Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – October 8th to 15th, 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 enlargeSaturday is “APPLE DAY” for the cubs and scouts of the South Georgian Bay District and this is the way their leaders hope things will turn out – the coin boxes full and the apple baskets all empty. Scout Jim Wood of the 1st Midland Troop, left, holds the “full” tins, while Cub David Banks, 4th Midland, has the empty basket. 

This rope making machine is known as a “closer”, the largest in use in Canada at this time, has been installed in the new Greening Wire plant in Midland. Only about a third of the 105-foot-long set-up is seen in the two pictures comprising the front end of the machine. It went into operation for the first time Friday. 

Newest addition to Midland’s business fraternity is Harry Hughes, recently appointed manager of the IGA Foodliner on King Street. Native of Toronto, Mr. Hughes was born there in 1925 and received his education in the Ontario capital. He began his business career in 1942, remaining with one nationally known grocery chain for 16 years. For six of those years he managed stores in Toronto.  More recently, Mr. Hughes operated his own business in Owen Sound prior to coming to Midland. His wife and five children will remain there temporarily while Harry does a spot of house-hunting in Midland. In Owen Sound, Mr. Hughes led an active life as bulletin editor and treasurer of the Kinsmen Club. He also served as coach in the club’s Little Baseball League activities. Mr. Hughes said he hopes to continue in service club work in Midland, although it won’t be with the Kinsmen, one of the few service organizations not represented here. He also hopes to find time to pursue his favourite hobbies – hunting and fishing. The Hughes’ are members or the United Church. 


With tanks now in place workmen are putting finishing touches to BA Oil Co. distributing centre on Robert ST. W., Penetang. Metal clad building contains office and storage for packaged goods. Semi-circular drive allows trucks to load without having to turn around. 

At a meeting held in Parkside Pavilion last week, Midland District Labor Council elected it’s new executive officers and also received its Canadian Labor Congress charter. Seen above, left to right, are George Brough, Orillia, general representative of the CLC; Maurice Latour, recording secretary; Ralph McConnell, president; Lawrence Perrault, treasurer; and Les Rivard, vice-president.

Editorial page photo entitled, “Beauty and the Rails” 

When this buck moose “came to dinner” at their hunting camp, Albert Brunelle, left, and Dr. R. Lauzon, both of Penetang, took advantage of the situation and made dinner of the moose by way of a bullet.

$12,000 Damage Done in Balm Beach Break-ins
Free Press headline of October 12, 1960 

Total damage estimated as high as $12,000 has been discovered in close to 30 cottages in the Balm Beach area by owners and Tiny Township police who have been working on the case for nearly a week. According to Const. A. Dumais three juveniles have been apprehended in connection with the vandalism. A fourth lad, over the juvenile age may be implicated, and has also been picked up for questioning. Const. Dumais said yesterday the list of cottages broken into is growing daily. Police are also getting leads and hearing many reports of incidents which apparently occurred through the summer. One eyewitness who had travelled through the area north of the main road to Balm Beach said some cottages appeared as though they had been struck by a holocaust. Windows and doors have been smashed by axes, bowling pins and other instruments. Entrance in most cases was apparently gained in this manner. In the cottage or E. I. Surridge an electric stove and brand new refrigerator had been maliciously slashed with an axe, and were completely wrecked. Chairs were smashed, cupboards dumped. Smashed dishes and glassware littered the floors or many cottages. 

Expect Change in Berth For Federal Ice Breaker
County Herald headline of October 14, 1960 

“We expect the Alexander Henry will be berthed in Midland this winter,” said Dr. P. B. Rynard, MP for Simcoe East, in a telephone interview with this paper Wednesday. The big government ice breaker, put in service about a year ago, was kept at the Lakehead last winter. 

    The largest rope-making machine in Canada is now in operation at the Greening Wire Co. plant in Midland. Installation of the machine, known as a “closer” was completed last week and the first runs made were held Friday.  Made in England by Larmouth and Bulmar, it took three freight cars to transport the huge machine which occupies floor space 106 feet long in the new Greening plant. Although the largest wire ropes now in use measure 3-1/2 inches in diameter, the new machine is capable of turning out 4-inch ropes. It is capable or closing 30 tons of rope in one length. Plant officials say this is equal to seven miles of rope of one inch diameter. In other words, if the rope was run off the machine and out the east door of the plant, it would stretch to a point well the other side of Victoria Harbour. 

