Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – March 16th to 23rd, 1962

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.  

Predict April 15 Opening for Great Lakes Shipping
County Herald headline of April 16, 1962. 

Prediction of a late opening for navigation on the Great Lakes was made yesterday by F. K. McKean, district marine agent, Parry Sound. The announcement follows in the wake of subnormal temperatures that set new records for February in the upper regions of the Great Lakes basin. Below average temperatures are expected for the remainder of March.  Authorities are hoping shipping will be moving by April 15, a week later than last year. 

   A Penetang soldier who lost his life in the Dieppe raid is being honored by having a lake named after him, according to information from the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys. The lake, situated between MacTier and Parry Sound will be known as Forget Lake, for Pte. Francis Forget. He was born in Penetang in 1920 and lived there prior to enlisting. The announcement, accompanied by a map showing the lake’s location was received by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Forget, Peel Street, Penetang. Prior to enlisting in April 1941, Pte. Forget had been employed at the McGibbon Lumber Co. On joining the Royal Regiment of Canada, he was posted for training to Toronto. He later moved to Newmarket and Camp Borden and went overseas in October 1941. He was listed as missing following the Dieppe raid in August 1942. It wasn’t until five months later that word was received from Berlin, through the International Red Cross, that he had been killed in action. Besides his parents there are two brothers, Edward and Herbert, Penetang; four sisters, Stella (Mrs. Russel Evans), Burketon; Anna (Mrs. Reg Howe), Collingwood; Florida (Mrs. G. Stevens), Toronto; and Rosina (Mrs. Gordon Smith), Craighurst. Another sister, Ernestine, is deceased. 

    North Simcoe’s new “potato king” is Telesphore Forget, a slightly-built farmer from the Lafontaine area. Mr. Forget won the grand championship in two classes at the seed fair in Elmvale last Thursday and Friday, held under the sponsorship at North Simcoe Soil and Crop Improvement Association. He won with his display of 12 tubers and six quart basket display. Ida Maurice was reserve champion in the former and Armand Genier in the basket class. 

    John Gammell, Midland lawyer, has consented to act as campaign chairman for the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal this year, Lieut. Wm. Johnston told this newspaper Thursday. Lieut. Johnston said the Red Shield Appeal would get under way May 1 and would continue to May 31. The objective this year is $4,500. Assisting Mr. Gammell on campaign executive are: John Jory in charge of the business division: W. H. Cranston, industrial division; S. J. Harman, residential division; Deputy-reeve Bill Orr, professional and special names division. 

    Keeping track of time will be much easier in future on Midland’s King Street. Supplementing the post office clock, located at the southerly end of the business area, is a new illuminated electric clock at King Street and Dominion Ave., East. The new timepiece is mounted in a large rectangular sign erected yesterday at the Bank of Montreal. 

    Penetang Hurons are back on the well-known spot following their 3-2 loss to Orangeville Dufferins in Orangeville Tuesday night. The win gives Dufferins a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Central Ontario OHA intermediate “C” group finals. They can wrap up the title with a win in Penetang Sunday, failing which they will have another chance on home ice Tuesday. 

Competing for the brand new Pillsbury Trophy, members of Midland Ski Club held their ski jumping championships Sunday. Winner was Ron Jeffery, seen in centre of this picture with Ivor Davies, left, who presented the cup on behalf of Pillsbury, and club president Gord Wallace. 

 The very pleased winner of the February draw was Mrs. Leona Desroches, R.R. 3, Elmvale, shown here at the right. Presenting the voucher to her is Lanny Davidson of Cross Country Stores. Winning ticket was drawn by Mrs. Bill Therrien of Midland. 

    Back in 1880 a young English couple chose March 17 for their wedding day. This Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, will be their 72nd wedding anniversary for that couple, Mr. & Mrs. Benn Ball. The couple have lived with their daughter, Mrs. Annie Mohan for some years now, but until both were well into their 80’s they lived in a white cottage at Midland Point, just east of Sunburne Lodge. Mrs. Ball, now 91, has reasonably good health but goes out seldom. Her husband at 92, has less wrinkles than many men half that age, except for a short hospital stay for leg trouble a few years ago, and a slight hearing impairment, he has enjoyed remarkable health. Mr. Ball was born in Rotherham, England, July 26, 1870. His wife came from a family of distant relatives at Derby. She was Harriet Mary Ball, born January 9, 1871. Following his apprenticeship in England as a cold steel roller, they came to Midland in 1908, where Mrs. Ball had a brother. Mr. Ball’s employment included construction work on the Tiffin Elevator, with the old firm of Cook and Bath. He also worked as a bricklayer and a boatswain for the late James Playfair and his brother Stewart. One of the boats on which he worked was the Pathfinder, used by the Royal Canadian Navy in World War 11, and another large yacht, the Venetia. His last employment was as a night watchman at the Simcoe Elevator. He retired in 1946. Their son Fred lives at Midland Point, and a daughter, Annie, on Ottawa Street. 

