Looking Back to 1955

Looking back 60 years in North Simcoe takes a look at archived photographs and newspapers from the local area to give a glimpse of what life was like 60 years ago.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – Dec 16th to 31st, 1955

The last two weeks of 1955 and the paper is full of Christmas stories of good deeds and good times. Santa has found time to visit many local venues. The pages are covered with ads displaying everything you might wish for, a new camera from Watson’s,  a Bulova watch from Orr’s Jewellers or Bryant’s, fur coat from Cadesky-Edwards Quality Furs, Phillips Television from H. S. St. Amant & Sons, even the Free Press is offering subscription discounts for Christmas.

 What was Santa up to:

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 Busiest man in the world these days somehow found time on December 24th to help the Y’s Men’s Club distribute gifts to youngsters at the Midland YMCA. With Santa are  Juel Chouinard, left, and Peggy Bray. 

2006 0020 1610

 Joan Hamelin smiles on the knee of Santa while they discuss her gift, a doll maybe. How many of us had our first meeting with the jolly old man in the basement of Edwards Specialty Shop in Midland. The newspaper cropped out the two “elves”, maybe for good reason, if you know their identity let us know.

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Kathy Bowen smiles on the knee of Santa when he visits Edwards Specialty Shop on Saturday morning. Kids are lined up for their turn. 

2006 0020 1622

Al Perkins receives his gift from Santa at the Kiwanis Club annual Christmas dinner held at the Georgian Hotel, Harvey White in the middle. Cropped out of the newspaper picture are C. A. Walkinshaw to Al’s right and Mayor Charles Parker looking right at the cameraman. The Midland Citizens Band played at the event.

2006 0020 1621

Santa visits Midland Kiwanians during their luncheon meeting. Bank manager R.G. Gilles receives a gift while president-elect C.A. Walkinshaw, Gordon Moss and Al Perkins look on. 2006 0020 1623

Santa makes a pre-Christmas visit to the Midland Armouries during the Legion Branch 80 Christmas party. Three hundred children of Legion members, under the age of twelve attended. The children of Mr. & Mrs. Duncan Douglas of George Street receive gifts, Marlene Douglas, Elgin Douglas, David Douglas and Barbara Douglas.

2006 0020 1624

The wider view of the Legion Christmas party at the armory on Yonge Street. 

  • Ten years ago this week; unlike our Christmas this year, in 1945 thirty six inches of snow fell over the Christmas weekend.
  • Elizabeth Covey and William John Edwards of Vasey celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary.
  • Public Notice; Armstrong’s Dairy, Dubbin’s Dairy and Jone’s Farm Dairy, milk customers are reminded there is no delivery on Monday December 26th and January 2nd.
  • The last papers in December were full of reminders from the local politicians who were running in municipal and township elections and compliments of the season. The elections at this time were always at the beginning of the year, in 1956, January 2nd was the day.
  • As in past years Midland and Penetang merchants intend to shower the first babies of 1956 with a host of gifts for themselves and their parents. The Midland baby will have the added bonus of a brand new maternity ward. Sixty years later Penetang has lost its hospital and rumours abound of the closing of the maternity ward at GBGH.
  • Dave Hudson, Bill Howard and Bev Scott win the Junior Chamber of Commerce Christmas lighting contest again this year.
  • Fern Shoe Co., Midland Footwear and Midland Industries employees join as one group for their annual Christmas party at the Parkside Inn. The 335 employees of the three companies produced over one million pairs of shoes and received $750,000.00 in wages. Company plans to double output with plant enlargement now underway.
  • Milly Watson, manager of the Pen Theater tells us that a new screen has been installed, at 13 by 25 feet it is two feet taller and eight feet wider than the old screen and will produce a brighter picture.
  • Midland Coal & Wood Co. property in Sunnyside is extensively damaged by a fire Tuesday afternoon. Company president James Playfair indicated that service would continue as usual.
  • Nearly eight million bushels of grain are stored afloat in 16 of the 22 ships wintering in Midland and Port McNicoll.
  • Dr. A. Douglas Tushingham, leading Canadian archaeologist and former Midlander leaves on December 29th for Jericho to continue research into the history of the ancient city. Mr. Tushingham who will be in charge of the project is head of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Archaelogical and Art division.
  • December 22, the temperature on the western outskirts of town sinks to -22 degrees Fahrenheit, -23 in Coldwater.
  • Grew Boats ship two boats to Florida.  

2006 0020 1608

Food and toys for needy in the area are distributed by the Midland Lions Club, Operation Christmas, Jack Frame, Bob Stanway, Jim Moss, Bill Hack and Harold “Mac” McAllen.

2006 0020 1609

Christmas dinners delivered by the Midland Lions Club, Dick Taylor, Ed Walker, John Hodges, Bill Jeffery, Adam Miller, Don Swinson, and District Deputy Governor Bill MacArthur.

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Assembled around the Christmas table, Midland Kiwanians and guests gather to enjoy a meal. Included in the group are; Mayor Charles Parker, Harvey White, J. J. Robins, Dave Haig, Capt. Ray Smith, Gordon Moss, C.A. Walkinshaw, Roy King, Al Perkins, Walter Zapletal, Bill Shaver, Police Chief William Nicholson, John Gorgan, R.G. Gilles, Stan Brooks, Bill Bates, Hec Kilroy, Ted Mitchell, John Richardson, Charles Palmer and Al Hume.

2006 0020 1599

Junior Officers of LOL 947 Midland, front, Albert Magloughlin, William Rankin, Ernie Hurl committee men, Jack Crooke committee chairman, Omery Coudle lecturer, back, Fred Norwood tyler, Cecil Chapman sentinel, Rilson Stainton lecturer, Albert Atkinson committeeman, Michael Kelly associate lecturer.

2006 0020 1600

Senior Officers of LOL 947, at the Orange Hall, William Rankin IPM, Herbert Richardson WM, William Bowen DM, Lewis Todd chaplain, back row, Gordon Henderson Marshall, R. B. Davis treasurer, Albert Black financial secretary, George Richardson recording secretary, Mr. Black is starting his 53rd year as financial secretary.

2006 0020 1588

Annual potato banquet, entertainment provided by this Lafontaine group at the Parkside Inn, Henry Beauchamp, Ovila Desroches, Anatole Charlesbois and Mrs. Charlesbois at the piano.

And there always seems to be tragedy at Christmas time.

 Four people are killed in a head on collision at French’s Hill on Hwy 27, Thursday afternoon, December 29th. Three Penetang youth are among the dead, Raymond Cadeau, 18, of Park Street, Cleo Legault, 19, of Robert Street and Albert Ladoucer, 19, of Park Street. James Ralson, 34, of Stroud was the driver of the other car and also died in the accident.

 Remi Asselin, 45, and father of seven children dies in Penetang hospital from injuries he received during a collision with a CNR freight train at the Robert St. W. crossing Wednesday evening.

Dave “Scotty” Noble, CNR car man, lost his left arm at the elbow during a switching accident at the Tiffin yard. Dave is single and boarding at Mrs. L. Bugg’s on Elizabeth Street. She estimates Dave is about 28 and has only been in Midland a few years. (Dave stayed in Midland and until recently owned and beautifully maintained the Dollar/Finlayson house on the SE corner of Hugel Ave. and Fifth St. I can remember watching him up the extension ladder painting and using the hook that replaced his missing arm.)


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – December 1st to 7th 1955

  • Canadian Wood Products Ltd. buys idle 11,000 square foot plant in Victoria Harbour. Plant is currently owned by Cooper – Weeks Limited and had been occupied by Great Lakes Fur Dressers and Dyers Ltd. Plan to immediatly expand to 14,000 square feet and hire 50 employees.
  • Fifty seven percent of St. Andrew’s Hospital patients are not from Midland.
  • Front section of December 2nd Free Press devoted to photos, articles and suppliers congratulations on the opening of the new wing of St. Andrew’s Hospital on November 30th.
  • The elevators used in the new hospital were constructed in Midland by Midland Foundry & Machine Company Limited under the brand name Joyce Lifting Equipment.
  • First Midland hospital was built in 1905 across the bay in Sunnyside, it contained 12 beds and was called Midland Penetanguishene General Marine Hospital. In 1918 Mr. & Mrs. James Playfair purchased the former Manley Chew home and donated it to the town of Midland, incorporating it that year as St. Andrew’s. In 1921 the south wing was added to the old Manley Chew home at a cost of $72,000.00.
  • In 1935 seventy five percent of all babies were born outside of a hospital, now in 1955, ninety two percent are born in a hospital.
  • By forming a company called Midland Stevadores Ltd. and engaging themselves as paid employees of that company, most of the longshoremen serving grain elevators in Midland have been able to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits in the off seasons.
  • S. McDowell of Manly Street has the unique distinction of having attended all three hospital grand openings in Midland.
  • Grain glut in Georgian Bay ports causes problem for ships unable to unload. Predict eight bulk carriers will winter here with storage cargos. Coverdale forced to unload at three diferent elevators.
  • Doreen and Ross Thompson announce the arrival of a daughter, Wendy Barbara, on Saturday, November 26th, in St. Andrew’s Hospital.
  • The rebuilt frigate HMCS Penetang is one of three being loaned to the Norwegian Navy.
  • When Mrs. Leger Robitaille of Penetang called her husband around 5 A.M. to get her to the hospital maternity ward neither knew that the streets were glare ice. After sliding from side to side and often unable to go forward for twenty minutes one half of her set of twins was born in the car. The second baby was born in Penetang General Hospital and all are now at home, happy and healthy.
  • Staff at St. Andrew’s Hospital begin to shift patients into the new wing so that work can begin renovating the older sections of the hospital.

 Familiar scenes to those of us who grew up with St. Andrew’s. Babies born, parents died, sickness healed. Joy and sorrow, dedication and compassion.

2006 0020 1497Miss Mary Ingham superintendent of St. Andrew’s Hospital cuts the ribbon while assistant superintendent Miss Jean Holt holds the other end. Over a thousand residents inspected the new hospital Wednesday afternoon and evening.

2006 0020 1508Terrazzo and wide doors featured in the entrance to the new St. Andrew’s Hospital.

2006 0020 1510

Adequate office space in the new St. Andrew’s Hospital, left Miss Jacqueline Desjardine and Miss Connie Ambeau.

2006 0020 1511croppedDr. Doug Patchell, was youngest doctor in Ontario when he graduated, Dr. Pinchin and Dr. Swan sitting in the new waiting room at St. Andrews Hospital.

2006 0020 1512

Mrs. A. H. Pinchin, member of the St. Andrew’s Hospital women’s auxiliary dusts off one of the new pieces of furniture. Mrs. Verne Wilson polishing the bed table.

2006 0020 1513Evening superintendant of St. Andrew’s Hospital, Mrs. Gladys Reid is putting finishing touches to a two bed ward. Fifty seven new adult beds and twenty nursery cribs have been added with the addition. New blankets display the hospital’s name and the St. Andrew’s Cross.

2006 0020 1515Jean Sutton demonstrates the new elevator at St. Andrew’s Hospital, installed by Midland Foundry & Machine Co. Ltd.

2006 0020 1507Waiting room, St. Andrew’s Hospital, nurse Carol Megaw, Jack Doughty chairman of the board’s public relations committee and nurse Rena Wilson.

2006 0020 1748December 1955 at the Midland Penetang Advisory Committee of the CNIB Christmas party held at the Midland YMCA, ready for carol singing, Mrs. Bill (Joan) Barnett and William Steggles both of Midland, Mrs. W. L. Penton of Penetanguishene, seated Mrs. Ava Davey of Victoria Harbour and Miss May Wilkinson. Only Mrs. Barnett and Miss Wilkinson have full sight.

2006 0020 1576Midland Red Wing’s cheerleaders, Kathy Hall, Marj Powers, Pat Martin, Margaret Ann Moore, Lorna Edwards and Marion Lemieux.

2006 0020 15791955 edition of the Midland Red Wings team; front, Bob Power, Ross Irvine, Bob Scott, Roger Grey, Harvey Jackson, Ken Sims and Jim Lemieux; back row, Harold Jackson, Don King, Dave McCall, Clare Armstrong, Bill Quinlan, Bob Pickering, Dalt Cruise, Gord Brand and coach Garnet Armstrong.

2006 0020 1502Planning second annual Simcoe County Police Association dance to be held at the Parkside Inn on Yonge Street. Provincial Constable Bill Mohan, Midland Chief William Nicholas, Constables George Wainman and Ernie Bates.



Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – Nov 24th to 30th 1955

  • New hospital to be opened on St. Andrew’s Day, Wednesday, November 30th, announces board chairman R. J. Pinchin. Both the day and the name honour the native homeland of James Playfair who donated the original hospital building to the town.
  • Adolphe Lalumiere, Highland Point, escapes in the night with only a blanket, which was also burning, when fire destroyed his store.
  • E. J. Rice of Port McNicoll found a karat in her garden, a 14 karat gold ring inscribed “Maphin”, growing around the root of a turnip.
  • Driver of Hillsdale to Midland school bus route complains to school board about the conduct and language on his bus, especially the girls.
  • The Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE) has 960 chapters across Canada carrying on a large number of philanthropic programs. Some husbands left at home claim IODE stands for “I Often Don’t Eat”
  • Ten Years Ago: Mrs. James Playfair, 87, dies at home. In the same week A. W. Ruby, Midland merchant and early resident dies suddenly. Severe storm makes Midland Harbour a refuge for 18 freighters over the weekend. Tenders were being called for the erection of the new Midland Footwear factory. W. H. Keller sold his garage and automobile business to two Toronto brothers, Keith and Karl Bertrand.
  • Weddings;      James Piitz, son of Mr. & Mrs. Allan Piitz of Penetang marries Marjorie Joan Diver, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Lionel Diver of Midland, Oct 29th, St. James on the Lines.   Catherine Margaret Dion, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. John Dion, Moon River, marries Beverly George Grant, son of Mr. & Mrs. Victor Grant, Midland, at St. Margaret’s Church, October 15th. Iris Marian Bath, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. James Bath, Midland, marries Charles Olson, Toronto, son of Mr. & Mrs. David Olson. Knox Presbyterian, October 29th.      Bernice Robinson, daughter of Reeve and Mrs. Lawson Robinson of Elmvale marries Robert Arthur Copeland son of Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Arthur Copeland, Elmvale, October 28th.   Prima Rose Marie Laurin, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ismael Laurin, Lafontaine, marries Arthur George Parent, son of Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Parent, Perkinsfield, at Holy Cross Church in Lafontaine.
  • Mysterious explosion heard in Penetang actually occurred north of Honey Harbour during construction of the Trans Canada Highway.
  • Penetang Chamber of Commerce points out in a letter to the editor that Midland is mentioned eleven times on government highway signs on Highway 400 compared to once for Penetang.
  • Like portable classrooms in school yards, hospital beds in the hall are a perennial thing, Miss Ingham, superintendent of St. Andrew’s Hospital, reports to her board that “we were jammed to the doors last week, six corridor beds had to pressed into service.”
  • Coldwater Municipal Telephone Commission votes 29-7 in favour of selling the forty year old system that currently serves Coldwater, Fesserton and North River.
  • OPP advertising for recruits, “must be a British subject between 21 and 35 years of age, not less than 5’9″ in height in stocking feet, not less than 160 pounds or more than 200 pounds in weight, equivalent of two years of high school, must possess Ontario Chauffeur’s or Operator’s licence, willing to serve anywhere in the province.”
  • Hugh “Bull” Ritchie formerly of Elmvale is honoured at the Grey Cup opener in Vancouver Saturday by performing the “kick off” to officially open the first Grey Cup game held in Western Canada. In 1909 Mr. Ritchie kicked off for Toronto Varsity in the first Grey Cup game ever played. Among the fans at the game were Dr. Jim Small of Midland and A. B. Thompson of Penetang.
  • Bailiff’s auction sale of machinery, land and buildings of the Ulmique Fur Processors Limited, at Yonge Street just north of Princess.
  • To mark his 75th birthday on Monday, Roy T. French, president of Great Lakes Boat and Machine Co. Ltd. held a dinner and social evening for his staff at the plant on Midland’s waterfront. At that time he announced the transfer of management of the firm to his son Alden N. French.
  • New vacation area developing around Six Mile Lake as the Department of Lands and Forests begins work on a new Provincial Park at Six Mile and the number of cottages on the lake has gone from 19, eight years ago, to 450 now. The reason for all of this is the new Trans Canada Highway being pushed through from Waubaushene to Footes Bay.
  • Council considers erecting a warning sign at the corner of Fourth and Bay Streets, scene of numerous accidents, feels a blinker light would be too expensive.
  • Victoria Harbour stays dry, 82 % voter turnout, third defeat in fifteen years, but it was close, 60% needed, received 57.8% on the establishment of a Brewers Warehouse, 56% on a liquor store and 51.7% on a beverage room.
  • A. Robinson, local MP, reports that the federal cabinet today voted not to make changes to the unemployment insurance benefits for Great Lakes sailors.
  • Pretty ex-Midland girl, Betty Halliburton, a stenographer at RCMP headquarters, made Toronto headlines as she followed drug dealers into a restaurant and listened in on their conversation. The information led to four arrests and the confiscation of a million dollars worth of narcotics. Betty’s dad Jack worked at the Midland shipyard until his death in 1949. Her sister, Mrs. M. Gilbank is still living in Penetang
  • White Billy Goat running about Penetang with a pack of dogs. The goat, complete with horns, seems quite docile with children but avoids adults. Last seen by our reporter making a meal of some shrubbery near All Saint’s Church.
  • 25 Years Ago – Workmen engaged in cutting an embankment on Fourth Street between Yonge and Hugel unearthed a human skeleton, believed to be of a native person. Midland YMCA boy’s relay team won the 33 mile race between teams from Barrie and Orillia. Team included, Tom Lowes, M. Taylor, L. Larment, Willie Scott, D. Melville, Bob Merkley, Francis Lowes, Gordon Duncan, Dudley Tushingham, Clarke Edwards, Cliff Davies, Art Switzer and Harold Hornsby.
  • Bowling for the Barber & Haskill team, Dorothy Spicer set a new mark for ladies at the Midland Bowling Academy when she compiled a 915 triple during a Twin City League match. Dorothy rolled games of 315, 232 and 378.
  • New hospital opened November 30th faces $10,000.00 deficit due to citizens failing to honour their pledges.
  • Front page photo, which we unfortunately do not have, shows Dr. Pierre Marchildon and the lengthy article tells the story of his youth in Lafontaine, his education and years of practice, life in the north, war years, a life that would fill a book. At 86 he “came home to die” but is still going strong at 92.
  • Canada Savings Bonds are paying 3 1/4 percent.
  • Leacock Dinner honours Robertson Davies, author and playwright, with the 1955 Leacock Medal for Humour.
  • Beatty Bros., Spencer Division, Penetang, foundry and appliance production hindered by a shortage of steel but still employ 150 on staff.
  • Martin Lesperance, 22, of Concession 15 Tiny Twp. was killed when he and a fellow worker fell from a scaffold on which they were working in Thessalon. It was his first day on the job.
  • Town of Midland posts notice as to the closing of Charles Street between Hugel Ave. and Elizabeth Street and sale to adjacent land owners. This would be part of the site of the major expansion of Midland Industries in 1956.
  • Editorial, County Herald, November 18th – Midland’s municipal band is doing a fine job musically but we wonder if they should be marching in parades until they are both outfitted and able to march more smartly. The contrast on November 11th with the Bracebridge Legion Pipe Band was rather too marked.
  • Special this week only, at Gropp Motors, GMC 1/2 Ton pickup truck, deluxe cab, completely equipped, $1,797.00.
  • After January 1 applicants for driving licences will have to pass a written test.
  • Midland town budget is $670,000.00 for 1956. The town is also one the area’s largest employers with a staff of 100. 

2006 0020 1479

 Canadian Legion Branch 80 scholarship winner Alice Desrochers, formerly of Penetanguishene now living in  Midland. At Remembrance Day dinner at the Parkside Inn, treasurer Howard Henderson presents cheque while president Ivan McConnell and past president Alf Scott (left) look on.2006 0020 14912006 0020 1571

 Fire in Victoria Harbour destroys the home of George Vent, man standing in front with the tweed cap. Ten people including seven children were forced out into the 15 degree Fahrenheit temperature. Children aged ten months to eleven years plus Baptiste Arbour Mrs. Vent’s father. 2006 0020 1495

 Victoria Harbour fire destroys two story frame house owned by Mr. & Mrs. Jack Dunlop, now residents of Orillia. Home had been empty all fall, crews from Midland and Waubaushene aided and were able to save the home of Fabian LaChapelle that was nearby.

2006 0020 1627

 Ronald McQuaig will represent St. Paul’s United Church Midland at the 35th session of the Ontario Older Boys Parliament  which convenes in the Ontario Legislative building in December. Ronald is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Elwood McQuaig of 234 Manly Street, with him is Cecil Hopkins director of boys work at St. Paul’s.

2006 0020 1443

 David Pottage of Mount St. Louis School, with his father Ken Pottage, wins the George G. Johnson Trophy for public speaking. The trophy is emblematic of the county championship in public speaking. The contest was held in Barrie.

2006 0020 1713

 Being demolished, Fire Hall recently used as a municipal office until condemned for only limited occupation, then renovated and used again for council meetings and court house. Was built in 1896 for $2000.00 (Barrie Advance Aug 1895). Property has been sold to Loblaws for a new grocery store. The town advertised the boiler for sale as it had only recently been installed, Herman Latanville bought it for $25.00.

2006 0020 1739

 Midland Braves basket ball team; front row, Albert Ruby, Charlie Day and Bill Setterington the playing coach, back row, Forbes MacKenzie, John Power and George McFarland. Absent Ross Hart, Tim Lethbridge, Jack Laird and Alex Owen.

2006 0020 1580Old Midland ski jump being torn down to make way for the new one which will be 107 feet high.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – Nov 1st to the 15th 1955

  • Midland Industries to stay in Midland, Shoe Corporation of America changes plan to move plastics division to Toronto and will rework expansion plans and build an addition to the Midland plant in the spring.
  • Going hunting or fishing, get your licence at Benson’s Service Station, 24 hour service.
  • Classified Ad: If backaches are slowing you up, take RUMACAPS and help yourself to relief, ask your druggist. I wonder if Rumacaps was a liquid?
  • Ten Years Ago; Midland Shipyards launched its ninth tug, the “Rockhawk”. Originally intended for the United Kingdom, it was turned over to the War Assets Corporation.
  • In 1945 prime rib roast were selling for 31 cents per pound in Midland, sirlion steak was 43 cents per pound and coffee was 35 cents per pound.
  • Businesses closed in Elmvale on Rememberance Day. Midland and Pentang stores closed until 1 PM.
  • The newspaper names the members of seven deer hunting parties ready to depart from Coldwater for the fall hunt and their destinations.
  • The renowned Canadian painter David Milne was known in the Severn Falls area as a “Man of Mystery” when he lived in a log cabin there in the late 30’s.
  • Department of highways to pay Tay Twp. to complete the link between Hugel Ave. and Hwy 27 this fall, cost $10,000.00. Paving to be done in 1956.
  • Bourgeois Motors Limited is moving their showroom and sales department to a facility they are leasing at the corner of Fourth and Vinden Streets, formerly occupied by Warman Motors Limited. Larry Dumais will manage the location. Business at Hugel and Midland Avenues will be maintained.
  • Simcoe County Health Unit halts shipment from five milk producers and warn 23 others due to continual low grades on their product. Raw milk samples totalled 228 in September. All producers without electric coolers will be visited monthly and urged to install this essential piece of equipment.
  • Oldest original Midland resident Mrs. H. White dies in Toronto. Mrs. White was the daughter of Jabez Dobson and was born in Midland December 3rd 1873 and has lived in the area all her life. Her family was one of only four living here when they arrived in 1862.
  • MPDHS School board to pay entire cost of new student insurance plan, premium will be $1,054.00 for 703 students.
  • O’Leary’s Fashions opens at 110 Main Street, Penetang.
  • MPDHS Hi-Sterics by Doris Hyde; Last night a Sadie Hawkins dance was held in the gym. All those in attendance were dresssed in the best Dogpatch fashion. This dance was the last social event of the Twerp Seaon. Starting Monday the boys will have to resume all the duties of gentlemen.
  • At the Pen, Far Country, So This is Paris, The Caine Mutiny, Tarzan’s Hidden Jungle and Francis in the Navy. Roxy is showing The Gladiators, Hajji Baba, The Rainbow Jacket, The Man from Bitter Ridge and the  King of the Khyber Rifles.
  • Midland Arena to get new floors in the seating areas to reduce draughts coming up from the alleyways below. Improvement will also prevent cigarette butts from falling throught the cracks and causing a fire hazard. How things change!
  • Frank Wadge is the only living bricklayer to carry a hob for contractor Wallace and Cook when they built the old town hall which is now being razed.
  • Unemployment Insurance Commission announces new regulations that will disallow benefits to local sailors and affect 8,000 employed on the Great Lakes. News comes just beforre layup and after a season of poor grain shipments has reduced employment.

Double click photos to enlarge

2006 0020 1660

Bert Hanly, now 83, hasn’t missed a deer hunt since he started back in 1896, including this year. Seen with his dog Digger.

2006 0020 1448

 Nearly completed home of Mr. & Mrs. John Power located at 436 Hugel Ave. across from the new high school, burns in the middle of the night. Structure valued at $12,000.00, only the two car garage was saved. Fire Chief Irwin Jackman, in the foreground, indicates that there is not enough water pressure in this new residential area to support fire fighting. 

2006 0020 1734

 Members of the Adelphi Hi-Y Club help John Power clean out the basement of his new home that was destroyed by fire Halloween night. Lawrence Currie, Glenn Nicholls, owner John Power, Bob Megaw, Martin Reynolds, Bob Bell, Frank Holmes and Roger Grey.

2006 0020 1464

 Home of Mr. & Mrs. John Power on Hugel Ave. is being rebuilt after the fire. The newlyweds had just returned from their honeymoon. The loss was covered by insurance. The house in the foreground, also nearing completion, is owned by Harold Wilcox.

2006 0020 1455

Halloween trick or treaters, shelling out in her store on Dominion Ave. is Mrs. Stan (Margaret) Ligowski.  A favourite photo of mine, memories of a wonderful person.

2006 0020 1451

 Ken Well’s new boat Moonstruck II is being readied in the loft of the Midland Boat Works. It will be taken to Toronto from where Mr. Wells and his wife Lucille Oille, well known sculptor, engraver and illustrator, will proceed down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to Florida returning by the Atlantic Coast. Mr. Wells is a journalist and writer known for his Toronto Telegram articles from the “Owl’s Pen”, their Medonte home, also several books. In the foreground is Len Cowdrey, the plant superintendant and his son Cal Cowdrey and Bruce Cuff, at the stern is Jack Sharpe. 

2006 0020 1536

 Fairy ring on the lawn of  J. J. Quilty, 143 Yonge Street E. makes a perfect four foot diameter circle, a type of fungal growth, possibly from an old tree stump. 

2006 0020 14602006 0020 1559

Jim Stanley pilots a bulldozer down a 60 degree slope at the new Midland ski jump, watching is William Smith one of four owners of the property where the new jump is being constructed. Mr. Smith helped with the construction of the first jump in 1935. In the upper photo a 20 foot deep excavation will provide additional length to the run. The contractor is Thos. G. Wilcox and Sons. 

2006 0020 1539

 Branch 80, Royal Canadian Legion Midland sorting remembrance day wreaths. Seated, Murray McComb, Bill Elrick, standing, Michael Doherty and Harold Kelly.

2006 0020 1541

 Phiat – Phalanx dance at the Midland YMCA in costume. Back row, Paul Dubeau, Eleanor Hawke, Marilyn Laurin, Lorraine Tremblay, Gladys and Shirley Bonner, Betty Woolley, Bill Baker and Tom Marion. Middle, Donna Brandon, Connie Ambeau, Grace Edgar, Donna Zapletal and John Reid. Front, Mr. & Mrs. Howard Markham.

2006 0020 1737

 Phiats and Phalanxeres of Midland staged a Halloween dance at the Midland YMCA, back row, Joe Faragher, Pat Leclair, Ward Barrie, Alex Owen, Jack Gardiner, front, Tom Marion, Anita Fournier, Barbara Allsopp and Ida Gillespie. 

2006 0020 1459

 Funeral at St. Paul’s United Church, Dr. Garnet E. Tanner well respected local physician and supporter of the town of Midland since his arrival in 1916. Dr. Tanner was a board member on the PUC, St. Paul’s United Church and St. Andrew’s Hospital, a charter president of Midland Kiwanis, local MPP and member of the Masonic Lodge. Fellow Masons provide an honour guard outside the church. The service was conducted by Rev. Auld and internment was at Lakeview Cemetery.

