Looking Back to 1956

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 Ago in North Simcoe – December 22nd to 31st 1956

2006-0020-1764Dec 24th, 1956, the Midland Penetang Advisory Committee of the CNIB held their annual Christmas party at the Midland YMCA, the young man is Doug MacMillan.

 2006-0020-2987 Sorting it out at the Midland Post Office are, C. R. (Chuck) Stelter, A. Marion and R. Mitchell. Ten extra staff were hired bringing the Christmas rush total to 27.

 2006-0020-2990 Amid a sea of cards, staff at the Midland Post Office had a busy time this week. Al Hennin, Clarence Dingman, R. White and postmaster W. F. Bourrie. (The employee on the right was cropped out of the photo in the newspaper.)

 2006-0020-2872 Waiting for Santa Claus, at the Y’s Men’s Christmas party for member’s children Tuesday night, Mary Jane Walton, 4, and Wendy Walton, 7, can hardly wait.

 2006-0020-2884 Waiting for Santa Claus, at the Y’s Men’s Christmas party for member’s children Tuesday night, Jimmy Courtemarche looks a little apprehensive. He is two and a half.

2006-0020-1763Dec 24th, 1956, at the Y’s Men’s Christmas party held at the Midland YMCA, Mrs. Cy “Sadie” Ney and daughter Geraldine, 2,  and brother Ricky, 6.

 2006-0020-3021 Half century of membership in Midland’s Caledonian Lodge, A. F. and A. M. was the reason for this happy gathering at St. Andrew’s Hospital last Sunday. J. J. Robins presented a veteran’s jubilee metal (50 year jewel) to R. G. Nesbitt, who at 94 is still able to smile his appreciation. Left to right, Gilmour Nesbitt, J. W. Bald, Capt. Ed Burke, Charles Flowers, Sidney Thompson and R. S. King.

 2006-0020-3011 Chris Brasher of London England is showing local doctor and twin brother Peter Brasher the gold medal he received in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Melbourne Olympics last month.

 2006-0020-3015 Mr. & Mrs. Eldon Brown and son Johnny, 3, are part of the many people who took advantage of the lack of snow on Boxing Day to enjoy the ice on Little Lake. Note the lack of snow in the background.

  • Ad: The best New Year’s Party is Always at the Parkside –  Music by Harold NcNamara and his band.
  • Notice: Canadian Steamship Lines –  Warning the C.S.L. tug “Tiffen” will be breaking ice in Midland, Port McNicoll and the Tiffen and Aberdeen wharfs.
  • There are two “First Baby” contests, one in Midland and one in Penetang. Penetang contestants will come from Penetang and Tiny Township, Midlands’ from Tay, Medonte, Matchedash and Baxter.
  • Ontario Department of Health suggests that Midland PUC seek financial and technical help from the newly formed Ontario Water Resources Commission regarding its municipal water supply. The Department feels that Georgian Bay is the long term answer to Midland’s water supply but not until a sewage treatment plant is installed. [Ultimately deep artesian wells would supply our drinking water]
  • A special Christmas edition of the County Herald is filled with Christmas and New Years greetings from nearly every local merchant, politician, professional and industry.
  • Did You Hear? The Midland Social Week. – Captain Dick Simpell of the S. S. Soreldoc is home for the winter. Captain Mel Buckland is also with his family for the winter months from his ship the S. S. Penetang. Captain Norman Donaldson from the S. S. Elgin and Captain G. Kirk of the Star Ship Enterprise S. S. Gleneagles. Jack Simpell is home from the S. S. Goderich.
  • W. H. “Bill” Cranston, executive vice-president of the Shoe Corporation of Canada Ltd., told more than 350 employees of the firm at a Christmas dinner held at the Parkside Inn Wednesday, that their “family of employees” may increase by 100 persons next year.
  • New vehicle licence plates for 1957 will feature white numerals on a black background. The plates are made at the Ontario Reformatory in Guelph.
  • We published this Christmas menu from the Hotel Brulé previously, but it sounds too good not to do it again; –  Fruit Cocktail, Shrimp Cocktail, Royal Consommé, Celery Hearts with Stuffed Olives, Sweet Crunchy Pickles, Roast Young Turkey (sage dressing and cranberry sauce), Roast Domestic Goose (thyme dressing), Roast Long Island Duckling (with apple fritters), Baked Sugar Cured Ham (with fried pineapple ring), Creamed, Mashed or French Fried Potatoes, Mashed Turnips or Asparagus Tips, Steamed Christmas Plum Pudding (with caramel brandy sauce), Hot Mince Pie, Deep Apple Pie with Whipped Cream, Christmas Cake and Mixed Nuts, Vanilla Ice Cream, Tea Coffee or Milk.  $3.00
  • A blast furnace moved from Midland’s smelter in 1918 to Algoma Steel’s plant at Sault Ste. Marie is to undergo a major remodelling job after 38 years of service. The No. 4 blast furnace will get a $700,000.00 upgrade. In 38 years No. 4 has produced more than 4 million tons of pig iron.
  • For 42 years, beginning in 1913, sisters Mrs. M. P. Worden of Melville Sask. and Mrs. E. H. Piggott of Midland have been exchanging the same Christmas card. The little card only measures 1 1/2 inches by 3 inches and simply says “One of the happiest things about Christmas is you”. Each year they inscribe the date on it.
  • Edwards Specialty Shop announces that they will be closing all day Wednesday during January, February and March. [At this time many stores closed half days on Wednesdays]