   Used Refrigerators – THE MIDLAND PARK COMMISSION – Invites tenders for the supplying of 12 used refrigerators of capacities of 6, 9 or 12 cubic feet. Please quote unit price on quantities of 3, 6, 9 or 12 units. This is for the purpose of comparing quantity prices. Tenders close Wednesday, March 21st, 1962, at 5.00 p.m. The lowest, or any tender, not necessarily accepted. W. A. HACK, Secretary-Treasurer,
Midland Park Commission. 

    To our Customers — we would like to take this opportunity to express our very sincere thanks and appreciation for the patronage we have received from you in the past quarter century. A note of thanks also to our suppliers for their cooperation. Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Giroux, Giroux’s General Store,  Macey’s Bay, Ont. 

Male or female teacher wanted – May 1 to October 31 – Lake Cognashene (U.S.S. 1 and 5 Gibson and Baxter)  Requires teacher for summer months only. Small enrolment. Salary $1800.00 plus transportation from Honey Harbour. Apply in writing, giving references and qualifications to James Robinson, Box 113, Midland. 

Free Press Herald headline of March 21, 1962. 

Nearly one mill has been slashed from the general levy in Tiny Township. This was revealed in the 1962 budget brought down last week at a special council session held at Perkinsfield. Residential properties will pay on a consolidated rate of 30.3 mills compared with 31.07 in 1961. Commercial assessments receive a slightly higher benefit, 32.8 mills this year against 33.7 last year. These were the figures arrived at last Thursday when county council brought down the 1962 budget. “The lower figure is attributed to three sources: lower county rate, some tightening up on expenditures, and an increase in assessment”, clerk G. Marchand said. 

    Flood conditions are very remote this year at the Greening Wire plant, according to W. E. Brown, plant manager. Mr. Brown told the Free Press yesterday the threat of flooding has almost vanished since removal of a dam on a farm owned by Thomas Brandon situated near the Greening property. The dam was dynamited last week to allow the water to run along the natural water course. Its removal follows almost two years of negotiation between Mr. Brandon, Greening officials and Midland council. In the early part of 1960 the plant was severely damaged by a flood and the company was concerned that due to the heavy snowfall this year a repetition of those conditions could occur again. At the time of the 1960 flood the company was not in full production and although damage was extensive to the lower part of the building, there were no layoffs of personnel. The same conditions this year would result in the plant closing down and temporary layoff of a great number of men, Greening officials stated. Mr. Brown said his company had given Mr. Brandon a release from any responsibility of damage, past, present or future, that may occur on company property due to water overflowing his dam. He also stated that the cost of removing the obstacle was shared in part by Mr. Brandon. 

    Coldwater — Fire of unknown origin early Sunday morning destroyed the parish hall of the Roman Catholic Church at Warminster. A wedding shower was held in the hall Saturday but stoves used in the building were said to have been left in a safe condition after the social affair. Medonte Township and Coldwater volunteer firemen prevented the flames spreading to the church about 50 feet away. The heat from the flames had started to curl shingles on the church roof. 

     Warminster – Catholic Women’s League held its weekly euchre party in the Orangemen’s Hall last night. Fire early Sunday morning destroyed the Roman Catholic parish hall causing over $5,000 damage. The Loyal Orange Association promptly offered the Catholic ladies the use of its building. 

    One of Midland’s oldest native sons, Napoleon Laurendeau Jr., died in St. Andrews Hospital Tuesday morning. Mr. Laurendeau had marked his 80th birthday Sunday. Funeral services will be held from St. Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church Friday morning. Nap Laurendeau, as he was widely-known across the province as well as in Midland, was an ardent curler for many years until ill-health forced him to give up the game he loved a few years ago. He was a past president of the Midland club. Mr. Laurendeau had also served as director and vice-president of the Arena Gardens Limited for more than 20 years. He had also served a number of terms on town council. During the 1940’s he was president of St. Margaret’s Athletic Association. Mr. Laurendeau was a member of one of the town’s pioneer families. His father, Napoleon Laurendeau Sr., came to Midland from Quebec in 1871, and he rented a store for $5 a month. From a modest beginning Nap Sr. prospered till he owned substantial property in the town, including several stores on King Street. He built his present store at 241 (now 259) King Street in 1903. Napoleon Jr., had operated the wholesale and retail tobacco and confectionery business since 1928. Twice married, Mr. Laurendeau is survived by his wife and two daughters, Mrs. Jos. Therrien (Veronica), and Mrs. Ken Smith (Cecile). 