2006 0020 1746

 Mrs. Helgard Brendel on the right instructs Barbara Allsopp on the parallel bars at the Midland YMCA. Watching are Connie Ambeau, Anne Quilty, Evelyn Geier and Mrs. Otto Geier. Mrs. Brendal who instructs the business ladies gym class was a top gymnast in her native Berlin.

2006 0020 1442

 OHA Intermediate Team, Coach Vic Grigg gives his squad a pep talk. Front, Roy Colling, Connie Adams, Bruce Hook; center, “Red” Reid, Gord Dyment, “Chuck” Woods, Ted Brady; back, Morley Spiker, Homer Barrett, “Chuck” Edwards, “Babe” Deschamps and Jack LaChapelle. 

2006 0020 1480

 2006 0020 1481

An act that is timeless, paying our respects to those that have served and still serve, Remembrance Day, 1955. The Legion Pipes & Drum band is processing back down King Street from the cenotaph. Two ladies from the Legion auxiliary stand before the cenotaph after placing a wreath.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – October 24th to 31st 1955

  • Copeland Flour Mills of Midland is to be known as Pillsbury Canada Limited, the Copeland name has been associated with flour milling in North Simcoe for over 150 years. Copeland Flour Mills of Midland was started in 1921 by the late Albert Copeland with the backing of James Playfair, D. L. White Jr., D. S. Pratt and a number of local citizens.
  • Mrs. Albert (Bert) Dubeau was honoured at a recent meeting of the Ontario Association of Motor Coach Operators, Mrs. Dubeau is the only female operator of a bus line in Ontario, a position she has held since her husband died 17 years ago. (I believe I echo the sentiments of most people in North Simcoe when I say that we were proud of PMCL and the Dubeau family, their modern buses could be seen all over North America and even on the movie screen. Many of us rode to school or work on them and they are missed.)
  • The Free Press editor laments the loss of the scenic beauty of Highway 93 from Craighurst to Waverly as the old growth trees are removed to provide the broad level shoulders required on a modern highway
  • The 56 Ford Meteor at Bourgeois Motors includes new safety features, padded dash and seat belts, but as extra cost options
  • Aluminum Company of Canada, Ltd (ALCAN) posted an ad titled, interestingly enough, “Inside Job” stating that we are “getting a helping of aluminum as part of our daily diet. Most cities use aluminum sulphate (alum) to purify drinking water, Oshawa has done this for 35 years, we usually associate aluminum with food storage and preparation, aluminum helps to keep what we eat and drink fresh and pure and wholesome.” The safety of aluminum in our bodies is still being debated.
  • “Blue Coal” is advertising, “keep your heat from escaping up the chimney, keep your chimney damper as nearly closed as possible”. I wonder if this had anything to do with the weekly chimney fires in North Simcoe during the winter months?
  • In 1955 you could buy a Phillips TV in Waubaushene from Waubaushene Radio & TV, F. E. Brodeur proprietor, Pine St., Phone 2
  • Congoleum flooring was available at Meads in Penetang, J. B. Roebucks and Shulman & Son in Midland
  • Remember when Edwards would reupholster your old furniture for you
  • Alex Docherty, director of music in Midland schools announced that a choir of grade 5 to 8 students from all Midland Public Schools has been invited to sing on a Toronto radio station by Dr. Fenwick who adjudicated their entry in the Midland Music Festival this year.
  • Ernest Griesbach, a senior captain with Canadian Steamship Lines and a 44 year veteran, died suddenly aboard his ship the Georgian Bay, on Saturday. He was only 59, having worked for the CSL since he was 15
  • Announcement; Earl Fisher has acquired the business formerly owned by Art Macksey and would appreciate your patronage. Dominion Ave. East, next to Wilson’s Taxi.  (it was brought to my attention that the type of business is not mentioned and it was not in the original ad, it was assumed that everyone in 1955 knew it was a barber shop) 
  • Glenn L. Martin of Seattle, a pioneer in the aviation business, predicts that in 25 years travellers from the earth will be landing on the moon. As it turned out NASA and Neil Armstrong beat his prediction by 11 years, landing on July 20th, 1969.
  • Midland Library hours in 1955 were; 2:00 to 5:30 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM, daily, closed Wednesdays and Sundays. Some new books on hand, Frank Yerby’s, Treasure of Old Pleasant Valley, is not quite so sexy as some of his earlier novels. Sloan Wilson’s, Man in the Grey Flannel Suit; Lake Erie Baron by Hamil, the story of Col. Thomas Talbot.
  • Shipyard manager Norman Walton has been named manager of both Midland and Collingwood shipyards and will shortly move to the latter town. This was a very visible sign that our shipyard was done, only a handful of watchmen were still employed. Wages paid out to employees of both yards since 1948 totalled $16 million. That was the equivalent of $1,000.00 per annum for every family in Collingwood and $750 to $800 for every family in Midland. Ninety five percent of the $24 million worth of material used in those years was spent in Canada.
  • IGA is selling side bacon, with the rind on, for .49 cents per pound
  • Alvin “Cuppy” Gropp describes the trip he and his wife made from their cottage to Penetang and proclaims “never again”. After leaving Cognashene they were lost in the first snowstorm of the season and the normally 45 minute trip took over three hours.
  • Midland Fall Fair midway booth operators were fined for running a marble game that offered 4 billion to 1 odds for a single 25 cent throw.

Click on photos to enlarge.

 2006 0020 1553

 Mrs. Robert Magnus, Mrs. James Playfair and Mrs. J. Haight at the skate exchange sponsored by the Home and School Association of Midland. A total of 85 pairs of skates and overshoes were sold.

2006 0020 1538

Branch 80, Royal Canadian Legion, Midland members prepare for Poppy Day, seated Gordon Burtch chairman, Len Wiles; standing, George Magloughlin, Alf Scott and Doug Blake.

 2006 0020 1557

Pete Pettersen marks the spot where 20 feet of dirt has to be removed to achieve the proper slope for 180 foot jumps from the new 107 foot high ski jump, the old jump is to be torn down. The Dominion Senior Jumping Championship is to be held here on February 12th, 1956.

 2006 0020 1561

Legion Hall in Waubaushene was the site of the investiture of three new Scouts who moved up from Cubs, Brian St. Amant, Douglas Cronin, Bobby Stewart. 1st Waubaushene Troop

2006 0020 1560

IODE hall in Waubaushene, members of the East Simcoe Brownie Troop are dressed up for Halloween, Lorie Wilson and Jacqueline Sauroiol of Waubaushene; Betty Hawke, Elizabeth Hall and Barbara Hawke of Coldwater; Dawn Lackie of Jarrat.

 2006 0020 1558

Brownies stage a spook night at the IODE hall in Waubaushene. Barbara Kingsborough, Coldwater; Gail Cuppage, Warminster; Martine Gouett, Sylvia Duncliffe and Karen Moreau of Waubaushene.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – October 17th to 23rd 1955

Click on photos to enlarge.

 2006 0020 1436 

Junior Choir of St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Midland, with new vestments for their annual children’s day service. Organist and choir leader, Mrs. Spence Richardson at the front left and Rev. G. R. Stanley, rector, on the right.

Huronia Museum would appreciate your help in naming the members of the choir.

 2006 0020 1434

 Edward Lattimore was born on a farm in South Gower in 1890 and began working on a track gang for the CPR at age 17, earning 12 cents an hour. He advanced to operating the Ledgerwood which was a machine used for unloading fill and ballast along the railway. Coming to Port McNicoll in 1909 he unloaded most of the fill used to lay the track and build up the docks. When the elevator opened in 1910 he worked there as a labourer and eventually became the loading foreman. After a decade in West St. John NB as superintendent of that elevator he returned to Port McNicoll working in the power house until his retirement on September 30th of this year. “I remember men working 48 hours steady unloading the boats, largely by hand,” Mr. Lattimore recalled.

 2006 0020 1428

 The MacDonald Creek culvert on Concession 2, Old Survey, Tiny Township, between lots 85 and 86 which was washed out by Hurricane Hazel on October 16th, 1954 is finally repaired, a year later, at a cost of $18,000.00.

“This was a favourite place of mine. The water appears to be running towards the photograper which would put him on the north side of the road, the creek is running down to the Wye River. Behind him is a very large fill with a concrete box culvert large enough to walk through. It was constructed in 1910 by the GTR to carry its line from Elmvale to Midland. There is an excellent photo of the culvert and the embankment being created on page 18 of Bonnie Reynold’s book, “Wyebridge”. Over the years I have picnicked in the deep ravine behind the embankment with my family, waded in the pool below the culvert, picked morels and fiddleheads, fished for chub and specks and shared it with the cattle that were pastured there. I was told that the property belonged to Pearl Goldsmith.”

 2006 0020 1419

 This old concession booth in Little Lake Park held memories for thousands of residents and visitors who have lined up for french fries, hot dogs, ice cream and other treats over the years. Now it is being torn down to make way for a new cement block building by proprietor John Deakos, seen on the roof at right, hoping for completion in the spring. Note the weigh scale on the left, it kept its place in front of the new building. John Deakos Jr. I am told is also in the photo.

 2006 0020 1533

 Boring three inch holes in 10″ by 10″ Elm beams is Dick Moore center and Jim O’Hearn on the right. Bob Wilson, foreman, is on the left. Ninety four timbers are needed to go around the government dock at the bottom of King Street, sixty are 10 feet long the rest are 12 feet long. Timbers are being installed near the water line on the side of the dock to act as rub rails or bumpers.

 2006 0020 1543

 2006 0020 1544

 Mr. Robert Cumming, Mrs. & Mr. Lloyd Dunlop at the opening of their new store in Moonstone. Over 700 people attended the grand opening, pleased that the Dunlop’s had elected to rebuild. Their store contained the post office and was considered the heart of the surrounding community.

2006 0020 1542

 Moonstones oldest resident, Robert Cumming, 82, is seen cutting the ribbon to open the new Dunlops Furniture and Appliance store. Mr. Cummings gave Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd Dunlop the keys to his own home last November 7th when their home and store was destroyed by fire. A retired carpenter Mr. Cumming had hung the doors when the original store was remodelled in 1937 and again on this new building.

 2006 0020 1551

 Signing up for a new season with the Midland Intermediate “A” hockey team is Roy “Mutt” Colling of Penetang, a veteran of Midland squads, Vic Grigg, also of Penetang, former pro star who will help coach the club this winter;  and “Chuck” Woods, former captain of the Barrie Flyers, who did his puck chasing for Toledo in the American Associaltion last year. Looking on at left is Murray Yorke member of last years team and Hec Adams, club secretary.



Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – October 9th to 16th 1955

  • Midland’s population reaches 8,030; coming close to the 1926 high of 8,085. In 1906 the population was 3,500.
  • Post Office Department bans all envelopes measuring less than 2-3/4″ by 4″ due to difficulties with the operation of stamp cancelling machines.
  • At a recent meeting of the Midland Phalanx Club of the YMCA the following new executive was elected; primus, Jack Laird; pro primus, Tom Marion; tribune, Charles Day; quaestor, Ken Todd and scribe, Bob Bates.
  • MPDHS cadets attended the Ontario Rifle Association meet in Long Branch on Oct 1 and Ken McEachern was high scorer with a 90 percent.
  • At the Roxy, Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe in “River of No Return” and Julie Harris, James Dean and Raymond Massey in “East of Eden”.
  • The Wednesday Free Press Herald and the Friday County Herald sell for .05 cents per copy or .35 cents per month. Save a nickel.
  • In Memoriam; In loving memory of my dear son William E. “Billy” Jory, killed in action over Denmark, October 14th, 1944. Lovingly remembered by Mom.
  • D. Loney, well known barber for thirty years in Port McNicoll and Midland has purchased the business formerly owned by Omer Rivet, the shop is located in the Georgian Hotel. Mr. Rivet is retiring due to ill health after forty years.
  • 25 YEARS AGO – The Midland Steam Laundry and Bon Marche Manufacturing were completely gutted by fire – Prof. Stephen Leacock was the guest speaker at a lecture in St. Mark’s Parish Hall – MHS field day was held in a drizzling rain, junior champ was Russell Kelly; intermediate Clarke Edwards; senior, W. Thompson.
  • L. White Jr., mayor and industrial pioneer of Midland, speaking at the first annual meeting of the Midland YMCA fifty two years ago (1903) compared the cost of operating the YMCA to that of the Penetang Reformatory. He suggested that for $7.00 per year the YMCA can build up and improve the character of young men and keep them out of the reformatory, a facility where the cost is $200.00 per year.
  • McDonald’s Hardware in Penetang now selling Philco and GE televisions and Penetang Hardware is selling CBS.
  • Announcing the re-opening of Vi’s Coffee Shoppe on Highway 12 at Taylor’s Service Station.
  • Lorne Watson, photographer, is offering Sylvania flash bulbs, regularily .17 cents on for .16 cents with special allowance on used bulbs of .02 cents each.
  • A fifty-four pound muskellunge was landed by Michael Pedersen while fishing in the Honey Harbour area.
  • Three Penetang police constables are to receive a $100.00 annual pay boost. Parking meters in Penetang to be removed this week, stored until next spring.
  • Do it yourself TV antenna kit selling for $14.95 at Roebuck’s. 

Click on photos to enlarge.

2006 0020 1438

 Midland High School cheer leaders, Mary Popple, Doris Hyde, Vera Sibbald, Marg Ambeau, Jane Bell, Mary O’Leary, Peggy Couling, Marlene Fraser and Pat Martin. Opening game of the senior football season on Sept 29th saw the home team lose 28 to 5 to the Orillia Collegiate squad.   

2006 0020 1409

 Ministers and laymen at the dedication of the new St. Paul’s Protestant chapel in the Penetanguishene Hospital, members of the Midland and District Ministerial Society. 

2006 0020 1726

 Soon to be demolished, the Midland Fire Hall, until recently used as a municipal office until being condemned for only limited occupation, then reconditioned and used again for council meetings and court house. The property has been sold to Loblaws who will build a new grocery store on the site.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – October 1st to 8th 1955

  • Hunters wound six cows, Henry Cadeau of Port Severn reports that six of his pastured herd of twenty milk cows bear evidence of the duck hunting season which just opened. Only two were seriously wounded and all will recover, Henry worried about the coming deer season
  • Three to four hundred duck hunters invade the Coldwater area every fall and opening day, to those unaware, sounds like a military invasion
  • Anglican rectory in Penetang is being demolished, believed to be 70 years old, the 12 room, two storey brick structure will be replaced by a modern building. M. H. McGuire recalls that prior to this rectory the minister lived in a log house at the south end of Fox Street
  • Ten Years Ago 1945– Camp Marygrove opens on Penetang Bay –  Dominion government spending $109,000.00 dredging Midland Harbour, 200 thousand cubic yards of the bottom to be removed – Midland had its first snowfall of the year  – work begins on a new highway between Orillia and Coldwater
  • Weekly Editorial comment “Wise and Otherwise”. Oct 5, 1955 “It is rather shocking when one realizes that there are about 1,000 children in Simcoe County, that is about three out of every 100, who are under the direct or indirect care of the Children’s Aid Society. Many of them are teenagers, for whom it is difficult to find foster homes and who were born during WW ll, the victims of broken homes. Not all battle casualties end with armistice.”
  • Ad in the Free Press – “Wanted – Dump Trucks for Hire, All Sizes – for hauling crushed stone to the Toronto area”. Nelson Crushed Stone Ltd. Burlington Ont.
  • Giant Jamboree at Midland Arena featuring the Dusty Owens Show, with Lazy Jim Day, Dot and Smokey, The Rodeo Boys and Little Miss Donna Darlene
  • Free Press editor and publisher Bill Cranston in an address to the Barrie Kiwanis Club explained the connection between the Free Press Herald and Barrie. In 1917 the Midland paper was incorporated and the proprietor of the Barrie Gazzete at the time, Alfred Wilkes, along with his printing equipment, became the first editor and manager.
  • East Simcoe MLA Lloyd Letherby announces that an early start is to be made in 1956 on the new road between Crown Hill and Highway 12 at Fesserton (400 extension) and form a link with the Trans Canada Highway presently pushing north from Port Severn
  • Midland Frosted Food Lockers, 239 First Street, is selling Grade “A” turkeys for 55 cents per pound

 2006 0020 1377

 Have you ever opened your tax bill or tried to deal with Midland town hall and wished it would just go away. 575 Dominion Ave. circa 1955

 2006 0020 1429

 They’ve held the reins for years. Two veterans of farm and municipal life contemplate the results of their work at the annual West Central Simcoe Plowing Match near Wyevale, Walter Middleton reeve of Flos and  Arthur Downer, Reeve of Tiny.

2006 0020 1437 

 Trio joins St. Andrew’s Hospital staff, shown beside a new piece of kitchen equipment. Mrs. Elizabeth Outerbridge dietician, Miss Margaret Heasman physical and occupational therapist, Miss Muriel Carr, laboratory technician. Miss Heasman is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. J. P. Heasman and was born in Elmvale, attended Evergreen School and MHS, graduating in 1952, she attended the University of Toronto for three years. achieving honours standing every year and finishing top of her class.

2006 0020 1723 

 Former Pratt barn at the corner of Bay and Queen streets is being renovated to serve as the headquarters for Midland Police , fire and public works departments. It will be the permanent home of the public works when police and fire move to the new municipal building being constructed on Dominion Ave.

 2006 0020 1406

Free Press staff member Anita Fournier of Penetanguishene with four St. Lawrence apples grown by Milton Barr on the 4th Concession of Medonte. It has been an excellent year for all types of tree fruits.


  • Velma Roi and Raymond Robitaille, St. Anns
  • Lisa Buttineau and Monty Forget, September 17th, St. Anns
  • Joan Alberta Logan and Roy Gordon Harriman, September 10, St. Margarets
  • Julie Robitaille and Edgar Andrew Parent, September 13th, St. Patricks
  • Vivian Archer and Brian M. Jones, September 24th, St. John’s Anglican, Waverley
  • Lois Kay Daymond and Charles J. Henderson, at the home of the bride
  • Marilyn Joy Hornsby and Donald Eugene Edwards, September 24th, Waverley United Church
  • Mary Diane Taylor and Kenneth William Hooper, September 3rd, at the home of the brides grandparents

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – Sept 14th to 20th 1955

  • Curfew will ring again in Penetang after council gave Chief of Police, John Power, permission to inaugurate a 9 PM curfew beginning on September 19th and applying to all unaccompanied children. Police are also working on a school safety patrol which they hope to have in operation soon.
  • At the Canadian Weekly Newspapers Association annual meeting in Vancouver this paper will again be honoured as one of Canada’s leading journals. Last year the Free Press Herald, for the first time in the history of the competitions, won all three first prizes for Canada’s largest weekly, twice-weekly and tri-weekly papers. It ranked first as the best all round paper and was judged to have the best front page and best editorial page.
  • Ten years of free garbage collection, water and sewer services offered to the proposed Home for the Aged passed unanimously at Penetang Council
  • New high school ready by January, end of staggered classes
  • Food allotment for those on relief in Midland to increase by 10%. Total relief budget for 1955 is $12,000.00, 50 % of which is paid by the provincial government. There are 17 persons on relief at present, council was told

2006 0020 1365

 New officers in charge of Midland’s Salvation Army unit are Captain & Mrs. Ray Smith, formerly of New Liskeard. Shown here Sharon, 3, Brian, 8 and Barry 6

2006 0020 1374

 Top men for the day at Midland Golf & Country Club’s annual field day Sunday were Bill Howard and Doug Haig. Howard had a low net for 18 of 58 while Doug had a low gross of 77.

 2006 0020 1392

 Old time dancing headed by a group from Buffalo NY will be one of the attractions at the Tiny Tay Fall Fair this week. Among the groups taking part will be a square of 7 year olds from Regent School under the guidance of teacher Miss Helen Laidlaw. The children are, CCW from bottom left, Doreen Caston, Jerry Beteau, Elizabeth Bolt, Brian Merkley, Barbara Perry, Chester Graham, Janice Rutherford and Billy Argue. Chester is between his future wife Janice Rutherford and her aunt and class teacher Helen Laidlaw.

 2006 0020 1395

 Three top male athletes at Midland & Penetang District High School in track and field, results of the recent meet held Tuesday. Ron Larmand, intermediate, Bruce Calvert, senior and Bruce Bowen junior.

2006 0020 1396

Teachers in charge of athletics for the 374 boys at MPDHS; Emile Blouin track coach, W. C. Setterington head of the physical education department, Douglas Palmer and Doug Swales who will coach football.

 2006 0020 1397

Three girls won top honours in their divisions at the recent track and field meet at Midland Penetang District High School; Pat Fraser intermediate, Carol Cowan, junior and Judy DeNure, senior. They will be part of the team that will represent the school at the Thompson Track & Field Meet in Barrie on September 24th.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – Sept 15th to 30th 1955

  • OPP and Midland Police raid three concession stands at the Midland Fall Fair, seven persons arrested for operating a gambling devise, released on $500.00 bail each, three cars impounded
  • Patricia Grisé, 17 year old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Didace Grisé wins $1,200.00 Loretto Alumnae Scholarship, money will pay four years of university tuition. She obtained eight firsts and one second in her grade 13 departmental examinations this year. Her sister Kathleen won the same scholarship two years ago
  • New CKVR channel 3  signal is interfering with reception of channels 2 and 4 from Buffalo, Midlanders were never able to get steady reception of USA channels but those on Tower TV are also impacted until company can install necessary filters to allow all three channels to be received
  • O. H. Swan, 84 of Vasey has never missed a Tiny & Tay Fall Fair in 60 years
  • Trustees for SS No16, the one room Mountain School have a problem, the school can accommodate only 37 pupils but an average attendance of 40 is needed to apply for a second classroom
  • A gremlin raided the Free Press negative files and removed all those pertaining to the local fall fairs in 1955 before they were donated to the museum, there are excellent photos in the newspaper of parades and events but Huronia Museum received none of those negatives
  • Felix Turcotte, Board Chairman of the Penetang Hospital reports 2,143 admissions in the first year of operation, 200 major operations, 403 minor, 430 births, 170 blood transfusions
  • Imperial Oil honours local newspaper by selecting the Free Press Herald as one of five Ontario papers, three being Toronto dailies, to be included in the contents of a time capsule placed in the corner stone of their new 19 story office tower at Avenue Road and St. Clair Ave. W.
  • Midlanders will no longer hear the town fire siren, in the move to their temporary home in the Pratt building it was decided by council not to erect the siren but to use a radio warning systems to call firefighters
  • Excerpts from Horst Siegfried’s article in the Ernst Leitz employee’s magazine “Objectiv” after his time in Midland; “Life in Midland, which is actually situated in a huge park, is agreeable even in the winter months”, “Hacker’s store has a wide selection of German magazines and they are not even out of date”, “it is not an exaggeration to state that a car is the same as a bicycle or a motor scooter in Germany, the reason for this is, cars cost less”, “Sundays are quieter than in Germany but this rest does one a lot of good, it is reflected in the behaviour of the population, in their friendly greeting and conversation”, “there are not many soccer enthusiasts, during the winter fierce ice hockey battles serve as compensation”.
  • Globe Restaurant is advertising, “Enjoy television while you eat at the Globe”
  • Victoria Harbour residents to express their opinion by ballot on November 23, whether a Brewer’s Warehouse,  liquor store or beverage rooms should be established in the village, two previous votes in the last 15 years have been “NO”. (real issue is the canteen at the legion)
  • 25 Years Ago – two special trains brought 400 pilgrims from Peterborough to the Martyr’s Shrine – some features of the fall fair in 1930 were; mouth organ contest, baby show, old time car parade, girl’s softball tournament – Christian Island held its second annual fall fair – the S.S. Ralph Budd made her maiden voyage from Fort William to Midland with 243,000 bushels of oats and wheat
  • Simcoe County Warden Roy Hickling at a meeting of the Georgian Bay Development Association is quoted, “the liquor industry puts cents in one pocket and takes dollars out of another”, “We are suffering more from parental than juvenile delinquency. Fifty-two new liquor outlets have been opened in Simcoe County in the last few years and liquor is one of our biggest problems”, “at least half the time, of not only County Council but local councils as well, is taken up by welfare problems”, “it might be wise for taxpayers to double the amount spent on education thus reduce the adult welfare costs, specialized teachers might be needed”
  • The Free Press has over 60 correspondents and staff and five out of six homes in North Simcoe receive the paper, 5,000 copies per addition
  • George Lynn of Highland Point loses large barn and vegetable sheds to $17,000 fire
  • George Wismer, 80 year old Wyebridge resident, killed instantly when struck by a car while walking along Highway 27, twenty three year old Midland man charged
  • In 1953 the port of Midland unloaded 1,685,344 tons of grain, coal and gasoline, the most of any of the eight Georgian Bay ports. Port McNicoll handled the second largest, receiving 1,077,845 tons
  • In the past eight years primary school enrollment in Simcoe County has risen 45%. (now we have a name for it, the Baby Boom)
  • Ten Years Ago – The new club rooms for the Canadian Legion were opened at Dominion and Midland Avenue – ad in the September 26th Want Ads read, …wanted, wife, middle aged, for further particulars apply…

 Click on photos to enlarge:

2006 0020 1375

 Trophy winners at the Midland Golf & Country Club annual awards night, last Wednesday. Les Marsell, winner of the Strathspey trophy, emblematic of the men’s championship; Maurice “Moe” Beteau, with the Hugh Wallace Memorial Trophy; Mrs. H.L. Wilson won the Haig Rose Bowl and George Ross the O’Hare Trophy for senior play. 2006 0020 1381

 Midland Police  have moved from their location of the last fifty years in the old town hall on King Street to a temporary location in the Pratt building on Bay Street. Constable Ray Atkinson takes a call at his new desk, only complaint, no heat yet. 2006 0020 1378

 Pair win Pinchin Trophy. Newest trophy at the Midland Golf & Country Club has been donated by Dr. A. H. Pinchin, center, and is presented to Mrs. Jim Thomas and Bill Hack winners of the mixed two ball. 2006 0020 1352

 Fifty six ton excavator got in too deep, construction workers on the Trans Canada Highway 5 miles north of Port Severn worked day and night for ten days to free the unit from the mud that almost completely buried it. 2006 0020 1389

 Art Bath, veteran Midland business man tries out this 1860’s steel wheeled, wooden seated bicycle. Eric Eisenburg has it on loan from one of his bicycle suppliers and featured it at the recent fall fair.

2006 0020 1421

 Serious threat to fishing in the North Simcoe area, Sea Lamprey Eels have attacked both of these rainbow trout caught in the Sturgeon River. Reg Smith and Pete Pettersen point to marks left by eels.

The devastating impact of the sea lamprey on Great Lakes sport, commercial and Aboriginal fisheries in the 1940s and 50s led Canada and the United States to form the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in 1955. Since then the commission has led a program to assess and control the species using measures that target different stages of its life cycle. These include chemicals that selectively kill lamprey larvae, and barriers and traps that prevent adult lampreys from moving upstream to spawn.

Although it is likely impossible to eliminate the sea lamprey from the Great Lakes, ongoing efforts to control the species have reduced populations by 90 per cent. Unfortunately, the remaining sea lampreys continue to affect native fish species.   (taken from http://www.invadingspecies.com)

2006 0020 1355

RCSCC Huron got a new commanding officer Tuesday night when Lieut. Jack Harber, at the right, resigned from the post he has held since 1953, he has been a member since 1943. Sub-Lieut Robert McLeod is taking over. 2006 0020 1370

Ross Creser of RR 2 Markham collects the outboard motor boat he won in the Midland Intermediate Hockey Club draw. Jack Martin club president on the left makes the presentation with Jack Valliear team manager on right.


Mrs. James Dalziel died September 8th in her 97th year. She was born Edith Maud (Amanda) Archer in Elmvale, November 6th, 1858 and received her education there. She lived in Elmvale and Hillsdale for 52 years and the last 45 years in Midland. Lakeview Cemetery.