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – December 8th to 21st

Click on Photos to Enlarge 2006-0020-2995  Mrs. John Hare, left, who celebrated her 93rd birthday November 25th, looks at pictures of her two great-great grandchildren with her daughter Mrs. R. J. Wilson of Waubaushene. Born four years before Confederation, Mrs. Hare had lived in Midland for almost 50 years before moving to Coldwater to live with her daughter. Married at 16 to John Hare, 19,  the couple moved to Midland where John managed a brick yard, helped build the Aberdeen Elevator and continued to  work there for several years, he also served on the Midland Police Force before his death in 1928. Of the thirteen children born to the Hares only three daughters and one son are still living.

 2006-0020-3007 Over 200 years of service to the CPR and its steamship service is represented in this picture taken aboard the S.S. Assinaboia at a dinner marking the retirement of Capt. Joseph Stewart Friday night. Front, Capt. Frank Davis, 83 and retired 18 years from Toronto; Capt. Stewart; S. H. Binns retired locomotive foreman for the Ontario Division, Toronto; back row, Tom Morgan, Port McNicoll, retired chief clerk; Louis Belanger, retired first mate; W. S. Struthers of Midland, who retired recently after 36 years, many as a chief engineer; W. A. Piitz, Penetang, retired first mate with 35 years of service. 

 2006-0020-6167 Five day trip from Toronto to Port McNicoll turns into a twenty-one day adventure as these two tugs encountered bad weather. The tug “Sipat” under the command of Capt. C. Courtemarche of Midland left Toronto Nov 16th with the much larger tug David Richard in tow. The 130 foot “David Richard”, was once used to maintain navigational aids in the area and was called the “Murray Stewart”. The big tug is owned by the Waubaushene Navigation Co. and was manned by two employees, Leo Montgomery and Joe Brousseau. At one point on Lake St. Clair sixty mile per hour winds broke both tow cables. On Lake Huron more high winds caused a 12 ton winch to break loose on the David Richard. On Monday the big tug was moved to the Midland Shipyards where cranes removed equipment to make room for a new diesel engine to be installed at Waubaushene over the winter months.

 2006-0020-2983 Three members of the Midland Lion’s Club are seen in Gord Boyd’s basement refurbishing and sorting toys for distribution throughout the area at Christmas. Gordon Boyd, Cec Launder and Gordon Paice.

 2006-0020-2982 More Midland Lions repairing toys for Christmas. Jack Frame, Harold McAllen and Charlie Rutherford.

 2006-0020-1760 Dec 24th 1956, the Midland Penetang Advisory Committee of the CNIB Christmas party was held at the Midland YMCA,  Mel Lavigne with the fiddle and Bill Jivcoff. Pianist Ab Clarke is hidden. They all donated their time.

 2006-0020-2970 Appropriately dressed, Glen Nicholls reads from the works of Robert Service at a special assembly at MPDHS Thursday morning. Students of 12B acted out the Shooting of Dan McGrew.

 2006-0020-3025 Cecil Parker, deputy Reeve of Tay Township, was instantly killed Friday night when his car slammed broadside into a tree on Highway 27. The accident happened on the first curve north of Waverly and a blown right front tire is suspected. The picture taken at Carruthers Garage in Wyebridge.

 2006-0020-29712006-0020-2969 Industrial Safety in Ontario was the subject under discussion at an oratorical contest held Thursday morning at MPDHS. In the top photo the judges are Gordon Moss of Canadian Nameplate, Jan Ulrichson and Bryce Moffatt of Penetang. In the bottom photo are the judged, Hartmut Bezner, Sylvia Silvie the winner and Glen Mount.

