Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – August 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 enlargeThis large centerpiece on display at the flower show sponsored by Midland Horticultural Society at St. Paul’s United Church Friday drew much favorable comment from visitors. It was entered by Mrs. Charles Morden. Two small attraction bouquets in front of the centerpiece were by other entrants. 

Judged tops in their classes at the flower show held by Midland Horticultural Society Friday were the church basket being admired by Dorothy Shaw (left) and the basket of annuals beside Mrs. Gordon Wallace (right). Mrs. Charles Morden provided the church basket and Mrs. Gilson grew the annuals. 

Two prominent prize winners at Midland Horticultural Society’s flower show this year were, Mrs. Leslie Gilson, left, who had 79 points and Mrs. Charles Morden, right, tops with 95 points from her 54 entries. Examining some of the flowers with the two exhibitors is Miss May Wilkinson, centre. Mrs. Gilson also had a large number of entries, 50 in all. Enos Metheral placed second with 82 points. 

(Mrs. Morden kept a beautiful flower garden at their home on the north east corner of Fourth and Yonge. It bordered Yonge Street and was visible to all who passed. My mother, a gardener herself, often spoke of it and also Scotch Mary’s garden on the east side of town. I noticed the other day that the stone trim along the Yonge Street border was being repaired, by her daughter I believe, Mrs. Morden would be glad.)

“It’s all yours”, says George Mead, right, as he turns over the keys of his Penetang department store to Ernest Howe, who will manage it for Jasons Stores Ltd., Toronto. Mr. Mead, who has operated the store, formerly known as the Green Block, since January, 1946, retains ownership of the building. He has taken a prominent part in sporting and fraternal circles since coming to Penetang. 

Proudest dad in Midland Friday night was L. S. “Toots” Wallace after his daughter, Jean, had won the Simcoe County ladies’ golf title in Collingwood during a three-day tournament. Miss Wallace, who also won the title on her home course in 1957, succeeds club mate Mrs. Cecil English as county champ. 

These five women proved excellent representatives of Midland Golf and Country Club at the Simcoe County golf championships in Collingwood last week, left to right they are, Mrs. Bob Bath, Mrs. Bill Hack, Mrs. Cecil English, Miss Jean Wallace, and Miss Ruth Shaubel. Miss Wallace won the county title, succeeding Mrs. English, last year’s winner, and Miss Shaubel won the championship competition title. Mrs. Bath reached the semi-finals in the main event. 

“A Reserve View” Editorial page photo refers to the view from the mainland at Cedar Pointe out towards Christian Island. Hope Island is in the middle and Christian on the left. The ferry dock and the islands are part of the Beausoleil First Nation. 

Big piles of lumber continue to grow on the mainland at Cedar Point, where they have been transported from the saw mill on the Christian Island Indian Reserve. Above Andrew Mixemong is seen atop a pile of maple boards. Working under the guidance of the Department of Indian Affairs, the Indians cut maple, beech, oak, ash, elm, hemlock, basswood and elm logs in the winter, cut them up in spring and summer months. 

The government dock at Cedar Point was a hive of activity Wednesday as a group of visiting youth left for home on the Brantford Reserve after a two-month holiday period at the Christian Island Reserve. Above, one of the two buses used to transport the young school-age campers is seen being loaded with gear. At right is the sturdy ferry boat to the island. 

Visit of John Wintermeyer, Ontario Liberal leader in the Ontario Legislature, provided a welcome interlude for residents of Georgian Manor, Penetang, Saturday afternoon. Here Mr. Wintermeyer chats with Mrs. Ellen Berkinshaw of Orillia during an extensive tour of the manor. 

Leader of the opposition in the Ontario Legislature, John Wintermeyer played the role mostly of listener when he visited Mrs. Henrietta Belcourt in Georgian Manor, Penetang, Saturday. Mayor Jerome Gignac, left,  acted as interpreter as the 81-year-old Mrs. Belcourt related some of her many experiences in her native French for Mr. Wintermeyer and his son, John Jr ., 8. 