    Funeral services were held yesterday for David George Hewis, for the past several years harbormaster for the Port of Midland. Mr. Hewis died in St. Andrews Hospital on Saturday. He is survived by four sisters, including Mrs. Lorne McMillan and Miss Mayme Lewis of Midland. A more-detailed story of Mr. Hewis’ career and funeral services will be carried in a later edition or this paper. 

BRESSETTE – To Mr. and Mrs. Freeman Bressette, Port Severn, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Thursday, Oct. 6, 1960, a daughter.
BRYANT – To Mr. and Mrs. George Bryant, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Thursday, Sept. 29, 1960, a daughter.
CRONK-To Mr. and Mrs. Murray Cronk, Victoria Harbour, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Sept. 28, a son.
MOREAU – To Mr. and Mrs. Elzear Moreau, 231 Hugel Ave., Midland, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 1960, a son.
MOREAU – To Mr. and Mrs. Leo Moreau, Perkinsfield, at
Penetanguishene General Hospital, Thursday, Sept. 29, 1960,
a daughter.
NELSON – To Mr. and Mrs. Donald Nelson, R.R. 1, Phelpston,
at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, Sept. 26, 1960, a daughter.
PARENT – To Mr. and Mrs. Rene Parent, Perkinsfield, at
Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, October 4, a son.
LECAMP – To Mr. and Mrs. Leo Lecamp, 55 Poyntz St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, Oct. 7, 1960, a daughter.
MARACLE – To Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Maracle, 56 Peel St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, October 28, 1960, a son.
QUESNELLE – To Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Quesnelle, Ontario Hospital, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1960, a son.
REYNOLDS – To Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Reynolds, Elmvale, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, Oct. 7, 1960, a daughter.
RUMBLE – To Mr. and Mrs. Jas. Rumble, Hillsdale, at Penetanguishene
General Hospital, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1960, a daughter.
VALLEE – To Mr. and Mrs. Armand Vallee, R.R. 2. Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1960, a son.
LADOUCEUR – To Mr. and Mrs. Aldee Ladouceur, 191 Robert St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 1960, a daughter.
BEAUSOLEIL – To Mr. and Mrs. Gerard Beausoleil, 60 Harriet St., Penetang, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Wednesday, October 12, 1960, a son. Baby died.
BELZER – To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Belzer, 436 Springvale Avenue., Eggertsville, New York, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, October 10, 1960, a son.
CRUISE – To Mr. and Mrs. Logan Cruise, 132 Hannah St., Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Tuesday, October 11, 1960, a daughter.
ISAAC – To Mr. and Mrs. John Isaac, R.R. 1, Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Thursday, October 6, 1960, a son.
LECLAIR – To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Leclair, 129 Dominion Ave., Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Friday, October 7, 1960, a daughter. 

    A lengthy discussion on winter works arose at Tuesday night’s meeting of Penetang town council, when Councillor Leonard Ladouceur asked for direction on how much the municipality could spend. Consensus of opinion appeared to be that while it was unanimous council would like to see a program of winter work inaugurated, the municipality has no money to devote to such a project. Councillor Ladouceur said he had attended a meeting in Midland where he learned among other things that the federal government is prepared to subsidize construction of municipal buildings. He said he believed there might also be some subsidy on materials for such a project. Mayor Jerome Gignac suggested there “Must be some things we could do that could be debentured,” Clerk W. A. Argue cautioned that the municipality had reached its limit of borrowing power, and he doubted the municipal board would approve any debenture scheme. 