 2006-0020-2972 Children of St. Paul’s United Church, Midland, on Sunday combined with the adult congregation for the annual white gift service. Here Brian Gazley, son of Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Gazley, deposits his white gift while Peggy Bray, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Frank Bray, and Gudrun Mandler, daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Walter Mandler, await their turn. Manger scene was erected by Florence Broad, Gladys Robinson, and R. W. Irwin. Lambs were made about two years ago by the late Mrs. Walter Auld. Yuletide decorations at the King Street entrance were installed by Len Martin, Alex Ayers, Don Edwards, Watson Battrick and Woodrow McConnell.

 2006-0020-2980 Five hundred Midland and Penetang youth wait eagerly every year for the Little Hockey League to open for the season. Typical age and size of the three groups are; John Argue, Toronto Leafs; Jerry Beteau, AHL Hershey Bears and Earl Scott, a whirlwind on skates for the Junior OHA Marlboros.

 2006-0020-2984 Woodcarving has proven an entertaining hobby for Frank Shulman of Midland, owner of Shulman’s Furniture. Here he is seen with three statues he created.

 2006-0020-2976 Coldwater Santa Claus parade December 1956. Jovial Lloyd Letherby, MPP for Simcoe East takes a back seat to Santa. 

  • Seventy-one year old town employee Joseph Chapman killed by fall from sanding truck. (we older Midlanders will remember when two men stood in the back of a dump truck and shovelled sand into a spreader towed behind the truck) Mr. Chapman and Sam Butineau had just finished sanding Bay Street, the truck, driven by Herman Latanville,  had turned around in the Nameplate parking lot and was crossing the double tracks when Mr. Chapman fell. The men had finished sanding and were standing against the back of the truck cab. Several witnesses at the inquest confirmed that the truck was moving very slowly over the tracks. The only recommendation made was for the provision of hand rails in the truck box.
  • Monsignor Castex lays the corner stone for the new Knights of Columbus Hall in Penetang Sunday afternoon.
  • District Knights of Columbus donate a life-sized nativity scene to the Victoria Harbour Knights to be erected in the village.
  • Many Penetang stores to remain open until 9 p.m. Christmas Eve.
  • The United States paid Russia $7,200.00 for Alaska in 1867, the equivalent of two cents an acre.
  • Cumming and Nicholson are selling the “Desert Boots”, $7.95 to $12.95 per pair.
  • Port McNicoll council ends the year with a $6,000.00 current surplus, consider purchasing a new fire truck for the village. Also recommended by the Reeve was a small loader, “no one likes loading gravel by hand anymore” he said. Reeve Calvert pointed out that only $16,000.00 of local taxes are available to council, the rest goes to the County, education and other costs.
  • Former Midlander Bob Vanstone is playing bit parts in a million dollar movie being made on a 120 acre estate 25 miles from Toronto. The TV serial movie is “The Last of the Mohicans”.
  • The PUC’s plan to test Little Lakes ability to supply a million gallons of water a day to cost over $100,000.00.
  • Waubaushene father of three, George Allan Fallowfield, was killed in a tree felling accident Wednesday morning. The tree he cut struck a smaller one that was rotten part way up, the top fell striking him on the head.
  • Four young men, one local, are sentenced to four years in prison for indecently assaulting a 16 year old girl at a house party. The judge also ordered that each should be given three lashes three times during their imprisonment.
  • S.S. Assiniboia and S.S. Keewatin tie up after another season. S. F. Malin, steamship superintendent, said the two boats carried 10,563 passengers this year, an increase of 141 over the previous year. The ships also carried 125,000 tons of cargo, up more than 2,500 tons over 1955.
  • Victoria Harbour councillor Edmund Walker died in Penetanguishene General Hospital Wednesday morning, he was 66. Mr. Walker, who was retired, was formerly the owner of the Victoria Harbour Dairy.
  • Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario is celebrating 50 years of supplying power to Ontario. The first hydro power was turned on at Berlin on October 11, 1910. Niagara power was delivered in 1911 to Midland and Penetang who were 25th and 26th to receive hydro in Ontario. The hydro commissions first new build was opened at Wasdell Falls on the Severn River in October of 1914. The Big Chute station, also on the Severn, was built in 1909 by the Simcoe Railway & Power Company and purchased by the HEPCO in 1914. (Renamed “Ontario Hydro” in 1974)
