Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 1st to 7th, 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 enlargeTenth annual conference of Region 9 of the Business of Professional Women’s Clubs of Ontario saw some 80 delegates “sign in” at Midland’s Georgian Hotel on the weekend. Left to right, are Mrs. Robert Hoffland, Mrs. Hugh Riesberry, Miss Shirley Ruby, Miss Jessie Bathgate and Mrs. R. McGrattan. All but Miss Bathgate, who comes from Simcoe, are members of the host Midland club. 

Friday was a historic day in Midland, marking the end of 80 years of steam on railroads serving the town. Here Conductor George Nicklee, right, signs register at the freight office prior to the departure of last steam train, on that line. Watching are Midland agent Harvey White, left, and Cy Ney, chief clerk. Starting Monday, diesel locomotives started to pull all trains into Midland; on both CNR and CPR lines.


This CPR engine 3632, was the last steam locomotive to pull a train out of Midland when it departed Friday afternoon. On hand to mark the end of an era were, left to right, W. H. Biggar former agent at Midland and Port McNicoll, Bud Taylor, Art Lumsden, conductor George Nicklee, R. B. Dockray, Cy Ney, Harold Jamieson, Midland agent Harvey White, Ray Asselin and Eric Heels. In the cab are fireman Chas St Amant, left, and engineer Doug McNabb. 

With the end of the steam era in Midland on the weekend, in future all trains, both CNR and CPR, will be pulled by unromantic-looking diesels. Here, four CNR diesels pull a long line of empties (they stretch out of sight). CPR trestle at Port McNicoll provided a good vantage point for this shot. 

Guides and Brownies in this district are staging their annual cookie sale this week. Here Donna Brophy of 1st Penetang Brownie Pack and Marie McLaughlin of 2nd Midland Guide Company make a sale to Mrs. Tom McCullough of Midland. Edwards Specialty Shop in Midland is featuring a display in the front of the store, promoting the cookie sale. 

This machine, being operated by Bud Todd in the Webb Manufacturing and Sales plant at Victoria Harbour is called simply enough a broom-making machine. However, making brooms isn’t all that simple. There are a number of processes that must be carried out carefully before the finished article is ready for market. 

One of the last operations in the making of a broom is the stitching, here being done by Ken Webb, co-owner with his father Capt. C. H. Webb, of Webb Manufacturing and Sales, Victoria Harbour. The company turns out around nine dozen brooms a day. 

Thursday will be a big day for Douglas Brodeur of Victoria Harbour when he journeys to Windsor to appear on the CBC television program Talent Caravan. The 16-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Sib Brodeur, Doug hopes to win recognition with his banjo-ukulele. The Grade 10 pupil at St. Mary’s School in the Harbour won an audition at Barrie recently. 

Photo used on the editorial page with this caption; “Pulling an Elevator’s Leg”. The Murray Bay at the Tiffin elevator.  

New queen of the Canada Steamship Line fleet, the SS Murray Bay is seen at Tiffin elevator, Midland, as she completed her maiden voyage. Said to be capable of holding a million bushels of grain, the Murray Bay had “only” 720,000 bushels aboard this trip.

 Navigation opening is always a big occasion at Port McNicoll, and there was the usual large turnout April 16 when Capt. J. W. Lenckie of the John O. McKellar was presented with the traditional topper. Above, left to right, front row, are Chief Engineer James Henderson, Miss Dorcas McCannell, Toronto, whose father is also a lake captain, Capt. Lenckie, Wiarton, with Carol Crock, 8, of Toronto, and Harbormaster Alex McCullagh; back row, Capt. Alex Campbell of the CPR’s Keewatin, Capt. E. H. Ridd, of the Assiniboia, Reeve Albert Calvert, F. Crock, Toronto, and Cyril Larkin. 

Visiting those in jail and others in mental institutions is all part of the daily routine of a Salvation Army officer. Here Lieut. Wm. Johnston brings a friendly greeting to a prisoner in one of the police cells in Midland. The same afternoon he visited mentally ill persons in the Ontario Hospital, Penetang. 

