ed Webster said the new building will be attached to his present appliance store and will be used for displaying and selling furniture. The announcement also was made this week that arrangements have been completed for the installation of a ready-mix concrete plant at Penetang Concrete Products. Owner Louis Gignac said this will include elevated storage bins for sand, stone and cement, along with weighing, measuring and mixing equipment. Two mixer trucks will be used to deliver the material directly to jobs, he said. Fern Shoe Company, a division of Shoe Corporation of Canada, is “actively considering construction of a 6,000 square foot addition to its main plant in Penetang,” according to Jerry Zabransky of Fern Shoe. The additional space will be used for warehousing purposes. FIRM TO GROW Yesterday, Hubert Patenaude of Patenaude Electric announced he had purchased the adjoining building which has housed the Mohawk Restaurant. “It is our intention to move our appliance division into this newly-acquired store, and open up with furniture in the present store,” Hubert said. A number of years ago the two stores were connected by a passageway when The Club Shop was operating a furniture store and grocery. 

Free Press Herald headline of March 30, 1960. Simcoe County homes for the aged committee, Friday, pressed the green light button and ordered architects Craig and Zeidler to proceed with preparations of working drawings for an addition to the Georgian Manor in Penetang. The first phase of the work is expected to get underway early this summer, according to Reeve Alf Cage of Penetang, one of the committee members. This phase will include the construction of a new kitchen and dining room. Following construction in the first phase, the old part of the building pictured below, which was originally Penetang General Hospital (new hospital visible behind), will be razed in preparation for more building. The second construction phase will be a wing designed for bed care residents only. Mr. Cage said the committee hopes it will be possible to tear down the old building and start the new wing as part of a winter work project. Committee consisted of Thos. Joslin, Alf Cage, Ivan Vasey superintendent, Jos. Belford, Fred Hunter, Montcalm Maurice and Warden George Lisk.


   When the century-old post office, courthouse and telegraph office at Craighurst was torn down last fall, a great deal of Simcoe County history tumbled to the ground with it. Some things were salvaged for posterity, however, including a “Seventh Report of the Bureau of Archives for the Province of Ontario. Printed in 1911, it contains the story of parliament in Upper Canada (Ontario) from 1790 to 1819. In poor condition from fire, water and mud, the paper-bound history was brought to this office by Joseph Lea of Hillsdale, retired Orr Lake forester. Mr. Lea has long been interested in historical matters, both in Simcoe and elsewhere. Early portions of the book, badly damaged, deal with the formation of the legislative assembly. One of the first things legible was the division of the country into two provinces, Upper and Lower Canada, in 1791. Among the names listed were those, of Alured Clarke, acting-governor; John Graves Simcoe, and Guy Lord Dorchester, knight of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath. George the Third, “by the grace of God,” was king of Great Britain, France and Ireland, “defender of the faith and so forth”, at the time. After the division, the book then becomes a journal and proceedings of the legislative council of the province of Upper Canada, starting Sept. 17, 1792. The first capital was Newark, in the Niagara Peninsula. Present were William Osgoode, James Baby, Robert Hamilton, Richard Cartwright Jr., John Munro, Alexander Grant and Peter Russell. Osgoode became the first speaker of the house. 

    Members of Simcoe County Mutual Aid Fire Association Wednesday night decided each individual brigade would approach its council with a request to purchase foam equipment. The consensus of the meeting, held in Midland’s municipal building auditorium Wednesday night, was that an earlier plan to establish a foam bank for county brigades would be too costly. Chief R. Irwin of Barrie, mutual aid co-ordinator, said he felt the establishment of the foam banks was too expensive for smaller brigades. Midland Fire Chief Arnold Tippin asked how many brigades in the association now possessed foam and foam equipment. A show of hands indicated there were five, including Midland. 

   “We are having a bit of trouble with dogs following children to school,” stated Midland Police chief George Wainman yesterday when he noted that Vickie, 8, and James, 7, children of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Charlebois, John Street, had been bitten by a dog on their way to Sacred Heart School yesterday morning. “The owner of the dog has been advised that he must pay any damages and must keep the dog tied up for two weeks,” stated Chief Wainman. “They were only minor bites and I gave the children anti-tetanus injections,” stated Dr. R. J. Cardwell, who saw the Charlebois children shortly after the incident. 

