Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – April 8th to 15th, 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 enlargeWednesday was “open house” at Midland Public Library and here librarian Dawson Leigh shows an odd Japanese production to Mrs. Don Swinson, wife of the chairman of the library board. Seated is Mrs. H. MacLaren. This Japanese book has an unusual slipcover — made of wood. 

Plowing her way through lake ice in Midland harbour, the CSL’s Hochelaga is headed for the coal docks where she was joined Thursday by the Coverdale and the Georgian Bay. The latest word from Ottawa is the ice-breaker Alexander Henry will be at Midland Saturday to clear channels from Midland and Port McNicoll so the big freighters can head out. 

Ice and snow, and not the usual sandy beach, forms the foreground for this picture of the first ship struggling its way out of Port McNicoll Friday in an effort to start another navigation season. Seen off Paradise Point, the ship was followed by four others from Port. Along with a flotilla from Midland, they were aided on their trip to open water Saturday by the new Canadian Government ice-breaker Alexander Henry, which came down from the Soo. 

Midland and Penetang citizens still have time to contribute to this year’s Easter Seal campaign and thus assist youngsters like Midland’s Betty Morin and Penetang’s Douglas Mayer. With the youngsters here are, left to right, Wilf LaRose, Midland Kiwanis, L. J. Mayer (Doug’s father), Ray Murley and Doug Bensley of Penetang Lions Club. Ray is acting as the Penetang “Timmys” guardian and Mr. Bensley is chairman of the Easter Seal Campaign in Penetang. 

Top teams in Midland’s Academy bowling league this year were IGA and Pillsbury.  Winners in the regular schedule, the IGA team includes Bill Bryan (seated) and (left to right) Bob Jackson, Stan Brooks, Dave Hudson, Len Zablotny, Doug Hebner and Elmer Hebner. 

Top teams in Midland’s Academy bowling league this year were IGA and Pillsbury. Winners in the regular schedule, on the Pillsbury team are Charlie Yorke and Wray Faint (seated) and Albert Atkinson, Jack Stainton, Keith Fleming, Albert Blythe and Cecil Launder. 

North Simcoe is filled with music these days, with large entries in first the Midland music festival and, this week, another in Coldwater. Adjudicator Roy Fenwick is seen with three happy winners in the class for girls’ solos, 10 years and under. Left to right are Shirley Piotrowski, Elizabeth Piotrowski and Michelle Webb, who placed first with 85 points. 

Gathered at St. Paul’s United Church auditorium, Midland, March 31 several Scout and Cub leaders received their certificates following a recent basic training course. Left to right are front row, Lloyd Sallows, Mary Magloughlin, Ruth Bissette, “Bunny” Wood, Maimo Sauks and Gordon Walker; back row, Art Richards, Harvey Boyd, Lawrence Wilcox, Ray Worrell and Vic Denise. Veteran Scouters Boyd, Richards, Wilcox and Worrell assisted in the ceremonies. 

Cubmaster of 4th Midland Pack, Lawrence Wilcox is presented with his wood badge, which is comprised of Gilwell beads, neckerchief and parchment, by District Commissioner Harvey Boyd. The presentation was made in St. Paul’s United Church hall (sponsor of the group), Thursday night. 

Cub leaders Art Richards, and Lawrence Wilcox congratulate each other on achieving wood badges. Both received Gilwell training at Blue Springs camp, near Acton, last summer. The presentation was made in St. Paul’s United Church hall Thursday night.


Scouter Ray Worrell is presented with his long service medal by District Commissioner Harvey Boyd. The medal is granted to Scouters who have at least 10 years service. A cloth emblem, with a design in yellow, green and red, for wearing on the Scout uniform was also presented. The medal itself represents a cross-section of a tree with 10 annual growth rings. 

Dressy Dresses” were the theme for these three models at this stage of Edwards’ fashion show Friday. Mrs. Eric Paul (left) shows a beige cashmel dress, with oversize black bag, towering, crown black straw hat. Mrs. J. F. Morris (centre) models a tan figured silk dress with flowered hat. Dress worn by Mrs. Larry Dumais is pure silk in a sheen finish. It is worn with a lacy straw, straight-brimmed sailor hat. 

Lieut. William Johnston of the Midland Salvation Army Corps stands in front of the citadel in Midland. As a church, the Army marks 75 years of service in the community this year. 

Top artists in this year’s Midland Music Festival, sponsored by the Y’s Men’s Club, were awarded scholarships to further their studies. In this group, left to right, are Sandra Gung, Patricia French, Robin Benson, Lois Cowan, Louise Bellehumeur. 

