Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – January 1st to 7th, 1961

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 fellow the bees keep busy the year round is Ed Woods of Hillsdale. Ed has just finished “packing” some 70 hives he has located in 25 farm yards around Simcoe County. Now he hopes to complete the fine two-storey cement block structure he began building last fall. One of the few commercial structures built in Hillsdale in many years, the new building measures 50 by 155 feet. 

Snow and boys go together, particularly in North Simcoe during Christmas holidays. Nonchalant tobogganer in this picture is Maurice Dorion, who found the hills in Little Lake Park to his liking. 

King Street was a busy place during Christmas and New Year’s as both Midland residents and those from the surrounding area completed their holiday shopping. Above is a typical mid-afternoon scene, with every available parking place full. Country roads remained open despite heavy snowfalls. 


Santa left a new plastic sled under the Christmas tree for little Stephen Copeland during his visit to Midland Dec. 25th. Giving Steve a helping hand are his sisters, Anne, left, and Donna, as they frolicked in the snow at Little Lake Park. 

Nestling happily in mother’s arms is Jennifer Barr, all 8 pounds 12 ounces of her, who arrived at St. Andrews Hospital around mid-afternoon Tuesday to become the first baby born in Midland this year. Jennifer will have a host of gifts, donated by Midland merchants, to take home to her two sisters and one brother. Parents are Mr. and Mrs. Norman Barr, 227 Yonge Street. 

New addition to Midland-Penetang District High School is rapidly taking shape. Above, steel is being put in place for the two-storey portion of the addition, at the southwest corner of the present school. A one-storey addition, at the east end, is even further advanced. 

Winner of the contest sponsored by Midland Rotary Club to determine the town’s “most courteous clerk” over the holiday period was Mrs. Ed Gamna of the Dominion Store. Mrs. Gamna is seen receiving a plaque from Rotarians Joe Faragher, left, Lorne Garrow and Bob Scott. The Rotary Club plans to make the presentation an annual event. 

New caps and uniforms signify the progress made by members of the first class of the certified nursing assistants’ course at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. Snapped during the ceremony in the nurses residence Tuesday are, left to right, front row — Mrs. Nettie Genier, Miss Joyce Leonard, Mrs. Mary Magloughlin, Mrs. Marie Reynolds, Mrs. Mary Okenka, Mrs. Jean Wilcox; back row—Mrs. Laura Steer, Mrs. Marjorie Gibson, Mrs. Gladys Marchant, Mrs. Beverley West and Mrs. Audrey Moreau. 

These classrooms, in the new Sacred Heart Public School at the foot of Elizabeth Street, look a bit drafty at the moment. Soon, however, they will be closed in and tradesmen will be busy with plastering, wiring, painting and other jobs necessary before the school opens for business next September. 

GBDA Takes up Gudgel, Fights Rail Rate Hikes 

Free Press Herald headline of January 4, 1961.
The Georgian Bay Development Association took steps this week, to protect four Georgian Bay ports, Collingwood, Midland, Owen Sound and Port McNicoll by forwarding a brief to the Prime Minister of Canada in an attempt to curb proposed freight rate increases on grain shipments from the Bay ports to the eastern seaboard terminals. The CNR and CPR have submitted an application to the Board of Transport Commissioners to increase trans-shipping rates from Georgian Bay to Montreal and St. Lawrence ports easterly. 

30 New Students Apply for Nurse’s Aide Course 

County Herald headline of January 6, 1961.
One of the most successful ventures undertaken in North Simcoe in some time has been the certified nursing assistants’ course sponsored by St. Andrews Hospital in Midland. This was revealed during a ceremony at the nurse’s residence Tuesday when 11 members of the course received their first caps and white uniforms. Questioned by this paper following the ceremony, Mrs. Jean Sutton, superintendent of nursing at St. Andrews, said more than 30 applications have already been received for the second course, not slated to get underway until next fall. Only 12 applications were accepted for the first course, which got underway in September. One of the applications received, Mrs. Sutton said, came from far-off Barbados. She was unable to say how word of the course being held at St. Andrews got that far afield. There is little likelihood of the number of persons permitted to take the course at St. Andrews exceeding the present dozen.  

