Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – June 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 enlargeWith all the wet weather North Simcoe has been “blessed” with this spring, getting the crops in at all is a major headache to many farmers. This potato planter, capable of covering 1 1/2 acres per hour, is helping solve the problem for Herman Marion, Con. 18, Tiny. A man with a horse and plow had to go all out to get in an acre of spuds in a day in the old days, Mr. Marion recalled. 

Potato planting was never like this in the old days, this machine being loaded with potatoes by Phil Beaudoin, left,  with fertilizer by Ben Laurin, right, will plant 1 1/2 acres per hour. They are working on one of Herman Marion’s fields on Con. I8, Tiny, near Laurin school. 

“That’s the way it was back in 1649,” said Dr. Wilfrid Jury, as he explained the lay-out of old Fort Ste. Marie to four tads from his own old public school, S.S. 9, Lobo Township, Friday. Nearly 50 pupils made the long trip from the school, 10 miles west of London, to spend the day touring historic sites in Huronia with Dr. Jury. 

“See anything that looks good?”, was the query these women asked their friends as they arrived at the auction sale staged by St. Mark’s Laymen’s Association at the curling rink in Midland, May 28. They must have found something to interest them, for every article donated to the association by district citizens was sold. 

“Just like the one grandmother used to have,” said these youngsters as they tried out this huge old-fashioned bed, one of the many articles offered at the auction sale held by St. Mark’s Laymen’s Association in Midland May 28. At left are Leslie Hillman and Scott Haig, with Debbie Hillman and Tommy Thompson at the right. The bed, and everything else, was disposed of by auctioneer Milt Trace. 

Officers of the Midland squadron of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters held a reception for Lieut. Cm. A. J. Symons at the Armory last Saturday night, marking his elevation to command of the regiment. Left to right, are Mr. and Mrs. William Barnett, Mrs. Haig and Alderman Douglas Haig, Lieut.-Col. Symons, and Lieut. James Downer. Officers and wives from Orillia, Owen Sound and other nearby centers attended the gala affair. 

Bantam All Ontario Champions  – Art Desroches, Peter Berry, Paul Solmes, Terry Timmons, Bill Lepage, Foster Hewitt, Peter Dubeau, Doug Scott, Ron Moreau. (Identified by Waxy Gregoire.) Newspaper caption; It was a toss-up whether these championship hockey players from Penetang got a greater kick out of their new jackets or from being photographed with Foster Hewitt, whose “hockey night in Canada” booms out over the airwaves during winter months. Boys are all members of NHL Ontario championship team. 

Joe Lamoureux, Mike Dubeau (receiving jacket), Foster Hewitt. Caption from the newspaper in which Mr. Lamoureux was cropped out, “Mike Dubeau, captain of Penetang Little NHL championship team gets a handshake and new jackets from Foster Hewitt at a banquet in Penetang May 30”. 

Friday was a big day for Midland Public School children as they held their annual field day at Town Park. Girls’ champions were, left to right, Nancy Higgs (senior), Lynda Duggan (intermediate) and  Pamela Ellison (junior). Pamela was the only girl title winner from Parkview. Nancy and Lynda attend Regent School. 

Smallest “man” in this picture, David Gosselin (left) was a title winner too, at Midland Public Schools field day Friday. David won the junior boys’ crown for Parkview School while Randy Jones (centre) won the intermediate and Paul Downer the senior championships for Regent School. 

Something new was added to the sport scene at Parkview and Regent Public Schools in Midland this year, when basketball became a major sport at both schools. The Regent team, above, won the title by-taking the seventh and deciding game by a 38-13 count in a match played at the YMCA. Members of the winning team are, left to right, front row—Hans Matthias, Chester Graham, Morley Bath, Cecil Merkley, Don Moffatt and Tom Gordanier; back row, Coach J. Soden, Doug Taylor, Paul Downer, Doug Faint, Roy Jean, Neil Murday, Allan McElroy. 

Unique among the 40 or more delegates who attended a conference held by District 20 members of the Ontario English-Catholic Teachers’ Association in Midland last week was this mother-daughter combination of Mrs. Phil D’Aoust, left, of St. Joseph’s School, Penetang, and Mrs. Robert Stalker of Guardian Angels’ School, Orillia. Watching them “sign-in” is James Shaw, of St. Theresa’s High School staff, Midland. 

