Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – February 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 enlargeAmong the many organizations which have contributed to the welfare of St. Andrews Hospital recently is the Midland Shrine Club. Shriner Tom Wilcox (left) presents a cheque for $1,063.10 to Gordon Moss, retiring president of the hospital board, at the annual meeting Monday night. Money is to be used to help equip a children’s ward in the hospital. 

Presentation of a plaque to Fred Reynolds, honouring 30 years of meritorious service to agriculture, was one of the features of a dinner held by Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society Saturday. Mayor Charles Parker of Midland (left) and Everett Marshall, dinner chairman, are obviously pleased with the lemon pie that came their way. Both men discovered they were born in the same farm home, on the old Parker homestead. 

Presentation of a plaque to Fred Reynolds, honouring 30 years of meritorious service to agriculture, was one of the features of a dinner held by Tiny and Tay Agricultural Society Saturday.  Mr. Reynolds (left) receives the plaque from Ellsworth Collins, society president. 

One of these girls may emerge as “Queen of Hearts” of MPDHS this year in contests to be held at the Roxy Theatre. Five of 10 girls will be eliminated in a preliminary contest Feb. 9. Above are, left to right, Margaret Spicer and Marie Cordes (seated), Bonnie Rourke, Robin Benson and Arlene Armstrong. Another contestant, not present when picture was taken, is Marlies Delori. 

Four more contestants for the title of “Queen of Hearts” of MPDHS are seen above. Holding  the record is Barbara Murday. Standing, left to right, are Bonnie Flotron, Pat Playford and Karen Mick. Five of ten girls nominated will be eliminated in a preliminary contest to be held at the Roxy Theatre, Midland, Feb. 9. 

These girls would seem to have a choice of two baskets in the junior game between MPDHS and Camp Borden Wednesday. Actually it was the one nearest the camera (with net) that counted and the MPDHS player (in white shirt) has just missed. Camp Borden emerged winners 23-21 in a tight game. 

It’s hard to beat the high school teams when it comes to the matter of spirit. Here the MPDHS cheerleaders mark a successful try for two points by a player on their junior girls’ team during a recent game. 

Fish Hut Burns on Bay Penetang Angler Dies 

Free Press Herald headline of February 2nd, 1961.
Emery Cadeau, 33-year-old Penetang man, lost his life Friday night in a fire which completely destroyed a bobbing shack on Penetang Bay. Penetang police, who investigated said there will be no inquest into the tragedy. According to information available to police, Emery Cadeau, his brother Ted, and Raymond Martin owned the fishing hut in a partnership. The trio apparently had been fishing there Friday afternoon. Ted Cadeau and Raymond Martin are not sure what time they left the shack, situated at the lower end of the bay. Reports are that a number of people saw the hut burning about 9 o’clock Friday evening. The body of Emery Cadeau was discovered when Ted Cadeau and Raymond Martin went to the shack Saturday morning to resume fishing. Police say Emery did not return to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Theophile Cadeau, Sheridan Street, for supper, Friday evening. 

Harbour Hotel Destroyed in Early Morning Blaze 

County Herald headline of February 3rd, 1961.
Fire which is believed to have originated in the beverage room completely destroyed the 60-year-old Royal Victoria Hotel in Victoria Harbour early this morning. Owners of the building, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Harvey (Midland surveyor) barely had time to escape from the blazing building in their night attire when they discovered the blaze, around 12.30 a.m. Within minutes the old, three storey frame building was a mass of flames. Only the fact there was little or no wind in the 15-below zero temperatures saved a number of adjacent buildings from sharing the same fate. One of them, the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Bernard, appeared doomed. The Bernards and their three children, Edward, 16, Martha, 10, and Marian, 7, also left that building with what few clothes they could gather up. Later, firemen were able to save the Bernard home, only 18 feet to the east of the burning hotel, from complete destruction. In addition to the Harbour brigade, firemen from Port McNicoll and Waubaushene  also answered the call for help. One of their main concerns was saving the joint Victoria Harbour – Tay Township municipal offices, about 75 feet south of the hotel. Documents and other important contents of this building were removed safely but the building did not catch fire. Also threatened was an equally old large frame boarding house across the street to the north of the hotel and Eplett’s hardware store, across the corner from the municipal offices. The old hotel was originally built by the Waldie Lumber Co. in the days when Victoria Harbour was an important lumbering centre. The original hotel burned in 1900 (last numeral blurred, may not be a 0) and the present one was built immediately after, veteran residents recalled. 

