Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – February 24 to March 1st, 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 enlargeIt’s a case of an old friend in a strange setting, as the venerable cruise ship, City of Dover, spends the winter in the Trent Waterway locks at Port Severn. Idle last summer, work is being carried out on the Dover by the new owner, Captain Andy Light, who will put the ship in operation again this season. 

Another season for Midland’s Little NHL will pass into history Wednesday night, when the second of this year’s “final nights” is held. Here Jerry Deschamp, left, and Stan Snyder help sort our sweaters and pads while league president Vern Sweeting gets a goalie’s stick ready for the fray. After Wednesday night, President Sweeting and other officials will concentrate their efforts on the provincial finals to be held here during Easter week. 

Winners of Midland YMCA’s Little League basketball finals Saturday night were the Syracuse Nationals, who outlasted Boston Celtics 35-29. New champs are, left to right, front row, Dave Carr, Morley Bath, Wayne Holden (Capt.), John Cranston; back row, Fred Hacker, Dalt Moore, Dave Belsey and Axel Duwe. 

Following in his dad’s, and grandfather’s footsteps is Charlie Belanger, 5, a familiar figure around the Belanger grocery store in Port McNicoll. Charlie is seen with his dad, Ray Belanger, operator of the store started by T. J. Belanger 50 years ago, and his aunt, Miss Agnes Belanger, who also works in the store. Mrs. Belanger Sr. is now one of Port’s oldest residents. 

Unknown photo?? The man on the left is Dave Walling, TV aerial salesman from Lindsay pitching one of our local TV retailers or servicers. Do you recognize the man on the right? 

Million Dollar Market Seen for Spud Growers 

County Herald headline of February 24th, 1961.
The seed potato industry in the Lafontaine area, once valued at a half-million dollars annually, and now declined to less than half that amount, could conceivably be brought back and increased to a value of at least a million dollars a year. In a move designed to increase the lagging production, three meetings were held in Lafontaine this week under direction of the Department of Agriculture. The statement on the value of the industry was made by Harold Whiteside at a meeting yesterday afternoon. Mr. Whiteside is the officer in charge of seed potato certification for the Canadian Department of Agriculture. Mr. Whiteside said North Simcoe acreage of seed potatoes has declined from 1,032 acres in 1957 to less than 500 acres last year. 

Re-Assessment in Books for Penetang Ratepayers 

Free Press Herald headline of March 1, 1961.
Penetang’s assessment is scheduled for a complete revision in 1961, following a decision by Penetang council Monday night. The re-assessment work will be carried out by Paul Emile Mantha of Ottawa. Mayor Jerome Gignac and Councillors Maurice Legault and Leonard Ladouceur were absent from the meeting. Reeve Alf Cage occupied the mayor’s chair.  During the lengthy discussion on re-assessment, there appeared to be reluctance on the part of some members of council to reach a decision at this meeting. However, after it had been pointed out time was running-out, the resolution was finally tabled and passed. 

    Two Midlander’s caused a real flurry of excitement among Ottawa officialdom Wednesday morning when they landed their light plane on Dow’s Lake and parked it among the pleasure cruisers at the front of HMCS Carleton in the capital city. Aboard the plane were Lloyd Atkinson, pilot, and Arthur Argue, both of Midland. They landed in Ottawa about 10 a.m., secured the craft and went on about their business, little realizing the stir they were to create. A short time later RCMP officers arrived and stood guard around the plane, Mr. Argue told this newspaper yesterday that unknowingly they had landed in a restricted area. They chose the lake as it appeared to be a much safer landing spot than the river. The RCMP guard left the plane at noon after handing the case over to the Department of Transport. At one time, four police cruisers were parked near the aircraft, awaiting the return of its occupants. Department of Transport officials told an Ottawa newspaper that the regulations forbid a pilot landing in a built-up area, particularly within the confines of a city, unless an emergency occurs. It was indicated, however, that- no charges would be laid against the pilot this time. 

    Midland Public Library hit a new high in membership and book circulation in 1960, the annual report of Librarian Dawson Leigh reveals. He noted in addition that the “number of reference questions increased greatly both in scope and complexity”. In 1960 more than 630 people joined the library or approximately 150 more than the previous five-year average. The circulation figure was given as 81,448, or 10,486 higher than in 1959. Mr. Leigh said this was the largest circulation increase in 15 years and most of the increase was noted in the non-fiction field. 

    Midland council, at a special meeting Wednesday, approved the sale of town property at Queen and Bay Streets to the Midland branch of the Canadian Legion. At the Dec. 21 meeting of the 1960 council, a bylaw authorizing the sale to the Legion was given two readings and the Legion’s $2,000 cheque was deposited to the town account. The bylaw’s third reading was deferred pending a report from the town engineer. The Legion then gave the present council until Feb. 1 to reach a decision. 

    Midland Printers Limited and the Free Press Herald and County Herald have today become associated with the Advocate, the daily newspaper serving Red Deer Alberta and the Estevan (Sask.) Mercury, a leading weekly in southern Saskatchewan. This association has come about through the purchase of an interest in Midland Printers by Liverpool Daily Post and Echo (Holdings) Ltd. The Liverpool, England, publishing and printing company, which also has an interest in South Wales television, acquired the two western Canadian newspapers several years ago. 

