Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – September 1st to 7th, 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 enlargeMore than 31 years of service with the Bell Telephone Co. came to an end recently with the retirement of Oliver Caldwell of Midland. Marking the occasion, Mr. Caldwell was guest of honour at a banquet held at Bourgeois’ dining room, Victoria Harbour, where he was the recipient of a number of gifts. 

Big bass was caught by Mrs. G. L. Symmes of Terra Cotta, Ont., left, fishing off Present Island on Sunday. Equally as proud of the catch is her father A. V. Piddington, who has summered at his cottage on Midland Point for the last 19 years. 

Winner of the Midland public speaking contest last week, Sheila Child will be seeking district laurels at Regent auditorium tonight. She is seen above receiving trophy from Tim Nesbitt, chairman of the Public Schools Board. 

Triumphant bandsmen chair their leader, Al Hume, on their return to Midland Thursday night. This year’s first place finish at the CNE competitions in Toronto was the third in a row for the Midland band, giving them permanent possession of the trophy. George Haskill Jr. on the left and Dan Richardson do the lifting.

Civic welcome was accorded the Midland Citizen’s Band Thursday night after winning the CNE band competition for the third year in succession. Seen above during ceremonies at the municipal building are Alderman James Mackie, Mayor Charles Parker, band leader Al Hume, Harry Brown, chairman of the band committee. Trophy held by Mr. Hume now becomes a permanent possession of the band. 

For a long time, Midlanders have been accustomed to seeing tender-aged hockey lads get the traditional ride on the fire truck after winning championships. Thursday night it was Midland Citizens Band’s turn as they were accorded a rousing reception by townspeople after winning their division of the band competitions at the CNE for the third straight year. 

Winner of the fourth annual Simcoe County senior ladies’ golf championships held Thursday at Midland Golf and Country Club, was Mrs. Tilly Lambrick of Orillia. Mrs. Lambrick, left, is seen receiving her trophy from Mrs. R. S. McLaughlin, president of the women’s division of the Midland club. The event attracted 22 entries this year. 

 Mr. and Mrs. Frank Fenton marked their diamond wedding anniversary Saturday when they held open house to their many friends at 208 Elizabeth Street. 

County Herald headline of September 2, 1960

Midland Citizens’ Band scored its third victory in band competition at the Canadian National Exhibition yesterday and retained its all-Canadian title in the Class Two brass band section. The win means the Midland bandsmen now will retain in their permanent possession the CNE trophy they have won on two previous occasions, and will receive about $450 in cash. This year, the Midlanders competed against bands from Orillia, Meaford and Chatham. They led their “arch rivals” from Orillia by 15 points. 

Free Press Herald headline of September 7, 1960 

Increased enrolment, the bugbear of public, separate and secondary school boards, were the order of the day as Midland elementary schools and the district high schools opened their doors Tuesday for the new term. Principal M. 0. Lewis of Regent Public School said 616 pupils turned up for classes yesterday morning, an increase of nine over the 1959 figure. In addition, he said, 40 pupils were sent to Parkview and Sixth Street Public Schools. Eighty-nine boys and girls have registered for the morning and afternoon kindergarten classes, he said. Opening day at Midland schools saw a total of 2,964 enrolled in primary and secondary schools. 

    Funeral services will be held this afternoon at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home, Midland, for Charles Stevenson, mayor of Midland in 1959, who died in Toronto Western Hospital Tuesday morning. Mr. Stevenson entered the hospital about two weeks ago for treatment of heart illness. The former mayor came to Midland from Halifax in 1923 and operated a refrigeration business for some years. He had served eight years on the Midland Public Utilities Commission, two of them as chairman. 

    Following the tabling of a letter signed by six businessmen, Midland council, at its meeting Monday night agreed town bylaws governing transient traders and peddlers should be revised and brought up-to-date. The letter asked council “to enforce the bylaw which protects local businesses wherein a transient trader’s licence must be procured prior to outside firms trading in Midland.” 

    lf you are a Midland dog owner and haven’t a dog tag for your dog, don’t be surprised if a local police officer raps on your door.  Midland council, at its Monday night meeting, asked police committee chairman, Alderman James Mackie to make arrangements with the local force to have them contact all citizens with dogs who have not purchased the necessary tags. It’s not fair that two-thirds of the dog owners have bought tags and the other third have not.” commented Mayor Charles Parker. He noted that last Tuesday morning he had seen a number of upturned garbage cans before the garbage collector had been around. 

    lndian Chief, Big Canoe, and his wife of Georgina lsland Reserve have been among the recent distinguished visitors at Huronia Museum, Midland. The chief answered questions from museum officials and visitors and autographed books and Indian handcrafts. Another visitor was a Burmese student from Rangoon, who took notes on the Museum’s Indian displays. Attendance at the museum this year is up about 3,000 over the figure for the same period last year, it was stated. A number of new exhibits have been added, including a fire-less cooker, a wash stand and a china set, a throne chair, a high shaving stand, a metal bed warmer and two pieces of gold deposit. 

