Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – April 1st to 6th, 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.  

Free Press Herald headline of April 4th, 1962. 

First phase of an expanded paving program costing $18,000 was authorized by Midland council at a special meeting Saturday morning. This is an increase of $17,500 over last year’s expenditures.  Slated for immediate attention are Johnston Street, Eighth Street, and the newly opened road into the Kindred Industries plant. Sections of Dominion Avenue near St. Andrews Hospital are also ticketed for improvement. In addition, council gave its blessing to spend $72,000 for public works maintenance. Town engineer Ulo Luksep estimated the cost of paving Johnston Street at $8,100, Eighth Street $7,700, and the road into the KIL plant site at about $3,000. Mr. Luksep said he hoped to pare these costs still lower and apply the balance to work needed on Dominion Ave. 

    County Court Judge Donald F. MacLaren has ruled in favor of the Midland Y’s Men’s Club in their appeal against assessment of the Indian Village operated by the club in Little Lake Park. He ruled that the property is exempt from taxation except for local improvement and school rates. The decision was handed down in Barrie, Friday. 

    R. J. McLaughlin of 89 Scott Street, Midland, has been appointed manager of the vote “YES” campaign committee in the forthcoming May 16 liquor vote to be held in Midland. Also named at a recent meeting of the vote “YES” committee was K. G. Williams of 154 Colborne Street, as secretary- treasurer. Other members of the committee are Les Scott, Armand Weissflog and Sol DeVries. 

    A well-known resident of Midland for many years, R. S. McLaughlin died suddenly at his Hugel Avenue home Monday night. Funeral services will be held at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home Thursday at 2 p.m. Mr. McLaughlin, 81, had been an employee of Midland Shipyards Ltd. for many years, and prior to that was employed at the Ontario Hospital in Penetang. He served on the Midland Board of Education for a number of terms, including several as chairman, before the public and high schools were separated into two boards. Mr. McLaughlin also served for a number of years on the town’s court of revision. Surviving is his widow, Mrs. R. S. McLaughlin. 

    Midland’s population has increased 406 according to official census figures released this week by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics. In 1956, Midland had 8,250 residents, while last year’s nose count revealed 8,656. Penetang dropped 80 over the same period, from 5,420 in 1956 to 5,340 in 1961. 

    Most school children dream sometime during their years of education of seeing the schoolhouse burn down. Few will come any closer to it than those attending classes in the oldest of Penetang’s Public School buildings did Monday morning. Fire of undetermined origin started in a section of the basement and was producing a considerable amount of smoke before it was discovered. Pupils were marched from the school in an orderly fashion as the alarm was turned in. The various classes were grouped outside the school as firemen pulled up. This school building will no longer be used when the new 17-room school is opened later this year.

 Ten Years Ago
W.  M. Cameron, organist choirmaster at Knox Presbyterian Church, Midland, conducted the Huronia Choral Society in its sixth annual concert in St. Mark’s parish hall. * * * Midland District High School’s Junior boys basketball team won the Ontario Amateur Basketball Association junior championship by defeating Tillsonburg in a sudden-death game at Tillsonburg, 51-41. * * * Dave Tobey was the winner of the senior event in the Lavallee Memorial Dog Derby held at Honey Harbour. * * * Announcement that the town of Penetang was to purchase the J. B. Jennings’ block, at Simcoe and Main Streets, for the use of municipal offices, was made by Mayor George Kerr. The mayor said the cost would be $15,000. *  * * Budget of the Huronia and Georgian Bay Development Commission for 1952 was likely to be about $4,850, chairman Anthony Beck, Wasaga Beach reeve, revealed at the commission’s monthly meeting in Victoria Harbour. * * * Initial step for the organization of a Midland Home and School Association was taken when a 15-member committee was appointed to bring in a slate of officers for the new association. * * * Didace Grise, proprietor of the Delawana Inn, Honey Harbour, and Major G. Ritchie Lane, Coldwater, manager of the Severn River forest area, were made vice-presidents of the Huronia Historic Sites and Tourist Association at that body’s annual meeting in Owen Sound. * * *  George Richardson, Midland, was elected master of Simcoe County East Loyal Orange Lodge at the lodge’s annual meeting held in Midland. * * *South Georgian Bay District Scout Commissioner, R. B. Moffatt, outlined the procedure necessary to form a group when interested parents gathered in the Waubaushene Public School to discuss the formation of a Scout troop. 