This two-year-old German Shepherd, “Caesar von Auerberg,” won first prize at the Sportsman’s Show this year. He’s with his proud owner, Hans Albrecht, who operates a kennel on Penetang Road. 

“Seeing Double” is getting to be old stuff for Harold Cowden, right, Vasey farmer. No less than six sets of twin calves have been born on his farm in less than one year. All but one set, still-born, are living, and thrivin’. Helping Mr. Cowden to hold the year-old twins (a Hereford- Durham cross) is neighbour George Robinson. 

Winners of the play-offs in the Academy Bowling League recently was the Legion Red team, seen above in the new jackets presented at the annual banquet held at Bourgeois dining room last Monday night. Left to right the champs are, seated, Fred Bath and Howard Henderson; standing, Gordon Smith, Adam Staruck, Fred Lemieux, Murray McComb, Ted Brodeur and Charlie Scott. 

Top men in the Academy Bowling League this season were, left to right, Adam Staruck, Murray McComb and Dave Hudson. Staruck had high single 390, McComb high triple, 845, and Hudson high average, 222. 

Big smiles denote the winners in the doubles events at Midland garrison Badminton Club’s recent finals. Mary-Jo Hargadon (Quilty) and Elizabeth McTague, of the MPDHS staff, copped the ladies’ title. Men’s winners were Jack Yelland, another teacher, and Doug Gerow. 

Winners of the consolation awards in Midland Garrison Club championship games at the armoury recently were, left to right, front row, Mary Taylor, Barbara Thompson and Susan Wood. Back row, left to right, are Garnet Rourke, Dieter Heller and John Delaney. 

Big moment for the hundreds of young artists who took part in Midland Y’s Men’s music festival was the awarding of scholarships last Friday night.  Winners in the piano competitions are, seated, Anne Webster, Janet Setterington, Eleanor Boden; standing, Joanne Kettle, Robert Gervais, James Cleaver and Anne Lortie. 

Big moment for the hundreds of young artists who took part in Midland Y’s Men’s music festival was the awarding of scholarships last Friday night. Left to right, front row, are Jim McKean, Paul Howard, Paul Davidson, Lloyd Preston; back row, John Weeks, Tony Moffat, Wayne Farquhar and John Richardson. 


County Herald headline of January 8, 1960. Increased industrial production in Midland is reflected in the annual statement of customs and excise collections for the 1959-60 fiscal year at the port of Midland. The report, issued by A. E. Martin, the collector of customs and excise at Midland, reveals there was an increase of $20,195.34 this year over the amount collected in the 1958-59 fiscal year. The 1959-60 collections in import duty, sales tax, excise taxes and sundry amounted to $775,517.94 compared with $755,322.60 for the same period last year. Mr. Martin’s statistics show there was a decrease of $52,452.64 in import duties for the fiscal year just ended. The 1959-60 total for this item was $122,073.84 as compared with $174,526.48 last year. But increases were noted in sales tax and excise tax collections. The figures (with the 1958-59 sum in brackets) are as follows: sales tax, $652,385.42 ($580,042.89); excise taxes, $654.43 ($217.98). Sundry was down from $535.25 last year to $404.25 this past term.  Of the total amount, Mr. Martin said $4,073.22 in import duty was collected at the outport office of Penetanguishene, which closed April 1. The decrease in the amount of customs duty was partly accounted for by reduced importations of bituminous coal from the United States, and by the fact that more and more goods are being transported by truck and are cleared at border offices rather than inland offices, Mr. Martin stated. 


Free Press Herald headline of April 13, 1960. Midland’s hard-beset winter works program, stalled for more than a month because of severe weather conditions, appears to be on again. Under bitter attack by Alderman Percy Crawford at a meeting Monday night, the council voted to re-start the program “as soon as possible”. In the recent lull in the program, Reeve H. J. Beauchamp, chairman of the public works, arrived at the decision that much of the work could be done at a more economical basis on supplementary works program. Under the supplementary plan, the town would get back half the cost of the labour, plus half the cost of materials, from the provincial government, he said. Under the winter works program, a joint federal-provincial-municipal agreement, the town receives 75 per cent of the labour costs, but nothing on the cost of materials. For nearly an hour council debated the merits of the two systems, with a visibly upset Alderman Crawford holding out steadfastly for the winter works version. His peace of mind was further disturbed by the fact that, just prior to the meeting, he had taken his wife to St. Andrews Hospital for treatment for a broken arm. He had made one further trip to the hospital during the progress of the meeting. (There really was no clear headline in this newspaper; important news must have been scarce in “sleepy hollow” that week. This was the 29th edition of the year and the 81st year of publication.) 

