Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – January 16th to 23rd, 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.  

For the first time in its long history, Simcoe County has a warden of French-Canadian ancestry. Above wearing his robes of office for the first time following his election Monday is Montcalm Maurice, – reeve of Tiny Township. Equally proud and happy is Mrs. Maurice. “Monty,” as he is familiarly known to his colleagues in county council, is the first warden from Tiny Township in 48 years. 

It was a long time between wardens — 48 years in fact — for Tiny Township. New Simcoe warden Montcalm Maurice (seated) hears congratulations from Tom Simpson, who was the last reeve of Tiny to win the warden-ship, back in 1913. 

Now starting his 15th term in county council, Reeve Montcalm Maurice was elected warden by 40 votes to 26 in a two-way battle with Flos Township Reeve Earl Trace. The first to congratulate the new warden, Reeve Trace moved that Reeve Maurice’s election be made unanimous, a motion that was greeted by sustained applause. As a number of people, including senior county judge, J. G. Harvie, mentioned, it is the first time a man of French Canadian ancestry has been named to the County’s highest post. 

Armand Levesque, 26, of Port Severn, its driver, stands beside the damaged dump truck involved in accident on Highway 103, near Waubaushene, Saturday afternoon. The truck, loaded with fill, was hit on the left rear corner. Other vehicle involved was a small European car (Volkswagen beetle).

In the first fatal accident of the new year in the North Simcoe area, John D. Cousins, 34-year-old Thornhill resident, was killed instantly in a collision involving a small European-type car and a loaded truck Saturday afternoon. The accident occurred on Highway 103, near Waubaushene. OPP Constables Michael Chapman and Glen Graham inspect car in fatal accident.

 Old-Timers who took part in the hockey game between Barrie Radio-TV All-Stars and the Midland Selects last Tuesday night were glad to find a place to sit down between periods — any place. Above are Ed Houle (front) and, left to right at back, Sib Brodeur, Jack Sager and Bun Deschamp. The game netted $300 for Midland’s Little NHL activities. 

Still looking as much alike as the proverbial “two peas in a pod” Mrs. Constant King and Mrs. Mary Belanger spent their birthdays together in the former’s farm home at Mount St. Louis Monday. Remarkable thing about this is it happened to be their 80th birthdays. 

Accustomed to hard work all their lives, both look quite capable of chalking up another decade, at least, barring accidents. “We can’t complain about our health much at our age,” Mrs. Belanger told this paper. Born in Penetang January 16, 1881 Sarah and Mary Louise Bonneau were the daughters of the late Mr. and Mrs. Octave Bonneau. They were three years old when their father, a carpenter, moved his family of 10 children to Lafontaine. Still living besides the twins are; Mrs. Tom Fox (Rachael) Port McNicoll; Mrs. Andrew Moreau (Ida) Port Severn; Tom Bonneau, Prescott and Phillip Bonneau, Hastings. Mary Louise was the first to get married when she wed James Belanger in 1900. Her husband who died some six years ago worked in the bush or farmed all his life. After a year in Penetang when they were first married the Belangers then lived for various times in Midland, three years, at Madison in Northern Ontario for seven years, back to Midland for more than 15 years, and finally, a quarter century ago to Mount St. Louis, where they had a farm on Concession 3, Medonte. Mrs. Belanger brought a grand total of 20 children into the world, including two sets of twins. Nine children are still living, including twin sons Edgar Belanger of Midland and Phillip of Hillsdale, with whom she now lives. Other living children are George, Beamsville; Mrs. Alcide Pauze (Rose), Elmvale; James, Midland; Mrs. A. Belcourt (Margaret) also Midland; Roland, Peterborough; Arthur, whom she hasn’t heard from in years; Mrs. Francis Grenier (Bernadette) Elmvale and Eugene of Mount St. Louis. Two years after her sister, Sarah married Constant King and they too started their wedded life in Penetang, where they remained five years. A farm at Port Severn was their home for the next 32 years, and the last 18 years of their lives have been spent on a farm on Con. 4, Medonte, a half-mile north of the “Mount”. Mrs. King has three daughters and an adopted son, Robert King, who lives at Severn Falls. The daughters are Mrs. Earl Barber (Blanche) and Mrs. Fred Kibbel both of Buffalo; Mrs. Theo King (Lorrette) who with her husband, lives on home farm. Mrs. King still carries out the household duties in her home. Mrs Belanger still knits, sews, quilts and spins, skills she learned many years ago and has carried them on throughout her lifetime. 

