Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 15th to 21st, 1959

Penetang’s Little League Hockey entry in the provincial playdowns lost out in the championship by a slim margin but came back to win the consolation series at Welland, April 4. Kneeling with the trophy is Don Deschambault; standing, left to right, Stan Leclair, coach; Michael Dubeau, Jos. Lamoureux, trainer, Paul Maheu, Bill Lepage, Donald Light, Ian Dick, Ted Mason, Paul DeVillers, Doug Scott, Martin Robillard, Jim Martin, Paul Cordes, Gerald Gignac, Fred Scott, manager, Ron Robillard, Peter Berry.

A host of friends and relatives greeted Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goodfellow Saturday afternoon and evening when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Ray Maughan. Story on page 18. 

(I almost didn’t go back and read the story on page 18 as noted by the cataloguer who described the artifact. I would have missed an excellent insight into old Midland, reproduced below.) 

   Two long-time residents of Midland who played and attended school together in their younger years, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary April 12. The couple, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goodfellow of 363 Midland Ave. (Now 467), received a host of gifts, flowers and congratulatory cards and messages from their many friends and relatives. More than 90 attended the “at home”, held at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Ray Maughan, Saturday afternoon and evening. 
    Born in Sarawak, Grey County, near Owen Sound, the son of Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Goodfellow, Charlie moved to Midland with his family when he was eight years old. A native of Elmvale, Mrs. Goodfellow is the former Mary Louisa (Dollie) Smith, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Smith. The Smiths moved from Elmvale to Penetang, where they remained for a year, and then to Midland where Mr. Smith was head miller for the Copeland Milling Co. It was in Midland where the two first met as playmates. Then they attended the same school, the first being a school housed in the old Baptist Church on Manley Street. Miss Truman, whose father was town clerk at the time, was one of their first teachers. When the old church was torn down and the new school built on Manley Street Charlie and Dollie attended it. R. G. Nesbitt was principal of the school at that time. From public school, Charlie went to Midland High School for three years. Among his school mates were the Strathearn boys, whose father owned the jewelry business that still flourishes on Midland’s King Street. He recalled that Mr. Simpson was principal of the high school, and the mathematics teacher was Mr. Glass.
    During the summer holidays, Charlie got his first taste of printer’s ink in the printing and publishing business operated by his uncle Charlie and his father. The Free Press and job printing plant were located over Peter’s Hardware Store (later purchased by Charles and William Hartman). One of young Charlie’s duties was to carry wood slabs up two flights of stairs, cut them up and stoke the steam boiler that provided the power to operate the presses. Later this power plant was replaced with a gasoline engine.  When it refused to run, men were hired to turn the presses by hand cranks, Charlie recalls. A few years after Peter’s hardware was sold, Mr. Goodfellow senior bought the King Street building where the Free Press Herald is now located. The building was owned by John Wallace. Electricity was coming into its own as a source of power at that time, so the printing equipment was converted to electrical power. Another new piece of equipment then was the Rogers Typograph, the forerunner of the modern linotype machine. Young Charlie was the first in Midland to operate this newfangled gadget which his father bought from an uncle in Bradford. The budding young printer was 17 years of age when he began to work in the newspaper plant on a full-time basis. The firm employed eight persons.
    The couple who celebrated 50 years of married life Saturday were not quite 20 years of age when they were wed April 12, 1909, in Penetang at the manse of Rev. F. W. Gilmour of the Presbyterian Church. They kept their marriage a secret for three weeks, then told their parents.
      Around 1920, J. F. Goodfellow sold his printing and publishing business to a stock company comprised of Midland businessmen. Charlie continued to work for the new firm until 1927. He joined Osborne and Johnson for a time and then moved to Toronto, where he was employed by the Consolidated Press for 19 years. They returned to Midland in May 1945, and have remained here ever since. Charlie still operates a linotype machine, at the Free Press.
    Both remember the old boardwalks and unpaved streets. The latter generally became a quagmire each spring. Some of the roads on the outskirts of the town were so boggy they had to have a log base to keep them from sinking. A member of the Odd Fellows Lodge and of the Canadian Order of Foresters, Charlie has held every office in the latter fraternal organization and served as financial secretary for years. He liked to play ball and still has the last ball batted out in the series when he quit playing the game. The Midland team played Orillia, Victoria Harbour, Penetang and Barrie. During their teens and early married life, Mr. and Mrs. Goodfellow enjoyed skating and snowshoeing. In this, they were frequently accompanied by another couple, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wadge. Mrs. Wadge is deceased.
    Mr. and Mrs. Goodfellow are members of the United Church and Mrs. Goodfellow is a member of the Woman’s Association. Of Mr. Goodfellow’s three sisters, only Mrs. J. A. Seager (Bella) of Orillia is living. His other sisters, Laura and Pearl, died some years ago, Mrs. Goodfellow, is one of two children in her family, her brother William died of pneumonia when he was a young man of about 21. (Below is a 1954 picture of Charlie at work.)
 
Free Press employees. Charles Goodfellow has served nine years as a linotype operator under the present management but is a veteran to the business as he worked with Bill Cranston’s father who owned and published this paper. The photo was also used in the May 1, 1957, Free Press on page 10 with this caption; Veteran linotype operator at Midland Printers Limited, Charles Goodfellow celebrated his 68th birthday April 30. Mr. Goodfellow first started to work on the paper in the summer of 1898. In June of that year, his father, the late J. F. Goodfellow, and his Uncle Charlie bought the Free Press. 

For several weeks the newspaper has been sponsoring a fashion contest. Six fashion photos are published and the public is asked to pick their favourites and mail their choice to the Free Press. A professional panel makes their selection and anyone who matches them can win up to $300.00. Below are some of the winners. 

A winner in the Free Press Herald’s “Pick the Fashions” contest seen relaxing in her Midland home, is Mrs. Elsie Colling, 212 Elizabeth Street.

A winner in the Free Press Herald’s “Pick the Fashions” contest seen relaxing in her Midland home, is Mrs. J. Lesperance òf 381 Bay Street.

One of the prize winners in the Free Press Herald’s “Pick the Fashions” contest was Mrs. Ray Trew, seen here relaxing from her housewifely duties at her home, 189 Colborne Street, Midland. (“housewifely duties” not surprised that phrase didn’t catch on!)

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The ladies of Port McNicoll are style conscious too, as witness the two winners from that village in the recent Free Press Herald “Pick the Fashions” contest. Pictured in their Port McNicoll homes are Mrs. C. Willock, bottom, and Mrs. W. H. Shaw.

