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

County Herald headline of December 1, 1961.

Midland district was put back on the national and international ski jumping map this week. Pete Pettersen, a leading figure in skiing circles on both sides of the Atlantic, told this newspaper yesterday he had purchased for an undisclosed figure the five acres of property west of Midland on which are located the junior and senior ski jumps. Mr. Pettersen also revealed that he had obtained long-term leases on another 17 acres of property in the fields at the foot of the jump hills. This property will be used for parking facilities he said. Idle since the International invitation meet in August, 1957, the jump structure itself has weathered well, Mr. Pettersen said. He feels it can be put in tip-top condition with a few minor repairs, which will be carried out next week. The facilities are to be known as Midland Ski Jump, owned and operated by Mr. Pettersen.  Mr. Pettersen said he also was pleased that Chris Foster and his associates would be operating other skiing facilities— the downhill and slalom slopes —adjoining the jump property. Assisting Mr. Foster, owner and operator of these facilities will be his son and son-in-law G. Goldsmith. Mrs. Foster and her daughter will operate the ski chalet and the refreshment booth. 

     The parking area at Penetang dock should be adequately lighted next year with work proceeding on installation of two large lighting standards. Concrete bases have been poured and cable laid under the pavement for the lights. Another part of the same contract held by Patenaude Electric is installation of 110-volt outlets for visiting cruisers. Existing outlets on the dock are 220-volt and few cruisers are equipped to utilize this heavier service.

    Lloyd Letherby, MLA Simcoe East, revealed this week that improvements to Highway 501, between Port Severn and Honey Harbour are to be carried out. Mr. Letherby said a sharp knoll, near the Honey Harbour school, is to be corrected within the next few weeks. He said this hazard had been pointed out to him by Father Burke of Honey Harbour.

    Largest cargo of grain ever to enter the Bayports, 782,791.8 bushels of No 2 northern wheat arrived in Midland yesterday in the holds of the John A. France, of the Scott Misener Steamships Ltd., it will be unloaded at Tiffin Elevator. The huge cargo was 5,000 bushels above the previous record, 777,400 bushels of winter storage grain in the Murray Bay last year. Albert Hill, superintendent at Tiffin, intimated it might take until early next week to unload the France. At present there is room for some 500,000 bushels in Tiffin and about 140 box cars will have to be loaded to make room for the balance of the France’s cargo.  Shortage of box cars is a big problem for Tiffin at the moment, Mr. Hill said. There are quite a few ships at the Lakehead ready to bring grain to Georgian Bay ports if there were room in the elevators. Prospects of a large winter fleet for Midland and Port McNicoll are good this year, according to Mr. Hill, who expects at least three of the largest bulk carriers will spend the winter months alongside Tiffin.   


Editorial page photo entitled “Across the Wye River”  Photo is of the trestle on the CNR line into Penetang, south of Wyevale.

Free Press Herald headline of December 6, 1961. 

In one of the closest fought mayoralty contests in Midland’s history, Monday, incumbent Charles Parker edged Herb Beauchamp by 101 votes. Mr. Parker received 1,425 and Mr. Beauchamp 1,324. Four members of this year’s council went down to defeat. Reeve Percy Crawford; Deputy-Reeve, Mervin Grigg; and Aldermen, Albert Atkinson and Oliver Lesperance.    Midland Fire Chief Arnold Tippin estimated $800 damage was caused by a “Molotov cocktail” fire bomb thrown through a bedroom window at the home of Robert Carson, 80 Montreal Street, Saturday night. It started a fire in the bedding and caused considerable smoke damage. The incident happened at about 8 p.m. Mrs. Carson had left home a few minutes earlier with her oldest son, William, 17, who was taking part in a play at Midland – Penetang District High School. At home were Danny, 14, who was acting as baby-sitter, Stanley, 13 Roberta Joyce, 8, Randy, 5, and Janice 2. 