Late spring break-up is still causing trouble on a number of roads in and out of the urban municipalities. One of the worst spots is on Con. 3, Tay Township about a mile south of Old Fort School, on the north side of a long hill. (This is the Old Fort Road just before you reach the Elliot Side Road, going south, which has now become a very busy 80 KM/H paved shortcut to Midland from the south.) 

‘Hurry, Hurry”, says Norman Launder, centre, as Bob Voorzanger (left) and Blair Shakell pull him along during a relay race as part of the “Star Dust” program at Midland YMCA last week. The boys were in the 8-11 year class. The show drew good crowds both nights. 

On the ground or in the air, the new back tower for the Midland navigation range is an impressive chunk of galvanized steel. It was erected Wednesday at the back of the Midland Public Utilities building on Fourth Street.

Sylvester Sutter’s crane picks up this huge tri-leg tower on which will be mounted new type day and night back markers for the Midland navigation range. Night light features intense narrow beam. Day marker is designed to show up plainly regardless of the position of the sun. 


New Midland chiropractor John Taylor stands beside a chart of the human body and a scale model of a section of a human skeleton. Mr. Taylor, who is a graduate of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Toronto, practiced in Oshawa for a year. 

Motorists entering Midland from the west on Highway 12 (Yonge Street) have been more than a little puzzled by the speed signs near the Chamber of Commerce information booth. Department of Highways sign in foreground lists new 35 mph zone in effect as far east as Seventh Street. Town of Midland sign about 50 feet further east says 30 mph. It will be removed. 

If Midland parents detected some whopping, but unexplained, tummy aches in their youngsters Saturday, they can blame it on Paul Noack and Lionel Hanmer. Paul and Lionel staged the official opening of their renamed “Meatland 277” meat market on King Street Saturday. To mark the occasion, they gave away 650 ice cream bars, 30 gallons of orangeade, and 350 balloons. They were cleaned out by mid-afternoon. By a conservative estimate, about 90 per cent of the “stock” was carted off by the youngsters, who literally can smell a free bargain like this 10 blocks away. “It was quite an event,” laughed Mr. Noack, who doubtless got in the same line-ups himself not too many years ago. 

Staff members of Midland’s “Meatland 277”, above, are cleaning up after a busy day. Left to right are; Diane Annand, Arthur York and Lois Puddicombe. “Meatland” is the former Argue meat market. (Located at 277 King Street.) 

King Street shoppers can now look in the windows, instead of at their feet, at least on the west side of the block between Hugel and Elizabeth. Here Jim Stewart (my godfather) watches Stan Buttineau and Jack Gilbank put the finishing touches to one section of the new sidewalk. It’s one of Midland’s winter works projects. (A group of public servants who often go unnoticed in our lives, literally digging the ditches, cleaning the streets, all night on the snow plows, rain, cold, weekends, a big thanks to the men and women of our public works departments.) 

Although the weather for the trout season opening this year was not the best, these two Midland youngsters had no complaint. This 28-inch, 5 1/2 lb. rainbow was caught by Cecil Merkley, right, with help from Peter Contois. They landed the beauty in the Sturgeon River Sunday afternoon, using an artificial lure. 

Free Press Herald headline of May 4, 1960. Slowly but surely the employment picture is improving in this area, according to figures released this week by Harold Humphries, manager of the Midland office of the National Employment Service. “As of April 28, we had 892 unemployed males and 211 unemployed females listed on our records,” Mr. Humphries told this paper. While these figures are not quite as good as they were one year ago, they are an improvement over those in effect at the end of March of this year, representing  about a 34 per cent drop. The April 30 figures in 1959 were 866 males and 185 females on the unplaced list. Figures as of March 31, 1960, were 1,422 males and 255 females. Opening of the navigation season, and the return to work of sailors, longshoremen, elevator employees and others connected with the water transport industry, accounted for the large drop in the male unemployed list, Mr. Humphries said. 