  • Midland Free Press headline of April 15, 1959; Ask Engineer to Study Industrial Site Proposal. Midland council Monday night instructed its consulting engineer, James Knox of Canadian-British Engineering Limited, to commence a study for the proposed installation of water and other services on the industrial property on the southeastern outskirts of Midland. Mr. Knox was asked to discuss the proposal with R. B. Moffat secretary-manager of the Midland Chamber of Commerce after the latter had told the council that a major industry was planning to locate in the area. Reviewing the industrial development proposal, Mr. Moffat reminded council that a chamber of commerce deputation had asked the council about two months ago to provide water to the Tay Township site, in the event an industry decided to locate on that property. “We are now reasonably sure that a firm will be going in there in about two weeks or so,” Mr. Moffat said. He revealed that the firm previously had planned to locate on the western end of Midland Bay, but tests had shown the ground to be unsuitable.
  • County Herald headline of April 17, 1959; Sanction Booster Pump, PUC Agrees to Tay Plan. Midland Public Utilities Commission concurred, at their meeting Wednesday night, to a proposal submitted by Tay-Township council concerning a booster pumping station located at the Seventh Street standpipe in Midland. However, the motion by Commissioners O. H. Smith and Wm. Logan included seven conditions: The move is seen as the answer to current water problems for township residents on the western outskirts of Midland, and especially those in the high school area. The commission also authorized its chairman A. Macintosh, and manager Stewart Holt, to sign the necessary documents authorizing the amalgamation of locals 1032 (Midland) and 1647 (Orillia) of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
  • Mother of three young children Mrs. John D. Bugg, 21, died instantly early Saturday night when she fell down a flight of stairs in Midland’s Queen’s Hotel. Relatives said Mrs. Bugg and her husband, 24, were moving from an apartment on the third floor of the hotel to a new home on William Street when the accident occurred. It is believed that Mrs. Bugg, carrying a chair or some other article; made a lunge to save her son, Brian, 3, from falling. Instead, she herself fell, the full length of the stairs to the second floor. In addition to Brian Mrs. Bugg was also the mother of Sharon, 5, and David, four months. Her husband is employed in the paint shop of Canadian Name Plate Company. Also surviving are her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Quesnelle of Sunnyside, Midland, and several brothers and sisters.
  • Midland Y’s Men’s music festival, which starts next Monday, has approximately 600 entries, the largest in the festival’s history. There are an especially large number of entries from Penetang, a festival official noted. The festival which runs from Monday to Thursday of next week will conclude with a “Stars of the Festival” concert Friday evening. Ken J. Ellis is chairman of the festival committee.
  • Quick work by Midland police Corporal Ernie Bates led to the recovery of a stolen car before it was reported stolen in Toronto. A 1950 Monarch car being driven without lights on Bay Street aroused the suspicion of Corporal Bates and he gave chase to the car Monday about 10 p.m.
  • BIRTHS – CORBIER — To Mr. and Mrs. Donald Corbier, 64 Ontario St., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Wednesday; April 8, 1959, a daughter. CORNELL—To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cornell, 173 Hugel Ave., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Thursday, April 9, 1959, a daughter. DORION—To Mr. and Mrs. Russell Dorion, 303 First St., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, April 10, 1959, a son. DUPUIS – To Mr. and Mrs. George Dupuis, 280 Second St., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, April 10, 1059, a daughter. GARDINER — To Mr. and Mrs. Ray Gardiner, 153 Sixth St., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, April 10, 1959, a daughter. GRANT — To Mr. and Mrs. David Grant, 295 Bay St., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, April 13, 1959, a son. LAURIN — To Mr. and Mrs. Ovide Laurin, R.R. 3, Penetang, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, April 7, 1959, twin daughters. LEDUC — To Mr. and Mrs. Lawson Leduc, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Wednesday, April 8, 1959, a daughter. MOREAU — To Mr. and Mrs. Urbain Moreau, Highland Point, at Penetang General Hospital, Friday, April 3, 1959, a daughter. SANDY —To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Sandy, Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital Midland, Saturday, April 11, 1959, a son. WAGG — To Mr. and Mrs. William Wagg, 317 First St., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, April 10; 1959, a son. WEISSFLOG — To Mr. and Mrs. Erhard Weissflog, 105 Ruby St., at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, April 13, 1959, a daughter.
  • A parcel of town-owned, waterfront property, approximately 300 feet square has been sold to Bev Keefe of Midland for $l,000. The sale was incorporated in a motion approved by Midland council Monday night. Council also agreed to lease another easterly 200 feet of the property to Mr. Keefe for $50 annually. Riders to the motion requested that Mr. Keefe, who proposes to build a marina on the site, submit any changes he plans to make to the town engineer for approval; that Mr. Keefe be given the first chance to buy the easterly 200 feet, if council decides at any future date it wants to sell this part of the property. The town solicitor is to be instructed to draft the lease for the easterly lot. Mr. Keefe is currently negotiating with CNR officials for adjoining property, to which the railway claims title under letters patent issued May 18, 1906, but which were never registered.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Four young Midlanders, Ted Courtemanche, Bob VanStone, Wally Hook and Tom Berthelotte, spent all night in line at Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, to get tickets for the Leaf-Red Wings finals. A Midland student at the University of Toronto loaned them a camp cot for their night-long vigil. * * * Tenders had been called for the construction of an addition to the Bell Telephone Company building in Penetang. In Midland, Bell lines east of King Street were to be redesigned, shifted or renewed during the summer. * * * Victoria Harbour council struck the 1949 tax rate for the village at 48 mills, eight mills more than the levy in 1948. The increase was caused by a 12 mill levy to meet debenture charges on the village’s new water system. * * * Dale Miller, Grade 8 pupil at Mount St. Louis School, won the Ontario finals of the public speaking contest sponsored by the Ontario Trustees and Ratepayers Association in Toronto, during the Easter convention of the Ontario Educational Association. He was one of eight contestants in the contest. * * * First ship into Port McNicoll harbor in 1949 was the S.S. Royalton, which arrived April 15. The Royalton’s skipper was Capt. J. Walton. * * * Two hundred Indians representing the Huron, Iroquois, Algonquin, and Cree tribes and members of the Jesuit Order were to lead a pilgrimage over the three-mile massacre trail from St. Louis to St. Ignace. The pilgrimage was to form part of ceremonies scheduled for July 9 and 10.
  • Obituaries – Death came unexpectedly to KENNETH ETIENNE CORRIVEAU, Sunday, March 29, as the result of a heart seizure. Mr. Corriveau, who would have been 49 at the end of this month, died at his Church Street home. Born in Lafontaine, he had lived there and married Helen DeVillers in 1953. They moved to Penetang about five years ago. Besides his wife, he leaves four brothers, Marcel, Lafontaine; Augustin, Perkinsfield; Herman, Penetang, and Albert, California; five sisters, Mrs. Marion Noonan, Florida, Mrs. Angeline Sandford, Toronto, Mrs. Annie Sauve, Capreol; Louise Corriveau, his twin sister, Abitibi Canyon, and Blanche Corriveau, Barrie. The funeral service was held Tuesday, Mar. 31, from Beausoleil’s funeral home to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where Fathers Ramsperger, Robitaille and Petitpas officiated. Interment was in St. Ann’s vault. Pallbearers were Raymond Grenier, Jos. and George Corriveau, Robert and Maurice Laliberte and Clifford Leduc. * * * MRS. EVA M. CARPENTER A native of Matchedash and a resident of Midland for 53 years, Mrs. Eva Maude Carpenter died in St. Andrews Hospital, April 2, after a prolonged illness. She was in her 85th The funeral service was conducted by Rev. J. L. Self, April 6, at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home. Pallbearers were Captain Sam Bell, Ben Cowie, Clifford Laughlin, William Logan, Douglas Swann and Russell Switzer. Mrs. Carpenter the former Eva Maude Hall, married Charles E. Carpenter at Coldwater Jan. 4, 1906. The couple had celebrated their golden wedding anniversary three years ago. Besides her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Edwin Jardine (Annie) and Mrs. Clinton Smith (Agatha); and three sons, Murray of Collingwood, Walter of St. Catharines and Herbert of Midland.* * * A resident of Midland for 42 years, ARTHUR JOSEPH ROBITAILLE died at Penetang General Hospital April 8 following a lengthy illness of a year and a half. Mr. Robitaille‘s nephew, Rev. Kenneth Robitaille, celebrated the mass at St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, April 10. Pallbearers were five sons and a son-in-law. They were Louis, Andrew, Arthur, Leonard and Raymond Robitaille, and Eric Holden. Born and educated at Lafontaine, Mr. Robitaille married the former Leona Laurin there, in 1914. Besides his wife, Mr. Robitaille is survived by four daughters, Mrs. Ernest Rodway (Theresa), Red Deer, Alberta; Mrs. J. Abbott (Eva), Midland; Mrs. Marcel Moreau (Lucy), Toronto, and Mrs. Eric Holden (Margaret), Toronto; and six sons, Louis and Andrew of Hamilton; Leonard and Edward of Toronto, Raymond of Streetsville and Arthur of Midland. Four brothers, Ernest, Midland; Edmund, Toronto; Joseph, Windsor, and Israel, Penetang, also survive.
  • A native of the Penetang area and now a Kingston surgeon, Dr. R. B. Lynn recently opened a human heart and removed a tumor the size of an orange from the interior of the heart. The patient was a middle-aged man who, today, is in excellent health. This operation, the seventh successful one of its kind in the world, was performed by Dr. Lynn in Kingston General Hospital about a month and a half ago. It was the first open heart surgery performed in Kingston. Dr. Lynn, a comparative newcomer to Kingston, is an associate professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery in the faculty of medicine at Queen’s University, he also holds the position of a thoracic surgeon at both Kingston hospitals and is surgeon-in-chief at Ongwanada Sanatorium.
  • After at least two lengthy closed sessions, during which allegations against the chief of police were investigated by Midland council late Tuesday afternoon agreed to withdraw its request that Chief Robert Cameron submits his resignation. Council indicated, however, that it intends to “give further consideration to police matters with the hope of resolving any difficulties.” Chief Cameron has stated that regardless of council’s action he may resign in the near future. The motion calling for the chief’s resignation was precipitated by a discussion of police affairs at a special meeting of council March 26. At that meeting, it was charged that the chief was not carrying out the duties that were required of him and, because of this fact, that he no longer enjoyed the confidence of the men who served under him.
  • Midland council Monday night decided to up its welfare payments to people on relief in the town. Alderman Clinton Smith, chairman of welfare, asked that the town adopt the provincial standard of payments. He said he felt, in view of the increased cost of living, that current payments were too low. He said close scrutiny would be kept on the expenditures. Council was informed that under the present system a married man, his wife, and one child receive $12.35 weekly for food, milk, etc. The provincial grant for these welfare expenditures is now 80 percent, the council was told.