    Midland lost its oldest pioneer resident March 13 in the death of Mrs. S. A. Jelly. Born in Midland August 30, 1878, Mabel Ruby was the daughter of the late H. S. Ruby, who came to Midland in 1875 and operated the town’s first bakery. Miss Ruby helped in the store and served many of the town’s old-time residents who came to buy confectionary or baking goods. Mr. Ruby was the town’s first treasurer and often paid the bills out of his own pocket until funds were available to repay him. Educated in Midland, Miss Ruby was married here to Andrew Jelly on January 31, 1917, who survives. They lived first at 265 Midland Ave., and later for many years at 306 Fourth Street. A member of the United Church, Mrs. Jelly was an expert in all kinds of crocheting and fancy work, her specialty being lace table cloths. She also had a vast store of entertaining and informative stories of the old days in Midland. 

    Midland’s rebate from Ontario Hydro for hydro purchased in 1961 will be $4,861, it was revealed at a public utilities commission meeting Monday night. Down somewhat from previous years, the rebate is “Still better than we expected”, said Stewart Holt PUC secretary-manager. Ontario Hydro, he said, is endeavoring to have the bills come out even over the year, thus doing away with the rebate. Mr. Holt was also optimistic about a new source of income for the commission — electrically heated homes.  “There are eight now and we have enquiries for two more,” said the secretary. 

    Three Midland men were charged Friday under the Criminal Code of Canada by the OPP anti-gambling branch, Toronto. Charged jointly with keeping a common gaming house are, Mayor Charles Parker, 50, Yonge Street, West; John Hendrickson, 58, 230 Seventh Street; and Crawford Wilcox, 399 Nelson Street, all of Midland. They will appear before Magistrate K. A. Cameron in Midland police court April 9. The charges follow closure of a bingo game at Parkside Pavilion, Yonge Street, West, February 27 by a 10-man OPP special anti-gambling squad headed by Staff Sgt. John Anderson of Toronto. At that time five men were detained for questioning in connection with the operation of bingo games in the pavilion. When police entered the hall about 120 people were playing. They immediately closed down the game, and told patrons to leave. Bingo equipment, books covering tile operation of the hall and $139 in cash were seized. Documents belonging to other organizations that have bingo games at Parkside were also seized. Staff Sgt. Anderson said the bingo was operated for the Minor Hockey Association and games were held every Tuesday night in Parkside. It is owned by Mayor Parker. Mr. Hendrickson, manager of the Midland office of Canada Steamship Lines, is president of the Midland Minor Hockey Association. Mr. Wilcox, a tobacco salesman, is secretary. Mr. Parker, a long-time political figure in Midland, has been mayor for ten years. Prior to that he had served several terms as an alderman on council. Investigating officers Darrell Stanley and Dave Almond of the OPP said the charges are an indictable offence under section 176 of the Criminal Code. 

In a tabulation of temperatures for the month of February in Midland, H. E. McCartney noted the lowest temperature was two above zero and the highest 34 above. * * * Manley Chew Ltd., announced changes in wood prices to S4.50 per load of 16 inch pine or hemlock and $5 per load for four foot slabs of pine or hemlock. * * * Special services were held in Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, to unveil a memorial window in honor of the 16 boys from the congregation who lost their lives in the first World War. * * * A meeting of the First of July Celebration committee approved plans for a monster celebration including the decoration of streets and buildings, historical and industrial parade, children’s pageant and sports’ program. Estimated cost of the program was $I,200. * * * At a re-organizational meeting of the Midland Horticultural Society, D. A. Patchell was elected president and M. J. Bray and J. Dougherty, vice-presidents. * * * R. R. Wilson was selected by Midland council for the position of clerk-treasurer following the resignation of C. E. Smith. * * * The Baptist Young People, of Calvary Baptist Church, Midland, presented the four scene missionary play “Pill Bottle”. * * * Preparations were being made for the opening of the new Loblaws Groceteria store in Midland April 1. * * * District mariners, who were preparing for the opening of navigation, entertained some 200 friends at a party of dancing and cards in the Masonic rooms. 

Ironing out all the details for the Georgian Bay district badminton tournament to be held in Midland at the end of March will require the co-operation of all members of Midland’s Garrison Club. Taking time out between games to look after some of the work are, left to right, Dave Dunning, Terry Pike, Glen Wardell, Ernest Goldberg and John Gignac. 