If these chaps look a little weary – they were, after three tough 12-end games in the Governor-General’s competition in Midland Wednesday. Although you’d hardly know it, these two Midland rinks emerged the winners of the double-rink event and will advance further in the play­downs. Seated are the two skips, Karl Bertrand (left) and Al Steer. Their mates were, left to right, Marty Fitzgerald, Harold McAllen, Stan Burton, Harold Wilcox, Lloyd Wilcox, and Dennis Mohan. 

The proof readers at the Free Press rarely missed an error in the newspaper but “Skating Ring” may have been one of them.

Municipal Board Vetoes County Grant to Hospital 
Free Press Herald headline of January 18, 1961.

Midland ratepayers got a $111,577.50 sock in the eye as Simcoe County council assembled for its first real day of business of the new term at Barrie Tuesday morning. One of the first communications read by Clerk Fred Hunter was one from the Ontario Municipal Board. Over the signature of B. Vickers, acting secretary, it said, that in view of information deceived from County Solicitor J. G. Currie it could not give approval for county council to assist with the payment of debentures issued on behalf of St. Andrews Hospital, Midland. Which means, the town of Midland will have to pay the $117,577.50 in hospital debentures. 

Future May Be Brighter for Boat Building Firms 
County Herald headline of January 20, 1961.

A trend in preference toward wooden boats, indicated in several U.S. surveys, could have far-reaching effects on the Canadian boat-building industry this year, Andy Morrison, general manager of Grew Boats, Penetang, told this newspaper yesterday. Mr. Morrison said American previews indicate a trend back to the wooden boat. Trade magazines have published interviews with many men in the industry, and all seem to agree the wooden boat is coming back into its own, he said. Mr. Morrison said that people who have purchased molded fiber glass and aluminum boats are now showing a preference for qualities offered in boats constructed of wood. 

    A former member of Port McNicoll council and a barber in that village for 14 years, Jack Fisher died unexpectedly Wednesday evening at his home. He was in his 62nd year. Besides his widow, he is survived by two sons, Jack of Midland and William of Rochester, and two sisters, Mrs. Sadie Turner of Coldwater and Mrs. Edna Taylor of Fort Erie. Funeral service will be held at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home Saturday afternoon. 

    Dr. P. B. Rynard, M.P. for Simcoe East, revealed yesterday that the government wharf at Victoria Harbour is to be repaired this winter. Dr. Rynard said the contract for the work had been awarded to Lloyd Murday of Midland. The Midland contractor’s bid on the project was $3,600. The wharf was built about eight years ago. 

    Announcement was made week that the reward offered for information leading to conviction of the murderer of Oliver Forget has been doubled and now stands at $2,000. Chief Jack Arbour of Penetang said the additional sum is being offered by the CIB (Criminal Investigations Branch) of the OPP. The Town of Penetang originally had put up $1,000 reward in an attempt to assist police in solving the Oct. 22 slaying. 

    The year-end financial report of Penetang Memorial Community Centre, submitted by Chairman Clarence Sinclair, showed the large debt had been reduced to $3,800 despite the fact a $3,640 capital expenditure had been necessary during the year. Still owing is $2,700 on the ice machinery and $1,100 on the rear wall repair work. Total  payments made during the  year ran to $17,231.98. Curling was the big revenue producer for the year. The men’s club turned in $3,425 and the ladies $2,165. Scheduled hockey produced $779 and industrial hockey $328: General skating accounted for $1,138, and ice rentals brought $650. Almost one-half of the total $24,616 revenue came from donations and fund-raising projects, with a combined total of $12,276.  

Action of the Midland Public Schools Board in withdrawing from the central accounting of Midland town office was termed “unwarranted’ “arbitrary” and “precipitate” in a formal resolution passed unanimously by Midland council. * * * Largest bulk freighter of the Upper Lakes and St. Lawrence Transportation Company fleet was under construction in the Midland Shipyards. * * * It appeared unlikely members of council would agree with the proposal of County Assessor Eric Simpson that there should be a 25 per cent reduction in rural land assessments. * * * New councillor George Kerr, who headed the polls at the elections in Penetang was elected chairman of relief and welfare after councillors Archie Verriere and Jerome J. Gignac had refused the positions at council’s inaugural meeting. * * * Midland council authorized a grant of $500 to be used in organizing a civil defence headquarters in Midland. * * * Victoria Harbour residents were talking about their newly formed Boys and Girls Band which was conducted by Arthur Laley, bandmaster of the Midland Boys Band. * * * Fred Brown, Coldwater Postmaster and Past Master of Karnak Masonic Lodge Coldwater, had the distinction of installing his son William as master of the lodge. Six members of the Brown family had been masters of the Coldwater lodge. * * * Alfred Andrew Thompson, first clerk and treasurer of the united townships of Tiny and Tay which were to celebrate their 100th anniversary, Jan. 30, 1951, was also the first mayor of Penetang when it was incorporated as a town in 1881. 

