Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – June 8th to 15th 1958

Click on photos to enlargeThe winning design in a contest sponsored by Midland Foreman’s Club was submitted by Elizabeth Cowan, Regent Public School pupil. Program chairman Clayton Heath presents a cheque to the winner, while guest speaker Jack Purvis of Orillia watches, during a club dinner in the YMCA Wednesday, May 29. The design will become the official emblem of the Midland club. 

Much work has been carried out behind the scenes in Midland’s water reservoir area just north of Vindin Road. Brush and trees have been cleared over a large area, seen in these photos, which is now several feet deep with water as the new dam is in readiness. Beavers had already built their own dam about opposite the lone pine in the center background of the lower picture. 

Greeting parishioner was one of the first jobs for newly-ordained Rev. Bob Jackson, who preached his first sermon since his ordination last Sunday at St. Paul’s United Church in Midland. A native Midlander, he is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Jackson. 

Pictured at a reception held Sunday at St. Paul’s United Church, Midland, for newly-ordained Rev. Bob Jackson, right, are Rev. W. R. Auld; left, and former Midlander Alex Docherty, center. Mr. Jackson was ordained in Toronto June 1. 

The handsome new building above is the realization of many years of dreams (and hard work) by the Odd Fellows Lodge in Midland. The building is located on Dominion Ave. West, near the heart of town and close to the old lodge headquarters in the Jeffery Building. Lodge rooms are on the second floor of the new building, which has a public auditorium on the first floor. (The hall was sold this year as membership has declined recently.) (Note the fine home where Jeffery’s Hardware is now located.) 

These women from Sturgeon Bay were among many groups of visitors who visited the new Odd Fellows’ Hall in Midland at its official opening Friday. Seated, left to right, around the table are Mrs. Gilbert Ball, Mrs. W. Wilson, Miss Joyce Ball, Mrs. John Todd and Mrs. T. Duffy. Mrs. William Baker is serving. 

Busy but happy were these members of Ideal Rebekah Lodge, Midland, as they served the hundreds of visitors at the official opening of the new Odd Fellows’ Hall Friday. Among the ladies in the picture are Mrs. Alex Herron, Mrs. Lorne Carruthers, and Mrs. Sid Thompson. 

Dear to the hearts of the ladies, this handsome center table was the center of attraction at the tea table held by Ideal Rebekah Lodge to mark the opening of the Odd Fellows’ Lodge in Midland Friday. Left to right are Mrs. E. B. Smyth, Mrs. Arthur McElroy, Mrs. Jack Argue, Mrs. Wm. Baker and Mrs. George Richardson. 

This brother and sister combination arrived in England by air yesterday and were reunited with a brother and sisters they had not seen since infancy. They are, left, William Goldsmith and Mrs. Charles Hall, the former Ann Goldsmith.

Article by Mrs. Victor Hall – Truth is stranger than fiction, they say. Let me tell you a little human interest story to prove this. It began in merry old England some 80 odd years ago when a blushing young bride took her marriage vows and a new family was established. This couple was blessed with four sons and five daughters. But when the father was still a young man in his forties, tragedy struck the little family. The husband died and his widow was left to struggle to support her growing family, the youngest of which was still a babe in arms. After much heartache and sorrow, the mother decided she would have to give up two of her children. She could take them to Dr. Bernardo’s Home in London. But how could she? Which ones would it be? The older ones could help a little. The two youngest girls were just babies. She would have to keep them with her. Finally, she made her decision. She would take the boy, William, aged seven, and the girl Ann (named after herself); aged five, to the home. They would receive care and perhaps a good foster home. Christmas Eve found the little group, mother, Will, and Ann on the doorstep of the great Barnardo Home in London. With tears streaming down her face and trembling hand the mother reached for the door knocker. The brothers and sisters were separated. A new life began for each of them. In a few years, Will was sent to Canada to a little country place (Allenwood) in Simcoe County. From there he went to Wyevale. One day he heard that a girl named Ann Goldsmith had come from England to Vasey. On the chance that it might be his sister Will took a bicycle and set out for Vasey. It was indeed his sister Ann. Later she went to Wyevale. Will went overseas with the Canadian Army in World War I. Ann married and went to a homestead in Saskatchewan. After the war Will returned to Wyevale, married and raised a family of two boys and two girls. Ann raised a family of three boys and seven girls. Her husband died following a car accident at Chilliwack, B.C., where they were holidaying. In the spring of this year, Will’s wife decided she would try to find out something about the rest of her husband’s family. After several letters of inquiry to the home and to people of Brighton (his birthplace), letters started coming to their Midland home. They had found their family. A brother and sister had died; a brother is in New Zealand, and another brother and three sisters live in Brighton. The brother still lives in the old home where the mother died in 1933, never having heard again of Will and Ann. Ann came to Midland from Saskatchewan. On Monday, June 9, Will, his wife and his sister Ann, took off from Malton airport for Croydon Airport, London, to see their newly discovered family.  This boy and girl, as many in this district will know, are William Goldsmith, and his sister, Ann (Mrs. Charles Hall) of Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan. The Parnell family was the family with whom Will stayed at Wyevale and the Roebuck family raised Ann. 

Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie graduated 26 nurses last week; six from North Simcoe. Here nurses are seen approaching Barrie District North Collegiate, where graduation exercises were held. 

The happy occasion for Nellie Rita Brabant of R.R. 3, Penetang, left, and Frances Eleanor Bracken of Penetang, came last week when they graduated from Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. 

Prize winners at the Royal Victoria Hospital graduation in Barrie last week included two North Simcoe girls. Joy Speers of Elmvale, left, had the highest standing in nurses obstetrical nursing; while Jean Woodrow of Moonstone, at right, won the prize for medical nursing. 

Two Midland girls, Sally Ann Bowman, left, and Joan Marie McEachern, were among the 26 who graduated from Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie Iast Wednesday night. Graduation exercises were held at Barrie North Collegiate. 

Site of Ontario’s first stone quarry, near Port McNicoll, has now been marked by a cairn and plaque. Dr. Wilfrid Jury, noted archaeologist, left, explains the significance of the site to Marjorie Johnston of Brantford and Elizabeth Scantlebury, Toronto. Cairn was unveiled at ceremonies Saturday. 

Brothers-in-law recently formed a partnership in the plumbing and heating contracting firm of Wilson and Bell, at 255 Bay Street, at Second. Mr. Jack Wilson, a long-time Midland resident, bottom photo, spent the past four years with H. J. Thompson and Sons Ltd., while Mr. Bell was with Geo. Price Co. Ltd. in Coldwater for 11 years. The firm will also do oil burner service work. 

Close to tears, managing director Dortha Jackson of the Simcoe County Children’s Aid Society reads her letter of resignation at the CAS board meeting in Barrie last week. Seven board members voted to accept her resignation, four opposed the motion and seven abstained. 

Perfect weather helped Midland Public Schools’ athletes set 11 new records last week. Winners in their various age groups are girls, left to right, Elaine Stainton and Susan Swan, who tied for intermediate honors, Penelope Self, senior, and Nancy Higgs, junior girls’ champ. 

Perfect weather helped Midland Public Schools’ athletes set 11 new records last week. Winners in their various age groups are boy titlists left to right, John Jones, intermediate; Wolfgang Zingel, senior; and Barry McIlravey, junior. 


