Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – July 9th to 16th, 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 enlargeGuest in Midland harbour these past several days, HMCS Outremont has seen what, for her must have been much more exciting ports and certainly more exciting days. Her ship’s plaque carries battle honours won in the Atlantic, Arctic and in the Normandy invasion, all in 1944. Launched in Quebec July 3,1943, the Outremont is listed as a Prestonian class frigate. She displaces 2,360 tons, is 301 feet in length and has a 36-foot beam. (In the photo are; Audrey Stonehouse, Sudbury, ABEN Allan Vass, Port Arthur.) 

Navy whites and blues are a familiar sight on Midland streets this week during the visit of the HMCS Outremont, on a training-cruise of the Great Lakes. Above, ABEN John Savage of Newcastle, N.B., explains the workings of one of the frigate’s anti-aircraft guns to Katherine Zimmerman, a fair Toronto visitor. 

Elmvale Presbyterian Church got a real sprucing up in preparation for the congregation’s centennial services this week. Here Jack Ritchie tidies up the lawn while Tom Cooper, an elder for many years, dusts off the “All welcome” sign. 

Poor old Pat Flanagan, flat on the mat, was having a hard time reaching help from his oversized partner, Mighty Jumbo, in this wrestling action at Midland Arena Monday night. Fans who patronize the Monday night bouts are also helping the sponsors, Midland Minor Hockey Association, in their efforts to provide hockey for local youngsters in the winter months. 

Dr. Wilfrid Jury, famed Indian archaeologist, is a happy man these days as the 22 pupils of his summer school uncover the secrets of this 700-year-old longhouse used by Indians who dwelt on what is now known as the Forget Site, high over the Wye River. It was a real “long house”, 140 feet of it, which must have housed a number of Indian families in the fore-runner of the modem apartment buildings. 

More than three decades of service in the customs and excise division of the Department of National Revenue’s Midland office came to an end Tuesday night in the retirement of A. E. Martin. Murray Kearns, another longtime employee in the Midland office will be acting collector pending a permanent appointment. 

This handsome silver trophy held, by Women’s Editor Lillian Rutherford will be awarded by General Foods and the Free Press Herald to the champion jam and jelly maker at Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society’s fall fair in Midland in September. J. R. Chittick, general manager, holds a replica of the trophy which will be retained in the permanent possession of the winner, and a silver spoon to be awarded to the runner-up in the combined jam and jelly division.

 Below are some photos from the same time period that were not published. In order are, the Delawana Inn and the Royal Hotel at Honey Harbour. Henry Laurin’s Ambulance Service across from town hall on Dominion Ave. Georgian Bay Airways plane at their office on the Midland pier.


 We think “Mr. Free Press” as he was known, reporter/photographer Ken Somers, may have been taking some summer holidays as there are fewer staff photos this week. Below are some “cut & pastes” taken by others.


Two Year Wage Contract Offered to Town Force
Free Press Herald headline of July 14, 1960. 

After he had tabled a motion Monday night which would have sent Penetang Police force wage demands to arbitration. Reeve Alf Cage said he was “fed up with the whole situation”, and would gladly resign his post as chairman of the police committee. Reeve Cage further stated that his committee had met with the chairman of the finance committee and Mayor Gignac, and after putting a lot of time into discussion had sent a proposal to members of the force. “They were supposed to have a letter to me by the weekend, outlining their views, and to date I have not heard a word. I’m fed up and would like to see the thing go to arbitration,” he said. 

OK Architects’ Plans For Addition at MPDHS
County Herald headline of July 15, 1960 

Architects’ plans for the 14-room addition to Midland-Penetanguishene District High School were accepted by the board at its meeting Wednesday night. The motion by Dr. J. R. Parrott and John Burke accepting the plans also authorized the architects, Page and Steele, Toronto, to complete the specifications and then advertise for tenders for construction. The tenders are to be submitted to the board as early as possible in August. Plans for the addition call for seven standard classrooms, six Industrial Arts rooms and a music room. The board also approved the acquiring of two temporary buildings for two classrooms to accommodate 70 pupils. These buildings are to be ready for the opening of school In September and are to be insulated, heated and lighted. Lockers and blackboards are also to be installed. 

    All regular monthly meetings of Midland council starting in September will be broadcast by radio station CKMP. This was decided at Monday night’s council meeting following a motion to that effect by Alderman Douglas Haig and Walter Woods. Clerk-treasurer W. A. Hack read a letter from R. B. Armstrong, general manager of the radio station, asking that CKMP be permitted to provide this service. “We should establish a policy and it is Important that the public at large is an enlightened public,” commented Alderman Haig, “We are not here for the purpose of entertainment and there are some items that are not properly conducted in public.” Pointing out that council business, such as employer-employee relations should not be made public, Mr. Haig suggested the radio station be permitted to have the same representation as the local press. “Council meetings have the complete support of the press and there has not been any breach of confidence by the newspaper in the four years I have been on council,” Mr. Haig stated.  