  • Arrangements have been made for a 40 member choir from Regent and Parkview schools to sing carols at the hospital. The public school board expressed their gratitude to Laval Dubeau for offering free bus transportation for the choir.
  • Major fire in Wasaga Beach destroys part of the municipal building, including the fire hall and police station. (Midland would follow in a few years when their municipal building and fire hall burnt)
  • Sixteen freighters are wintering, eleven in Midland, five in Port McNicoll, as the navigation season closes. This represents over five million bushels of wheat to be unloaded over the winter months. Last winter there were twenty two vessels but some were barges and tugs.
  • Meredith Wilson announces that Wilson’s Taxi has been purchased by Joe Lavechia.
  • Christmas turkeys are selling for 38 cents per pound.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Wally Hook wish to announce the birth of their daughter Wendy on November 29th.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Shaw announce the engagement of their daughter Shirley Elizabeth to William Gordon Wallace, only son of Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Wallace.
  • Second annual ski school will be conducted at the Midland Ski Club by Budd Watson December 26th to 29th.
  • Milk customers of Armstrong’s Dairy, Dubbin’s Dairy and Jone’s Farm Dairy are reminded there is no milk delivery December 25th or 26th and January 1st and 2nd.
  • John Diefenbaker to lead the Conservative Party.
  • “Twirp Season” is in full swing at MPDHS according to the Hi-Sterics column and Kay and Elaine. TWIRP stands for “The woman is requested to pay”.
  • In 1955 the annual average Canadian income went up 8% to $4,460.00.
  • Land swap, the town of Midland has received a triangular parcel of land east of Olive Street and five acres of property on the northeast corner of Vinden & Fifth Street. The CNR in exchange is getting a strip of land lying south of their right of way near Manley Street. (In 1956 Manley Street is still being spelled in honour of its namesake, Manley Chew)
  • At The Roxy –  Walt Disney’s “Song of the South”
  • Do you remember? McGuire’s Furniture, Simcoe St., Penetang –  Zoschke Footwear, Simcoe St., Penetang  –  Singer Sewing Center, King St.  –  Morrison’s Rexall Drugs, Main St., Penetang  –  Sushan Custom Furs, King St.  –  MacNeil Motors, Vinden St.  –  Harrison Iron Works, 180 Manley St.  –  Blondin Sales & Service, 102 Robert St. W.  –  Onley & Haig Barristers, 217 King St.  –  Household Finance, 222 King St.  –  The Wool Shop, 307 King St.  –  The Grigg Co., King St.  –  Flos Hatland, 217 Hugel Ave. W.  –  Del Hastings Men’s Wear, 276 King St.  –  Gignac’s Children’s Wear, Penetang  –  Economy Stores, Main St., Penetang  –  Walter Woods Shoe Store, 277 King St.  –  Roebucks, King St.  –  Peoples Store, King St.  –  Dunlops of Moonstone  –  Meads, Penetang  –  Sally Shops, 265 King St.  –  Marchildon Hardware, Lafontaine  –  Hollister Sporting Goods, Penetang  –  Maher Shoe Store, Penetang  –  Struther’s Drugs, King St.  –  Graham Swales Men’s Wear, Midland  –  O’Leary’s Fashions, Main St., Penetang  –  Hartman’s Hardware, 258 King St.  –  Central Shoe Repair, Jack Martin, Midland  –  McNamara Food Market, Penetang  –  Harvey Ellison Limited, 259 King St.  –  Ted Lounsbery Men’s Wear, 285 King St.  –  Fenton’s Welding, Midland  –  Eleithia Shoppe, King St.  –  Jim Crawford Men’s Wear, King St.  –  Eisenberg’s Radio & TV, Main St., Penetang  –  Livingston Men’s Wear, 201 King St.  –  To Name A Few.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – December 1st to 7th 1956

 Click on photos to enlarge

2006-0020-2938 Burned out of house and home just about a year ago these pupils of Crossland Public School now have a brand new building, opened officially by George G. Johnston, MPP, Friday night. About 30 children attend the one room school where Miss Marlene Strath is the teacher. Classes have continued in the nearby community hall, the former Methodist Church.

 2006-0020-1855 New one room Crossland Public School in Flos Twp. southwest of Elmvale, officially opened November 30th, 1956. The old school burnt on January 11, 1956 and construction began on August 1.  The building is now a private residence and no longer looks like it did in 1956.

 2006-0020-2960 Mr. & Mrs. Joe Strath served as caretakers of the old Crossland Public School for 18 years before it burned down on January 11th of this year. They will continue to look after the new school which has cost $26,000.00 to build and equip, including air conditioning.

