Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – June 16th to 22nd, 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 enlarge An unscheduled 30-mile portage from Midland to Orillia doesn’t appear to have upset Commodore and Mrs. Robert Emerson and family too much as they wait for their boat to be lifted out of the water at the Midland town dock. Delay in opening the marine railway at Swift Rapids caused a detour for the family enroute from Travers City, Mich., to Washington, D. C. Comm. Emerson is a member of the U. S. Coast Guard. 

These four members of Simcoe County council had good reason to smile as they met for the first time Monday in the lobby of the new county building in Barrie. Left to right are Deputy-reeve Eldege Quesnelle, Tiny, Deputy-reeve Ray Atkinson, Tay, and Reeve H. J. Beauchamp and Deputy-reeve William Orr of Midland. It was the first appearance in county council for Mr. Orr, named to succeed the late Clinton Smith. 

Ontario Premier Leslie Frost will be in Barrie tomorrow to officially open Simcoe’s new $300,000 county building, front of which is seen above. Modem building makes great contrast to old court house and council chamber, which had served the county from 1878.  First county building and gaol, erected in 1842, cost 4,000 pounds ($16.000). 

Meeting in the new county building for the first time this week, Simcoe County Councillors also had to get acquainted with four new members, replacing three who have died since the January session and another resigned. One of the new members, and the second woman to sit in council this year, is Mrs. Isabel Post, deputy-reeve of Orillia, who succeeds the late William Greer. Showing her to her seat in the new chamber are Reeve Albert Deconkey of Matchedash, left, and Reeve Montcalm Maurice of Tiny. 

Beautiful lobby of Simcoe County’s fine new administration building formed the setting for many pictures at the official opening in Barrie Thursday. Reeve Albert Calvert of Port McNicoll had as his guests Mrs. Calvert (left) and Mrs. J. D. McPhee. Several hundred persons were present for the opening of the $300,000 building.

Christian Island Reserve Band (now Beausoliel First Nation) has a new chief and council. Elected by secret ballot Monday for a two-year term were Lewis Jackson, 43, the new chief and Clarence Assance, Gerald Monague, Abraham King and Leo Norton, councillors. A native of Christian Island, who has lived there all his life, the soft-spoken Chief Jackson is not new to the job for in 1940 he was elected to that post to complete the six months left in the term of Chief Roy Assance, who died in office. “My job is to oversee the affairs of the 400-to 500 Ojibway Indians on the reserve and to make recommendations to the government representative, F. W. Purser,” explained Chief Jackson. We have voted in two provincial elections now and our war veterans have voted in federal elections. We hope to have the vote for all our adult people in the next federal election,” continued the chief. “The governments have taken much more interest in our affairs since we got the vote.”

Brave lad is Richard Bell, who does his catching for Cincinnati Reds in Midland’s Little Baseball League minus mask, chest protector, shin guards or other impediments.  Taking healthy swing at ball, and missing, is Dodgers’ Bob Smith. Play-offs are now underway throughout the league. 

Even before the battle, these four members of Midland Huronias’ soccer team were in pretty bad physical shape for their game against Barrie lOOF Saturday. Left to right are Willi Schwarz (sprained ankle), Wally Meisinger (broken hand), Chris Deninger and Zeigfried Zingle, both of whom suffered broken legs in an automobile accident recently. Only Meisinger got into Saturday’s game and he scored two of his team’s four goals. 

This photo of a businessmen’s banquet was taken in the Georgian Bay Hotel at Penetang, more than 70 years ago, according to Mrs. A. Beauchamp. Penetang residents may be able to identify a considerable number of the bearded and mustachioed gentry, many of who were leading men in the town. 

The course, which is provided by the community programs branch of the Ontario Department of Education, was taught by Mrs. J. W. Smith during the past winter season. “They all did very well,” commented Mrs. Smith. “Their marks were between 88 and 94 per cent.” Some 20 friends of the “students” gathered In the “Y” Thursday night to offer their congratulations. 

Hospitals Seek New Aid – Want Grant Plan Revised
June 15, 1960, Free Press Herald headline.
Simcoe County council is being asked to align its program of grants to hospitals within the county to include the many services rendered by the hospitals, rather than base these grants on the mere number of beds. This was disclosed in a joint, brief submitted on behalf of five hospitals within the county by Glen Phelps, chairman of the Soldiers Memorial Hospital Board in Orillia. Also backing the plan were St. Andrews, Midland; General and Marine, Collingwood; Penetang General Hospital, and Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Alliston. Although Mr. Phelps gave the main address, representatives of each of the other hospitals also spoke briefly. Included were Mayor Jerome Gignac for Penetang General, and Alex Craig for St. Andrews. 

Assessments Up For 12 – Hikes Top Million Mark
June 17, 1960, County Herald headline.
Combined increases in the county equalized assessment of 12 North Simcoe municipalities this year amounts to more than one million dollars. The schedule of equalization was tabled at county council in Barrie this week. The assessment figures determine the amount of taxes the municipalities will contribute towards the county levy in 1961. Midland’s equaled assessment for county purposes is listed at $9,331,416, an increase of $341,764 over the 1959 figure. Local taxable assessment on which the county assessment for Midland is based is $7,697,130. Penetang’s equalized assessment is $2,882,305. an increase of $20,303 over last year. Local taxable assessment is given as $2,637,005. 