  • The Free Press Herald headline for June 11, 1958; Find Boat Upset in Bay Owner Search Continues. Late last night, members of the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour were still trying to locate the owner of a capsized boat found floating in Georgian Bay early Sunday morning by Herbert Mailloux of Northwest Basin, opposite Penetang. Sgt. Blake Ball said Monday that Mr. Mailloux found the boat about 6 a.m. Sunday. It was floating upside down midway between Beausoleil Island National Park and the mainland at Pinery Point. Sgt. Ball said the throttle of the 5 1/2 hp. outboard motor was in the open position, indicating the boat may have been in operation when it capsized. A pail was dragging behind the stern, attached by a rope to make a rude sea anchor, used by many fishermen to slow the drift of their craft while trolling. (From the next paper comes this report – Sgt. Blake Ball said yesterday the 14-foot boat apparently belonged to Harry Rosen of Toronto, who has a cottage at Sandy Bay. According to information given to Sgt. Ball, Mr. Rosen and another Toronto friend had to swim a short distance to shore when the craft upset Saturday evening as they returned  from a fishing trip.)
  • The County Herald headline for June 13, 1958; County Levy Shares Cut for Eleven Municipalities; Eleven North Simcoe municipalities will pay a lower percentage of the 1959 county levy if Simcoe County council accepts the report of its county assessor, slated to be discussed in Barrie today. Midland, which paid 7.1972 percent of the 1958 levy, would pay 7.1201 percent of the 1959 levy. Penetang, which paid 2.1459 percent this year, would pay 2.0776 percent next year.
  • Gold and blue government plaques commemorating the Penetanguishene Military and Naval Establishments of the last century will be unveiled at the museum park, Penetang, this Friday afternoon. In conjunction with the unveiling, the museum’s committee is staging its traditional garden party and the Officers’ Quarters Museum will also be officially opened for 1958. At 3 p. m, opposite the Red Dock on the park’s shore road, there will be unveiled the plaque to the Naval Establishment.
  • A verbal slug-fest between Tower TV officials in Midland and CKVR-TV owner Ralph Snelgrove of Barrie continues, pending the CBC Board of Governors’ decision Friday on the Barrie station’s request for a power increase. Commenting on press and TV news reports that officials of the Barrie television station had “ordered” Tower TV to stop distributing its signal, Tower manager L. H. Taylor said yesterday: “We would be most happy if we could do so. Indeed that we cannot is the whole trouble. “We would like nothing better, as would all our subscribers and most private set owners in the entire district, if it were possible, to stop carrying CKVR-TV signal on channels 2, 4 and 5. “If we could eliminate the channel 3 signal from channels 2, 4 and 5 merely by cutting off CKVR-TV on channel 3, we would have done it long ago. The point is that the best equipment commercially available has not been able to eliminate the interference from CKVR TV signals on other channels,” he said.
  • Midland solicitor George S. Dudley, Q.C., is being asked by Midland council to draft two bylaws regulating future subdivisions and sub-dividers in Midland. One bylaw is to specify the requirements which a sub-divider must meet to gain approval of council for the registration of a subdivision plan. The other will prevent owners of large blocks of land in the corporation from selling small lots on the property before the land has been registered as a sub-division.
  • Under the direction of Cecil Dunn employees of the Century Coal Co. have constructed a building to house a much-needed facility for the workmen. The Insul-brick covered building on the coal dock property contains space, where the men may eat their lunch, also available, showers with hot and cold running water.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week – Four passenger cruise ships of the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company were scheduled to make a total of 25 calls at the port of Midland during the season. * * * Moonstone Presbyterian Church was celebrating its diamond jubilee. One of the events marking the 60th anniversary year was a tree planting ceremony when a number of maples and spruce were planted on the church grounds by members of the congregation. *  *  * Kenneth E. Kidd of the Royal Ontario Museum staff revealed that archaeological excavations at the Ossossane bone pit on the D’Aoust farm near Wyevale would resume July 1. * * * A chick with four legs was hatched at the Girard poultry farm near Penetang Road. Another oddity — three tulips growing on a single stem — was reported by a Midland gardener. * * * Dr. D. McPhee of Port McNicoll and George G. Johnston of Minesing were re-elected to the provincial legislature; Dr. McPhee represented Simcoe East and Mr. Johnston, Simcoe Centre. * * * The four Midland Protestant churches, Anglican, Baptist, United and Presbyterian, and the Salvation Army had completed plans to hold joint Sunday evening services during the summer. * * * Three hopper barges were launched at Midland Shipyard. The barges were built for the French government.
  • The highest honor his church could bestow was accorded former Knox Church, Midland, minister Rev. John McNab, D.D., last week in his election as moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. That he was the unanimous choice of the more than 1,000 delegates attending the sessions of the General Assembly in Toronto, bespeaks the esteem in which he is held as a man, as a churchman and editor of the church’s principal publication for the past 12 years. This newspaper joins in the congratulations being extended to Dr. McNab in this his most “shining hour.”

And from the June 24th, 1897 Midland Free Press, the shipping news of that week.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – June 1st to 7th 1958

The contents of this blog come entirely from the Huronia Museum’s archive of Midland Free Press original newspapers, which have been preserved on microfilm, and the museum’s collection of Free Press negatives which date from 1954. Most of the images can be enlarged by left clicking on them, then using the “back” button to return to normal viewing.

A quick way to find people in these posts is to use your browser, search for “the name plus Huronia Museum”,  for example, “Bud Todd Huronia Museum”

The museum is interested in collecting the given and maiden names of the women in the photos and would appreciate any positive identification you can provide. We hope you enjoy these glimpses at our shared past.

 Two captains, Bobby Delorme and Peter Dubeau helped the Pittsburgh “B” team in the AHL section of Penetang’s Little NHL to emerge as champions. Kneeling, Jim Mason, Richard Lalonde; standing, left to right, front, Eddie Svoboda, Terry Lapere, Bobby Klug, Stan Gascagnette; middle row, Richard Duval, Alvin Dupuis, John Marchand, Ken Popple, Norbert Lortie, Danny Beaudoin; Coach Murray Dubeau. 

Brian Dubeau, the captain, proudly displays the trophy won by himself and mates in the NHL section of Penetang’s Little League. Left to right, front, Jim Martin, Ian Dick, Brian Dubeau, Bert Mason, Ernie Cascagnette; middle row, Maurice Lacroix, Paul Maher, Venard Desroches, Lawrence Hamelin, Andre Cascagnette; back row, Richard Quesnelle, Bro. Donald, Martin Robillard, Jacques Vallee. 

Captain Mike Dubeau, seated, holds the trophy won by Syracuse “A” and presented at Penetang’s Little NHL trophy banquet, last week. His teammates are, left to right, front John Quesnelle, Ron Parent, Larry Desjardins, Nicky Duval; middle row, James Quesnelle, Art Desroches, Paul Solmes, Richard Secord, Bill Lepage; back row, Danny Ladouceur, Bro. Donald, Ron Dupuis. 

Trophy, emblematic of the championship of Georgian Bay District Little NHL, was presented to “Buster’ Somers, right, by Mayor A. B. Thompson when the Penetang League held its trophy banquet Monday, May 26. 