Arthur Wm. Marks a resident of Midland for more than half a century, died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Oct. 4, following an illness of several months. Services were held Oct. 7 at Nicholls funeral home and burial was in Lakeview Cemetery. Rev. Len Self and Rev. C. H. Carter were in charge of the services. Pallbearers were Earl Allsopp, Herbert Carpenter, Carl Church, Arthur McElroy, Charles McElroy and Victor Wadge. Friends and relatives from Toronto, Barrie, Port Credit, Guelph, Montreal and Victoria Harbour attended the services. Last survivor of a family of seven children, Mr. Marks was born in Reigate, Surrey, England, where he learned the book binding trade. Coming to Canada in 1905, his first job was on a farm near Napanee. After three months he moved to Edenvale, near Stayner, where he worked in a Stave mill. Coming to Midland, Mr. Marks first found employment at the Playfair lumber mill. After two years there, including winter work in the bush, he took a job at Potvin’s shook mill. Returning to England briefly in 1908, Mr. Marks was married to the former Christina MacDonald, a native of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. On their return to Canada, Mr. Marks continued to work at Potvin’s until the outbreak of World War 1. He joined the 177th Battalion, Grey and Simcoe Foresters as a bandsman. Later he served 13 months in France as a stretcher bearer, where his services won him the Military Medal and the Belgium’s Croix de Guerre. Following the war Mr. Marks found work in Ganton Dobson’s boat works, and later he was employed by the Midland Shipyard as a ship wright, retiring several years ago. Boats, along with fishing, remained one of Mr. Marks’ chief hobbies after his retirement, and he built several of them. In his earlier days in Midland, Mr. Marks had been a member of the Salvation Army and served as corps bandmaster. Later he become a member of Knox Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder for more than 20 years. He also taught Sunday School for many years in both churches. Also in his younger days, Mr. Marks had helped introduce the Boy Scout movement in Midland. Besides Mrs. Marks, he is survived by two sons, John of Altadena, Cal., and Arthur Wm. Jr. of Toronto, and one daughter, Miss Margaret Marks, a teacher at Midland’s Regent Public School. There are also four grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

WILLIAM J. BROPHY  – A large segment of the sporting section of Penetang was considerably shocked Wednesday October 5th when they learned of the unexpected death of William J. (Bill) Brophy. Mr. Brophy passed away after suffering a stroke while at his work at the Penetang Bowling Alley. He had passed his 74th birthday August 30th of this year. Born in Flos Township where he remained until he was 18, Bill Brophy had lived later in Bracebridge and Toronto. He had lived in Penetang for about 45 years. Foa a quarter of a century he had worked as a scaler for McGibbon Lumber Co. During the past four years he had become particularily well known to the sporting fraternity while working as a maintenance man at the bowling alley. A Roman Catholic, he was a member of the Holy Name Society, and a third degree member of Huronia Council of Knights of Columbus. He had also served on the public school board for a number of years. Surviving besides his wife, the former Marie Bazinet, whom he married in 1918, are two sons, Bernard and James of Penetang, and six daughters, Mrs. Elric Dupuis (Peggy), Mrs. Henry Dupuis (Betty), Mrs. Maurice Dumais (Eileen), all of Penetang, Mrs. Leo Dupuis (Marie) Midland, Mrs. Robert Hannon (Frances), Toronto and Mrs. Ken McNally (Helen), Scarborough. There are 34 grandchildren. Pallbearers were Joseph Martin, Doug Dubeau, Bill Murray, Ray Lesperance, Alvin Gravelle and Bernard Leclaire.


A great worker at St. Marks Anglican Church particularly among the young people and her Bible class, Miss Violet Edwards died yesterday following a heart attack. Miss Edwards, who had been in failing health for the past few years, had taken a short motor drive yesterday afternoon. Prior to her illness Miss Edwards had managed the office for her brother Wilfred’s motor magazine business. She had previoulsy worked for Byrie-Birks in Hamilton before returning to Midland 14 years ago. Miss Edwards is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Dalt Hudson and Miss Gladys Edwards and two brothers , V. G. Edwards and Wilfred Edwards all of Midland and a third brother Thomas of Hanley, Saskatchewan. 


Elmvale Forage Club, the first of its kind in the province held its achievement day at the Elmvale fall fair. • • • Demolition of the old wooden storage shafts at “Town House” elevator, Midland, was rated to reduce the storage capacity of the elevator from four million to three million bushels. • • • Hon. Harold Scott, Ontario minister of Lands and Forests, announced that a survey of the Midland district including the townships of Tay, Tiny and Medonte would be made as the first step in a planned reforestation program for North Simcoe.  • • • Possibility of reopening the Breithaupt Tannery, Penetang, was suggested as the company’s Kitchener plant was reaching capacity. • • Charles Parker, chairman of the Midland Boys Band  Committee, announced that the committee had purchased new instruments at a cost of more than $5,000. • • • The Santa Clause parade, Armistice Day observance and whether or not to support an application for a liquor store and brewers warehouse were contentious issues at a meeting of the Midland merchants’ committee of the chamber or commerce. • • • Huronia Choral Society started its fifth season under its new conductor Wm. M. Cameron, who took over form Alec Docherty. Catherine Richardson continued as accompanist. • • • A dog poisoner was at work in Midland with poison bait being used to kill 10 dogs and one cat. Most incidents occurred in the Manley-Hanna Streets area.

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