Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – July 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. 

    Summer is a busy season, an outdoor season, and our excuse for falling behind on our weekly posting of this blog. The Huronia Museum is finally open again! We are enjoying a steady increase in visitors.

   The July 19th paper is missing 12 of its 20 pages, they are not on the original microfilm, time permitting we will check the originals to see if they were just missed during the filming or truly no longer exist. 


The Free Press Herald headline of Wednesday July 19, 1961.
A breakdown in an electric motor on the marine railway at Big Chute Thursday, which tied up cruiser traffic on the Trent-Severn waterway over one of the busiest weekends so far this season, was repaired by 5.30 p.m. Monday night. An official at the marine railway told this newspaper yesterday that all the boats above and below the railway had been “locked through” by 9.20 p.m. Monday. He said approximately 27 boats, about half of which were up bound, were transported on the railway during the four-hour period, after the motor had been repaired. He said the coils had burned out in the motor Thursday. The railway carries boats up to 50 tons over a steep incline, bypassing the power plant dam. On most summer weekends, 200 boats are transported by the railway. It is one of two on the Severn. A Midland family, Mr. and Mrs. Ernie Nicholson and daughter, who left Midland by boat last Tuesday and travelled as far as Bobcaygeon on the Trent-Severn, were among those who encountered the Big Chute snag on their return run Friday. 

    A host of Midlanders paid their last respects to J. W. Bald, long-time businessman and one of the town’s esteemed citizens who died in St. Andrews Hospital Friday in his 94th year. He had been in hospital about six weeks. Funeral service was conducted at Nicholls funeral home Monday afternoon by Rev. Wilson Morden, minister of St. Paul’s United Church, Midland. Mr. Bald had been an honorary elder of the church. Pallbearers were three members each from Midland Masonic and IOOF lodges. Masonic representatives were Charles Flowers, J. J. Robins, and Ralph R. Wilson, and IOOF members were Albert Bowie, Tom Curry Sr., and William Steer. Burial was in Lakeview Cemetery. Although photography was John W. Bald’s business, it by no means the only interest in his life. He was in turn a hockey and lacrosse player, a boating enthusiast, keen huntsman and an active worker in fraternal circles. 

    A $12,100 contract for dredging at Port McNicoll was recently awarded to Ontario Marine and Dredging Ltd. of Toronto. This was announced last week when the federal Department of Works issued the list of contracts awarded in June. 

    This weekend was one of tragedy and near tragedy in the Georgian Bay-South Muskoka area. When the toll was totalled, three persons had died by drowning, four others  had been rescued from a similar fate, one man was killed in a highway accident, and a large cruiser had blown up beside a dock in Honey Harbour. Drowned in the MacDonald River, north of Port Severn, were Mrs. Donald Wright, 38, and her 4-year-old son, Jeffery Edward Wright, both of Don Mills, and Noreen Harvey, 36, of Toronto. Gerald Joseph Cadeau, 25, of Port Severn died in hospital in Toronto after the car in which he was driving went off Highway 103 and rolled over, near the entrance to Six Mile Lake Provincial Park. 

    Charting the eastern shore of Georgian Bay to find a safe sheltered route through the thousands of islands and shoals fringing the shore is currently being carried out. This was announced recently by the federal Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. The Georgian Bay work is being carried out on the CGL Bayfield, with A. Quirk the officer-in-charge. 

    Midland’s Walker Store acquired a new manager last week in Bruce Watt, who succeeds Lorne Craig. Manager of the Midland store for several years, Mr. Craig has joined the staff of Northways as manager of the firm’s Oshawa store. Born in Stratford, the young manager of Walker’s Midland attended public and high school in the Classic City before joining Walker Stores five years ago. From Stratford he went to Woodstock and finally to Midland. Mr. and Mrs. Watt, the former June Pflance of Stratford, have two children — Steven, 7 and Shelley, 3. They are members of the Baptist Church. 

    PORT SEVERN — Former summer residents and many visitors have been arriving at Port Severn in increasing numbers and one of the changes they encounter is new ownership and management at Bill’s General Store. Jim Mahaffey and Jim Kape of Toronto have purchased the well-known Port Severn business from Bill Muir who has relocated on the new highway. The new owners, formerly were engaged for many years in the sporting goods field. They are already active in the management of the Port Severn business and told a representative of this newspaper they think prospects for development of the Port Severn area are excellent. The partners are bringing their families to Port Severn to live. 

    Boys will be boys! An unknown lad, about five years old, was probably the most surprised and frightened boy in Penetang yesterday afternoon, when the fire siren suddenly burst into a wail after he had innocently pushed a button. Two girls working in the Penetang office of this paper saw the lad climb on to a bench in front of the fire hall, climb up to the top of the back-rest and push the alarm button, as two little girl companions watched. Two mothers of the children apparently were shopping in Dominion Stores. As the siren started to wail, the lad scampered down off the bench and the trio headed for the store door just as their mothers appeared. The mothers hurried their children across the road out of the way of traffic. According to conversation overheard, the mothers were blissfully unaware that one of their offspring was the cause of all the commotion. 

