Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 1st to 7th, 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 May 2, 1962. 

A drop of 206 in the number claiming benefits through the Midland office of the National Employment Service was reported this week by Harold Humphries, NES district manager. On March 31, 1,537 were registered for work compared to 1,743 at the end of February. “Prospects look very bright right now”, Mr. Humphries said. He attributed the drop to sailors returning to their ships, a new industry locating in town and two survival courses sponsored by the federal government at Midland Armory. The NES manager said he expects a further decrease of about 400 this month from the unemployed rolls. “There are still freight handlers and Great Lakes crews not yet out. When they return to work it will make quite a difference.” he stated. 

    Penetanguishene’s debenture debt is nearing the million dollar figure, according to town auditors A. F. MacLaren and Company, Barrie. The figure now stands at $928,856. Over three-quarters of this amount is in school debt – $644,100 for public school and $96,556 for the district high school.   

     Midland’s controversial dump slipped quietly back into the picture at Monday night’s council meeting. Bob McLaughlin, acting as spokesman for a number of residents on Scott Street and adjacent areas, asked council what progress had been made in locating a new site. “The matter was knocked around like a political football last year. We would like to know if the same thing is going to happen this year.” said Mr. McLaughlin. Chairman of the sanitation committee,  Reeve Arthur Argue said the dump was still very much of a live issue with council. He pointed out that the snow had only disappeared recently and his committee had not had an opportunity to delve further into the problem. “Alderman Woods and I have gone on several sight-seeing trips the past few days. We hope to bring the matter to a conclusion in the foreseeable future,” he told the delegation. 

    What to do about the condition of the large frame building housing Midland’s Huronia Museum was a question which gave Midland Council considerable concern Monday night. Town Engineer Ulo Luksep said he could only guess at the condition of certain portions of the building. In order to make a thorough inspection it will be necessary to tear up sections of the flooring to learn the condition of supporting beams and joists, he said. “With our road program, I do not have the time to make this inspection personally,” said the engineer. He recommended that council ask J. E. Lawlor of Midland, a professional engineer, to make the inspection. 

    A passenger thrown to the pavement in a two-car collision on No. 27 Highway Saturday was covered with a blanket and given up for dead by passing motorists until two Toronto nurses arrived at the scene. Nurses Janet Danter and Frances Lagel, who had been driving along the highway, detected a pulse beat from Peter MacMillan. Other motorists had thought he was dead and called a priest. 

    Midland Parks Commission’s policy of charging fees for cars entering Little Lake Park sparked a brief debate at Monday night’s meeting of town council. It came about when council was asked to give necessary formal approval, as required under the Public Parks Act, to the commission’s recent changes in fee structure. The park now has a 50 cent daily fee along with a $1 ticket, good for the entire year. There is no charge for any person entering the park on foot. Midland ratepayers also receive yearly tickets free of charge for their cars. “I am a strong advocate of no fee for visitors wishing to drive through our beautiful park,” said Deputy-reeve Wm. Orr, who added he was willing to go along with the fee for this year. Mr. Orr suggested that the commission explore the possibility of setting up parking lots, where fees could be collected, thus permitting persons to drive right through the park “I feel it is well worth $1 a day to enjoy the use of the park’s facilities, but I am still concerned that visitors cannot drive through,” Mr. Orr said. “I seem to recall that the original idea back of the fee was to enable the commission to earn money to put a new road across the back of the park. Has anything been done about this?” asked Alderman Walter Woods. Alderman Wm. Thompson also said a number of ratepayers had asked him the same question. Mayor Charles Parker said he felt the $1 per-year fee very reasonable, in view of the costs of keeping the park cleaned up each day and providing many free services. He said that eventually the commission would be doing away with all of its cottages. I don’t believe you or I will ever live to see that day. Maybe some of the younger councillors, but not us,” said Mr. Orr. Recalling issues raised in this paper last fall, Alderman Thompson asked if any consideration was being given to improving plumbing facilities. There had been reports of complaints at that time that toilet facilities in the park were no longer adequate, particularly when the tourist camp is full of visitors. Secretary for both council and the commission, Wm. A. Hack said the next meeting of the latter group was to be in the form of a tour of inspection of the park. Particular attention would be paid to toilet facilities and extension of park area, he said. “Consideration of a new road not been shelved by any means,” Hack assured council. He said the commission has decided not to erect any new cottages this year in order to strengthen its financial picture, particularly in the matter of capital debt to the town. 

