Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – November 16th to 23rd, 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 enlargeA number of large masks made by pupils of Grade 8 were a feature of the open house at Bayview School, Midland, during Education Week last week. Lola Brown shows one of the masks to her mother, Mrs. Alice Brown. Attendance at all three Midland public schools was good, despite bad weather. 

One of the largest hunter safety training classes since the courses were started by Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers, graduated Thursday night. Here some of the 37 grads take their final test at MPDHS firing range. Course included four adults, one of them a married woman, and a high school girl. 

One of the many community projects sponsored by Branch 80 of the Canadian Legion, Midland, is a $100 scholarship for Grade 12 students at MPDHS. This year’s winner, Miss Donna Bridges, receives her cheque from Legion treasurer Ken Williams (right) at the Remembrance Day dinner Friday. Looking on at left is retiring president Borden Parker. 

Even the inspiration provided by these schoolmates failed to pull MPDHS juniors through to victory in the Georgian Bay final played here last Wednesday. Result was a heart-breaking, last-minute 20-19 defeat at the hands of Thornhill. It was the end of a fine season for MPDHS teams this year. 

Time has wrought a change on Midland’s King Street. Top photo, the burned out hulk of People’s Store is still sprayed with water after the fire last March. Lower, workmen put the finishing touches to the new sign erected on the front of the completed building, officially opened recently. 

Eve of the re-opening of the People’s Store in Midland recently was a hectic one for store manager Fred Carruthers, seen above checking off a rack of dresses with Mrs. Ann Lewis. 

It was “Education Week” in Ontario schools last week, and St. Marys Separate School joined other elementary schools in Midland in welcoming parents. Here some of the Grade 7 pupils await the arrival of their parents. At rear are F. Macdonald, inspector of separate schools, Barrie division, Sister M. Bernadette, principal, Miss Barbara Sibbald, consultant for an educational supply firm, and Sister Mary Imelda. 

This was a big moment in the history of Elmvale as Ernie Brown, president of the board of trade, left, turned over the keys of the community hall to the village, represented by Reeve Archie Train. The hall has been a board of trade project since February, 1936, and is currently valued at around $45,000. 

Another Midland organization has come to the aid of the Huronia Association for Retarded Children by making a financial donation. This time it is the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, who contributed $100. Making out the cheque is IODE treasurer, Mrs. Tom Brandon (seated). Looking on are W. A. Child, treasurer for the association and Mrs. Karl Bertrand, IODE Regent. 

These are not the walls of Jericho but of the new separate school being built in Midland’s east end. Row on row, the blocks were rising last week when this photograph of the building was taken. Exceptionally fine weather has been a boon to construction. Sacred Heart School 

Curling is in full swing again in Midland, with the Y’s Men’s Club holding the first bonspiel of the season Saturday. Winning rink in the second annual event, early draw, is Karl Bertrand’s rink, which included Gord Logan, Ross Thompson and Phil Fuller. 

Winning rink in the second annual event, 11 o’clock draw, was Armand Robillard’s rink, which included Norm Polmateer, Fred Hook and Archie Hyatt. 

These three girls placed in the top five in the final tabulation of Wyebridge 4-H Strawberry Club this season. Receiving cheques from Mrs. Howard Toole, president of Wyebridge W.I., sponsors of the club, are, left to right, Dorothy Shaw, Sharon Benson and Romelda Belanger. Club members were guests at a dinner held in Wyebridge community hall last Wednesday night. 

Father of Six Widower Drown on Fishing Trip
Free Press Herald headline of November 16, 1960. 

A late season fishing trip proved fatal for two Port Severn residents over the weekend. Drowned were Dorsey Leduc, 42, and Arthur Packwood, 68. Bodies of the two men were found in Gloucester Pool, about five miles north of Port Severn, by Cpl. James Bradley and OPP Constable Jack Ambeau. The two officers began dragging operations after the motor boat used by the two Port Severn men was found overturned in the ‘Pool’ Monday morning. The two victims were located Monday afternoon about 2,000 feet from the spot where the capsized boat was first sighted. They were in 50 feet of water, about 200 feet off shore, police said. 

Three Way Fight Looms for Penetang Mayoralty
County Herald headline of November 18, 1960. 

