Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 16th to 23rd, 1959

Click on photos to enlarge 

All dressed up in their first communion dresses, these three little girls were all set to take part in the holy rosary parade and rally in Midland Town Park May 10. Members of St. Margaret’s parish, Midland, they are, left to right, Eileen Asselin, Brenda Contois and Barbara Anne Doucette. A short time after the picture was taken the rally had to be called off because of a sudden downpour at the park. 

Persons attending the first “spring luncheon” ever held by the Woman’s Association of St. Paul’s United Church termed the event a “great success”. Among the head table guests were, left to right, Mrs. W. N. Keefe, vice-president, Mrs. Wilson Morden, Mrs. G. A. Perkins, president of Simcoe WMS, Mrs. Milt Trace, Elmvale, president of Simcoe W.A., Mrs. Stan Harman, president of the St. Paul’s group, controller Mrs. Jean Newman, Toronto, the guest speaker, and Rev. Wilson Morden, minister of St. Paul’s. 

Most of the spectators who took in the annual inspection of Midland-Penetang District High School cadet corps last Thursday would have liked to change places with these girls. A few minutes with the skipping rope would have been welcomed on the cold, windy day. 

This cadet, Bill Laramey, was one of the better “casualties” on display during the first aid demonstration held as part of the MPDHS annual cadet inspection Thursday. Looking on while Grant Robinson completes his work are Cadet Lieut.-Col. K. MacEachern, left, and Lieut. Jim Downer, Grey and Simcoe Foresters, the inspecting officer of the day. 

So far as is known, Francis Somers, left, is the first angler to haul in a “Splake” while fishing in bay waters. With him is his uncle, Bert Martin. The Splake is a hybrid trout which Lands and Forests officials have developed by crossing lake and speckled trout. In this one, the lake trout characteristics predominated. 

Sunday morning saw the dedication of this new organ and the 50th anniversary of the present church building, at Vasey United Church. Left to right, around assistant organist Mrs. Ross Faint, are Mrs. Horace Vasey, Mrs. Harold Cowden the regular organist, Rev. Gordon Nodwell, Ross Faint, Harvey Fallis and Frank Rumney. Two other members of the committee who helped raise funds for the $1,500 organ and who were not present for the picture were Mrs. Frank Rumney and Miss Eleanor Edwards. 

Cold windy weather greeted the annual inspection of MPDHS cadet corps Thursday, making things difficult for both spectators and cadets. The corps demonstrates the use of Bren guns (foreground) while the big tank swings into action in the rear. 

Mass production plus, that seems to be the only way to describe this pure-bred Yorkshire sow owned by Ken Robinson of Con. 3, Medonte. Mr. Robinson was quite pleased when the sow brought forth a litter of 16 piglets May 2. He was flabbergasted when he went to the stable on the morning of May 15 and found the sow had ten more tiny mouths to feed. So far as can be learned, this production mark is unheard of hitherto in this area at least. 

[Still an oddity in 1959, and what a difference colour photography would have made to this shot.]

One of nature’s most eye-catching displays is provided by the amaryllis, a large lily-like bloom. The one above is owned by Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Jeffery, 360 Midland Ave., Midland. It has eight huge red and white blooms, each a good six inches in width, four on each of two stems. The stems, incidentally, grew almost an inch a day for three weeks. At one stage the Jefferys had relegated the plant to the cellar, fearing it would not bloom. 

This panel discussion group was one of the features of the tourist trade conference in Midland YMCA Wednesday night under the sponsorship of Midland Chamber of Commerce. Left to right are R. B. Moffatt, chamber secretary-manager who acted as moderator; Wilfrid Jury, well-known archaeologist; Frank Dale, proprietor of a tourist resort at Ossosane Beach; V. G. Edwards, Vice-President of Edwards Specialty Shop; and Phil Robitaille, manager of Penetang’s Hotel Brule. 


Currently Wilkinson’s Upholstery.

 