 Taking that further step back to 1939 and a Free Press article written by Herbert Cranston about the career of Ganton Dobson.

Taken from the Midland Free Press, Wednesday, April 29, 1939, Page 3.

David Ganton Dobson has considerable claim to be styled “Midland’s First Citizen.” No other present resident of the town who was born here can boast so long a period of continuous residence. It was 73 years ago that he opened his eyes on the old Dobson homestead on Mundy’s Bay and he has spent nearly every year of his life since then in this locality. That alone sets him aside from other old-timers who have lived here for forty, fifty, sixty and even seventy years. In previous issues, I have told some of the facts and stories about early life in Midland which I gleaned during the course of a chat with Mr. Dobson. This week I propose to tell the tale of Mr. Dobson’s own career.

    It was the coming of the railway that gave young Dobson his first chance to earn a dollar. He carried water for the railway builders, at thirty cents a day, and was happy to get it. His next job in Sam Chew’s sawmill pushing lumber on the rollers in the yard brought him fifty cents a day. That only lasted a month, and then the lad decided to go farming with his uncle Benjamin Ganton down in Medonte Township. Mr. Ganton, by the way, is still living retired down at Hillsdale. He is 80 years old. As a lad of fourteen Ganton Dobson got a job in H. H. Cook’s sawmill, working all summer from spring thaw till freeze-up. During the winter he picked up what jobs he could in the surrounding lumber camps. One winter he cut wood at the Old Fort for 40 cents a cord long wood and 60 cents for short wood. “When I was just a boy I cut wood with a crosscut saw on the back of our old farm, which constituted a large part of what is now Ward One in Midland, built a sleigh and pulled it down to the farmhouse and kept the stove going all winter,” said Mr. Dobson. One wonders how many lads who live in town now would like to have that as a winter chore.

LEARNED THE USE OF TOOLS. 

    His next job was with an English cabinet maker, Thomas Offer by name. “There I stayed for six months.” said Mr. Dobson, “and I learned a lot about tools which has been of great value to me through the years. I was paid $8 a month, and I took my wages in trade. I made furniture and took it home to mother. The only money I had in those days I made by carving out boats with a butcher knife and selling them to the other boys.” A summer was spent in a mill operated by M. M. Nickerson at Victoria Harbor, after which the voting (typo perhaps) fellow took a job with Jas. Davenport, a contractor, for a couple of years, and helped him put up houses, barns, and sawmills. Next, he was in the employ of John Munro, another contractor, and assisted in the erection of a number of Midland houses which are still standing. It was while he was working for Mr. Munro that the Presbyterian Church in Penetanguishene was built. After a short time with Mr. Nickerson at house building, Mr. Dobson branched out for himself and erected quite a number of Midland dwellings. He also helped Mr. Munro put up the Baptist Church in Parry Sound. For a short time, he went south to the Oakville district and helped Peter Heuser erect a number of homes in that vicinity. The next move was to Collingwood where he accepted a job in the Wilson Bros., sash and door factory, and worked there for two and a half years. While there he did some work at the shipyards and got his first knowledge of ship construction. Coming back to Midland he worked on the remodeling of the residence of the late James Playfair after that gentleman had purchased the H. H. Cook mill. He also built a house for Ed Letherby which is still standing and designed and built a house for Mr. McKee which is now owned by William Steggles.

LEARNED DRAUGHTING

    I was not satisfied with the education I had,” said Mr. Dobson. “The key of the door of knowledge is the knowledge of one’s own ignorance”. I commenced burning the midnight oil. I took a course in draughting from the International Correspondence School at Scranton, Pa., and got a diploma. My wife was a great help to me. If it had not been for her encouragement I doubt whether I would have stuck at it, for I was usually pretty tired when I came home from a day’s work. However, I learned to make designs and drawings of houses to scale and to make blueprints, and to this day I make my own working drawings of all boats that we build in our yards. “When it came to the tougher problems of mathematics I was halted for a while. It so happened, however, that when doing some repairs on the Western Island lighthouse a young man, not long returned from the South African war,  asked for a job, which I gave him. I found he had taught school before the war and at night we worked together, and he taught me square root, cube root, etc. This was tough sledding, for after working outside all day in temperature around zero, one was inclined to go to sleep rather than study when he got into a warm house. However, I was doing my best to make amends for the time I had wasted as a boy when I neglected my studies and forgot the sacrifices my father was making for my education. “And how did you get into the boat business?” Just about that time, the Owen Sound Dredging Company was dredging in the bay. They used to call me in to help repair their dredging plant. I rented our present site on the waterfront from the government and put in some ways so we could haul the scows up for repairs. That was about 36 years ago. From then on the business just grew on me. More and more work came my way. In 1903 I went into partnership with William Carson as the Georgian Bay Shipbuilding and Wrecking Company, but after a short time I bought him out. For some time I kept up house building on the side, and I erected quite a number of summer cottages and docks. “I have owned the Midland Boat Works twice. I bought it first from Fred Hacker’s father and sold it to John Gidley. Then when he died I bought it from his widow. Later I turned it over to Newton K. Wagg in 1924. While I owned that plant we put together many small power boats and canoes.” 

HIS ART GALLERY

    “What are some of the interesting boats that I built?”    Mr. Dobson took me on a tour of inspection around his art gallery. On the walls of his office are a number of framed photographs of steamers, tugs, launches, and sailing ships, as well as some wrecked ships which are just showing stems or sterns out of the water, or being floated between pontoons and towed to repairing yards. Each photo recalls a story for Mr. Dobson. “There’s the ‘Aubrey C.’ said he, pointing with pride to a picture of a trim white boat he had built for the late Manley Chew. “They used to tell me she was the smartest little tug on the Great Lakes. I think it is down near Montreal now.” The “Eva Belle” was the first ship he built. He sold it to Capt. Bill White. The “Beaver” was the first boat of his own design. It was made for Chew Bros. Then there was the “Clipper”, a tug made for Manley Chew, the “Lynn B” for the Boone Dredging Co., the “Con Lynch” for Canada Dredging Co. and the “Elsie Doris” for the Department of Marine and Fisheries. Mr. Dobson reconstructed the passenger steamer “Normac” for the Owen Sound Transportation Co., and he also reconstructed the “Alice,” later known as the “Hibou.” for John Tackaberry, who sold her to the Dominion Transportation Co.