With ratepayers assured of a vote on election day this year through two questions being presented, there seemed to be less of an inclination at Penetang nomination meeting last night for nominees to decline if an acclamation appeared possible. As a result, there is indication of election for the posts of mayor, councillors and school board. Three men were nominated for the top post, Jerome Gignac, present mayor, was named along with Geo. Kerr and Edgar Moreau. Mr. Kerr said he would not stand, but there was considerable evidence from his supporters at the close of the meeting that he will change his mind and qualify before deadline at 9 p.m. tonight. Alf Cage received an acclamation for reeve, and Bernard St. Amant was given the nod for deputy-reeve. Both are sitting members. Nine names were proposed for the six council seats, and of that number there is a good possibility seven will allow their names to be placed on the ballot. (From the November 23rd paper; What appeared might be a three-way fight for the chief magistrate’s chair in Penetang dwindled to a two-way battle for the mayoralty by 9 o’clock Friday evening. All other municipal offices were filled by acclamation. George Kerr, a former mayor, by signing qualification papers has given the electors a choice between himself and incumbent Mayor Jerome Gignac.) 

Waubaushene Lady Dies in Accident at Harbour
Free Press Herald headline of November 23, 1960. 

Mrs. Thomas Byers, 91, of Waubaushene died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Nov. 21, following an accident in her husband’s car at 4.25 p.m. the same day. According to Provincial Police the accident happened at the junction of Highway 12 and Park Street, Victoria Harbour when the Byers car and one driven by James Cote, 20, Victoria Harbour, were in collision. The Cote car had stopped at the intersection to make a left hand turn, police said. Police believe Thomas Byers, 77, lost control of his vehicle. It went down a 20-foot embankment. OPP Constable Murray Tamblyn of the Victoria Harbour detachment is still investigating the accident. 

    Recent incidents in the town of Penetang are causing residents to ask for better street lighting. Council, Monday night received a request for lights in the area of the recent slaying of Oliver Forget. In a letter, Norman Ladouceur and Don Yates asked for lights on Cambridge Street. Council agreed to have two installed at an annual cost of $18.17. Another fixture was ordered for Harriet Street, at a cost of $11.70 yearly.  

    The subject of the town dump was aired again at the regular meeting of Midland council, Monday night, but nothing further was decided other than the appointment of Alderman Walter Woods to the committee investigating the project. Noting that former Alderman Douglas Haig and he had been working on the project during the year. Mayor Charles Parker said “We haven’t solved it but we must find a solution”. The dump subject was raised when Clerk-Treasurer Wm. A. Hack read a letter from the recent local court of revision, which requested council to take action concerning the dump situation. The court’s letter followed a complaint by Dr. J. S. Corcoran who appealed against his assessment on the grounds that the dump devalued his  property and was detrimental to health.  

    One of the largest hunter safety training classes in local history graduated in Midland Thursday night after completing written and firing tests. Course instructor Peter Clause said 27 students, four of them adults, completed the first six week course to be held this fall. The next class starts in the YMCA Thursday night. The grads obtained 90 to 100 per cent in their written tests, Mr. Clause said. Students were Mrs. Jack Stainton, Miss Arlene Wilcox, James Macey, Gene Crawford, Bernard Courrier, Wilfred D’Aoust, Steve and Clifford Gatehouse, James McConnell, Carl Rightmayer, Bob Grexton, Gerald Jeannotte, Lorne Fenton, Brian Shaw, James Latour and James Wood. Instructors were Lorne Smoky Wood, Ron Mink and Peter Clause. 

    Several hundred people of all faiths accepted Msgr J. M. Castex “open house” invitation Sunday to view redecoration and partial refurnishing of St. Ann’s Memorial Church, Penetang. The Monsignor and his assistant priests met the guests as they arrived. Groups were conducted through the church by assistant priests and members of the Knights of Columbus. A comprehensive explanation of the new work was contained on a printed circular. Msgr. J. M. Castex is particularly proud of the work which he has been planning for some time. Included is an addition to the west side of the church, containing a baptistry on the main floor level with a meeting room below. This structure was started more than a year ago, and is now complete. 


25 Years Ago
To mark the first anniversary of the forming of the Midland Bugle Band a dance was held in an effort to raise money for new instruments. * * * Midland YMCA’s men’s club inaugurated a fancy dress ice ball to open the town’s winter sports season. * * * Coldwater residents under the leadership of Arthur Harden were organizing the “Simcoe Dramatic Guild.”* * * Herbert T. Owens, Toronto, wrote to George Ross, president of the Midland Chamber of Commerce, extolling the beauty of a boat trip taken earlier this year, from Midland to Pointe au Baril. * * * The Midland Workers’ Association was supporting a labor slate in the municipal elections. * * * Penetang and Midland Boy Scouts were making a door-to-door canvass for used toys to be repaired by them and given to needy children for Christmas. * * * Relief workers and Midland’s welfare committee met in closed session to discuss certain friction concerning work cards and pay received by the men. Welfare chairman R. D. Preston advised after the meeting that the issues had been adjusted satisfactorily. * * *  The S.S. Lemoyne, largest freighter on the Great Lakes and product of Midland shipyards, unloaded 442,000 bushels of grain at C.S.L. elevator. * * * Midland council held a meeting to consider ways and means of making local homes more habitable for those on relief. 