    Steps are already under way to organize a group of ‘Sweet Adelines’ for Midland and district, this fall. The first attempt to assemble the women for four part harmonizing took place last week with the eight present. They decided their winter meetings would held Thursday evenings. Sweet Adeline chorus singing was first organized in 1947 in Oklahoma and has now grown to an international organization of 300 chapters. When Midland applies for a chapter, it will not be under the ‘Midland’ name for there is already a chapter issued to Midland, Michigan. The chorus will be directed by Ruth Fowler, recently moved to Midland from Scarborough, where she was an active ‘barbershopper’ with the chapter there.

 Letters to the editor;

TUG “CHARLTON” Dear Editor: The 261 ton single screw wooden tug John Prendiville (US 127711) was built in 1862 at Chicago by Miller Brothers. On May 26, 1882, she was renamed Charlie Kellog. Her dimensions were 135 feet long by 19.04 feet wide, by 10.04 foot depth . On July 10, 1884, she was sold to International Wrecking and Transportation Co. of Windsor, Ontario, and her name was changed to Charlton. Official No. 88622. On May 5, 1889, she was sold to William Aikenhead, Windsor, Ont., and on Jan. 15, 1889, she was sold to John Charlton, Lynedock, Ont., by the Deputy Marshal of the Maritime Court of Ontario, County of Leeds. On May 14, 1894, she was rebuilt at Collingwood, Ont., 389.38 gross tons, and on Nov. 6, 1894, she was sold to Charles Mills Gattey of Sarnia and also on Nov. 1894, she was sold to the Boutell (sp) Towing and Wrecking Co. Ltd. of Sarnia. On May 1, 1901, she was sold to the Victoria Harbour Lumber Co. Ltd. and on January 17, 1929, she was sold to Marius Dufresne, Montreal, Que., and also on Jan. 17, 1929, her registry was closed after transfer to Port of Montreal.

Dear Editor: Can anything be done about the big boats dumping their garbage in the channel? Not only is it very annoying, but imagine how the waters are being polluted! The C.S.L. “Prescott” passed our cottage about 6.30 this evening, August 29th, dumping heaps of refuse and attracting dozens of seagulls. The above mentioned freighter is only one of many guilty of this unsanitary practice. Surely an hour farther out in open water would be a more courteous location for shoveling off the garbage. — A Summer Resident at The Point 

    A park established by Tiny Township at Dault’s Bay, finally has been given a name, and henceforth will be known as Stott’s Park. The approved for the name was given in a resolution passed at Thursday’s meeting of Tiny council. 

    The two assistant priests at St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, Rev. F. Voorwerk and Rev. L. Petitpas, are leaving Midland this weekend to take up duties in other parishes. This was confirmed yesterday by Father Voorwerk who advised that effective Sept. 10 he becomes priest of St. Columb Kille parish at Uptergrove. Effective the same day, Father Petitpas is transferred as assistant priest to St. Ann’s parish, Toronto, Father Voorwerk stated. This weekend will see two new assistant priests at St. Margaret’s. They are Rev. Gordon Bean of Toronto and Rev. Leslie Tamas who comes to Midland from Collingwood. “ We are sorry to be leaving Midland for we have made many happy friendships,” stated Father Voorwerk adding that he was pleased to have his own parish. Father Voorwerk has been at St. Margaret’s for the last five years and Father Petitpas for the last two years. 