    In the Magazine of Industry published in 1911 the following paragraph appears relative to the company operated by Mr. Dobson: “During the past two years, the company have built two large dump scows, rebuilt a dredge, and done a large amount of repair work to the outfit of the Owen Sound Dredge Company. They have built the tug “Audrey C”, and have rebuilt the hull of the yacht “Siesta” owned by Mr. Waldie of the Victoria Harbor Lumber Co. They have built a dredge and rebuilt two dump scows for Russell and Brooks of Toronto. Rebuilt the tug “Midland,” owned by the Canada Iron Corporation. Rebuilt the yacht “Minnicog,” owned by D. S. Pratt. Rebuilt steamer “John Lee” of Penetang. Done extensive repairs for the boats of the Canadian Dredge Company. Built at Victoria Harbor two lighthouses for the Dominion government. (type missing here) wrecked the Schooner “Ariel” and the barge “Benson” at Owen Sound.”

HONEYMOON YACHT

    The boat Mr. Dobson is the proudest of however is a forty-foot launch built for Dr. Paul Morgan Ogilvie, a New York newspaperman who named it “Beatrice” after his sweetheart, Miss Beatrice Hill. The “Beatrice” was 31 feet and had a beam of 10 feet, and was most complete in every detail. It was built in Midland after the designs of Dr. Ogilvie, who took it from here to New York through the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal, and the Hudson River. There it was loaded on a transatlantic liner and taken to Marseilles. Dr. Ogilvie and his bride then travelled on her on an inland waterway trip across Europe, ending up at the Black Sea, after travelling on the Rhone, the Rhine, and the Danube. Thence they came back to Marseilles through the Sea of Marmora, the Dardanelles, the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean. When this unique honeymoon trip was concluded Dr. Ogilvie sold the “Beatrice” in Egypt, where so far as Mr. Dobson knows, she is still plying the waters of the ancient Nile. “Dr. Ogilvie was even more proud of the “Beatrice” than I was,” said Mr. Dobson. “He complimented me very highly on the quality of the workmanship. I assured him that I could not have given him so satisfactory a job had it not been for the fine staff of conscientious workmen in my employ. Including Len and Frank Cowdry, Fred Hacker and Hamilton Gidley. And while I mention these men in connection with the “Beatrice” I am not unmindful that whatever success I may have had has been largely due to the loyal men who have stood by me throughout the years. They have always given me splendid support.”

    “In the winter I was asked by a firm of New York brokers to tender on six trawlers about one hundred feet long”, said Mr. Dobson, I felt there was little use in trying, but that it was good experience and advertising. So at some expense and trouble, I made up my tenders and sent them in. I was informed that they could be built in Holland for fifteen percent less. The engines could be bought much cheaper there, and besides, there was a government subsidy. I was complimented on my position in the race. Had I been successful I would not have been financially strong enough to carry the job through. The contract would have run about $600,000. It seems to me that it would pay the Canadian government better to subsidize the shipbuilding industry, and employ hundreds of men rather than keep them on relief, to say nothing of the better effect on their morale.

MARINE RAILWAY

    The Georgian Bay Shipbuilding and Wrecking Co. are equipped with a marine railway on which the bow or stern of a boat can be pulled up 100 feet out of the water, and a floating dry dock two hundred feet in length. During the year from ten to sixty men are employed according to the amount of work in hand. The prospects for the 1939 season are very fair.

    Mr. Dobson had a warm spot in his heart for the late James Playfair. “I miss him very much,” said he. “He was always willing to help with work in any way that he could. He was a great friend of mine, why I do not know. Another man who has been a good friend to me is D. S. Pratt. These two and D. L. White were three of the finest gentlemen I ever knew. They were always absolutely white in all their dealings with me. They sent work to us whenever they could, and they put us next to many good jobs.”

MIDLANDS FUTURE

    “How do you feel about the future of Midland?” I asked. Here was a man who had seen Midland through all its history of ups and downs, and his views should be interesting. ”I have seen the town go down a lot of times and I have always seen it come back,” said Mr. Dobson. “If the proper kind of legislation is passed and the proper support is given to industry, by the town council and Chamber of Commerce I have every faith it will come back again. I believe that if the government had been awake to the interests of Canada we would never have lost the smelter. We might also have saved the Fibreboard factory buildings, if not the industry itself, if the town had been alive to what was going on. Things have taken a turn for the better of late, and the town is in better shape than It has been for years. Midland is not the only town in Ontario that has been hard hit. I can see no reason at all why Midland should not some day before long be again enjoying prosperity.”

(Midland was just emerging from bankruptcy, the province had been controlling its affairs.)

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 8th to 14th, 1959

A reminder that we do not have the original negatives for the month of April 1959, “copy and paste” from the microfilm is the best we can do until May.


I included the photo above because I now live on the property where Brenda and Bonnie grew up with their brothers Bruce, Brian and Brent, the five B’s. Brenda, Bonnie, and Bruce still live in the area, Brent and Brian are deceased.