 2006-0020-2868 President of the Midland YMCA, James Playfair, (son of Norman Playfair the stepbrother of Midland industrialist James Playfair), is seen addressing nearly 100 new and youthful members of that organization at induction ceremonies in the “Y” last Wednesday night. Demonstrations on the floor followed the more solemn part of the program.

 2006-0020-2947 Group of first year members of the Midland YMCA demonstrate tumbling during a parents night at the “Y”.

 2006-0020-2949 Open house night at the Midland YMCA last Wednesday night gave new youth a chance to demonstrate some of the abilities learned at the “Y”.


 Twenty-five officers and men of “C” squadron, Grey & Simcoe Foresters staged a wood cutting bee at R. J. Gilmore’s farm on the 3rd of Tay (Midland Point) on Sunday to aid their comrade who is seriously ill in St. Andrew’s Hospital. Two buzz saws were used to cut 18 bush cords of wood into furnace size. Ten cords were piled in the basement, the rest close to the house.

 2006-0020-2978 Captain Joseph Stewart and his wife in the wheelhouse of the Assinaboia on the occasion of his last trip of the season and of his 36 year career with CPR steamships and 50 years of sailing.

 1994-0132-0036-loading-trees-cnr Harold Gibson, CNR freight agent at Penetang, said yesterday that the last carload of Christmas trees left Penetang for the United States Monday afternoon. Mr. Gibson said that the 57 cars shipped this year was about average. All trees shipped by rail from Penetang are exported, with the majority going to mid-U.S. centers. One carload went to Corpus Christi, Texas. (Photo of Penetang station is undated)

 2006-0020-2890 Not too many years ago, when Anthony Blouin was learning the trade, contact to ships from shore was by Morse key or primitive wireless transmission. Now Mr. Blouin can pick up the phone and talk to almost any ship on Georgian Bay, as far away as the Soo. Telephone connection between the ship and its headquarters in Toronto, Montreal or elsewhere is also made through the Midland Marconi station.


 For the past five years, Anthony Blouin has taken great pride in keeping the grounds and buildings of the Canadian Marconi station in Midland in trim shape. Mr. Blouin watches his son Emile, a teacher at MPDHS, apply white paint to the trim of the radio building.

2006-0020-0793 For those who do not remember the wireless tower, myself included, it can be seen in the background of this photo taken at the corner of Donalda and Irwin Streets. Other stations in Tobermory and Port Burwell had two towers, does anyone remember if there were two here as well?

2006-0020-3089 Estimate loss at $75,000.00 in stubborn fire in the Grise block. Chief Tippin said the blaze was the worst King Street fire since the Dudley block burned in 40 below zero weather in 1949. There were no soaring flames but the fire burned in the ceiling of the first floor in the middle of the building and took five hours to bring under control. Thick smoke kept firefighters from getting at the source of the blaze.

 2006-0020-3019 Huge mess in the Cross Country Cut Rate store about 3:00 a.m. Thursday morning after Midland firefighters poured thousands of gallons of water on a stubborn fire in the Grise block. This store, Martin’s Shoe Repair, Onley & Haig Barristers, The Royal Bank and the office of Dr. Ed Grise were all badly damaged by smoke and water.

 2006-0020-2956 Veterans of politics in Port McNicoll are pictured during nominations last Wednesday night. Clerk Treasurer B. J. Brownell, seated, clerk for 23 years, was able to name Reeve Albert Calvert to his uncontested position for 1957, his ninth term in that office.

2006-0020-2955 Seven men have qualified for four council seats in Port McNicoll ensuring a lively election on December 17th. Cyril Larkin, George H. Burns, T. E. Lewis, Steve Thoms, Jack Fisher and seated Alec McCullagh. Absent was Jack Zummach.

 2006-0020-2952 Signing up all the youngsters in Midland and Penetang who wish to join Little League Hockey is a big job, as is finding equipment, ice time and coaches. Front, David Scott, Bobby Ruston, coach Freddie Scott of Penetang and Jim McKinnon. Rear, Rev. Len Self, director of Midland LHL and Bob Morgan, a director of the Penetang league. 