  • Free Press Herald headline of May 20th, 1959; Four Flee in Night Attire as Fire Razes Farm Home. A family of four escaped in their night attire when their two-storey frame and insulbrick home was levelled by fire about 1.30 a.m. yesterday morning. Not-so fortunate was the family’s pet dog, “Ring,” who perished in the flames. Loss in the blaze was severe and it is understood that comparatively little of it was covered by insurance. Burned was the home of James Borrow, who built it in 1940. It is reported to have been equipped with many modern conveniences.  The house was located on Lot 7, Conc. 1, Matchedash, known as the Irish Line. Mr. Borrow said he was awakened by the crackle of flames and the smell of smoke. When he spotted it, the fire had gained considerable headway in a back shed. He awakened his wife, son Allan, 15, and daughter Isabel, 13. They barely had time to get out in their night clothing.
  • County Herald headline of May 22nd, 1959; Four-mill Hike Forecast in Midland 1959 Levy. Although the 1959 budget for the corporation of Midland has not yet been finalized, indications are that the tax rate this year will be up at least four mills. At a budget meeting Tuesday night, two tentative rates were suggested which, if adopted, would have meant a 5.2-mill increase for commercial taxpayers and 5.8 for residential. Contributing more than two mills to the increased levy this year are the costs of education in the municipality. The public school rate is .37 mills higher than the 1958 levy and the district high school levy is up 1.98 mills. Council pointed out both were items over which it had no control.
  • Births – ELRICK — To Mr. and Mrs. William Elrick, King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, May 12, 1959, a daughter. HEWITT — To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hewitt, Honey Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, May 14, 1959, a daughter. LEFAIVE—To Mr. and Mrs. Harold Lefaive, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday; May 14, 1959, a son. LALONDE— To Mr. and Mrs. Ambrose Lalonde, 115 John St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, May 17, 1959, a daughter. MORLEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Roy Morley (nee Velma Gilson) at Grace Hospital, Toronto, Thursday, May 14, 1959, a son.
  • by HARVEY H. BOYD – The Scout Badge Board session Monday, May 13, saw 39 badges go to the following groups of the district: 1st Midland, 3rd Midland, 1st Penetang Troops; Packs, 1st Midland, 3rd Midland “A” and “B”, 4th Midland. Badges awarded were: ambulance man, Jim McKean, Paul Delaney, Tom Gordanier, Ken Cleary, Marvin Howard, Doug Mutch; athlete, Denis Larmand; musician, Bert Mason, Fred Hacker, Allan McElroy; plumber, Denis Larmand, Bert Mason, Bob Prevett, David Hook, Frank Wice, John McLaughlin, Ken Ball; despatch rider, Fred Hacker; entertainer, Allan McElroy; Re-pass of ambulance man, Ken Ball; artist, Harold Belfry, Lawrence Thomas, Keith Stratton, Keith McCaughen; collector, Lawrence Thomas, Keith Stratton, Blair Shakell, Brian Scott, Freddie Hopkins, Ralph Brookman, Art McComb; swimmer, Ron Henderson, Gary McCaughen; toymaker, John Cardwell; Second star, Kennedy Self, Sandy Corcoran, Ian Dalrymple; house orderly, Freddie Hopkins, Ralph Brockman; team player, Bob Montgomery.
  • 25 Years Ago 1934 – Heavy rains in Western Canada brought an end to a lengthy drought and new hope for a reduction in the grasshopper plague. * * * The Ontario and federal governments were planning a major switch of properties. In the land exchange, the Ontario government was to get the 24-square mile Camp Borden military station for turning over to the Dominion government 60 square miles of property at Petawawa. Officials at Ottawa announced they intended to abandon Camp Borden and move the flying station to Trenton. * * * Midland anglers, fishing off the dam in the Wye River, caught “several snake-like creatures with a small head and large sucker-shaped mouth.” One of them was put in a sealer full of water and was brought into Midland for identification. The anglers were informed they had been catching Lamprey eels. * * * Five tiny baby girls were born in a farmhouse near the Northern Ontario settlement of Corbeil. The mother of the quintuplets was 24-year-old Mrs. Ovila Dionne. Attending physician was Dr. A. R. Dafoe of Callander. * * * George Lynn, caretaker of Beausoleil Island National Park, was made an honorary chief of the Christian Island Indian Band. He was given the name of Oge-mah-me-she-newa, meaning Chief Messenger. The honor was bestowed on Mr. Lynn by Chief Peter Toby, a venerable member of the Christian Island Reserve. * * * Mitchell F. Hepburn, Ontario Liberal leader, addressed a crowd of 2,500 in Midland Arena Gardens. He was speaking on behalf of Dr. G. E. Tanner, the Liberal candidate in the provincial election.
  • Bit of Fun – “What did the skunk say when the wind changed?” “It all comes back to me now.”
  • A GROUP OF TAXPAYERS in the town’s east end are not too happy about Midland council’s action with respect to outdoor privies that have been permitted to remain on properties in that part of the municipality. Apparently, one of them is located not too far away from the new St. Andrews Hospital. The other is on a property which, in effect, belongs to the town. The taxpayers concerned point out that, as there is a bylaw prohibiting these ‘facilities’ within the corporation, and council has forced other property owners to remove privies and install adequate indoor plumbing, council’s position in these instances is particularly vulnerable. On the other hand, council found itself over a barrel on the issue when both cases were discussed at last week’s regular meeting. While the bylaw gives it authority to install sewers and toilets and to charge the costs to the properties concerned, there is, apparently, little hope of the town recuperating the charges from those now occupying the homes. In one instance, an agreement of sale was negotiated with the municipality some fifteen years ago. Since that time, and then only under duress, token payments have been made but they have not been sufficient to cover tax arrears that have accrued against the property, let alone the principal. The outcome of the discussion was that the town would advertise the property for sale by tender, in the hope a new owner would be obtained, who would pay for the plumbing and sewer installation costs. Some east end taxpayers contend, however, that the condition of the building is such that few if any, bids will be offered. They fear this unsavory privy condition will continue for some time. And they may be right. Since the municipality has plumbing equipment salvaged when public washrooms were torn down some years ago, since water is installed in the buildings, the cost of installing the facilities and the sewer laterals should not be too prohibitive. Council must admit there has been what could be termed “more frivolous expenditures.” But the question of how or when, if ever, these costs are recovered, while having an important bearing on the issue, should not be permitted to cloud the fact that so long as the privies exist, they constitute a public nuisance and a menace to the health of citizens of one section of the municipality. A statement made by Alderman Clinton Smith seems to sum up the case adequately. Council as the law-making body “should set the example.”
  • The new red and white “STOP” signs erected at intersections in Midland are a decided improvement over their old black and white counterparts.
  • (For the ship fans) Scheduled for christening and commissioning a few weeks prior to the official opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway by Queen Elizabeth June 26, the new flagship of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. will be named the Seaway Queen. The 717-foot bulk carrier, one of the largest Canadian carriers on the Great Lakes, will be in command of Capt. Frank Harpell of Midland. The Seaway Queen is designed to carry 23,000 tons of iron ore or 850,000 bushels of wheat. Weighing 7,650 tons, the vessel will travel at 16 ½ mph loaded. A crew of 31 will operate the ship. J. D. Leitch, president of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., said the Seaway Queen would be christened by Mrs. Gordon Churchill, wife of Canada’s minister of trade and commerce, and that Hon. Gordon Churchill would be the principal speaker at the May 30 ceremony. The latest addition to the 34-ship fleet of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. was designed to permit operation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for the transportation of bulk cargoes between the Upper Lakes and Gulf ports. She was built at Port Weller Drydocks Limited, Port Weller. (I always thought she was one of the best-looking lake boats.)
  • A new summer playground is to be developed right on Penetang’s doorstep. Work will start almost immediately. The development is to provide some 3,000 acres of cottage sites, an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts and marina, and yachting facilities. The development lies on the south shore of Georgian Bay and includes the 1,200-acre Giant’s Tomb Island. It is being developed in conjunction with Miss Edna Breithaupt; sister of the former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario and a patroness of the arts for almost half a century. In the centre of the project, she will maintain a 50-acre estate for the advancement of the arts in the tradition of the Wakunda Art and Community Centres of Canada which she founded in 1928. Some 5,000 cottage lots with maximum access to the waterfront and other facilities have been designed for the development, said Joseph Axler, of Axler and Palmer Ltd., exclusive real estate brokers for the project. The lots, a minimum of 100 by 150 feet, comply with all requirements of the Ontario Planning Act and will be, fully registered so that purchasers may obtain a proper deed. Inland lots will face on access parkways that lead to many community waterfronts averaging 400 feet to be shared by fewer than 40 families. Cottage manufacturers are assembling models of cottages on the site for public viewing sometime in the first two weeks of June.

  • Midland police have decided to take their wage and working condition demands to arbitration, council was informed at its meeting Tuesday night. Police brief signatories informed council in a letter that they had engaged the services of Penetang barrister, A. B. Thompson as their arbitration board representative. They asked council to name an arbitrator. The officers said they were unable to accept councils offer as of May 12. Police Chairman James Mackie told council the main objections of the officers, so far as he could learn, were that they wanted a 40-hour week and time and a half for overtime.
  • What is the biggest problem of people concerned with the tourist industry in the Midland-Penetang area? Judging from comments heard at the tourist trade conference in Midland YMCA Wednesday night it can be summed up in one word. “Parking.” Closely allied with parking, or the lack of it, is the old bugbear of the parking meter ticket. A visitor who comes out of a store in which he has spent $30, $20, $25, or even 25 cents, is not happy when he finds a parking ticket on his car, it was agreed unanimously. The problem, of course, is not unique to Midland or Penetang.
  • NAP BEAUCHAMP —well-known Penetang and Midland businessman, died suddenly from a heart attack this morning at his Yonge Street, Midland, home. Funeral services for Mr. Beauchamp will be held Monday morning.
  • President of Midland Planing Mills, Milton Johnston Bray, died Wednesday at St. Andrews Hospital. He was in his 80th Mr. Bray who came to Midland in 1901, married the former Effie Eugenie Sherwin in June 1906. The following year Mr. Bray and James A. Benson joined forces to form the firm known as Benson and Bray. They soon outgrew their modest plant at Montreal and Third Streets and a new company was formed, Midland Wood Products, which erected the building now used by Bay Mills Ltd. Extra capital was added and the company later became a limited firm. In 1935 the firm was liquidated and Mr. Bray returned to the site of his earlier operation. Associated with him was the Iate Norman J. Playfair, whose interests have since been purchased. Mr. and Mrs. Bray who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 26, 1956, are both gardening enthusiasts and Mr. Bray was president of the Midland Horticultural Society for several years. He was recording secretary and elder of St. Paul’s United Church for 33 years. He was a charter member of the Midland Curling Club and was for many years a member of the YMCA board. During the building campaign for the new Sunday School at St. Paul’s United Church, Mr. Bray was co-chairman along with the late H. J. Thompson. Besides his widow, Mr. Bray is survived by son, Alan S. Bray of Port Arthur, daughters Marion A. Bray of Woodstock and Mrs. Clarke Edwards (Doris) of Midland, Mrs. R. Beaumont (Agnes) of Sault Ste. Marie and a son Frank of Midland. Funeral service will be held at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home Saturday at 2 p.m. with Rev. W. L. Morden officiating. Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery. 

Looking back 80 years.

CHARLES HARTMAN’S reflects on his 37 years in the hardware business in Midland as told to Herbert Cranston and published in the Midland Free Press Wednesday, May 3rd, 1939.