    COLDWATER — Highways Department estimates brought down in the legislature this week include completion of paving on the Crown Hill to Coldwater portion of Highway 400, with work scheduled for 21.9 miles of highway. Previously, it was announced that the department plans to extend Highway 400 from Coldwater to Huntsville. A new road will be built through Matchedash Township. (That route, of course, was changed and Coldwater to the new Trans Canada Highway at Waubaushene became the next section.  An excellent web site documenting Ontario’s highways can be found at “”.) 

ALLEN — To Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Allen, Sunnyside, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, March 23, 1960, a daughter.
BOLT — To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Bolt, 80 Fifth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, March 27, 1960, a daughter.
CARRUTHERS — To Mr. and Mrs. James Carruthers, 305 Midland Ave., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, March 29, 1960, a daughter.
CROWLEY — To Mr. and Mrs. John Crowley, 358 Midland Ave., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, March 22, 1960, a daughter. (Stillborn).
KIERNAN — To Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Kiernan, 2300 Orleans
Ave. Montreal, Que., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Saturday, March 26, 1960, a son.

    Mayor Charles Parker and Alderman Douglas Haig were authorized by Midland council Monday night to continue their exploratory moves to obtain a new garbage dump site for the town. Mayor Parker reported to council on a meeting held last week with representatives of Penetang, Tiny and Tay Townships. The mayor said Tiny Township officials did not seem to be opposed to Midland using a site in their area and indicated that the township might be willing to join in the move for a joint garbage area. Tay officials also looked favorably on the proposed joint dump site, he added. Mr. Parker pointed out, however, that Penetang did not feel it could support the joint plan at the present time, but that it might at a later date. The mayor said a 20-acre site is now under consideration. The question now is whether or not it can be purchased. He felt he should have a definite answer for the council by the end of the summer. (Became what was called the Pauze dumpsite.) 

Midland’s new zoning bylaw was not expected, to have any direct effect on assessment. Mayor Oliver H. Smith advised a special meeting of the council. Council commended the zone boundaries which had been drafted by the mayor. * * * Representations by Midland council and this newspaper resulted in amendments to the unemployment insurance regulations so that many lake sailors who were previously debarred by the seasonal nature of their employment became eligible for supplementary benefits. * * * J. Lance Rumble of Hillsdale was judged to be one of Canada’s best-dressed men. Award was announced at the annual Canadian Men’s Apparel Fair at Toronto. * * * Penetang’s three hotels, the Brule, Canada House and Northern were appealing their 1949 assessments to the Ontario Municipal Board, having been turned down by the local court of revision and the county judge. * * * Penetang taxpayers went to the polls to decide whether or not Beatty Bros. Ltd., (Spencer Division) should be granted a fixed assessment for general, tax purposes of $50,000 for the next ten years. * * * Medonte Township council received information on a proposal for reforesting part of North Simcoe in a brief prepared by W. H. Cranston. Council expressed its interest and agreed to attend further meetings on the subject. * * * Grew Boats Ltd. Penetang was re-organized and plans were laid to standardize boat models and add new product lines. * * * High commendation of the calibre of personnel in Georgian Bay’s newly-formed light anti-aircraft regiment was expressed by Major-General Chris Vokes, general officer commanding Central Command, when he inspected the unit composed of batteries from Midland and Parry Sound. 