  • The Midland Free Press headline of April 8, 1959; Two Bayports Set Record for Water-Borne Freight. Port McNicoll and Midland, topped three other lake ports in the Georgian Bay area in the amount of water-borne freight handled in 1958, a report from F. K. McKean, district marine agent, Department of Transport reveals. The report shows that Midland and Port McNicoll combined handled a total of 1,141,000 tons. Port McNicoll topped four lakeports — Owen Sound, Midland, Collingwood, Parry Sound — with a total of 740,000 tons. Mr. McKean pointed out that grain cargoes made up most of the tonnage handled, except at Midland where 300,000 tons of coal were included in the total tonnage, and at Parry Sound where the bulk of freight was oil and oil products. Of the total tonnage at Port McNicoll, Mr. McKean said 112,000 tons was package freight and mill stuffs handled by the “Keewatin” and “Assiniboia.”
  • The County Herald headline of March 10, 1959; Budget Brings Tax Hikes for Most Wage Earners. North Simcoe residents will be paying more for cigarettes, liquor and in a special old-age security tax this year as a result of Finance Minister Donald Fleming’s budget, announced last night in Ottawa. According to statistics, the two percent increase on taxable income in excess of $3,000 will mean no change in the current income tax being paid by a married taxpayer with two children, until the $5,000 bracket is exceeded. The special two percent income and sales tax for old age security which was increased to three percent will, however, mean higher taxes on most incomes. Through this levy, a married taxpayer with two children, who earns $2,800 a year, will pay $2 more per year. The same tax-payer, if he earns $3,500 a year, will pay $9 more per year. Maximum tax payable for old age security was set at $90.
  • There will be a number of new faces on the staff of Midland-Penetang District High School when the 1959-60 term opens in September! Five members of the present staff have resigned. Replacements have already been hired for two of them. In addition, there is one new job open, that of mathematics and science teacher for Grades 9 to 12. Two teachers whose posts have already been filled are Bob Elliott, science, and Tom Cavanagh, English and history. They will be replaced by W. E. S. Denholme, of Saugeen District High School, Port Elgin, and Frank Schmalz, a graduate of OCE this year who comes from the Dunnville area. Mr. Elliott had also taught at Penetang High School and Elmvale District High School prior to coming to MPDHS. He will teach at Peterborough next year. Mr. Cavanagh, also a member of the MPDHS staff for several years, plans to take next year off, this paper learned. Two other teachers with several years of service who are leaving MPDHS for other fields are Mrs. I. Rayner, who is going to Stratford, and James Nopper, who moves to Sarnia. Member of the staff for only one year, Miss Mary Anne Nicholson will teach at Etobicoke next year. – Newspaper Ad – Required for September Male or Female TEACHERS For Primary and Junior Grades, SALARY ‘ Category’ System in effect. Minimum $3,000.00 Special Allowances for Experience Annual Increment $200.00 APPLY in own handwriting, stating age, years of experience and last Inspector to WM. A. HACK, Secretary-Treasurer, MIDLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD Box 100,  Midland, Ontario.
  • Chief of Midland fire department for 20 years, Peter Grigg died in St. Andrews Hospital Sunday, he was in his 70th year. Funeral services will be held from Knox Presbyterian Church this afternoon, with temporary interment in the Lakeview Cemetery vault. Mr. Grigg joined the volunteer fire brigade in 1919 and was made chief in 1928. Poor health forced him to retire in March of 1956 after 37 years on the force. He was succeeded by Arnold Tippin who “came up the ladder” under his guidance.
  • Midland won its fourth provincial Little – League Hockey title since 1952 at Welland on the weekend when its AHL team swept through three games to win the Ontario crown. The win gave the Lions Club sponsored Little League organization a title in all three series, operated on a provincial basis. In 1952 Midland won the first NHL title ever decided on a provincial scale and followed up with victories in the junior OHA division in 1956 and 1957. Actually, the 1952 team claimed the All-Canadian title, after defeating Vince Leah’s Winnipeg team in games played here and in Maple Leaf Gardens. Midland secured its AHL title Saturday night by defeating Welland-Crowland Combines 4-2 in the final. They had edged past a strong Huntsville team 2-1 in the opener Friday and had then swamped Trenton 7-0 in the semi-finals.
  • Further dumping of garbage in the area at the 9th Line, Tay Township, and the CPR tracks will no longer be permitted, A. C. Forster, the owner of the property, advised today. The property has been closed, Mr. Forster stated, adding that he had advised Tay Township council some months ago of his decision but did not know if the council had arranged for any other garbage disposal area.
  • Births – BOUCHER— To Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Boucher, Brock St., Penetang, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, April 7, 1959, a daughter. GUTHRIE — To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Guthrie, 132 Colborne St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, April 3, 1959, a daughter. JACKSON — to Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Jackson, 342 King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, April 1, 1959, a daughter. LACROIX — To Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Lacroix, 113 Fourth St., Midland, at St. Andrews, Hospital, Wednesday, April 1, 1959, a daughter. La VIGNE — To Mr. and Mrs. William La Vigne, of Ottawa, Ontario, at the Penetang General Hospital, Monday, March 30, 1959, a son. REYNOLDS — To Mr. and Mrs. Eric Reynolds, Waverley, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, April 7, 1959, a daughter. WOODS — To Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Woods, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Saturday, April 4,,1959, a son.
  • Elmvale is proud of its young Lions, who won the OMHA juvenile “D” title this season with two straight wins over Lucknow in the finals. Members of the team are, left to right, front row, Ross French, Bill Marley, Larry Simpson (captain), Andy Copeland, Elvie Frankcom; middle row, Bill Crawford (coach), Gil Hall, Wayne McArthur, Bill Large, Lealand Rowat, Ross Heacock, Harry Rowley (manager); back row, Russell Ritchie, Nelson Jordan, Dave Cooper, Torry Stevens, Bob Greenlaw, David Campbell. (The photo in the newspaper was too dark to reproduce here.)
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – Two Penetang men played the first round of golf for the 1934 season at the Midland Golf and Country Club April 8. In the afternoon, two Midlanders played the course. * * * Flocks of wild geese were seen winging their way north. One large flock was heard passing over Midland about 10:00 p.m. April 9. * * * The federal government reported that tourists visiting Canada spent $117,214,000 in 1933. This was about $100,000,000 less than was spent in 1932. * * * Because of heavy ice conditions on the bay, shipping companies were predicting that navigation in Georgian Bay ports would not open before May 5. It was the latest opening since 1926 when the first ship left Midland May 6. * * * Ontario apple growers feared they would suffer heavy losses in trees because of the long severe winter. It was reported that 40 percent of the apple trees in Ontario were affected by the heavy frosts. * * * M. J. Asselin, reeve of Tiny Township, was elected honorary chairman of the newly-formed Simcoe County branch of the Ontario Swine Producers Association. The organizational meeting was held at Barrie. Robert Ego of Medonte was elected to the executive of the association! * * * Capt. Percy Beatty of Midland, master of the Coalhaven, was the skipper of the first ship into Oshawa harbor in 1934.
  • Assurances have been received by the Georgian Bay Development Association from Hon. Bryan Cathcart, minister of Travel and Publicity, that a permanent tourist information booth on highway 400 will be established. Expected to be located about two miles south of Barrie, the building probably will be started this year but will not be in operation until 1960.
  • Port McNicoll Hotel Limited will make application for four licences at a special meeting of the Liquor Licence Board of Ontario in Barrie council chambers May 8. The hotel firm, whose head office is in Kingston, will seek a lounge licence, a dining lounge licence, a public house licence for a men’s beverage room and a public house licence for a women’s beverage room. The hotel was formerly owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and was operated as “The Inn.”
  • Movement of CSL freighters from the port of Midland will not start for at least another week, J. G. Hendrickson, CSL manager advised yesterday. While some of the ships’ engineers are here, “none of the captains have reported yet”, Mr. Hendrickson said. (This was in the May 10th 1959 paper. The Baie Comeau is not setting any records for being ice-bound in Midland.)
  • Midland assessor Ian McClung said yesterday the annual town assessment will begin next week. Two Midland men will be taking the census, Mr. McClung stressed that it is important that the census takers be given full information as to the number of persons in a home and their vital statistics such as age, marital status and the number of children. It is on the basis of the total population that the provincial grant of $3.50 per head is based, Mr. McClung stated. The information, which will take six weeks to two months to complete, is also the basis for preparation of the municipal voter’s list.
  • COLDWATER—At this week’s council meeting Councillor Gordon Chamberlain asked what council planned to do about raw sewage being dumped into the Coldwater River from a number of homes and business places on Main Street. Reeve Lawrence Devine said the issue had been raised some years ago and a program outlined at that time under which better sanitation would result. The plans were never completed, however. The Reeve said a comprehensive sewage treatment system had been considered too costly for the village. He would like to see the river “cleaned up” and would be glad to call a special meeting at any time to discuss the matter. Reeve Devine stated. No arrangements were made for a future meeting.

Ganton Dobson related this history to Herbert Cranston in 1939 as part of a series that the newspaper carried about the early days in Midland as told by the towns, senior citizens. Many parts of it reappeared in 1946 in another series in the paper. Some of the second article, which was posted in the Facebook groups “Midland Then and Now” and “Midland Area – Portraits of the Past”  in October of 2015, is verbatim but much of it is new.

Next week we will post the third part of the series which focuses on Ganton Dobson’s business career. 

“The first store in Midland was owned and operated by Nelson Courtemanche. His brother Alfred Courtemanche worked with him, and is still living here,” said Ganton Dobson in answer to a query as to the first commercial activities in this locality, “it was, of course, a general store, and it supplied all the needs of the little community. The next was one operated by Joseph Phillips, who built a shop on the site where the town hall now stands. “There was no relief in those days, and many workers would be out of employment after the mills closed down in the fall until they opened again in the spring. Consequently, a great deal of credit had to be given by the storekeepers, and that was a great hardship to them, for there were plenty who had no intention of settling, and when spring came around would depart for pastures new. There was nothing for the Merchant to do but to write the debt off to ‘profit and loss,’ and footnote “Gone but not forgotten.” “The storekeepers had other problems too to worry them. There were not many places to go in the evening’s, and the stores were generally packed with men in the evenings who came not to shop but to gab about the latest town scandal, politics, or grouse about the wages paid in the mills. They would make seats for themselves on the long counters, and if a lady should come in wanting to buy something she had trouble finding a vacant spot where she could speak to the storekeeper over the counter. “Alex Patterson and his brother had a store just about where the old fruit store recently vacated by Mrs. Gianetto now stands. They got a bit fed up with the way their counters were loaded with non-buying customers and decided to put an end to it. So they bored small holes the entire length of the counter, and with the help of a blacksmith rigged up a long wooden strip in which were fastened a number of darning needles just below the holes. Then when a customer appeared and no one offered to move Alex pulled a string, the needles went into action, and in less time than it takes to tell it a whole counter was cleared of its occupants. Alex didn’t say a word. He let the needles speak for themselves. After that, he did not have much trouble. In fact, it became a favorite trick of the mill men to bring in greenhorns and set them on the counter with the hope that Alex would open fire with his artillery. 

