Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – March 2nd to 15th, 1961

During the first week of March the papers were full of Winterama photos none of which are in our collection so we have decided to combine the first and second weeks of the month. 

Click on photos to enlargeFire which is believed to have started in a buffing machine caused more than $2,000 damage to equipment, stock and building at Gammon’s Tire Service, Dominion Ave. West, Midland, around the supper hour Monday. Smoke from the burning rubber caused heavy damage to the apartment above the shop, occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Gammon and family. Firemen above are working at the rear of the building. 

There’s evidence here that high school pupils can execute, and enjoy, other kinds of dances besides rock-and-roll. These young people are performing a ‘‘blue tango” as part of the Variety Show presented by pupils at St. Theresa’s High School recently. 

Although the weather was more suited for skin diving, Midland Ski Club had reasonably fair conditions for its annual ski meet Sunday. Admiring their trophies, are the winners, left to right, Mrs. John Gammell (Ruth), senior women; Stephen Bell, junior men; Dietrich Nebelung, senior men; and Paul Krochko, in the “under 12’’ division. 

Like the cigar-store Indian, or the five-cent cigar, the day of the hod-carrier appears to be a thing of the past. This fork-lift machine, at work on the new addition to MPDHS, can lift 2,500 lbs. of bricks at a time, to a height of more than 20 feet. A man carrying a hod would have to make many trips to accomplish what the machine can do in minutes. 

The removal of a number of old wrecks scattered around the north east shore of Midland Bay is providing winter work for a number of district breadwinners. Waubaushene Navigation Ltd. secured the contract early in December to remove the old hulls, and work began in February. So far six hulls have been removed and there are still three or four more. Officials are not sure whether two hulls are involved in an operation well to the east on Midland Point, or whether it is merely one large hull, broken in half. Probably the biggest job will be the removal of the old “Major”, which stretches far out into the water north of the CSL winter berth. It is an old grain carrier which was sunk and used as a temporary dry dock in the old days. Mel and Paul Tinney and Barney Tucker make cuts in ice prior to removing old hull. Much of the work is centered around the area in front of Gawley’s Beach. To the west of the beach, remains of a dredge, a tug and a scow have already been removed. Farther east two dredge scows and a tug have been taken out. One large old hull, believed to be that of an old sailing vessel, is still in the water. One of the old hulls provided some real ancient history in the form of copper pegs and spikes, with brass cores, probably not used in ship construction for close to a century.  

Typical of many Ontario fathers is Midland’s Capt. Norman Donaldson, who is helping his son Peter, 7, get ready for a Little NHL game. Some 500 lads, from seven to 14, will invade Midland and Penetang during Easter holidays for the provincial Little NHL championships. 

On this agenda at the 40th annual meeting of Midland YMCA last Tuesday night was the presentation of national leadership awards to the men and women above. Left to right are Hessel Pape, Mrs. John Gammell, Elmer Vuromaki, Miss Mary Lou Graham, Mrs. John Courtemanche and Richard Schmitz. Awards were presented on behalf of the ‘Y’ by Clarke Edwards for work carried on during the past year. 

A number of new directors were added to the board of Midland YMCA at its 40th annual meeting last Tuesday night. Seen with Vice-president Charles Walton (seated) are, left to right Miss Grace McMullen and Mrs. Neville Keefe (Nancy Keefe); standing — Doug Gerow, Alvin Gropp, Frank Spence, Lorne Craig and Jim Gamna. 

Presented by the Amateur Hockey Association of the United States, this handsome new trophy will be up for competition for the first time at the provincial Little NHL finals to be played in Midland and Penetang during Easter week. It commemorates the late George S. Dudley, Canada’s “Mr. Hockey” during the years he was CAHA secretary-manager. With the new trophy are, left to right, Rev. Len Self, provincial Little NHL director, Miss Shirley Ruby, Mr. Dudley’s secretary for many years, and Fred Grigg, secretary of the Midland Little NHL group. 

One of the features of the variety show put on recently by pupils of St. Theresa’s High School was numbers by the Grade 9 chorus, above, under the direction of Mr. J. McKeown. The school also has its own band and an accordion group. 