  • Mayor Charles Parker acclaimed for his seventh term as Midland’s mayor. Elections were held annually in December at this time.
  • Well known Midland accountant Frederick “Freddie” French died suddenly at St. Andrew’s Hospital Sunday in his 61st year. Mr. French had recently purchased the home of the late Dr. J. D. McPhee of Port McNicoll. For many years Mr. French was the bookkeeper for the D. S. Pratt Co. and prior to that worked for the old Manley Chew Lumber Co.
  • Flos Reeve, Walter Middleton, acclaimed for his 15th term. He has served Flos council for 24 consecutive years.
  • Seventeen students receive certificates at commencement exercises at Port McNicoll Continuation School.
  • The regular court room in the band hall on Dominion Ave. was tied up with four polling booths, Magistrate K. A. Cameron found himself presiding over court from behind a table in Fire Chief Arnold Tippin’s office in its temporary quarters on Bay Street.
  • 25 YEARS AGO 1931 – Capt. W. A. Lavigne, skipper of the Gleneagles, was instantly killed when the car in which he was riding struck a freight train between Fort William and Port Arthur. — The first snowfall of the winter hit Midland on December 1st — Midland’s new arena, under construction, was said to be “the best looking arena north of Toronto”. It was to feature “gleaming white walls and a roof of slate-coloured three-ply asphalt.” —Dr. J. M. Nettleton reported to Penetang council that the town had the second highest infant death rate in the province. Of 87 local births, 10 died before the end of the first year. — One of the most modern barns in the district, owned by Howard Smith on Penetang Road, was destroyed by fire. Although most of the stock was saved, 12 pigs and 3 calves were lost.  — The new Ritz restaurant was destroyed in a fire that also damaged surrounding stores. Damaged by smoke and water from the blaze was McKillen Bros. Men’s Wear.
  • Three people had run into the new glass walls in the entrance to Regent School in one day. Red placards have been put up as a warning.
  • Penetang solicitor A. B. Thompson, (“Great escape” veteran) wins the only ballot facing voters, the mayoralty. Mr. Thompson received 612 votes against 277 for his opponent George Kerr. Penetang’s first mayor, when it was incorporated in 1882, was Alfred A. Thompson, grandfather of the mayor elect. Father of the new mayor, also A. B. Thompson, served this area for many years in the provincial legislature. Another member of the Thompson family who entered civic life was Wm. A. Thompson who served as mayor before receiving an appointment as Crown Attorney for Simcoe County.
  • Onley and Haig, barristers, wish to announce that their office is now located at 217 King Street, formerly Strathearn’s Jewellers.
  • Coldwater sees 80% turnout of voters due to efforts of the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
  • $25.00 reward offered for information on the theft of a boat and motor from the dock behind the Boat Works, signed Howard Dragoman, Cities Service Station, Bay & First Sts.
  • The tree that wasn’t there last year on top of the Midland Simcoe Elevator isn’t there again this year. The tree is made up of strings of coloured lights festooned from the flag mast. The tree illusion is created at night only, in the daytime it disappears.
  • Odeon Theatres Canada appealed the assessment on the Capitol Theatre they own on King Street as it has not been used for several years as a theatre. Midland Foundry and Machine appealed the assessment on their Manton Foundry building on Manly Street that is being assessed by the cubic foot. C. E. Onley on behalf of Midland Foundry argued that the 40 foot high roof had been designed to fit the needs of the previous owners and that present operations only required a 15 to 20 foot ceiling. They were awarded a $1,500.00 reduction on their $23,040.00 assessment. The Jesuit Fathers of Upper Canada were also awarded a reduction on the 30 acres they own between the Wye River and the CNR tracks which they were renting out for $25.00 per year as pasture.
  • Two Toronto men will spend two years in jail for stealing the cash register containing $91.00 from Wilford’s Service Station on October 22nd.
  • Midland election results, Reeve, W. H. Keller; Alderman, Clinton Smith, Bill Orr and Doug Haig; PUC, Bill Logan and Charles Stevenson; Public School Board, Frank Bray, Mrs. McIntyre and Jack Thompson. Turnout of voters was 42.6% compared to 38% in 1955.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – November 16th to 30th 1956


   Click on photos to enlarge     2006-0020-1884 New Wyebridge community hall is completed on the west side of Highway 27 in Wyebridge. Local Women’s Institute has catered hundreds of local events in the last few years to raise the needed funds.

 2006-0020-2928 George Dudley QC of Midland, barrister and secretary manager of the Amateur Hockey Association, was interviewed in his office Wednesday night by cameraman Bob Crone for CBC Television News. He said that the association, by a vote of 13 to 10, had decided in the light of Russian actions in Hungary, not to send a team to Moscow in February for the world championships. The cup in the background is the world championship trophy won by Canada in 1950.

 [Read more about George and other area athletes at the Midland Sports Hall of Fame web site.] http://www.midlandonsportshalloffame.com/george-dudley.html

 2006-0020-2935 Yard engine belonging to the Century Coal Co. in Midland has been converted from steam to diesel. The new engine is actually being repurposed from a Canadian military Sherman tank.

