Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 7th to 14th, 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.  

Again we have no original negatives for this week and we will make do with copy and paste. 


Free Press Herald headline of May 10, 1961.
A deputation from William, Hanley, Donalda, Ruby and Scott Streets appeared before Midland council Monday night, asking council to take action on the town dump situation. A written petition concerning the same subject and signed by 46 ratepayers complained of partially burned papers, smoke, smell and flies coming from the dump. Robert McLaughlin, spokesman for the deputation, said it was realized that it was a tough problem and added “but rats are coming up on the streets. We know council and particularly Alderman Walter Woods are doing their best but we would like to see council do a bit more. Mr. Woods advised that council was doing its best to find a new dump site and understood the clerk had written seeking information  concerning the cost of an incinerator. 

   A runaway car caused considerable damage in Midland Saturday afternoon, but no one was injured in the mishap. Police said Roy Edwin Perrault, 16, of Midland was getting a push along Manley Street, around 5:55 p.m. and was outside the vehicle when it started to roll back down a steep hill. Unable to get into the vehicle, the young driver attempted to lean through the window and steer the car, which gained speed rapidly. Perrault was forced to leave the car when it neared the entrance to the old shipyard. It then plunged through two sections of steel fence around Midland Foundry and Machine Co. property, and knocked down a telegraph pole before coming to a stop. Total damage to fence, car and pole was estimated at around $400. No charges were laid by Const. Ross Willett, who investigated.   

   Huronia Association for Retarded Children was praised Monday night for “having accomplished in a few months what has taken other associations  many years”. Handing out the bouquets at a meeting in Midland YMCA was M. R. Finlayson, chairman of Region 7, Ontario Association for Retarded Children and a former president of the Barrie Association. Accomplishments of the local association, Mr. Finlayson said, were the result of “a great deal of hard work and constructive thinking on the part of a few people. Your community owes much to them”. 

    A change in control through acquisition of shares of Beatty Bros, stock is not expected to have any serious effect on operations of the James Stewart Manufacturing Co. plant at Penetang, according to officials. James Stewart is a subsidiary of Beatty Bros. Clayton Israel, manager of the Penetang plant said, “As far as we know it is their intention to continue operating here. There is no doubt they may have some new ideas, but at the present time we are not expecting any appreciable or immediate changes. The change in control marks the first time in the 87-year history of the Beatty Bros, firm that a person from outside the Beatty family has occupied the president’s chair. Ralph Barford, 31-year-old Torontonian, assumed that position last week. 

       COLDWATER — With the opening of the racing season, Waples Brothers of Coldwater have already transferred a large number of horses from their stable here. Keith Waples is in charge of a string of 30 horses at Montreal, including numerous horses from other owners. Murray Waples, in charge of 14 horses still stabled at Coldwater, stated that most of the remainder will be moved out in the next few days but a few horses will be kept here until about July 1. The brothers plan to have at least 15 horses at Old Woodbine track in Toronto for current races. 


County Herald headline of Friday May 12, 1961.
North Simcoe’s largest single industry — shoe manufacturing is having labor union troubles. More than 300 men and women are affected. Fern Shoe at Penetang and Midland Footwear, whose employees for the first half of the fifties were represented by the CIO Packing House Workers Union, were organized last year by the Textile Workers Union of America which also represents employees at Bay Mills and Midland Plastics.  Direct negotiations between the union and management representatives settled most of the points in a union contract and a conciliation board, under the chairmanship of Judge Walter Little of Parry Sound, was called in to bring about agreement on the remaining differences. Findings of the conciliation board,  which met during April in both Toronto and Parry Sound, have just been released. It reports that the two companies and the union reached tentative agreement on all points in a new contract except for the issue of whether or not employees should be compelled to pay union dues as a condition of employment. Spokesmen for the board, the company, and the union confirm in the report that this is the stumbling block to signing a contract. 

    Dave Finch, proprietor of the Canadian Tire Associate Store, Midland, announced this week that Webster-Smallwood of Midland had been awarded the contract for drafting plans and specifications for expansion of his store building. Mr. Finch said the addition to the existing building would include a 53 by 30-foot four-car service center, an additional 250 square feet of warehouse space, and the conversion of the present service department into warehouse area. The display area is to be enlarged from its present 1,200 square feet to 2,700 square feet, he said. An additional display window will be installed in front of the new warehouse.  Mr. Finch estimated the cost of the building expansion would amount to between $30,000 and $35,000. 

    Any hope that the citizens or officials of Penetang might have had that the tannery might re-open has been dashed in the last few days. Already workmen have demolished some smaller buildings and yesterday had removed most of the roof and top storey of the largest building. Consulting several people who had been connected the tannery in one way or another, it was learned that the plant was located here about 75 years ago. One of the reasons for choosing this area was the availability of tanbark used at that time in the tanning of leather.      

      The Canadian National Express office, presently located on King Street, will transfer its operations to the freight shed at the CN station, it is announced by George S. Ross, the company’s superintendent. The move will take effect Monday, May 15. One of the advantages of moving to the new location is the increased parking space for customers. 

TUG “MENODORA” Dear Editor: The single-screw wooden tug “Menodora”, official No. 111917 was built in 1901, by William Carson at Midland for the Midland Towing and Wrecking Co., James Playfair, President, registered at Toronto. The Midland registry was not established until 1906. In 1906 she was sold to the Canadian Dredge and Construction Co. of Midland, and her registry was transferred to Midland. The name was changed to Canadian Dredging Co., Ltd. Her registry was closed March, 1930. She was dismantled and abandoned at Port Colborne, Ontario. W. R. Williams 

     Competing in the Orillia Music Festival Wednesday evening, the choir of St. Paul’s United Church, Midland, won the competition for church choirs (open class). The chancel choir now has 42 voices, but only about 30 went to the competition. They won the Fowler and Lang shield. Adjudicator John McKnight of Toronto awarded the choir 89 points for its presentation of “Father of Heaven Whose Love Profound,” and 90 marks for the test anthem “Morning and Evening”. Mr. McKnight is organist of Walmer Road Baptist Church and a faculty member of the Royal Conservatory. In his comments he said the group had ‘ideal balance’ and was an excellent aggregation. He particularly mentioned the large number of male voices.

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