    Fifty years is a long time in any man’s life. It was fifty years ago, on Monday, May 1, 1889, that Charlie Hartman entered the hardware business. Thirty-seven years of that fifty have been spent in Midland. This town has a no more deservedly popular citizen than the said Charlie, who all this week has been receiving the congratulations of his friends. W. D.  ‘Bill’ Ross, who has kept store next door to him for the past fourteen years, says that there is not a whiter man in all of Simcoe County. “If Charlie Hartman gives you his word that’s all you need,” says Bill. And no higher tribute could be paid to any man. [Please excuse the racist innuendo above, this article is verbatim from 1939.]

    It was on September 5th, 1870, that the stork left a third boy baby at the farm home of John W. Hartman, eight miles southwest of Meaford, in St. Vincent Township. The little lad was christened Charles Edward. All four boys born to John Hartman and his wife, Susan Machell, are still living. Joseph, the oldest, is farming in St. Vincent Township. Frank is in the hardware business in Thornbury, and William, better known as “Bill,” who for many years was a partner with Charlie, now is Midland’s deputy reeve. Charlie Hartman loves to tell tales of his boyhood. He attended a country school in S. S. 11, St. Vincent until he was sixteen years of age and like other boys, he played “hookey” when the weather was too fine to be indoors. He remembers one teacher by the name of Frizell, who used a rung from a maple chair in place of a strap. “When he got through you didn’t want anymore,” said Charlie, as he reminiscently looked at his hands which had tasted that chair rung many times.

NEARLY SMOTHERED

“He was a bad actor, that Frizell.” continued Mr. Hartman. There was a big cupboard in the schoolroom in which we used to put our lunches. One day we had an exam in geography and there were three of us who didn’t know the answers. As punishment, he shoved us into the cupboard, locked the door, and went home to supper. There was so little space that we could not move. When Frizell got to his farm boarding place he gleefully told the farmer what he had done. “You will smother them said the farmer.’ Let them smother.’ said Frizell. The farmer ran to the school and let us out, and just in time. We could not stand up and collapsed on the floor,  in fifteen or twenty minutes more we might have been dead.” “The boys make much trouble for the teachers”, continued Charlie. “We did have a lot of fun, however. There were two gangs, the “uproads” and the “downroads”, depending upon which way we came to school, and when winter came we had many a snow fight, which usually ended in a fist encounter.

MEAN TRICK

“I must tell you about a mean trick some of us played on a farmer neighbor, old Richard Belshaw, who was so lazy he wouldn’t cut his lambs’ tails off at the proper time when they were very small, but let them grow until they were quite big. One day a bunch of us decided to teach him a lesson. On the way home, we cornered two or three of the Iambs and cut off their tails. Next day Mr. Frizell asked the boys who went north to stay in after school. We knew what was coming, and we declared we knew nothing about what had happened. So Frizell went to see another chap who had been with us but was not at school that day. He did not know what we had said, and as he was not coming back to school, he told the truth. The next night we got a whaling that I shall never forget. Of course, it was the wrong thing to do. The lambs might have bled to death, or their tails might have been infected as the weather was warm. But we were not thinking about the lambs. We were just playing a prank on old Belshaw.”

    At seventeen Charlie Hartman decided the time had come to prepare himself for his life’s work. He went to Owen Sound and tended business college for months, getting a training in bookkeeping. He boarded with an uncle, a carpenter, who secured a job for him with T. I. Thompson, a hardware merchant. So when his course was over young Charles began his apprenticeship. “I was general kickabout” said he. “The first year I got $2, the second $4 and the third $5. I worked under an oral agreement and the hours were 7 a.m. till 9 or 10 o’clock every night in the week, but I did not complain. I was tickled to death to get a job. Father and mother, of course, helped me, for I could not pay my board on $2 per week.

WENT TO BUFFALO

“I liked it in Owen Sound. There were a lot of lovely people there and I got along fine. At the end of the three years, Mr. Thompson claimed he had not guaranteed me any advance, although I certainly expected to receive a clerk’s pay when my apprenticeship was up. So I quit. Times were just as bad as they are today, If not worse, and there nothing to be had. I took a trip to Buffalo to see if I could get a job, but I could not find one in my trade. Finally, I got a chance at carriage and wagon painting. I stuck it out for three months and then decided to go back to Canada. Mother was anxious for me to come home and had got a job for me in a Meaford hardware store. The morning I left Buffalo was very hot, and as the train passed through fields of Ontario clover I thought I had never seen anything lovelier, nor had fresh air ever seemed so refreshing. I swore I would never go back to a city to live. It was while working for William Butchart that young Charles Hartman met the young woman who was to be his wife. She was Margaret Edwards, daughter of Albert Edwards, proprietor of Meaford’s grist mill. Charlie lived in the Edwards’ home during his four years in Meaford and got a chance to become well acquainted with the lady of his choice. He did not marry her, however, until he had purchased the hardware business of Thomas Carscadden at Thornbury, and set up in business for himself. ”I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself and marry before I was in a position to take care of a wife like so many young fellows do today,” he said.

CAME TO MIDLAND

After five years in Thornbury Charles Hartman came to Midland and in partnership with his brother William bought out the hardware establishment owned by William Peters. It was a little old frame building and occupied the same site as the present Hartman store. When he purchased the property a few years later Mr. Hartman tore down the old Peters building and erected the present store in 1913. “Bill and I never had a partnership agreement,” said Charlie. “He had had no previous hardware training. He came direct from the farm, but we shared everything on a fifty-fifty basis. He was with me for eighteen years and we always got along splendidly together. The partnership was dissolved on his initiative. He never cared much for the business, and he saw the boys coming along. In half an hour we settled all the details as to dissolution. In 1933 my two sons Albert and Wells became my partners. Each of us now owns a third. My other boy Ainsley also worked in the store, but as yet he has no partnership interest in the business. Those boys pull together wonderfully. “Some of your clerks have been with you a long time, have they not?” l asked. “Oh yes. Bill Stephens, who drives and delivers, has been with us for 21 years, and Mrs. Norman Chew has been bookkeeper off and on for nearly 25 years. Watson Battrick has been with us for twelve years.”

MANY CHANGES

“You have seen many changes in the hardware business in the past fifty years?” I suggested. Indeed and I have. There has been a great improvement in the finishing of goods, such as stoves and kitchen utensils. Old barn framing tools, blacksmith tools, lumbermen’s tools, and most of the heavy hardware has disappeared. Vises, anvils, and machinists’ tools have little sale. Not nearly as many lanterns are sold as in the old days. The old cut nails have gone. We never see them now. All nails are wire, and they are better nails. They should be for they are dearer. We used to buy a keg of nails for 31.90 which today costs us 3.50 “We did the greatest volume of business in the years 1915 to 1929. Those were the days when the lumber yards, the shipyards, and the elevators were flourishing. There was a lot of building in those days. Today there is practically none. “The greatest change is, however, in the hearts of the people. When things were going well and there was lots of work people seemed to be happy and contented. When things went bad in 1930 and men started going on relief it was terrible. So many people who had saved a little were soon drained of all they had. Some nearly went crazy when they found themselves dependent upon public aid. It used to be that if people kept you waiting a while before they paid their bills they would say they were sorry. Today, however, they make you wait and they never apologize. If you ask them for money they get angry and ask how you can expect them to pay when they have no work. It is the most regrettable change I have seen. “Credit is consequently not as good as it used to be and we do not give as much. The people have spoiled their own credit. If they are not as honest it is because of conditions and not all their fault. They have to scheme more to get along. The younger generations are more careless than their fathers.”

PUBLIC SERVICE

Charles Hartman was brought up as a Methodist but became an Anglican after he married. He was churchwarden of St. Mark’s for some years, and on the Y.M.C.A. Board of Management while it was being built. He served as a member of the town council for four years, the last in 1913, and it is his boast that in those days the debt of the town was only $350.000 as compared to $1,500.00 of today. All payments on principal and interest were up to date. “No members of the council, not even the mayor, got any money then,” he said. The mayors I served under were Richard Horrell, J. H. Craig, and John McDowell. The way I got into the council was this, there were some people trying to pass a law which would bring liquor into the town, I was asked to stand as an opponent of liquor and I was elected. I still believe Midland is far better off without booze, and that the people would vote against it if they wore asked to do so today. It is close enough in Penetang.” Mr. Hartman served on the school board for three years but was never chairman. “I never wanted any high position,” said he. “I don’t mind helping, but those jobs are a lot of worry. People are after you all the time. I never enjoyed feeling important.”