Midland mayor S. W. McKinley, in a public notice to landlords, informed them that shelter allowance would not be paid to newcomers to town for relief. If such family was on relief in the previous municipality. • • • The barn of Roger Brunelle, the largest in the village of Lafontaine, with all its year’s crop was burned to the ground when a threshing machine caught fire from a heated shaft and sent flame out of the blower to the straw mound. • • • A program of development, including a large L-shaped dock at Triple Bay, was started by Charles Beatty who took over the store and post office formerly operated by A. G. (Doc) Elson. • • • Mrs. Gerald Powell of Araan, Ohio, took an hour and a half to land a “muskie” at Delawana Inn. The fish weighed 41 ½ pounds, was 52 inches Iong and 24 inches in girth. • • • Bill Gerow, a thirteen-year-old Midland lad, won the Across-the-Bay swim at the Penetang Water Sports held as part of the Labor Day festivities. • • • Labor Day was celebrated by a program   presented at the Midland town park, by Midland Workers’ Association, Midland Longshoremen’s Union and the Relief Gardens Committees of Midland, Penetang, and Victoria Harbour . More than 3,000 people from the three towns attended the day’s activities. 

    District traffic fatalities and accidents in recent weeks should emphasize the importance of the August 1 amendment to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act which requires Ontario motorists to have their car lights on an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise.

JAMES DILLON. Owner of the Canada House, Penetang, James Dillon died in Penetang General Hospital, August 25, after a short illness. He was in his 68th year. Requiem Mass was celebrated at St. Ann’s Memorial Church by Re V. J. Marchand, Rev. P. Bourque and Rev. A. O’Malley on August 27. Pallbearers were Marc, Arthur and Raymond Parent, Ed Forget, Pat Clarke and Harry Deschamps. Born at Toronto Oct. 11, 1892, he received his education there. On August 5, 1936, at Toronto, he married the former Evelyn Parent. He was a former employee of the T. Eaton Co., Ltd. and the Toronto Police Force. He had lived 50 years in Toronto, seven in Detroit and the last 10 in Penetang. During World War I, he served for three years with the medical corps. Besides his widow, he is survived by a son, Neil of Penetang and two daughters, Mrs. Marcel Beaudoin (Gloria) of Toronto and Mrs. Gerard Genier (Barbara) of Penetang . Three brothers, Ed, Fred and John and a sister, Mrs. Percy Waghorne (Blanche), all of Toronto, also survive, as well as two grandchildren. 

ALEXANDRE BRUNELLE. A life-long resident of Lafontaine, Alexandre Brunelle died at his home, August 24, following a coronary thrombosis. He was in his 82nd year. Requiem Mass was celebrated August 27th by Rev. T. Marchildon, Rev. A. O’Malley and Rev. J. Marchand at Ste. Croix Church, Lafontaine. Pallbearers were Maurice and Robert Brunelle, Leonard, Fernand, Gilbert and Alderic Moreau. On Nov. 18, 1901, at Lafontaine Mr. Brunelle married the former Rosanna Leroux. In 1953, he retired from farming and commercial fishing. He was interested in boating. Predeceased by his wife in 1944, he is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Willie Moreau (Christine) of Perkinsfield, Mrs. Charles Maheu (Cecile) of Lafontaine, and Mrs. Albert Charlebois (Leona) of Penetang and four sons Bernard and Pete of Penetang, Germain of Vancouver and Louis of Lafontaine. Twenty-five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren also survive. 

    Builder’s trials for the S.S. Red Wing, carried out on Lake Ontario August 10, made a red letter day for William Silvey of Midland. Mr. Silvey is chief engineer on the new 730-foot long lake giant, built and launched at Port Weller Shipyard for Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. At the conclusion of the trials, shipping and steamship inspection officials expressed their “complete satisfaction with the operation of the vessel and its equipment”. The Red Wing was officially handed over to the owners August 12 and proceeded to Sandusky, where she loaded 25,000 tons of coal for Hamilton. The big ship is 75 feet wide and has a moulded depth or 39 feet, three inches. (Always a classy looking ship, towed to Taiwan via Honolulu for scrapping in 1987.) 

Some items from the front page of the Advertiser, September 4th 1940.

     Midland and Penetang have returned to Standard Time. Both towns adopted Daylight Saving Time during the summer and has proved it to be a great thing. Although not particularly suited to farmers, Daylight Saving Time during the summer has many things in its favor. It allows the average working or business man an extra hour of daylight to do as he wishes to either work or play. More towns and villages adopted Daylight Saving Time this year than ever before. Surely all these communities can’t be wrong. 