    Tom Brandon’s farm on King Street south, Midland, occupying, lots 101 to 103 on the second concession of Tay, has been much in the news recently because of the water run-off problems of the Greening Wire plant. Actually, this bit of agricultural land is one of the most historic in North Simcoe. Lot 101, concession 2, was the homestead of the pioneer settler of Tay, one Michael “Wiggie” Macdonnell. Mr. Macdonnell had entered the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1816, became an officer in the company, and later acted as a kind of private secretary to Lord Selkirk when that nobleman was in Canada’s Red River country. But Tay’s first citizen returned to his native Ireland for the years 1820-1 and during this time Lord Selkirk died. Soon after Mr. Macdonnell returned to the fur country but he did not like the new regime, resigned his post and in 1826 came from Drummond Island to take up farming on the land that is now bisected by Highway 12 as it curves southeast from Midland toward the Martyrs’  Shrine. One account places his land acquisition there of 101 acres in 1829. Squarely built and of medium height, ”Wiggie” Macdonnell was so called either from an odd way of wearing his hair or perhaps an artificial wig. He was, we are told, accorded this nickname to distinguish him from the fur trader John McDonald. (Note the original 100 acres had grown to 300 acres in Brandon’s time. Hwy 12  to Hanly Street and William to King.) 

    The number “13” holds no terrors for the management and staff of Midland’s Canadian Tire Associate Store. On April 5, 6 and 7 owner manager Dave Finch and employees will mark the firm’s 13th anniversary in this community simultaneously with the official opening of their substantially expanded business quarters. The growth of the Midland store parallels somewhat the growth of the parent organization, The Canadian Tire Corporation. When Mr. Finch, his wife and Murray McComb first commenced business in this community in 1949, the dimensions of the building were 53 by 40 feet. In 1952, a 50 by 30 foot addition was made to this structure. The latest renovations and addition commenced in August last year and completed this week, now gives the building an outside measurement of 53 feet in width and a depth of 130 feet.  The $30,000 outlay for revamping the store is being financed by Mr. Finch under the Loans to Small -Businesses plan, through arrangements made with one of the local bank branches. The enlarging operations, carried out by Webster-Smallwood of Midland, provides 1,500 more square feet of display and self-service area, nearly doubling the old display and counter space. 

Two Stalwarts – Two good reasons for the success of Midland’s bantam team this year are captain Bob Clayton (left) and coach Garnet Armstrong. They are seen with the trophy the team won Saturday in the Georgian Bay Little NHL finals. Saturday night they met Leamington at Arena Gardens in the first game of the OMHA bantam “A” minor finals. 

Mrs. G. Faragher of the Canadian Tire store office staff lends a womanly touch to last minute arrangements of displays. She is pictured in the small appliance division. 

Vic Denise of the Canadian Tire Associate Store staff makes some minor adjustments to a power mower, one of many on display in the store’s gardening division. In the background are racks of rakes, shovels, forks, lawn trimmers and so forth set up on a self-serve basis. 

The 1962 fishing season will be in full swing in a few weeks time. Here Bill Henderson puts the finishing touches to a display of artificial lures in the newly-renovated Canadian Tire Associate Store. The display also includes rods, reels, tackle boxes and landing nets.


Fred Bath and Harold Jackson examine some of the sporting goods that are on display today in the newly-renovated Canadian Tire Associate Store, Midland. Harold tries on a glove for size. 

Canadian Tire staff; David J. Finch proprietor, Murray McComb store manager and Mrs. G. Faragher office staff. 