BUSINESS HIS HOBBY

“What is your chief hobby?” I asked of Mr. Hartman. “Staying with my business. I like it. I try not to overdo it, but one must be constantly awake to keep up-to-date.” “Don’t you ever go fishing or shooting?” “Oh yes. I am fond of duck shooting, and I used to go out every year when the season came round. I have also done quite a bit of deer hunting, and there is nothing I like better than a motor trip. I have seen quite a bit of eastern America from my automobile.” “How do you feel about the future of Midland?” I shot this final question at Mr. Hartman who has seen the town in alternate boom and depression periods. “That’s hard to answer,” he replied. “This world is in such a topsy turvy state at the present time, and business has been at a standstill for so long that one sometimes wonders if things ever will come right again. However, I’ll say that if things ever become normal again I see no reason why Midland should not forge ahead. We have lost some industries forever, but the tourist trade is steadily increasing in importance. This is a good center. It has many facilities, and it will come out on top yet.”

Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 8th to 15th, 1959

Click on photos to enlargeAn annual event at Port McNicoll public school is the tea put on by the grades 7 and 8 home economics pupils for their mothers and grandmothers. Held last Wednesday afternoon, the event drew a large attendance again this year. Some of the girls of Mrs. W. Moriarty’s class are seen above at the close of the reception. 

Wife of the chairman of Port McNicoll public school board, Mrs. Ray Belanger is being served by two young ladies of Mrs. W. Moriarty’s home economics class at the annual tea held in the school Wednesday for the mothers and grandmothers of the girls in the class. Serving are Lorraine Bell left, and Faye Cameron. 

Winners of the Atkinson Marine goalie awards received their trophies at the hockey banquet which climaxed Midland’s Little NHL season Monday night. Left to right are Lloyd Graham (Junior “B”), Greg Somers (AHL “A”), Jürgen Baumann (AHL “B”), Bill Silvey (NHL “A”), Ted Black (NHL “B”), and Laurie Thomas (Junior “A”). 

Named “Most Valuable” players in their sections of Midland’s Little NHL, these lads received the Robin Hood trophies at the hockey banquet in Parkside Inn Monday night. Left to right are Ernie Boast (junior “A”), Mike Robitaille (AHL “B”), Jon Pettersen (AHL ”A”), Mike Borsa (NHL “B”), Ed Zablotny (NHL “A”), and Gord Paul (junior “B”). 

Presentation of trophies was one of the highlights as Midland’s Little NHL wound up the season at a banquet Monday. Captains of the winners in the various sections are, left to right, Mike Robitalle (AHL “B”), Ed Zablotny (NHL “B”), Jon Pettersen (AHL “A”), Larry French (NHL “A”), Tommy Borsa (junior “A”), and Tommy Sweeting (junior “B’). 

Donated by William Wilcox in memory of his son, the Kelvin Wilcox Trophy was presented to Windsor Bulldogs, winners of the Police-Legion sponsored senior OHA section of Midland’s Little NHL at the hockey banquet Monday night. Left to right are, Billy Reay, former Toronto Maple Leaf coach, Mr. Wilcox, Cpl. Ernie Bates, Larry Cripps (captain), John Hanley, Billy Girard, Dennis Marsell, Fred Burgie, Ronald Contois, Ricky Manson and Const Ross Willett. Absent were Charles Ward and Randy Green. 

Pomp and pageantry came to Midland Saturday night as the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, Hon. Keiller Mackay, officiated at a recognition ceremony for some 50 new Queen’s Scouts. Preceded by his aide de camps, His Honor is seen entering MPDHS auditorium with Mrs. Arthur Ferguson, wife of the regional, commissioner for Scouts. Behind them are Mrs. Mackay and Commissioner Ferguson, followed by Mayor Charles Stevenson and Mrs. Stevenson of Midland. 

This was a solemn moment for these young girls as they took the “Guide’s Oath” administered by Mrs. J. E. Lawlor, district commissioner, in a ceremony at St. Mark’s parish house May 6. New members of 1st Midland Company Girl Guides (St. Mark’s) are, left to right, Sheryl Lattimore, Mary Louise Parker, Laurie Young and Karen Greisbach. 

Twenty new girl guides were enrolled in the 1st Midland Company (St. Mark’s) last Wednesday in a ceremony in the parish house. Above, District Commissioner Mrs. J. E. Lawlor pins Girl Guide badge on the tie of Joanne Ambrose. 

Among the best catches of the day as the trout season opened May 1 were these two rainbows caught by Midland’s Bev Day. The big one topped five pounds and the smaller one was a pleasing 2 ½. A number of good catches were reported throughout the district. 

Rain which eventually drove hundreds of participants in the family rosary parade and rally in Midland Sunday scurrying for shelter hadn’t hit as yet when the two pictures above were taken as the parade formed near St. Margaret’s Church. Top: On the float, all from St. Ann’s Parish, Penetang, are left to right Shirley King, Marcel Moreau, Iber Cadeau, and Michael Murphy. , Lower: Perkinsfield and Penetang children make up the personnel on this float. Included are Lorraine Lacroix, Exilda Moreau, Gerry Parent, Lucille Lesperance, Irene Robitaille, Gilbert Moreau, Robert Brunelle, Lorraine Ducaire and Gerald Jones.  

These are “spit and polish days” at Midland – Penetang District High School as the cadet corps prepares for its annual inspection Thursday. Members of the colour party are giving the colours an airing under the watchful eyes of the quarter-masters staff. Left to right are S/Sgt. R. Blair, Sgt. P. Smith, S/Sgt. J. Vincent and W.O. 2 J. Rankin of the QM staff; and color party members Sgt. J. Quinlan, Lieut. G. Crowe, Sgt. S. Campbell, Lieut. R. Attridge, and Sgt. J. Brodeur. 

Much of the success of any army group depends on the efficiency of its NCO’s, and high school cadet corps are no exception. Above, Major W. C. Setterington, chief instructor of the MPDHS corps, makes sure this group of corporals knows its assignments for Thursday’s annual inspection. Corporals are, left to right, front row, L. Anderson, P. King, P. Bellehumeur, W. Puddicombe, G. Ronald; back row, R. Irvine, H. Charlebois, J. Quesnelle, N. Zoschke, B. Small. 

Officers of the battalion headquarters staff of Midland – Penetang District High School cadet corps are seen above during a lull in training for Thursday’s annual inspection. Left to right are Cadet Major Hartmut Bezner, Cadet Major P. McDonald, Cadet Major J. Parker, 2 I/C; Cadet Lieut.-Col. K. MacEachern, commanding officer; Cadet Major Wayne Morrison, adjutant; Cadet Major R. Scott, and Cadet Major M. Reynolds.