More than 40 North Simcoe members of the Ontario English-Catholic Teachers’ Association were present at a Teachers convention held at St. Theresa’s High School auditorium, Midland, May 30. F. J. MacDonald, B.A., of Barrie, public and separate school inspector, is seen addressing the group above. At the table are Sister M. St. Gervaise, Orillia, and Sister Mary Ruth, Waubaushene. 

Skin diving, a sport whose popularity has been increasing steadily in this area, is now on an organized basis in Midland with the formation of a new club. Officers are, left to right, front row, Bill Mitchell, president; Charlie Sweet, director; Elizabeth Cleaver, secretary-treasurer; Roger Adams, director; back row, Bill Wagg, John Power and Derek Spencer, directors. Another meeting of the club is slated for Saturday night at Arena Gardens. 

These lads can “heave-ho” to their heart’s content, but they won’t be going anywhere. Their “craft,” an imitation one, is pretty firmly anchored to the door of the Midland armory, where RCSCC “Huron” had its annual inspection last Wednesday night. 

A further advancement in the distinguished career of Wilcox Sheppard, former Coldwater resident, took place recently when he was appointed professor of physiology at the University of Tennessee, according to information received in Coldwater last week. Mr. Sheppard, who previously was associate professor of physiology at the Tennessee School of Medicine, achieved the new honour at the same time as he reached his 48th birthday. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Sheppard of Coldwater. 

Among the many young people from this area graduating from Universities this year was Leo Marion, 21-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Marion RR 3, Penetang. Mr. Marion graduated this spring from Oka College of Agriculture, an affiliate of the University of Montreal. He is now employed by the Federal Department of Agriculture as a seed inspector in the Chatham Sarnia area. One of the first young men of this area to become an inspector for the department, Leo attended Lafontaine Continuation School, where he graduated in 1955. For the past five years he has been attending courses at Oka College.

$80,000 Added Outlay Approved in Works Bylaw
Free Press Herald headline of June 8, 1960. Midland council at a special meeting Monday afternoon approved a supplementary bylaw, for an estimated expenditure of $80,000 on roads and streets. The bylaw, which has to be approved by the Ontario Municipal Board so the 50 per cent subsidy can be received by the town, is composed of an estimated $35,000 in construction costs and $45,000 maintenance costs. The town’s share of this program ($40,000) has, already been included in the budget for 1960, it was stated. 

Reveals Plan to Improve Penetang’s Water System
County Herald headline of June 10, 1960. Gardeners and farmers are not the only people running into difficulties and delays as a result of heavy rains in this area during the past few weeks, according to Bob Beaulieu, chairman of Penetang Water and Light Commission. Mr. Beaulieu said this week that commission employees have been ready for more than a month to lay 1400 feet of new water main on Robert Street, E., from a point near the race track, easterly. At the point where the main was to start, a hole was dug to provide a bypass around the existing shut-off valve. This hole immediately filled with water, and remained in that condition until the last few days. Preparations are now being made to start the work within a couple of days, he said. 

    Jack Small was appointed deputy chief of Midland fire brigade at a special meeting of Midland council Monday afternoon. In the same motion by Reeve H. J. Beauchamp and Deputy reeve Wm. Orr, B. Jackman was promoted to first class fireman. 

    A fire Sunday morning caused nearly $4,000 damage to the home and furnishings of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Simpson, 63 Quebec Street, Midland. Mr. Simpson was about to take his three children for an auto ride and Mrs. Simpson had gone to visit a neighbor when the fire was noticed, around 10.15 a.m. Fire Chief Arnold Tippin said the fire, of unknown origin, apparently started in a cardboard wardrobe in the bathroom of the house. Considerable damage was caused to the bathroom and other upstairs rooms before firemen were able to bring the blaze under control. The loss is largely covered by insurance. 

    Dr. P. B. Rynard, M.P. for Simcoe East, announced yesterday that Ernst Leitz Canada Limited has been awarded a $60,000 defense production contract. He said the contract was for the repair, overhaul, modification and reduction to spares of aerial cameras and accessories for defense purposes. The federal member also  revealed that Simcoe Dock and Dredging Co. was low bidder on the Coldwater River dredging tender. The firm’s bid was $17,300. 