    A 15-year-old Coldwater lad had a narrow brush with death during Saturday’s electrical storm when lightning killed a dog resting on his lap and knocked the lad unconscious. Richard Cuthbertson was said to have been sitting in a deckchair outside his father’s service station on Highway 12, stroking the head of his pet dog. Apparently a bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree and travelled along a chain to the dog’s collar.  The dog was said to have been killed instantly and Richard was shocked rigid and knocked out by the charge. He was taken into the house by his father, and a doctor was called. The boy, however, recovered within a couple of minutes. He is quoted as saying he couldn’t move. He remembers hearing a bang. 


County Herald headline of Friday July 21, 1961.
No further welfare payments will be made to employable men and women in Midland, council decided at its special meeting Monday night. The decision is to have effect immediately and those affected are to be notified by letter, council ruled. Council’s action followed a letter from Midland’s welfare administrator John Sharp to Alderman Albert Atkinson, chairman of the public welfare committee. Noting the government’s edict that employable welfare recipients must not work for their allotment, Mr. Sharp’s letter said. “Welfare has become an attractive proposition and is bound to result in increased applications for welfare. “The employable welfare recipient today, receives cash payments twice a month for food, fuel and rent without doing anything to compensate for them. A medical voucher is issued once a month to take care of doctor’s services and hospital care when that is needed is also provided. “This is bound to destroy initiative to work and will engender a ‘who-needs-work’ attitude that, if continued very long, will be hard to eradicate. A definite policy must be laid down to deal with this situation.” 

    Dr. P. B. Rynard, M.P. for Simcoe East, currently relaxing after the adjournment of one of the longest sessions in the history of the House of Commons, this week reviewed improvements that have been made or are being made in this area by federal departments. Dr. Rynard said: “We are now adjourned for a few weeks; tourism will be in full swing and those fortunate enough to be enjoying holidays will be in your midst, enjoying one of the finest sports in the world — boating. The docks in your area — the parking spaces for boats, have all been examined by the federal departments concerned; the old unsightly hulks in the harbor which marred the shoreline, have been raised and towed away no longer to spoil the beauty of Midland harbor. The dock at Cedar Point has been repaired, in fact, almost rebuilt. Soon, a new steel boat will be plying back and forth across the straits from Christian Island. “The post office at Penetang has been given a face-lifting with new floors, new paint work and new wiring and is now very smart looking. If they are not already in, the docks soon will have new outlets.  A new site for a post office in Midland is being considered. This is in accordance with the policy of, the department to place all federal offices under one roof as far as possible. Victoria Harbour had to have their dock rebuilt and it is now very nice indeed. I was very happy to hear from Victoria Harbour council expressing their appreciation. We had some much-needed dredging done at Waubaushene, and some is to be done at Port McNicoll.  At Coldwater, the river was dredged and cleared of obstructions. At Black Lake, the dock was extended, repaired and lights installed. “I am always very pleased to have matters such as these brought to my attention and I would like to express my grateful thanks for the help I have received, by letter and otherwise, from residents of East Simcoe. It is only by listening to the advice of the people that we are able to build and repair for the communities that are in the best interests of all.” 

    Midland Mayor Charles Parker confirmed yesterday ten conservation farm workers (Camp Hillsdale), directed by a supervisor, working at intervals on projects in the Midland area. Noting that four projects in this area had been approved, Mayor Parker said the men had cleared some brush in Little Lake Park and had started work clearing brush and filling in a shallow pond near the town’s present dump site. Part of this area might be turned into a playground and part used for industrial sites in the future the mayor added. Mr. Parker said approval also had been given for the conservation farm workers to do under brushing and clearing in the Vindin Street area and in the Tay reforestation area on property owned by Midland. He said the men were not working here continuously as they had other work in the surrounding townships. Mayor Parker said. “They are doing a very fine job.” 

    Mayor Charles Parker told a special meeting of Midland council Monday night that objections to the town’s new dump had been voiced. Mr. Parker said that, during the annual visit of provincial health officials the previous week, Mac Perrin had been the spokesman for a delegation of Tiny Township residents who opposed the dump site being located on the Albert Dragoman property. Mayor Parker said the delegation wanted to know if the new site had the approval of health officials and he advised that it had. Mr. Parker said he considered Tiny Township had given its approval at a joint meeting of Tay, Tiny and Penetang councils when they met earlier in the year to discuss garbage disposal problems. The mayor then suggested that Alderman Walter Woods, who has been looking after the new garbage disposal arrangements, should talk with Tiny Township officials about the situation. Alderman Woods said health officials had definitely assured him that, under the present plan, the new dump site had their approval. Noting the suggestion of the dump polluting a stream in the vicinity, Mr. Woods said he too was concerned but had been assured by health officials there would be no pollution unless the garbage was put on the lower portion of the property. 