  • [The Free Press front page of May 13th is missing from the microfilm. We will examine the original paper in the museum archives to see if it was an oversight by the people who originally photographed our Midland-Penetang newspapers or was it never in the collection.  The museum is always attempting to add to the Free Press collection, many editions and many years are missing.]
  • County Herald headline of May 8, 1959; Employment Scene Good, Future Prospects Bright. Ranks of unemployed have been depleted considerably and prospects for future work look bright, district National Employment Services officials believe. Employment in the construction industry is good and local industry is employing as many if not more than they did this time a year ago it was stated.
  • Midland Junior Chamber of Commerce last night commenced plans for its seventh annual fireworks display to be held in Little Lake Park, Midland, May 18. Jaycee President Bill Bennett said the “Jaycees will really light up the sky over the lake that night” Bennett explained that very few residents realize this is a non-profit venture, paid for by the donations collected at the entrance to the park each year. He said although, receipts have been good, approximately $50 was raised in this manner last year. This was about $200 short of the actual cost of the 1958 display. If it were not for the assistance from the town of Midland and Midland service clubs, who help underwrite the loss, the Midland Jaycees could not carry on each year, President Bennett He said the club itself does not have the funds to cover the additional expense.
  • Two young, members of RCSCC “Huron” Midland, spent an anxious few hours adrift on Georgian Bay yesterday afternoon before they were finally rescued by a provincial police boat. Michael Moreau and Ron Belanger, both about 16, set out around 8 a.m. for a sail in one of the sea cadet corps dinghies. They took their lunches with them, intending to spend the day afloat. By mid-afternoon, the wind freshened considerably and the seas got rougher. The two inexperienced sailors decided to let the sail down and drift with the wind about 2.30 p.m. Tom Scott an employee at the CSL Town House elevator, had seen the boys’ sailing around Midland harbor on several occasions during the day. When he again spied the dinghy with the sail down, he feared the craft might have capsized and contacted the police.
  • Long distance charges between Midland and Penetanguishene telephones will be eliminated early next year H. A. Kilroy local Bell Telephone manager announced today. He said the change is being made to keep pace with the steady growth in the community of interest between Midland and Penetanguishene. This growth is reflected in the long-distance calling between the two communities.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Midland council was considering asking the Canadian Home Underwriters Association for an inspection of the municipality with a view to lowering fire insurance rates. Council’s action stemmed from a recommendation made by Fire Chief Peter Grigg. * * * More than 400 North Simcoe’ citizens attended the official opening of Bausch and Lomb’s new lens manufacturing plant, in Midland. * * * C. L. Chittick of Barrie was elected president of Simcoe County Children’s Aid Society at the May 10 meeting of the society’s board of directors. He succeeded G. S. McConkey. * * * Elmer Wood, youthful deputy-reeve of Orillia Township won the Simcoe East Progressive – Conservative nomination at a riding convention in Coldwater. His opponent, A. “Affie” Thompson, was nosed out by only 10 votes. The nomination assured a three-way fight in the federal vote. * * * New addition to the Canada Steamship Lines fleet, the S.S. Coverdale was nearing her launching stage at Midland shipyard. The new bulk carrier was 640 feet long. * * * At a special meeting in Vasey May 13, plans were discussed for the construction of a community hall for the village. The dinner meeting was sponsored by the Vasey Women’s Institute. It was suggested that the proposed building be erected in a corner of the athletic field. * * * Midland had the youngest airman in Canada in possession of a commercial pilot’s licence. He was Bert Barbour of Toronto and he was flying out of Midland for Georgian Bay Airways. * * * Members of the Masonic Order from lodges in the Lindsay to Meaford area were present when Rt. Worshipful Brother J. J. Robins, district deputy grand master of Georgian District, paid his official visit to Caledonian Lodge, Midland. It was reported to have been one of the largest Masonic gatherings in Midland in some years.
  • A native of Midland and a member of one of the town’s oldest families, Howard Chew is now the sole proprietor of Royal Oak -Lodge on Yonge Street, West. In 1956 Mr. Chew and Elmer Portwood of Philadelphia purchased the tourist and guest home from W. Sterrett. Now Mr. Portwood has returned to Philadelphia and has sold his interest in the business to Mr. Chew.
  • Penetang has lost one of its most active new residents. Kenneth Macdonald, manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia, established here in June 1956, has been moved. Mr. Macdonald was notified on May 6 that he was being transferred to the managership of the bank’s branch in Haileybury. It is the only bank in the Northern Ontario town, which is the district town for the District of Temiskaming. Since his arrival in Penetang, Mr. Macdonald has taken a keen interest in community activities and has been closely connected with many civic groups.
  • When the royal yacht “Britannia” enters the St. Lawrence River this summer for the official opening of the Seaway, it will be the first time that the vessel has been in fresh water in the 100,000 miles she has logged in many of the world’s sea lanes since she was launched in 1953. After the opening at Montreal June 26, “Britannia”, escorted by Royal Canadian Navy warships and Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrol boats, it will carry the Queen through the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes on the first stage of the 44-day royal tour. Hundreds of pleasure craft will swarm about the ship in mass excursions organized by yacht clubs along the route. The United States is to send a force of 28 warships to the opening. They may also join the “Britannia” on the trip up the river. The “Britannia” visited Canada once before. She picked up Prince Philip in 1954 after he attended the British Empire Games at Vancouver.
  • Members of St. Margaret’s and St. Ann’s Teen Town Clubs last Sunday night danced to the music of Jack Beauchamp and his band. The orchestra consisted of Mrs. Beauchamp at the piano, Jack on saxophone, Guy Johnstone, drums, George Johnstone, trumpet and Moris Dusome, guitar. During the social Harvey Boyd and Marian Lavigne won prizes for the spot dance. The presidents of both clubs thanked each other for their hospitality.
  • William C. Lennox, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Lennox of Midland, received a $50 award for standing first among students in his year at Waterloo College. Bill was the top man of six students who received honors in promotional exams for the winter term in the co-operative engineering course at the University of Waterloo. All six gained honor marks in their first year. 

Looking further back to the Midland Free Press,  May 10, 1939, and the Midland town council report. 

GRANTS-IN-AID
At the regular meeting Monday night, Midland Town Council received confirmation of the basis of the federal and provincial grants-in-aid for relief, 74.07 percent for the first quarter of the year, and 80 percent thereafter provided the total costs do not exceed $130,200.
GRANT PERMIT
Application for permission to operate a dry cleaning plant in the former Taylor showrooms, Dominion Ave. E., from James Mackay, was passed.
AMEND BY-LAW
By-law 1181, Sec. 28 was amended to provide a taxi stand for Chas. Stewart on Dominion Ave. East.
MUST GIVE RECEIPTS
A by-law was passed requiring vendors of cordwood or firewood within the Town to furnish written or printed receipts, stating the name and address of the vendor, the number of cords, and sale price. This does not apply, however, to kindling, mill waste or mill cuttings.
ACCEPT OFFER
Council accepted an offer of $300, provided suitable payments could be arranged, from William Crawford for the property at 294 Dominion Ave. on the understanding that the premises would be completely overhauled and repaired.
TENDER ACCEPTED
Tender of T. Calhoun of $50.00 for the barn on 203 Third St. was accepted.
SELL HOUSE FOR $750
A considerable discussion arose on the sale of the property and house at 378 Hugel Ave. W., known as the Trilsbeck house to H. A. Humphries for $750 cash. It is a housing commission building, and over $2,300 is still owing to the Town on it. Capt. Ed. Burke pointed out that for an expenditure of $250 the house could be put in a first-class state, rent at $18 per month and eventually liquidate the whole amount outstanding against the property. “At the $1,000 valuation, you would be getting 10 per cent on your money in addition to paying, full taxes,” he declared. Mayor Mackie objected, saying that the Town was not in the real estate business. Mr. Humphries’ offer was finally accepted, 3-2, with Aldermen Burke and Argue dissenting.
GRANT PERMISSION
Permission was given the Horticultural Society to beautify the Rest Room lot.
DRIVE AGAINST DUMPING
A determined drive will be made against persons dumping scrap or garbage on vacant properties around town. It was pointed out that one irresponsible individual had gone so far as to dump a load of scrap in the Town Park.
BETTER DEAL
Tenders were considered for the steel in the old malleable iron building, the highest bid being $1,077, but it was decided to leave the matter with Capt. Ed Burke to attempt to make a better deal at a private sale.
 