County Herald headline of May 6, 1960. Mr. Gauthier explained that $7,000 more would have been received in government grants if there had been no absenteeism and if these grants had been received the seven municipalities concerned would have had to raise just that much less for high school expenses. The principal pointed out that the situation at MPDHS was, no different than at other schools in the province and that on an average there were 35 pupils away every day.  “For every day the average pupil is away, he loses three days of mental, development,” stated Mr. Gauthier, who contended that one-third of our absentees could be at school because they are not absent for educational reasons or sickness.” 

Port McNicoll residents learned of the tying up of the Canadian Pacific Steamship Keewatin and the paying off of her crew because of a longshoremen’s strike in Montreal. The Assiniboia was in drydock at the head of the lakes for repairs. * * * After months of  correspondence in an effort to eliminate or improve the low, narrow subway at the Wye River, Dr. G. E. Tanner, MPP, succeeded in getting together highway engineers and representatives of the CPR and CNR and the railway board to look over the site and consider possible improvements. * * * Midland town council sharply reduced salaries of town employees, for a saving of approximately $1,000. * * * Midland citizens were honored during the silver jubilee celebration of the accession of King George V to the throne. Presented with the king’s medals were: Mayor S. W. McKinley, St. Andrews Hospital Superintendent Miss Baker, Manley Street School Principal R. G. Nesbitt, Dr. G. E. Tanner, MPP and Police Chief W. J. MacDonald. * * * Penetang officials were predicting better days ahead because, at the end of April, $12,000 more in local taxes had been paid than up to the end of June in the preceding year. * * * Girl Guides of Penetang commended Mrs. W. F. Beck for her leadership and valuable assistance in the Guide movement. Mrs. Beck was forced to relinquish her connection with the Penetang Guides when she moved from that community. * * * Thomas Duncan, Midland Park Commission member, was urging the tourist towns of Simcoe County to combine in a publicity campaign to attract tourists. * * * Midland was chosen as the site for a summer school for men and women teachers to enable those with second class certificates to complete their upper school requirements.  

ROBERTSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Donald Robertson, Phelpston, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, April 15, 1960, a daughter.
RIDOUT — To Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ridout, Balm Beach, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, April 16, a daughter.
LICHTENFELD — To Mr. and Mrs. Rolf Lichtenfeld, 305 King St., Midland, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday, April 17, 1960, a son.
RITCHIE — TO Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Ritchie, Elmvale, at
Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday. April 17, 1960, a
PATENAUDE — To Mr. and Mrs. Francis Patenaude, Vasey, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, April 19, 1960, a daughter.
MARION — To Mr. and Mrs. Celestin A. Marion, R.R. 3, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, April 19, 1960, a son.
ROSS To REV. and Mrs. Alan Ross, 32 Robert St. W., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, April 19, 1960, a son.
ARTHUR — To Mr. and Mrs. John F. Arthur, Hugel Avenue Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, May 4, 1960, a daughter.
CHARLEBOIS — To Mr. and Mrs. Philip Charlebois, 189 Queen Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, May 3, 1960, a daughter.
CRAWFORD — To Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Crawford, Dominion Avenue, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, May 4, 1960 a son.
COPEGOG — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Copegog, Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, April 28, 1960, a daughter. 

Editorial – Probably the surest sign of spring in these parts is the annual scarifying and grading of the county road to Balm Beach. This work now has been completed and the road is about as rough as it can get. 

