Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – July 24th to 31st, 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 enlargeDruggists in this area are carrying out a resolution passed at the annual convention of the Ontario Retail Pharmacists Association recently, that its members carry first aid equipment in their cars for use in highway emergencies. John Jory, Midland, shows one type of first aid kit recommended for use by ORPA. 

Four fair visitors from Port Huron, Mich., obtain information from Jack Blackburn on what to see and do in Midland and surrounding area. The women were among 15 persons on four fine cruisers which docked in Midland Tuesday on a trip that will take them to Peterborough before they return home. Left to right are Mrs. Robt. Schlitts, Mrs. Shirley Hart, Mrs. Al Ruttle and Mrs. Paul Palmer. 

Although it’s 80 in the shade these days, the men above are already planning for next winter’s intermediate hockey in Midland. They vow there will be no repeat of last year’s experience, when things were left too late. Left to right are Lloyd Atkinson, president, Charlie Scott, publicity, Jack Lethbridge, secretary, Guy Kinnear, manager, Doug Gerow, treasurer. Absent when the picture was taken was Al Hume, also on publicity, and Harold Jackson, trainer. 

Every Wednesday more than 100 youngsters from the Mount St. Louis-Vasey area descend on Flos-Medonte Park (Orr Lake) for their weekly swimming lessons and land games under the supervision of Simcoe County Recreation Service. Instructor Judy Baker of Elmvale is seen here with Ron Watson and Wayne Forbes, Dalston, Donna Waples, Hazel Vasey and Gary Brittain of Vasey. 

These children from the Vasey Mount St. Louis area kept well down in the water when taking their swimming lesson as cold winds blew at Flos-Medonte Park, Orr Lake. Sponsored by the Simcoe County recreation service, the class has 109 boys and girls enrolled from this area.  Marg Drury of Crown Hill (white shirt) is the instructor. 

Cooling off at Waubaushene. 

And Little Lake Park 

And Paradise Point 

“All Steamed Up” Pictorial photo of Keewatin from the editorial page.


Topples Off Rubber Raft, Two Tourist Revive Lad

Free Press Herald headline of July 27, 1960.
Two vacationers averted a drowning tragedy at Balm Beach shortly after noon hour Monday when they applied artificial respiration to a 12-year-old Penetang youth pulled unconscious from the water. The lad, Leonard Desroches, a son of Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Desroches of 115 Poyntz Street, Penetang, had been playing on a rubber raft with some other boys when he got into difficulty. The two men, whose names could not be learned, are credited with saving the life of the boy. 

Name Plate to Expand Add 20,000 Square Feet

County Herald headline of July 29, 1960.
Construction of a 20,000-square-foot addition to Canadian Name Plate Co. Ltd. in Midland is to be started by August 1, Name Plate President Gordon Moss told this newspaper Wednesday. Mr. Moss said Webster-Smallwood of Midland has been awarded the contract for the new structure. First plant expansion since the firm came to Midland in 1954, the addition will boost total floor space in the manufacturing concern to 60,000 square feet. It will be built on the northwest end of the present building. Mr. Moss anticipated that by the fall of 1961, when the new unit is in full operation, it will mean additional employment for 30 to 40 more persons. This would put the total Name Plate staff at 220, he said. 

    Another chapter in the gang war between Toronto and Victoria Harbour youths was written into the records in Midland police court Monday when Magistrate K. A. Cameron remanded Lloyd —–, 21, of  Scarborough in custody two weeks to await sentence. For several weeks, he and some of his friends have been battling with local brothers in Victoria Harbour. Earlier, one of the Harbour lads had been fined for discharging a firearm over the Toronto lad’s car.

    Members of the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour said yesterday the two-car collision which claimed the lives of two women near Coldwater Sunday afternoon is still under investigation, with charges pending OPP Const. Jack Ambeau, who investigated, said the head on collision took place on a straight stretch of the new section of Highway 400, about 2 miles south of Coldwater. (Although we don’t include them, every weekend people were dying on local highways and drowning in local waters. The numbers are staggering compared to today’s statistics. We now have more people using the road and waterways yet we have managed to reduce this carnage by simple safety measures and equipment. Be sure to use your seat belt and wear that life jacket!) 