Also,
New dry cleaning establishment, May 10, 1939.
In an advertisement carried elsewhere in this issue, James MacKay of Toronto, laundry and dry-cleaning machinery engineer, announces the lease for four years with an option to purchase of the former Taylor Garage showrooms on Dominion Ave. E., Midland. Workmen have been busy since Friday installing a modern cleaning and laundering plant which features machinery of the latest type. The building has been redecorated in a smart green and white motif, and plans call for a start of operation later this week. Blue and grey have been chosen for the firm’s truck. James McKay, born near Glasgow in Scotland, owns the firm, to be known as the French Dry
Cleaners and Launderers, which will be managed by his brothers. “This firm has absolutely no connection with the former Marvo Cleaners,” commented Mr. McKay. Many specialty cleaning jobs will be featured by the new concern, and agencies opened in neighbouring communities.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 1st to 7th, 1959

 We have found a couple of original photos from last weeks post to update the “cut & paste” photos used then.The music goes round and round at Midland Y’s Men’s Club’s 13th annual music festival, this week, and where it comes out is up to the judges. Several lads who took part in the instrumental competitions Monday study a score. Left to right are Neil Craig, Paul Davidson, Harry DeVries, Dave Bissette, and Jerry Hamilton.

Catherine Richardson earned the flowers being presented to her by Ruth Davidson at MPDHS auditorium Friday night on behalf of the Y’s Men’s Club. As in many previous years, Mrs. Richardson was the accompanist for literally hundreds of young singers and instrumentalists at the 13th annual music festival last week.

The big sign pretty well tells the story as Ed (left) and Bill Jeffery survey the plans for their new hardware store to be erected at Dominion Ave. and First Street. They hope to have the new store open for business by mid-July. 

Maybe the secret of being a good trout fisherman is to smoke a pipe and look contented, like Hugh McGillicuddy, left, and John Power. But then almost anybody would look happy with the catch (20 speckles ranging from nine inches to 1.5 lbs.) these two “old cronies” landed on opening day May 1. Hugh was a former YMCA staffer in Midland. 

Seems like just about everybody was “in the chips” at the banquet for Midland Ontario AHL champions at Parkside Inn Monday night. Wearing new jackets and holding pen sets presented by Midland Lions Club are, left to right, Doug French, Keith Bath, and Bobby Clayton. They’re admiring the world’s champion hockey trophy held by ex-Toronto Leaf coach Billy Reay. Billy served as general manager of the Belleville MacFarlands when they won the title at Prague in March. 

“It’s a bit too small around the waist,” admits Midland’s “Mr. Hockey”, George S. Dudley, as he tried on John Swan’s new jacket at the hockey banquet in Parkside Inn Monday. John, left, Dennis Abbott and Wayne Holden were presented with the jackets by the town for winning the Ontario AHL championship at Welland last month. 

 