    Rain which threatened to spoil the day for outside activities, cleared for the afternoon to be replaced by exceptionally fine weather for the first Drumhead Service of the Midland Civil Guard. Several hundred members of the Civil Guard, along with members of the Canadian Legion, led by the Midland Bugle Band, paraded to the Fair Grounds on Sunday to hold their first Drumhead Service, conducted by Rev. A. E. W. Ingram, rector of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, and Rev. M. S. Barr, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church. The service was conducted in the usual outdoor military style with the flags draped over the regimental drums to form a pulpit. 

      Workmen have completed removal of the last tramway in the Letherby & Son lumber yards. Most of the machinery in the mill has also been dismantled. The sawmill was the last of five to cease operation locally. After over 50 years operation, the mill closed for good after a short operation this summer. The mill cut 12 to 15 million feet of lumber in a sawing season, employing upwards of 150 men. From the timber areas near Collins Inlet, still owned by the company, two and a half million logs were towed 150 miles for manufacture here. Some years 1,000 carloads of lumber were shipped.

    Hundreds of local admirers of Phil (Babe) Marchildon, including L. Fitzgerald and I. G. Sheppard, who were sponsors of Penetang Spencer Rangers intermediate baseball team and his one-time teammates were delighted to learn that Marchildon had been chosen to play with the Philadelphia Athletics, and move up to the  majors. Marchildon’s dad, who is his most enthusiastic supporter, was so overcome with pride that he could only say, “I knew he had it in him.”The “Babe” when twirling for the local amateur hardball hopefuls took them to the championships year after year. 

    This week citizens have been perusing with interest the collection of old ornaments, on exhibition in the Irwin’s Pharmacy  store window. Many of them are over one hundred years old, beautiful old pieces, including quaint lockets, lovely old bracelets, old fashioned rings, brooches and other ornaments especially dear to the feminine heart. Among the brooches is one of particular interest centered with strands of interwoven hair, one fair and the other dark, belonging to the husband and son of the owner, and no doubt deeply cherished. Inscriptions on this quaint piece tell of the passing of these two loved ones over 100 years ago. P. B. Crews, gold expert, of Toronto, who is at Irwin’s Pharmacy 2 weeks only, for the purpose of buying gold,  could tell many interesting stories attached to the pieces which he purchased. With pure gold now at $60.00 an ounce, Mr. Crews  explains the highest price ever reached, many are anxious to sell these old pieces being in need of money, while others like to determine the value of  their keepsakes, a service which Mr. Crews renders free of charge. See Ad on page 3. (Giving you scrap value for your jewelry is obviously not a new thing. Gold is currently $2,500 an ounce in Canada.) 

    Four persons crawled out of an upside-down taxi in Midland Sunday morning, following a crash at Dominion Ave. and First Street. They suffered only minor bruises. Their cab, driven by Jack Lalonde of Penetang, was proceeding east on Dominion Ave., and was struck by a second taxi driven by Orville Bugg, of Midland and which was going north on First St. According to eyewitnesses, Lalonde’s car skidded, then rolled upside down on the pavement. His passengers were Mrs. Peter Lacroix, Penetang, her son, Pte. Alcide Lacroix, on leave from Camp Borden and William Minard of Midland. Chief Wm. McDonald of Midland investigated.   

    The Midland Workers Association held their annual picnic and draw on Monday, Labor Day Sept. 2nd. Proceeds from the affair this year were contributed to the war effort. Several hundred attended during the afternoon, taking part in the different sporting events. In the evening, games of chance, bingo, etc., attracted a nice crowd at the curling rink, where the draw for the $5 hat covered with 20 $1 bills took place. Mr. A. McArthur, Midland, was the fortunate winner. 

    Work is progressing rapidly on construction of the new $22,500 dock for use of pleasure craft. Nearly 5,000 piles have been removed by D. S. Pratt from the waterfront site where a dock was built 39 years ago. These piles, taken from the water in very good condition, were purchased by Mr. Pratt. They were taken to the E. Letherby sawmill and sawn into lumber. Some 400 new piles of pine and British Columbia fir, about 40 feet long, have been driven for the new dock. Dredging of 8,500 yards was necessary to permit a depth of eight feet. A fleet of trucks removed the sludge as it was dredged. The new dock will be 220 feet long, with slipways on each side, providing accommodation for 25 to 50 boats, depending on size, accommodation will be provided at the end of the dock for a 100-foot yacht, if required. William Birmington & Sons, of Kingston, are the contractors. T. Sharpe is local inspector on the project. Midland avenue will be extended north to the new dock, under an agreement with the government and the town of Midland.

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