HERBERT H. PARKER A Midland resident for 41 years, Herbert Henry Parker died at his Russel Street home, March 15, following a heart attack. He was in his 70th year. Funeral service was conducted by Rev. W. L. Morden at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home March 17. Pallbearers were Bert Megaw, Russell Robbins, Henry Mosley, E. Wilson, Norman Leclair and Albert Woods. Born and educated at Coldwater, Mr. Parker married the former Lena M. Moore Oct. 25, 1916, at Oshawa. He was a member of the United Church and a member of Canadian Woodsmen of the World. He had been employed by the Aberdeen Elevator Company for 35 years and in the elevator explosion July 8, 1944, although severely burned, he was the only one of seven employees to come out alive. Previously he had been employed as fireman on a freighter, at the Manley Chew mill and had worked as a young man in lumber camps where his father was employed as a cook. He is survived by his widow and one daughter, Mrs. Harold Clements (Jessie). Temporary burial was in Lakeview Cemetery vault.
WILLIAM SUTTER – Funeral services were held Monday for William Sutter, retired CPR employee who died unexpectedly at Port McNicoll Friday, following a stroke. He was 69. Mr. Sutter retired in October 1958, following 39 years service with the CPR, which he joined in 1917. He had worked in several departments at Port McNicoll for several years. In 1924 he became a bridge man in the bridge and building department and was promoted to a carpenter in 1954. In 1928 Mr. Sutter had served as a member of the village council. Surviving are his widow; two sons, Sylvester, a contractor at Port McNicoll, and Mark, Toronto; and three daughters, Mrs. Charles Henry and Mrs. Bernard Lesperance, Midland, and Mrs. E. F. Day, Port McNicoll. 

    Midland youngsters made a good showing at the second annual Georgian Bay District junior badminton tournament held at Orillia recently. Held for the first time in Midland last year, with 80 entries, this year’s event attracted 110 youngsters, making it one of the largest in the country. It outdrew both the Canadian tournament, to be held in Winnipeg this week, and the Ontario championships, held at Stratford earlier in the year. The success of this year’s tournament will make it necessary to stage the event over two weekends next year, Midland’s Brian Wood reported. Highlighting the 1960 championships from a Midland standpoint was Mary Taylor’s win in the girls-singles in the 15-years and under class. Mary downed an Orillia opponent 11-6 10-11 and 11-1 in the final. Jim Cleaver and John Delaney also reached the finals in the boys’ doubles, 15 years and under. They lost to Dave and Don Moon of Bracebridge in three games. Teamed with Susan Wood, Mary Taylor also went to the semi-finals in the girls’ doubles before losing 15-18, 15-6, 10-15 to an Orillia pair. 

    Gabriel Maurice was named chairman of Tiny Municipal Telephone System at the system’s annual meeting in Lafontaine March 10. Other commissioners are Gilbert Robitaille and Robert Gignac. The manager is P. G. McNamara. Reports presented at the meeting showed the system has 66 subscribers and 146 renters. There are 42 miles of poles, three miles of cable and 250 miles of open-wire. The auditor’s report, certified by George Reynolds, showed the system’s total assets at $46,235, made up of $15,239.24 in current and $30,995.26 in capital assets. Earned surplus to date was listed at $35,514.21 and current liabilities at $48.49. 

   Annual spring fashion Supplement, sponsored by Midland and Penetanguishene merchants will be published with Friday’s issue of the County Herald. The 12-page tabloid-style supplement will contain news and advertising messages of the latest trends in fashions for men and women, and boys and girls. 

Midland council has been asked and the town’s public utilities commission is being asked to supply water for a major housing sub-division on King Street South in Tay Township. The 150-acre property is known as the Brandon farm. (The Brandon home was the current Heritage Animal Hospital at 687 King Street, the property extended along Galloway Blvd.) While it is quite true that Midland is not oversupplied within its present boundaries with land suitable for residential development, its main shortage is in industrial sites. And new housing without new industry to support it makes no sense for any municipality. Alderman Douglas Haig and a number of the members of the town planning board have recommended that no action be taken on supplying water to the Brandon development unless and until that land becomes part of Midland, and unless and until a substantial acreage of its highway frontage is zoned for industrial use and a firm option price placed on it so the Midland Chamber of Commerce and the Georgian Bay Development Association may have an opportunity to merchandise it. To permit a new housing development without adequate compensating industrial assessment, or to encourage either development without ensuring that the new assessment will bear its fair share of the cost of future water, sewer and road development costs would be a disservice to Midland, to Tay and to all the property owners concerned. Before Midland council or its utilities’ commission agrees to provide utility services to any new area, they will be more than wise if they first decide what role that new area will play in the overall future growth of the community. And they can and should decide it promptly. The Brandon farm area seems worthy of development for both industrial and” residential purposes and the water can be made available.

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