Peterborough Junior A champions of Penetang Little NHL are shown with their trophy and crests. Left to right, front: Martin Tannahill, Donald Tannahill, Bill Couling, Jim Peden, John Gignac, Patrick Latour, Nelson Leroux, Leo Vallee. Back row, Wayne Howell, Sydney Duval, David Scott, Allan Robillard. Jerome Gignac, Little NHL president, substituted for the regular coach, Bro. Raynal. 

Penetang All-Stars of the Little NHL league, who were edged out of provincial competition at Whitby are shown with trophies received at a banquet held last week. Left to right, front, Terry Timmins, Jim Pollard, Bill Lepage, Art Desroches, Mike Dubeau, Paul Solmes; second row Bob Delorme, Peter Dubeau, Doug Scott, David Zwicker, Paul DeVillers, Peter Berry; back row, Mike Borsa, Joe Somers coach, Ronny Dupuis.  Pete Emery contributed the cost of engraving all trophies.


Newly designed letters were awarded top athletes at the athletic banquet held at Midland-Penetang District High School Tuesday night. Girls who won their coveted M-P’s were, left to right, Ellen Barber, Jean Lethbridge, Elizabeth Cook, Anne Maher, Pamela Perkins, Bev Scott and Anne Hamilton. 

Winning a school “letter” is always a thrill for any young athlete. The lads above were awarded theirs at the annual MPDHS athletic banquet May 22. Left to right are, front row, Ron Marchildon, Frank Okenka, John Dubeau, Ken Mackie; back row, Joe Huston, Lloyd Farquhar, Ron Blair, Bill Offord, Doug Setterington. 

Three girls and three boys above were presented with trophies at the annual MPDHS athletic banquet. They were the winners in their respective age divisions in the school’s track and field meet last fall. Left to right are, Lynn McAllen, Ellen Barber, Nancy Somers, Ron Blair, Bruce Bowen and Tony Moffatt. 

Top athletes at MPDHS were honored at the annual athletic banquet last week. Faye Swann is congratulated by her coach, Miss Dorothy Enright, after being named the school’s top girl athlete for 1957-58. 

Top athletes at MPDHS were honored at the annual athletic banquet last week. Bob Megaw (Bob looks the same today, someone is taking good care of him.) is seen receiving Olympic Sporting Goods trophy from John Power. 

Named most valuable player on MPDHS senior basketball squad last season, Lloyd Farquhar, right, is congratulated by W. C. Setterington, director of athletics at the school. Lloyd won the Ray Oakley Memorial Trophy, which honors a former Midland high school student who was killed in the Second World War. 

Fore-runner of the present-day “Viewmaster”, the old stereoscopes provided lots of fun in the “good old days”. Mr. and Mrs. Jim Clayton got a big kick looking over this old set, one of the many items on the list at the auction sale sponsored by St. Mark’s Laymen’s Association at the curling rink Saturday. 

There were hundreds of items, ranging from old pianos to kiddy cars, eagerly gobbled up at the auction sale held by St. Mark’s Laymen’s Association in the Midland Curling Rink Saturday. Barbara Deschambault of R. R. 2, Penetang, tries out one of the pianos for her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Antoine Deschambault . Proceeds from the sale will be used by the association for charitable and other church work. 

Marianne Lenchuk, Miss Toronto of 1957, left, and Judy Welch, Miss Maple Leaf Canada and Miss Toronto 1956, were among the group of Toronto model’s who greeted shoppers in the IGA last Friday night. Miss Lenchuk was in Midland last year as Miss Florida Orange. Miss Welch is starring in Canada’s first feature-length movie.

 Soft-hearted painter, Jack Puddicombe of Midland, working on a house at 133 Hugel Avenue East last week, left his work undone when he encountered a robin hatching her eggs. Here he paints gingerly around the nest watched by the worried mother.

Visitors at the ‘open house’ at St. Theresa’s High School in Midland last Sunday included some potential students and their parents. Seen in the partially-completed auditorium of the new school on Dominion Ave. are, left to right, Mr. and Mrs. Martial Moreau, Bill Knicely and Mr. and Mrs. J. Knicely. In front is David Knicely, 4. (the official opening is in October)

Poised and ready to make music are these Grade 1 pupils of Port McNicoll Public School. Taking part in the spring concert last Tuesday night were; Gerry Garrett, Norma Valcheff, and Marty Smith. 

Sgt. John Clark of Port McNicoll, right, was awarded a citation for “exceptional and outstanding service furthering the work of the St. John Ambulance Corps”. Port McNicoll public school principal Lyall Thorpe made the presentation at the school’s spring music concert last week. 

Meat in the menu was the subject of the 4-H Club Achievement Day in Elmvale, May 24. Pretty Gloria Luck of Minesing explains the making of savory dishes for leftover meat to a Toronto visitor, three-year-old Kimberley Anne Young. 