Ladies parlour at the YMCA was a hive of industry Thursday as the Midland unit of the Canadian Cancer Society staged a “blitz” to ensure a good supply of surgical dressings for patients in Midland, Penetang and Elmvale areas. Among the women taking part were, left to right, Mrs. H. Gosselin, Mrs. Alex Craig, Mrs. C. A. Talbot, Port McNicoll, and Mrs. Peter Brasher of the Midland unit. 

Other women taking part were, left to right, Mrs. Alex Campbell, Mrs. L. H. Taylor , Mrs. W. L. Attridge and Mrs. J. W. Dorion, Penetang. 

Officials of Branch 80, Canadian Legion, Midland, for 1961, left to right, are front row, Ken G. Williams, treasurer, Sol DeVries, 1st vice-president, George McLaughlin, president, O. Lesperance, 2nd vice president, Borden Parker, IPP; executive members in back row are Les Scott, Ted Ebdon, Howard Henderson, Fred Lemieux, Len Wiles, Charles Stewart, Bill Henderson, Jim Duncan, secretary. 

Nosed out by Syracuse Nats in a hard-fought series of Midland YMCA’s Little League basketball championship were the Boston Celtics, above. Left to right, the players are, front row, Al Mostyn, Max Morden, Colin Hamer, Chester Graham; back row, Paul Downer, Don Moffatt, Greg Somers, and Doug Taylor. 

Recently appointed general manager of Midland Plastics, Lin Love of Toronto also retains his responsibilities as general sales manager and as such is currently dividing his time between Midland and Toronto offices. Mr. and Mrs. Love have two children, Carol (Gerow), who is in her last year of high school and Larry, 14. The Love family expects to move to Midland in mid-1961. A native of Toronto, Lin attended school there and served overseas with the Royal Canadian Signal Corps during World War II. (The Love’s built a home at the foot of Cornel Drive on Little Lake, later owned by Tom & Judy Hazel.)


See Early Opening Date for 1961 Shipping Season

 County Herald headline March 3, 1961.
Barring a sudden about-face by the weatherman, there is good reason to hope the navigation season in the Bayports of Midland and Port McNicoll will open two weeks ahead of last year’s dates. Superintendent of the CPR’s Great Lakes fleet at Port McNicoll, George Burns said three engineers and four other men would start work on the Assiniboia  Monday. Rest of the Assiniboia crew, and all of the Keewatin’s are to report March 20, he said. J. G. Hendrickson, CSL manager in Midland, said he had he had received no official word as to when any of the crews of the several ships of that firm berthed here, would report at Midland and Port McNicoll. Last year they reported March 21. First ships left the two ports April 8 last year. Several of them were among the 11 bulk carriers that brought a record 5,809,000 bushels of grain to Midland engineers and Port McNicoll over the weekend of April 15, 1960. 

Man Missing Four Years Nabbed in Barrie Hotel 

Free Press Herald headline of March 8, 1961.
Subject of a search which lasted almost four years, a local man, wanted by Penetang police on a charge of theft, was apprehended in a Barrie hotel yesterday. The man, whose age was given as 75 years when he disappeared June 2, 1957, had been working as a desk clerk at the Hotel Brule, Penetang.  A sum of money, estimated between $900 and $1,000 was missing from hotel funds at that time. At first, police worked on the theory that the missing man had been the victim of foul play, believing thugs had kidnapped him to delay detection. However, they later found witnesses who said they had seen him hitch-hiking on Highway 27. Some considerable time after his disappearance a report was circulated that a badly decomposed body found in the Niagara Whirlpool was that of the suspect. According to police, the missing man who was known at the time to be the recipient of a U.S. army pension, has been living in the United States since his disappearance. He was discovered in a Barrie hotel by police of that city, and they notified Penetang Police. 

Ontario Tax Payers Face 3 Per Cent Sales Tax 

County Herald headline of March 10, 1961 
 North Simcoe district municipalities will receive increased assistance from the provincial government this year, but they also will be helping to pay for it themselves. Hon. James N. Allan, provincial treasurer, bringing down the Ontario budget for the 1961-62 fiscal year, asked the legislature yesterday to approve a three per cent sales tax to become effective Sept 1, 1961. Provincial Treasurer Allan said he had carefully examined other possibilities of raising revenues such as added corporation tax, personal income tax, gasoline, liquor and other fringe taxes, and came to the conclusion that the sales tax was the only possible solution. Mr. Allan said it holds the advantage that, on the basis of present estimates, it would produce the $150,000,000 required by the government to meet its obligations. Not subject to sales tax are: Any purchase under the value of 17 cents. All food products with the exception of candy, confections and soft drinks, and candy, confections and soft drinks will be exempt where the purchase price is less than 17 cents. All children’s clothing will be exempt. All drugs, medicines and dental and optical appliances sold on prescription of a physician, dentist or optometrist, and artificial limbs, wheel chairs and hearing aids will be exempt. Any meals costing $1.50 or less in restaurants will be exempt. (What is that old saying, “this is the thin edge of the wedge”.) 