CHARLES HENRY FRENCH – A resident of North Simcoe for almost all of his 86 years, Charles Henry French died at Waverley April 23, following a stroke. Pastor G. A. Greaser conducted funeral services April 25 at Waverley United Church. Burial was in the church cemetery.  Pallbearers were Freeman and Archie Bumstead, John Miller, Owen French, Garfield Brown and Elmer French. Born at Craighurst March 28, 1874, Mr. French received his early education at Waverley. On March 2, 1904, he married the former Mary Jane Reynolds at Hillsdale. Until his retirement some 20 years ago, Mr. French operated farm at Waverley for 46 years. He had also spent eight years at Outlook, Sask., and two years in Midland. An honorary elder of Waverly United Church, he also had served as school trustee for a number of years. He was a Conservative in politics.  Surviving are his wife, four sons, Ivan, Waverley, Eldon and Harold of Midland, and Morley, Brantford; and two daughters, Mrs. Reg Drinkill (Zaida) and Mrs. Morris Darby (Marjorie), both of Waverley.
FREDERICK RUTHERFORD – Following a lengthy illness, Frederick Rutherford died April 17 in Penetang General Hospital. Funeral service, conducted by Rev. W. L. Morden, was held at the Nicholls’ funeral home, Midland, April 19. Pallbearers were Ernie Bath, Joseph McKinley, Joseph Huston, Ernie Bates, Wm. Keller and Herman Weinreb. Mr. Rutherford, who was born and educated in Midland, was married twice, first to the former Myrtle Morrison and following her death, to the former Alice Huston. Besides his widow, he is survived by daughters Mrs. George Sauve (Olive), Mrs. Ed Peachy (Ethel), Mrs. R. Morrison (Dorothy), Rita, Elizabeth and Theo., and sons Harold, Paul and Robert. Also surviving is a brother, Jack, and two sisters, Mrs. J. McKinley (May) of Midland and Mrs. H. Kempton (Ethel) of San Diego, Cal. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery.
MRS. BARBARA M. LAND – A lifelong resident of Midland, Mrs. Barbara Margaret Land, the former Barbara Howard, died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, April 26, following a lengthy illness. She was in her 3lst year. Requiem mass was celebrated at St. Margaret’s Church April 28, with Rev. F. Voorwerk officiating. Pallbearers were: Clarence Gagnon, Norman Savage, Thomas Gilbert, Alex Crawford, Wm. Rankin and Douglas Martin. A member of the Roman Catholic Church, Mrs. Land was married in Midland May 29, 1948, to Rodney R. Land. Besides her husband, she is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Howard three daughters, Shirley, Karen and Donna; two sons, Rodney and Randolph, and a sister, Mrs. Jack Lizotte (Joan) of Newmarket. Burial was in St. Margaret’s Cemetery.
HERBERT G. RUMNEY – Life-long resident of Tay Township, Herbert Gladstone Rumney died suddenly in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, on April 22, following a coronary attack. He was in his 68th year. Rev. R. G. Nodwell conducted funeral services at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home, Midland, on April 25. Interment was in Lakeview Cemetery. Pallbearers were Les Edwards, Nathan Edwards, Verne Rumney, Harry Rumney, Frank Rumney and Fred Rumney. Born in Tay Township on Jan. 8, 1893, Mr. Rumney went to school there and was married in 1919 at Victoria Harbour to the late Gladys T. Crooke. Mrs. Rumney predeceased her husband in January, 1958. They were members of the United Church. Mr. Rumney served in World War I from 1916-18 with the 4th and 177th Battalions. Upon his return he had served several terms as school trustee for SS 10, Tay. Until his retirement in 1958 he had farmed on Con. 6. Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. R. Bidwell (Kathleen), Orillia, Mrs. E. R. Knecht (Muriel), Winnipeg, and Mrs. W. E. Widdens (Eva), Richmond Hill; and two sons, Keith of Walkerton, and Robert, Victoria Harbour. 

   Tender for the construction of three new cottages at Little Lake Park, Midland, was awarded to Norman Polmateer by Midland Park Board at its meeting earlier this week. Mr. Polmateer’s tender of $5,700 was one of six received by the board. Three tenders were received for the cottages plumbing contract and the board awarded this contract to Bell and Wilson, whose tender was $1,618. Barber and Haskill were awarded the electrical contract for the three cottages with their tender of $354. There was only one other electrical tender. The new cottages are to be built at the western end of the cottage area, near where the old cabins used to stand, board secretary, W. A. Hack advised yesterday.

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