County Herald headline of April 6, 1962 

A crash program for annexation of lands suitable for the location of new industries is now essential in the Town of Midland. Council was told this last night by Gordon Moss, president of the Midland Chamber of Commerce, at a joint meeting of chamber directors and council in the municipal building. “We no longer have time for a leisurely, deliberate study.” Mr. Moss said. In a prepared brief to council it was pointed out that there is only one plot of 10 acres within the boundaries of the town that is cleared and rated “excellent” for the location of a new industry. And, the brief said, this one plot is already earmarked for a prospective new industry. 

    Midland Chamber of Commerce is asking town council, to provide an extra $2,160 in its grant this year. This was revealed in a brief submitted to a joint meeting of the chamber and council last night.  Total sum asked for is $5,000; $2,500 for general business promotion; $500 for information service; and $2,000 for industrial promotion. Chamber president Gordon Moss said a budget of $15,500 had been set for 1962. 

      “It will never happen to me.” This is the idea most people have whenever they think of the possibility of becoming a patient in a mental hospital.  Statistics indicate that anyone who gets such an idea is being ostrich-like by burying his head in the sand so that he won’t hear or see the facts of mental illness. With almost one-half of all hospital beds in Canada today being used for the treatment of the mentally ill, it becomes quite evident that mental illness is striking a large part of the population. And there is no better place to go for treatment than a mental hospital. Most everyone knows how he can be admitted to an ordinary hospital. But few have a working knowledge of how, or under what circumstances he can enter a mental hospital. With mental health week coming up in May, Dr. Barry Boyd, superintendent of the Ontario Hospital at Penetang, and his assistant, Dr. D. K. McKnight, agreed to assist me in presenting some of the facts. 

    Over 75 applications for employment with Kindred Industries Ltd. have been received so far by the Midland Chamber of Commerce, according to General Manager Ren Moffatt. All of them have come from trainees taking the national survival course being held at the local armoury. Mr. Moffatt said a representative of the company will be in Midland Thursday and Friday of this week to conduct interviews. Besides general labourers, the company needs welders and metal polishers, Mr. Moffatt stated. 

    More than 150 people witnessed a graphic portrayal of cancer detection and research methods at a special show in Midland’s Roxy Theatre Sunday afternoon. The films, “The Choice” and “Time and Two Women” were presented by the Midland unit of the Canadian Cancer Society. 

It will be off to Cobourg during Easter week for coach Dennis Anderson, captain Michael Laurin and the rest of the Midland junior “A” team. They won the right to represent the Georgian Bay district in the provincial finals by downing Penetang 5-1 last Saturday. 


Wednesday was graduation day for the 100 members of the first National Survival Course held at Midland Armory during the past six weeks. In bottom picture, left to right, are Col. John Symons, OC, Grey and Simcoe Regiment, Major L. H. Taylor, and Capt. Dennis Stilwell, RCR.  Col. Symons is seen taking the salute at the march-past which preceded a demonstration of skills learned by the men during the intensive training course. 

Forty-three Brownies and Guides chosen from each pack and company of Wendake District travelled by bus to Toronto Wednesday afternoon to attend a reception for Lady Baden-Powell. Mrs. James Lemieux of Midland was one of five chosen from the Georgian Bay area to be presented to the World Chief Guide in Maurice Cody Hall, Toronto, Tuesday. 

Repeat winners of Midland Recreational Hockey League this season was the Midland Foundry team, seen here. Tied for first place at the end of the regular season schedule, they won their semi-final series with Hebner’s and then took the best-of-three final set from the Pillsbury team. 

Captain of the Midland Foundry team which won the Recreational Hockey League title Saturday night, Russell Quinn receives the congratulations of the president of the firm, Ken G. Williams. It was the second successive title for the Foundry team. 

Only Midland-winners in the badminton tournament held here on the weekend was the mixed doubles team of Jim Cleaver and “Dot” Dorothy  Wood. They won the consolation final from an Orillia couple.

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