    Seven weeks of camp is the fare for 37 Indian children from the Mohawk Institute, Brantford, who are summering at the Christian Island Reserve. The children, all pupils of the institute, a residential school are being taken on trips around Huronia during their stay. According to Rev. Walter Wenham, camp director, the children are getting at least one tour each week. Last week a busload of campers visited Little Lake Park and the Indian village at Midland. They will also see the Martyrs’ Shrine, museums at Penetang and Midland, and other historic points. 

    A letter to the editor from a chap born in Minesing recounting his visits to our area before moving to Los Angeles where he is now living in 1960. Life is what you make it.
“Before returning to my 1955 visit to Huronia House Museum let me retrace some of my experiences. On April 17, 1900, Wilbert Armstrong and I rode his bicycle to Stayner and then to Collingwood to get jobs on the Majestic of the Northern Navigation fleet. We made a trip or two to Sault Ste. Marie. “Then I travelled by train to Penetang, walked to Midland and ‘pushed’ lumber for a day or two. On the S.S. Toronto, I went to 12-mile Bay to peel tan bark for contractor Charles Martin. Then I boarded a houseboat, towed by the tug ‘Bruce’ from 12-mile Bay to Beaverstone, to pick logs. There were 25 men and two French girls (cooks) on board. “What fun it was riding, or trying to ride, the logs. One day I found some bleached bones on a flat rock which had been used as a grave. Pieces of rock surrounded the skeleton which had been covered with earth, evidently carried from a cranberry marsh nearby. “In September I went back to saw logging at 12-mile Bay, returning there until March, the following spring. At that time I walked in, on the ice, to Penetang and returned home. In October, I went into the woods at Longford and from there to a basket factory in Orillia, then to a shoe factory in Aurora, to Allandale as a GTR trainman and to Buffalo, N.Y. In January, 1906, I obtained a steady job in Bowles Lunch, Baltimore, remaining there until Dec. 31, 1949. Then I went to Westfield, N.Y., where my wife died. I first went to Los Angeles to visit in November, 1951. “I have travelled upwards of 15,000 miles of North America by bus and car. “And now back to the ‘Playfair’ home where I saw the exhibits and pictures, including my S.S. Majestic. I hear you’re reconstructing a long house.

25 Years Ago This Week 1935
With 75 per cent of Coldwater merchants petitioning in favor of a half holiday on Wednesdays, the village council met in special session to pass the necessary bylaw. * * *  The long established Midland business of Campbell’s Florists was purchased by the Fox brothers of Huntsville. * * * Union evening services for the summer months of Midland’s Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian and United Churches began their third season with the service conducted at St. Paul’s United Church by Rev. W. R. Auld. * * * Midland harbor received an impetus when CSL freighter Ashcroft and Great Lakes Transit steamer Ralph Budd with her barge Glenbogie cleared to pick up a cargo of grain at Fort William. * * * Penetang’s Mayor Hatton, at a special council meeting, promised to give consideration to a request for cash relief when it was pointed out that Midland and other municipalities had already adopted the measure. * * * Irreparable damage was caused when fire destroyed the frame building housing the foundry patterns of the P. Payette plant in Penetang. Many of the patterns had no blue prints and could not be replaced. 

   A quotation from Dr. P. B. Rynard, MP for Simcoe East, debating a bill to raise the old age pension from $55 to $75 and urging the government to consider building special facilities for the elderly. “I am sure there is no one in this house who for one minute would deny the old people all that they have coming to them in their declining years for their comfort and their security. But I am also equally sure there are other fields in which we need expansion just as badly as we need this increase. I refer particularly to those cases of people in the sixties and seventies who are obliged to go to hospital and are placed to general hospital wings when they would be better placed in wings particularly devised for the treatment and the benefit of those people who are in the chronically ill class,” Dr. Rynard stated. He also spoke of the person who is not, acutely ill or not sick enough to be in hospital or in a geriatric wing, but who needs invalid care. Other than a few pilot schemes, he said, little has been done about this matter.” (Will all the rhetoric around nursing homes become just more “pilot schemes with little done” when Covid is gone?) 