Mrs. Napolean Andrew Somers, a Midland resident for 55 years died September 8th in her home on Fifth Street. The former Catherine Rose Dubray was born in Quebec in 1874 and married Napolean Somers in Penetang in 1898. Survived by four daughters, Bertha, Mrs. Charles McKeown, Midland; Molly, Mrs. Angus Willette, Midland; Mary, Mrs. Earl McConkey, Toronto; Dolly, Mrs. John O’Hara, Midland. Three sons, Ernest, George and Bob all of Midland. St. Margarets Cemetery

John Alva Connor, a lifelong resident of Sturgeon Bay died September 12th in his 58th Year. Mr. Connor was born December 7th, 1900 and married Cora Brooks in 1927. Besides his wife he is survived by his mother Mrs. Oakley Connor, daughter Ann, Mrs. William Potter, sons, Oakley & Dale at home and Albert of Toronto. Also a brother, Ben Connor of Sturgeon Bay and sisters Hattie, Mrs. Willaim MacDonald and Katie, Mrs. William Crawford, both of Midland. Waubaushene Cemetery

A life well lived. 
A lifelong resident of Midland, Frederick Hill, died September 14th in St. Andrew’s Hospital. Mr. Hill was born on July 8, 1881, in a house on the property now occupied by the Alliance Tabernacle. He received his education in a wooden four room school on the site now occupied by Glen Mawr Frocks Ltd. At thirteen he quit school to help his father, the late Joshua Hill, operate the old American Hotel, then located across the street from the IGA store on King Street. The Hills ran the hotel from 1893 until 1903. After the hotel was sold Fred worked on a gold mining claim in the Haileybury area with the Turnbull brothers of Victoria Harbour. Later he worked for two years in the men’s furnishings department of the Playfair Preston Store. The Hills, junior and senior, acquired a 33 1/3 square mile timber site in the townships of Freeman and Conger on the Moon River in 1908. The company was first known as Hill and Demorest and was later changed to the Freeman Lumber Co. Ltd. A sports enthusiast, Mr. Hill played junior hockey, lacrosse and other sports. He speedskated and won several bicycle races. In 1942-43 he skipped one of the two rinks which brought to Midland the only provincial championship, the Governor General’s Trophy. Del Hastings skipped the other.  On February 14, 1912 he married the former Lena M. Garbutt in Arthur Ont. He was a member of the United Church and served several terms on Midland Council, including terms as Reeve and Deputy-Reeve. He is survived by his wife and two sons, Bert and Stanley. One son, Lawrence, pre-deceased him in 1938. Internment, Lakeview Cemetery.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – Sept 1 to Sept 13 1955

  • Shoe Corporation of America buys substantial interest in Fern Shoe Co., Midland Footwear Manufacturing Limited and Midland Industries Limited, announces Sydney Caplan, president of the three companies. Caplan purchased the old Adams Shoe Company plant in 1939 and moved his Fern Shoe Company to Penetang. After the war he moved the rest of his Toronto operation to a new plant on Elizabeth St. in Midland and now employs 350 people in the three operations
  • Simcoe County Council authorizes construction of a new 50 bed “old people’s home” in Penetang. After nearly three years of push and pull Penetang will get a new facility and the province will fund half of the cost and the old hospital will not be used
  • Department of Highways announces that Hwy 93 between Craighurst and Waverly will be paved
  • Tiffin elevator gets upgrades; slip is being dredged to a depth of 25 feet for 120 feet north and south and 200 feet out into the bay, a new transformer has been installed to accept the 44,000 Volt power now available, concrete flaws on the exterior of the grain silos have been repaired and new dust collectors installed
  • Effective August 31st the Church of England in Canada will be renamed the Anglican Church of Canada, the climax of 55 years of debate
  • Twelve Lafontaine residents who have chosen teaching as a career are leaving for their respective schools; Miss Mona Maurice, Ottawa; Miss Julia Brunelle, Windsor; Yolande Marchildon, Penetang; Armand Robitaille, Field; Olive Robitaille, Port Colborne; Howard McNamara, Capreol; Denis McNamara, Penetang; Patrick McNamara, Thunder Beach; Justin Maurice, Northwest Basin; Guy Laurin, Elk Lake; Henri & Cleo Desroches, Sarnia.
  • Thirty Four year old Paul Gignac of Perkinsfield died Friday morning under four feet of sand while digging a well at Balm Beach. Survived by his pregnant wife and four children, funeral services were held Monday morning, the date of his 35th birthday. His father Celeste Gignac who died 27 years ago was also buried on his 35th birthday and left a pregnant wife and four children.
  • St. Andrew’s Hospital appoints a committee to assist hospital office manager Alex Craig in controlling account receivables which have grown to $80,000.00. Government subsidies are too low to cover current charges, patients are often unable to pay the difference. Some accounts are going in for collection
  • Owing to the dry weather this summer many wells in Tiny have gone dry, on the Midland Road six families have been drawing one or two loads of water per day from the Penetang waterworks
  • 1,058 enrolled in Penetang primary schools, the Protestant Separate School has 208, 12 classes in the girls section of the Public School have 268 attending bilingual classes and 137 English classes. The boys section occupying four rooms of the old high school as well as their regular classes total 445

Click on Photos to Enlarge

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1955 may be known as the year of the peach in North Simcoe, good crops are reported. Nancy Lea 6, and her sister Mary Lea 8, daughters of Orr Lake forester Joe Lea admire some of the 75 peaches on their garden tree.

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Like their fathers and mothers before them these eight young golfers learn that no matter how long you stare at your score card the figures just don’t change. Participating in the first ever junior championship at the Midland Golf & Country Club these boys did well. Seated, Bill Moss, Stephen Bell and Sandy Campbell; standing, Peter Jackson, Bill Swann, David Bertrand, Paul Jackson and Winston Schell. Bertram emerged the winner with a 92 gross score. Bill Swann 96, Sandy Campbell 99, Peter Jackson 106. Hidden hole prizes were won by Campbell, Bell and Moss.

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Man sized Muskie, 46 inches, caught by Gordon Parker near Snake Island while trolling with a pikey minnow. The fish, held by Fred Howard, weighed 25 pounds.

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Mary Lou Edwards of Midland caught this 41 inch 18.5 pound muskellunge off Present Island with a Canadian wiggler. Fishing with her brother Bill Edwards, pictured here, they had to beach the fish to secure their catch. Bill caught a nine pound yellow pickerel on the same trip.

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New 50 ton weigh scale being installed at the Century Coal Dock on William Street in Midland. The addition was required for the large trucks now moving coal to Base Borden and the Ontario Hospital in Orillia.

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First day of school at Regent Public School. Five hundred and forty five children are enrolled this year, many pictured here are in the primary grades.

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Hugh Blair Construction is adding a second story to the Ernst Leitz Canada building on Ellen Street. New space will be used for offices and a research division, recently announced further addition to be built will be used for storage and shipping receiving.

 Ads of interest in this week’s paper;

  • Dorothy Swallow advertising Piano Theory – Fall Term Commencing September 6th
  • Gibson Company Main Street Penetang, change of ownership, now Economy Stores, same location
  • Ontario playoffs baseball, Midland Indians vs Georgetown Raiders, Midland Town Park, Sept 3rd, 3 P.M. Midland won at Georgetown 4-3 Watch them do it again
  • Under new management, LeCamp’s Clothing Store, Port McNicoll, formerly Patterson’s Store
  • Sunday Milk Delivery to be Discontinued Immediately – Penetang Dairy
  • Audrey’s Beauty Salon – Port McNicoll, Cold Wave (Lanolin) $4.75, Shampoo and finger wave $1.00, Haircutting and shaping .50cents
  • 39 plate, 12 volt, 80 – 96 ampere car battery at Canadian Tire, $7.95 with your old battery


  • Patricia Rosalie Hodges, Reg. nurse, and Edward Wallace Hook, Knox Presbyterian, August 20th
  • Fleurette V. Dupuis and Robert John Lynch, St. Ann’s Church, August 20th



Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – Aug 24th to 31st 1955

  • First full fledged strike, complete with pickets, ever to hit Penetang, started Friday noon when beverage room waiters and tap men formed a picket line outside the Brule Hotel
  • 30 Girl Guides from Penetang and Midland spent August 14th at Doe Lake, Huntsville, and met Lady Baden-Powell
  • C. Wansbrough, vice-president and managing director of the Canadian Metal Mining Association assures the Huronia Historic Sites and Tourist Association that he will restore to its former condition the Stephen Leacock estate, which he has just purchased for $50,000.00
  • Veteran ship engineer George W. Crossan describes the death of the Midland Queen, the first Great Lakes freighter to be sunk by a German submarine in WW1. Built in Scotland at the turn of the century for James Playfair’s Midland Navigation Company, the 245 foot canaller was sunk by submarine U68, 70 miles off Fastnet, Ireland. The German commander allowed everyone into lifeboats before shelling the Queen
  • Pete Pettersen tells a town hall meeting that Midland will host the Dominion ski jumping championship next year if $15,000.00 can be raised to complete the jump
  • Moving anyone? Mrs. Xavier Contois has a home which stood in Tay Twp. west of Eighth Street, just outside of Midland, it was moved over the boundary into Midland (no reason given), whose officials refused to have it there and it was then transported to Chatham Street in Penetang. When residents there complained the owner was ordered to remove it from Penetang and police escorted it to the town limits. It now sits on a lot in Tiny Twp. east of Howe’s Corner and is causing fiery debate at Tiny Council
  • Gordon Shakell of Horrell Avenue reports a good crop of peaches from his two trees, cites the very hot summer as the reason for his success
  • Free Press reporter Ken Somers interviewed Captain Ed Burke and they reviewed his salvage records from the busy years in the teens and twenties before radar, depth sounders and direction finders. It is a long list of dozens of grounded vessels, some close to home such as the Glenbogie at the Simcoe Elevator and the Manodock at the Tiffin
  • 1,600 wrestling fans pack the Midland Arena Gardens
  • Patriarch of Owen Sound’s Jewish community and father of Samuel Gadesky, Midland, Isaac Gadesky, 94, died in that city Monday. Survived by ten sons and one daughter
  • Restock Severn River and Tea Lake with over 300 Bass parent fish in an effort to increase stocks. Believed that the mature fish harvested from an over populated lake will produce better results than fry and fingerlings
  • 25 years ago this week –  One of Midland’s oldest landmarks, the original smithy owned by William Ney, was torn down. Only one anvil was still in operation by Mr. Ney in the brick building at the rear of the shop located near the corner of King and Bay   –   348 students enrolled in the Midland High School  –  Jory’s selling Ontario Public School readers for the 1930 school term, primary 4 cents, first reader 6, second reader 9, third reader 14 and fourth reader 16
  • High School will start with staggered classes in 1955 until the new school is ready; grades 10, 11, 12 will start at 9 AM and grades 9 and 13 will start at 1 PM
  • Some staggering of classes will be necessary for public school students as well due to the loss of Central School and until the old high school becomes available (Parkview); pupils west of King Street will attend Sixth Street School and those on the east side, Regent School
  • Johnstone’s advertising “Back to School Headquarters” school bags, pencil boxes, binders, scribblers, etc. (they also sold fishing equipment, we know them as Johnstone’s Music Land)
  • Fire on the farm of Gordon Strath, concession 13, Flos, caused $20,000.00 damage, destroyed the barn, implements, hay, grain and one calf. A horse which went wild and ran onto the road, collided with a car driven by William Curry of Waverly, injuring his two sons, Randall 16 and Lloyd 15. The horse was killed in the collision
  • Gray Coach Lines is offering round trip adult fare including admission to the CNE for $5.50. Leave Penetang, Stewart’s Service Station, 7:30 AM, leave Midland, Georgian Hotel, 7:45 AM and depart Toronto at 11:15 PM
  • Brickwork started on the new public school in Coldwater on Gray Street, expected completion date, December 31st, 1955
  • Two Balm Beach summer residents are reported to have drifted across Nottawasaga Bay Wednesday night when the engine of their motorboat quit, they landed near Meaford
  • Walter Van Luven born May 31, 1882 in Glen Major Ont. dies in St. Andrew’s Hospital August 17th. The Van Luven’s moved to Midland in 1908 where Walter worked for Chew Brother’s Mill, Tay Township and the CPR. Fifteen years ago they moved to Sunnyside. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Allison, his mother Mrs. Sarah Booth, brother Willis, sons Clifford and Kenneth and three daughters, Bernice, Beatrice and Gladys
  • Tobbacco pickers wanted at once, $12.00 per kiln and board, apply Octave Dorion, RR Utopia
  • Mr. & Mrs. Ken Taylor wish to announce the engagement of their only daughter, Mary Diane, to Kenneth William Hooper, son of Mr. & Mrs. William Hooper. Wedding will take place September 3rd at the home of the bride’s grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. John Quinlan, 325 Yonge Street
  • New hours for Penetang drug stores; Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, 9 AM to 8 PM; Wed, Sun & holidays, 9 AM to 12:30 PM  and  6:30PM to 8:00 PM Saturday 9 AM to 9 PM Hartt’s and Morrison’s

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With temperatures in the nineties hockey is far from most people’s minds except Jack Martin president of Midland’s Intermediate Hockey Club as he signs Ted Brady to the team. Defenseman Brady played for the Guelph Biltmores and the Scottish Hockey League. Looking on is Jack Valliear, upper left, team manager and Wm. MacArthur witness. The location is the lobby of the Georgian Hotel.

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This old bus once transported patrons for PMCL, it has now been bought by George Stanley, eldest son of Ben Stanley, to be used as a residence for his family at Camp Petawawa. George, 25, of Concession 3 Tay, painted and renovated the bus when he found housing both scarce and expensive at the military base. George’s wife Patricia (nee Bell from Halifax) and son Robert are seen inside their portable home.

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The Hyatt home was the scene of a triple shooting early Saturday morning. Awaiting trial on three counts of  assault causing bodily harm and one of attempted murder is their boarder, Albert Casey. Chief William Nicholas examines the bedroom where a pool of blood covers the floor. Archie Hyatt, his wife and son were all wounded by Albert Casey after a dispute over money. Archie Hyatt is the new manager of the plastics division of Midland Industries. (If you live in Midland you may recognize this home but may not be able to place it?)

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 Four of the prize winners in Friday night’s carnival fundraiser on King Street sponsored by the Intermediate Hockey Club are pictured here, Joyce Walker, Benje Karsh, Bjorn Pettersen and Joan Charlesbois. Threatening rain kept attendance down.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – Aug 8th to 23rd 1955

  • Tiny Township fires its road superintendent, Leslie Spring, over “defiance of councils orders” and a long standing issue regarding the repair of Hurricane Hazel damage.
  • Penetang telephone subscribers take to new dial system, very few dialing errors after Sunday morning changeover
  • Two inches of rain in Coldwater breaks long dry spell, James Lazonby’s official records show that in the first week of August the temperature rose to over 90 every day but one, June and July saw only 2 1/4 inches of rain
  • 10 years ago this week the “Hickory Lake” Penetang built minesweeper left Canada to become part of the Russian Navy –  and  –  Midland Council was asking that 25 more wartime houses be built for returning veterans. Fifty such houses had already been built
  • At the air-conditioned Pen Theatre, Randolph Scott in “The Bounty Hunter”. At the Roxy, Bob Hope in “The Seven Little Foys”
  • Leacock home on Brewery Bay put up for sale by Toronto realtor
  • July 30th, Evelyn Marie Beausoleil, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Jerome Beausoleil of Penetang marries James Gordon Walker, son of Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Walker, Midland
  • Wilfrid Jury estimates Forget Site Huron Village near Wyebridge to be 700 years old, no sign of European contact, one longhouse is 154 feet
  • Pioneer lumberman Harry Shanacy dies as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident near the Shrine, employed by the James Playfair Lumber Co. and later in partnership with D. S. Pratt in the firm of Pratt and Shanacy
  • Garnet E. Tanner advises that he has sold the apartment block he built 25 years ago to Messrs. Earl Cumming, Ernie Nicholson and Bill Orr. Built on what was formerly known as the Horrell property the building contains 15 units and the sale includes five houses
  • Letter from 84 year old W. W. Sneath of Toronto – “I was born in Penetang and remember the old trading store of Thompson’s which each year was visited by the Doukis Indians who came to trade their furs and maple products and who owned a lot at the foot of Main St. where they pitched their tents. I also remember quite well an Indian Village on Beausoleil Island. My sister was a public school teacher in Penetang for many years.”
  • The summer months in Huronia are filled with drownings, we tend not to list them but, Wasaga Beach recorded its worst weekend with seven drownings at the beach on Sunday
  • Petty crime and vandalism rampant in the area this summer, over the weekend the Midland Library, the YMCA, the Arena Gardens, the Indian Village, Daniell’s Welding Service , two cars at the Shrine and George Paterson’s store in Port McNicoll were broken into
  • 25 years ago – Great Britain was considering the establishment of a regular air service to Canada
  • 3,848 pounds of course fish removed from Waubaushene Bay, destroyed by the Department of Lands and Forests during a recent study of the fishing conditions there. Included, carp, dogfish, suckers and gar. About four thousand fish were handled during the week long operation
  • July 30th wedding at St. Margaret’s, Margaret Jo-Ann Paradis, only daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Paradis, Midland, married Herman Armond Lacroix, third son of Mr. & Mrs. D. J. Lacroix of Midland.
  • Penetang court docket unusual, there were no drunk in public or impaired driving charges which usually take up so much of the court’s time
  • Officers of the Ontario Barbers’ Association of Midland – Penetang – Port McNicoll – Victoria Harbour zone announced an increase in the price of haircuts , effective Monday, adult cut going up 10 cents, 15 cents for children on Saturdays and 25 cents for brushcuts and shaves
  • Midland will miss Art Macksey who is moving to Toronto, in 48 years he has clipped a lot of us and made us like it
  • Keith Waples of Victoria Harbour was the leading driver during the 35 day summer harness meet at Woodbine Track. Waples piloted 19 winners to win the Carling Trophy
  • Midland Point resident N. F. Beck complains that every day he has to rake up garbage on his beach, he sent this paper a box full of food garbage such as orange peels, corn cobs, etc. Wonders if it comes from steamers or pleasure craft
  • Bonnie Bannan of Vasey tops in Grade 13 departmental examinations, wrote ten papers, nine firsts and one second
  • Work on paving County Road 6 between Penetang and Lafontaine was completed last week

 Click photos to enlarge

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Local Scouts wait to board a bus to take them to the 8th World Scout Jamboree at Niagara on the Lake. Seated, Robert Sallows second Victoria Harbour; Allan Walker, 3rd Midland; Gary Hamelin, 2nd Penetang; standing, Paul Dion, 2nd Penetang; Wayne Hook, 1st Penetang; Roger Attridge, 1st Midland; Bob Desroches, 2nd Penetang; Rodney McNamara, 2nd Midland and George Duquette, 2nd Penetang.

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Sidewalk superintendents keep a close watch as the first piles are driven for the new Bell Telephone exchange and office building at Midland and Hugel Avenues. It was an added step when it was discovered that the ground was wet and unstable. The machine is placing large wooden timber mats upon which it can traverse the wet ground. Bourgeois Motors can be seen in the background.

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About 30 Midland Scouts helped in the search Wednesday for Gilbert Perrault, the 36 year old Midland man who has been missing since Monday night. Scouts searched the area around the CSL winter berth under the direction of Howard Deschamps while police and friends dragged the water of the nearby bay.

Gilbert, a town of Midland employee, had left his part time job as a caretaker at Dr. Grise’s office at about 10 PM to go to his home at Fifth and Ontario and has not been seen since. He is the father of five children and the son of Mr. & Mrs. Albert Perrault of 79 Water St., Penetang. His body was later found in the bay, it was his habit to walk along the trestle between the Town House and the CSL winter berth and it is assumed he fell from it.

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Copeland Flour Mills has been experimenting with this new truck, a first in Canada and one of the few in the world. 40,000 pounds of flour can be unloaded in 45 minutes eliminating bagging and handling. Front, Bill Beeton of Copeland’s, H. L. Wilson director of sales Copeland’s, Wilf Hampson of Fruehauf Trailers. Back row; John Courtemarche of Copeland’s, Ken Stack manager of Wilson’s Transport, owners of the truck and trailer, William H. Pinchin general manager of Copeland’s Flour Mills Limited and Ken Dwytie of Fruehauf’s.

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Midland Branch 80, Royal Canadian Legion carnival parade Friday night down King Street  from the curling rink, hundreds of people lined the street. Midland Citizens Band and a fire truck led the parade. Judges were Mayor Charles Parker, Don Swinson, Helen Laidlaw and Miss Margaret Duffet. In this group can be seen, Carol Scott, Margaret Langevin, Karen Clark, Wayne Hamelin, Gerald Karch, Joseph Proulx, Shirley Proulx, Wendy Watering, Karen Labatt and Pamela Clark.

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Legion carnival parade winner Brian Hamelin receives money he won from Legion official Len Wiles. Legion Carnival Parade was held as a fundraiser for the Christmas cheer fund for children.

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Preceded by Rev. Charles Carter the flag draped coffin of Capt. Robert Mitchell is borne from Bonar Presbyterian Church  by officers of the Keewatin which the veteran mariner captained on his retirement in 1954. Six Legion members form an honour guard down the steps.

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This photo was not used in the newspaper but the individual officers were pictured. Charles Beeman  of Midland on the right, whose resignation from the OPP was effective August 15th, 1955, a member of that force for 8 1/2 years.  Constable Bert Banting,  left and Cpl. Blake Ball, center, all three Provincial Police officers are from the Victoria Harbour  office.

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Kneeling in prayer at the tomb of St. Jean de Brebeuf at Fort Ste. Marie 1 is a group Huron Natives from Loretteville,  Quebec, who made the pilgrimage to the Martyr’s Shrine over the weekend. Leading the prayer on the left is Father Adrian Poulliot S. J. who organized the pilgrimage. Natives are descendants of Huron’s who escaped massacre by the Iroquois.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – Aug 1st to 7th 1955

  • Sizzling cities send record crowds to resorts in Georgian Bay area, southern Ontario temperature nearly 100 degrees, 900 visits to Midland Chamber of Commerce on weekend, stays open until midnight Saturday, 35 extra homes opened rooms, 1,400 visit Indian Village
  • Roger Desroches, 9, son of Mr. & Mrs. Roland Desroches, recently of Cty Rd. 6, Lafontaine, drowns at MacLean Beach, Toronto
  • Basil Savage, 15, spending the weekend at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Sib Brodeur was badly burned when gas ignited while he was attempting to start a car, quick action by Forbes MacKenzie saved him from more serious burns
  • Third break in at Midland Drive-In within a year
  • Bill Swann, 13, son of Doug Swann, scores an ace on the 8th hole at Midland Golf & Country Club
  • 25 years ago, 1930, the opening of paved streets in Elmvale was celebrated with a giant street dance and sports day
  • Enrollment at Midland Y’s Men’s Club summer playground program hits 300, up more than 100 from last year
  • Clarke & Alvin French of Waverly, both crew on the S. S. Heron Bay, are home off their ship due to lack of water in the rivers that supply the pulp wood she carries
  • Letter to the editor – in last week’s paper you featured two photos of the City of Dover in Honey Harbour, has no one noticed the Union Jack is upside down
  • Ambrose Samuel Moreau died at his home in Penetang July 17th. Born in Randolph in 1880 and educated in Lafontaine Mr. Moreau spent 50 years in Randolph and 25 in Penetang. In 1906 he married Flora St. Amant in Victoria Harbour. Survived by sons, Herbert, Claude and Earl and eight daughters, Laura, Rita, Agatha, Isabelle, Gladys, Hortense, Berthe and Theresa
  • Norman F. Townes, 46, former resident of Flos and son of Frank Townes and the late Ida Tweedle, drowned July 25th in the Calumet River when the steamer Helena capsized
  • Raleigh 3 speed bikes from $49.95 at Olympic Sporting Goods, Midland
  • Wedding July 30th, St. Paul’s United, Evelyn Marie Beausoliel, daughter of Jerome, Penetang and James Gordon Walker, second son of Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Walker, Midland
  • Donald Moran of Toronto catches 17 inch bass off the shipyard dock using a perch minnow, fish weighed over 5 pounds
  • Clarence Crawford, son of Mr. & Mrs. Bert Crawford caught in wind and drifts two miles from Canadian Name Plate plant to Triple Bay on a car tube, rescued by William Hebner and Irvin Ball and reported to police by Harold Jackson. His mother said he came home for dinner Monday but never mentioned the incident
  • Married 55 years, John Stacey and Gertrude Chase were married in the parsonage of the Presbyterian Church in Penetang, August 1, 1900. They have farmed near Wyebridge, Vasey and Wyevale and currently live on Conc. 5, Medonte. Children are Tom, Midland; Ernest, Wyebridge; John & Orval farming in Medonte, daughter Arlette, Mrs. Charles Tobey and Viola, Mrs. John Nicholson, Midland
  • Used car buy of the week at Bourgeois Motors – 1949 Morris Convertible, good body, motor and tires, $250.00

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 This class of “big tadpoles” girls shows instructor Mary Morren of Barrie they really have learned the proper way to kick. Picture was taken at Rumbles Mill, Hillsdale. Among the girls are Ann Reid, Margaret Edenhuis, Gail Tinney, Sharon Gillespie, Sharon Rumney, Susanne Troughton, Mary Pottage, Linda Cook and Joan Kendall. Most live around Hillsdale. On Mondays and Thursdays children from Elmvale, Allenwood, Waverly and Saurin, 120 strong receive their swimming instructions here.

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About 220 children have had swimming instructions so far this summer at Rumbles Mill in Hillsdale. Instructors are supplied by Simcoe County Recreation Service but donations by Hillsdale residents have played a big part in the program. Ron Chantler of Ivy is the instructor for this “fish group” which includes; Gordon McArthur, Coulson; Larry Drennan, Hillsdale; Barbara Hill, Hillsdale; Mary McArthur, Coulson; Mary Turner, Elmvale. About 100 children from Hillsdale, Mount St. Louis, Coulson, Vasey and 2nd line Flos were included in the Wednesday program. 

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 Alex Stewart of Orr Lake winner of the 10-hp hydroplane class at the Victoria Harbour regatta. Due to a false start he had to win the race twice.

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Large crowd filled every vantage point at the annual Victoria Harbour Regatta Monday. Community Center Board sponsored the event. Seated on the boat, Frances Brodeur, Victoria Harbour and Joyce Rutherford, Midland.

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A very successful annual regatta in Victoria Harbour thanks to the work of Bill Warren, “Jake” Atkinson both of Midland, Mrs. Gordon Gouett and Carson Keeler. Mrs. Gouett is the chairman of the Community Center Board which sponsored the event. Bill Ball and Bill Quinlan absent for the photo are also board members.

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Pictured on the stairway (Rear of the Preston Playfair building) leading to RCSCC “Huron” Midland these young sea cadets are ready to start on the first phase of their 1,400 mile trip to Nova Scotia. Boys will travel by PMCL coach to Orillia and by train from there to Camp Protector, Point Edward Naval Base, Sydney. Lieut. Jack Harber checks over the list of names that include, Doug Ladoucer, Jack Dalziel, Teddy King, Bob Therrien, Roger Chevrette, Bobby Fournier, Ross Lavigne, Francis Cadieux, John Cowie, John Ellsmere, Robert Beauchamp, Lloyd Leduc, Zgmut Przybysewski, Leo Therrien, Alvin Legault, Wilf McIlvarey, David Dusome, Pete Davis and Wilfred Lacroix. Bill Pelletier was unable to go due to illness.

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Francis “Dubby” Lowes had his name drawn at the Midland Minor Hockey Association carnival Friday night. Mr. Lowes works at the Midland elevator and lives at 107 Fifth Street. He is seen receiving the keys to his first car from J.G. Hendrikson as his wife and daughter Joy and Darlene watch.

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Flames consume the remains of Boyd Brown’s barn on Monday night, hay and grain was lost and barn was partially insured. Lot 9, 4th Concession, Medonte, $20,000.00 loss.