MPDHS staged its own fashion show last week, a large crowd of parents and friends attending. Among the young models and their escorts taking part were, John Moreau, Rosemary Shiels, Ken MacEachern, Karen Robinson, Janice Edwards and Gary Crowe. 

Two lovely young ladies above and their handsome escorts were part of the fashion-show held by students of Midland-Penetang District High School last week. Left to right are Ed Trudeau, Shirley King, Judy Bellaire and Dave Bertrand. 

District shield for pack achievement was awarded to the Second Penetang Wolf Cub Pack last week. Cubmaster Robert Martin left, is shown receiving the shield from District Commissioner Harvey Boyd. The Scout award went to Third Midland Troop and Scoutmaster Jack Brownlee, for patrol system and efficiency. 

“The oldest hat in our community” was the roll call at the North Simcoe W. I. convention at North River last Thursday. Modelling the creations are left to right, front row; Mrs. Clarence Walker of Eady, Mrs. Sam Elliott of Grenard and Mrs. Currie Bell of Waubaushene; back row; Mrs. Kent Dunlop of Moonstone, Mrs. J. R. Cook of Jarratt and Mrs. Clifford Wells of Coulson. 

All dressed up for the ninth annual meeting of North Simcoe Women’s Institutes at North River last Thursday, were these three members. Sporting historical headgear are Mrs. Ted Archer of North River, left, and Mrs. Walter Bannan, right; flanking Mrs. Murray Johnston of Coldwater Jr. Branch who wears a sari brought from Ceylon by the guest speaker, Mrs. Gordon Maynard. 

Low water in Georgian Bay, in common with other portions of the Great Lakes, has made things difficult for small-boat owners. Members of the Grandview Beach Cottagers’ Association near Port McNicoll; hired bulldozer (seen in water) to dig a new “harbour” for their craft. Docks will be installed later.

The computers of the day!

 An irony that has happened occasionally since we started this weekly post is the announcement of a birth or a wedding of someone who has died in the same week 60 years later. Donna Kinnear died on May 26, 2018.