After a lengthy illness, the death occurred Jan. 3 in Penetang General Hospital of Esther Patenaude. In her eighty-ninth year. Mrs. Patenaude leaves eight children and a large number of descendants, including 35 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. Born Sept. 17, 1872, in Lafontaine, she was married there in 1894 to Peter Patenaude. The couple moved to Penetang after the wedding and she had lived there ever since. Her husband predeceased her in 1917. In politics, she was an active supporter of the Liberal party. A Roman Catholic, she was buried from St. Ann’s Memorial Church, Penetang. Rev. J. Marchand and Rev. A. O’Malley conducted the service, assisted by Rev. Kenneth Robitaille. Pallbearers were Ron Robitaille, Jim, Peter, Albert, Larry, and Marc Patenaude. Temporary burial was made at St. Ann’s mausoleum. Surviving are five sons. Ed of Washago, Archie and Lawrence of Highland Point, Harry of Penetang and Francis of Vasey; and three daughters, Geraldine (Mrs. Ernest Robitaille) of Midland, Annie of New Brunswick, and Helen (Mrs. Stanley Moreau) of Penetang.
Life-long resident of Penetang and Midland, and a well-known chief engineer on Great Lakes ships, Joseph Brooks died at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Jan. 9. Rev. John Barclay conducted funeral  services at Nicholls funeral home, Jan. 11, with temporary interment in Lakeview Cemetery vault. Pallbearers were Alex McCullagh, Omery Caudle, George Richardson, Robert Munro, Andrew Morrison and Edward Brooks. First four years of Mr. Brooks life were spent in Brentwood, where he was born Aug. 1. 1876. He received his education in Penetang, where he was a resident for 59 years. On Dec. 31, 1912, Mr. Brooks was married in Midland to the former Margaret Ellen Elliott, who survives. He resided in Midland for 21 years. Employed on many boats, Mr. Brooks finished his career with the CSL. Member of the United Church, Mr. Brooks also belonged to the Masonic and Loyal Orange Lodges, and was a member of the Royal Black Knights. His favorite sport was hunting, and in political matters he was a follower of the Conservative party. In addition to Mrs. Brooks who resides at 81 Ottawa Street, Mr. Brooks is survived by daughters Mrs. Otto Cordes (Florence), of Pickering, and Mrs. Douglas Swann (Peggy) of Midland; and sons Robert, Alfred, William and Douglas, all of Midland. There is also a brother, Hiram of Midland, and two sisters, Mrs. David Nicholson and Mrs. M. Machesney, Toronto.
Eudgere Quesnelle a well known citizen of this area, died unexpectedly in St Andrew’s Hospital Sunday. Jan 8 after suffering a coronary thrombosis. Born at Perkinsfield Feb 1, 1901, Mr. Quesnelle had lived there until he married Celina Robitaille at Lafontaine in 1934. After spending seven years in Lafontaine, the couple moved to Midland 25 years ago. At the  time of his death, Mr. Quesnelle was employed by Midland public works department. A Roman Catholic, he was a member of St Margaret’s Holy Name Society. He was fond of hockey, and was a staunch Liberal in politics. Surviving besides his widow are three brothers. Eugene of Penetang, Leo of Wyebridge and William of Perkinsfield, and three sisters, Mrs. Arthur Pauze (Clairice), Penetang, Mrs. Armand Beauchamp (Delia), Perkinsfield and Mrs. Andre Duquette (Marie), Estaire, Ont. Funeral service was held Wednesday, Jan. 11, from the Beausoleil funeral home to St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, where Rev. L. Tamas officiated. Temporary entombment was in St. Ann’s mausoleum. Pallbearers were Urgel, Albert and Martin Pauze, Maurille and Gabriel Robitaille and Leonard Quesnelle. 

    Colour television will probably come to Canada within the next year or so. This was the prediction of Carlyle Allison, vice-chairman of the Board of Broadcast Governors, who was the principal speaker at the Midland Canadian Club meeting in Regent Public School last Tuesday evening. The high cost of color television was one of the main reasons for the delay in the arrival of this medium, Mr. Allison contended. He noted that a color television set in Canada would cost in the neighborhood of $795.


One thought on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – January 16th to 23rd, 1961

  1. This is very entertaining and interesting stories about people I remember from the area. Hope you have more. Keep up the good work Rene

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