“Gosh how these ladies like to talk!” mused John Wintermeyer Jr., as his mother (light dress) and sisters chatted with Mrs. Rose Courtemanche at Georgian Manor, Penetang, Saturday afternoon. Mrs. Courtemanche, a former Midlander, was on hand to greet John Wintermeyer, Liberal leader in the Ontario House, during a visit to the Manor and other points in this area on the weekend. 

One of the interesting sights for visitors to Port Severn is watching boats like these two outboards, or large cruisers, go through the locks. The two boats  are about halfway to the top in their climb from the level below the dam to the river level above. 

Midland’s newest industry, Dominion Electro-Plating Co. is now in operation in a small building on William Street. Owner Frank Zgudziak, left, and an employee prepare to lower a car bumper into a chrome bath. 

Exterior of the new nurses’ residence at Penetanguishene General Hospital is nearing completion. New structure is attached to hospital (part of which shows at right) by a short covered walk. The architect designed the new building to blend with the hospital. 

Youngsters who have been attending the old wooden school of SS 6, Tay Township, at Fesserton will return to the brand new building Sept. 6. The two-room brick structure, which features a wide expanse of glass at the rear, is being built by Les Bertram, a Midhurst contractor, at a cost of $46,000. History of the school dates back to 1884. 

Less than a generation ago, much of the travel on the Severn River was by canoe or comparatively slow, inboard engine cruisers. Now the river hums with the sound of fast outboards, such as fill this marina above the dam at Port Severn. Traffic on the river has been almost as heavy as on adjacent highways. 

Hundreds of summer visitors from Canada and the United States  find Honey Harbour district an ideal vacation area. Here cruisers, outboards and a new pontoon type craft rest at anchor in the bay in front of the Delawana lnn. The area is noted for its scenic beauty and excellent fishing. 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hounsome have received official recognition for “25 years of faithful service” in operating the post office at Wyebridge. Mr. Hounsome has been post master, and his wife the assistant, since August 10, 1935. 

One of the things which keep bringing the visitors back to this area year after year is the pleasant vistas which can be obtained in a few minutes drive in any direction from cottage or motel. This is how Farlain’s (or Cook’s) Lake appears from the seldom travelled north side. 

In the ring or out, the midgets always provide a barrel of fun for wrestling fans at Midland Arena Gardens. Some of the extra-curricular action that featured Monday night’s bout between two teams of tiny grapplers is pictured above. Wrestling comes to an end for this season at the Gardens next Monday night. 

This handsome looking structure is the new addition built to St. Theresa’s High School in Midland. Studies up to and including Grade 12 will be available at the school this year. It is expected that enrolment in September will be increased considerably over last year.

The same corner a couple of years ago.


Free Press Herald headline of August 24, 1960 

Lands and Forests officials this week credited the prompt action of an Orillia airways pilot in averting what could well have been a major forest fire outbreak in the Severn River Management Area last week. The pilot was enroute from North Bay to Orillia with a plane load of passengers when he spotted a bush fire burning in the Cana Lake area of Wood Township, about 10 miles northeast of Severn Falls. Coldwater Lands and Forests authorities said the pilot turned his plane off course, landed at Severn Falls, reported the fire at headquarters there, and left his passengers at the Severn while he flew two fire rangers and pumping equipment in to Cana Lake. 

County Herald headline of August 26, 1960.

North Simcoe district businessmen today were warned to keep a close check on Canadian bank notes, received in their day-to-day transactions. RCMP Constable Cascagnette of the Orillia detachment, a former Penetang boy, said a considerable amount of counterfeit $10, $50 and $100 bank notes are being circulated. One counterfeit $10 bill was picked up in Orillia this week. Constable Cascagnette said counterfeit bill passers would be likely to operate in this area because or the large Influx of tourists at this time. 

Free Press Herald headline of August 31, 1960. 

Midland council and particularly its public works department expressed relief at a marathon council meeting Monday night, when it was announced the Ontario government had approved the  expenditure of $35,000 for public works maintenance. Clerk-treasurer Wm. A. Hack advised council that, after further consideration, the government had approved $35,000 of the $45,000 requested for maintenance. Previously the government had approved nothing for maintenance. Speaking to the chairman of public works, Reeve H. J. Beauchamp, Mayor Charles Parker said, “We are going to have to revamp and review our program (public works) so that you will know that you will break even by the end or the year and we are going to have to plan our winter works program.” 