Midland’s YMCA Young Men’s Club were preparing for their second annual ice carnival reunion party between Christmas and New Years. * * * Rev. A. E. W. Ingram, rector of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, was elected president of Midland Kiwanis Club with V. G. Edwards as vice-chairman. * * * A program of slum clearance to provide employment and a national system of unemployment insurance was advocated by Harry Murphy, president of the Ontario Federation of Unemployed when he addressed a meeting of the Midland Workers’ Association. * * * A. J. B. Gray, supervisor of the Ontario Department of Municipal Affairs, endorsed a recommendation of the Midland Chamber of Commerce to employ an industrial commissioner. * * * Midlander’s Lorne Lockhart and Chris Gardner were among the 300 ex-soldiers and nurses invited to a reception in Toronto to meet Lady Astor at Government House. * * * A deer visited Midland after crossing the bay ice and jumping up on to the town dock. Loping up to Bay Street, it was finally frightened away by workmen at the Midland-Simcoe Elevator. * * * Plans were being made for Midland’s first winter sports carnival with chamber of commerce and ski club members co-operating in preparation of the program. *  * * Through the efforts of Midland’s Dr. D. C. S. Swan the British Consols Athletic Club of Toronto decided to sponsor Junior and Intermediate hockey teams from Midland in the OHA hockey race. * * * The new Midland ski jump, on “the mountain” cost more than $900 and a public subscription was being taken to defray the cost. 

   Start of a face-lifting for the Grew Boats Ltd., property adjoining Penetang docks is well underway with a new office building nearing completion. The new 24 by 30 structure is located south of the present  office and showroom building. When complete it will have a stone front with sides and back stucco finished. Andy Morrison, general manager, said the new building will contain two private offices, large general office, and wash rooms on the main floor. The present office building will be torn down and levelled off. 

Players on Penetang’s intermediate “C” hockey team are being offered a hat by Mayor Jerome Gignac for the first one pulling a “hat trick.” Left to right, kneeling, Martin Forget, Terry Pike, Larry Merkley, Harvey Jackson, Charlie Scott; standing, Larry Bellisle, sec.-treas., Rene Lesperance, ass’t. mgr., Jerry Murphy, Alvin Robillard, Jerry Gerow, Mayor Gignac, giving the hat to goalie Harvey Benoit to hold for the winner, Al Jensen, Dave Culbertson, “Pit” Maurice Legault mgr., Harold Jackson, trainer, Murray York, playing coach. (Photo quality was poor from the negative.) 

A smiling Bill Thompson is seen with wife Barbara after being re-elected alderman in Ward 2 in Monday’s elections. Mr. Thompson defeated Don MacEachern by 101 votes to retain his seat. He polled 333 votes to Mr. MacEachern’s 232. 

Chairman of the Midland Recreational Council, Doug Gerow, right, is pictured above receiving cheque for $200 from Lions Club member Charley Kay. The money will be used to help Little NHL hockey in the Midland district. Each year the Lions donate toward some project sponsored by the Recreational Council. 

Some of the fifteen North Simcoe girls who won county honours for completing six 4-h Homemakers Club projects during the year are seen above during achievement day at EImvale Saturday. Left to right in the upper photo are, Heather Dobson and Betty Austin, Eady; Miss Peggy Hunt, county home economist; Rosemary Buchanan, Vasey and Susan Pottage, Hillsdale. In the lower photo are Mrs. Don MacDonald (seated), Lynda Corlett, Waverley, Wilhelmina and Lennie Noordegraaf, Edenvale, Sharon Leonard, Wyevale South. Margaret Hancock and Marion Bell, Van Vlack. Mrs. MacDonald was presented with a 10-year leadership diploma. 

It’s a long way from the forward end of the John A. France, where this picture was taken, to the aft end. Here the two legs of Tiffin elevator start the long task of removing a record 782,791 bushels of wheat from the holds of the 700-foot Scott Misener freighter. 

Piled high in the hold, this wheat is part of the record cargo brought to Midland Friday by the Scott Misener Line’s John A. France. Tiffin elevator employee is lowering the “leg” which contains the buckets that move grain from ship to storage bin. 

The John A. France docked at the Tiffin Elevator. She was built in Montreal in 1960, bought by Algoma Central Marine in 1994 and renamed Algoriver, laid up in 2000 at Montreal, scrapped in Turkey, 2002. (How many Midland youngsters have jumped off that cement wall, I have.)


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