  • County Herald headline May 1, 1959; Forecast Major Invasion of Tourists in Huronia. Indications of a bumper tourist season for this section of Huronia this year are seen in numerous inquiries for information and requests for accommodation being received by Penetang and Midland Chambers of Commerce. Ken Macdonald, secretary of Penetang chamber, told a directors’ meeting Wednesday night he is being “swamped with letters asking for information on available cottage accommodation”. The secretary said most people sending queries appeared to have families, and they are generally looking for safe beaches. “Not too many of them are even mentioning boating facilities in their letters,” he stated. Mr. Macdonald’s summary of requests received to date was that one and two-week holiday periods seemed to be the rule. Many of the letter’s named specific locations, with all of them being in this area, he said.
  • Free Press Herald headline of May 6, 1959; Hardware Firm to Build $100,000 Building. Adding fuel to Midland’s current building boom, the erection of a brand new store, and warehouse for F. W. Jeffery and Sons Ltd, dealers in hardware in Midland for more than 60 years, was made official this week. The estimated cost of the new building, located at Dominion Ave. and First Street, one block west of the present location, is around $100,000. Nap Beauchamp Construction Company, Midland, is the contractor. Names of the successful sub-contractors have not been announced as of yet. The main store portion of the new building will be of one-storey cement block construction, measuring 50 by 100 feet. The warehouse, forming the foot of an “L” at the northwest corner, will be two storeys and will measure 40 by 20 feet. Weir-Cripps and Associates are the architects. The layout of the main store has been planned by the Versa-Flex Company; specialists in the hardware store field. Work got underway the last week of April on clearing a portion of the site of the ancient trees which have sheltered Dominion Ave. for generations. The warehouse is scheduled for completion May 31 and the main store by July 15. Also to be torn down to make way for the outdoor selling area and the parking lot is the old Ingram house, another Midland landmark for several decades. Work on tearing down the huge old home will not start until June. Founded sometime prior to 1900, the firm erected its own building at Dominion Ave. and King Street in 1901. In 1914 the present company of F. W. Jeffery and Sons Ltd., was founded. The sons were the late Edward Jeffery Sr., Todd Jeffery, and the late Fred Jeffery. In 1954 the building was sold to the Jeffery Holding and Development Co. Ltd. Actively heading the firm at present are Mrs. Hazel Jeffery as president and her two sons, William and Edward, as secretary and vice-president, respectively.
  • For more than 7000 Grey Nuns throughout the world, including branch communities in Penetanguishene, Midland and Victoria Harbour, Sunday, May 3, will be an important occasion. Their foundress, Mother Marie Marguerite D’Youville, will be beatified at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Representatives of 325 houses, of the Grey Nuns, will attend ceremonies and later special services at the Church of The Canadian Martyrs, Rome. A number of members of the Canadian hierarchy, led by His Eminence Paul Emile Cardinal Leger, archbishop of Montreal, will attend the beatification rites. In Midland, special services will be conducted in St. Margaret’s Church at the 11 a.m. mass Sunday in honor of the new “BEATA?’. At 9 a.m. Monday a special mass will be celebrated for the children of schools taught by the sisters. Marie Marguerite Dufrost Lajamerais D’Youville was born Oct. 15, 1701, at Varrens, 15 miles from Montreal. Widowed while still a young woman, she became the first Canadian to establish a religious community, “The Sisters of Charity”, who became known as the Grey Nuns, because of the color of their religious habit. “Dedicated to serving the poor and the sick in the social field and in education, the Grey Nuns spread rapidly after their establishment in 1738. There are at present over 7,000 living members belonging to this community or branch communities formed since, which owe their beginning to the original Montreal foundation.
  • A meeting which filled Craighurst community hall to capacity last week received assurance that action would be taken to have Highway 93 from Craighurst to Crown Hill paved. The road is part of Simcoe East riding served by Lloyd Letherby, MPP. The meeting was called to protest the fact that the stretch of highway, as a graveled road, provided poor service during most of the year.
  • Officers for the ensuing year were elected at the April meeting of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, held in the ladies’ parlor of St. Paul’s United Church, with the president Mrs. W. Farquhar, in charge.
  • MPDHS Hi-Sterics by David Maheu; Wednesday morning’s assembly was an outstanding one. Contributing to its success was the Glee Club which led off its presentation of negro spirituals and popular songs with a beautiful interpretation of God Save the Queen. During a break in the program, a member of the Students’ Council gave away a free ticket to the prom. The lucky girl was Lenore Faragher. This year’s prom will be called South Sea Serenade. In charge of the main part of the assembly program was Grade I0C. Introduced by MC Don Popple, John Carpenter read a humorous letter which had been given to him by a newly-enlisted soldier. It was signed “Elvis”. His selection was followed by a song presented by guitarist Roy Leclair. A humorous skit, portraying activities in station SLOB, was presented by Harry DeVries, announcer, and Winston “Liberace” Schell who played “Music to eat by”. Winston also filled in as weathercaster following the “newscast”. Guests “interviewed” were a boxer named Slugger and a tennis star, Hazel Condolis. A hit number was the Lloyd Preston Quintet comprised of Lloyd Preston, Milt Budarick, the two French boys and Murray Fagan. Lloyd demonstrated his ability by playing the piano, the violin, and the saxophone. This musical aggregation was followed by the Five Peppers, who sang. “I’ve Had It”; and two of their originals “Whisper Some”, and “What Did I Say, What Did I Do? Lloyd Preston and his band and Harry DeVries, Winston Schell, Kevin Rodgers, Roy Leclair teamed up for the finale.
  • BIRTHS –  DAY—To Mr. and Mrs. Charles Day, London, Ontario, at the Victoria Hospital, on Friday; April 24, 1959, a son. JACKSON—To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jackson, 1 Gervais Drive Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, May 1, 1959, a daughter. RINTOUL — To Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Rintoul, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Saturday, May 2, 1959, a daughter. SILVEY — To Mr. and Mrs. John Silvey, 291 Russell. St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, April 29, 1959, a son. SIMMONDS—To Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Simmonds, 215 Russell St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, April 29, 1959, a daughter. WHITE — To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas White, 102 Elizabeth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, May 1, 1959, a son. YORK — To Mr. and Mrs. Charles York, Vindin St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, May 4, 1959, a daughter.
  • DEATHS – ISAAC N. WOOD A life-long resident of Tay Township, Isaac Nicholas Wood died in Penetang General Hospital April 11 after a lengthy illness. He was in his 85th year. Funeral service was held at St. John’s Anglican Church, Waverley, April 13 with Rev. A. G. Fairhead officiating. Pallbearers were Keith, Lawrence and Neil Wood, Ross Withall, Douglas Brooks and Bill Marcellus. Mr. Wood was a member of the Anglican Church and an honorary member of LOL No. 589 Waverley. His wife, the former Mary A. Thompson, predeceased him in 1956. He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Spurgeon Brown (Cora) of Elmvale, Mrs. Wm. Withall (Hazel) of Wyevale, and two sons, Percy, and William of Wyebridge. * * * MRS. ALICE SIBBALD Born and educated at Waverley, Mrs. Alice Eleanor Sibbald, who had resided practically all her married life in Midland, died April 20 at St. Andrews Hospital in her 84th year. The funeral service was held April 23, at Nicholls funeral home with Rev. W. L. Morden officiating. Pallbearers were Harold Boyd, Uno Gabrielson, Allan Drinkell, Arlie Sibbald, Reginald Drinkell and Phon Sibbald. Mrs. Sibbald had been associated with many organizations of the United Church. She married the late John Alphonso Sibbald Oct. 4, 1901, at Waverley. Mr. Sibbald predeceased his wife in 1931. She was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Drinkell. A brother and sister predeceased her some years ago.  Sibbald is survived by a brother Walter Drinkell of Waverley and a niece, Miss Zelma Drinkell, and two nephews, Reginald and Allan Drinkell, all of Waverley. Burial was in Waverley United Church Cemetery.
  • After ten years in the same location on the east side of Midland’s King Street, Bill’s Barber Shop has recently opened in a new stand almost directly across the street, in the rear portion of the new Midland Sundries store. The new shop, operated by Bill and Eleanor Leitch, has been specially designed to take up as little room as possible but at the same time afford’ its customer’s even better service. There’s a place for everything and everything, is kept strictly in its place. The shop also features new ultra-violet ray sterilizing equipment, where clippers, shears, combs, razors and every item used on the customers are stored while not in use. The very latest of its type, the new sterilizer is the only one of its kind in use in this area. Another new item is the latest in lather service equipment which provides ready-mixed lather for all shaving needs, The new shop is also designed for easy and quick cleaning, with vinyl flooring and plastic tile walls. A barber for 15 years, Mr. Leitch was joined six years ago by his wife Eleanor. Theirs is the only husband-wife operation of its kind in the area so far as is known.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Two Sixth Street School pupils, Marvin Gilbert and Kenneth Butler, made an important discovery at the Wye River. They uncovered two silver crosses, eight gold rings and several silver ornaments believed to have been owned by early Jesuit missionaries in Huronia. * * * Simcoe County amateur radio operators held an organizational meeting in Coldwater. Mord S. Millard of Coldwater was named the ident of the newly-formed group known as Simcoe County Radio League. Radio operators from Penetang, Midland, Orillia, and Coldwater attended the meeting. * * * In an address in the House of Commons, a Conservative member demanded that industrial profiteers be prosecuted and that some of the legislators and cabinet ministers be eliminated from the public payrolls as a means of lessening taxation. * * * Department of Highways announced that dangerous curves would be removed and the surface paved on Highway 12 between Midland and Orillia. It was estimated that the work would cost between $6,000 and $7,000 per mile. * * * A total of 789,000 bushels of wheat, oats, and corn were brought to Midland elevators in two days by ships which were loaded at the head of the lakes. CSL’s Town House received 344,000 bushels alone. * * * A move by several Midland merchants to have Wednesday half-holidays abolished during July and August was defeated. They were unable to get the support of a majority of their colleagues to have the council amend the bylaw. * * * Gasoline was being offered at one Midland service station for 19 cents a gallon, plus government tax. There was no indication that it was the forerunner of a price war.
  • What might have been a major tragedy was narrowly averted at Hillsdale Wednesday when the family home of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Townes was completely destroyed by fire. Inside at the time the fire started were eight of the Townes’ children. The children’s father was in a nearby bush cutting wood. Their mother was away shopping accompanied by Francis, 12, the eldest son. Hero of the near-tragedy was Kenneth, 11, who managed to get a younger brother and six sisters to safety. Barbara, 8, had also helped by snatching Violet, 4 months from her crib as they fled the burning building. The fire apparently started when Kenneth attempted to relight a wood stove in the kitchen, with the aid of coal oil. Sparks leaped from the stove into a can of gasoline used to operate a washing machine. Smoke and embers surrounded the children as they fled the gas-fed flames. A neighbor, Duncan Barr, who happened by at the time, made certain none of the panicky children tried to get back in the house.
  • The people of Ontario have two big Jobs to do concerning the advancement of mental health. One is fighting stigma and the other is fighting lethargy. So said Hon, M. B. Dymond, minister of health for Ontario, as he addressed the final meeting of St. Paul’s United Church Men’s Club for this season. Pointing out that one person in 10 in this province will need treatment for mental or emotional disorders at some time or other, Dr. Dymond said that even in 1959 people “still talk in whispers” when they mention mental illness.

 Looking further back;

CHARLES HARTMAN’S reflects on his 37 years in the hardware business in Midland as told to Herbert Cranston and published in the Midland Free Press Wednesday, May 3rd, 1939.

     Fifty years is a long time in any man’s life. It was fifty years ago, on Monday, May 1, 1889, that Charlie Hartman entered the hardware business. Thirty-seven years of that fifty have been spent in Midland. This town has a no more deservedly popular citizen than the said Charlie, who all this week has been receiving the congratulations of his friends. W. D. ‘ Bill ’ Ross, who has kept store next door to him for the past fourteen years, says that there is not a whiter man in all Simcoe County. “If Charlie Hartman gives you his word that’s all you need,” says Bill. And no higher tribute could be paid to any man.

    It was on September 5th, 1870, that the stork left a third boy baby at the farm home of John W. Hartman, eight miles southwest of Meaford, in St. Vincent township. The little lad was christened Charles Edward. All four boys born to John Hartman and his wife, Susan Machell, are still living. Joseph, the oldest, is farming in St. Vincent township. Frank is in the hardware business in Thornbury, and William, better known as “Bill,” who for many years was a partner with Charlie, now is Midland’s deputy reeve. Charlie Hartman loves to tell tales of his boyhood. He attended a country school in S. S. 11, St. Vincent, until he was sixteen years of age and like other boys, he played “hookey” when the weather was too fine to be indoors. He remembers one teacher by the name of Frizell, who used a rung from a maple chair in place of a strap. “When he got through you didn’t want anymore,” said Charlie, as he reminiscently looked at his hands which had tasted that chair rung many times.