One of the most spectacular fires in many years in this area was the one which totally destroyed the Royal Victoria Hotel in Victoria Harbour early Friday morning. At its height, some time before this picture was taken, flames were plainly visible in Midland, eight miles to the west. 

Only a few pieces of concrete and a few steel pipes mark the spot where the Royal Victoria Hotel stood until the 60-year-old frame building was swept by flames early Friday morning. House in the rear, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Archie Bernard and their three children, was badly damaged by flames, smoke and water. 

    What retiring president Gordon Moss said was the shortest annual meeting on record for the Corporation of St. Andrews Hospital, John Burke was named president of the board for 1961, at a meeting in Midland’s municipal building Monday night. Possibly because of the heavy snowstorm raging outside, it appeared there might not be a meeting at all. Eventually, after a half hour wait, enough qualified persons (15) showed up to permit the meeting to proceed. It took less than half an hour to finish the business from that, point. One of the features of the meeting was the official turning over of a cheque for $1,063.10, the gift of Midland Shrine Club. Shriner Thomas Wilcox made the official presentation to Mr. Moss, who noted that most of the money had been spent already. Donated in memory of George Ross, the money was used mainly to equip a children’s ward, in line with the club’s request Last year’s board of directors will continue to serve again in 1961. They include Mr. Moss, Mr. Burke, Frank Spence, W. H. Cranston, William Child, Edward Mechan, W. S. Struthers, Miss. Margaret Johnston and Mrs. R. Bell. In his report, Mr. Moss said St Andrews is now operating “to the limit of its capacity” and that there is a waiting list for elective surgery, averaging one to two weeks. “When the new section of the hospital was opened in 1955, it was anticipated that local requirements for hospitalization had been taken care of for years to come,” said Mr. Moss. He noted that things had changed greatly in Midland, as elsewhere, since the introduction of the Ontario Hospital Insurance plan in 1959. 

    The stork has been paying visits to Midland’s St. Andrews Hospital at an average of a little better than one a day, according to a report presented at the annual meeting of the hospital board in the municipal building Monday night. The report said there were 379 births at St. Andrews in 1960 compared with 372 the previous year. Increases also were noted in all other departments except one, where the number of physio-therapy treatments dropped from 4,073 in ’59 to 2,290 last year. 

    Lewis Jackson, chief of the Council of Chippewas of Christian Island Indian Band, has petitioned the Bell Telephone Co. of Canada to install telephone communication between Christian Island and Midland. The recent meeting of councillors, including Chief Jackson, Clarence Assance, Abraham King, Gerald Monague and Leo Norton, concluded that “It is not unreasonable . . . and if some of our people fall suddenly ill they have no way of reaching a doctor.” 

Ten Years Ago
Charles Carter was extended a call by the Presbyterian churches of Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour and Coldwater, effective upon his graduation from Knox College, Toronto, in the spring. * * * Centennial of the townships of Tiny and Tay was to be celebrated by an anniversary meeting in Penetang council chamber Jan. 30, followed by an evening dinner at the Hotel Brule. * * * Simcoe County council, Jan. 26, ended a record-breaking noon-day session by setting a county rate which meant a 12 per cent increase in levy. CAS grant was cut from $117,000 to $102,000. * * * Midland police court reported a very light docket, requiring only one-half hour of Magistrate K. A. Cameron’s time, three charges were read. * * * Albert Hartman, Karl Bertrand, Alvin Steer and Dr. A. H. Pinchin were planning to leave for Quebec City, to take part in the Quebec Curling Club bonspiel.   