  • The Midland Free Press headline from June 4th, 1958; Rate Increased 6-8 Mills For Penetang Ratepayers. Despite an overall decrease of almost $10,500 in levies for educational costs for 1958, Penetang homeowners will find an increase of from six to eight mills in their taxes for the year. An amount of $25,000, added to the budget to cover a portion of the $35,000 deficit in the town’s finances eats up the educational savings and accounts for the difference. Clerk-treasurer W. H. Hewson threw a bombshell into the budget meeting of Penetang council Thursday night when he stated the town’s, accumulated deficit was slightly more than $35,000, as recorded in the auditors’ statement. Council was faced with a 1956 deficit of $20,000 and last year had budgeted to cover one-half the amount. Council had anticipated wiping out the remainder this year. However, an additional $25,000 deficit was incurred in the 1957 operation. Penetang council, after reviewing required expenditures for the current year, has set a total budget of $190,000, for all purposes. Of this amount, taxpayers will be required to foot the bill for slightly more than $140,000. The remainder of the money to be spent will come from municipal revenues such as fines and gravel sales, and from government grants.
  • The County Herald headline from June 6, 1958; To Resurface Highway 12, Call Bids for 11 Mile Area. Sections of the highway to be resurfaced were patched by Highways Department employees earlier this spring. About two years ago, extensive cutting and grading operations and a resurfacing program were carried out on Highway 12 between Midland and Waubaushene. The work was scheduled for completion in July 1958. Work is also underway on sections of the Trans-Canada Highway link between Highway 400 and Coldwater.
  • A veteran Midland mariner, Capt. Frank Harpell, is master of the newest member of Canada’s Great Lakes fleet. Launched at Port Weller dry dock Saturday, the SS Frank E. Sherman is said to be the third largest bulk carrier on the lakes. Capt. Harpell will be its first master and George Miller of Toronto its first chief engineer.
  • Three hundred years’ ago French and Hurons under the watchful supervision of the Jesuit Fathers quarried stone at Paradise Point in Port McNicoll to build Fort Ste. Marie I. Once quarried the stone was transported by canoe along the shoreline to the mouth of the Wye and up the river to the present site. On Saturday, June 7, a cairn and plaque commemorating what undoubtedly was Ontario’s first major construction project will be unveiled at the site where the stone was quarried at Paradise Point.
  • Two former Midlanders, Bob Jackson, and Clinton Albert Brittain, were ordained into the United Church ministry in St. Andrew’s United Church, Bloor Street, Toronto, Sunday. Bob is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Jackson and will preach his first sermon since ordination in St. Paul’s Midland, this Sunday. A graduate of Midland public and high schools, Mr. Jackson obtained his B.A. at Mount Alison, Sackville, N.B., and his B.D. at Pinehill Theological Seminary, Halifax, N.S., where he graduated this spring. Mr. Jackson will return to Nova Scotia to take charge of a congregation. Mr. Brittain served with the YMCA for some years prior to embarking on a career in the ministry. He studied theology at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bumstead of Midland. The two former Midlanders were among 19 ordained June 1.
  • A hitting powerhouse or just another club reveling in a strictly “hitters league?” That’s the question confronting supporters of this year’s edition of Midland Indians in the Bruce Baseball League following the Tribe’s overwhelming 18 – 8 conquest of Orillia Terriers at the town park diamond on Monday evening. Adding weight to the hitting theme as coach ”Bun” Deschamp’s Braves stretched their undefeated skein to three games atop the loop standing is their amazing total of 47 runs scored in the trio of triumphs. Or an average of nearly 16 runs per game, top-line production in any league, bush or otherwise.
  • One of the oldest softball loops in the County, the Rural League gets underway this week with six teams in the fold. Last year’s champs, Sturgeon Bay are back to defend their title against Elmvale, Vasey, Allenwood, Wyebridge and Victoria Harbour. Games will be played on Tuesday and Saturday nights. The schedule got underway last night with Allenwood visiting Elmvale. Saturday’s games send Elmvale to Sturgeon Bay and Wyebridge against Allenwood at the Elmvale park.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week 1923 – With help from citizens, the village fire truck and district farmers, Coldwater Police Chief Woon captured three robbers who broke into Haskell’s store. The trio jumped the chief and a companion; when they were caught in the act. One was subdued after a fight outside the building and the others were captured in the woods near Medonte station. * * * A Salt Lake City, Utah, man, who was given a five-day jail term for failing to support his wife, was permitted to serve his sentence on the installment plan. If he had been forced to serve the sentence all-at-one-time, he would have lost his job, so the magistrate consented to his serving the sentence in weekend installments. * * * Canada, with 1,114,503 registered motor vehicles, ranked fourth in world countries, in the number of vehicles per person. In 1923, a report showed the country had one motor vehicle for every 9.4 persons. * * * Charles Vent, worshipful master of Caledonian Lodge, Midland, extended a welcome to representatives of 62 Ontario councils Knights of Columbus, who were holding their state convention at Martyrs Shrine.  Welcome on behalf of the town was extended by Mayor J. B. Roebuck. * * * Members of WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) chapters in Simcoe County and Muskoka and Parry Sound districts attended a two-day convention in St. Paul’s, United Church. Midland. President was Mrs. John Rosborough of Waubaushene. * * * Sixty Trail Rangers from United Churches in Coldwater, Orillia, Penetanguishene, Port McNicoll and Victoria Harbour attended a sports day and outing at Little Lake Park, Midland.
  • Obituaries Mrs. Stephanie Desroches of Lafontaine died May 14 Penetang General Hospital, following a stroke. Rev. Thomas Marchildon conducted the funeral service held May 17 at St. Croix Church in Lafontaine. Pallbearers were; four nephews; Ovila, Donat, Paul and Joseph Desroches, and two grandchildren, Henri and Edmond Desroches. Mrs. Desroches was born Nov. 1, 1880, in Perkinsfield, where she received her education; and it was there she and Edmond Desroches were married, Jan. 20, 1902. She spent her married life on a farm in the 17th Concession of Tiny near Lafontaine, and then moved into a small home in the village for 14 years. For the past five years she had boarded in the same village with Mrs. Arthur. A member of the Roman Catholic Church, she was for many years an active member of the Ladies of. St. Ann’s League. Predeceased by her husband six years ago, she leaves three sons; Leo of Toronto, Robert of Midland and Lawrence of Lafontaine. Also surviving are a sister, Mrs. Léger Parent of Perkinsfield, and a brother, George Dault of Toronto; 20 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. * * *  Joseph Albert Belfry, a resident of this district all his life, died May 19 at St. Andrews Hospital following a stroke. He was 88. Born March 11, 1870, at Vasey, Mr. Belfry was educated there. On Dec. 26, 1898, he married Martha Maude Ney at Midland. He had resided 30 years near Victoria Harbour on a farm and 35 years at Midland, where he had been employed for 10 years at Little Lake Park, where he was in charge of the boats. He had been retired for 14 years. A member of the United Church, he was a member of LOL No. 947 for more than 70 years and had been given a life membership. Surviving are his wife, who has been an invalid for the past four years, son Eldon of Midland, daughter Hazel (Mrs. S. McDonald) of Vasey. One son, Everton, predeceased him 10 years ago. Also surviving are five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and one brother, Andrew of Victoria Harbour.  Funeral service was held May 21 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home. Interment was in Lakeview Cemetery; Rev. W. R. Auld conducted the service. Pallbearers were Karl Hughes, Jack Mann, Donald Belfry, Clifford Newburn, Ellsworth Collins and Edward Collins. * * * Vasey-born Wallace W. Brown died in a Saskatoon hospital May 17. A pioneer resident of the Hughton district, he was 74. Mr. Brown moved West in 1906 homesteading the Hughton district in 1908 where he had resided since. He is survived by his wife the former Anna Geneva Warden whom he married In 1919, and six sons and one daughter: Bruce, Douglas K, Ralph, Glen W, all of Hughton, Carl L, and Lorne A, of Saskatoon and (Jenn) Mrs. Howard Wagar of Hughton. A brother, Roy E. Brown resides in Elrose and there are two sisters, Mrs. Oda Todd of Toronto and (Ada) Mrs. W. Searl of Midland.