     Nearly a quarter century of effort by Elmvale Board of Trade was culminated Wednesday night when it officially turned over Elmvale Community Hall to the  village in a ceremony held in the hall. President of the board, Ernie Brown handed over a large symbolic key to village reeve Archie Train following an evening of entertainment by personalities from the Barrie TV station and district artists. Bill Campbell outlined the history of the hall, and acted as commentator while a film was shown of work on the building through the years and the official opening night, back in April, 1951. “This is not just a structure of stone, bricks and cement” said Mr. Campbell, recalling the many hours, both happy and worried, that went into its building. He read a long list of men, some now dead, who gave of their time, thought and money down the years. Mr. Campbell said the idea for a community hall started at a board of trade meeting in February, 1936, when it was voted to turn $200 then in the treasury and the proceeds of a dance, to be held later, to get the ball rolling. These funds were placed in trust. By 1948, the board had accumulated between $5,000 and $6,000 in its hall fund. The late Lawson Robinson, a former reeve of the village, secured the present site, and a start was made with the limited funds available. Among the men highly praised by Mr. Campbell was Elmer Fiegehen, whom he likened to a Churchill or Roosevelt in raising flagging spirits when the going got tough. “He did his share and a bit more,” said the speaker. Although the official opening was held in April, 1951, a great deal of work, and much equipment, has gone into the building since that time to bring it to its present state, Mr. Campbell pointed out. “No person was ever asked to contribute money for the building of this hall, he recalled. Money was given, on a voluntary basis, and the rest was raised through numerous projects such as carnivals, sports, dances, car draws and auction sales, that included “just about everything from manure forks to pianos. In addition, of course, there were hundreds of hours of free labor by many men and women of the village, the chairman pointed out.  

    The current mild weather is not for the birds—but favors polliwogs. Grace and Rowley Marchant, who live on a farm near Old Fort School, Sunday found five good-sized tadpoles swimming in a small pool where their cattle drink. The polliwogs still had not shed their long tails, and had not reached the stage where their legs were starting to form. 

    Mumps continued to lead the list of communicable diseases reported to the Simcoe County Health Unit, with 63 cases for the month of October. Other diseases reported were chicken pox, 28; scarlet fever, 19; measles, 16; bacillary dysentery, 2 and salmonellosis and whooping cough one each. 

    Exempt assessment in the town of Penetanguishene is rapidly approaching the point of totalling 50 per cent of the town’s assessment for taxable purposes. This was shown in a report submitted to council Monday night by Assessor Willard Duquette. Those properties which come under the exempt class include churches, hospitals, schools, government wharf, post office, corporation buildings, Georgian Manor, Simcoe County reforestation, Ontario Hospital and HEPC.  

    Anne Delaney, Grade 7 student at Midland’s Parkview Public School, won first prize in the Simcoe County public speaking finals at Hillcrest Public School, Barrie, Friday night. Anne was presented with the George G. Johnston trophy by Johnston’s son. Noting that most of speeches were excellent in all respects, the judges said that they had to disqualify some of the speakers because they were over the seven minute or under the five, minute limitations. Thirteen proved to be a lucky number for Anne as that was her number among the 20 contestants. Anne is the 12-year-old daughter of Rev. and Mrs. L. J. Delaney.   

    John Svoboda, 12-year-old Penetang lad, will be one of a group of music pupils to receive medals for accomplishments in music, at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto tonight. John will receive a silver medal for attaining the highest mark in the province in 1960 exams. Trying his Grade 5 piano, John chalked up a total mark of 88. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Svoboda, and his music teacher, Mrs. A. Morrison, will accompany him for the presentation. 

    Penetang old time hockey players proved they were far from being a washed out bunch of old crocks by defeating the younger TV-Radio All Stars 12-6 in a game at Penetang arena Nov. 14. Entire proceeds go to defray the costs of Little League Hockey in Penetang. Lefty St. Amant opened the scoring for the old-timers early in the first period, and the men of the airwaves tied it up about five minutes later. Still insisting his team belonged on top of the heap, Lefty bulged the twine again a minute later and, from that time on the old timers stayed on top of the count. Goals for Penetang were tallied by Pit Legault, Sib Brodeur, Bud Larmand, Vic Grigg, Morley Spiker, Frank Swales, and Babe Deschamps. Lefty St. Amant got a total of four counts. 