Midland Free Press published a 20-page tourist and industrial development supplement to their May 28th edition. * * * First steps were taken to secure a new railway station in Midland when representatives of town council met with visiting CNR officials. * * * The organizational meeting of the Women’s Canadian Club of Midland was held and Miss Baker elected president. Professor Keyes, University of Toronto, outlined the objects of the club. * * * Capt. C. P. Swartman, Waubaushene, was elected president of the newly formed Lake Huron and Georgian Bay Commercial Fishermen’s Association at a meeting in Owen Sound. * * * Rev. A. J. Eagle, Toronto, accepted a unanimous invitation from the United Churches of Victoria Harbour, Port McNicoll and Ebenezer. His new duties started July 1. * * * Radio inspector S. J. Ellis warned district residents that the days of grace had expired for the renewal of radio licences and radio fans operating their sets without the $1.00 licence were liable to prosecution. * * * Barrie district oratorical contest, sponsored by a Toronto newspaper, was held in the county town with competitors from Midland, Penetanguishene, Barrie, Coldwater, Collingwood, Gravenhurst, Cookstown and MacTier. * * * The steamer Gleneagles, with Capt. W. A. Lavigne, docked at Midland with 694,000 bushels of oats, believed to be the largest cargo carried down the lakes. The Gleneagles was built in Midland. * * * Joseph O’Shea, Midland’s issuer of vehicle licences, had issued 540 passenger car licences and expected to issue another 50. It was pointed out that this would mean on e car for every ten people in Midland. 

“There they are” says Peter Clause, centre, as he points out a few of the thousands of spawning pickerel at Port Severn to C. S. Wice, left, and Alex Lapere of Penetanguishene. A member of Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers Association, Pete is one of a number of deputies helping game wardens make sure the fish are protected during the brief spawning season. 

“Early Swingers at Midland Golf Club” editorial page photo.

These Midland youngsters made a good showing in the recent “tykes” tournament held in the Scarborough Arena. Left to right are, front row – Ricky Desjardins, Steve Murley, Tom Gignac, Jerry Kay, Carl Todd, Stewart Duncan, Brian Tuttle; back row – Dennis O’Leary, Wayne Brissette, Ted Walker, Steve Leclair, Myles Gamna, Bill Jones. At rear are managers Bill Jones and Charlie Kay. Absent were Ian Sherriff, Brent Moreau and Jerry Cadeau. 

County Herald headline of May 5, 1962. 

Victoria Harbour council turned a deaf ear to pleas from a delegation of about 50 village ratepayers attempting to block the sale of Mackenzie Park to a private developer for $1,500. Ignoring a petition bearing 265 signatures council gave the go-ahead at a stormy meeting Tuesday night to Victoria Harbour Marina Ltd., to proceed with its proposed $275,000 motel, restaurant and marina. Site of the future development is located between the two government docks on the village waterfront. Construction is expected to start later this month and to reach completion over a three-year period. Headed by ex-reeve Mrs. Florence Belcher, the delegation strongly protested council’s actions in selling the village owned property. Mrs. Belcher accused council of “high-handed” methods and demanded they resign immediately and call an election. She predicted they would be turned out of office. Claiming there is not enough money in the world to buy the waterfront property, now used by village residents for swimming, Mrs. Belcher said council had no right to enter into an agreement for sale. She urged them to hold a plebiscite and let the taxpayers decide. GIVEN TO VILLAGE Donated to the village about 30-years ago by the now defunct Victoria Harbour Lumber Company, the property is named after Dr. D. W. Mackenzie, well-known district doctor. 

   Police estimated damage at only $30 to a car which plunged down a steep bank into a town owned sandpit in Midland early yesterday morning. The car, a small English model owned by Mervyn Beatty, was parked in the yard at 43 Victoria Street when the brakes let go. The vehicle backed across Victoria Street and down the bank into the sandpit west of Sixth Street.

     A district youth had some embarrassing moments in Little Lake Park Wednesday evening when his car stalled. He got out to give the vehicle a push when it got away on him, crashing into a tree. His lady friend suffered minor cuts and bruises and damage to the vehicle was estimated at $150. 

    Upwards of 1,700 people toured the Ontario Hospital at Penetanguishene during “open house” Tuesday and Wednesday this week, when they were given access to practically every nook and cranny in the institution. 

    Penetanguishene police are experiencing some difficulty in enforcing curfew regulations in town and are seeking co-operation of parents. Sgt. Marcel Dorion said yesterday children are being found wandering the streets after attending the show weekday nights. “They don’t go straight home as they should.” he said. The officer said police are requesting parents to send their children to matinee performances rather than night shows. “In this way the children would not have an excuse that they haven’t had time to get home from the show.” “If the situation continues we will be forced to pick the children up and lay charges against the parents.” he said. 

    Faced with the problem of charging either business tax or a licence fee to small operations not maintaining business premises in town. Penetang council spent considerable time last week discussing the transient traders’ bylaw. Concensus has been that bread route operators and others should be making a contribution the same way as retailers operating from stores in the business section. Mrs. M. Babando told council Georgian Home Bakery is paying $160 in business taxes, $250 in property taxes and $200 in residential taxes. Clerk A. Doucette was finally instructed to prepare an amendment to the bylaw providing for $25 annual fee for any permanent resident whose sole livelihood is gained through peddling. A $10 fee will be charged where the peddler is working on a part-time basis. The amendment is expected to be ready for next council meeting. At that time bylaws of some other communities will be available for inspection. Mrs. Babando told council she felt the suggested fee is fair to all concerned. 

Work is already in progress on the installation of a 10-inch water main under Highway 12 to serve the new Kindred Industries plant near the Wye River bridge. This photo shows the huge clam used in digging the hole in which the men in the lower picture are threading a connection for the new pipe to go under the highway. 

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