FIRST QUEEN’S HOTEL “I see by the paper that the old Queen’s Hotel may possibly be pulled down.” observed Mr. Dobson. “That reminds me that my father furnished the money for a man named Gleason to build the first Queen’s Hotel. It was a wooden affair, which was afterward burned down. Gleason could not make a success of it and meet the payments on his mortgage, so the hotel fell back into dad’s hands. He wanted to take the hotel over and run it, but mother would not hear of it. She wouldn’t take her children into the atmosphere of a hotel. Before a great while father was able to sell his equity in the hotel to James Duncan, father of Tom Duncan, chairman of the Park Commission, and Bill Duncan. “That recalls a good turn that James Duncan once did me and a chum of mine. There were not many shows or amusements of any kind which we youngsters could attend, and so when a traveling company came to the old skating rink and put on ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin,’ we were, of course, anxious to see it. I had read the book, which made me all the more keen to see it. The rink at that time was owned by William Chew. We had no money, so resolved to steal in. We found a trap door near the stage which did not fit very snugly, and we tried to peep in through the cracks, but that was not at all satisfactory. Mr. Duncan was sitting inside with his back to the wall. We called to him but were afraid to make too much noise. Finally, we got his attention by tickling his ear with a long stalk of timothy hay. He reached down, turned the button, and let us in free, and we had a close-up of Little Eva, Topsy, the bloodhounds, Uncle Tom, Simon Legree and all the rest, and all for nothing. “That chum of mine is one of the stockholders of the Arena Gardens, but I am afraid he has forgotten the night that James Duncan let him into Uncle Tom’s Cabin, for he has not arranged any trap door at the Arena where penniless boys can obtain free admission.”

FIRST SAWMILL – The chief industry in the new Midland City was the sawing and finishing of timber. The first mill was that operated by the late H. H. Cook on the land where the Midland Shipbuilding Company buildings now stand. “I can remember going down through the swamp one Sunday morning to see the Cook mill burn down completely,” said Mr. Dobson. “It was rebuilt the following winter, and then Samuel Chew came along and erected a mill on the waterfront just opposite the late Mr. James Playfair’s residence. The railway came in 1879 and the trains were pulled by old fashioned wood burning locomotives. All along the tracks between here and Orillia were piled thousands of cords of wood. The cutting of the wood for the railway and for I. Burns of Toronto provided work for great gangs of men. Several other mills were established after the railway came. The British Canadian Lumber Company put up a large mill where the Letherby mill now stands. My second job was in Sam Chew’s mill. I pushed the lumber on the rollers in the yard. I got fifty cents a day but only worked there a month. The mills furnished plenty of employment for hundreds of men. Wages were small, and the hours were long, from six in the morning till six at night. There was a stop at 9 a.m. for oiling, another at noon for lunch, and another for oiling at three o’clock. The British Canadian mills installed the first electric lights to be put in anywhere in Canada, and people came from long distances to see them. There were even some excursions for that purpose. The lights were, of course, the old carbon lamps, but they gave enough illumination for work to be carried on at night during the rush season.

TOWN’S WORST TIMES – “Midland’s thriving lumber business suffered almost complete collapse when a change in the export regulations was made, and it was possible for American lumber companies to cut their logs in Canada and tow them to Sheboygan, Bay City and Saginaw for manufacture into timber. Talk about hard times in Midland. They have never been as bad since as they were then. The mills in the States were running night and day, while most of ours were shut down. Several deputations went to Ottawa to make complaints, and finally, an export duty was put on all unfinished timber in 1896. Then the lumber business boomed. I had bought some dressing lumber for $13 per thousand. Three months later I sold it for $30 per thousand. Laths jumped from $3.50 per thousand in June to $7.50 in November. There were altogether some eight mills cutting logs in Midland, three at Victoria Harbor, three at Waubaushene, four at Fesserton, two at Port Severn, two at Coldwater, and three on the Muskosh River. It was a great timber country. For sixteen years we had wonderful prosperity. The mills were busy all the time, some running day and night, and fair wages were paid. Then as the timber limits in the neighborhood became gradually exhausted it became less and less profitable to bring logs to Midland for cutting, and the sawmills were one after the other picked up and moved nearer the forests until now we have only one which operates only intermittently.

SMELTER A BOON – “The coming in 1900 of the Canada Iron Corporation Co., popularly known as the smelter was a great boon to Midland. It was located where the Midland Simcoe elevator now stands. The furnace had a capacity of 500 tons daily, and the rail and water shipments totaled over 400,000 tons annually. From 300 to 350 men were employed. George D. Drummond was the manager and superintendent of the Midland plant. “Before the coming of the railway,” continued Mr. Dobson, “we received our mail by stagecoach. The stage ran between Barrie and Penetanguishene, and the mail was dropped at Firth’s Corners, whence it was brought by horseback to the village. Then came the telegraph. It was installed in the post office, which was a small building at the rear of the McCartney block, where the barbershop owned by Arthur Macksey now stands. The first postmaster was Thomas Gladstane. He was succeeded by his son Walter, who held the post until his death not so many years ago. The first baker was H. S. Ruby, who arrived by team from Barrie. His business is now carried on by his son Albert W. The first elevator was the Midland House. It was built about 1881, and the grain trade boomed. The carriers were sailing ships which carried both grain and lumber and it was a great sight to see the harbor filled with these ships waiting at anchor for their turn to unload their cargoes.

REGATTA EVERY YEAR – In those days Midland had a regatta every year. I remember one in which the late James Playfair was very much interested, also the late Ed. Hanlan, champion sculler of the world. There were fishing boats from Collingwood and other places by the score, and they carried every inch of canvas possible. It was exciting to see those sailing vessels racing for first position at the elevator. I remember watching two coming round the point, the Emily B. Maxwell and Azoff in the lead with a beam wind. After coming, round a bit farther the captain of the Maxwell tacked off to the east, apparently taking the longest way. Getting his ship, a smart little craft into a better position, he soon overhauled and passed the other ship and sailed close up to the dock, so close we were sure he would strike. Then we heard him roar “Come hard over” and his ship answered at once and finished the winner by about 100 yards.

“At the time my parents first settled here there were no churches or places of worship. Missionaries of several denominations visited the settlement from time to time, coming from Penetanguishene where they had their headquarters. The first I can remember was Rev. Dr. McGilroy, who many years after was pastor of the Presbyterian Church which was located at the corner of Bathurst and College Streets, Toronto. He often conducted services at our home which were attended by the neighbors. There we committed to memory the Shorter Catechism, the Ten Commandments, and many verses of Scripture. We, youngsters, thought it was pretty irksome discipline at the time, but after years proved the worth of the training to us.  There was a Rev. Mr. Flood who came for the Anglicans. I was baptized by him. Another I recall was Rev. Mr. Anderson. Father Laboreau came to minister to the Catholics. There were many others whose names I have forgotten. Rev. Mr. Lambert was the first Baptist missionary. He built the first brick church on Manley Street for that denomination, just north of the school. A Union Sunday school was held in this church for some years with children of all denominations attending. The Presbyterians built a church a little farther north on Manley Street, the Anglicans on the corner of Queen and Elizabeth Street, and the Methodists at the corner of Midland Ave. and Elizabeth. The Baptists are now in possession of the first Methodist church. The Christian Brethren held services in the old Baptist church. “The Salvation Army arrived here just 54 years ago on March 25th. Their uniforms, their music and their strange form of service attracted a great deal of attention. There were a number of misunderstandings with the police, resulting in some of the members being hauled to the police-court several times. No one was imprisoned, however. The magistrate, J. B. Horrell, was a fine man and had a keen sense of justice. The first officer was Captain J. Langtry, now Mrs. Col. L. D. Southall.

