Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 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 enlargeMidland firemen were presented with this plaque by a number of local merchants as an expression of appreciation for past services. Members of the brigade present were, left to right: seated Dalt Jennett, Chief Arnold Tippin, Earl A. Allsopp; 2nd row—Phil Blake, Art Murday, Harry Hamilton, Doug Martin, Andy Sedore, Peter Staruck; 3rd row, Harry Howard, Neil Goneau, Robert Hudson (Bob), Fred Grigg; 4th row, Harold Rutherford, Logan Cruise, George Thompson, Ken Crawford, Jack Pardon (Pud); back row, Irwin Jackman, Ben Cowie, Lieut Wm. Johnston, Francis Miller (Sonny), Dave Hudson. 

Hearts were gay and spirits high when this picture was taken, just before the opening kick-off in the big game between MPDHS seniors and Orillia Friday afternoon. These MPDHS fans weren’t so happy at game’s end, following a 15-6 Orillia win that eliminated the senior squad. MPDHS juniors won their group and will meet Thornhill at Midland this afternoon.

New wide stone steps and balustrades have greatly improved the appearance of Midland’s Orange Hall on Dominion Ave. West. 

The photographer could have been excused if his hand shook a little when he took this picture, for the winner of this electric range at the Fun Fair cooking school in Penetang Friday was his wife, Ann Farrow, left, looking a bit astonished at the winning card. Others are, left to right, Jane Wright, Mrs. Louise Leclair and Ed Webster. 

These youngsters can afford big smiles after their award-winning efforts at the oratorical contest held at Regent School auditorium Wednesday night. Left to right are Max Morden, Parkview; Anne Delaney, also from Parkview and the grand winner of the night; Utta Beckman, Regent; Brian Clarke, Bayview; and Michael St Amand, Sacred Heart, judged best speaker for the separate schools.

Public School Inspector Ken Ellis (left) seems happy about the “progress” being made by Bill Jeffery with his spelling. The two men were actually visiting Parkview Public School Wednesday night during the observance of Education Week in Ontario schools. 

Arithmetic is still one of the important three Rs, despite curriculum changes in Ontario schools. Here Richard Waltz starts a problem while Miss Barbara Sibbald, consultant for an educational supply firm, and classmate Susan Wood watch. It was part of “Education Week” displays staged by St. Mary’s Separate School in Midland. 

Midlander’s were obviously pleased with the arrangements in the new Peoples Store, which re-opened Thursday for the first time since the big fire March 4. Setting up one of the counters are Mrs. A. Sibbald, left, and Miss Raylene Sovey. 


Four Face 26 Charges in Penetang Crime Wave
Free Press Herald headline of November 9th, 1960. 

Four local youths will face a total of 26 charges in Penetang court tomorrow, following investigations carried out by Penetang Police. The charges include break and entry, theft, car theft, and willful damage. Two juveniles are also implicated, and will face charges in Midland Juvenile Court. The four also face charges, laid by OPP at Victoria Harbour, of breaking into a cottage. Chief Jack Arbour said four youths’ were picked up as a result of police investigations of vandalism at Penetang Public School, Thursday night. A tip had indicated four lads were heading for Marygrove Girls Camp, near Penetang. Wearing civilian clothes, Chief Arbour and Sgt. Marcel Dorion found two lads hitch-hiking on Champlain Road Sunday morning and offered them, a ride. The youths were brought to Penetang for questioning. Statements given to police led to the recovery of loot in a Penetang home. Included were several items stolen in September from two cruisers anchored at Norse Boat Co., and cigarettes and other items from a break-in at the bowling alley. Theft of two cars is also involved. 

Councillors & Mayor Vague, May Enter Ballot Battle
County Herald headline of November 11, 1960. 

Midland municipal nomination day less than weeks away (Nov. 24) many council members are still undecided whether or not they will let their names stand. Members of the public utilities commission and public schools board, whose terms expire this year, are more definite in their intentions. Mayor Charles Parker, intimating that it had been a difficult year, said he was undecided but would talk to the press soon about his intentions. Reeve H. J. Beauchamp stated yesterday. “I am undecided but I think I will likely run for reeve.” Deputy-reeve Wm. Orr said he hadn’t made up his mind yet but definitely intended to run somewhere. “All I can give you at the moment is that I’m undecided,” declared Ward 3 Alderman James Mackie, “I think it’s about time I retired from municipal politics.” Ward 2 Alderman Walter Woods when asked if he had come to any decision about standing for office again stated. “My basic thought at the moment is that I will run for alderman in Ward 4. If a more capable man comes along I’ll step down.” 

    Midland council, at a special meeting Monday afternoon, appointed Douglas G. Haig town solicitor. He succeeds the late George Dudley, Q.C. Just prior to the appointment of the Ward 4 alderman, a motion by Reeve H. J. Beauchamp and Deputy Reeve Wm. Orr accepted “with regret” the resignation of Alderman Haig.  