A page from our past, August 1918, one hundred years ago.





Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – May 24th to 31st 1958

Click on photos to enlarge“WINE STEWARDS” — at the Roman dinner at MPDHS last Wednesday were these five slaves. Mixing the brew are front row, Terry Geere, Christian Rebhan, David Maheu; back row, Orland French, and Nelson Buttineau. 

Little Susan Brodeur, aged seven months, was a bit shy about facing the camera as sister Betty Ann, 10, showed her mother, Mrs. S. Brodeur, the puppet doll she made in the course of her Grade 4 work. The picture was taken during “open house” at St. Mary’s School, Victoria Harbour, last Wednesday. 

Victoria Harbour parents got a chance to see some of the work done by their children during “open house” at St. Mary’s School last week. Mrs. J. T. Vaillancourt and Mrs. Theo Bernard are seen above examining some skirts made by Grade 9 girls. Girls are, left to right, Bryde Bernard, Carol Roy, Margaret Cadeau and Celima Pelletier. 

Shop work done by boys of Grade 10 was admired by visitors to the “open house” held by St. Mary’s School, Victoria Harbour, last week. Left to right are Mrs. Charles Latondress, Mrs. J. T. St. Amand, Billy Asselin and Pat St. Amand.

Two persons lost their lives in this fire which gutted a Waubaushene home early Wednesday morning. Two dogs owned by the couple were also lost in the blaze. The house was located on Percy Street. 

Winning the Strathcona Efficiency Trophy was one of the highlights in the history of Midland – Penetang District High School cadet corps. Major W. C. Setterington, chief instructor, left, and Cadet Lieut. Col. John Hilliard, commanding officer, are hopeful of retaining the shield again this season. 

Midland merchants and other citizens are now well served with night deposit facilities at three local banks. Latest is the one installed at the Bank of Commerce, where manager Ed Christopherson, left, watches Clarke Edwards of Edwards Specialty Shop Ltd. try out the new night depository. 

Unamotus Hi-Y boys held a tea and bake sale in the Midland YMCA Saturday afternoon to raise funds for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Mrs. Gordon Moss, mother convener of the event, Dave Bertrand, Unamotus president, and V. G. Edwards, one of several businessmen who poured tea during the afternoon, are shown grouped around the tea table. 

Gift of Toronto industrialist Richard Haywood, this fire truck has been a boon to firefighters in the Wyevale area. It is seen above following a fire in the bush on the 8th Concession back of Dault’s Bay. The vehicle is a 1929 cab-less Graeme, it was Wyevale’s first fire truck. Firemen on the ground are Jack Adams, Howard Grier, Graeme Webb, on the truck from top to bottom Lorne (Bud) Caston, David (Ted) Caston and Rick Houghton. Although pleased with the truck, the Wyevale brigade is badly in need of more hose to be able to work more efficiently, officials said. This Free Press photo also appeared in the second “Huronia Agenda 2002” published by a local group of six historical organizations. 

North Simcoe Women’s Institutes re-elected their entire slate of officers at the annual meeting in North River United Church May 22. In the front row, left to right, are secretary-treasurer Mrs. M. C. Long of Waubaushene, third vice-president Mrs. Ernest Ayers of Jarratt, first vice-president Mrs. Beverley Walker of Eady; back row: second vice president Mrs. Ed Sallows of Warminster, area chairman Mrs. G. R. Lane of Coldwater and president Mrs. Lloyd Dunlop of Moonstone. 