    Informality was the keynote as nearly 200 veterans of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters met in Midland on the weekend for their sixth annual re-union. Ivor Wagner of Owen Sound acted as master-of-ceremonies for the big dinner held Saturday night in Midland Armory, where he announced that 189 Foresters had registered by meal time. Speeches were kept to a minimum, and this was obviously all right by the veterans, intent on greeting old friends. 

    Although he threatened to open up an “arcade” in his restaurant at Balm Beach, Tiny Township council adamantly refused to grant a license to Frank Kirk for the operation of slot machines or games. Mr. Kirk, who purchased and operated, the Surf Tea Room at Balm Beach last summer, bad applied then for a license which was turned down before the purchase had been completed. Reappearing before council Saturday, he again asked for the license. Reeve Montcalm Maurice told him it was council’s decision that one arcade at Balm Beach is felt to be sufficient. “We don’t want another Wasaga Beach here.”  

    From a small 10-foot square room to a store with a total of 4,300 square feet of floor space in the short period of 15 years is “the success story of one of Penetang’s progressive young business men, Ed Webster. Starting out in 1945, when he returned from a stint of war work in Toronto, Ed opened a radio repair shop, in the present back room of the premises occupied by Huronia Credit Union. Here he repaired radios, and occasionally sold a radio set or record player whenever one became available on the tight market existing at that time. By 1948 business was progressing, and when an addition was erected at the front of the premises, he installed Penetang’s first record bar and hired his sister, Mary, as clerk. In the fall of 1949, with merchandise becoming a little easier to obtain, Ed went into the appliance business, selling from very crowded quarters which did not contain much more than 500 feet of floor space. The radio repair business continued to improve, and with TV in the offing, Ed hired his first repair assistant, Charles Stewart. Two years later, things were getting extremely crowded, and Ed Webster bought the building formerly operated as a grocery by A. & T. Quesnelle. TV had arrived, and with his first repair man going on to greener fields in the city, Ed secured the services of Ted Light, who is still with him. In 1956, Webster’s branched out further and secured the services of Urbain Moreau as salesman, and two years later a second repair man, Charles Sweet came on the scene. With TV reaching the saturation point, Ed felt he had to either expand into some other line, or fall back on less staff, which then included the three men, and Mrs. Art Desjardins. Searching for a compatible line, Ed sought out various options and finally settled on furniture. With this decision reached, his next move was to get extra room. Eventually, he began construction of a two floor addition beside his existing store. Tomorrow he is opening his new addition, with 3,300 feet of floor space given over entirely to display of furniture. The new store is connected with the older one, in that it has no entrance of its own. Customers will make their way into it through a large opening cut between the two.  

    Tiny Township’ council, Saturday, agreed a riding stable at Balm Beach could operate in its present location for this year, provided manure is removed daily during the two summer months. Additional provisions, which will be forwarded by letter to R. H. Hunter, owner of the stable, include flat shoes for the horses, and provision for guides to accompany all riders whether going singly or in groups. The same letter will be forwarded to operators at stables at Dault’s Bay and Woodland Beach. Council also approved the operation of a furniture store at Balm Beach, Ralph Barker asked for a building permit and permission to operate the store. Mr. Barker said he would be purchasing used furniture in Toronto for sale to cottagers. He will also include appliances such as refrigerators and ranges. 

    Atkinson’s Grocery Store has changed hands but the name remains unchanged. This was announced Saturday by Frank Atkinson when he advised that he had recently bought the Eighth Street store from his cousin, Albert Atkinson. The new owner, who came to Midland from Holland Landing nine years ago, stated he and his wife, Glendine, would operate the store on the same basis as his cousin had done. 

    The 4-H agricultural clubs in North Simcoe have been re-organized for the year with the exception of one tractor club. There will be at least nine clubs active again this year and possibly 10, if a tractor club can be organized. Last year there were nine 4-H agricultural clubs with a total membership of 140. Of the nine clubs already organized, membership has jumped from 140 in 1959 to 200 in 1960, which represents an increase of 43%. 