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Large crowds jam Little Lake Park over the entire holiday weekend. High heat and humidity drove people from the cities where temperature hit 100 degrees. Many people here preferred to stay under the trees and listen to Marilyn Bells progress as she swam the English Channel.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – July 16 to 30th 1955

  • New telephone exchange on Hugel Avenue is delayed due to shortage of steel, Barrie contractor Emery Engineering and Contracting Ltd. indicated that extensive foundation work is necessary due to quick sand on the site
  • Prolonged drought sears farmland, farmers having to feed hay, grain is ripening too quickly and the local potato crop is at a critical stage of development. PUC may ban watering entirely, upper pond only half full (at this time Midland received all of its potable water from the springs and reservoirs along Vindin Street)
  • City of Dover having to turn away passengers due to capacity limits
  • Marriages; Lois Henderson and Jules Arbour, St. Anns; Laura Nina McLinchy and Duncan Wilson, St. Mark’s Anglican; Nancy Kinnear and Joseph Barron, North River United Church.
  • Ernst Leitz Canada Ltd. announces further construction, optical research department grows as senior scientists move here from Wetzlar, payroll now over $250,000.00
  • Town buys Pratt barn on the north side of Bay Street at Queen St. and three lots on Queen St. to house public works and temporarily police and fire departments, until new building on Dominion Ave. is completed. Price $15,500.00
  • Tourist bonanza, all accommodations sold out, cruises, museums, Shrine, all report over flow crowds, 1,200 people visit Indian Village in three days, local theater sets box office record. “What are we going to do next weekend, on the August holiday” was the question posed by Mrs. Lyna Rankin of the Penetang Chamber of Commerce
  • Albert L. Breithaupt, 84, uncle of local industrialist and Ontario’s lieutenant governor Louis Breithaupt drowns in a boating accident near Whalens, deceased’s boat struck by Honey Harbour water taxi
  • Nap Beauchamp, local contractor buys Hotel Commodore from current owner Fred Breakwell, August 1. Formerly known as the Northern Hotel, the name was changed when Mr. Breakwell took over several years ago
  • Tidewater elevators filled to the brim, cause local freighters to sit loaded in Midland Harbour, delayed two weeks, Lemoyne may not be unloaded
  • Fifty Hurons from Loretteville QC will make a pilgrimage in August to Huronia, plan to visit Martyrs Shrine, St. Ignace, St. Joseph and St. Louis where their ancestors once lived as well as Christian Island
  • “We are more than pleased with the Midland district labour force and the general attitude and application of the staff to their jobs, quite frankly it is much better than we anticipated when we moved from Toronto seven months ago.” said Gord Moss, president of Canadian Name Plate. 37,000 square foot plant employs 180 people (by this time next year they will be on strike)

 Again we have a shortage of negatives for the last two weeks of July, is Ken Somers on holiday? Pictures in the paper at this time were submitted by others or staff photos from Penetang, neither of which we the have originals of. We have gone back and photographed recent Penetang items from the paper, the quality is poor, but hopefully the content is of interest.                                                



Diving tower installed at Penetang’s red dock this summer has provided plenty of sport for those looking for relief from the scorching heat. With staggered boards it is possible for all to use it at once safely. David Hook on the bottom board, Stanley Legault, middle, Alvin Legault on the top. Tower was built from used material by Wilkie Garraway. (Staff photo)



The gas boat Julie F. of Midland goes back into the river at the top after crossing the portage at the Big Chute. Summer visitors find the operation of the marine railway a never ending source of interest. And still do. (Staff Photo)

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Opponents in the finals of the club championship in the ladies section of the Midland Golf and Country Club this year were Miss Margaret Robinson and Mrs. Cecil English. Mrs. English won and received the Jeffery Championship Trophy.


City of Dover approaches the government dock at Honey Harbour on her daily afternoon cruise which gives passengers a fine view of the Delawana Inn on the right and the Royal Hotel on the left. (Photo by Dorothy Bushmann)


Public School League high singles champs Tom Lancaster, 285, and Alfreda Devillers, 252.


Public School Bowling League playoff winners with their trophies, front, Ron Marchildon and Tom Lancaster, back row, Brian Dubeau, Rene Moreau and Doug Sanderson.


Teen aged bowlers in Penetangs Public School League, Alan Trudeau, David Dusome, Joe Robitaille, Willard Garraway and seated, captain Wilfred Lacroix.            


Surrounded by 30 former students who have graduated in the last ten years from the Lafontaine Continuation School are this years graduates, Viviane Marchildon, daughter of Achille Marchildon, and Leo Marion, son of Mr. & Mrs. Herman Marion. Graduates  in center wearing white gowns and mortar boards. George Johnston, the local MLA and Rev. Thomas Marchildon, pastor of Holy Cross Church, stand behind the graduates. (Photo by Rolfoto)


This group of smiling graduates and their young attendants are the senior class from Sacred Heart School being photographed following graduation exercises at St. Margaret’s Church. (Photo by Rolfoto)



Gold medalist in the 1955 class of graduates from Barrie’s Royal Victoria Hospital School of Nursing were Mary Jeanne McKay of Midland, at left, Norah Jean Forbes of Owen Sound, center, won the prize for highest standing in obstetrical nursing and Audrey Marie Murray of Victoria Harbour, who received top honours for bedside nursing. (Barrie Examiner photo by Favero)


Agnes Jean McConnell was one of three Midland girls who graduated this year from the Royal Victoria Hospital’s school of nursing. (Barrie Examiner photo by Favero)



A dance recital held by the students of Audrey McLeod at the YMCA last week played to a full house. Mrs. McLeod can be seen at the far right of the back row. (photo by Lorne Watson)



Quebec has no monopoly on quaint scenes such as this where home made bread is baked in an outdoor oven. Removing the tasty looking loaf on a “paddle” is Mrs. William Moreau of Concession 11, Tiny. Girl beside her was not identified. (Photo by Favero)


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – July 8th to 15th 1955

     A. “Deen” McGill was only a teenager 45 years ago when he drove his father’s model “T” to Toronto and back in June of 1910. His father, Dr. H. R. McGill who practised in Elmvale and Hillsdale before coming to Midland bought the car from the late J. C. McMurtry who actually was a grocer but had the Ford franchise on the side, later establishing a garage of his own. There were no highways at that time, no 12, 27 or 11 and the existing roads were gravel or sand all the way to Toronto. Starting at 7 A.M. the first stop was Faragher’s Hotel in Waverly where Deen dutifully drained the hot water from the radiator, refilled it and checked the oil. In 1910 it was standard practise to add a quart of oil for every five gallons of gas used. Gas was 20 cents a gallon. The Ford got around 20 miles to the gallon and averaged 18-20 miles per hour, thirty was tops in those days. Next stop was Hillsdale where the ladies visited Frawley’s Store, one of the district’s largest. It was nearly 10 A.M. when the Midland tourists pulled up in front of the Queen’s Hotel in Barrie. Here Deen included cleaning the four spark plugs as part of his maintenance routine. Then to Bradford and Holland Landing where a toll road was encountered. Charges were ten cents for cars, five for horse and buggy and one cent for bicycles. Aurora and Richmond Hill then down Yonge Street turning at College and going over to their destination at Broadview and Girard, arrival time, one P.M. “We used to figure 6 hours to Toronto including stops,” said Deen. The return trip the next day was also uneventful, no breakdowns, no flat tires. Dr. McGill later sold the car and bought a horse and buggy but in 1913 purchased another new Ford.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – July 1st to July 7th 1955

   CFOR, Orillia radio station, ups its power, ad reads; “You’ll hear us better, We’ll be clearer, We’ll be stronger, It’s a more powerful, More Penetrating CFOR Dial 1570, going to 5,000 watts this Saturday July 2nd.”
Tune in for Midland Community Cavalcade 4:05 to 4:30 PM featuring Midland talent. Penetang Community Cavalcade 5:05 to 5:30 PM featuring Penetang talent. Hear Scotty Attridge with Midland Melodies daily at 11:30 to 12:00 noon.
   Little more than four hours after he had arrived in Midland for a holiday Monday night with his family George H. Preston, 51, of Chatham Ont. was struck and fatally injured by a motor car. A 23 year old Lindsay Street resident has been charged with criminal negligence and careless driving.
  Having walked to the Parkside Inn for a snack Mr. Preston, his wife and 9 year old son were walking in a westerly direction along Hwy 12, a continuation of Yonge Street on their way back to the Shamrock Motel when he was struck by a car passing another in the same direction.

   Midland Council gives formal approval to the construction of a new $160,000.00 town hall on the site of the former Central School. Entering the building by the main entrance off Dominion Ave. the visitor will be able to reach either of the two floors in the east wing by going up or down short flights of stairs. To the right, or west, is the main council chamber capable of seating between 200 and 224 persons. Starting from the southeast corner provision has been made on the top floor of the east wing for offices of the school inspector, Children’s Aid Society, the mayor, engineer, assessor and the municipal departments, as well as storage and washrooms. Plans for this floor also include a family court room. The council chamber will double as a court room. Housed on the ground floor of the east wing are the Chamber of Commerce offices, the police and fire departments, a band room and the boiler room. There will be room for the present two fire trucks and one more larger vehicle. Provision for six jail cells has been made including one for the lady guests.
  Total floor area will be 16,000 square feet at an estimated cost of $10.00 per square foot.
   Bulk Milk Hauling Plan Hits Local Producers – Bulk milk hauling introduced by Barrie’s Lakeview Dairy has cut off a number of North Simcoe producers. The dairy had 99 local suppliers, now the number has been reduced by two thirds. Only two suppliers in Vasey and one in Waverly are equipped to sell to the Barrie firm. Reeve Roy Hickling explained that under the bulk plan milk is picked up every second day in a truck that weighs 30 tons loaded, no individual cans are used. Each supplier has to spend about $2,500.00 for extra cooling equipment and will have to improve their farm lanes to handle the large milk truck and keep them plowed in the winter. Those cut off will be helped by the extra demand from tourists in July and August.

Click on Photos to Enlarge
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Two car accident, one of five in the area over the weekend, Hwy 12 near the Old Fort Road, station wagon driven by John Hartford of Port McNicoll and the car driven by Helen Butzer of 286 (308) Queen St. Injured was Roy Smith of 211 (233) King Street.
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Organized picnic for the sightless. Over one hundred blind persons from all over Simcoe County and their escorts attended a picnic in Little Lake Park on June 29th. Advisory committee members, Ed Broomfield, Orillia; A. H. Tweedle, Midland; Bill Murdock field secretary, Barrie; Art Pugh, Barrie; Jack Walton, Orillia; Lorne Ball, Victoria Harbour and Gilmour Nesbitt, Midland.
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“All dolled up and going places“ Midland Indians in their new uniforms, John Hill, Paul Dubeau, Murray Yorke, Dave Hart, Floyd McDermid, Jack Hendrikson, George Gouett, Jim Lemieux, J.B. Robitaille, Joe Faragher, Morley Shaw, “Buck” Rogers, Harold Jackson, manager, Herb Beauchamp and Bev Wilson. Bat boys, Bob Jackson and Kevin Rogers.
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American League Champions, Cleveland Indians, gather around their coach. Back row, Buzz Deschamp, Wayne Morrisson, Paul Crawford, John Armstrong and Bob Abbott. Front, Bob Hendrikson, Garnet Haines coach and Sheldon Haines team captain. Absent, Gary Keeler, Frank Koening and William Offord.
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Senior boy and girl merit awards were presented by the Midland Home & School Association before a capacity crowd in the Midland District High School auditorium. Presented by Mrs. Allan Perkins, past president of the association. Mary Ann Nicholson, Regent School, Carol Ann McConnell, Sixth Street School, George Haskill Jr., Regent School and Frank Okenka, Sixth Street.
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First internment in the Union Cemetery in Victoria Harbour is recorded on this stone in the Stewart family plot. Made in 1880, it was Joseph Stewart, nine year old son of Mr. & Mrs. David Stewart. Board secretary Lorne Ball and Chairman Alvin Crooke examine the grave stone.

  • Lad falls 25 feet onto rocks, Bjorn Pettersen, 11, son of Mr. & Mrs. Pete Pettersen fell from a diving tower in Penetang Bay and was taken to the local hospital, none of his injuries were serious
  • County Council approves use of old Penetang Hospital as a home for the aged, work to begin soon (Georgian Manor)
  • Indian Village sees 1,500 visitors over the holiday weekend
  • City dwellers seek escape from heat, temperatures in the 90’s brought record numbers of tourist to North Simcoe over the holiday weekend, on Sunday alone 1,863 cars entered Little Lake Park, all accommodations were full
  • A record crowd attended the eighth annual regatta in Waubaushene July 1st sponsored by the Waubaushene Chamber of Commerce
  • William Pheasant launches a new supply boat on the lower Severn River, there has been no such service for several seasons although Bush’s Boat Livery provided periodic service. In the past White’s of White’s Fall and Alf Brodeur operated supply boats on the river
  • 25 years ago – a new service station at King and Bay Streets had been opened. J. L. Craighead was the manager
  • All public and separate school promotions from both Penetang, Midland, Port, Waubaushene and Victoria Harbour were listed in the July 6th Free Press, congratulations Donny Hurlbut who passed from kindergarten to grade one
  • ConductorHarry Norton, a native of Penetang, ends his 44 year career with the CNR as he completes his final run from Allandale to Penetang
  • Wed fifty years – Mr. & Mrs. Ida Quesnelle, Penetang, both born on farms in Tiny Twp, lived most of their lives on a farm near MacIlvalley school. Three sons, Joseph, Romeo, and Roger, five daughters, Mrs. Art Bellisle, Mrs. Lionel Marchildon, Mrs. A Pilon, Mrs. Alex Cusson and Miss Loretta.
  • Plan to double the capacity of Midland Industries Limited new manager Archie Hyatt reveals, currently employs 55, that number will increase with expansion
  • Three year old Lafontaine child swallows a bottle of Aspirin tablets and survives after having stomach pumped. Dr. Mackenzie attributes the recently eaten meal in her stomach for preventing the pills from dissolving too quickly
  • Meredith Vasey, esteemed Port McNicoll merchant, son of Mr. & Mrs. William Vasey, Medonte pioneers, dies at the age of 61. Survived by his wife Mabel Fagan and son Lennox
  • Old swimming hole at the Red Dock gets a facelift with a new float and diving tower plus dressing rooms and toilets
  • Comic strips in the Free Press in July – Blondie, Pogo, Muggs and Skeeter, Elsworth
  • Notice – Open this Weekend – Swann’s Garage and Henry Laurin’s Shell Service Station, Hugel Ave West, Phone 583J
  • Mr. & Mrs. F. C. Rawn, Wyebridge, owners of the Wyebridge General Store, retired July 1st after operating the store for 20 years. The business has been sold to Mr. & Mrs. John O’Mally, recently from Temagami
  • Announcement – Dr. Ike T. Weldon wishes to announce that he can be reached at his summer cottage for emergency and night calls during July and August. Phone Midland 628J1
  • Use the right bait to catch the Big Ones, lures and live bait, Johnstone’s basement store
  • Ulmique Fur Processors Limited Penetang advertising Davey Crockett Caps and Shoes, also free estimates on fur coats given in your home by our expert Bob Voorzanger. Phone Midland 1646W or Penetang 391 and he will visit you without obligation on your part
  • A special train of Hamilton pilgrims visited Martyr’s Shrine Sunday. They were greeted at Shrine Station by Rev. John F. McCaffrey, S. J. director of the Shrine

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Well known Tiny Township residents Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Lyons celebrate fifty years of married life spent on the same farm in the Wyebridge Wyevale area. Mrs. Lyons sister Mrs. Sarah Guest stands behind the couple, she has been a Midland resident of thirty years.
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Doug Swales, director of the Midland Y’s Men’s Club summer playground program, watches over a group of boys choosing sides for a ball game.
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 Miss Genevieve Doyle a teacher at St. Mary’s Separate School in Midland for three years and Sacred Heart for nine years has taken a position in Oshawa this fall. Held in high esteem, she is receiving a presentation from Nelson Cote and Jane Campbell, two of her grade 4 pupils.



Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – June 24th to 30th 1955


New Sault Ste. Marie owners decide 30,000 island area better bet than the northern run planned between the Sault and Michipicoten. Dover will run daily, three hour cruises from Midland but will not carry freight or make scheduled passenger stops. Evening cruises are planned as well. Captain Anson Smith has been engaged to return the Dover to Midland.

Remember those area news columns (gossip) in the local paper:

Wyebridge – Mrs. Bob Lambie and Patsy of Elmvale were guests of Mrs. Ellsworth Collins on Tuesday; Mrs. Alex Van Camp, Mrs. Dave Somers, Toronto, and Mrs. Hollern of Niagara Falls visited Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Eakley, Sunday etc.

Sunnyside – Visiting Mr. & Mrs. Walter Van Luven on Sunday were Mr. & Mrs. Howard Therrien and son Ivan, Mr. & Mrs. Billy Therrien and baby of Toronto, Mr. & Mrs. Raymond  Therrien and daughter Debbie of Penetang and Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Zoschke and son Walter of Midland Point, etc.

 Coldwater – Mr. & Mrs. Allan Davis and children and Miss Helen Aitcheson, all of Toronto, spent the weekend at the Tipping cottage, “One Eye Point”, Matchedash Bay, etc.

Waubaushene – Mrs. Charles Tucker spent the weekend visiting relatives in Beaverton and attended  the wedding of her niece; Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Tucker spent a day last week in Toronto, etc. 

Elmvale – Mrs. William Watson is spending a few days with her mother Mrs. Martin Beardsall, Mr. & Mrs. E. Arthur Copeland were in Toronto last Thursday to attend the convocation at Osgoode Hall when their son Robert who received his degree of barrister-at-law and was called to the bar, etc.

Vasey – Mr. & Mrs. Wray Faint and Douglas of Midland spent Sunday with Mr. & Mrs. Frank Rumney. Miss Marion McClung underwent an appendectomy, etc.

There were also reports from Lovering, Hobart, Perkinsfield, Victoria Harbour, Lafontaine, Melduf, Hillsdale, Penetang, Wyevale, Waverly

 Click photos to enlarge

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 Tops in their age group, members of the Richmond Virginians were winners of the International League title in Saturdays playoffs. Front, Bill Doherty, Billy Mackie, Arnold Belfry, Ron Church, David McLaughlin, Richard Mohan, Gary French. Back row, C.O. Marshall coach, Bob Matthews, Dick Matthews, David Lamb captain, A. Dagg and Rev Len Self League director.

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 Midland’s first major band award was won in Waterloo on Saturday, the Provincial championship for class 2 brass bands. The group beat out national champs the Metropolitan United Church Band and the Orillia Silver Band that has held the provincial title for three years. Back row, Hugh Smith, Bert Martin, John McAllister, John McAllister Sr., Charles Palmer, David Henry, George Haskill Jr., Garv Campbell and Tom Bell. Middle row; Shirley Wiles, Helen Smith, Lorne Belcher, Charles Gordon, Don Eplett, Bob Thompson, Clinton Truax, John Richardson, Bill Bates, Kay Kirkup, Clifford Brown, Peter McHugh, Norm Jackson, Kay Munday and Patsy Perrin. Front row, kneeling, Elaine Munday,  seated, Mayor Charles Parker, Bandmaster Al Hume, kneeling, Barbara Nichols, seated, Vern Holyrod and alderman Clinton Smith of the band committee and Shirley Silver kneeling. Absent were Jim Nicholson, Virginia Bath, Isabel Stewart, Joanne Bell and Clifford Flanagan who directed the band.

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First large raft of logs to be put over the dam at Port Severn in more than a decade was run through by Ed Copeland, a Midland sawmill operator. Mr. Copeland is in the boat, foreground on the dock is Joe King of Port Severn a veteran of many river  drives years ago. The raft contained around 4,000 poplar, hemlock, pine and basswood logs cut in the Six Mile Lake area. They were towed across the bay to Port McNicoll for transportation to the mill.

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 Capt. and Mrs. Albert Lavigne celebrate 50 years of marriage on June 6th. Albert was born one of 14 children in a log home on Concession 7, Tiny Township near Perkinsfield in 1881. Albert was schooled in French at Perkinsfield but the family moved to Muskoka Mills when he was about nine, his dad caring for the horses for Andrew Miscampbell. Their new school was all English and Albert and his  brother Olivia had to start over. The Lavigne’s moved back to Midland eight years later where his dad worked for Mr. Playfair and the children attended the old wooden school on Manly Street. Captain Lavigne began his sailing career  around the age of 19 on an American ship the W. P. Thew, earning $45.00 per month.  After his season on the Thew Alfred worked for Playfair rolling logs for fifty cents a day. When Playfair built the tug Magnolia Albert got to help and when it was launched in 1901 he went on as a deckhand. He worked his way up, fireman, wheelsman and finally mate under Captain Sandy Cuffe. In February 1916 Albert passed his exams as a tug master and also has his mates papers on passenger ships. His first tug was the McAuley for the Canadian Dredging Company. He also served 12 years as master of the Glenbogie and was also master of the Laketon for some time. He has been called out of retirement many times to fill in, even this year he was called to take the City of Dover to Sault Ste. Marie.

Mrs. Lavigne, the former Elizabeth McDonnell was born in Sturgeon Bay the youngest of the eight children of Mr. & Mrs. Allan McDonnell. The families lived side by side on Mill Street in Midland as both fathers were long time employees of Mr. Playfair’s and the children attended the Manly Street school. They were married at St. Margaret’s on June 6th, 1905 and their first home was on Mill Street but for 30 years they have lived in the big brick house at 278 (302) Manly Street that was built for Albert’s father Joseph Lavigne. The couple have four children, three boys followed their dad’s career on the lakes, Cyril and Joseph of Midland and Alvin in Marathon. Daughter Madeline, now Mrs. Albert Asselin, lives in Victoria Harbour.

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Young priests ordained at Shrine. Marking the 25th anniversary of the canonization of the Canadian Martyrs, twelve young priests were ordained at the Shrine. The ceremony was performed by His Excellency Most Rev. Francis V. Allen, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto. The new priests were from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, New York, Massachusetts and Hungary.


 June 25th at St. Mark’s Anglican, Charlotte Ilse Schrade youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Adolf Schrade of West Germany and Douglas Ralph Weaver, Midland.

June 23rd, St. Patrick’s Church, Perkinsfield, Ina Doreen Wooder, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Archie Wooder, Perkinsfield and Dr. Fred Phillip Ceresney of Toronto

June 18th, St. Paul’s United, Midland, Mary Ruth James, daughter of Dr. & Mrs. C.N. James and Daniel Patterson Webb, eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. Clement Webb, Victoria Harbour.

May 28th, St. Margaret’s Church, Norah Eleanor Mary Murray daughter of Mr. & Mrs. William J. Murray, Midland and Raymond J. Robitaille, son of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Robitaille, Midland.

June 11th, Mount Dennis Ontario, Marian Jean Todd, daughter of Mrs. George Todd of Penetang and Ernest Walter Bazinet, only son of Mr. & Mrs. Ernest Bazinet, Penetang.

June 18th, Coldwater United Church, Jacqueline Elizabeth Hall daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Hawke of Eady and Alvin Dalton Emms, eldest son of Dalton Emms, North River.

 Other notes;

– At this time the Delewana Inn at Honey Harbour was publishing weekly the names of their guests and if from Ontario also included their address. Banquet and service club names were also listed, such as the Penetang Separate School Board meeting June 6th and the Public School Teachers of Midland June 13th.

– Guy Hebner was advertising “Charter Boat – Trips for all Occasions” “Special Fishing Trips – Boats for Rent” 164 (174) Charles Street Phone 666M

– “Baseball – North Simcoe League Collingwood Belaires vs Herb Beauchamp’s Midland Indians” admission 50 cents.

– Penetang Water & Light Commission authorizes employees to immediately turn off the water supply to any resident watering their lawn during restricted hours, service to be resumed upon payment of fines

– Elmvale council petitions Ontario Liquor Control Board to keep local store open six days a week during the summer months

– Beauty Box Salon now open, Mary Lou Edwards proprietress, 253 (577) Hugel Ave. W. Phone 1447

– Don Messer Show featuring Marg Osborne, Charlie Chamberlain and Duke Neilson – plus- an evening of round and square dancing with Don Messer and his Islanders. Midland Arena Tonight at 9 PM

– Roller Skating at the Arena every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – June 17th to the 24th 1955

  • Annual conference of the Ontario Library Association held at Fern Cottage, recommends the provincial government create a library service that would act as a clearing house for small library requests and would make any book in any Ontario library available to all libraries
  • Department of Defence has awarded Ernst Leitz a second contract for gun control equipment valued at $55,418.00. Leitz is considering expansion of their factory by the addition of second story offices, an additional 10 acres of land was recently acquired running east to William Street
  • 25 years ago – 1930 – five nurses graduate from St. Andrew’s School of nursing, Miss Bessie E. Faint, Miss Gladys M. Ney, Miss Catherine J. McKeown, Miss Edith Coyle and Miss Autumn L. Durnford
  • New MPDHS features industrial arts courses (shop), a 1400 square foot woodworking shop under the direction of Bill Hannah and a 1000 square foot machine shop taught by Richard Moffatt
  • Al Perkins, manager of the Roxy Theatre announces the installation this week of a new wide vision screen, 14 feet high and 26 feet wide, the special silver composition of the screen creates a much clearer picture and the size allows the screening of the new cinemascope movies
  • A project to cut a fire break around Midland’s reservoir area as a make work project for the 200 un-employed in the area only draws three men. “It seems peculiar that we couldn’t get men to work for us at $1.05 per hour” commented mayor Parker
  • Midland Business College starts 31st year this fall, Norman Schell remembers there was only one student on the first day in 1931 but for the past 15 years there has never been fewer than 50
  • Birthdays – June 16th, Howard Deschamps, Port McNicoll. June 19th, Mose Quesnelle, Port McNicoll
  • AA meetings Public Library basement in Penetang Friday evenings 8:30 P. M. and Orange Hall Midland on Wednesday evenings same time
  • Help Wanted – Clerk for grocery store – apply Ken`s Market 170 Fifth Street
  • Premiere Leslie Frost opens new Indian Village at Little Lake Park. The Y`s Men have spent $5,000.00 on its construction and expect to attract 20,000 visitors this year. CBC filmed the event which will air on their News Magazine show
  • No County Herald next week due to July 1st holiday being a Friday, first of 10 issues of the Georgian Tourist will be published Thursday
  • Free chest X-Ray service Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week provided by the mobile unit of the National Sanitarium Association. “The best method of finding tuberculosis is by X-Raying health people”

 Click on photos to enlarge

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 They met at a July 1st picnic in Victoria Harbour, Sylvester Cadeau born at Port Severn and Marie Louis Arbour from Waubaushene were married on June 16th 1905 at St. Margaret’s in Midland. ” I was never sick a day in my life” said Mr. Cadeau who at 70 is a year older than his wife. Mr. Cadeau became a gang saw operator for Waldie Lumber, a position he held for many years.  “The company had three saw mills in Victoria Harbour, capable of putting out 1,500,000 feet of lumber every week” Mr. Cadeau recalled. The couple have 13 children, ten sons, Stephen, Donald, Leo, Earl, Emery, Gerald, Bernard, Isadore and Edgar (One son missing). The girls are Velma, Mrs. J. Mulvilhill, Evaline, Mrs. Bernard Cousineau and Isobel living at home. Forty Four grand children.

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 “Leitz Officials in Midland” From the parent plant in Wetzlar Germany; Guenther Leitz, president and general manager of the Midland plant, Paul Henrici works manager at Wetzlar, Dr. Ludwig Leitz managing director in charge of development Wetzlar, Walter Kluck assistant manager Midland, Helmut Becker chief designer Wetzlar.

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Midland Golf & Country Club annual county cup match, golfers post their scores. Mrs. Sandow, Mrs. Cecil English, Mrs. Grace Ough of Barrie and Mrs. T. Brooks of Orillia. Mrs. English had the low gross for the day.

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Glaciers gift, standing over ten feet tall this boulder is in the back yard of a home on the east side of George Street near Gloucester.

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 Official opening day of the new Y’s Men’s Indian Village at Little Lake Park, Premier Leslie Frost performs the ceremony. Three local girls are pictured in one of the two longhouses, Helen Smith, and twins Kay and Elaine Munday.

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 “Fire Drill for Mariners” Some 80 employees of the CPR’s steamship service and support employees take their annual fire fighting and safety instruction before the opening of the navigation season. Former Midlander T. C. Howard in the light jacket is now the CPR district supervisor of safety, loss and damage.

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 Midland Lions Club`s new executive, officially installed during a dinner meeting at the Delawanna Inn Honey Harbour last week. Jack Doughty, president, Bill Jeffery, 1st vice, Cecil English, 2nd vice and Gordon Paice third vice president.

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 Mrs. Leslie Gilson’s garden on Easy Street between Third and Fourth. High temperatures and lots of rain this spring have created ideal conditions.

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 Proud owners and proud builder launch new sloop “Tern” last Saturday. Danish born builder Folmer Nielson built the craft in his Sunnyside shop. Owners are Mr. & Mrs. Jim Playfair.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – June 9th to 16th 1955

From the editorial page of the Free Press June 8th 1955 under the topic “Wise and Otherwise”

– Harvey White whose grandfather was Midland’s third settler, brought to Midland in his wagon A. W. Ruby’s father when the latter first arrived in Midland. And the first job which Harvey had, prior to joining the CPR 27 years ago was with A. W. Ruby in his bakery on Midland Ave.

-Of Ontario’s 47 museums, five are located in Simcoe County. Sixteen of the 47 are owned and operated by the provincial or federal government or their agencies. Most popular is the Royal Ontario Museum with 436,000 visitors last year, second is the National Museum in Ottawa with 225,000 visitors last year, old Fort Henry with 162,000, Fort George with 53,000, Fort Erie with 32,000 and the Public Archives in Ottawa with 30,000. The 31 private or municipally owned museums attracted just over 200,000 and five of those are in this area. Fort Penetanguishene, Huronia Museum, Martyr’s Shrine, Huron Institute in Collingwood and the Women’s Institute in Barrie reported just under 80,000, 90 percent of those visitors were at the Penetang and Midland institutions.