     MRS. XAVIER LADOUCEUR Native of Penetang and a resident of this area for her entire life, Mrs. Xavier Ladouceur died at her Port McNicoll home, Monday, July 11. Born in Penetang, May 3, 1899, she was educated in Lafontaine, and in May, 1933 married Xavier Ladouceur in Lafontaine. She had lived in Lafontaine for 34 years, 26 years in Penetang, and the past year in Port McNicoll. Surviving, besides her husband are two sons, Rosaire and Lionel of Port McNicoll, two daughters, Mrs. John Scott (Marie-Rose),  Yellowknife and Mrs. Lawrence Charlebois (Dora), Midland; her mother, Mrs. Celina Beausoleil, Penetang: seven brothers, Albert, Ernest, Andre, Philippe, Edmund, Alcime and Alfred, and one sister, Mrs. Louis Lacroix. There are five grandchildren. Funeral service was held Thursday, July 14, from Beausoleil funeral home to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where Rev. L. Wall officiated. Burial was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were Ernest, Philippe, Albert and Alfred Beausoleil, Olivier and Antoine Ladouceur.

       More than 5,000 pairs of feet have trod the floors of Fort Penetanguishene Officers’ Quarters Museum this year, according to records kept by the museum staff. These are the same floors which more than a century ago rang to the sound of cavalry and infantry boots of British Regiments stationed there. Included in the number of visitors are more than 2,000 school children who toured the museum by busloads in the weeks before school closed. 

    Arrival of six large cruisers in Midland harbour Tuesday afternoon brought the number of such boats (of 28 foot length or over) to 76 so far this year, already an all-time record. According to officials, this is already nearly twice as many as visited Midland all last year. 

    This week the dredging contract opposite Fesserton shore was completed for the Department of Public Works. Stumps and other snags in the Coldwater River, between the C.P.R. bridge opposite the Coldwater Press and the village dock, are to be cleared. Buoys will be placed by employees of the Department of Transport, from Waubaushene to the mouth of the North River. 

 We have included below a pictorial tribute to Louise Parker Bath who passed away on July 24th. The photos and articles are taken from the Midland Free Press during the 1950’s and 60’s. They show not only her talent and ability but her generosity and compassion. One of the many volunteers who work quietly and humbly in our area for the good of us all.
Our sincere condolences to Morley, Christie, Cory, sister Grace and their families. Louise was a positive role model to so many people in her life, especially the young.

 With another winter rapidly drawing to a close, Midland Lions Club’s skating revue will just about wind up activities at Arena Gardens for this season. The carnival has improved every year and the Lions are planning on this one being no exception. Getting in a spot of practice above are Mary Louise Parker, left, and Linda Revard. 

Brownie night at the Salvation Army Citadel, more than 30 members of the Second Midland Pack were present to receive awards or to be enrolled. Being enrolled were Linda Duggan, Linda Nopper, Karen Chapman, Eleanor Moffatt, Marie Louise Parker, Carol Launder, Marlene Douglas, Edith and Vivian Lowen, Janice Hawke, Sharon Howard, Barbara Ann Merkley and Cheryl Tyndall. Receiving golden stars and first year service stars were; Judith Reynolds, Patsy Dalziel, Linda Dagg, Gayle Langridge, Anne Davidson, Marilyn Vail, Becky and Patsy Paul, Jo-Anne Ambrose, Linda Bonner, Sharon and Connie Stelter, Judy Wilson, Laurie Young, Jan Worrell, Karen Greisbach, Peggy Krochko, Sally MacDonald. Second year service stars went to Elizabeth Boldt and Nancy Wilson. (My guess would be front row, third from the right.) 

Successful dance step skaters at Midland Arena Gardens Sunday afternoon, the group includes Jane Edwards, Sharon Stelter, Donna Cramm, Judy Lumsden, Margaret Lockhart, June Lumsden, Nancy Playfair, Louise Parker, Lynda Duggan, Selma Wensveen, Mary Lynn Boyd, Lynda Stewart, Dawn Annand, Judy Hack, John Svoboda, Maureen Mohan, Suzanne Ball, Barbara Spence, Jane Campbell, Angela Magnus and Beth Boyd. 

This was a solemn moment for these young girls as they took the “Guide’s Oath” administered by Mrs. J. E. Lawlor, district commissioner, in a ceremony at St. Mark’s parish house May 6. New members of 1st Midland Company Girl Guides (St. Mark’s) are, left to right, Sheryl Lattimore, Mary Louise Parker, Laurie Young and Karen Greisbach. 