Among other improvements Century Coal Co. has recently replaced the old 400 foot wooden dock with cement and steel.

 2006-0020-2894 First snowman of the season, built by sisters Mary Ellen McCormick, 10, and Cheryl, 3, of 268 Midland Ave.

 2006-0020-2869 Unamotus Hi-Y members with a radio blaring peppy music in the background prepared to clean and paint the hall entrance to the YMCA dance floor Wednesday afternoon. Back to front, Wayne Broad, John Bell, John Edwards, Bryson McQuirter and Don Green.

2006-0020-2895 First Midland winner of the annual oratorical contest sponsored by the Simcoe County Trustees and Ratepayers Association, Winston Schell, 13, of Horrell Ave. displays the trophy he won Friday night in Barrie. Father Norman Schell looks proudly on.

2006-0020-2896 High honours were heaped on these two graduates of Elmvale District High School at commencement exercises in the school auditorium Friday night. Wilmur Giffen and Edith Robertson were winners of Dominion-Provincial bursaries. Wilmur also won the Canadian Legion scholarship. Both have chosen teaching careers.

 2006-0020-2876 Midland’s Caledonian Lodge had enough Y’s Men among its numbers to form a team for the master mason’s degree, exemplified for Ken McCaughen and Haig Abbott last Monday. Back Row, Harold Boyd, Ken Ellis, William Mutch, Tom McCullough, Wells Hartman, George Ingram, Charles Vent, L. S. Wallace, Ange Hartman, Frank Whiteman; front row, John Krocho, Frank Powell, Bev Keefe, candidates Ken McCaughen and Haig Abbott, Mac Perrin and Bill Setterington.

 2006-0020-2939 Coffee tasted extra good to these three Midlanders who weathered a rough passage from Thunder Bay to Port McNicoll on the Paterson freighter S. S. Bricoldoc, especially November 21st. They encountered 100 MPH winds, 40 foot waves and a ship that rolled beyond the 23 1/2 degrees considered a safe maximum. Four Midland people were on the crew, Ernst McKeown, 2nd mate, Mrs. Mary Clay, 1st cook, Doug Robitaille, oiler and Cecil Leclair, porter

 2006-0020-2942 Crewmen and workers at the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll are using hot water to de-ice the hatches of the S. S. Bricoldoc, a scene that will be common until the end of the navigation season. Bricoldoc was 36 hours late reaching Port McNicoll and had a ten degree list to port, but high winds and huge waves were the reason, not icing.

 2006-0020-2920 Nio Gianetto is seen hanging up deer and bear in the walk-in cooler at his store. Nio was part of a gang that hunted near Dorset that included; Ed Copeland, Hugh Blair and Clarence Hall of Midland, A. L. Fitzgerald, Cleo Genier and his father, from Penetang, Charles and Bill Watson and Jack McTavish of Newmarket.

 2006-0020-3095 Three young forwards are being counted on by coach Garnet Armstrong to supply a lot of scoring punch for Midland’s junior “C” team this year. They are Dennis Turner, “Buzz” Deschamp and Doug Campbell. Turner was with Elmvale’s OMHA juvenile champs last winter. Deschamp starred with Midland midgets. Campbell also performed in juvenile ranks in Orillia.

 2006-0020-2889 Replaced by electronic gear the old hand operated Morse key is still music to the ear of veteran operators like Anthony Blouin who has worked for the Canadian Marconi Co. for forty years and is currently the operator at Midland. Mr. Blouin has worked in the Soo as well as several Quebec stations. Anthony was on duty in 1914 at Grosse Isle in the St. Lawrence and heard the Empress of Ireland’s distress call the night she sank with the loss of 1,012 souls, eight more than Titanic two years earlier.

 2006-0020-2893 Tony Blouin, the “wireless” operator at Midland, explains the operation of a “Maggie” detector to K. V. Rainberg. This equipment is now a museum piece although in use during Mr. Blouin’s career. They are surrounded by all the electronics now used in a modern Marconi station.

  Midland’s wireless station, call letters VBC, was located at what was then the south end of William Street at the highest location on the west side. The station and the operator’s house are still standing. A Midland contractor (I am searching for the name) built the identical stations in Midland, Kingston, Tobermory and Port Burwell. The Midland station operated from 1912 till 1961.

 2006-0020-2963 Things are a little easier for the picketers manning the line at the Canadian Name Plate plant on Bay Street during the recent strike, by the erection of a shelter to give some relief from the cold.