 In the “Want Ads”

– McCaskey cash register, good as new, J. W. Bald 274 (now 298) Fourth Street.

– Gill net fishing licence with equipment, boats, A. Brunelle, 138 Robert St. Penetang, after 6 PM.

-Sand, gravel, top soil and fill, Walter McMann, 392 Russell Street (now 346), phone 480R.

– 1954 Chev sedan, practically new, very reasonable, apply Steve’s Service Station, Yonge St. W.

– 20 foot varnished utility runabout, 6 cylinder Buchanan, foam cushions, navy top, lights, electric bilge pump, $1050.00 Box 657 Penetanguishene

– Piano tuning and repairing, free estimates, Ralph Blinkhorn, Phone 1267W, Midland

– Apartment for rent, four large rooms, everything electric, separate entrance, vacant now, King Street S., phone 1983,  $65.00.

– 2 acres, excellent gardening, 7 room house, 3 piece bath, hot water furnace, price reasonable. Urbain Maurice, R. R. 3, Penetang.

– Would the person who was seen taking Gord Brand’s wallet at Little Lake on Thursday evening kindly return same to 175 Yonge St. (now 427) and save further trouble. This was a keepsake.

– Eight little pigs, 8 weeks old. Grant’s, 98 Donalda Street.


– Mr. & Mrs. Claude Boylea, RR #1, Coldwater, wish to announce the birth of their son John Robert, 9 lbs. 1 1/2 oz. on May 31st at Soldiers Memorial Hospital.

– Mr. & Mrs. Bruce May announce the birth of their daughter Brenda Jean, May 30, at St. Andrews Hospital.


– J. R. Phil Latour, after a six month illness, born in Lafontaine on October 24th, 1867 and received his education there. In 1894 he married the former Annie Delorme in Penetang who predeceased him in May of 1937. He has lived in Lafontaine, Penetang, Musquash Mills, Byng Inlet and had spent the last 36 years in Midland. He had worked in the old saw mill and lumber camps and more recently the fibre board plant and the CNR roundhouse. Survived by sons, Ernest, Alfred, Lawrence and Tom, daughters Evelyn, Lavena Mrs. George Ambeau of Midland, Irene Mrs. Leo Fournier, Martyrs Shrine, Delcie and Edna Mrs. Leo Quesnelle of Port McNicoll.

– Charles H. Kaus died suddenly May 19th in his 64th year, he had lived his entire life in Penetang. He was a wood finisher and painter by trade having worked for Gidley Boats for 31 years before taking a position in the liquor store 17 years ago. He was a firefighter for 29 years, a WW1 veteran of the 157th battalion. Survived by his wife Hilda Arbour, two sons Gerald and Charles Jr. and four daughters, Annette, Marion, Carol and Lois.

2006 0020 1206

Two members of Midland’s intermediate “A” hockey team of last winter, goalie Bruce Hook on the left and forward “Chuck” Edwards are seen with the new jackets the boys received at a dinner in the Georgian Hotel Friday night. Mrs. Hook and Miss Camilla Coyle of Barrie look on.

2006 0020 1218

Group of Elmvale citizens have a reason to be happy after helping to raise $50,000.00 for a new addition to St. John’s United Church. At a loyalty dinner held in the community center, campaign committee members are, front row, Milt Trace, chairman, Mrs. Mervin Corbett, Mrs. M. Trace, Mrs. Gordon Giffon, historian, W. S. Campbell, back row, Earl Elliot, Fred Griffen, Fred Webster, Rev. A.G. Reynolds D. D., Jack Whitfield and Elmer Fiegehen.

2006 0020 1226

Members of St. John’s United Church Elmvale have exceeded by $5,000.00 their $45,000.00 objective for an addition to the church. Standing on the steps of the church are Dr. A.G. Reynolds minister of the church and his wife.

2006 0020 1227

George S. Dudley QC, chairman of the building committee receives the key to the new $100,000.00 addition to St. Paul’s United Church from H. J. Thompson, vice chair of the committee.

(read more about George Dudley’s contributions to Midland and Canadian hockey at the Midland Sports Hall of Fame web site in the “Builders” section in the year 1996)

2006 0020 1223

Retiring this week after serving as teacher and principal of Midland District High School for 35 years J. J. Robins was presented with a 400 day clock by the student body last Wednesday. Shirley Wiles made the presentation.

2006 0020 1209

Pond at Rumble’s Mill in Hillsdale shows affects of hurricane Hazel. Local W. I. is continuing their plan to repair and open the swimming facilities here. John Rumble examines the damage to the women’s dressing room caused by Hurricane Hazel. Swimming classes are planned for July.




Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – June 1 to June 8

Click on photos to enlarge

 The staff photographer must be on summer holiday!

   Even thought the collections department at Huronia Museum estimates that the Free Press collection contains over fifty thousand negatives, many of them are missing. The first weeks of June 1955 have several “Staff Photos” but none are included in the negative collection. There are submitted photos from other sources such as the Barrie Examiner, Lorne Watson, DND, Rolphoto, Leitz photos by Mrs. Dorothy Buschmann and other private photographers for which we do not have the negatives. We have stated before that all the Penetanguishene negatives are not part of our collection and we are actively searching for them.

 Knowing the photos are an important part of this blog we will go back into 1953 for some memories this week.

 News from the first week of June 1955;

  • John Crawford, son of Mr. & Mrs. Bert Crawford, was taken to Sick Children’s Hospital by Dr. R. J. Cardwell after falling from a boxcar near the Aberdeen Elevator and fracturing his skull
  • Claude Desrochers, a Penetang Scout, 13 year old son of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Desrochers is credited with saving the life of four year old Arthur Brasseur of Poyntz Street who had fallen off the town dock
  • Two local girls graduate from the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing, Caroline Megaw, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. R. A. (Bert) Megaw and Joanne Edwards, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. R. W. (Bill) Edwards
  • Provincial election returns will be broadcast on loudspeakers outside the Free Press office Thursday evening
  • Yvette Grondin donates large double ships wheel salvaged from the Midland City to the Fort Penetanguishene Museum (Naval Establishments)
  • Penetang’s new police chief John W. Power arrived in Penetang this week, coming from Timmins Mr. Power will soon be joined by his wife and nine children
  • New teachers & department heads announced for MPDHS, Ray. C. Gauthier former Penetang principal, named vice-principal; Miss C. H. Mace, presently teaching in Penetang will head the English Department; Miss Reba Young from Tilbury will head History and Social Studies; Miss Grace C. McMullen languages; John M. Dalrymple mathematics; Warren Jacklin from Hanover science and agriculture. Other new teachers include Emile Blouin from Midland teaching French, Robert O. Donovan from Chatsworth teaching social studies and junior science, shop teacher Richard C. Moffatt lately from Chalk River, Emery Nopper from Timmins will be teaching German, from Toronto L. Douglas Palmer will head the Guidance Dept., Isobel Rayner from Owen Sound will teach in the Home Economics Dept., Doug Swales of Midland to teach Phys Ed and mathematics, Miss Mildred K. Walter will teach in the Commercial Dept.
  • Now in full production at the Ernst Leitz plant in Midland, the “Cadillac“ of cameras, the new Leica M III
  • Ronald C. Atkinson, son of Mrs. Roy Atkinson of Midland recommended for the ministry by the board of St. Paul`s United Church, 5th candidate in the last eighteen years from St. Paul`s
  • Provincial Conservative candidate George Johnston speaking in Lafontaine “Liberal platform like ham sandwich without the ham“
  • Holder`s Bake Shop opening today in Penetang in the former Argue Meat Store on Main Street
  • Midland Liberal Association invites you to a free dance at the Parkside Pavilion, dance to Mel Lavigne`s Orchestra and meet the candidate, Smith Campbell
  • Professional Exhibition Wrestling starting at the Arena Garden June 13th, sponsored by Midland Minor Hockey Association, Whipper Billy Watson, British Empire Champion
  • Midland Boat Works Limited advertising “Seaflite“ 15 foot 64 inch beam, weighs 240 pounds, several models to choose from, see them at our plant
  • new plastic garden hoses at Canadian Tire, 50` lengths $2.79

 1953 Photos

 2006 0020 0065

Seabee amphibious aircraft owned by Lloyd Atkinson had crashed near Gawley Beach Midland on Sunday July 12th, 1953. Five people on board plus dozens of bathers at the park escaped injury.

2006 0020 0075

Women modeling period gowns crafted in Midland for Barrie’s centennial celebrations. Back row, Mrs. Alfred Lowry of Hamilton, Mrs. Elsie MacDonald Midland, Mrs. Ross English Midland; front row, Mrs. Joyce Carson/Snider of Midland maker of the dresses, Mrs. Roy Roberts of Midland, Mrs. Robert Banks of Hamilton and Mrs. Lorne Legree Midland.

2006 0020 0180

Crane erecting the new bell tower in front of St. Mark’s Anglican Church on Third Street. The parish hall is in the background. (no newspaper found with this photo to verify the year)

2006 0020 0059

Two day Regatta in Victoria Harbour, a large gathering of children, costume contest, some with their bikes. Some of the contestants are, Susanne Quinlan, Carol Roy, Deanne May, Rosemary Dalton, Gale & Connie Donovan, Mary Klithcombe, Bobbie Strickland, Donald Burns, & Margaret Lockhart. July 1953

2006 0020 0117

Midland District High School athlete Bill Quinlan sets a new record in the Tudhope Cup event with a vault of 10 feet 1 and 3/4 inches. Midland Arena Gardens in the background.

2006 0020 0098

Pete Pettersen once tried ski jumping in the summer by crushing ice for the local ski jump that he operated but fishing was his real summer passion, he is seen here with three large rainbow trout. 

2006 0020 0053

Six boys in front of Regent School, jeans rolled up, running shoes on, ready for summer. Never published, names unknown.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 24th to the 31st 1955

Click on photos to enlarge

  • Finley MacLachlan Construction Company of Toronto wins $800,000.00 contract to build nine miles of the Trans Canada highway from Port Severn to the McDonald River.
  • Perkinsfield girl, 14, unable to walk her whole life, begins to walk with the aid of a support, parents incredulous
  • Midland Police get new speed trap, offenders have no time to slow down after crossing the wires that are placed 11 feet apart and it works in both directions
  • Indian Nativity Scene will be a feature attraction at Huronia Museum which opens on June 1st. Donated by the National Museum in Ottawa the diorama was over a year in the making
  • Indians (First Nations residents) from Parry Sound, Rama and the Brantford Six Nations gathered at Christian Island over the long weekend to listen to provincial candidate George Johnston, Dr. P. B. Rynard and Progressive Conservative Simcoe Center president W. H. Morrisson speak. This will be the first time native Canadians will be allowed to vote in a provincial election in Ontario
  • Add to North Simcoe’s beauty spots the beautiful tulip beds at Taylor’s garage near the Shrine
  • 25 years ago, 1930; the Penetang Road was closed at Wyebridge due to work on the railway subway, detour through Elmvale; The Woolen Mill on Hugel Ave which had sat idle for 12 years was leased to Otto Channell a European textile engineer, 35 to 40 staff will be needed

2006 0020 1183

New Residential Area. Two years ago Midland’s Wireless Hill section was covered with thick bush and boulders now replaced by many fine homes. Those seen here were built by Nap Beauchamp Construction of Penetanguishene and are already occupied.

2006 0020 1131

New Hammond organ sponsored by the congregation of the Wyevale United Church in memory of the late Rev. George Morrison. Mrs. Cecil Blow at the keyboard, her assistant Mrs. Emel Nerpin and current minister Rev. W. A. Glazer.

 2006 0020 1186

Town staff are attempting to pull a stump at the northwest corner of Dominion and Midland Avenues to make way for the widening of Midland Ave. It appears as though the chain has broken as part of it is trailing behind the truck. The Johnson home, residence of Bill Johnson owner of the Advertiser Press, white building in the background. Duplex on the corner is still there.

(Anyone know who the men are. Fellow in the hole might be Mr. Latanville?)

 2006 0020 1178

Every member of the North Simcoe girls 4-H Club made a dress during the past season and had it on display at achievement day at the Elmvale High School Saturday. Mae White RR #1 Elmvale; Joanne Dobson RR #3 Coldwater; Marie Pickering RR #3 Stayner; Harriet Elliot, Allenwood and Pauline Irish, Vasey. Mrs. Joseph Strath is supervising the judging.

 Local Entertainment:

   Show & Dance at The Parkside Inn, featuring Canada’s No. 1 Hillbilly show band, Cliffy Short and the Valley Ranch Boys, stars of Sunshine Jamboree, Toronto.

   Odeon Theatre, Women’s Prison starring “no one I know”, Shotgun starring Sterling Hayden & Yvonne DeCarlo.

   Embassy Theatre in Coldwater, Jesse James vs. The Daltons

   Pen Theatre, The Cruel Sea, with Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden and The Jungle Gents with Leo Gorcey, Muntz Hall and the Bowering Boys.

   Tennis Exhibition at Penetang tennis courts, Lorne Main, Canada’s number one player and Jim Bentley ranked tenth in Canada, the pair will also give free instruction.

   Second annual Dance Recital by the pupils of Jean Stanway assisted by Glenn Campbell, pianist John Arpin, guest performers Midland Tonettes at Knox Presbyterian Church auditorium.

   Curtain Call Dance Review presented by Audrey MacLeod and pupils at the YMCA

   Jaycee’s Victoria Day event at Little Lake Park includes sea flee racing, Midland Citizens Band concert and giant fireworks display.

  Tribute to Murray G. Yorke (d. May 28, 2015)

 2006 0020 1551

(From October 1955 Free Press) Signing up for a new season with the Midland Intermediate “A” hockey team is Roy “Mutt” Colling of Penetang, Vic Grigg of Penetang and Chuck Woods. Looking on at left is Murray Yorke member of last year’s team and Hec Adams, secretary.


We treasure our history, whether it is our family history, local history or the history of things, we regret the loss of any part of it. They tear down our old school, the field where we flew our kites is now a subdivision, that secluded lane is now paved and the trees are gone.

Murray Yorke was an important part of our history, a participant in it, a family man, a friend to all, Midland has lost part of what makes this a great place to live.

The staff and directors of Huronia Museum join Pat and family in saying thanks Murray for all you gave us.




Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years in North Simcoe – May 16th to the 23rd 1955

Click on photos to enlarge

  •  Penetang is advertising for police constables; state age, qualifications and experience, reply to W. H. Hewson, Clerk Treasurer.
  • Penetang Council refuses request to extend the time that juke boxes can be played in local restaurants beyond the current by-law of twelve o’clock
  • Mrs. Lawrence Reynolds died Monday of injuries received in a head on collision on Cty Rd 6 south of Wyevale
  • More than 20 MDHS students will receive medals & crests for their marksmanship in rifle competition during the school term
  • Rev. Don Noseworthy of the Midland Pentecostal Church complained of young children playing in the garbage at the town dump (Tiffin Park)
  • S. S. Scott Misener sets record for fastest turnaround between Port Arthur and Port McNicoll; left 6:30 AM Thursday returned 6:30 AM Monday. Also set a record by moving 2,126,000 bushels of wheat from the Lakehead to Port McNicoll between May 6th and 16th

2006 0020 1175
 Members of the Georgian Bay Insurance Agents Association hold a business meeting at the Midtown Motel Friday. William Shaver, Midland; B. J. Brownell, Port McNicoll; Mervin Corbett, Elmvale; Fred Helson, C.F. Moreton, Willard Bacon and L. H. Taylor all of Midland.
2006 0020 1172
 Last week we pictured the Non Commissioned Officers, meet the Midland and District High School Cadet Corps officers. Back row, Bob McIntyre, Jim Lemieux, Bob Wilson, Lloyd Scott, Gary Baker, Joe Huston and Gary MacMillan. Front row; Ken McFarland, John Hilliard, Jack Jones, Blake Ball, Ray Dwinnell, Bob Megaw, Dean Nicholls, Wayne Parker and Dennis Murphy.

  •  High school athletes set 5 new records at the 34th annual Tudhope Meet in Collingwood. MDHS students set records, Ron Larmand cleared 9′ 11 1/2″ in the junior pole vault and Ralph Asselin vaulted 10′ 4 1/2″ to set a new intermediate mark. Jim Lemieux was the outstanding athlete of the meet with four firsts and a second in the intermediate events.
  • Twelve sewing machine operators wanted at once by Glen Mawr Frocks (became Fabulous Formals), experience desirable but not necessary, steady work under ideal conditions, good starting wage.
  • Birth – Mr. & Mrs. Fred Grigg wish to announce the arrival of a son, a brother for Peter and Jane on May 15th.
  • Midland Arena now open for roller skating, Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat evenings, skates provided
  • Expect 700 pupils at MPDHS next fall and 28 teachers
  • Plastic boats (Fiberglas) made by Midland Reinforced Plastics Ltd. will weigh about two-thirds that of a comparable wooden craft
  • Local Entertainment – Gone With The Wind – at the Odeon, full version 3 hours & 40 minutes. Opening dance at the Wagon Wheel Saturday May 21st. Holiday dancing at Mel`s, Honey Harbour, featuring Bob Stanway and Bill Jivcoff. Harness Races Wasaga Beach, five big events, wagering, refreshments and grandstand
  • Public Notice – a salesman offering Veteran`s Calendars for sale in the local area is not being sponsored by Branch 80 RCL or by Provincial Command
  • Prominent local grocer dies at 65, H. J. Kettle was born in Suffolk, England, coming to Canada at 17, worked for Dunlop Tire, Guerney Foundry and Sissman Shoes before coming to Midland in 1913. Forty two years ago he opened his own grocery store where Gianetto`s is now located, later moving to Yonge St. E. Survived by his wife Montalena Skinner and five sons, William, Harold & Bruce of Midland, Doug, Barrie and Tom in Bracebridge.

2006 0020 1173
 A stone used in the original construction of Fort Ste. Marie more than 300 years ago is being donated by the Midland Lions Club with the cooperation of the Martyrs Shrine to the Waco Texas Lions Club to be used in the construction of an ornamental gate. Stones from every country in the world where Lions operate will be used. President Bill Orr and R. B. Moffatt of the Midland Club are pictured.
2006 0020 1180
 Each of the girls pictured completed six units in the 4-H home making club work this season winning County honours. Shown during “Achievement Day” in Elmvale on Saturday are Marlene Strath, Sondra Robinson, Patsy Jones and Norma Cowden all of Vasey; Mildred Marcellus, Wyevale, Lorna Strath, Crossland and Margaret Goodfellow, Edenvale.



Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  1955 May 8th to the 15th

Click Photos to Enlarge

 2006 0020 1190

Children line up at the Midland Armory to receive their first Salk polio vaccine shots. Mrs. Grace Gillies and Miss Bessie Smith both of the Collingwood toxoid team of the Simcoe County Health Unit.

 2006 0020 1193

Gerald (Jerrold) Karch watches unflinchingly as Dr. G. E. Moodie of the Simcoe County Health Unit administers a Salk polio vaccine while nurse Grace Gillies of Collingwood prepares another dose. Hundreds of children received their first shots this week.

 2006 0020 1194

Midland City sits forlorn at Midland town dock after fifty years of plying the waters between Midland and Parry Sound, familiar to all cottagers, locals and tourists. No longer a viable business her fittings were sold at auction and the hull which was purchased by Arthur “Frenchy” Grondin was towed by Ernie Edwards and Bev’s Marine to the mouth of the Wye River and burned to the water line. Mr. Grondin plans to salvage her metal hull plates. Built in the British Isles in 1887 she was brought to Canada in sections and named the “Maud”. In the winter of 1894-5 she was rebuilt, lengthened and renamed the “America” and cruised the St. Lawrence under that name. Her dimensions were; length 149 feet, breadth 33 feet, gross tonnage 580 tons.  The City of Dover was also sold out of the area in 1955.

 2006 0020 1189

Only the first week of May but the unseasonably warm weather has made Little Lake warm enough for Linda Discepolo and Roma Toutant, both of Midland, to swim. Editor noted elsewhere in the paper that the girls were reluctant to have their photo taken as they were swimming without their parents’ permission.

 2006 0020 1171

Midland and District High School Cadet Corps NCO’s. Front row,  CQSM Jim Farmer, SSM John Deakos, SSM Don Anderson, RSM Bob Abbott, SSM Ken MacEachern, SSM Glen Nicholls, back row, Sgts. Hartmut Bezner, Len Woods, Bill Wagg, Paul Bissette, Rodger Gray, Ron Blair and Peter Brown.

 2006 0020 1185

Pouring new cement in front of the Penetang Midland Coach Line terminal on the southwest corner of Midland Avenue and Bay Street. Part of town engineer R. M. White’s plan to find work for men coming off unemployment. Six inches of reinforced concrete nine feet wide with two inches of cold mix asphalt on top along the west side of Midland Avenue from Bay to Yonge Streets. Parts of Elizabeth and Dominion are getting the same treatment.

Roxy Theater; Ma & Pa Kettle at Waikiki starring Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride
Gone With The Wind starring Clark Gable & Vivian Leigh

 Midland Drive In; Abbott & Costello in Dr. Jekle & Mr. Hyde also starring Boris Karloff
Hell Below Zero starring Alan Ladd

Pen Theatre; Texas Trail with William Boyd
Valley of Head Hunters with Johnny Weissmuller
All Ashore with Mickey Rooney 

  • Midland Citizens Band wins top honours at Grey County music festival, prepare for CNE competition
  • Largest Cadet Corps in MPDHS history, over 200 cadets will parade at May 18th inspection
  • H. Jory Ltd. is selling 16 various drugs needed around the farm, Scourex for Scours, Lax-a-Tex for constipation, Ringtex for ringworm, Fertilex for retained after birth etc.
  • Jeffery’s Hardware is offering the fully featured McLary refrigerator for $264.95
  • Beauchamp’s Electric is offering R.C.A. Victor refrigerators for $229.50
  • Mayor commends Y’s Mens Club on their new Indian Village project at the town park, “will be a big asset to the town”
  • $25,000.00 damage to Nap Beauchamp Construction shop on Church St. worst fire in Penetang since the skating rink burned in 1946
  • Jeffery’s Hardware ships order for four sets of #5 horse shoes and eight sets of #4’s to Dauphin Manitoba
  • 25 years ago; the highway bridge over the Wye River at the Shrine collapses as an 18 ton shovel owned by King Construction crosses it on route to Midland, no one injured
  • To be ordained – 25 year old Joseph Marchand to be ordained at the Church of the Holy Cross, Lafontaine, by James Cardinal McGuigan. He obtained his B. A. in 1950, his PHL. in 1951 and his M. A. and Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1955.
  • Harvey Ellison has nearly completed his new Motel (Shamrock) on Yonge Street West overlooking Little Lake
  • Willard Duquette, 18 year old grade 11 student wins top honours in the French speaking section of the Ontario – Quebec public speaking contest in Oshawa, Helen Henderson, Penetang, 14 year old grade 9 student took third place being bested by a 21 year old university student from Quebec City
  • Richard Moreau, 21, a graduate of the Lafontaine Secondary School in 1949 has graduated from Ecole Poly-technique with a B.A. Sc. and a diploma in electro-mechanical engineering
  • Midland public works superintendent R. M. White has tendered his resignation, will take a job with the Town of Aurora
  • new one room school opens just off Hwy 92 west of Elmvale, SS 19 Flos


Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe 1955 May 1st to 7th

Click Photos to Enlarge

  • Council approves plan to install flood lights at the ball diamond, plan later nixed by the Hydro Electric Power Commission when Midland PUC not allowed to spend rebate dollars on the project
  • The planting of 325,000 trees by the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests in the Severn River area is nearly completed, 60 percent white pine, 30 percent red pine and the balance white spruce and white cedar
  • Council approves purchase of new police cruiser with puncture proof tires and the establishment of a public lane way from Hugel Avenue to Elizabeth Street between King and Midland Avenue (Bourgeois Lane)
  • New industry in Midland, Midland Reinforced Plastics Limited to manufacture reinforced polyester Fiberglas products, rent former Blair Construction building on Ellen Street
  • A heavy haze, which looked like smoke but without the smell, settled over North Simcoe reducing visibility, cause was a Montana dust storm that has crippled parts of Saskatchewan
  • Miss Anna B. Magnus retires from Protestant Separate School Board after 45 years of teaching
  • Floor of the garage collapsed this week at St. Mark’s Anglican Church Rectory leaving a five foot deep cavern
  • Stone from Ste. Marie donated by Martyr’s Shrine authorities will be incorporated into the entrance way of the new St. Andrews hospital, linking the two places of refuge separated by 300 years of history
  • Smelts first introduced to Great Lakes from the ocean by the state of Michigan 43 years ago
  • William Harrison establishes a small industry on Manly Street now employing three men in the manufacture of ornamental iron work. The former welder at the Midland Shipyards has also acquired an agency for aluminum storm windows, doors and awnings
  • Elmvale council requests a flashing traffic light at the intersection of highways 27 and 92
  • Parking meters are back on the main street for the summer, mom and dad will be saving their pennies for the meters instead of the kids

2006 0020 1141

At the Midland Park ball diamond boys who came out for Little Ball are divided into two leagues, the National and the International. Rev Len Self, director of the Midland Lions Club ball program ends up with eight teams in each league compared to the six anticipated.

2006 0020 1168

“First loss of the season” Gary Hood, left, and Ronnie Josselin use the time tested way to decide in or out. Boys are part of the two hundred youth signed up to play Little League baseball this summer thanks to the Midland Lions Club.
The newspaper cropped the outside boys from the picture so we do not know their names. One of this volunteers favourite photos in the Free Press collection so far.

2006 0020 1169

Golfers out in force. Fine April weather proved irresistible to these golfers at Midland Golf & Country Club. Watching Don Argue attempt an eight foot putt  are Dr. C. N. James, Lorne Watson, “Ange” Hartman and Del Hastings.

2006 0020 1167

Building fund for the new St. Andrews Hospital was enriched by $865.00 this week. The cheque came from the CP and T Committee (Cancer, Polio & Tuberculosis) of the  Midland IOOF, Lodge No. 274 and Ideal Rebekah Lodge, No. 190 Midland. Money will purchase an isolette air conditioned infant incubator. Mrs. Eldon Belfry, president of the CP & T Committee, Mr. V. G. Edwards, building fund campaign chairman, Albert Bowie, treasure of the IOOF Lodge, Mrs. J. Argue, noble grand of the Rebekah Lodge, back row, Omery Caudle, secretary of the encampment branch of the lodge, Garfield Steer, vice grand of the 274 Lodge and Stewart Glassier, noble grand No. 274.

Council approves new subdivision, plan submitted by H. J. Beauchamp in April of 1954. There are 36 lots bordered by Ellen Street to the north, Irwin to the east and Colborne to the south. Walter Kluck of Ernst Leitz Canada Limited, whose employees own lots in the subdivision, explained that the owners were anxious to start building and hoped sewer, water and other services would be installed as soon as possible.

Editorial complains of the poor phone service to Coldwater, stating that there is only one circuit and it is always busy. To get to the Hillsdale or Moonstone exchange one is routed to Barrie then back through Orillia.


Ernest Francis Desroches, born in Lafontaine 61 years ago died in Penetang last Wednesday of a heart ailment. Married in 1927 to Angeline Desrochers they have two daughters Vivian and Lucille and two sons Donald and Ronald

Mrs. Majoric Beaudoin died on April 15th of heart failure at the age of 90. The former Marguerite Chevrette was the first female school teacher in Lafontaine. She is survived by two daughters Stella and Alma and three sons Robert, Jerome and Martin. She was predeceased by her husband in 1917.

Mrs. James Mertz, the former Edna Minnie Campbell passed away in Hillsdale April 17th in her 61st year. Born in Innisfil, educated in Waverly, married in 1920, Mrs. Mertz lived her whole life in North Simcoe. Survived by four sons, Clarence, Ralph, Arden and Ronald and a daughter Gweneth.


Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe 1955 April 23rd to the 30th

Click on photos to enlarge

  • Tiny Township council, at a special meeting, adopt Daylight Saving Time, following the lead of Midland & Penetang
  • Hundreds motor to Medonte or Midhurst to see the CPR’s new streamlined passenger train “The Canadian”
  • Over two thousand local grade one, two and three students are eligible to receive the free polio vaccination, Simcoe County Health Unit will start program next week
  • Sir James Dunn, first ship into Port McNicoll with 607,000 bushels of wheat
  • Gammon Tires, Dominion Ave. East is offering re-treaded tires for $10.49.
  • Measles cases on the rise, April report from the Simcoe County Health Unit, 452 cases, 10 times the March total
  • Weather changes but never changes, 25 years ago on April 23rd North Simcoe was blanketed with several inches of snow and a week later the temperature was 78 degrees.
  • Midland Park Commission calls for tenders on three more cottages to be built in the tourist park this year. Designed by the town engineer R. M. White, the 18 by 22 foot structures will feature a picture window and shower facilities.