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

The Free Press negatives came to the museum in their original Ilford film boxes, each box containing a month’s worth of negatives, roughly 100. It appears that the month of April 1959 was not included. We know that the photos are the most interesting part of these museum postings for many people and we will “copy and paste” from the newspaper whenever the quality permits. 

Saturday marked another milestone for Mrs. Elizabeth Archer of Waverley who marked her 91st birthday at the home of Mrs. James Truax. Born in Tecumseh, Township, she was married 72 years ago to William Archer, who passed on some ten years ago. The Archers had farmed on Con. 2 Medonte for many years, later retired to Elmvale. Mrs. Archer, who has no family, came to Waverley to live some three years ago. Aside from a slight defect in her hearing she still enjoys reasonably good health for her years. 

The second event in the 10th annual mixed bonspiel here last week produced an all-Midland final between rinks skipped by Dr. Jim Small and Lloyd Wilcox. Dr. Small emerged the winner. Left to right are; front row, Mrs. W. McConnell, Mrs. Lloyd Wilcox, Mrs. Ken Ellis, Mrs. Mac Perrin; back row, “Woody” McConnell, Lloyd Wilcox, Dr. Small, Mac. Perrin.

Unlike younger members of their sex, ladies at Georgian Manor don’t try to cut a few years off their age. Shown here celebrating her 81st birthday at the home of her niece Mrs. Wm Carr, is Miss Nellie Evans, seated, who lived near Victoria Harbour until about a year and a half ago. Standing left to right, Mrs. George Ingram, Mrs. A. B. Murcklen, Mrs. Wm. Carr, Mrs. Elsie Fountain, Mrs. Douglas Hardy, and Carol Anne, Mrs. Gordon Carr and Linda, and Mrs. W. A. Argue. 