Engineers Urge Speed-Up on Sewage Disposal Plant 

Free Press Herald headline of March 15, 1961.
In another marathon session, lasting until 1.20 a.m. Tuesday, Midland council heard a letter from Canadian-British Engineering Consultants pointing out the urgency for council’s action on municipal sewage treatment projects. The letter addressed to Mayor Charles Parker and members of council said in part, “It seems probable that Midland will be required to proceed with a sewage treatment and trunk sewer project in the near future. The recently announced federal aid program for sewage treatment projects is intended as an incentive for communities to undertake such projects. “Central Mortgage and Housing  Corporation (CMHC) may make a loan to a municipality to assist in the construction of, or extension to, a sewage treatment plant or trunk sanitary sewer. Of greatest interest to municipalities is the fact that a portion of the loan may be forgiven by the federal government. This may be interpreted as indicating that the federal government will subsidize to a certain extent the cost to a municipality of such a scheme.” The letter continues: “The federal government originally set aside a sum of $100,000,000 for this aid program for construction completed before March 31, 1963. We have recently been reliably informed that some $60,000,000 to $70,000,000 of this sum has already been approved for expenditure. It would appear quite urgent therefore that CMHC approval of the Midland project be sought since further funds may not be made available for this purpose.” 

    Active in community and church work and a former prominent Midland businessman. Thomas John Campbell died at St. Andrews Hospital, March 5, after a lengthy illness, he was 87. Rev. W. R. Auld and Rev. Wilson Morden officiated at the funeral service held at St. Paul’s United Church, March 7. Pallbearers were Lorne Campbell, Toronto, Wm. S. Campbell and Edwin Campbell of Elmvale, James Allen, Waterdown, Ewart McLean, Sudbury and Jack Thompson, Midland. Mr. Campbell was born at Walter’s Falls, Ont., Feb. 1874. He received his education there and on Sept. 17, 1902, at Waterdown he married the former Frances Gertrude Allen. After short stays at Priceville and Sundridge, Mr. Campbell came to Midland in 1896, having accepted a position with Wm. Peters in his hardware store and contracting business. In 1903 when Mr. Peters sold his business to Hartman Bros. Mr. Campbell opened a plumbing and heating business on King Street in the building now occupied by Graham Swales. Shortly afterward he purchased the building now occupied by H. J. Thompson and Sons and continued in business until May, 1914. At this time the T. J. Campbell Co. Ltd., was incorporated, in which business Mr. Campbell remained president until March 1951 when the business was sold to Herman J. Thompson and sons. Mr. Campbell was superintendent of St. Paul’s United Church Sunday School for 34 years and he served on that church’s board for many years. He also served as president of the Midland Kiwanis Club and the Midland YMCA. He usually spent his summers at his Georgian Bay cottage where he took a keen interest in fishing. Mr. and Mrs. Campbell celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, Sept. 17, 1952, at their home “The Gables”, 238 Yonge Street (now 556), Midland, which they built in 1908. Mr. Campbell is survived by his widow. Two sisters, Mrs. Norah Thompson, Midland, and Mrs. Wm. McLean, Walter’s Falls and a brother, Seymour Campbell of Elmvale, predeceased him several years ago. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery. 

    Applications will be made to the Ontario Department of Education to have Midland-Penetang District High School changed to a composite type of school, teaching technical subjects. This was decided at the MPDHS board meeting Wednesday night on a motion by Clarke Edwards, chairman of the board’s management committee, and J. Rumble. The motion was as follows: “That we change this school to a composite type of school whereby technical courses will be taught in Grades 9 to 12. There will be no change in the name.” 