The death occurred Feb 13 of Mrs. Newton K. Wagg following a heart seizure. Mrs. Wagg was born in the Township of Pickering in 1880 and received her education in Uxbridge. Her marriage to Newton Kirby Wagg took place in Toronto in 1908 and the couple subsequently came to Midland to live. She was a member of the United Church of Canada. Until the time of her death, she was the president of Wagg’s Laundry. Rev. Wilson Morden conducted the funeral service at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home, February 15. Pallbearers were Allan Gunn, Jack May, Tom O’Shaughnessy, Midland, Gordon Lightfoot,  Gilbert Smith of Orillia, and John Oakley of Gravenhurst. Burial was at Lakeview Cemetery. Friends and relatives attending the funeral were from Toronto, Orillia and Gravenhurst. Mrs. Wagg was predeceased by her husband in 1940 and is survived by one son, Murray, and three grandchildren, William, Betty (Mrs. Price Taylor) and Carol Anne. One sister, Mrs. Len Smith of Toronto, also survives. 

    Midland Chief George Wainman said there were a number of irate motorists in Midland Sunday morning, himself among them, who found the air had been let out of the tires of their vehicles during the night. Several of the drivers caused further damage to their tires by driving a short distance before noticing they were flat. The incidents occurred in several parts of town. 

    A vehicle which went through a stop sign at King and Yonge Streets, went up a lane between two homes and through an empty garage into another behind it, caused quite a stir in Midland around midnight Friday. The driver told police he had been travelling east on Yonge Street when his accelerator stuck as he approached King Street, a through street. Before the car came to a halt, it roared across King Street, up the driveway at Mrs. Alex Macintosh’s home, through her empty garage and into another behind it, where two other vehicles were parked. Police said a 17 year old Willowdale man has been charged with careless driving and with consuming alcoholic beverages  while under age. 

Ten Years Ago
The photographic story of the varied activities of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters from the time of their mobilization until they embarked for overseas service was being shown to Midland school children. * * * OPP Const. Jack Shepherd, stationed at Waubaushene and Police Chief William Beach of Coldwater both donated trophies for competition in the public schools in the “Elmer the Elephant” safety campaign. * * * Parents of Penetang High School students were stung into action at a meeting when Principal R. C. Gauthier rapped them sharply for lack of supervision over their children. A parents’ committee was formed as a result of the meeting. * * * Thirty thousand island cruise boats, the Midland City and City of Dover which once operated exclusively out of Midland and in 1949 and 1950 had Penetang as their home port started to serve both towns under an agreement between directors of the 30,000 Island Navigation Co., Ltd., of Midland and the Georgian Bay Tourist and Steamships Ltd., of Penetang. * * * Coldwater Lions Club had started a campaign to raise funds for a moving picture projector which was to be available to Coldwater and district groups for educational and entertainment purposes. * * * An editorial note stated “Canada has truly entered a new era. The A-bomb was a herald of things to come but the real convincers are the six cent ice cream cone and the seven cent chocolate bar. * * * Midland Sea Cadets of RCSCC Huron honoured their commanding officer, Lieut.-Commander Charles Scott who retired after three years as C.O. of the unit. He was presented with a ‘clipper ship’ mantel clock at a testimonial banquet in St. Margaret’s hall. 

    Sales of Japanese footwear to Canada were three times as great in the first seven months of I960 as in the same period of 1959. So Professor J. C. Cameron of Queen’s University told a recent conference in Montreal of the Shoe Manufacturers’ Association of Canada. The danger of imports gaining an even larger hold on the Canadian market, Professor Cameron pointed out is increased by reason of the fact wage increases have been much larger than the increase, in productivity. 

    Despite cloudy skies which threatened to pour down rain at any moment Saturday afternoon, thousands of visitors invaded Penetang and swelled the weekend crowd to what Winterama officials believe was a new high. Additional thousands took advantage of the sunny weather Sunday, and lined the parade route several deep for its entire length. Ice on the bay, where much of the activity centered Saturday, was wet, but entirely safe so far as thickness was concerned. Friday evening activities, centering around the Legion and Knights of Columbus Halls, and hockey games at the arena, forecast the record attendance. Dance halls were filled beyond capacity, and a better-than-average crowd attended the hockey games. Noon hour Saturday a group of residents from Christian Island performed a traditional welcoming ceremony at the main intersection. This appeared to be a real crowd pleaser, for hundreds of spectators wanted to have their pictures taken with the group following the ceremony. The annual Winterama parade, well over a mile in length, drew a total of 36 floats. Judges experienced difficult in picking the winners in three different classes.

We have no Winterama photos from 1961 but have reposted a favourite from 1957.

A giant pinwheel, that is what the fishing derby at Penetang’s recent (1957) Winterama looked like from the air. The arrangement of the holes and the anglers gives an appearance of a giant pinwheel. The photo was taken by Free Press photographer Vern Farrow from a Georgian Bay Airways plane.

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