  • The Free Press Herald headline of May 28, 1958; Major Streets Program Receives Provincial O.K. The 1958 program for the town will see $15,000.00 in new construction and $40,000.00 in maintenance under the regular bylaw and $38,206.00 under the supplementary bylaw spent on town roads. The province pays fifty percent of the expenditures. (The work was mostly gravelling and oiling)
  • The County Herald headline of May 30, 1956; Huffed, CAS Board Quits, Query Legality of Move. Following a heated meeting in Barrie Tuesday night, the board decided to dissolve itself. President James Wright of Collingwood and managing director Dortha Jackson were left to administer the work of the society. The situation blew up after three years’ tilting between the CAS and Simcoe County council, which has been financing statutory maintenance, protection and other services of the society.
  • Commending the work of the Salvation. Army in Midland, Mayor Charles Parker yesterday told how Sally Ann workers fed members of Midland fire department during the bushfire at Sunnyside earlier this week. The mayor said Salvation Army personnel attend almost every major fire in town to see if they can be of assistance. He also mentioned how Envoy Thompson had helped collect and fit clothing for 19 needy children. ” If they ever left Midland, we would certainly miss them. They spend about $10,000 a year on welfare in town and collect about $3,500 in their fund drive,” he said. The mayor pointed out that 25 canvassers are urgently needed to assist with the Red Shield Appeal.
  • Paul Kirkup, Go Home Bay school teacher whose home is in Wyebridge, was rescued from the waters of Georgian Bay Sunday morning, shortly after he had become too exhausted to struggle further toward land. Returning from a fishing trip at the Musquash, Richard Matthews, and Jack Amos, with their two sons, were passing Beausoleil Island ready to cross the gap into Penetang Bay when they noticed an object in the water some distance away. Watching it for a moment they came to the conclusion it was a swimming animal, probably deer, or elk, and turned to investigate. What they found was the bow of an outboard boat sticking out of the water, the stern held down by the weight of an outboard motor. Air trapped under the bow deck was holding the craft up. Believing someone must be in the water nearby, they circled for some time, unable to sight anything on the rough surface. They were about to give up when a splash some distance away attracted attention, cruising in the direction they found Kirkup, totally exhausted, held up by a life jacket and auto inner tube, but unable to keep his face out of the water.
  • Ten Years Ago This Week 1948 – J. W. McPhee of Midland, (Cons); Lionel Dion of Penetang, (CCF); and W. L. Moore, Orillia (Lib), were the party standard-bearers chosen to contest the 1948 Ontario provincial elections. Dr. McPhee was the sitting member. * * *  Contract was awarded for the erection or the new Bausch and Lomb lens plant on Midland’s Lindsay street. * * *  Orillia and Midland councils state that Simcoe County’s bonded surplus or $176,000 be “refunded to county municipalities immediately”. * * *  Victoria Harbour taxpayers also got some bad news in the form of an 8-mill jump to 40 mills.  * * *  Average cost of feeding the 606-male and 33-female prisoners sent to Barrie jail for varying periods in 1947 was 21 cents per day or seven cents per meal. * * * Some of the advertised food prices of the day were: bread 11 cents. (24 oz. loaf); coffee 51 cents per lb.; soap flakes 31 cents (large pkg); prime rib roast 43 cents per lb.; round steaks, 53 cents per lb.; imported cabbage, 7 cents * * * Parking meters were set up for the first time on Midland’s King Street. * * *  $15,0000 was to be spent on repairs and improvements to the two Navy League camps on Minnicog and Beausoleil Islands. They have since been abandoned. * * *  There were over 600 persons on the staff of Midland Shipyards Ltd., the best ever in peacetime operations. The yard had just received a contract for a new freighter capable of carrying 570,000 bushels. * * * H. A. Humphries, manager of the National Employment Service branch in Midland, reported “virtually no unemployment in the area, except among elderly persons”.  * * * Bob Stanway, former vocalist in the RCN Show, was the special attraction at Dardanella dance pavilion, Wasaga Beach.
  • A revolutionary system designed to improve the drop-out situation at Midland-Penetang District High School may go into effect next fall. At a recent meeting of the MPDHS board, principal L. M. Johnston said that pending approval of the provincial superintendent of secondary education, three new classes would be created. Two of the classes will be conditional Grade 10’s.” They will be open to borderline pass students from Grade 9 who might drop out of school if faced with repeating Grade 9 and students in the same category from Grade 10. If the students prove themselves by the end of the first two months of the school year, they may transfer to a regular class. Otherwise, they will proceed through the year at their own pace and enter the regular class the following year with a good grounding. The other class will be an industrial Grade 10 class for 16 year-olds who would otherwise be leaving school to work. Regular Grade 10 subjects will be timetabled for the morning, and students will work at local industries each afternoon. “Neither Commercial 10 nor Industrial 10 would be a terminal course,” said the principal.
  • One of Midland’s newest businesses, the Chalet Blue Restaurant, opened its doors on the Victoria Day weekend. Located next to the Chalet Blue Motel on Yonge Street, the restaurant is owned by Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Howell. The couple also owns the Totem Pole Restaurant in Penetang, which they have operated for the past five years. The Chalet Bleu is actually their third restaurant. They had an ice cream bar on Robert Street in Penetang before completely remodeling the building the Totem Pole now occupies.

A couple of older items;

Last week we posted a 1958 photo of Foster Hewitt, his wife, and father taken during a visit to Midland. According to the 1937 article below it was not his first visit here.

Going back 100 years to 1918.

Robert St

The first section of this paper is missing. Interesting to see the ads and the price of building lots. Click on link to open.

The Midland Free Press_1918-08-22