  • Midland Free Press headline of April 1st, 1959; Midland Policemen Take Dispute to Arbitration. The above is the outcome of Midland council’s action Thursday night when it turned down for a second time the officers’ requests for wage increases. Alderman James Mackie, chairman of the police committee told council that Collingwood council had granted all ranks in its police department a $150 increase for 1959 and a $100 annual increase for 1960. A two-year agreement had been signed, he said. Reeve Keller asked Mr. Mackie what increase had Collingwood given to its police officers last year. Mr. Mackie replied, “None.” “Well we gave ours $300 each last year,” Mr. Keller said. Mr. Mackie then tabled a motion, seconded by Alderman Haig, that the Midland officers be given a $100 increase for 1959 and a $100 increase for 1960, on condition that all ranks signed a two-year contract.
  • County Herald headline of April 3, 1959; Midland Port Officer Reports Revenue Down. A big reduction in the amount of coal imported through Midland last year is reflected in the annual statement of customs and excise collections for the port of Midland for the fiscal year 1958-59, submitted to this paper by A. E. Martin, collector. The total revenue last year as $755,322.60 as compared with $798,647.99 the previous year, a decrease of $43,325.30.  The Century Coal dock imported only 138,000 tons, as against 331,000 tons the previous year.
  • Today may be April Fool’s Day, but it definitely is no day to be “fooling around”, on the highways with a motor vehicle. On trial for the past two months, Ontario’s new driver demerit system goes into effect today. It’s designed to root out careless and dangerous drivers and put them off the road altogether unless they reform their habits. Similar to demerit systems already in effect in three other provinces and 17 states of the U.S., the Ontario regulation provides three-month license suspensions for motorists who collect 12 demerits in any two year period. All 12 points can be “earned” at one swoop by convictions for criminal negligence, drunk or impaired driving, or obtaining a fraudulent driver’s license. Failing to remain at the scene of an accident is good for nine points. Careless driving, racing or exceeding the speed limit by 30 MPH or more counts five points. Three points can be “earned” by merely exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 and less than 30 MPH, failing to yield the right of way, failing to obey stop sign or signal. Exceeding the speed limit by 10 MPH or less, or any, other moving violation, costs two points. Motorists will receive a warning letter when they build up six points and will be called in for an interview when they reach nine points. Twelve points mean an automatic suspension for three months.
  • Chief Robert Cameron has asked Midland council to grant him a hearing following council’s action Thursday night, requesting that he resign. A motion calling for the chief’s resignation came after a lengthy discussion of police affairs. The motion received the unanimous support of council. The consensus of council was that the chief was not performing his duties satisfactorily and could no longer hold the confidence of the men on the force. Date of the hearing has not been set.
  • Subject to approval by the park’s commission, Midland council has approved a 25-year lease with the Midland Curling Club for the curling rink. Council was informed that the curling club was in accord with the changes in the lease which had been re-drafted by the town solicitor George S. Dudley, Q.C. The new lease grants the club the option of an additional 25-year lease when the present lease expires.
  • by JOHN BRIDGES Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers meeting March 25 at Bourgeois’ dining room had the largest turn-out of the winter. There were 70 in attendance. Guest included Bruce Collins, the local conservation officer who succeeded Fred Chew, and Conservation Officer Fred Bowes. Also present was Mel Moreau, newly-appointed chairman of the Leaders Fellowship Council of Midland YMCA. He asked the Hunters and Anglers Club to assist with a new program for teen-aged youth, being sponsored by the ‘Y’. The program will include camping and hiking. He sought the club’s permission to use its property on the side road north of Old Fort School for the project. (Ogden’s Beach Road)
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – A set of carillonic bells, donated to St. Matthias’ Anglican Church, Coldwater, by the Gover and Tipping families in memory of Howard Gover and Mr. and Mrs. George Tipping, were dedicated at a special service. Archdeacon A. G. Emmett of Orillia was in charge of the service. (The church has now been sold into private hands) * * * A group of McGill University graduates and Orillia admirers of Stephen Leacock were seeking to raise $50,000 to preserve the old Leacock home and its 48-acre property near Orillia. * * * A number of Penetang businessmen had purchased the Georgian Bay Tourist Co. Ltd. boats “Midland City” and “City of Dover.” The purchase price was listed as $50,000 and included as well the “Waterbus,” two 36-foot launches and two scows. The two cruise ships were to operate out of Penetang. * * * Coldwater council, in a deadlock vote which had to be decided by Reeve Ernest Miller, turned down a proposal for Daylight Saving Time in the village. * * * Newfoundland became Canada’s newest and tenth province. The big island became part of the Dominion March 31. * * * First ship into Midland harbor was the S.S. Imperial Simcoe. She arrived here from Collingwood April 9. Several CSL freighters and the government lightship- St. Heliers has left the harbor April 7. * * * Simcoe County Health Unit reported two deaths from poliomyelitis in the county during March. A third polio case was under treatment at Toronto Isolation Hospital.
  • Licence to operate a radio station in Midland was granted last week by the Canadian Board of Broadcast Governors, it was announced today by J. E. Lounsbery, chairman of the chamber of commerce businessmen’s committee. The licence has been issued to a group of Toronto men, several of whom are at present employed by the Canadian Broadcasting Principals in the application for a licence were R. Bruce Armstrong and Grant Forsyth, both of Toronto. According to Mr. Lounsbery, the Toronto men and their families intend to take up residence in Midland. Ownership and management of the new station will be entirely based in Midland. It is understood the operators of the station have already earmarked a location for their transmitting unit just outside of town (The Cecil German farm on the southwest corner of Little Lake).  Arrangements will be underway immediately to locate suitable studio and office space somewhere in the downtown section of Midland (above Cumming & Nicholson Shoes, the Grise block). It is expected that about 12 persons will be employed by the station.
  • Obituaries – ROBERT L. STOTT A resident of Wyevale for most of his life, Robert Leonard Stott died at his residence lot 14, Concession 6, Tiny, on March 1. Funeral service was held, March 3, at Wyevale United Church, with Rev. R. Chapman officiating. Pallbearers were A. Martin, E. Nerpin, S. Lyons, A. Brock, R. Houghton, and G. Hall. Mr. Stott was born at Stroud March 23, 1880. A member of the United Church he had served on the Board of Stewards. He had also served as a school trustee and as representative from Tiny Township on the Elmvale High School Board. Predeceased by his wife, the former Muriel McCallum, he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. C. Blow (Margaret) of Wyevale and Mrs. Ralph Mertz (Grace) of Wyebridge. Two grandchildren also survive. Temporary entombment was in Elmvale Cemetery vault. * * * GAIL ANN BALL Following an attack of bronchitis, Gail Ann Ball, four-month-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ewart Ball, Waverley, died in Penetang General Hospital March 18. Funeral services were held, March 21, at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with Rev. W. Morden officiating. Pallbearers were four uncles; Grant Ball, Charles Ball, Earl Ball, and Roy Truax. Besides her parents, she is survived by both sets of grandparents; Mr. and Mrs. Wilbert Dingman, Burk’s Falls, and Mr. and Mrs. Langford Truax, Midland. Temporary entombment was in Lakeview Cemetery vault with burial to be made later in Allenwood Cemetery. * * * WILLIAM CRAWFORD – A Midland resident all his life, William Crawford died in Penetang March 17 after a lengthy illness. Funeral service was held March 20, at Nicholls funeral home with Rev. J. L. Self officiating. Pallbearers were Doug Martin, Fred Grigg, Ben Cowie, David Hudson, Harold Hamilton, and Francis Miller. Born at Wyebridge in 1885, Mr. Crawford married the former Katie Leona Connor at Midland in 1915. He was a member of Knox Presbyterian Church and a Conservative in politics. Surviving besides his wife are three daughters, Mrs. J. Scott (Norma) of California; Mrs. A. Hamelin (Eva), of Hamilton; Mrs. R. J. Frame (Arlene) Midland; seven sons, Douglas and Gerald, Toronto, and Oakley, Kinsman, Vernon, Morley and Barry of Midland, and 16 grandchildren. Also surviving are a brother, Jack of Midland, and two sisters, Mrs. Wm. Hutchinson (Bella) of Moonstone and Mrs. Wm. Hawkins (Rita) of Wyebridge. * * * Funeral services, under Masonic auspices, will be held this afternoon for Arthur I. (Doc) Merchant, who died at Penetang General Hospital early Wednesday morning. He was in his 67th year. The proprietor of French Dry Cleaners, Midland, for the past 16 years, Mr. Merchant lived just south of Wyebridge. His wife, the former Winifred Stine, survives. There are no children. Mr. Merchant had returned to Midland only recently after spending two months with relatives in California. In failing health in recent years, he entered Penetang Hospital shortly after his return for treatment for a heart condition. Born in Indiana, Mr. Merchant had been a superintendent for Presto-Lite, Niagara Falls, N.Y., and supervised the building of a new plant in Toronto when the firm expanded to Canada. He assumed management of the dry cleaning establishment here upon ‘his retirement’ some 12 years ago. During his years in Midland, Mr. Merchant took an active part in the life of the town. He was a past president of the Kiwanis Club and was also a member of the Lions Club, Midland Shrine Club, Caledonian Lodge, A.F. and A. M., Midland Golf and Country Club, Midland Curling Club, and St. Paul’s United Church. * * * MRS. IRA HILL – An esteemed resident of Midland for 75 years, Mrs. Ira Hill died at the Stewart Nursing Home, Penetang, on March 27. She was in her 85th year. Rev. Ralph Wright, of Calvary Baptist Church, Midland, where Mrs. Hill had played the organ for nearly four decades, conducted services held in A. Barrie and Sons funeral home on March 28. Temporary interment was made in Lakeview Cemetery vault. Pallbearers were Dr. H. M. Wallis, William Scheetz, Don Howard, James Clarkson, Fred Chew and Boy French. The former Josephine Arnold, Mrs. Hill was born at Bradford on Feb, 4, 1875. When still a young girl her family moved to Penetang and later still to Midland. She was married on February 21, 1894, in Hillsdale, to Capt. Ira Hill. The couple marked their diamond wedding anniversary in 1954 and Mr. Hill predeceased her in December 1955. Mrs. Hill’s daughter, Irene, and her granddaughter, Barbara Scheetz, also played the organ at various times in Calvary Church. Surviving is her daughter, Mrs. Irene Scheetz, Toronto; granddaughters Mrs. Barbara Wallis, Toronto, Mrs. Eleanor Chird, Germany; grandson William Scheetz, Port Credit; and seven great-grandchildren. MRS. HERBERT COUSINEAU * * * Resident of Honey Harbour all her life, Mrs. Herbert Cousineau died in St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, on Feb. 16. She was in her 39th year. Services were held from Our Lady of Mercy Church, Honey Harbour, on Feb. 19, with Rev. V. Perdue officiating. Temporary entombment was made at St. Ann’s Cemetery vault, Penetang. Pallbearers were Frank Òuelette, Albert Cousineau, Frank Cousineau, Frank Copegog, Michael Doyle and Donald Nicholson. The former Margaret Isabel Gendron, Mrs. Cousineau was born at Honey Harbour on April 19, 1920, and received her education there. Married to Herbert Cousineau in Honey Harbour on Dec. 13, 1942, she was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to her husband, Mrs. Cousineau is survived by Joanne (Mrs. Michael Doyle) of North River, and Winston, Valerie, Josie, Nancy, Frances, Frederick and Helené, all at home and a granddaughter, Margaret Anne Doyle. * * * JOHN HAMILTON STEWART – A valued member of Penetang volunteer fire department and a well-known sportsman, John Hamilton (Jack) Stewart died at his Robert Street home, following a lengthy illness during which he had been confined to his bed for more than two years. Born in Sault Ste. Marie in 1895, John Stewart moved to Penetang with his parents as a child and had lived there ever since. In 1917 he married Florida Gravelle, and they were devout members of the Roman Catholic Church. For more than 25 years Mr. Stewart was a member of the town’s volunteer fire department. He was very fond of children, and most of them knew him as “Uncle Jack.” He was a member of Huronia Council, Knights of Columbus. Surviving besides his wife are one son, Robert, of Penetang; a daughter, Claudia of Orillia; three grandchildren; two brothers, David of Toronto and William Cosgrove of Sault Ste. Marie; and four sisters, Mrs. Harry George (Irene), Penetang, Mrs. Earl Williams (Edna), Midland, Mrs. A. E. Nosworthy (Agnes), Toronto, and Miss Ellen Cosgrove, Toronto. For the funeral service, firemen from Orillia, Barrie, Midland, Coldwater, Waubaushene, Elmvale, and Penetang marched as a guard of honour from his home to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where Msgr, J. M. Castex officiated, assisted by Father R. J. Egan of Midland, Interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were all fellow firemen: F. Dumais, E. Quesnelle, L. Dubeau, G. Deschambault, E. Paradis, and L. O’Leary. At the time of his retirement in 1957, Jack Stewart had been the local branch manager of the B.A. Oil Co. for 37 years. In recognition, officials of the company attended the service.
  • Measles headed the list of communicable diseases reported for February by Simcoe County Health Unit. Forty-three cases of measles were reported with chicken pox in second place with 33 cases. Jaundice, scarlet fever, and mumps each had six cases and whooping cough, German measles and, meningitis had five, two and one cases respectively.

A few items from the summer of 1952;

Dr. Lorenzo Marcolin, whose relatives are pictured above, was born in Port McNicoll and after a prestigious career as a surgeon has authored a book entitled “A Great Lakes Treasury of Old Postcards” which is available at the museum.  https://www.dundurn.com/books/Great-Lakes-Treasury-Old-Postcards

A  queen for sure!!


Bill and Eleanor Leitch.