    “We are just awfully lucky. It could have been so much worse,” said Cal Simpson yesterday, referring to his daughter’s accident in Collingwood arena last Saturday. Four and half-year-old Virginia “Ginnny” Simpson fell about 18 feet from the mezzanine floor to the rubber matting where the players step on to the ice. She received a four-inch clean break in her scalp, explained Mr. Simpson yesterday. “It would have been much worse if she had missed the matting and hit the concrete,” added Mr. Simpson who had taken his family along when taking a number of Little League Hockey players over to the finals in Collingwood. “She is out of Collingwood Hospital and back home now and she is going to be all right,” he said. 

   A group of Penetang Public School ratepayers, meeting in a special session with the public school board Wednesday night, apparently pressed for the establishment of an “English school,” with oral French being taught. A four-part resolution presented by the ratepayer’s group “Will be incorporated into the minutes of the board,” according to board chairman G. J. Robillard.

   “It is an achievement which is the first of its kind on the North American continent and has won the praise and admiration of electrical engineers all over the world.” These were the words of Lloyd Letherby, MPP for Simcoe East speaking in the Ontario legislature, Tuesday. He was congratulating the minister of energy resources, and the Ontario Hydro on the results received at Hydro’s one mile of high voltage test line built near Coldwater. “This accomplishment was a successful experiment in high voltage history throughout the world, and will prove to be of tremendous value in increased power supply as Hydro is called upon to look after our future needs,” Mr. Letherby stated. 

    “Marathon readers and speakers should be curbed,” contended Simcoe East MPP, Lloyd Letherby in the Ontario legislature Tuesday. “I think the rules of this legislature should be changed to limit a private member to speak for 20 minutes,” Mr. Letherby said. “What the average private member cannot say in 20 minutes is perhaps not worth saying.” 

    Should Midland try to sell the oldest of its four fire trucks, or keep it a few years longer and then donate it to Huronia Museum? That was the question raised by Alderman William Orr, chairman of the fire committee, at Monday night’s council meeting. He said the council would be lucky to get $500 to $1,000 for the “museum piece” even now. Reeve H. J. Beauchamp said about the only possible outlet for the sale of the old truck would be some Northern Ontario logging camp, where it might come in handy protecting forest limits. The question of the fire engine came up after Reeve Beauchamp, chairman of public works, asked council’s direction on the purchase of a new front-end loader. The present equipment, he said, is “completely caput”. 

    Although his month-end statement had been out only for a few days, Clarence Sinclair, chairman of Penetang Arena Board of Governors, was able to tell council Monday night, that the $7,200 showing on it as a debt against the arena, had been further reduced to approximately $6,600. A major part of this most recent reduction came through a $500 donation received last week from the Toronto-Dominion Bank. In his closing remarks, the chairman told council he is quite confident the building will be debt-free by the end of the year. 

     One new principal has been appointed and one transferred to a larger school by Midland Public Schools Board, following its meeting Friday night. The men are Kenneth Cowan former principal at Sixth Street School who succeeds James Robinson at Parkview and William Barnett, assistant principal at Regent, who will succeed Mr. Cowan at Sixth Street. Mr. Robinson will retire this year after more than 40 years in the profession. No decision has been made as yet as to a vice-principal to replace Mr. Barnett at Regent. Jack Yelland has been named vice-principal at Parkview School. 

     Seventy-five years ago, March 25, 1885, to be exact, a “war” began in Midland, but it wasn’t a shooting war. On that day, staff Capt. Eadie of Orillia Salvation Army Corps and a soldier set up the Midland bastion of Salvationists and left the citadel in command of Capt. Jennie Langtry. Since then the Army has existed as a church in the community, with an open door to all, and a practical application of Christianity that stemmed from a Christ-inspired love for mankind in whatever state they may be found. 

    Retiring after 47 years as treasurer of Wyevale United Church, James Wilson was honoured at a dinner and presentation at the manse of the Wyevale-Waverley charge April 4. Following supper, the church’s elders and stewards and their wives were led in a sing-song by Pastor Arnold Creaser. Chairman of stewards, Victor Stott, on behalf of those present, thanked Mr. Wilson and presented him with a gift. Expressions of appreciation and gifts were also made to Mrs. Cecil Blow the church organist, and to William Phillips who faithfully does many acts around the church building and grounds. Duke Caston made the presentation to Mrs. Blow and Mrs. Edison Doan presented the gift to Mr. Phillips. 