Napoleon (Paul) Lagree died of a heart attack while fighting a grass fire at his home. Born and educated in Victoria Harbour, married in St. Mary’s Church to local girl Stephannia DeCaire, the couple lived in the Harbour all their married life. Paul worked for Waldie Lumber then the CPR in Port McNicoll.

Alfred Gingras, area resident for fifty years, died at his home 238 George Street (now 262 George) on April 17th in his 71st year.

Melina, Mrs. Israel Dumais nee Chevrette, died at the Beechwood Nursing Home on March 22 at the age of 82. Survived by daughter Annie and sons Ernest, Marcel, Gilbert, Peter and Alfred.

1994 0132 0132 Hydro Houseboat

This floating boarding house will provide accommodation for 20 hydro linemen when completed. Seen here in Penetang Harbour having the superstructure built is the 12 ton scow constructed by Daniels Welding Service, Midland. Art Ridout, Balm Beach, has the contract for the building. When complete it will contain a galley and dining room on the lower floor and ten double deck bunks upstairs.

2006 0020 1703

Despite difficulty getting material to the construction site good progress is being made on the new Midland Penetanguishene District High School. Fortunately much material was moved while Hugel Avenue was still frozen. Fred Lalonde of Midland is seen spraying a protective coat of paint on the steel work.

2006 0020 1158

MPDHS students from Bob Joyce’s grade 10B class cook up the few smelt they caught at Dault’s Bay Thursday night. The smelt weren’t running too well but everyone got a taste. The Free Press cropped the photo for publication so we do not have the names of the two boys on the left or the man on the right. Kneeling, Rodger Gray, Alice Campbell, Mary Ann Wheeler,  Marlene Burnett, standing, Norma Lyle, Ron McQuaig, Glen Mitchell and Marion Shaw.

2006 0020 1157

Another photo of the MPDHS smelt fishing excursion which was published but the students were not identified. Anyone remember?

2006 0020 1159

Navigation season officially opened in Port McNicoll when Capt. J. W. Scarrow of Hamilton brought the Sir James Dunn to harbour with 607,000 bushels of wheat for the nearly empty CPR elevator. The Dunn was the last ship to leave Port McNicoll this spring, having wintered there. Left, R. E. Stephens  chief engineer, Captain and Mrs. Scarrow and George Burns, the new Port McNicoll harbourmaster. Betty Jane Zummach, daughter of councillor John Zummach presented Mrs. Scarrow with flowers. Captain Scarrow has been a master for 34 years and this was his first top hat. He also commended the village for recognizing the chief engineer as” he deserves as much credit and is often overlooked.”

2006 0020 1165

Midland Lions Club safety committee members are busy attaching red reflective tape to the rear and silver reflective tape to the front of the bicycles of all public and separate school students in Midland. Bob Stanway, Jack Frame, Jim Moss and Don Swinson at Regent School.

2006 0020 1164

Robert Rhodes of Sixth Street School watches while Walter Woods and Dan Nicholls apply safety reflective tape to  his bike.

2006 0020 1644

In doing this cataloguing for Huronia Museum I see the photo before the description and to me part of the challenge is trying to guess the reason for the photo. The location was obvious by observing our cenotaph through the window, between the tree trunks, but I had to drive by to identify the exact house which was 347 King and is now 437 King.  The interior of a well kept living room of the time, a chance to peek inside someone’s home. The portable phonograph, mantle radio, stand ashtray, leaded glass window, old style phone, but why a pistol and a tobacco cutter.

Toronto born William Steggles, former CNR yardmaster in Midland, demonstrates how tobacco used to be cut from plugs for pipe use. The cutter he is using was made from wood salvaged from the first passenger coach used on the old Northern Railway into Penetang. It was presented to railway president F. C. Cumberland who gave it to Steggle’s father when he quit smoking, the nickel plated fitting that holds the cutting knife was made from a valve off one of the locomotives. Williams father was paymaster for the Northern and Northwestern Railway and for protection carried the revolver that William now proudly possesses.

2006 0020 1156

Head Table guests at the annual dinner of the Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers Club, held at the Legion hall in Waubaushene. Lorne “Smokey” Woods, Chris Armstrong,  Department of Lands and Forests biologist and guest speaker, Bill Russell club president and Jack Prentice of Toronto, president of Zone 5 of the association.

Huronia Museum offers condolences to the family of the late “Smokey” Woods  on the passing of his wife Mary Woods nee McKinley on Monday May 4th, 2015 at the age of 103.

Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  1955 April 17th to 23rd

(Click on photos to enlarge)

  •  Drive-In opening April 22 – children under 12 free – come as you are, no need to dress up. “Ride Clear of Diablo” Audie Murphy; “Paris Playboys” with the Bowery Boys
  • Margaret Wice of Penetang, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. C. S. Wice receives her gold cord certificate in Guiding, only girl in area known to reach this level
  • Georgian Bay Hunters & Anglers seek a permanent location for a club house and rifle range states club president Bill Russell at their annual meeting in Waubaushene
  • Catherine Richardson and John Arpin performing together on two grand pianos to raise money for the St. Andrew’s Hospital Building Fund
  • WCTU (Women’s Christian Temperance Union) elects new officers at their April meeting
  • Grand opening of Midland’s newest hairdressing establishment, Cosy Corner Hairdressing, 288 Midland Ave. (now 316) o/o Mrs. Pauline Koziol
  • Daylight savings time, advance clocks one hour on April 25th until September 25th
  • Rural hydro to build 17.5 miles of new lines and service 407 new customers this summer
  • Penetang town foreman Ovilla Cascagnette rescues an infant and a two year old from the burning home of Alcime Light on Robert St. Wednesday morning
  • 10 year anniversary of the death of D. L. White at 86, one of the big four responsible for the beginnings of Midland’s industrial history; D. S. Pratt, F. L. Grant, James Playfair and Mr. White
  • Frank Harpell, master of the Midland built Gordon C. Leitch wins the top hat at Port Arthur and Capt. Sam Bell also of Midland and skipper of the Superior claims the top hat at Wallaceburg
  • Two local youths charged with the assault of Phillip Contois of Concession 18, Tiny Twp., Ed Dorion who came to Mr. Contois aid was also attacked
  • Barn of Grenville Doan on the 8th concession of Flos Twp. was completely destroyed by fire after lightning strike, 56 animals lost
  • 137 homes in the Wireless Hill area to get home mail delivery as soon as 90% have mail boxes or mail slots and house numbers
  • Bell Telephone calls tenders for their new dial exchange building to be built at the corner of Hugel and Midland Avenues, to be ready next summer.
  • Cancellation of recent powder box contract causes the lay off of fifty men at the C. Beck Company in Penetang
  • Penetang town hall undergoes renovations to allow both fire trucks to be parked inside. Main street sewer being lowered to eliminate costly pumping arrangement, sewer will be over twenty feet deep in some places
  • Funeral service for Mrs. Amelia Johnston, 71, of Victoria Harbour, who died after her dress caught fire while burning leaves in her yard

2006 0020 1702

Jack McKee piles salvaged bricks from the burned out Central School. He estimates there are 200,000 usable bricks that are being sent to the new high school and the St. Andrews Hospital addition to be used as inside layers affecting a huge savings in material costs.

2006 0020 1147

Familiar sight to several generations of tourists and North Simcoe residents, the City of Dover has been sold to John Belmore of Sault Ste. Marie. Exact fate of the veteran cruise ship is not known but the new owner is expected in town later this month to move the Dover to its new home. (Not to worry she comes back to Midland again)

2006 0020 1144

Captain Linden Burns receives his first top hat as a Great Lakes Captain as his ship the Prindoc of the Paterson Line is the first ship into Midland Harbour with 5900 tons of coal. Mrs Burns hold his regular hat while A. C. McCaul of the Midland Chamber of Commerce and Reeve W. H. Keller, far left, look on.

2006 0020 1150

Jim Radley, formerly of Liverpool, sorts life rings on the Ashcroft in preparation for her spring departure. This is Radley’s second season on the Great Lakes, Ray Denis, helmsman, is also in the photo. Many Midland men were familiar with the fitting out process, the scraping,the painting and the polishing.

2006 0020 1153

Canada Steamship Lines freighter Ashcroft departs harbour past the Century Coal Dock at the foot of William Street, the first ship to leave this season. Large pipe is the sewage outflow before the sewage plant was built at this corner.

2006 0020 11512006 0020 1154

Hundreds of hockey fans gather on  King Street to watch the NHL final on television in the window of Beauchamp’s Electric at 308 (now 354) King Street. Traffic on King was down to one lane at times. The TV was connected to Midland’s new Tower TV system and except for a few interruptions from lightning, reception was excellent.


Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  1955 April 9th to 16th

(Click on photos to enlarge)

 2006 0020 1084

 From Midland and Penetang, tops in the Midland Music Festival these 19 musicians were awarded scholarships at the “Stars of the Festival” concert, March 31st. Back row; Fred Gaviller, Gary Flynn, John Arpin, Peter Bramah, Doug Setterington, Mary Popple and Doris Hyde. Front row; Keith Craig, Jim Cleaver, Jane Crawford, Andy Zgudziak, Maureen Belfry, Eleanor Boden, Elizabeth Cleaver, Eleanor Paice, Maureen Jeffery, Anne Webster, Elizabeth Cowan and Robin Ann Allsopp.


2006 0020 11232006 0020 1124

 Champion egg hunters. Y’s Men sponsored a huge Easter egg hunt in Little Lake Park Saturday morning. Metal tokens were hidden throughout the park, exchangeable for prizes later. Several of the tokens were punched with a series of holes entitling the finder to the main prizes. A large candy firm had donated 7,000 chocolate Easter eggs, chocolate rabbits and kiddy-pops to towns from Montreal to Windsor, such as Sudbury, Peterborough, Guelph, Acton, Brantford, etc. Public and separate school children up to grade six were allowed to participate.

Margitta Litchtenfeld got the main prize, Lynn McAllen, Ricky Hanes and Bob Mathis received main prizes, everyone who took part took something home.


2006 0020 1085

Midland District High School Glee Club perform at the “Stars of the Festival” on March 31st at the YMCA. Called the “Choraleers” their director is Alex Docherty.


  • Lewis Livingston, well known Midland businessman dies in car crash north of Barrie, survived by his wife and three sons, Leo, Herman and Mike. Mike was the first Midlander to enlist in WW2.
  • Penetang contractor Howard W. Way awarded $25,000.00 contract for flooring, siding and roofing on 186 homes to be built at CFB Borden.
  • Henri (Harry) Carriere, 65 year old Highland Point resident drowns when his wooden boat is crushed by the ice in Penetang harbour
  • Council told that 46 Dollartown properties average only $22.00 in taxes compared to the norm of $80.00. Assessments from $260.00 to $100.00.
  • Effective May 1st nursing rates have been raised; $10 for 8 hour regular cases, $11 for 8 hour Psychiatric, Alcoholic and Communicable disease cases.
  • Obituaries; Walter Drinkill nee Alice Jane Moody, Waverley aged 72; Stephen Lahey, Perkinsfield; Mrs. Joseph Lortie nee Philomene Bourgeois; Mrs. Nelson Ambeau Midland, born 1882 at French River; Harry A. Barnett, born December 8, 1876 in Waubaushene, married Clara E. Grant, predeceased by son Len, survived by grandchildren Bill & Gwen.

 2006 0020 1128

Young orators speak to Midland Y’s Mens Club at their regular meeting. Alice Campbell, Midland, Martin Gouett, Waubaushene, Nancy Rose, Fesserton, teacher Frank Powell MDHS, back row, Hartmut Bezner and Ron Blair both of Midland.

Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe April 1st to 8th 1955


(click on photos to enlarge)

  •  Over 500 men off benefit April 15th, 232 from Midland, 123 from Penetang
  • Frank Doherty elected president of Midland Rotary Club, John Jory is vice-president
  • Trucks to replace rail for express and mail in most of North Simcoe, late night & early morning passenger trains also cancelled
  • Bell starts changeover of dial plates in Penetang, number only dials replaced with number & letter dials
  • More than 2,000 attend Midland Lions Club ice revue “Tropical Heat” at Arena Gardens
  • Fundraising to furnish the new addition to St. Andrew’s Hospital in Midland now over $130,000.00
  • 21 inches of snow in last week’s severe storm
  • Only one paper this week due to Good Friday being a statutory holiday

2006 0020 1067

Quartet from MPDHS won the invitational section of the school boy bonspiel in Owen Sound last week. Skip John Scott holding the trophy, Ross Hastings, Ken Gauthier and Peter Moreau.

2006 0020 1135

Accompanied by their teachers, Miss Helen Laidlaw and John Yelland, grade 2 and 3 students from Regent Public School visit Artie Gardiner’s sugar bush near Wyebridge. Bonnie Leclair, 7, is reluctant to sample the sap being offered by John Barber, 8. The little flies make it taste better!

 2006 0020 1137

Gudrun Mandler, 8, and Siegrid Mandler, 9, enjoy the fresh maple syrup, the siblings recently arrived from Germany with their parents who work at the Leitz plant in Midland.

2006 0020 1138

John Anderson with a huge tank of sap on a sleigh, Elizabeth Boldt, Mary Taylor, Ross Palmer and Dickie Puddicombe inspect the fresh sap.

 2006 0020 1651

 Charles Burton Edwards and his wife, Jessie May Smeltzer celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Charlie was born at Conc. 1 Tay Twp. near Wyebridge on December 21st, 1879. After attending Rankin’s School he worked on his father’s farm before going “steamboating” for five years, tiring of that he got a job at Gidley’s Boat Works in Penetang where he stayed for nine years. He then held a similar position at Monette Boat Works in Bracebridge for a few years, returning to Gidleys for another seven  years. Leaving the boat business to became a building contractor in Toronto a trade he followed for fifteen years. During the war he served as a pattern maker at DeHavilland Aircraft working on the famed wooden Mosquitoe bombers, staying there until he retired in 1947.

  Taking the story back to his farm days, Charlie had decided to go to British Columbia to make his life when he stopped overnight in South River Ontario and stayed at a boarding house where the owner’s sister Jessie happened to be visiting. Charlie never got to B.C., they were married in Penetang on March 29th, 1905 and are now living at 278 Fourth Street (302 Fourth St., new numbering) they have five children, ten grand children and good health. Charlie still works occasionally building cottages, making cupboards and other small jobs but more often now its fishing and gardening that he enjoys most. One son, Howard (Bud), lives in Midland.

 2006 0020 1652

 Caleb Truman and Toby live at 625 Bay Street. Known to many in Midland simply as “the man with the little black dog”. “He goes everywhere I do except to Knox Church on Sunday mornings,” smiles Caleb. Born in Derbyshire England in 1872, at 12 he became a pit pony driver in the coal mines, working from 6 AM till 3 PM for a shilling a day. After seven years in the mines he enlisted in the Royal Garrison Artillery and fought in the Boer War and the Indian border wars before returning to England as a Sergeant. He emigrated in 1905 and on the ship he met four other men bound for Canada, one being Arthur Marks from Midland. The entire group got jobs in a stave and lath mill at Edenville for 18 cents per hour, 10 hour days. His next job was pouring cement for the new Tiffin Elevator in Midland but that only lasted four months.  After that he got a job at the Drummond smelter, Midland’s main industry at the time besides the saw mills, the smelter employed 200 men. There was a strike at the smelter, the men were asking for 3 eight hour shifts instead of the 13 hour night shift and 11 hour day shift. The company refused and the men eventually went back to the old system but the smelter business did not last long after that. Caleb and other employees found work at the International Nickel Company in Sudbury where he became a foreman in the sulphide division, a position he held for 26 years until his retirement in 1945 when he returned to Midland. Caleb married Annie Scott, daughter of Thomas Scott of Midland in 1907. Mrs. Truman died in 1944 and their only child Laura, died at a young age. Caleb belonged to the Sons of England, then one of Midland’s strongest lodges and the Masonic Order. His favourite hobby now is writing poetry, he has 75 compositions he hopes to publish some day.



Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  1955 March 24th to the 31st

(Double click photos to enlarge)

2006 0020 1105

Toronto newspapers are dropped off daily at this intersection, King and Yonge and their wrappers leave a mess. Sign indicates that this is also the junction of Highway 27 and 12. Highway 27 had a second termination in Penetang. Note the row of fine brick homes which have now been either moved, torn down or converted to businesses such as Compusolve.

2006 0020 10232006 0020 10242006 0020 1088

Superintendent of the Midland Hospital for a record thirty years, Miss Emma Baker was honoured by many of the 115 nurses who have graduated from her classes during a banquet held at the Midland YMCA on Saturday night. It was also Miss Baker’s eightieth birthday. Second photo; Mrs. Clarence Weeks, Mrs. William Jones and Mrs. Leslie Dunlop. Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Dunlop were part of the last graduating class at St. Andrews School of Nursing in 1942. First photo; includes Mrs. O. M. Steer of Peterborough in the middle and Mrs. Charles Bowie of Midland, both women graduated from the class of 1912 at the Midland Penetang Marine Hospital.
Third photo; sixty of Miss Baker’s “girls” who came out to honour her.

2006 0020 1072

Skaters dressed as monkeys for the Midland Lions Club ice revue called “Tropical Heat” to be staged at the Arena Gardens Friday and Saturday. Shirley Todd, Elizabeth Simmonds, Barbara Nicholls and Darlene Lowes.
2006 0020 1075

“Tropical Heat” will highlight these five performers. Senior quartet at back, Gail Schelgel, Mary Ann Nicholson, Donna Kinnear, Bev Scott and Mary Lynn Boyd in front.

2006 0020 1079
Seven hundred people braved bad weather to attend a night of  barber shop harmony sponsored by the Midland chapter of the  SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America), at Midland Armory, Saturday night. Midland chapter chorus is on stage directed by Ray Trew.
2006 0020 1080
SPEBSQSA concert participants, the Midland “Tonettes” perform; Mrs. Vern Sweeting, Mrs. Ray Trew, Mrs. Charles Rutherford and Mrs. Milt Taggart.

2006 0020 1081

Sixth Street School’s kindergarten band competes in the ninth annual Y`s Mens Music Festival. Leader of the band in front with baton is Jean Drinkle, beside her is Bonnie Taylor. Back row, Walter Blythe, Craig Simpson, Jimmy Preston, Wendy Walton and Jay Ellis.

  •  33 municipalities from Bruce, Grey, Dufferin and Simcoe send 150 delegates to meet in Midland to further the new provincial government industrial development plan
  • Coldwater Dairy has been sold by E. G. (Tommy) Barber to Robert Moore of Burlington. Andrew Dunlop started the dairy from his home on Eplett Street with one $20.00 cow in the thirties.
  • Anatole Charlesbois had his car stolen on Main Street and Constable Mel Gattie found the car and apprehended the thief in less than an hour
  • Brule fined $1000.00 plus costs for serving minors
  • Keewatin crew for 1955; Capt. E. H. Ridd, Midland; 1st mate, A. Campbell, Port McNicoll; 2nd mate, J. L. Delahey, Victoria Harbour; 3rd mate, W. J. Estey, Port McNicoll
  • old switching engine retired years ago to be displayed beside the C. Beck Co. Ltd. office in Penetang
  • Royal Commission on shipping to visit Midland to hear about the importance of ship building and shipping to this area
  • Seven more miles of cable TV wire will soon be strung in central Midland by Bell Telephone staff
  • Roads were closed for several days in Tay, Tiny and Matchedash due to the recent snow storm and gale force winds
  • Jerome Charlesbois of Lafontaine was the big winner with three trophies in French oral and written examinations held at Penetang Public School
  • West side schools win 3 of 5 games from Regent School in the finals of the Midland Public School’s Hockey tournament
  • Warren Jacklin and Richard Moffat leave the teaching staff in Hanover to join MPDHS staff
  • Ralph Beverly Lynn of Penetang was one of 22 North American students awarded a $6,000.00 medical science scholarship


    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  1955 March 16th to the 23rd

    (Click on photos to enlarge)

    Penetang has been notified that the OPP are terminating their contract with the municipality effective December 31st.  Mayor Kerr recommends an earlier date so that recruitment can begin as 16 other communities including Barrie will be receiving the same notice.

    2006 0020 1110

    Sixty Five years a member, R.G. (Gilmore) Nesbitt, former lodge secretary was honoured with a 65 year jewel by Vern Holroyd the present secretary of the Midland IOOF lodge. Presentation was made at St. Andrews Hospital where Mr. Nesbitt has been a patient for the past year as a result of hip surgery. L to R, Ira Rumney, Stewart Glassier, Noble Grand of the Midland IOOF Lodge, Vern Holroyd secretary, J.W. Bald, Edgar Smyth, Don Argue, Percy French, Eric Heels. Omery Caudle and Thomas McCabe. Seated in front, R.G. Nesbitt and Hedley Whittle.

    •  Annual Y’s Mens Music Festival has 450 contestants entered.
    • First robin spotted March 14th by the Harold Benson family just south east of Midland
    • Bruce Speerin of Coldwater finds a column of honey a foot wide by 10 feet high in an unused chimney
    • Rotary’s “TV Comes to Town” event nets $800.00 for new hospital
    • Atkinson Machine & Marine complete repairs on C.P. Edwards for the Canadian government, ex RCN Lloyd Atkinson has been approached by Gravenhurst Steamship Ltd. to survey the boilers of the Sagamo
    • Midland-Penetanguishene District High School Board agree to sell old high school to the town of Penetang for $10.00
    • West Tay Telephone system at a meeting in the Ebenezer school voted to sell to Bell Telephone, Bell to provide dial services
    • 25 years ago, Rev. J.M. Castex after nine years in Midland was transferred to the parish at Phelpston
    • Hospital campaign exceeds $80,000 after only four days, donors and amounts listed in newspaper

    2006 0020 1113

    Students in the south staircase of the new addition to Regent Public School. Five members of one family,  Roy Hutchinson 7,  Sidney 8, Ross 10, Reta 11, Lillian 12, Lottie their 6 year old sister was home with the measles. Sons and daughters of Mr. & Mrs. Roy Hutchinson of 289 Queen Street.

    2006 0020 1089

    Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80 donate $700.00 to the St. Andrews Hospital building fund. Mrs. Len Wiles treasurer, Mrs. William Baker president, Mrs. Len Maheau secretary and Mr. V.G. Edwards chairman of the hospital building fund.


    2006 0020 1009

    Runners up in the Midland Little League Hockey finals, Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL, front row, Doug Dwinnell, Bill Gray, Wayne Ferris, David Bertrand and John Nicholls. Back row, Rev. Len Self, league director, Peter Davis, Paul Marchildon, David Henry, Alvin Robillard, Charlie Henry coach and Rodney Rankin.

    2006 0020 1011

    Runners up in the Midland Little League Hockey finals, Cleveland Barons in the AHL, front row, J. McConnell, D. Hilliard, Tom McCullough, Ross Clute, F. Burgie, W. Lavigne, David McIlvarey and W. Schell. Back row, Bjorn Pettersen, B. Montgomery, C. Ward, C. Hamilton, Tom Jenkinson, John Argue and J. MacKinnon. Coaches L. Girard and Rev. Len Self.

    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  1955 March 8th to the 15th

    (Click on photos to enlarge)

    TV Comes to Town This Week
    Entertainment you couldn’t buy for $10.00 a night now in your own home at 12 cents a day. See and hear it first in the Midland Armory this Friday and Saturday then in your own home. The Midland Rotary Club TV Show will showcase the local TV dealers, the new Tower TV system and raise money for the new hospital. Admission 50 cents for adults 25 cents for children with special shows for elementary school children.
    2006 0020 1032
    2006 0020 1028

    Crowd of people seated at the Midland Armory watching televisions on display by numerous local TV dealers. Advertising banners on the wall for James Bath selling Fleetwood TV, Herb Beauchamp Radio & Television and Eplett’s TV Sales & Service. New Tower TV cables being installed on Yonge Street by Bell Telephone under contract.
    2006 0020 1647
    Hundreds attend 50th Anniversary of Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Larmand of Victoria Harbour. Mr. Larmand (1881 t0 1965) was a river log driver for the Georgian Bay Lumber Company, carpenter and CPR elevator worker. Mrs. Larmand was Clarina Bressette (1886 to 1974) daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Edmond Bressette, farmer in the Port Severn area. They were married in the Roman Catholic Church in Port Severn, “It looked just as old then as it does now” said Mr. Larmand. The couple had four boys and four girls.

    Local Union Leaders Support Fund Drive
    James Dempsey, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association pledges the officers and members are ready to support the fundraising drive to the best of their ability. Lachie Calder, secretary of Georgian Bay Lodge No. 976, AFL Brotherhood of Railway Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employees and Steamship Clerks added, “Our members are fully behind the new hospital”. Maurice Latour president of local 4696, United Steel Workers of America says ” we are right behind you in the forthcoming campaign to raise funds for the hospital.

    2006 0020 10372006 0020 1059

    Car dealers represented at the annual Jaycees car show at the Midland Armory. Gordon Boyd, Lloyd Murday, Alvin “Cuppy” Gropp, Ray Smith, Bev Keefe and Harold Warman. Mr. Smith is the president of the JC’s.
    2006 0020 1058

    Fresh from an upset victory over the Aurora Bears in a five game series, Midland Red Wings prepare for a seven game series against the Collingwood for the Georgian Bay group championship. Garnet & Clare Armstrong and Ernie Cowden.

    2006 0020 1116
    Intact after winning a five game series with the Parry Sound Shamrocks, the Midland Monarchs prepare for a seven game final series with Meaford. Front, Don Scott, Charlie Scott, Morley Spiker, Chuck Edwards, Babe Deschamps and Murray Yorke. Back, manager Jack Vallier coach, Jim O’Hearn, Jim Green, Bruce Hook, Marty Desroches, Pete Switzer, Ray Collings, Jack LaChapelle and Stan Ritchie. Stick boy is Bob Jackson.

    2006 0020 1107
    A group of Midland Captains meeting at the Georgian Hotel to plan fundraising among mariners to aid in the addition to St. Andrew’s Hospital. Captains, Harvey Ambeau, Dick Simpell, Don Wilson, Frank Harpell, Cliff Armstrong, Ward White, and Dalton Hudson.

    Daniell’s Welding Service receives contract from the Hydro Electric Power Commission (Hydro One) to construct two scows to be used in connection with the extension of hydro services through the Georgian Bay and Muskoka regions. The total cost will be around $10,000.0 and will employ five men. One will be a landing scow, 35 x 12 x 3 feet in size, the other will be 40 x 20 x 4 feet and will be used to construct a bunkhouse to accommodate staff working up the shore.
    2006 0020 1050 2006 0020 1051
    Sixth Street School students and staff hold an open house to celebrate Education Week, Grade 3 student Paul Ruston and teacher Mrs. F. Marshall point to welcome sign.
    Marjorie Blyth, Gail Kettle, Janice Gilson, Beverly Scott and Darlene Lowes, senior students greetings visitors.
    2006 0020 1042
    Johnny Simpson, son of Mr. & Mrs. Jack Simpson, Russell Street, is too young for school but finds the Indian display very interesting. Grade 2 teacher Mrs. Robert (Florence) Bell looks on.