     Sub-divisions consumed a major portion of the time spent by Tiny council at its regular meeting in Perkinsfield Saturday, March 4. Longest discussion was with Sid Palmer of the firm of Axier and Palmer, who reviewed both the mainland and Giants’ Tomb plans proposed by his company. Referring to the island plan Mr. Palmer asked council to approve release of 70 lots as the first phase of that sub-division. All lots required are shore properties on the eastern shore of the island. Future plan for Giant’s Tomb provides for a total of 1,830 lots interspersed with an almost equivalent area of park land. Total acreage under plan is 1,189. Mr. Palmer told council he felt this first phase would take several years to complete, as the only access is by water. Although the overall plan includes a number of roads, none will be developed under the initial phase since they will not be required.  

    Penetang post office is currently in the throes of obtaining a “new look”, with carpenters and others completely remodeling the ground floor. When completed about a month from now, it will present a completely changed appearance, as well as better working conditions for the staff. 

    A total of 90 streets signs will be erected on Penetang intersections in the near future, with each sign containing the names of both streets. Deputy-reeve Bernard St. Amant told Penetang council Monday night he and his committee had made a complete study of town streets and had found 90 signs were required. Cost will-run slightly over $1,200.00 plus the cost of standards on which to erect them, he said. Authorization for the purchase of the signs had been given at an earlier meeting and council Monday night approved the suggested quantity. 

    St. Nicholas Church, Sunnyside, has a new bell as a result of the generosity of N. R. Crump, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The bronze train bell was installed at the little church earlier this week and is to be rung officially for the first time Sunday. Mr. Crump donated the bell after he had received a request from Clare Edgar, formerly of Midland and now with the OPP detachment in Parry Sound. The church, built in I960, has between 40 and 50 members. It is served by Rev. Ralph Egan of St. Margaret’s parish, Midland. Land for the building was donated by Mrs. Nick Edgar. (Midland had three Catholic Churches at this time.)  

     Penetang citizens still are chuckling about a 43 ½ inch slip of the tongue made by a TV announcer early this week. In giving a report of the Winterama, the announcer mentioned that a bicycle in the junior fishing derby had been won with a “small four-foot perch. The actual measurement was 4 ½ inches. “We hope city folk don’t come up here this summer looking for some of these “small four-foot fish,” one Penetang merchant said. 

25 Years Ago
Midland tax collections, amounting to $93,870.08 to March 1 showed an increase of 33 per cent over the previous year, the town clerk reported. * * * An organizational meeting of the Midland Hobby Show executive was held to plan a Young People’s Fair. * * * The McGibbon Lumber Company, Penetang, announced that it would resume day and night operations at the mill in the spring. Sixty men were to be employed on the day shift and 40 at night. * * * Midland’s British Consols hockey team were champions of the Georgian Bay section of the OHA Intermediate “A” series and were playing against Oshawa to decide the Ontario semi finalists. * * * The Midland Branch of the Canadian Red Cross Society was conducting classes to show how a nourishing family dinner could be prepared for 35 cents. * * * Farmers in North Simcoe were investigating the possibility of growing soy beans as an annual crop. * * * Two Midland rinks and two from Penetang won prizes in the Ontario Bonspiel, Toronto, when 150 rinks competed. Local winning skips were W. L. MacKenie and W H. Keller of Midland and George Robinson of Penetang. * * * When deep snow blocked Midland’s side streets the fire brigade took no chances on being unable to reach the scene of a possible fire. They borrowed Dr. Morley Harvie’s “snowmobile” placed a light truck body on the back, loaded it with hose, ready any emergency. * * * A former rector of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Midland, Rev. J. H. R. Warren died in Toronto. During his 12 years at St. Mark s a new pipe organ and new pews were installed in the church and the parish hall was built. 

    Seven persons were homeless when fire totally destroyed their Tay Township farm house early Monday morning. Mr. and Mrs. Peter Derks and their five children had been living in the two-storey frame home on the farm owned by Luther Van Camp, Lot. 4. Con. 3, Tay, not far from Ebenezer Church. The children range in age from eight months to school age. Fire Chief Arnold Tippin said the Midland brigade was called at 3.05 a.m. and was delayed somewhat by extensive fog patches over part of the route to the Derks’ farm. Meanwhile the Derks and neighbors had been able to remove most of the contents of the burning house.

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