Midland public school teachers were requesting an increase in their starting salaries from $1,600 to $1,800 per year and that the maximum yearly salaries be increased from $2,200 to $2,550. * * * Proposal to reforest 40,000 acres under a municipal forests corporation in North Simcoe was receiving strong support with the release by Fletcher S. Thomas, MLA, of the report of the provincial government’s select committee on conservation. * * * Coldwater village officials were predicting a jump in the tax rate from 53 to 65 mills. The increase was reportedly due in large measure to increased educational costs. * * * Midland’s new zoning bylaw, dividing the whole town into areas for various purposes had received two readings from council and was being sent to the Ontario Municipal Board for approval. * * * “Centennial” celebrations were being held in the Presbyterian churches at both Penetang and Wyebridge despite the contention of M. H. McGuire of Penetang that work in both the congregations had started 117 years previously. * * * Pledges of a thousand dollars in land and cash were received at a public meeting in Waubaushene Legion hall, called to consider the erection of a memorial sports arena. * * * Canadian passenger ships on the Great Lakes between Sarnia and the Lakehead were reduced from six to two. The two remaining passenger ships were the Canadian Pacific’s Keewatin and Assiniboia running between Port McNicolI and the Lakehead. * * * A Toronto school supply firm was having difficulty selling its new five-foot canvas-backed maps in Medonte Township for the respectable community of Moonstone was listed as “Moonshine”. 

    (For the “boat nerds” out there, here is a list of CSL captains and chiefs for 1960, many of them from our area. An excellent record of CSL ships in service at that time, many of them built in Midland.)
The forthcoming navigation season will see the following masters and chief engineers in charge of Canada Steamship Lines Limited vessels. The company operates upper lake package and bulk freighters, self-unloaders and lower lake bulk and package freighters. Listed here are the vessels, their captains and chief engineers:

Murray Bay, A. Allen, E. G. Smith.
R. McLagan, R. Belcher, D. G. Pruder.
Sir James Dunn, C. Armstrong, R. Brooks.
Thunder Bay, E. A. George, R. D. Couper.
Nipigon Bay, G. O. Jamieson, R. E. Stephens.
Georgian Bay, L. G. Bird, A. E. Hardman.
Coverdale, L. Mallard. T. J. Coyle.
Hochelaga, W. G. Tomlinson, T. A. Mordecai.
Lemoyne, E. Jardine, C. D. Tuck.
Donnacona, E. S. Taylor, H. McCoag.
Gleneagles, O. Cromwell, M. Murphy.
Ashcroft, C. J. Hall. D. F. Lockwood.
Westmount, H. D. Miller, A. V. Smith.
Hagerty, G. S. Ward, C. A. Ross.
Goderich, W. C. Pitfield, A. E. House.
Prescott, S. Wilkinson, H. R. J. Canning.
Burlington, R. E. Maher, J. Cordes.
Fort York, H. L. Beaton, H. T. Phillips.
Fort Henry, R. Anderson, L. E. McCutcheon.
Collingwood, W. E. Kraus, F. B. Bonnell.
Martian, H. Laliberte. P. Gordon.
Renvoyle, J. P. Kimmerly, G. V, Stacey.
Stadacona, E. Gow, C. Kennedy.
O. Petman, R. Drummond, J. Wilson.
Midland Prince, C. K. Stowe, M. Wayrynen.
Coalhaven, G. A. Johnston.
Battleford, D. G. Nicoll. F. W. Davis.
City of Windsor, F. Gagne, W. J. Locke.
Fernie, J. Coleman, C. McKinley.
Lethbridge, J. McFadyen, P. D. Quinn.
Saskatoon, P. Morinville. L. H. Tremblay.
Selkirk, S. Thibert, R. G. Kelly.
Weyburn, J. R. G. Tompin, J. A. Adams.
Winnipeg, F. G. Wood, C. McCutcheon.
Elgin, J. J. Lacroix, R. Adams.
Grainmotor, S. St. Onge, E. M. Brown.
Hastings, F. Germain, L. LaFleur.
Iroquois, F. Fortin, W. MacPherson.
Metis, O. Pregent, W. Lander.
Simcoe, M. Buckland, A. Monder.
Teakbay, N. Donaldson, H. Glendillen.
Glenelg. H. Ambeau. A. Willams.
Eskimo, W. H. Cowie. R. Harrison.
Tadoussac, P. W. Murray, G. Laroche.
St. Lawrence, J. P. Doherty,  E. Laroche.
Richelieu, G. B. Lodge, J. A. Robillard

As Good Friday, a statutory holiday, coincides with the publication of the County Herald, there will be one issue only of the paper next week. It will be the Free Press Herald, which will be published and distributed Wednesday, April 13. Rural correspondents are asked to get their news in as early as possible.