    Frank Spence, president of Midland Figure Skating Club, appeared before a special meeting of Midland council Monday afternoon, to enlist council’s support for a meeting with the Midland Arena board and skating club representatives. Mr. Spence, noting that five letters and numerous phone calls had been sent to the arena board since March, stated that he still had not been able to arrange a meeting with the board. He added, “We are getting pushed around from pillar to post and I’m very provoked”. Mr. Spence said he had the impression that the arena board would not consider lowering its price for ice time and added it seems to be a case of pay $6 per hour or you can’t have the ice. Mayor Charles Parker asked Mr. Spence if there were any chance of increasing the number of members of the skating club. Mr. Spence said there had been a drop in membership from the 110 figure of three and four years ago.  

    First vice-president-elect of Midland Branch 80 of the Canadian Legion, Sol DeVries announced yesterday the proposed new Legion building will cost $60,000 instead of the $40,000 originally estimated. Mr. DeVries is chairman of Legion’s building committee.  The building, which will have 110 foot front and a depth of 60 feet, will be of modern design and of brick and concrete block construction Mr. DeVries stated. The basement level will comprise a clubroom to accommodate 250 people, card room, games room, T.V. lounge, reading room and executive offices, Mr. DeVries said. The main floor in addition to the spacious lobby will contain an auditorium with stage and dressing rooms. The capacity of the auditorium is an estimated 475 persons, it was stated.  Local contractors will be used in the construction, Mr. DeVries said. Midland council at its meeting Monday afternoon received the Legion’s cheque for $2,000 in payment for the lot at Bay and Queen Streets for the new building. 

    George McLaughlin last night was elected president of Branch 80, Canadian Legion, Midland, for the ensuing year. Other officers elected were: Sol DeVries, 1st vice-president: Oliver Lesperance, 2nd vice-president; James Duncan, secretary; Ken Williams, treasurer and sergeant-at-arms, Len Wiles. Elected to the Legion executive were Fred Lemieux, Wm. Henderson and Edward Ebdon. 

    Well-known throughout North Simcoe, Mrs. Herb Hornsby died unexpectedly, early Sunday morning at her Waverley home, following a heart attack. Funeral services for Mrs. Hornsby, the former Josephine English, were held yesterday afternoon at Nicholls funeral home. She had been active in the work of the Order of the Eastern Star, having held office in the Midland chapter. Besides her husband, Mrs. Hornsby is survived by three daughters, Mrs. Don Edwards, Midland, Mrs. Ruth French, Hamilton, and Mrs. Dave McCall, Trenton. There is also her mother, Mrs. Wm. English, a brother, Cecil English, both of Midland, and a grandson, Charles Edwards. 

Ten Years Ago This Week
    An epidemic of cottage break-ins was reported from the Nottawaga Beach area, and police were investigating. * * * Midland YMCA had achieved 83 per cent of its campaign objective of $7,500 and canvassers were confident that their full quota would soon be reached. * * * Sidney F. Malin, with 36 years of service with the CPR, took over as superintendent of the C.P. Great Lakes Steamship  service, in place of Capt. Joseph Bishop, retiring after 43 years with the company. • • • Simcoe County Warden W. R. Benson, addressing Coldwater Lions, said the county was paying a heavy price for lack of accommodation for destitute aged residents. The present county home was overcrowded he declared. The Pen Theatre was about to celebrate its “first birthday”. During the year, the management had sponsored a soap box derby, several contests, and was about to build a bowling alley. * * * The Roxy Theatre was preparing for a “Rugby Night” at which a “Campus Queen” would be chosen. * * * The Elmvale Calf and Forage Clubs were banquetted jointly by the Elmvale District Lions Club and the Flos Agricultural Society. Guest speaker was Norman Gerriock of the CBC Farm Broadcast Department. * * * Editorial extract: “Canada’s government-in-business’ personnel has ballooned to the point where it is robbing hundreds of thousands or citizens of hard earned dollars.” 

BOWEN — To Mr. and Mrs. Earl Bowen, 210 William Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital,  Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a son.
DYMENT — To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Dyment, 179 Manly Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, November 5, 1960, a daughter.
JANSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Horst Janson, 107 Scott Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, November 8, 1960, a son. 

Dear Editor;
The 73-ton single screw wooden tug Fanny Arnold, official No. 85322, was built in 1882 at Owen Sound by John Simpson for Benjamin Arnold and partners, of Owen Sound. Her length was 89 feet, width 18 and depth 9 feet. Her hull was painted green and cabins a dark red. She had a black stack. Her steeple compound engine was built by Bertram Iron Works, Toronto, in 1882. It had a 22 – inch stroke and cylinders, 15 and 27 inches in diameter, developing 31.8 horsepower. In 1903 her owners were listed as the Spanish River Company of Spanish River Ontario. In 1931 she was listed as owned by the Burke Towing and Salvage Co. of Midland, her captain being Charles  Malcolm and her engineer W. E. Root. On May 23rd 1941 she was sold to J. P. Porter and Sons, Ltd., Montreal, Que., and renamed Tupper Porter and on Nov. 23, 1949 her certificate was cancelled and registry closed. She was dismantled and her hull was sunk in Lake Ontario. —W. R. WILLIAMS 

A few items from the Free Press Herald of November 13, 1940, 80 years ago. 