Many district leaders and Guides attended a Guiders training school in the Sunday School auditorium of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, March 25. Some of the guides present included Lesley Hudson, Waubaushene, and Bonnie Dion, Penetang, seated and standing, left to right, Mary Ellen Mulhall, Waubaushene; Linda Labatt, Penetang; Louise Parker and Laurie Young, Midland. 

Always a matter of great anticipation at Midland public schools is the naming of the senior boy and senior girl for the year. Winners at Regent School this year were Louise Parker and Bobby Clayton. Mrs. M. Wilcox, above, presents the students with their awards on behalf of Regent Home and School Association. 

For the first time, the 1st Midland Girl Guide Company has first class badge holders’ in its midst. At the mother and daughter banquet, June 20, Mrs. J. E. Lawlor, Area Commissioner (right) presented the badges to these four girls; (left to right) Louise Parker, Barbara Galt, Brigit Neuman, and Sharon Stelter. 

The music committee of Midland-Penetanguishene District High School presented awards and scholarships at the closing assembly of the year, May 30. Girls receiving them were left to right, at top, Pam Ellison, $10 scholarship, Barbara Dalrymple, $7 award, Louise Parker, $7 award, Nancy Jones, $20 music camp award, Pat French, $20 music camp award. 

Everything got a good wash, including the girls and the service station attendants, as members of the Wendake Division of the Rangers held a car-washing bee to raise money Saturday. Hard at work above are Grace Ellen and Louise Parker and Kathy McLaughlin. The Rangers’ coffers were swelled by $52 after the day’s work.

April 1963 Music Festival Results;
Hymn playing 15 years and over, first Judy Rankin, 83, second Louise Parker, 82, and tied for third with 80 were Barbara Kirkpatrick and Marlene White. Piano solo, 17 years and under, first was Kim Smiley, 84; second Louise Parker, 82; and third, Margaret Ann Kearns, 80. All entrants in those two classes were from Midland. 

September 1966 MSS Hi-Sterics ;
The cheerleader trials will be held Friday afternoon after school in Gym 2. Louise Parker, this year’s head cheerleader needs nine others to complete her team. There are 13 of an original 23 left to choose from.  Six judges, teachers on the staff, will watch them perform a cartwheel, series of eight jumps, and two cheers. Seven of last year’s team are back again this year. They are: Heather McKee, Linda Russell, Debbie Willette, Janice Jeffery, Candas McKee, Louise Parker and Shirley Lesperance. —Cathy Harrison 

September 1965 
CHRISTMAS IN JULY Items valued at $10 were purchased and mailed to our foster child Lee Wai Koon this summer as his 1965 Christmas presents, said Louise Parker of MSS Students’ Council recently. She said the items had to be mailed before July 15 to reach the child by Christmas and suggested that a list of his gifts be kept so he does not receive the same items again. 

February 23, 1966. Waiting hopefully for the judges’ decision in the first round of this year’s Queen of Hearts contest at Midland’s Odeon Theatre are Anne Delaney, Sheila Elliott, Bonnie Leclair, Linda Lockhart, Barbara Merkley, Louise Parker, Linda Russell, Lola Russell (the eventual winner), Ilona Strasser and Sharon Stelter. 

July 1966
Courses were completed last Friday for some 259 Penetanguishene youngsters who have been taking swimming lessons since school classes came to an end in June. The children, who received certificates of their accomplishments, ranged from absolute beginners up to those ready to enter Red Cross instruction. Judy Ross was head instructor for the swim classes and she was assisted by Louise Parker, Mary Lou Gignac and Donna Belcourt. A group of mothers under the leadership of Mrs. Frances St. Amant supervised the children during classes. Sponsorship is under the local recreation council. 

May 1968
The board also approved the hiring of the following teachers on a probationary basis; Chester Graham, Hannelore Hajok, Harry Haskett, Miss Patricia Higgs, Juergen Koenigsbeck, Mrs. Lawrence Lefaive, Miss Louise Parker, Miss Susan Perkins and Miss Janice Rutherford. 

May 1968
Mr. and Mrs. Campbell Parker are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Louise, to Mr. Morley Bath, son of Mr. and Frank Bath. The wedding to take place June 8th, St. Paul’s United Church at 7 p.m. 


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