Ten Years Ago
The congregation of Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, unanimously decided to extend a call to Rev J. L.  Self to be their minister. * * * Reductions in assessment of Penetang hotels totalling $19,000 and made by Penetang assessor Edgar J. Moreau were appealed by county assessor Eric Simpson. * * * Midland Post Office was celebrating its 78th birthday. In those years the town had had only three postmasters, Thomas Gladstone, then his son Watkin Gladstone and Donald Swinson. * * * With the putting into operation of the new Henry Simon (still in business) 1,300 barrel per day plant, Copeland Flour Mills, Midland, had a daily capacity of 2,500 barrels. * * *  Preliminary meetings of representatives of Midland council, Park Commission and Curling Club officials had agreed on the major terms of a new lease for the rink. * * * Charles E. Stevenson, chairman of the Midland Public Utilities Commission stated that close to $150,000 would be spent in rebuilding the hydro electric distribution system in Midland over the ensuing year. * * * A meeting of Hillsdale residents was called for the purpose of reorganizing the Hillsdale Community Park Commission and to discuss ways and means of putting the park in shape again. * * * Midland’s pet poisoner was still at work when the 21st dog was reported poisoned with strychnine. 

    The old story of carrying coal to Newcastle has nothing on Art and Larry Bellisle, Penetang butchers, who are delivering meat in Toronto. On Wednesday of last week, Larry left for Toronto with more than 1,700 pounds of meat for delivery to Toronto customers. He said they do this three or four times each winter. Larry explained the customers all spend the summer at cottages in this area, and shop in Penetang. During the winter months they continue to order their meat supplies from the Penetang merchant. Deliveries are arranged for times when suitable quantities are ready for delivery. (One of Penetang’s best, Larry died in March of 2018.) 

    The Canadian Legion this month celebrates its 35th anniversary with a new badge. Although retaining the shape of the old badge, the new one designed by heraldic expert Alan Beddoe, Ottawa, incorporates many changes. Chief change is in the dropping of the “British Empire Service League” after the name Canadian Legion. This was made necessary when the Commonwealth Association, of which the Canadian Legion is a member, changed its name in 1958. It is now known as the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League, it was stated. 

Births   (Maybe it was a cold spring in 1960?)
BELCHER — To Mr. and Mrs. Lorne Belcher, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, November 13, I960, a daughter.
BIGGS — To Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Biggs, R.R 1, Coldwater, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, November 10, 1960, a son.
PUDDICOMBE — To Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Puddicombe, Victoria
Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, November 17, 1960, a daughter.
CRAWFORD —To Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Crawford, 40 Olive Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 16, 1960, a son.
LEDUC — To Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Leduc, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 16, I960, twin sons.
NEILON — To Mr. and Mrs. Michael Neilon, 276 Dominion Avenue, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, November 14, 1960, a son. Stillborn.
DESJARDINS — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Desjardins, 83 Peel St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 1960, a daughter
DESROCHES  — To Mr. and Mrs. Armand Desroches, R.R. 1,
Perkinsfield, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, Nov. 18, 1960, a son.
GRENIER — To Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Grenier, R.R. 2, Midland, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1960, a son.
HARTLEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Laverne Hartley, 20 Peel St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, November 16, 1960, a daughter.
BELCOURT — To Mr. and Mrs. Paul Belcourt, Perkinsfield, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Thursday, Nov. 3, 1960, a daughter.
BRUNELLE —To Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Brunelle, 71 Robert St., W., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday, Nov. 6, 1960, a daughter.
DOYLE — To Mr. and Mrs. Michael Doyle of North River, at Soldier’s Memorial Hospital, Orillia, a daughter, Mary Jane Isabel, on Thursday, November 10, 1960, 9 lbs., 10 oz., a baby sister for Margaret Anne and
FENTON — To Mr. and Mrs. John R. Fenton, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, November 11, 1960, a daughter, Karen Joy. Weight 7 lbs., 8 oz.
LADOUCEUR — To Mr. and Mrs. Marcel Ladouceur, Park St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, Nov. 7, 1960, a son.
LAFRENIERE — To Mr. and Mrs. Peter Lafreniere, R.R. 3, Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, Nov. 5, 1360, a son.
LeCAMP — To Mr. and Mrs. Venard LeCamp, Brock St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 1960, a son.
LEVACK — To Mr. and Mrs. Norman Levack, 239 William Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, November 5, 1960, a daughter.
McCLUNG — To Mr. and Mrs. Larry McClung, 285 Lindsay Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, November 8, 1960, a son.
McMARTIN — To Mr. and Mrs. Russell McMartin, 19 Montreal Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a, daughter.
REYNOLDS — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Reynolds, Wyevale, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a son.
WALTENBURY — To Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Waltenbury, 34 Ontario
Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, November 8, 1960, a daughter.
WRIGHT — To Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Wright, 271 William Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, November 9, 1960, a son.

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