    In an article on winter carnivals, Maclean’s magazine says the city fathers of Quebec who proclaimed their first snow and ice festival in 1894 “were neither the first Canadians nor the last to decide they couldn’t wait till summer to raise a little h…”. The magazine says Samuel de Champlain, closely connected with the history of Penetang, halfway through a winter in Acadia, invented “L’Ordre de bon Temps” the Order of Good Cheer — to get him through the second half. The article continues to sat there are only six carnivals in Canada that really are carnivals down to the last drop, the Winter Carnivals at Quebec Ste. Agathe, Vernon and Banff, the Trappers’ Festival at the Pas, Manitoba, and what the up-to-the-minute burghers of Penetang call the Winterama. 

   Motor vehicle licences for 1961 went on sale yesterday. This was confirmed by Jim Bath, licence issuer in Midland. “On the first day (yesterday) applications for licences were quite steady.” commented Mr. Bath. He added that he hoped it would remain that way so there will not be any last minute rush. Expiry date for the 1960 plates will be March 15. After that date all vehicles operating on the roads must bear the 1961 plates which are black plates with white letters and numbers. Motorists are also advised that as of last year they must present a certificate of liability insurance when making application for new licences. Failure to produce such a certificate will result in an additional fee of $5 over and above the normal registration fee for the vehicle. 

Ten Years Ago
First steps towards the establishment of a five-part civilian defence organization for Midland were taken at a citizens’ committee meeting in the town hall. Preliminary organizational plans were drawn up by Alex Lucas, manager of Bausch and Lomb, Midland. * * * Staff at Midland Shipyards Ltd. was slowly expanding in preparation for winter work and for the construction of two large bulk carriers. * * * Penetang’s mayor and owner of one of the town’s two drugstores, W. D. Hunter sold his store to James C. Hartt of Orillia. * * * Walter Middleton, former warden of Simcoe County, was re-elected reeve of Flos Township and Fisher Canton was re-elected reeve of Medonte Township. * * * King Concrete Colorite Products, a new company which made liquid substances for preserving building surfaces, was a established in Coldwater. * * * Rev. J. L. Self, formerly of Norval, was being inducted as minister at Midland’s Knox Presbyterian Church. * * * Howard Burse had formed an eighteen member mouth organ band at Waverley and plans were being made for it to play at Midland’s Roxy Theatre. 

    We are not certain what it portends for 1961, but for the first time in a goodly number of years Midland’s St. Andrews Hospital did not have a New Year’s baby to record this year. And, as recently as yesterday morning, gifts donated by Midland businessmen still remained unclaimed.

    Fire of unknown origin destroyed what was left of the old CNR roundhouse at Tiffin yards last night. Unused since the advent of the diesel locomotives here a couple of years ago, there was nothing of any great value left in the building this paper learned. All there was to burn, was the roof, the wooden partitions and wooden floors, it was stated. The fire apparently started after 10 p.m. There are always fires burning at the town dump, some distance to the west of the roundhouse, and it was some time before watchmen learned it was the building that was on fire and not the dump. Midland fire brigade was notified but was unable to take the trucks through several feet of snow covering the long unused road leading into the roundhouse.  

   Tuesday marked the day on which Mr. and Mrs. William Wilcox of Midland observed the 55th anniversary of their wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox were married January 3rd, 1906 at the home of her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crawford, in Tiny. Owner of a grocery and meat business on Colborne Street, Mr. Wilcox is a well-known supporter of hockey teams in Midland. The couple has seven children living in Midland and the area nearby. Sons are Orval (Joe), Crawford (Fawf), and daughters Mrs. Charles Yorke (Annie), Mrs. Rudolph Stamp (Margaret), Mrs. Howard Ritchie (Clara May), Mrs. Fred Monkton (Helen), and Mrs. Trottier (Gwen).

The births section was damaged and we were unable to cut and paste it, so we are placing it here for you to decipher.


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