Special Session to Study Hospital Grant Plan
June 22, 1960, Free Press Herald headline.
In an effort to speed up hospital expansion in the county, Simcoe County council will convene for a one day special session, probably in August. This was decided following a morning long discussion on hospital financing, and the hearing of hospital representatives Monday. At the conclusion, council passed a motion that its finance committee secure all necessary information and call a meeting “at the earliest possible time”. 

        Traffic lights for the intersection of Main and Robert Streets, Penetang, which have been discussed for several years, came a step closer Monday night. Council invited an engineer of the Department of Transport to inspect the scene and make recommendations. A letter from the department indicated this service is available to municipalities without cost. The letter also suggested the department would be happy to have lights there, and asked for a detailed plan of the installation. 

    Penetang council, Monday night, took the first step toward removing one of the industrial fixed assessments from the town’s tax rolls. A resolution, which passed unanimously, ordered the town clerk to prepare a bylaw, revoking the fixed assessment granted to the Breithaupt Leather Company several years ago. Discussion of the resolution indicated there were more reasons for revoking the fixed assessment other than the fact the company had not lived up to promises of plant operation and employment made at the time the electorate approved the move in a plebiscite. 

25 Years Ago This Week
Rev. L. Duce, minister of Calvary Baptist Church, Midland, was elected president of the Baptist Young People’s Union for Ontario and Quebec. * * * Hon. Dr. J. A. Faulkner, Ontario minister of health, was the principal speaker at the graduation exercises of St. Andrews  Hospital School of Nursing. * * * The first federal government floating docks for the use of small boats in Midland harbor were nearing completion. The 50-foot wooden sections were chained together and to the concrete dock. * * * W. J. Taylor, deputy-minister of the  Ontario Game and Fisheries Department, stated that 31,870,000 whitefish and pickerel fry had been distributed to stock certain waters in Simcoe County during the spring. Speckled trout and black bass fry were to be distributed during the summer, the deputy minister said. * * * Fire caused $500 damage to Midland’s Manley Street Public School and the same day pupils of Regent Public School received quite a scare when their school was hit by lightning, which caused $100 damage. * * * Rev. Bernard Belanger, newly-ordained priest, celebrated his first solemn high mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Port McNicoll. * * * The Midland Free Press, having been acquired by J. H. Cranston and his son Bill, effective June 1, in the June 13 issue noted, words of “welcome” from many weekly newspapers including The Picton Times, The Canadian Statesman, The Barrie Examiner, The Simcoe Reformer, The Alliston Herald, The St. Marys Journal-Argus, The Coldwater News, and The Fergus News-Record. 

    “Don’t forget — it’s self-selection, not just self-service,” said W. W. “Web” Struthers, speaking of renovations carried out recently at his King Street, Midland, drug store. Airiness is one of the first  impressions the customer gets as he enters the remodelled store. There are two centre islands, but the bulk of the stock is displayed on new steel shelving at the sides of the store. “There’s room to push a couple of baby carriages down these aisles said the proud owner. Installed by the E. J. Wright Company of Strathroy, the new fixtures are dusty rose and aqua blue in color, against light blue walls. New, highly-efficient lighting has also been installed, along with a number of spotlights for window use. The store also boasts another additional 360-square feet of floor space by the simple process of moving dispensary back 15 feet. All the merchandise carried by Mr. Struthers is clearly marked as to sections, making it easy for the customer.  Although he hated to do it at the time (“It was helping to pay the rent for me”), one of the first things Mr. Struthers did when he took over the store was to get rid of the lunch counter. “Web” had had many painful experiences managing drug stores with lunch counters and restaurants prior to coming to Midland. 

        The old Bruce copper mine on Lake Huron’s north shore was opened in 1846. The company housed and fed the hard rock miners, many of whom had been brought from England. In September, 1848, the 297-ton single-screw, single-masted wooden freighter Goliath valued at $18,000, left Detroit for Bruce Mines with a $13,000 cargo consisting of provisions and mining supplies. She had on board 200 kegs of blasting powder, 20,000 bricks, 30,000 feet of lumber, 40 tons of hay and 2,000 barrels of provisions. After the Goliath had reached Lake Huron and steamed to a position several miles west of Kincardine, she was overtaken by a gale from the west. To make matters worse, she caught fire, and the flames got out of control. When the fire reached the blasting powder, the wooden Goliath exploded. Her superstructure was blown to bits, and her burning hull drifted landward, driven by the gale. All of her eighteen  crewmembers were killed or drowned. There were no passengers. The remains of the eighteen corpses were ever found. The charred hull of the Goliath was driven ashore at Pine Point (Clark Point) ten miles south of Kincardine. Most of the information used in the preparation of this article was obtained from Norman Robertson’s History of the County of Bruce (page 29) and also from the Poole Collection. by W. R. WILLIAMS 

    WAUBAUSHENE — Although she probably not realize it, Gina Lollabrigida and her party caused quite a flurry of excitement when they stopped for lunch at the Bridge Grille Sunday evening. Gina, her husband and son, brother-in-law and sister-in-law were returning home from the Honey Harbour area with friends who own an Island in that district. Those who served the group in the grille and others present were impressed by the famed film star’s charm and “spontaneous friendliness’.

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