    • Budget of Ontario Department of Lands & Forests includes funds to develop 1300 acre Tiny Marsh as a bird protection program.
    • Million dollar addition to Oak Ridges hospital in provincial budget for Penetang
    • WGR-TV of Buffalo to broadcast Rotary TV Show this weekend at Armouries – You may be on TV
    • George Dudley remembers seeing closed circuit TV demonstration between Walker Stores and the Capitol Theater 20 years ago
    • Runaway car kills 5 year old local girl on Penetang main street
    • Famed 1833 grist mill in Coldwater switches to electric power after Hurricane Hazel
    • Tiny Township clamps down on improper garbage containers, one warning will be given then both container and garbage will go in the truck

Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  March 1st to March 7th 1955

  • March In Like A Lamb
    March came in like a frisky lamb yesterday in the North Simcoe district. A mild spell which set in at the weekend continues to whittle away the deep snow, which several veterans say is the heaviest to blanket the area in some years.Two Anglers Near Victims of Coal Gas
    Harold Fox, 121 Elizabeth St. and Alex Smith of 101 Bay St. spent most of the morning in their ice fishing shack off the Century Coal Dock, “I’m beginning to feel drowsy, I think I will pack up and go home” Fox told his companion. As soon as the two stepped outside they both became dizzy and it was some time before they were able to make their way to the coal dock office for help. Gas from the soft coal they were burning had collected in the enclosed shack and nearly overcome the two men.Loblaws Buy Town Hall for New Store
    Loblaws has paid the corporation of Midland $45,000.00 for the present town hall property at King and Elizabeth Streets, the deal closes at the end of December.2006 0020 1064
     A veteran and two new masters.
    Veteran Captain Robert Mitchell of Port McNicoll, instructor with the Midland Marine School  and Donald H. MacFarland of Port McNicoll, left, John Simpell of Midland on the right. Both men have received their masters ticket in recent examinations.
    2006 0020 1069
    Contestants in the Midland Lion’s Club senior oratorical contest after delivering their prepared and impromptu addresses in the Midland District High School auditorium. Barbara Johnston, Martine Gouett, Barbara Leclair and Margaret Lavigne. Back row, Dean Nicholls, Ken Grant, Wayne Parker and Guy Johnstone. Martine Gouett and Ken Grant were the winners.
    2006 0020 0979
    CNR 7470 lays helpless behind the CSL elevator while local efforts to right her have failed and a crane will be brought in from Allandale. This locomotive was built for the Grand Trunk Railway in 1921 by the Canadian Locomotive Company as their 1795. It is an 0-6-0 type which is intended for heavy switching assignments such as moving long cuts of heavily laden grain cars. The unit still exists (2015) in working order as an excursion engine at the Conway Scenic Railroad at North Conway, New Hampshire. Follow the link to see her operating in 2015.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4jkj1plVGsHeavier wheat export sales result in all bulk carriers fitting out for spring rush.
    Heavy rush of grain to the bay ports is likely to ease local unemployment. Unlike last year when local elevators were relatively full this spring will see almost all local elevators empty. Last year longshoremen and mariners in this district had a slim year with many of the ships laid up most of the season.
    2006 0020 1008
     Winners of the Kelvin Wilcox memorial trophy was this team from the Little League Senior OHA playoff. The overall winners were the Windsor Spitfires beating Owen Sound 3-2 in sudden death overtime. Midland team, left rear, Gordon Reid, Don Wilcox, Coach Newton Henderson, John Bourgeois, Frank Holmes, Harvey Benoit, Tom Brodeur, Rev. J.L. Self, John Armstrong and coach Charlie Scott. Front, Barry Crawford, Bob Hendrikson, Buzz Deschamps, Larry Bonneville and Terry Dumais.

    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  Last Week of February 1955

    Fifty Years Married
    Shovelled snow for two days to get to church for his wedding;

    Joseph Paradis, whose father was also Joseph, got very little formal schooling as he started work at 10. His father was paid $80.00 a month to work on the log booms for the Georgian Bay Lumber Company but was required to pay his own help. Joe Jr. went as the assistant so as to keep all the money in the family. When he was 15 the family moved onto a farm in Port Severn where he worked until he married. Mrs. Paradis, who will celebrate her 68th birthday next month,  is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Edmund Bressette and unlike Joe did go to school and lived at home until married. They were married in the church at Port Severn by Father Laboureau who only came to Port Severn once a month as his parish extended from Penetang to Honey Harbour. Joseph recalls having to shovel all day Saturday and Sunday to open the road to get to the church for the Monday wedding.
    When married they moved to Victoria Harbour where he worked for the Waldie Lumber Co. on the sorting jack for $1.75 a day. Later he learned carpentry which earned him .35 cents an hour and a three year job building the locks at Port Severn.
    Thirty two years ago they moved to Penetang with their family of five sons and one daughter. Joseph got  a job at Grew Boats as a finisher and worked there until his retirement last year. At the time it was Gidley Boats, later the Stewart Company, then Grew Boats who sold out to another firm who retained the name.
    The couple remembers the first bicycle they ever saw, ridden by Dr. Boyd of Coldwater when he came to Port Severn on calls. The same doctor drove the first car they ever saw. The main entertainment in Port Severn was dancing, around Christmas there was a dance almost every night. Square dances held in various homes with fiddlers, an organ if there was one in the house and occasionally an accordion. “And we had a lot more fun than they do now.”
    Only one son, Fred, is working in Penetang, Edmund, Joseph Jr. and Felix are working in Kingston and Alden is with the RCAF in Ottawa. There only daughter Valerie, (Mrs. Vic Moreau) died about two and half years ago. They have 24 grandchildren and 2 great grand children.

    10 Years Ago (70 years Ago)
    Since February the 6th four thousand tons of ice 19 inches thick has been harvested from Georgian Bay at Port McNicoll for the CPR. Four thousand tons were kept in storage for the CPR steamships, the remainder was shipped by rail to Windsor, London, Owen Sound, Orangeville and Trenton.

     50 Years Ago (110 years Ago)
    Listed among the merchants in a 1906 business directory is the Midland Boat and Canoe Company operated by W.H. Hacker and Co. W.H. was the father of F.A. Hacker who still operates a store on King Street (1955). “It was located at the foot of King Street where the present Midland Boat Works now stands.” “Perhaps our biggest business was renting houseboats which we had towed wherever desired up the shore,” said Mr. Hacker. “There were no summer cottages dotting the islands then. Only a few permanent settlers scattered about in the wilderness.” The advent of the gasoline motor changed all this, as it did a lot of other things. (Descendants of popular Midland son and retired lawyer Fred Hacker)

    2006 0020 0981
    Roofing the St. Andrews Hospital addition are Mel Bumstead, Midland, John Fagan, Wyebridge, roofing contractor C. Annand and Elmer Beardsall of Midland.
    2006 0020 0983
    Plumber Jack Wilson from Waubaushene, Don Gillespie and Albert Atkinson of Midland working on the expansion of St. Andrews Hospital Midland, February 1955
    2006 0020 0984
    Ernie Robins from Midland Foundry and Machine installing elevator in addition to St. Andrews Hospital, Midland.

    2006 0020 0978
    St. Andrews Hospital addition construction photo, Carl Newman from Walkers Electric working on electrical panel. Bob Newburn, electrician for Walkers Electric working with conduit.
    2006 0020 0974
    Midland Lion’s Club sponsored little league hockey MVP’s. Edgar Dorion, AHL, Jim Wilcox NHL, David Simmonds junior OHA. Edgar is holding the new PMCL trophy. Coach unknown and Rev. Len Self.

    Esteemed Port McNicoll businessman George Patterson dies in England.
    A former Warden of Simcoe County and Reeve of Port McNicoll for 14 years, Mr. Patterson, aged 72, died in a Berwick-On-Tweed hospital while visiting his sister. Born in England on May 9th, 1883 he apprenticed as a tailor but soon followed his father in the masonry trade. He came to Canada in 1906 and obtained work in Hillsdale as a mason then moving to Elmvale to work for a contractor named Parker. In 1907 he moved to Victoria Harbour and worked for Sherman Burns as a mason. In 1911 he moved to Port McNicoll and built many foundations including the one under the Bonar Presbyterian Church. He served in France during the war and returned to Port McNicoll in 1919 and opened a men’s clothing store. He was an elder of the United Church and enjoyed curling and fishing. He was predeceased by his wife Maggie Tooke of Victoria Harbour and leaves six sons, Jack, Jim and David, all of Toronto, Bob and George of Port McNicoll and Donald of North Bay, one daughter, Mrs. Clive Park of Midland.

    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  February 1955 16th to 23rd

    Police to get two way radio system; Midland council to apply to the Department of Transport for a frequency to be used by the Police Department for a two way radio system.

    2006 0020 0976(3)

    Bernard Willette finds 1896 dog tag; working up the soil for a lawn at his new home on Seventh Street Mr. Willette came across one of the earlier dog tags issued in Midland. No dog. (One of these recently sold at a local antique shop)
    2006 0020 1004

    PMCL bus slides off the road; No injuries were reported among the passengers as  the bus stayed upright in the ditch along Hwy 27 just south of Penetang.

    YMCA Camp Kitchikewana registration hits all time high; 60 applications for this summer have been turned away due to lack of facilities. Win Smith, “Y” secretary said there would be a daily enrollment of between 200 and 215 at the boys and girls camps during July and August this year.

    Photo #1.  1955, from The Midland Free Press collection.

    Canadian singles badminton champ Don Smythe visits Midland; badminton has become popular since the formation of the Garrison Badminton Club associated with the new Armouries. Members Grace Edgar, left, and Helen Laidlaw get autographs from the professional. (This is the second photo of Miss Edgar in this series. Many Midlanders knew Grace as Mrs. Miles Blackhurst and know that her friendly nature and that big smile were part of the local scene until her passing in 2014.)

    Urge conservation courses in public and high school; renowned local conservationist C. A. Walkinshaw speaking to the Midland Kiwanis Club advocated the teaching of conservation to our young people.                                ” Enforcement of game laws is not enough. The habits of birds and wildlife must be studied and protected. Trees must be planted and the public must be made aware of the danger of failing to conserve our natural resources.”


    2006 0020 0985

    District Orange Lodge of East Simcoe elect new officers; pictured at the Orange Lodge on Dominion Ave. are front row, Fred Norwood, Midland, tyler; Lennox Vasey, Port McNicoll, Deputy District Master; Joseph Leeking, Midland, Wor. Master of the District Lodge; Lewis Todd, Midland, chaplain; back row,  George Marchant, RR1 Midland, recording secretary; Robert Davis, Midland, marshal; Mike Kelly, Port McNicoll, first lecturer; Jack Crooke, Midland, second lecturer; absent Albert Black, Midland. Mr. Marchant has been the recording secretary for 26 years.

    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  February 1955  8th to the 15th


    Marine Railway State “Shocking”
    Lloyd Letherby, MLA for Simcoe East calls for the provincial house to bring pressure on federal authorities to remedy the situation at the Big Chute. Originally able to handle craft up to 35 tons then reduced to 25 tons and now restricted to 15 tons, the marine railway is creating a bottleneck in the system.

    Major Public Works Program to Provide Jobs for Unemployed
    Alderman Charles Onley tells council there are federal grant monies available for slum clearance. Town engineer R.M. White unveils plan to open up Bryant Street from Olive to William to create 23 town owned lots.

    2006 0020 0964

    Queen of Hearts, Vivian Mosley seated, is pictured with her court after winning the Midland event Thursday night.  Bonnie Bannan, Jane Bell, Donna Brandon and Margaret Ambeau.

    2006 0020 1000

    Penetanguishene District High School “Queen of Hearts” winner Patricia Martin, runners up Jeanne Sauvé, Hazel Boucher and Pat Desroches.

    2006 0020 0995

    Queen for A Night

    Midland Y`s Men`s Club hold their annual mixed spiel and vote Mrs. Charles Vent “Queen“ of the event, pinning the corsage is Ray Trew.

     2006 0020 0993

    St. Mark’s Players Guild rehearsing “His Name Was Aunt Nellie” Joan Hanna, Esther Brighty, Murray Pashler, Howard Smyth and Grace McMullen director.


    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  February 1st to 7th 1955


    2006 0020 0972
    Chief speaker at the second annual Free Press Herald staff appreciation dinner was Kenneth Wells, prominent Canadian author and journalist from Medonte. Over 120 staff, correspondents and spouses attended. From the left, Mr. Wells, his wife Lucille Oille (Wells) noted artist and sculptress, Ernie and Marie White, columnists and correspondents from White’s Falls and Mr. & Mrs. G.R. Lane of Coldwater.


    • New dial system begins in Penetang this summer, all of North America is switching to a new system of phone numbers, each exchange will have a name and the individual phone numbers will consist of the first two letters of that name plus five numbers. The Penetang exchange will be called “Kingsdale” followed by a “9” and the Midland exchange will be “Lakeside” followed by a “6”. For example LA or 52 followed by 6-5431.
    • Knox has $2007.00 surplus after expenditures of $16,251.00, will redecorate church, memberships stands at 898.
    • Measles, mumps and flu are making the rounds of Midland schools, the three public schools had 109 pupils absent, 70 from Regent alone, 19 being kindergarten. 104 were absent at the High School.
    • $224,500 was approved by the Dominion Department of Public Works for dredging in Midland harbour in 1955
    • March 31st deadline for all trucks where vision of hand signals is obstructed to install electrical turn signal and stop lights.
    • 150 Rovers to attend regional Moot in Little Lake Park
    • Deadline for obtaining 1955 licence plates and operator’s permits extended to February 28th.
    • Monsignor J.M. Castex, 83, received his Canadian citizenship papers in a ceremony in Barrie on Friday. He came to Canada from his native France in 1890 and has been the parish priest here since 1938. He is still extremely active and many younger men have said he can tire them out on a jaunt through the bush.
    • Improved mail service by truck from Allandale to Phelpston, Elmvale, Wyevale, Perkinsfield, Penetang and Midland, retracing the route in the PM delivering outgoing mail to the train at Allandale the same day.
    • Council extends purchase option to Loblaws for King Street fire hall building until the end of February, Midland Public School Board transfers Central School property on Dominion Ave. to the town for the sum of $1.00.
    • Sixteen Christian Island residents missed the boat Saturday night and were forced to stay on the mainland at the home of Achille Marchildon on the 18th Conc. By morning the ice was too thick for the boat and too weak to walk on, attempts to fly them back by Georgian Bay Airways were thwarted by poor weather. By Monday afternoon the entire group had either been flown or walked safely to their homes.
    • Morley Spiker scores four goals to end the Monarch’s losing streak with a 6-4 victory over Meaford.

     2006 0020 0921

    Veteran Superintendent at Tiffin retires, Charles A. Flowers started his railway career in 1918 and has been Superintendent since 1938. He noted that when he started most ships carried 150,00 bushels of wheat, last July the S.S. Scott Misener arrived with 750,00 bushels. Elevator was enlarged in 1923 to its present capacity of 4.5 million bushels and in 1945 it handled a record 30 million bushels. Left, Albert Hill the new Tiffin superintendent, Leonard Galloway superintendent of motive power from Toronto, Pearson Flowers son of Charles, Mr. Flowers and unknown.

     Interesting Ads

    • Midland Melodies, a Monday to Friday radio show on 1570 CFOR has a new announcer, Mildred Attridge. The show keeps you up to date on Midland events and news, interviews with local personalities, fashion hints and shopping news from local merchants.
    • Canadian Tire, truck signals now required, standard kit $12.98, deluxe $22.35.
    • Midland Planing Mills advertising house plans and materials for your new home with financing available from the NHA (National Housing Authority) at $60.00 per month.
    • Leitch Motors at 190 Dominion Ave. advertising the new 1955 De Soto.
    • A. Barrie & Sons advertising licensed female embalmer in attendance.
    • Deen and Evelyn McGill wish to announce they have taken over Green’s Ladies Wear at 297 King Street and will now be known as McGill’s Ladies Wear.

     2006 0020 0919

     More than fifty representatives of district industries, both management and employees attended a dinner at the Georgian Hotel Friday night to launch a fundraising campaign to purchase equipment for the new hospital. Head table, Robert Wilson, Ald. Clinton Smith, Mrs. C. Weeks nurses alumnae, Mrs. Fred Bell hospital auxiliary, Dr. D.C. Swan president of the medical staff, industrial campaign chair W.H. Shaver, R.J. Pinchin hospital boards chair, V.G. Edwards campaign chair, Mayor Charles Parker, George S. Dudley special names chair, W.H. Cranston, Herb Wiles of the RCL, R.F. Taylor campaign treasurer, Tom McCullough chair MPDHS Board. 

  • Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  January 23rd to the 30th 1955


    Double Click Photos to Enlarge


    • Canadian Name Plate president Gordon Moss announces public open house, plant employs 150
    • County councillors consider boarding elderly in private homes rather than providing a central facility, subsidize half the cost up to $30.00/month
    • Clerk of Medonte Township for 56 years, Thomas Duncan Robinson dies at 88, a Canadian record for public service in this position
    • Advocate payment terms for fines in lieu of jail time
    • County council sends a deputation to Ottawa looking for federal aid for Hurricane Hazel damage
    • Albert Lepage claims new scoot built in the back of Pete Lepage’s garage will go over the ice at more than 100 miles per hour
    • Henry Hawkes, 63 year old night watchman at Nameplate dies of injuries sustained at work last week


    2006 0020 0933

    Mrs Dorothy (Bruce) Spicer examines an air mail letter from her mother Mrs. E Glover of Brighouse York England mailed December 21st. The letter went missing with hundreds of others when the BOAC stratoliner crashed at Preswick Scotland Christmas Day with the loss of 28 lives. Mrs. Ken (May) Williams looks on. Note the edges of the letter are scorched.

    2006 0020 0926

    Local sea cadet officials were pleased with the turnout of parents for the reorganisation of RCSCC Huron, O.S. Robert Fournier shows his parents Mr. & Mrs. Henry Fournier of Penetanguishene the functioning of his rifle.

    2006 0020 0923

    Robbie Burns night dinner held by the men’s club of Knox Presbyterian Church in Midland. Location, church auditorium on Hugel Ave., John Dalyrmple club president, Rev Len Self, Mrs. Bill Manson serving the haggis while Mary Robertson looks on.

    2006 0020 0929

    Midland’s Intermediate “C” OBA basketball team winds up the regular schedule this weekend with games against Owen Sound and Base Borden. Seated, Charles Day, Mel Windover and Ed Gamna. Standing, Russ Cadeau, Forbes MacKenzie, John Powers and Tim Lethbridge. Absent Ted Smith, Don West and Allen James. Jerseys show names of local business sponsors, H.J. Thompson & Sons, James Bath, R.E. Simpsons and the Diana Tea Room.

    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  January 15th to 22nd 1955

    2006 0020 1636

    Head draughtsman at the new Canadian Name Plate plant is George Koch who came to Toronto last August when his family was displaced by the Russians in East Germany. Separation from their two daughters Heidi 10 and Hella 7 is soon to end as the girls will be flying to Canada on January 26th with help from Canadian Name Plate.  The Koch’s live at 99 Donalda Street. Frank Spence in the white shirt.

    Industrial accidents were common in earlier times.

    Henry Hawkes of 12 Ellen Street, night watchman at the Canadian Name Plate plant  was found unconscious on Saturday morning apparently having fallen from a scaffold while checking the boiler. Suffering from a fractured skull he was transported to Toronto on Monday and underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain.

    Also on Friday Gus Dorion of 265 Bay Street was crushed between two rail cars he was attempting to couple at the Century Coal Dock. He was rushed to St. Andrews hospital by Martin’s Ambulance suffering severe injuries to his hips and back.

    Paterson Steamship Line honours local  veteran mariners. Presentations made by Senator Paterson and his son John. Among those honoured were Captain C.J. Jewett formerly of Penetang, 31 years service; Capt. Cecil Clark, Midland, 29 years; Capt. Henry Odesse, Penetang, 29 years; First Mate Vernon B. Wilson Midland, 28 years; Capt. Fred Grant, Midland, 27 years; Capt. Richard Simpell and Capt. Donald Wilson both of Midland with 25 years’ service.

    2006 0020 0150

     Marlene Devitt has reigned without a successor as  Campus Queen of MDHS since the fall of 1953. Plans are underway by the school and the Roxy Theatre to create a new “Queen of Hearts” to be crowned for Valentine’s Day. Similar plans are being made with the Penetang High School.

    Front row, Mignon Pearson, Frances Perrault, Joan Marshall, mid row, Marlene Devitt (Vasey), Bonnie Bannon (Vasey), Yvonne Leblanc, back row, Verna Lambie, Donna Brandon, Jane Bell, Rhona Riley.

    Huronia Council, Knights of Columbus has begun a campaign  to ban the sale of comic books that portray horror, crime, sexual indecency, brutality or violence. Letters have been sent to all local service clubs, Legions, fraternal organizations, Midland District Ministerial Association, Protestant churches and other local organizations inviting them to a meeting at the Midland town hall on February 6th. The city of Ottawa already has an effective civic ordinance of this type.

    At the Roxy;
    Ma Kettle has a brand new fella in “Ricochet Romance” starring Marjorie Main and Chill Wills.


    • Sacred Heart Church in Port McNicoll, Elda Laurin, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Simeon Laurin, Port McNicoll and Gilbert Marchand, son of Mr. & Mrs. Edilbert Marchand, Lafontaine. Father Ivan Marchand brother of the groom officiated.
    • Ella Esther Whiteside, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Reford Whiteside, Wasaga Beach and Neil Ernest Edwards son of Mr. & Mrs. Nelson Edwards, Vasey, at Wasaga Beach.
    • Marks Anglican Church Midland, Patricia Ann Payette, only daughter of Mrs. Payette and the late John Thomas Payette married Peter Gerald Hudson, youngest son of Mr. & Mrs Dalton Hudson of Midland.
    • Alma Groves daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Curry and Glenville Murday son of Mrs. T. Murday and the late T. Murday at St. Marks Anglican Church Midland.

    2006 0020 0958 2006 0020 0959

    Midland rinks won a generous share of trophies during the 22nd annual club bonspiel last week, three in total. Al Steers rink won the main event while the two rinks above won the Goodyear and Birks Trophies. Goodyear winners top photo, Cam Milner, skip Vern Johnson, John Scott and Armand Robillard. Winners of the fourth event and the Birks Trophy, Gord Logan, skip Dr. Jim Small, Dr. C.N. James and Frank Bray.

    Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  January 8th to 14th 1955

    Mayor Hints Town May Undertake East End “Slum Clearance” Project.

    In his inaugural address Mayor Charles Parker spells out some of the projects ahead in 1955. Plans for the new municipal building, survey of the sewer system, revising the building code, tackling the growing traffic problems in town and the possibility of clearing the slum housing in the south east corner of town to make way for industrial growth (Dollar Town). Residents might be moved to new housing to make possible a “toning up” of that area.

     2006 0020 0949

     Being sworn in for the fifth time, Mayor Charles Parker on left, reads the oath of office before barrister A.A. Ingram, center, while Reeve W.H. Keller waits his turn. (This was at a time when elections were held annually at the beginning of the year.)

     Arthur Bressette, 36, dies in a house fire at Bergie Point Victoria Harbour early Saturday morning. Mr. Bressette was home alone, his wife being in hospital in Guelph at the time and their two children Wayne 2, and Edward 4, were staying with an aunt. Mr. Bressette was a bricklayer by trade and had lived in the area all his live except for his time overseas during the war. Survived by his parents Mr. & Mrs. Paul Bressette, three brothers Leonard, Lorne and Robert and a sister Mrs. Fred Miller all of Victoria Harbour.

     2006 0020 0951

     Learning to be careful drivers on the Great Lakes these students at Midland’s marine school hear the mysteries of the Canadian buoyage system explained by Capt. Robert Mitchell. L to R, assistant instructor Gordon Glover of Midland; Robert Mitchell Jr., Port McNicoll; Bernard Gravelle, Penetang; Bill Shields, Midland and Captain Mitchell.

     2006 0020 0952

       A Chief Engineers job on a Great Lakes steamship is a complicated one as the three students to the right will agree. “Chiefy” for many years with Canadian Pacific Steamships, John Moses of Port McNicoll is the chief instructor.  Pupils are U.J. Lefaive, Port McNicoll; Al Bremner, Midland and Albert Rice, Port McNicoll. School is sponsored by the Vocational Committee of the Midland Penetang District High School Board.

     2006 0020 0901

     Pictured in the 1954 paper was the first line of defense for the Midland Junior Red Wings, Blake Ball, goalie Charlie Duggan and Dave McCall. Blake’s picture was cropped from this photo and republished on January 14th 1955 under the heading, “fiery Midland defenseman who will see action in the Arena Gardens Monday night when the Red Wings entertain Stouffville in an OHA Junior “C”  game. Wings hope to get back in the win column after dropping four in a row”

    2006 0020 0957

     Top Rink in Midland Spiel.

    Winners in the main event of the Midland Curling Club’s 22nd annual bonspiel, Al Steer’s rink is seen with Jack Westlake, Midland manager for Imperial Oil and his assistant alderman Bill Logan as they present the Imperial Oil trophy to the winners. Winning team, Harold Wilcox, Alvin Steer, Lloyd Wilcox and Larry Curran.

     2006 0020 0954

     Cub and Scout leaders of the South Georgian Bay District open the first of four nights of lectures and training at St. Mark’s Parish Hall  Midland. L to r, Arthur Richards, Midland; Patsy Lovelace, Coldwater; Harvey Boyd, assistant district commissioner and course instructor, Eddie Maddox, Midland; Florence Cheetham, Waubaushene and Mac Sallows, Coldwater.


    News Items

    • Welfare requests in Penetang must now be made in person each Wednesday night in council chambers
    • Penetang General Hospital seeks increase in funding from Tiny and Penetang councils.
    • Early start on cable TV system predicted by W.H. Cranston, contracting with Bell Telephone to install and maintain lines
    • Steel for new Midland Penetang District High School expected next week, foundations are in place
    • CPR elevator celebrates 913 accident free work days, employ up to 115 men during the busy season

    For Sale

    • Gray Coach round trip fares, Ottawa $17.85, Washington DC $29.20, Kentucky Caves all inclusive 5 day tour $54.55
    • Free Press photo reprints available $1.00 each
    • Nap Beauchamp Construction of Penetang, six beautiful brick bungalows on Hanly Street Midland’s newest and most modern residential area.
    • Johnstone’s, Dry Goods-Luggage-Toys-Music-Records-Books-Sporting Goods-Fishing Tackle

      Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  January 1st to the 7th 1955

      2006 0020 0189

      First baby born in Midland and district in 1955 is a daughter born to Mr. & Mrs. Allen Kirkwood of RR#1 Victoria Harbour. At 8:30 PM Robert Michael Curry son of Mr. & Mrs. William Curry (nee Webster)  was the first born at the Penetang General Hospital.

      Some things never change.
      Reeve W.H. Keller’s austerity budget took a further beating Thursday night when Midland Council approved a salary increase for administration staff. The frugal budget already battered by wage increases given to police (ordered by an arbitration board), firemen and now public works employees will be holed to the tune of $650.00 more dollars. Prior to the increase “office girls” were earning from $1,600 to $2,400 per year.

      Austin T. Johnston head of printing firm dies. Surviving him is his wife the former Eunice Hunter of Midland. A Midland resident for over 60 years Mr. Johnston worked for the Free Press for many years and later the Argus. Later still he established the Advertiser with the late George Osborne and upon his death William Hill became his partner. Hill died suddenly a few years ago and Mr. Johnston’s son William became involved in the firm.


      • “After stock taking sale” at the Beverly Ann Shoppe 287 King Street, phone 987.
      • Arthur J. Laley appointed by Filter Queen as District Sales Supervisor
      • 20 to 70% off, The Eleithia Shoppe
      • Sally Shop (Coast to Coast) King Street, January clearance sale
      • Jim Crawford Mens Wear, free pants with tailor made suit
      • Midland Motor Sales, used cars and trucks, Joseph Beausoleil proprietor, Bay Street.
      • Beck Co. Ltd, sale on Anthracite Blue Coal (pea size) $21.00 per ton
      • Warman Motors Limited, only a few left, tires for snow and ice, $29.50 per pair installed, Bay Street


      2006 0020 0914

      Ready for another years business, members of Midland Council for 1955 are seen at  the inaugural meeting held in the town offices Monday morning. They were chased out of their usual stand in the council chambers by the weekly police court on this occasion. Seated clockwise are Aldermen Ossie Downer, William Logan, Charles Onley, Mayor Charles Parker, Reeve W.H. Keller, Deputy Reeve Mel Holden and Alderman Clint Smith. Standing, left to right, Re. W.R. Auld, A.A. Ingram, barrister who administered the oath of office and William Hack, clerk-treasurer.

      Public Works 15 cent raise not what it seems.
      Public Works committee chairman Ald. Clint Smith explained that for over a decade public works staff have been paid 90c per hour for a 48 hour week but only worked 44 giving them an actual wage of 98.2 cents. Now they are being paid $1.05 per hour but for a straight 44 hour week, a less than 7 cent increase. If they work to the maximum of 48 hours they are paid time and half for the extra four hours.


      2006 0020 0950

      Happy with her new appointment, Miss Joyce Mitchener of Midland , with phone, is chief operator at the new Bell Telephone exchange opened in Port McNicoll Wednesday afternoon. Located in the former bank building at the corner of 2nd St. and 4th Ave., the new 2 position switchboard with five operators replaces the old one position board. With her are Mrs. W.H. Shaw, left, the former agent and still employed as an operator and Mrs. A.D. Currie, Toronto, district instructor.

      News Items

      • Construction hits all time high, 1954 permits total $1,339,725.00
      • Combined total press run for the Wednesday Free Press Herald and the Friday County Herald has stood in excess of 10,000 copies for some time.
      • Largest turnout of voters in Tiny Twp history saw Arthur Downer unseat Reeve Montcalm Maurice
      • Tiny Municipal Telephone System hit by ice storm near Randolph
      • Early enrollment in Marine classes indicates a banner year
      • Delay in engineering reason for delay in Trans Canada Highway grading north of Port Severn states Lloyd Letherby MLA.
      • Choice Sites Still Available – Cottage sites north of Port Severn still available but drive to locations sold out, apply at the Lands & Forest office in Coldwater. Mainland parcels are 60 cents/ft frontage, islands from 1/2 to 3 acres are $100.00 per acre.

        Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe   December 24th to 31st   1954

        (Double Click Photos to Enlarge)
        2006 0020 1817
        Joseph and Maude Belfry celebrate 60th anniversary. Married December 26th 1894 and earning $12/mth for the first three years Joseph supplemented his income by shovelling gravel or other road work at 10 cents per hour. The Belfry’s were a pioneer family in the Vasey area, Joseph’s dad Jacob and uncle George were the first white settlers and Joseph and his 8 siblings attended Russell’s school in Vasey. When he was 10 the family moved to a farm on the 6th concession of Tay where not one tree had ever been cut. The couple lived on the homestead before moving to Midland  thirty years ago. Twenty two of those years he has worked for the Midland Park Commission and retired eight years ago. The Belfry’s had three children, one son Everton died in 1947, Eldon with whom they reside at 233 Dominion Ave and Hazel, Mrs. Sterling MacDonald of Vasey. 2006 0020 1608
        No whiskers or red suits but these members of the Midland Lions Club did manage to brighten Christmas for thirty local families who needed some support. Pictured loading a truck with boxes of food are Jack Frame, Bob Stanway, Jim Moss, Bill Hack and Harold McAllen.  
        2006 0020 0815
        The most popular fellow in the country last week, Santa found time to pay a pre-Christmas visit to the Midland YMCA at a party sponsored by the Midland Y’s Mens Club. On Santa’s knee is John Thompson while waiting  from left to right are Karl McAllen, Ken Trew, Tommie Attridge and Betty Ann McCullough. News Items

        • Only one paper this week due to Boxing Day holiday on the 27th
        • Host of gifts await first babies in Penetang and Midland
        • Wm E. Root 81 dies of a heart attack in Mackie’s Tobacco shop
        • Long time friend of Mr. Root, Edmond Brodeur dies on the same evening
        • Candidates for local council place ads and photos in paper
        • Capt Mike Chretien catches 75 lb Sturgeon at Thunder Bay
        • 10 years ago Dr. Garnet Tanner sells the 19 yr old Georgian Hotel to manager William McArthur.

Vehicle licences go on sale Jan 3rd at 321 King opposite Boyd’s service station, Alex MacIntosh issuer.

Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe   December 18th  to the 24th    1954


In The News 

  • Tay man shoots 23 year old wife, out on bail
  • Christian Islanders get hydro, 20 homes already wired
  • Possibly extend mail delivery to new Donalda St. housing
  • Howard Elliot lifelong Coldwater grocery store owner dies
  • Flora Kenny, 73, dies one half hour after her husband Michael also 73 both of Phelpston, buried in a double ceremony
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fred Peacock, Penetang, celebrate sixty years
  • No milk delivery Dec 25-26 Jan 1-2 Armstrong’s and Dubbin`s
  • Alex Truax 83 dies, pallbearers six past Legion presidents
  • Expensive & unsightly TV antennas may soon disappear with the advent of cable TV
  • 27 year old Allan Hume appointed leader of the Midland Citizens Band

2006 0020 1812

Mr. & Mrs. Frank Fenton at their home at 208 Elizabeth Street. Frank is holding the skates he wore while playing on many championship teams in Midland and Waubaushene and still likes to put them on for some laps around the rink. Born in Brighton Ontario on Christmas Day 1875 and moving to the end of the track at Waubaushene in 1878 he began working there in a box factory at 10 years of age for 50 cents per 12 hour day. At that time a good labourer could earn $28/mth and a professional such as a lake captain could earn $50- 60/mth. Moving to Midland Frank obtained work as a wheelsman on a lumber tug and on September 5th, 1900 he married Bertha King at Midland. Soon he was employed by the Madawaska Club at Go Home Bay as a caretaker, a position he held for the next 45 years. Held in high esteem by the club the couple were twice sent by them to winter in Florida and California. They had many adventures “Up The Shore” including apprehending an armed burglar and surviving their horse and cutter going through the ice at Whalens.

2006 0020 1679

Schooners Towed Into Penetang Harbour 1890

Winter layup reminds old timers of the day back in 1890 when led by the tug John Martin the schooners Groton, C.A. King, Nassau and Charger were towed into Penetang Harbour.

2006 0020 16142006 0020 1612

Midland Junior Chamber of Commerce hold house decorating contest and award Christmas turkeys to the top four entries. First place above is Dave & Eleanor Hudson of 374 Manly Street, second was L.R. Diver 339 William Street, third Mrs. E.L. Metherell of 385 Bay Street and fourth Mrs. William Henderson of 88 Bay Street. The bungalow shown above belongs to Mr. & Mrs. Bill Howard of Yonge Street W.

Hotel Brule advertising Christmas Dinner;

Fruit Cocktail, Tomato Juice, Royal Consommé, Celery Hearts & Sweet Crunchy Pickles

Roast Young Turkey, Cranberry Sauce and Sage Stuffing, Roast Domestic Goose with Thyme Dressing,

Baked Sugar Cured Ham with Fried Pineapple Rings

Creamed, Mashed or French Fried Potatoes

Mashed Turnips or Asparagus Tips

Steamed Christmas Plum Pudding with Caramel Brandy Sauce

Hot Apple Pie with Whipped Cream

Christmas Cake and Mixed Nuts

Vanilla Ice Cream

Tea Coffee Milk



Holiday Dances at the Parkside –  Christmas Night, New Years Eve and New Year’s Night; Teenage Dancing nightly during Christmas Week

Pen Theatre  –  The Son of Monte Cristo   –   Junction City  –  Great Guns with Laurel and Hardy

Bowling at the Midland Bowling Academy Christmas Day and New Years Day

Roxy Theatre   –  Phantom of the Rue Morgue  –  The Walking Dead  –  Duel in the Jungle

The Embassy in Coldwater  –  Tanganyika

Riverside Port Severn – Holiday Dancing

Pen Bowling Alleys

Midland Minor Hockey December 23rd Barrie Bantams & Midgets vs. Midland at the Arena Gardens

Circle B Dance Pavilion Holiday Dances tickets at Johnstone`s  & Beauchamp Electric

Comic Strips in the Free Press

Blondie, Muggs and Skeeter, Elsworth, Pogo


Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe   December 10th  to the 17th  1954

(Double Click on Photos to Enlarge)

St. Andrew’s Hospital cornerstone “well and truly laid” by the Hon. MacKinnon Phillips, Minister of Health for Ontario. Others in the picture are L to R; Stan Jordan, bricklayer foreman  Bert Oxford and Rex Timms all members of the R. Timms Construction and Electrical Ltd., the contracting firm. Comparatively good weather for mid December blessed the event, the same weather that has helped in the progress on the building.


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Three thousand dollar boost to the new hospital from the Midland Lion’s Club. The club is financing a children’s nursery and plan to endow it permanently. Lion Adam Miller, Lion’s president Bill Orr, Lion Bill Hack presenting the cheque to V.G. Edwards chair of the hospital’s special finance committee.


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Notice  –  Night classes in Marine Navigation commence January 3rd 1955. For students wishing to qualify for the following certificates  –  Masters, First and Second Mates (Inland Waters) Masters and Mates (Minor Waters)

70 railcar loads of Christmas trees shipped from Penetang and 10 from Midland averaging 1300 trees per car, a total of 103,000 trees have been loaded for mostly USA destinations.

 Santa Claus  –  Old and young throng King Street on Saturday morning to greet Santa Claus. The jolly old gent is shown waving at the crowds as he prepares to leave his sleigh and enter Edwards Specialty Shop. Second photo, flanked by two helpers, Carol Parizeau on the left and Marlene Fraser,  Santa beams merrily.  Santa will listen to the pleas of 2500 children on his throne in Edwards Toyland.

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Midland’s Junior Redwings members, Bruce Calvert, Jim Lemieux and Joe Faragher. All played juvenile hockey last season although Calvert was called up to help the Wings in their final drive for the championship.


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First woman ever to sit on Tay Council led the polls in last Mondays election. Mrs. Minnie Mayhew joins Cecil Parker, Loran Williams and by acclamation Reeve Fred Kinnear and deputy reeve Ralph Dalton.

Free Press tradition to publish news from local communities in North Simcoe some of which no longer exist. The happenings, mostly social from places like;

Eady, Severn Falls, Wyebridge, Hillsdale, Melduf, Hobart, Port McNicoll, Waubaushene, Allenwood, Elmvale, Crossland, Vasey, Lafontaine, Rosemount, Perkinsfield, Victoria Harbour,  North River, Lovering, Waverly, Fairview, Elmvale, Coldwater, Phelpston, Creighton, Sunnyside, Mount St. Louis and Tiny Township. The larger communities had weekly news and the smaller ones were published periodically. Each community had its own column and often its own local correspondent that collected and submitted the news.

News Items

  • Christmas store hours open until 9.30 PM every night
  • Midland buys 500 tons of sand from Penetang, forces the cutting of pine trees that now adorn downtown posts in Penetang
  • New Second Penetang Scout Troop invests 40 boys at one time
  • Midland firefighters get $125.00/yr increase, public works staff get .15 cents per hour increase
  • Fathers Night Christmas shopping sale in Penetang
  • HMCS Penetang returns to Halifax after exercises in Bermuda
  • New Penetang rink expects ice in by Christmas
  • Midland Y’s Men plan jack rabbit hunt on Boxing Day
  • Midland 3 man committee explores site for new town hall
  • Coldwater School Board awards $82,100 contract new bldg
  • Red Wings lose 2-1 at Stouffville
  • Monarchs win 8-2 over Gravenhurst Indians at Midland
  • Midland tax levy $408,553.00 up over $9K from last year
  • Illegal possession of beer nets $300.00 fine in Penetang
  • Six year old Linda Duval struck and seriously injured by a vehicle while tobogganing at her home on Robert St.


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Christmas mail rush is on. Bob Goatcher and Armand Marion wade through stacks of cards and letters.


Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe   December 3rd to the 10th    1954


Double click on photos to enlarge.

Winter Repair Program at Shipyard to Employee Between 50 and 100 Men
No new contracts are on the horizon but repairs to winter fleet will employ up to 100 men.
CSL winter fleet will be; at Port McNicoll, Sir James Dunn, Georgian Bay and the McLagan; at the townhouse, Lemoyne, Ashcroft, Donnacona and Westmount, at the Aberdeen, Prescott and at the Tiffin, Coverdale and Thunder Bay.

The Hydro Electric Power Commission will erect TV tower on the farm of Bert Robitaille on the Balm Beach Road this week. TV programs will be fed to Midland and Penetang. Two 85 foot B.C. cedar poles each weighing two tons will be used instead of a steel tower to reduce interference.

Regent School holds official opening of new addition last Wednesday night. Four men pictured were a prominent part of ceremony.

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Frank Bray, board chairman; Wm. C. Vanderburgh, assistant superintendent Department of Education; Ken Ellis, public school inspector for the district and Mr. C.S. Cox architect for the new building.

George Price and Co. Ltd., heating contractor from Coldwater is busy with several large local contracts. New boiler and oil burner which consumes 60 gallons per hour at the Copeland Flour Mill in Midland. A new boiler for oil heating installed in the Midland Elevator and a 17 ton boiler for steam heat at the new Canadian Name Plate factory. Also the heating, plumbing and ventilating contracts for the hospital expansion and the new high school.

Women’s Institutes are noted for the meals they prepare for various functions and Wyebridge is no exception as their W.I. last week fed a group of potato growers assembled at the Parkside Pavilion for an annual awards banquet.

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Names were not recorded. LET US KNOW IF YOU RECOGNIZE ANYONE

Looking out on a cold strange world this little lamb is one of two born December 4th on the Graham Jones farm. Mrs. Jones (nee Margaret Jean Montgomery) is seen with her daughter Sheila aged 3. The Jones farm is 3 miles south of Midland on Hwy 27.

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This large framework visible from Hwy 27 will soon emerge as the Wyebridge Community Hall. Gangs of volunteer labourers have already started sheeting the structure. Funds have been mostly raised by the Wyebridge Women’s Institute who have catered literally hundreds of district functions in the last several years.

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Midland and District Canadian Club members learn how easy it is to make floral center pieces and Christmas wreaths when an expert does it. Midland florist Mac Perrin displays some of the creations he made for the ladies during his two hour demonstration.

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Christmas Ads

Edwards Specialty  Shoppe will grace the Festive Table with linen table clothes ranging from $2.75 to $97.50. Aprons starting at .39 cents.

Serve Coke, the treat of the season, .36 cents a case of six. Penetang Bottling.

Be a smart Santa give a gift subscription to the midweek Free Press Herald and the weekend County Herald, $3.00 annually, by mail in Midland $4.50.

This Christmas give him something for the car, Canadian Tire Store, Bay Street opposite the bus terminal. Steering wheel muff, .39cents, 1/4″ electric drill $15.95, curb feelers .69cents.

Gifts That Appeal – Strathearn’s Jewellers, electric shavers, carving sets, 400 day clocks cuff links and tie sets, etc.

Edwards Toy Department – Daisy Rifle really smokes $4.25, Walkie Talkie Set $2.85, Metal Tricycle $5.69 Marx model train set $14.98

Curlers Prime the Pig – Norm Greene, left, and Cy Ney are seen “priming the pig” as the new season got under way at the Midland Curling Club. The pig will get plenty fat from donations from unlucky curlers who “hog” their stones before the season ends next spring. Others Karl Bertrand, club president and R.S. King.

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Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  November 27th  to December 3rd  1954



Front Page News December 1st

 “No Mayoralty Contest in Towns” Mayor Charles N. Parker of Midland and Mayor George Kerr of Penetang are both acclaimed.

Rural mail route soon to serve Champlain Road assures Federal member.

To open addition at Regent Public School.

Midland Kiwanians elect Stan Brooks president.

Carpenter’s Union drives to sign up contractors; Picket Midland Plant

Lafontaine Co-Op safe resists robbery try.

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The IGA Foodliner in the Preston Block attracted hundreds of shoppers for its opening specials and prizes.

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 Midland Monarch stalwarts ready for a pair of engagements with the Bracebridge Bears this week. Playing coach Jim O’Hearn, forward Jack Lachapelle and goalie Bruce Hook, former Penetanguishene and Bracebridge star.

 Websters Radio  opens in new larger premises three doors further west at 24 Robert. St. W.  Ed Webster proprietor, Eleanor Day phonograph records and Ted Light repairs. For over nine years our motto has been “Service”.

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Arthur Gardiner president of the North Simcoe Crop Improvement Association presents prizes to members of the Lafontaine 4-H Potato Club at a dinner held at the Parkside Inn , Midland, Tuesday night. First prize is given to the youngest lad Gabriel Desroches. Front row, Richard Marchildon, Raymond Gignac, Donald Forget, Julien Maurice, Peter Laurin, Marcel Desroches, back row, Gabriel Brunelle, Mauril Laurin, Martin Maurice, Leo Forget, Gabriel Maurice, father of Martin & Julien, also Club Leader and Vital Vallee.

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Official opening of the new addition to Regent Public School. Jamie Lounsbery shows his mom and dad, (Mr. & Mrs. Ted Lounsbery) what he has been doing in his work book. Looking on is his teacher Mrs. Ken Trew.
( Blanche Trew was the principal of the Huron Park School on Robert Street when it opened.)

 Grew Boats is advertising their new “InterLock” prefabricated shelving system. Fabricated of finest Canadian hardwood they offer, Adaptable to any storage problem, Easy to rearrange, self supporting, built for use anywhere.

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Inter club badminton tournament between Midland Garrison Club and Orillia at the Midland Armory. From Orillia in front row, Helen Richardson, Erma Trask and Shirley Acheson. Midlanders in the back row, Joyce Rutherford, Shirley Thompson, Helen Laidlaw, Grace Edgar, Aileen Shaver and Helen Lewis.

 At The Roxy

The Stranger Wore a Gun” with Randolph Scott
“Doctor in The House” with Dirk Bogarde – Kenneth More

At The Pen

“Jivaro” with Fernando Lamas and Rhonda Fleming
“You’re in the Navy Now” with Gary Cooper and Jane Greer

 Ads in the local paper from out of the area;

“Bardi’s 400” Restaurant, Canada’s most beautiful and Modern Drive In Restaurant (Shell Station) Just 14 miles north of Toronto City limits on the Barrie highway.

Stratton Manufacturing Co. Toronto; advertising the Talking Trudy Doll 24 inches tall,  $4.95 (Order form Attached)

Reeves Jewellers Barrie Simcoe Countys Leading Watch and Diamond Merchants

Toronto Telegram – Marmaduke Howls Every Day in the Telegram

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 Midland Curling Club season opens November 15th with member Bill Cumming throwing the first stone and it will not end until the big mixed bonspiel in April. Behind, Karl Bertrand club president, Emil Senkew, Ross Hastings, Del Hastings and Ted Lounsbery.


Looking Back  60 Years Ago in North Simcoe  November 19 to 25, 1954


Grocery Chain Offers $45,000 for Town Hall Property
Loblaw’s Groceterias Limited was given a two month option on the current King Street Fire Hall and Council Chambers by Midland Council, the deal is conditional on the towns ability to obtain the Central School property on Dominion Avenue. Deposit $150.00

Central School Burns
Midland ‘s oldest school was completely destroyed in an early morning fire. Built in 1880 and enlarged in 1900 Central was recently condemned then repaired and reopened in September of 1953. Local taxi driver Bill Therrien reported the fire at 1.45 AM and the glow from the fire could be seen in Elmvale. Arrangements have been made to move the students to other schools and the new Midland Armory.

Bill Swann and L.D. Bowman offer coffee to firemen Doug Martin and Harold Hamilton

Bill Swan and L.D. Bowman offer coffee to firemen Doug Martin and Harold Hamilton

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Photos 910 & 913

New School in Coldwater?
School Board and Coldwater Council cannot see eye to eye on the expenditure for a new school. Board has secured the services of an architect and chosen a site.

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Photo 799

Farmer Dies of Burns
William Peden, 65, Rosemount area farmer dies in Orillia hospital of burns received when a coal oil lamp ignites gasoline fumes as a delivery truck fills the farms tank. His son Pat, 34, received burns to his hand trying to extinguish his father’s clothing. Concession 9, Tay Township.

Public Works and Firefighters seek wage increase at council meeting. Firefighters were requesting $200 annual salary increase while public works were asking for 15 cents per hour. Looking ahead to December 15th the firefighters got $125 and works staff 15 cents per hour.

Midland Monarchs Intermediate “A
First line is ready for their season opener against the Parry Sound Shamrocks in Parry Sound Nov 24th. LtoR, Babe Deschamp, Roy “Mut” Collings and Chuck Edwards. Deschamp & Collings are veterans of the team, Edwards is a former Collingwood lad who played his hockey in Woodstock last year.

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Photo 904

Local advertisers this week – How Many Remain?

Harvey Ellison Limited – Wagg’s Laundry and Dry Cleaners Limited – Bourgeois Motors – H.J. Thompson & Sons Limited – Globe Restaurant – Leitch Motors Dominion Ave. – Shulman’s Furniture – Eleanor’s Beauty Shop 284 Fourth St. operated by Ruth E. Hornsby, formerly Vel Perrault – Strathearn’s Jewellers – Midland Photographic Supplies (Rolphoto ) – Midland Planing Mill – PMCL – The C. Beck Co. Ltd. – IGANap Beauchamp Construction Penetang – H.S. St. Amant and Sons Penetang – Herb A. Wiles electrician – Hugh Blair contractor – Richard Matthews contractor Penetang – Warman Motors (Singer Motors, Roger Hunter, Adco Tire) – Pen Bowling Alleys – Olympic Sporting Goods – Gray Coach – Barber & Haskill – Loblaws – Lorne Watson photography – Midland Motor Sales, Joseph Beausoliel proprietor Bay & Second – Archie Attridge White Rose Service Station – Edwards Specialty Shoppe – Bev`s Marine – Roxy and the Pen Theatres – DeNure & Son Transport – J.E. Desroches 11 Simcoe St. Penetang – Blondin Sales and Service Penetang – P.H. Jory – Hebner`s Taxi – Penetang Bottling Co. Limited – Dominion Store Midland & Penetang – Gropp Motors – James Bath Plumbing & Heating – Orr`s Jewllers – Midland Coal & Wood Co. – Liggetts Rexall Drugs – Webster Radio Penetang – L. Livingston Clothing – Bryant`s Jeweller Penetang – Meads Penetang – Struthers Drugs – Peoples Store Limited -Doris` Snack Bar in the bowling alley – Gignac’s Children Wear Mens Wear Penetang – Canadian Tire – Beaver Lumber – Midland Frosted Food Lockers – Sanderson Monuments , Frank Doherty – A. Barrie & Sons – Morrisson’s Drug Store Penetang – V.B Strickland Realestate – Ralph R. Wilson Insurance – Canadian National Railways – Graham Swales – J.M. Wallace & Sons Ltd Fuel – Simmonds Transport – Tessier Planing Mill Penetang – Hackers Variety Store – Daniells Welding Service – Walker Stores

Free Press Herald and County Herald have paid subscriptions in 3,800 out of the 4,400 North Simcoe homes.

Midtown Motel a revelation in rebuilding. Karl & Keith Bertrand are inviting all to the opening of their renovated motel this Friday. Starting with a garage building they have transformed it into a modern motel and restaurant complex. Local trades and suppliers were used wherever possible. The appearance of the 50 by 150 foot structure has been so altered that many thought the old building must have been demolished.

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Keith and Karl Bertrand

Keith and Karl Bertrand

Photos 783 & 788


Looking Back  60 Years Ago This Week in North Simcoe


November 11th to the 18th 1954

Establish a Home for the Aged in North Simcoe
Penetang council offers the old town hospital to the County of Simcoe to be used as a home for the aged, no charge. New hospital on Edward Street is visible in the background.
Double click photos for expanded view.
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Charles P. Stocking Pilots of Georgian Bay Airways find the body of veteran Waubaushene resident and former lumber mill executive floating one mile west of Potato Island. Mr. Stocking was 90 years of age and had taken his 25 foot launch to his cottage at Cognashene. Having stopped at Easton’s store (Picnic Island) for gas on his way home, his boat was discovered with a funnel in the open gas tank near Potato Island.
Wet conditions slow work on the footings of the new Midland Penetanguishene District High School in Tay Township at the end of Hugel Avenue. Contractor hopes to be well under way before the snow comes. Beverly Mahoney (Truax) editor of this weeks “Hysterics”
Community TV System Planned for Two Towns
Ottawa’s Department of Transport has issued a permit for a local firm to erect a 125 foot antenna structure on the farm of Bert Robitaille in Tiny Township and to install and operate a distribution system in Midland & Penetang. Test antennas have shown reception to be very good.
Bay Mills
E.H. Cerny president of Fine Silk Limited announced today a complete reorganization of the administrative set up of the rayon and fiberglass mill in Midland. Steven Cerny, 24, is the new general manager and Syd Nicholls will be in charge of industrial fabric sales. The operation will now be known as Bay Mills.

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St. John’s Anglican Church Matchedash
Sunday saw the use of old fashioned lamps discontinued and new electric lighting dedicated.


Canadian National Railways offering low rail fares to the Royal Agricultural Fair in Toronto between November 12th and 20th.
Barber & Haskill 166 Yonge St. Duo-Therm oil home heaters, self lighting, no matches or paper needed, just turn the dial.
Intermediate “A” Hockey Wednesday Nov 17th, Bracebridge Bears vs. Midland Monarchs at the Arena Gardens. General Admission 50 cents, Reserved 75 cents.
Roxy Theater The Caine Mutiny – Adult 75 cents, Children 50 cents.
Gropp Motors Limited Penetang – See the all new Buicks and Pontiacs on display. Dealers are not quoting prices on new vehicles but a used 1953 Chevrolet sedan was $1595.00 and a 1952 Pontiac was $1375.00.
Eleithia Shoppe Pre Christmas Sweater Specials – Pullovers $2.98, Cardigans $3.98. First quality nylons .98cents/pair, Taffeta Skirts $5.95.


IN THE NEWS – 60 Years ago this week in North Simcoe


November 4th to 10th 1954

Dial operation, start building new dial exchange by spring   

H.A. Kilroy, Bell Telephone manager, announced this week that a new dial telephone system will be in place by the summer of 1956. “The extremely rapid and continuing growth of the Midland area is the reason for this decision”. Since the war telephone facilities have been expanded again and again until the present building cannot be expanded any further. In 1945 there were 1,250 telephones in service and now there are 2,750. Land was purchased several years ago at the south west corner of Hugel and Midland Avenues. All telephone sets will have to be converted to dial and co-ordinated so that all Midland phones can be switched to dial in a matter of seconds on the day. There will be a reduction in the number of female operators but many will be retained to provide long distance and information assistance.

Philibert Beaudoin narrowly escaped death Saturday morning when his clothes became entangled in the hay baler he was operating on the farm of Joseph Laurin.

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Rev. G.R. Stanley (left) is inducted as the new rector of St. Mark’s parish, Midland by Rt. Rev. A.R. Beverley, Bishop of Toronto. At the right is Archbishop R.J. Renison a long time friend of Rev. Stanley’s.

Major conflagration Devours Century Old Rural Store, Loss over $50,000.  Fire destroys the large country store and post office of Lloyd Dunlop in Moonstone.


Globe Restaurant, 194 Elizabeth St. “Maryland Style Fried Chicken”  $1.00
Tessier Planing Mill – Building Supplies- Phone 527 Penetang
Nap Beauchamp Construction Co. –  General Contractors – Industrial, Commercial, Institutional
Blondin Sales & Service – Electric Blanket double size $47.50 – – Robert St. Penetang   Walter Woods Shoes  – now open 277 King St. Phone 51 – Visit our modern and up to date store
Graham Swales Clothes for Men – Midland – Collingwood – Toronto

(It is interesting that the full spelling of Penetanguishene is never used in the newspapers of the time, no doubt to save space)

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Charles White, Midland insurance agent, drove out to the Boy Scout Camp on the Sturgeon River to check on damage caused by Hurricane Hazel and took his fishing rod with him. The result an eight pound rainbow trout caught on a dew worm after a 20 minute battle.

Tiny Township Council agrees to pay Mrs. E. Foster $400.00 for a piece of her property to allow the continuation of Hugel Ave through to Hwy 27.

Canada Savings Bonds, ninth series, paying 3 1/2%.

At the Roxy –  Alec Guinness in “Father Brown goes to Town”

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Canadian Name Plate (Decor Metal Products) factory on the eastern waterfront nears completion, will employ 200 local people.


IN THE NEWS  –  Midland 60 years ago this week. November 1954


2006 0020 0869YMCA annual fundraising campaign starts Monday, goal $8,000.00. Phiat Club members, formerly the High-Y Grads Club plan their part of the drive. L to R, Grace Edgar, Helen Laidlaw,  Mrs. Ross Thompson (Doreen), Mary Arbour, Elaine Gerow and Eleanor Chornoboy

First snowfall of the season greeted Midlanders on Monday morning.

More than $1,000.00 has been contributed by North Simcoe residents to the Hurricane Hazel relief fund.

Midland pair sentenced in Barrie court for their part in an attempted robbery at the Hitching Post Restaurant in Wasaga Beach. The third member of the gang was shot by the proprietor and was found dead on his Fitton Street kitchen floor by Midland Police.

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Growing Midland Industry – Fuel oil delivery tank built for standard truck bodies by W.E. Daniels Welding Service. A 1,500 gallon tank with 150 feet of self winding hose.

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Canadian first for Midland Industries Limited – believed to be the first and longest piece of six inch polyester pipe ever extruded in Canada is readied for delivery to the new Canadian Name Plate Co. Ltd. plant being constructed on the waterfront. 200 foot section only weighs 450 pounds, one-ninth the weight of steel pipe and will be delivered on dollies drawn by a light truck.

At the Midland & Penetang Dominion Stores, Richmello bread is .15 cents, prime rib roast is .49 cents/pd, Florida oranges are 2 dozen for .45 cents. Also advertising  for “Ungraded Eggs Wanted” we pay highest market prices for ungraded eggs.

Circle B Dance Pavilion on the Midland Penetang Road (now Vinden St.) advertising dancing every Friday and Saturday night featuring Beauchamp’s  Orchestra, admission 50 cents.

J.M. Wallace & Sons selling Blue Coal, phone 88.

Playing at the Pen Theatre, “Francis Covers the Big Town” with Donald O`Connor, Yvette Dugay, Gene Lockhart and Francis the talking mule.