NEARLY SMOTHERED

    “He was a bad actor, that Frizell.” continued Mr. Hartman. There was a big cupboard in the schoolroom in which we used to put our lunches. One day we had an exam in geography and there were three of us who didn’t know the answers. As punishment, he shoved us into the cupboard, locked the door, and went home to supper. There was so little space that we could not move. When Frizell got to his farm boarding place he gleefully told the farmer what he had done. “You will smother them said the farmer.’ Let them smother.’ said Frizell. The farmer ran to the school and let us out, and just in time. We could not stand up and collapsed on the floor,  in fifteen or twenty minutes more we might have been dead.” “The boys make much trouble for the teachers”, continued Charlie. “We did have a lot of fun however. There were two gangs, the “uproads” and the “downroads”, depending upon which way we came to school, and when winter came we had many a snow fight, which usually ended in a fist encounter.

MEAN TRICK

    “I must tell you about a mean trick some of us played on a farmer neighbor, old Richard Belshaw, who was so lazy he wouldn’t cut his lambs’ tails off at the proper time when they were very small, but let them grow until they were quite big. One day a bunch of us decided to teach him a lesson. On the way home, we cornered two or three of the Iambs and cut off their tails. Next day Mr. Frizell asked the boys who went north to stay in after school. We knew what was coming, and we declared we knew nothing about what had happened. So Frizell went to see another chap who had been with us but was not at school that day. He did not know what we had said, and as he was not coming back to school, he told the truth. The next night we got a whaling that I shall never forget. Of course, it was the wrong thing to do. The lambs might have bled to death, or their tails might have been infected as the weather was warm. But we were not thinking about the lambs. We were just playing a prank on old Belshaw.”

     At seventeen Charlie Hartman decided the time had come to prepare himself for his life’s work. He went to Owen Sound and tended business college for months, getting a training bookkeeping. He boarded with an uncle, a carpenter, who secured a job for him with T. I. Thompson, a hardware merchant. So when his course was over young Charles began his apprenticeship. “I was general kickabout” said he. “The first year I got $2, the second $4 and the third $5. I worked under an oral agreement and the hours were 7 a.m. till 9 or 10 o’clock every night in the week, but I did not complain. I was tickled to death to get a job. Father and mother, of course, helped me, for I could not pay my board on $2 per week.

WENT TO BUFFALO

    “I liked it in Owen Sound. There were a lot of lovely people there and I got along fine. At the end of the three years, Mr. Thompson claimed he had not guaranteed me any advance, although I certainly expected to receive a clerk’s pay when my apprenticeship was up. So I quit. Times were just as bad as they are today, If not worse, and there nothing to be had. I took a trip to Buffalo to see if I could get a job, but I could not find one in my trade. Finally, I got a chance at carriage and wagon painting. I stuck it out for three months and then decided to go back to Canada. Mother was anxious for me to come home and had got a job for me in a Meaford hardware store. The morning I left Buffalo was very hot, and as the train passed through fields of Ontario clover I thought I had never seen anything lovelier, nor had fresh air ever seemed so refreshing. I swore I would never go back to a city to live. It was while working for William Butchart that young Charles Hartman met the young woman who was to be his wife. She was Margaret Edwards, daughter of Albert Edwards, proprietor of Meaford’s grist mill. Charlie lived in the Edwards’ home during his four years in Meaford and got a chance to become well acquainted with the lady of his choice. He did not marry her, however, until he had purchased the hardware business of Thomas Carscadden at Thornbury, and set up in business for himself. ”I wasn’t going to make a fool of myself and marry before I was in a position to take care of a wife like so many young fellows do today,” he said.

CAME TO MIDLAND

    After five years in Thornbury Charles Hartman came to Midland and in partnership with his brother William bought out the hardware establishment owned by William Peters. It was a little old frame building and occupied the same site as the present Hartman store. When he purchased the property a few years later Mr. Hartman tore down the old Peters building and erected the present store in 1913. “Bill and I never had a partnership agreement,” said Charlie. “He had had no previous hardware training. He came direct from the farm, but we shared everything on a fifty-fifty basis. He was with me for eighteen years and we always got along splendidly together. The partnership was dissolved on his initiative. He never cared much for the business, and he saw the boys coming along. In half an hour we settled all the details as to dissolution. In 1933 my two sons Albert and Wells became my partners. Each of us now owns a third. My other boy Ainsley also worked in the store, but as yet he has no partnership interest in the business. Those boys pull together wonderfully. “Some of your clerks have been with you a long time, have they not?” l asked. “Oh yes. Bill Stephens, who drives and delivers, has been with us for 21 years, and Mrs. Norman Chew has been bookkeeper off and on for nearly 25 years. Watson Battrick has been with us for twelve years.”

MANY CHANGES

    “You have seen many changes in the hardware business in the past fifty years?” I suggested. Indeed and I have. There has been a great improvement in the finishing of goods, such as stoves and kitchen utensils. Old barn framing tools, blacksmith tools, lumbermen’s tools, and most of the heavy hardware has disappeared. Vises, anvils, and machinists’ tools have little sale. Not nearly as many lanterns are sold as in the old days. The old cut nails have gone. We never see them now. All nails are wire, and they are better nails. They should be for they are dearer. We used to buy a keg of nails for 31.90 which today costs us 3.50 “We did the greatest volume of business in the years 1915 to 1929. Those were the days when the lumber yards, the shipyards, and the elevators were flourishing. There was a lot of building in those days. Today there is practically none. “The greatest change is, however, in the hearts of the people. When things were going well and there was lots of work people seemed to be happy and contented. When things went bad in 1930 and men started going on relief it was terrible. So many people who had saved a little, were soon drained of all they had. Some nearly went crazy when they found themselves dependent upon public aid. It used to be that if people kept you waiting a while before they paid their bills they would say they were sorry. Today, however, they make you wait and they never apologize. If you ask them for money they get angry and ask how you can expect them to pay when they have no work. It is the most regrettable change I have seen. “Credit is consequently not as good as it used to be and we do not give as much. The people have spoiled their own credit. If they are not as honest it is because of conditions and not all their fault. They have to scheme more to get along. The younger generations are more careless than their fathers.”

PUBLIC SERVICE

    Charles Hartman was brought up as a Methodist but became an Anglican after he married. He was churchwarden of St. Mark’s for some years, and on the Y.M.C.A. Board of Management while it was being built. He served as a member of the town council for four years, the last in 1913, and it is his boast that in those days the debt of the town was only $350.000 as compared to $1,500.00 of today. All payments on principal and interest were up to date. “No members of the council, not even the mayor, got any money then,” he said. The mayors I served under were Richard Horrell, J. H. Craig and John McDowell. The way I got into the council was this, there were some people trying to pass a law which would bring liquor into the town, I was asked to stand as an opponent of liquor and I was elected. I still believe Midland is far better off without booze, and that the people would vote against it if they wore asked to do so today. It is close enough in Penetang.” Mr. Hartman served on the school board for three years but was never chairman. “I never wanted any high position,” said he. “I don’t mind helping, but those jobs are a lot of worry. People are after you all the time. I never enjoyed feeling important.”

BUSINESS HIS HOBBY

   “What is your chief hobby?” I asked of Mr. Hartman. “Staying with my business. I like it. I try not to overdo it, but one must be constantly awake to keep up-to-date.” “Don’t you ever go fishing or shooting?” “Oh yes. I am fond of duck shooting, and I used to go out every year when the season came round. I have also done quite a bit of deer hunting, and there is nothing I like better than a motor trip. I have seen quite a bit of eastern America from my automobile.” “How do you feel about the future of Midland?” I shot this final question at Mr. Hartman who has seen the town in alternate boom and depression periods. “That’s hard to answer,” he replied. “This world is in such a topsy turvy state at the present time, and business has been at a standstill for so long that one sometimes wonders if things ever will come right again. However, I’ll say that if things ever become normal again I see no reason why Midland should not forge ahead. We have lost some industries forever, but the tourist trade is steadily increasing in importance. This is a good center. It has many facilities, and it will come out on top yet.”