No inquest will be held into the death of Arthur Ambeau at the C.N.R. Dock, Midland, Sunday morning, Dr. C. Swann, acting coroner, said today. Ambeau, employed by the Canadian Dredge Co., was engaged in the unloading of steel pilings for the dock remodelling work now in progress there. The pilings were lashed to a scow lying out from the dock. A piece of wood, used to tighten the cable holding the pilings, came loose as Ambeau attempted to remove the cable and flew up striking him a blow on the forehead. Dr. T. J. Johnston was called to the accident, but Ambeau died almost instantly. A resident of Midland for many years, Ambeau had only returned less than two weeks ago from Nobel where he had been doing temporary work, to take his job on the dock rebuilding. He is survived by his wife: formerly Miss Mary Bonnville, Port Severn; four children, Arthur 8, Robert 6, Jerome 4, and Margaret 2; his mother, Mrs. Herman Ambeau, and two brothers, Herman and Harvey, Midland. Funeral services were held this morning at 9 a.m. from St. Margaret’s Catholic Church with burial at the Catholic Cemetery. 

    The hand of death reached out of Monday’s storm and struck into two Midland homes; its shadow hovers uncertainly over three other Midland families and two of Victoria Harbour as anxious relatives await word of missing seamen. Identified as dead are Lawrence Thompson and George Sovey, of Midland, whose bodies were found by coastguardsmen on the shores of Lake Michigan, near Ludington. Tentative identification was made from papers found on the bodies. Feared lost with all hands are the vessels Anna C. Minch, with an all-Canadian crew, and the American  freighter, William B. Davock. Reported hard aground near Juniper Beach, Lake Michigan, is the Patterson line’s Novadoc, said to have broken in two from the violence of the waves. It was reported at noon today that seventeen crew members had been safely removed from the vessel by coastguard boats which had been standing by.

    George E. Walker, Midland longshoreman, fell 30 feet from a ladder to the bottom of the hold of grain boat “Barrington” at the docks of Tiffin Elevators, Midland, at 8 p.m. last night, during unloading operations. Walker has not gained consciousness and lies in a critical condition at St. Andrews Hospital according to attending physician Dr. Johnson. While medical attendants believe there were no large bones broken, Walker’s condition is serious as a result of a severely fractured skull. (He later died of his injuries.)  

    Spry and sprightly despite his 80 years, George Robinson; who operates a men’s wear store in Penetang, was on the job this week the same as ever, nattily dressed, and looking at least twenty years younger than his years. His birthday fell last Thursday and was celebrated in a fine fashion. He not only attends to his business, but pays even stricter attention to his golf being counted one of the best players on the roster of the Midland Golf and Country Club. Mr. Robinson has been active in sport throughout his life, hockey and baseball early in life, later retiring to the more sedate golf and curling in which he has collected an array of trophies. Born in York Township, Mr. Robinson came to Penetang while still a very young man. In 1902 he was married to Miss Mary Beck of Penetang. 

    On Tuesday evening a miscellaneous shower was held in honor of Miss Neca Laurin bride to be at the home of Mrs. Meb Spence, Midland. The house was prettily decorated with pink and white streamers and bells, and many of the gifts were held in a decorated umbrella. Many games were played and a dainty lunch was served by the hostess assisted by Miss Rita Hamelin, Miss Frances Wright and Mrs. Walter Lumsden. (From the next paper – The marriage took place in Margaret’s Church, on Saturday morning, of Neca Laurin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Laurin, to Mr. Alvin Lavigne, son of Capt. and Mrs. A. Lavigne. Rev. B. J. Belanger performed the ceremony. (From the Free Press December 1965 – Neca Laurin and Alvin Lavigne were married in St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, November 23, 1940 by Rev. B. J. Belanger. They resided in Midland for a number of years before going to Marathon.) 

     Terrific high winds Monday night resulted in considerable damage in both Midland and Penetang. Four chimney fires were reported but practically no damage of any extent resulted. The steeple was blown off St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Midland. Roofs of industrial and business concerns were torn up in the heavy wind. Penetang Ball Park grandstand was blown to pieces. Decorative trees that had stood for many years in the yards of historic homes were uprooted or broken by the heavy gusts. Motorists on country roads of the district reported blockings of travel by trees blown across the roads necessitating detours. 

    Rescuing his cows, pigs, and chickens from the fire that destroyed his barn on his farm, just across the Penetang Bay from the town of Penetang, late last Saturday night, Alphonse Lalonde, well known Highland Point farmer, was so badly burned about the hands and arms that his life was feared for over the week-end. “He will not be able to work for months” Dr. J. M. Nettleton, who is attending Lalonde, reported yesterday, “but he will recover.” Spectators at the fire are reported to have been amazed at the way Lalonde, his hands and arms burned almost to the bone, continued to carry his stock in his arms from the burning barn until the last one had been removed. The animals, terrified by the flames balked at being driven out and would not move. The barn was a total loss.

Every 30 minutes!

And to end, another letter home from a Midland serviceman overseas in 1940.


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