25 Years Ago This Week – Midland Alderman D. L.  White predicted renewed prosperity for the town if the federal government’s proposed wheat policy was put into effect. * * * Midland Public Utilities Commissioners voted themselves an annual salary of $100 with the chairman to receive $200. * * *The Waverly home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jordan, Sr., was burned to the ground in a fire reportedly started by an overheated kitchen stove. * * * Dr. D. C. S. Swan and Dr. A. H. Pinchin were elected first vice-president and secretary treasurer respectively at the annual meeting of the Simcoe County Medical Association, held at Orillia. * * * Midland’s new Salvation Army officers were Adjutant and Mrs. John Hart who arrived in town after two years’ service in Stratford. * * * H. M. Warnock of the Gidley Boat Co., Penetang, suggesting that more tourists heralded better times, stated that more money had been spent in fitting out boats that spring than for some years past. * * * Ruins of a ship of the same fleet as the famous “Nancy” were believed discovered with the finding of a blackened oak keel in the bed of Barrick’s Creek at Woodland Beach. Discovery was made by Fred Barrick, York Township, and J. Wilson and son George, both of Toronto. * * * During the absence of Rev. E. F. Smith, Penetang Mayor N. Hatton occupied the pulpit for the morning service in the United Church. 

    Coloured  covers are a feature of the 1960 telephone directory which will be distributed this week to nearly 45,000 telephone users in the directory area.  Distribution of the directory in this district will be as follows: Midland—3,700, Penetang —4,550, Honey Harbour—230,  Port McNicoll—265, and Waubaushene—255. H. A. Kilroy, Bell Telephone manager, said the Midland and district directory is among the first in the Bell Telephone Company’s territory to be bound in a multi-colored cover. 

    Races and special events featured the annual Sunday School picnic of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, held at Little Lake Park, Wednesday afternoon, June 29.  An estimated 250 adults and children attended. 

    Workmen are putting finishing touches to construction of new floating docks, and repairs to the long floating dock at Penetang wharf. Two new docks have been added, making a total of four docks where small boat owners may tie up their craft. The last one was anchored in place Wednesday afternoon.  

    Three Canada Steamship line freighters are now laid up temporarily it is hoped; at the CSL’s winter birth in Midland harbor. Officials said the ships—Westmount, Prescott and Goderich— will be laid up for an indefinite period. It might be a few days or a few weeks. It has not been uncommon, especially during the last two years, to have some ships laid, up for a time in Midland, then resume trade sometime in September, it was stated. Closing of a portion of the Soo canal is also said to have played a part in the laying up of the three ships.  

   One man was drowned and another injured Thursday night when a farm bridge over the Coldwater River collapsed under the weight of a tractor hauling a load of hay. Harry Johnston, 50, of SR 3, Coldwater, was drowned when he was pinned to the river bed by the tractor he had been driving. A neighbor, David Wilson, 44, who had been helping him, is in Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Orillia, with  undetermined injuries. The accident occurred on the Johnston farm on Con. 10, Medonte, about four miles west of Coldwater. OPP Const. Michael Chapman, who investigated, said he is waiting word on whether or not an inquest will be necessary. Police said the two men were hauling in a load of hay over the 30-foot bridge when it collapsed. Mr. Johnston was driving the tractor and Mr. Wilson was riding on the wagon. He received his injuries when it fell into the river.  

    Remember when the Midland Fire hall burnt and the men were able to rescue the fire trucks? How about the time someone broke into the jail? – Breaking into the Midland jail June 25 has earned an 18 year old Midland youth, a two-month holiday — in another jail. Appearing before Magistrate K. A. Cameron in Midland police court Monday, he pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawfully committing theft to a value of less than $50. O. H. Smith, QC, acted for accused, with W. Kennedy, assistant crown attorney, prosecuting. Sgt. Ernest Bates said the accused first came to the Midland police office around 12.30 a.m. with some cigarettes for a friend who had been taken into custody. Police on duty at the time were about to answer a call and told him to come back later, court heard. Arriving back at 1.45 a.m., Sgt. Bates said the accused found the police office locked up and the officers still away. He then entered the building through a window in the magistrate’s office. After giving his friend the cigarettes, he then took a bottle of liquor being held as evidence in a police court case, the two keys which operated the cell doors, and then left through the same window, Sgt. Bates said.


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