    Midland motorists started to pay more for their gasoline, according to a survey of service station operators this week. Ten cent per gallon increases on both regular and premium gasolines were reported at Richmond’s Fina, Curry’s Texaco and Cumming and Brodeur’s White Rose stations. Prior to the increase Texaco and White Rose gasolines were 31.9 cents for regular and 36.9 cents for premium while Fina regular was 30.9 cents and 36 cents for regular and  premium respectively. Wilford’s B.A. and Nesbitt’s Esso stations reported eight cent increases on both grades. Before the increases both stations were selling regular gas at 33.9 cents and premium at 38.9 cents. Boyd’s Shell station revealed yesterday that their regular gasoline had gone up eight cents from 32.9 cents and their premium gasoline is up five cents from 40.9 cents. (If my math is correct that one gallon, 4.55 liters, of regular gasoline at .32 cents per gallon in 1961, now cost $5.92 at $1.30 per liter.) 

    Measles, with 63 cases reported, heads the list of communicable diseases contained in the latest report of Simcoe County Health Unit. Other communicable diseases reported were chicken pox, 29; German measles, 26; mumps and scarlet fever, two each and typhoid fever, 1 for a total of 123. 

    After two week’s operations at the Forget site southeast of Wyebridge, Western University’s Summer School of Indian Archaeology ended its course with a banquet July 14 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, Penetanguishene. During the evening some interesting data were furnished by Roma Standefer, the dig cataloguer. Miss Standefer revealed that almost 10,000 artifacts were unearthed and counted during the school’s two weeks of operation around a longhouse and a dump (midden). 

    Dairies have been notified that milk sold in cartons and allied products must contain the name of the operator or dairy where they were processed. This was revealed by Dr. P. A. Scott, Simcoe County Health Unit director in his latest report. Dr. Scott noted the unit recently had received complaints from people who had purchased milk in cartons that were not labelled with the processors name and address. “In some cases the milk was of unsatisfactory quality and when the container did not reveal the name of the dairy, the purchaser was unable to specify what dairy had processed it.” Dr. Scott noted. 

ADAMS — To Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Adams (nee Beryl Jones) 6 Milfordhaven Drive, Scarborough, at Scarborough General Hospital, on Tuesday, July 4, 1961, a daughter.
CHAPMAN — To Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Chapman, 140 Seventh Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, July 17, 1961, a daughter.
DAVIE — To Mr. and Mrs. Elwood Davie, Wasaga Beach, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, July 10, 1961, a son.
FARMER — To Mr. and Mrs. James Farmer (nee Shirley Hebner), at St.  Joseph’s Hospital, North Bay, on Wednesday, July 12, 1961, a son.
GOETZ — To Mr. and Mrs. Jos. Goetz, Port McNicoll, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, July 7, 1961, a daughter.
HANDY — To Mr and Mrs. Wm. Handy, Waverley, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Friday, July 7, 1961, a son.
LESPERANCE — To Mr. and Mrs. Emery Lesperance, RR 1, Perkinsfield, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Saturday, July 8, 1961, a daughter.
PRATT — To Mr. and Mrs. John L. Pratt, 38 Water St., Penetang, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Sunday, July 9, 1961, a daughter.
QUESNELLE — To Mr. and Mrs. Willard Quesnelle, 299 Second St. Midland, at Penetanguishene General Hospital, Monday, July 10, 1961, a son.
THAYER — To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Thayer, 99 Gloucester Street, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, July 18, 1961, a daughter. 

An early morning blaze Tuesday gutted Buttson’s  service station, located on Robert Street, W., Penetang, and the junction of the Lafontaine road. The fire was discovered by Const. Jack Birks of the Penetang force. 

A near tragedy was averted in Georgian Bay off Victoria Harbour Saturday night when four men were rescued after they had clung to an overturned boat for 1 1/2 hours. Seen with their boat, are left to right George Seabrook, Guy Wagner, Tom Payne and Bruce Taverner, all of the Etobicoke area. 

Tay Township official Walter Lumsden, above, bails out the boat which was in distress in the bay. He helped rescue four Etobicoke men late Saturday night off Victoria Harbour. Mr. Lumsden, his son, Gary, and Charles Huff, a cottager at the Harbour, went to the rescue in the 22-foot cruiser “Chip”, seen at rear, after Mr. Huff heard cries for help from the dark water east of Methodist Island. 

Large crowds of visitors swarmed over HMCS “Buckingham” as the RCN Spencerian class frigate held open house at Midland dock Sunday. On a training cruise on the Great Lakes, the ship carries 161 men and officers. The ship is under the command of Lieut-Cmdr. T. B. L. Hebbert. 

Cash Your Baby Bonus Cheque Here Place your name in the box — If your name is drawn you will win a $15 voucher to spend on anything in our store. Cross Country store promotion. The winner of $15.00 on June 30th is Mrs. Grace Diane Lowes of Wyebridge and Frank Keenan is seen presenting the cheque. 

Once in a life time event happened for Adam Millar last week when he got a hole-in-one on the 8th hole at Midland Golf and Country Club. Looking over the five iron Adam used are left to right, Haig Abbott, Mr. Millar, Ken McCaughen and Don Axler. It was the second hole in one on successive nights at the club.

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