These three gals shouldn’t have any trouble finding “someone for badminton”. Members of the Midland Garrison Badminton Club, they will be taking part in the Georgian Bay district tournament here at the end of the month. Left to right are Anita Cote, Jean DeVillers and Dorothy Wood. [Dorothy Wood, nee Ladoucer, died in March, 96 years young. I saw her often in the downtown, always smiling and friendly.] 

Five of the six Midland-Penetanguishene District High School students, who will participate in a panel discussion at Midland Salvation Army Corps Saturday night, are pictured above. The students and Army officer cadets will hold a “Frank Talk on Religion”. Pictured are Jim McKinnon, Joan Gropp, Helen Elliott, Bonnie Brisbois and Arthur Crawford. 


Members of the survival course are given instructions by chart on how to construct an “A” frame for lifting and lugging heavy objects. Left to right are; Major L. H. Taylor, Midland, Sgt. J. E. Clegg, Toronto, and Troopers W. A. Evans, Port McNicoll, A. M. Casacagnette, Penetang, Larry Magolski, Barrie, and D. E. Veysey, Elmvale. 

Anxious moment comes when recruits raise their carefully constructed “A” pole, used for lifting and lugging heavy objects. This one withstood all the tests. The six week survival course is being held at the Midland Armoury as part of a plan to train 100,000 men across Canada in the art of survival in case of nuclear attack or other emergency. A second course is slated to start April 16 and those wishing to attend are asked to register now at the armoury. 

All tied up and ready to go is Tpr. Ron Paradis, “casualty” for the day. Making sure Ron is securely fastened is Staff Sgt. George Stewart, Toronto. The 101 men on the course will be put through some pretty stiff training before graduation parade rolls around April 4. Major Les Taylor says the men are learning their work very well and he expects all will pass with “flying colours”. 


County Herald headline of March 23, 1962. 

Urging the government to appoint a select committee to look into the problem facing the mentally ill, Parkdale Liberal member J. Trotter termed the Ontario Hospital at Penetang, “a provincial disgrace.” Speaking recently in the Ontario Legislature he launched a scathing attack against the Tory administration for its handling of mental health in the province. 

    The vocal section of the Y’s Men’s music festival began Tuesday in the United Church hall with Dr. Roy Fenwick paring down the mammoth entries of the Grade 3 girls and boys. The 26 girls entered were topped by Christine Brodeur of St. John’s School, Waubaushene with 85, Barbara Smith with 83, second place and Marilyn Weeks and Mary Ann Tully with 82 were tied for third. 

    A Midland firm is one of three Simcoe County companies which have been awarded contracts by the Department of Defense Production. Midland Foundry and Machine Company Ltd., has been awarded a $22,249 contract for the supply of jacks. The firm has been providing aircraft jacks to the defence department for some years. 

    If the feelings of some 50 delegates who attended the March meeting of Zone 3 at Owaissa Lodge, Orillia, Wednesday, are any criterion, the Georgian Bay Development Association will be carrying on its exhibit at the Sportsman’s Show in Toronto for some years to come. It was one of the most enthusiastic zone meetings in many months. Not only was the attendance large, nearly all of the delegates spoke their mind quite freely. In the past, many of them have been of the silent variety. Newly-elected zone chairman and former Barrie mayor, Willard Kinzie, said “the GBDA booth was by far the busiest spot in the west annex” of the show. Cost of the exhibit was given by general-manager W. N. Keefe at around $1,200. Half of this was for rentals. 

Meeting of Zone 3 of the Georgian Bay Development Association attracted a large number of delegates to Orillia Wednesday. In this picture, left to right, are Reeve Montcalm Maurice, Tiny; H. J. Beauchamp, Midland; Reeve Lawrence Devine, Coldwater; and Reeve Albert Calvert, Port McNicoll. Wasaga Beach was well represented. 

It took this group of tads 25 minutes of overtime play to win the junior “B” championship of Penetang’s Little NHL, Thursday night. Following the victory they presented their coach with a gift in appreciation of his work for the season. [The list of players in the newspaper caption had a couple of errors; this is the corrected list with thanks to  Waxy Gregoire.] Standing, John Zwicker, Paul Latour, Adrian Gauthier, Robert Mayer, Gerry Beauchamp (Coach), Brian Hook, Brent Labatt, Jerry Lacroix. Kneeling, Danny Adams, Richard Lefaive. 

Among the many Midland organizations which have given financial help to Little League Hockey this year is the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Above, Jaycee vice-chairman Bob Bates presents a cheque for $30 to league director Rev. Len Self. 

One thought on “Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – March 16th to 23rd, 1962

  1. Thank you for sharing another interesting collection of news stories and photographs of my favorite town!

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