    Since the first land was purchased in the early 1920’s, Simcoe County Forest has increased steadily until it now (as of March 21, 1960) includes a total of 15,600 acres. (From the County of Simcoe website; “The Simcoe County Forest is the largest and one of the most productive municipal forests in Ontario, totaling over 33,000 acres.”) Oro Township stands at the top of the list with 2,545 acres of county forest, about 100 more than Vespra. Medonte is next in line with 2,101. Other North Simcoe townships have: Tay 490; Matchedash 100; Flos 1,763, and Tiny 1,763. Land, purchased over the years, according to a report presented in county council recently, has been generally of the marginal and sub-marginal farm land type. Land which will no longer support agricultural practices economically, usually light sandy soils not suitable for crops or pasture, but which can support good stands of coniferous trees.  

    Saturday, Feb. 11, will be a red-letter day for members of Penetang Legion and Legion Ladies Auxiliary. That day they will burn the mortgage on the large new addition erected several years ago. According to President Doug Rogers, at least one official from provincial command of the Legion, as well as two zone commanders and deputy zone commanders are expected to be present at the event. 

    Penetang Winterama has been responsible for bringing an invention of “Up The Shore” residents into a prominence which might not have occurred. Born through a necessity for a means of transportation for these island people who, otherwise are isolated through the long winter period, the “Scoot”, for many years went through a mundane “workhorse” existence. From the time Jack Frost put a solid cover on the waters of Georgian Bay, among the 30,000 Islands, until the warming sun of spring removed the cover once again and freed the restless waves, the snow-ice-water sleds carried their owners from island or shore homes to town, and back, for supplies. Then one day some enterprising men in Penetang tired of the hum-drum existence of living indoors during the cold months, decided to stage a winter carnival to liven things up and have an excuse to ‘let their hair down’ for a few days. Groping for a feature attraction to draw the crowds and provide some thrills, one of them remembered that scoots could put on some pretty fancy, displays of speed with the right driver at the controls. 

    Extremely cold weather continued throughout North Simcoe yesterday as mercury in thermometers continued to hover at sub-zero levels. Unofficial reports indicated that the temperature in Midland Wednesday morning was 17 below zero. It was said to have been 20 below yesterday morning. At Port Severn Wednesday morning, a 35-below zero reading was reported and Thursday morning it was reported to have been 40 below. A similar temperature was reported from Coldwater.  

BROWN — To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Brown, R.R. 1, Waubaushene,
at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, February 1, 1961, a son.
COPESTAKE — To Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Copestake, 118 Donalda Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, February 1, 1961, a son.
HEELS – To Mr. & Mrs. Murray Heels, 374 Hugel Ave., Midland, at
St. Andrew’s Hospital, Friday, January 27, 1961, a daughter.
 KRHOBSKY — To Mr. and Mrs. Steven Krhobsky, 284 Dominion Avenue, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, January 26, 1961, a son.
LAMOUREUX — To Mr. and Mrs. Simon Lamoureux, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews hospital, Sunday, January 29, 1961, a son.
ROACH — To Mr. and Mrs. Allan Roach, 120 Gloucester Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, January 31, 1961, a daughter. (Stillborn).
SHAKELL — To Mr. and Mrs. Roy Shakell, 345 Frederick Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, January 31, 1961, a son.
THERRIEN — To Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Therrien, 260 Third Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, February 1, 1961, a son.
TURNER — To Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Turner, R.R. 3, Elmvale, at Penetanguishene Hospital, Tuesday, 1961, a son. 

    Why not come out to the Midland Ski Club and try the skiing? Last weekend many who had previously come returned to ski. Skiers reported six inches of powdered snow on 20 inches of hard packed base. Both Saturday and Sunday were successful days for the Ski Club. No serious accidents marred the activities. The ski patrol were able to turn their attention to bettering their own techniques. Fifty or 60 turned out to the Club’s first night skiing party, first to ski under the lights and then to hold an evening at the club house with the usual after ski activities. Future nights are planned. 

We have gone back another thirty years to February 1931 for some news and articles of interest. Two of them will have meaning the next time you get into your heated car to travel in comfort to your destination.




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