Ten Years Ago This Week
Rudy Kvasnak was elected president of Port McNicoll’s new chamber of commerce. Other officers elected were H. E. Biggar, vice-president, and E. M. Lattimore, secretary. * * * Midland council, paring its controllable expenditures to balance a .71 mill increase in the high school rate and a 2.7 mill boost in the public school rate, held its mill rate to 49.5 mills, — the same figure as in 1949. * * * Auditors’ report for the town of Penetang for the year ending Dec. 31, 1949 showed that the town, for the first time in several years, had a small surplus amounting to $937.  * * * Conducted by Alex Docherty, the Huronia Choral Society held its fourth annual spring concert. * * * Midland’s per capita outstanding capital debt had been reduced over the previous 10 years from $188.68 to $85.10, municipal clerk-treasurer R. S. King told a Kiwanis Club meeting. * * * The CPR’s S.S. Manitoba was towed from Port McNicoll to Hamilton to be broken up for scrap. The Manitoba was launched at the Polson Shipyards, Owen Sound, in 1889. * * * Simcoe County Warden Wm. R. Benson of Penetang played host to the warden’s outing and picnic at Midland’s Little Lake Park.  * * * Very Reverend Alexander Clark Stewart, minister of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, died in Montreal while attending the 75 annual General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada of which he was a former moderator. 

    With barbecues the summer food rage of the continent, it is a little surprising to discover that by correct dictionary definition, a barbecue means a “whole animal roasted or broiled in its entirety for a feast.” A far cry from the steaks and chops, hamburgers and casseroles that will find their way to the glowing coals from now until fall. However, the dictionary defends itself by saying that the origin of barbecues is obscure and was probably derived from the French “barbe-a-queue” which means “from snout to tail.” Anyway, the word barbecue was in use in Virginia before 1700, so let’s say it’s been around, which probably accounts for the change in interpretation, circa 1960. (From the Cooking Chatter column by Marie Fraser) 

     Pink snapdragons, white carnations, and yellow mums decorated St. Paul’s United Church for the wedding of Reta Verna Fallis of R.R. 2, Midland, and Donald Marcus Marcellus of Wyevale. Rev. Wilson  Morden officiated at the 3 o’clock ceremony. Organist was Mrs. Graydon Broad. Don Wilson sang the “Wedding Prayer” before the wedding party entered and “O perfect Love” during the ceremony. The bride is the only daughter of William J. Fallis who gave her in marriage, and Mrs. Fallis and the groom is the son of Howard Marcellus of Wyevale. 

    Midland’s authentic Huron Indian village appears not to have lost any of its appeal to touring groups of school children from other parts of Ontario. Since May 26, more than 2,000 school children have arrived by bus to inspect the replica of stone-age civilization in a jet-age setting. 

    Steam engine 2857 operated into Port McNicoll Sunday with a nine car special train of 400 rail fans. The train was chartered by the Upper Canada Railway Society and is likely to be the last steam train operating into Port McNicoll. Movie run-pasts were made of the train crossing the trestle at Port McNicoll on the inward and outward trips and the fans also took pictures of other facilities around the terminal. During the three-hour interval, several of the visitors used chartered Penetang – Midland Coach Line buses to visit Martyrs Shrine and Midland. The train left Toronto at 7.30 a.m. Sunday and arrived Port McNicoll at 12.30 p.m. It left on the return journey at 3.50 p.m., arriving back in the city at 7.30 p.m. 

    Midland had a launching Saturday about 1 p.m. at the government dock near the shipyard. Although the event created little stir among the town’s citizens, it was important to a half dozen or so youths who got their feet wet and a few knuckles skinned getting the craft off a two-wheeled trailer and into the water. Launched was the  “Allouette”, built by Julien Ladoucer and Yvonne Degane of Midland. Owned by the former, she is a 25-foot by 10-foot pontoon type craft, registered under the number 25E-5844. The project was started about a month ago and was completed to its present stage at a cost of about $1,200. The youths plan to add a cabin to the flat-decked craft later. For the present, they will use it as a base for skin diving, and indicated they are prepared to rent or lease it to a skin diving club. Although it has an inboard motor, motive power Saturday was provided by an outboard motor fastened to a steel bracket at the stern. Frame of the craft, attached to the pontoons, is of four-inch angle iron.

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