    Claiming that Toronto was unhealthy, smelly, noisy and overcrowded, Lloyd Letherby of Coldwater, MPP for Simcoe East suggested to the legislature Tuesday, that the Ontario government should be moved to Orillia. Mr. Letherby, noting that a Toronto newspaper article had expressed the view that “Toronto was a leading contender for the title of the- smelliest and noisiest city on the continent”, pointed out Toronto’s medical officer of health had declared that “evidence is accumulating linking cancer, heart disease and chronic bronchitis with exhaust fumes.” Mentioning that Toronto is overcrowded, Mr. Letherby continued, “I question whether this is a fit and proper place to have the capital city of this great province of Ontario. 

VICTORIA HARBOUR—John Gilmour, a respected lifetime resident of this district died unexpectedly at his home here March 25, owing to a heart condition. The funeral was held March 28 from the Nicholls funeral home in Midland with temporary burial in Lakeview vault. Later burial will be in Victoria Harbour Cemetery. The service was conducted by Rev. C. H. Carter, and the pallbearers were Chas. Schissler, Walter Lumsden, Leonard Delahey, M. MacKinnon, Roy Gouett and E. J. Springthorpe. Relatives and friends from out of town attending the funeral included Misses Frances and Marjorie Crooke, Toronto, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Arbour, Penetanguishene, Mr. and Mrs. Dubeau, Owen Sound, Mrs. Jack Smyth, Mr. Tomlinson, Mr. Oliphant, Mr. Mullen of Toronto, and Herbert Merry of Oakville. Mr. Gilmour was born in Waubaushene in 1879 and came with his parents to live here 73 years ago. He was married in Victoria Harbour to Arabella Doran, who predeceased him in 1939. He was employed for many years by the Victoria Harbour Lumber Co. as a filer in their mills and later he owned and operated the ferry boat between Port McNicoll and this village. He was well known to the summer residents here owing to his great interest in boats. He had built many of them. Mr. Gilmour was a member of the Presbyterian Church. He is survived by two sisters, Miss Pearl Gilmour of Toronto and Mrs. Bruce Crooke (Addie) of Victoria Harbour. 

A resident of Sturgeon Bay for 60 years Mrs. Jennett Lawson died there, March 24, following a stroke. She was in her 83rd year. Rev. Ross Gumming conducted the funeral service, March 26 at Nicholls’ funeral home, Midland. Pallbearers were Wilmot Wilson, William Potter, Harry Beckett, Tom Duffy, Dale Connor and Steve Gratrix. Born and educated at Hawkestone, Mrs. Lawson lived there for 18 years and was in Hobart for four years before moving to Sturgeon Bay. She was a member of the United Church. Her husband, Thomas Lawson, predeceased her in 1934. Mrs. Lawson is survived by five sons, Tom, William, John, George and Fred of Sturgeon Bay and Mrs. Elmer Gratrix (Sophia) of Waubaushene. Out-of-town relatives and friends attended the service from Coldwater, Foxmead and Orillia. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery vault. 

Mrs. Harriet Norton Potter died at her home, Sturgeon Bay, April 2. She was in her 81st year. Rev. Ross Cumming conducted the funeral service, April 4, at Nicholls’ funeral home, Midland. Pallbearers were six grandsons, Leslie Hodgins, Bill Tinson, Albert Stewart, Bob Potter, Tom Adamson and Brian Low. Born in Mulmar Township and educated at Honeywood, Mrs. Potter, the former Harriet Lockhart, married Frederick Potter August 24, 1903, at Coldwater. She lived all of her married life at Sturgeon Bay. She was a member of the United Church and her hobbies were sewing and knitting. Mrs. Potter was predeceased by her husband in 1948, by a son, Robert, in 1951 and by a daughter, Mrs. Herb Hodgins (Mary), in 1958. She leaves six surviving daughters, Mrs. Bert Tinson (Annie), Gertrude Potter, Mrs. Jack Low (Fern) of Toronto, Mrs. Harvey Stewart (Edith), Mrs. Clarence Mount (Ellen) of Sturgeon Bay and Mrs. Thomas Adamson (Fredena) of (Coldwater) two sons, William of Sturgeon Bay and Jim of Welland; and one brother, Matthew Lockhart of Victoria Harbour. Forty grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren also survive. 

John Lowe new

This memorial continues to be published, 43 years after the event.

2 thoughts on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – April 8th to 15th, 1960

  1. The firetruck would have been a nice addition to the museum. The only problem would have been the room it would take up. I wonder what the town ended up doing with it?

  2. Randy, I believe Clint Truax, local antique car collector, appraiser and former museum board member purchased it. I remember it being in his collection and him telling me he had sold it. I will enquire the next time I see him. Tom Barber

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