    Members of the school board of S.S. 23, Tiny, (Lights School) expect to meet with Public School inspector K. J. Ellis today to discuss the possibility of closing the school. This was revealed yesterday evening by the senior member of the board Richard Matthews. Mr. Matthews said that if it is decided to close the school, 50 pupils in Grades 1 to 8 will be affected and they will be transported to schools in Penetang by bus. 

    A well-known Midland resident, Capt. G. E. Blevins died yesterday in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. He was in his 53rd year. During his younger years, he was active in hockey circles in this area. The body is resting at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home, where it will remain until 1:45 p.m. Thursday, when it will be taken to St. Mark’s Anglican Cemetery for funeral service at 2 p.m., Rev. L. Delaney officiating. 

Midland was still waiting word from Queen’s Park concerning the methods by which local authorities were expected to administer relief. • • • Rt. Hon. R. B. Bennett, Canadian Prime Minister replied to a letter from the publisher of the Midland Free Press requesting his stand on the national grain situation. The reply was reported as making a modest and non-committal statement. • • • Penetang was erecting in Huronia Park, a stone cairn commemorating the capture of the warships Tigress and Scorpion. • • • Balm Beach Property Owners Association elected F. W. Grant president and decided to ask Tiny Township council for a policeman to patrol the area the following summer. • • • Owing to the large attendance at the Midland High School, principal J. J. Robins asked the various forms to assemble at different hours. • • • Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society decided to drop the annual fall fair for one year and there was much protest against the decision. • • • Stormy skies and showers marred the third annual sports day held by some 325 patients at the Ontario Hospital, Penetang. • • • In an effort to modernize its printing service and improve its job printing work, the Free Press scrapped 1,500 pounds of old type and replaced it with the Bodoni and Stymie families of type. 

    WAUBAUSHENE – A coin-operated, laundry has been opened in Waubaushene by Peter Barron who also operates an artificial ice-making plant and a hamburger stand being completed on his property in the village. The laundry building is conditioned by cool air from the ice manufacturing plant, and will be in operation 24 hours a day. When the hamburger stand opens, it will also give service on a 24-hour basis. There are 12 washers and four dryers in the laundry and it is capable or expansion to 18 washers and seven dryers. Mr. Barron feels the laundry will provide a service to the Coldwater-Waubaushene area, along with the restaurant. Mr. Barron built the ice plant in Waubaushene in 1946 after service with the RCAF. He rejoined the air force in 1953, retiring last year. His plans for the future include moving his residence across the road and allow more space for eventual location of a community swimming pool and a motel. Mr. Barron married Louise Chase at Brandon, Manitoba in 1942. They have a son Ronald 17, daughters, Anne 15, June 14, Susan 2, and infant Raymond, two months. The family will assist in operating the combination business venture. 

   Simcoe County council’s home for the aged committee ran into a bit of a snag Wednesday night when it opened tenders on the addition to be built at the Georgian Manor, Penetanguishene . Manor Superintendent Ivan Vasey told this newspaper yesterday that ten contracting firms had submitted bids on the project, estimated to cost about $310,000 for the building and about $40,000 for equipment and furnishings. Mr. Vasey said all the bids submitted were higher than the committee had anticipated. Because they were out or line, the committee felt no action could be taken at this time. The Manor superintendent said the committee decided not to call for new tenders. Instead, it has asked the architect to review the specifications and see if he could arrive at an answer to the current problem. 

  Midland singers and musicians and a youth from Victoria Harbour will present a 1 ½ hour concert on “The Barge” in Gull Lake, Gravenhurst, Sunday evening. Doug Brooks of the Midland chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouagement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (Inc) told this newspaper yesterday that the Midland chapter chorus, Midland Citizens Band and Doug Brodeur of the Harbour would be presenting the program in the natural amphitheater at the Muskoka town.  (I remember going to this event with my cousin who was in the Citizens Band) 

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