The November 30th County Herald contained an article regarding this two week old strike by the 126 UAW workers. It was presented as a discussion, with the union representative making a point and Mr. Gordon Moss responding to it. The points on both sides seemed quite reasonable.

 2006-0020-2965 Upside Down Cake? – Dempster’s bread truck headed to Midland and driven by Ernest M. Foster of Barrie got into trouble on the slippery road at the south end of King Street. No charges were laid, damage estimated at $50.00. 

  • Simcoe County forester Joe Lea retires after 28 years of building the forests of the county.
  • Ontario Department of Highways has refused Tay Townships request for a 30 MPH speed limit on Hugel Ave. W. from Eighth Street to Hwy 27. The township is concerned because there are no sidewalks past Eighth Street, 750 pupils have to walk on the roadway.
  • Ad in the paper announcing that Walter Zimmerman has taken over the Meat Market formerly operated as Argues Meat Market in Victoria Harbour.
  • MPDHS to get $400.00 electric timer and scoreboard for the gym.
  • Realtor W. J. Sansford is offering a stucco bungalow in the south end, 3 bedrooms, hardwood floors, oil heating, clothes closets in all bedrooms, laundry tub, 4 piece bathroom, built-in cupboards. Heated last year for $72.00. Full price $8,500.00.
  • PUC still looking to increase towns water supply and Little Lake is still the best new resource with water always testing “Grade A” and Department of health supporting the plan.
  • Realtor Vic Strickland at a public meeting suggested that more citizens would run for public office if the stipend was increased. Clerk Wm. Hack explained that currently $2,000.00 is distributed among the mayor and councilors annually, using a graduated scale based on attendance at meetings. The Mayor maintains it is a duty to serve your community. Alderman Clint Smith felt it was an honour to be elected to public office.
  • Newcomer A. B. Thompson, Penetang barrister, will run against the present mayor of Penetang, George Kerr.
  • The real estate firm of W. J. Sansford has launched a new subdivision across the bay behind the Midland Simcoe Elevator. Jim Bennett, the firms representative, said “Sunnyside Heights” would be limited to $10,000.00 and over homes with a possible shopping center behind if interest warranted it.
  • Start will be made next year on the four lane super highway from just east of Barrie (Crownhill) to Coldwater.
  • Bourgeois Motors announces that their car lot for both new and used vehicles is now located at their Midland Avenue site, just north of Hugel.
  • Maritimer A. MacNeil acquires the local General Motors franchise and will open on the former Warman property on Vinden Street, recently occupied by Bourgeois Motors.
  • Local Canadian Tire Store closes half day owing to the death of the firm’s founder, J. W. Billes.
  • Midland’s downtown merchants to circulate a petition proposing a five day work week except during the tourist season.
  • Tenders for the sale of properties owned by the town of Midland –  #1 Community Center 311 King street, 2 1/2 story brick veneer, hot water heating, stoker, full basement, modern plumbing, apartment on upper floor. (currently CompuSolve) –  #2 Band Hall, 218 Midland Ave. corner of Dominion, 1 1/2 storey brick hall, oil heating, basement, 6 room apartment on upper floor with separate entrance. (currently Better Life Chiropractic) – #3 Town Garage, Yonge Street E., solid brick, 50′ x 49′, concrete floor, two 12′ x 12′ folding doors. (currently 382 Yonge St. former home of the McCuaigs)
  • Winner of the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Olympic Games in Melbourne this week, Britain’s Chris Brasher is a brother of Dr. Peter Brasher, Midland.
  • More than 6,000 residents are eligible to vote in the upcoming municipal elections in Midland & Penetang.
  • Steel windows for the new municipal building, promised for August from a British company, have not yet arrived.
  • Le Camp’s Clothing Store at First and Ney in Port McNicoll is going out of business due to sickness, everything being sold at cost. “P.S. – We’ll sell the store too.”
  • Midland’s first advanced poll will take place on December 1st from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the rear of town hall, off Dominion Ave. Those eligible must sign a declaration stating they will be absent on the day of the regular election. Those allowed will be railway workers, armed forces, transport drivers and others whose business makes it impossible for them to be in Midland on the regular polling day.
  • In 1945 sixty six percent of Canadians who paid income tax earned less than $2,000.00, in 1953 only twenty two percent were below $2,000.00.
  • Two local hunters are wounded during the deer hunt. Port McNicoll postmaster and popular citizen Jack Reedy managed to shoot himself in the foot while hunting in the Cognashene area. Joe Barden, Coldwater photographer and poolroom operator was shot in a hunting accident east of Bracebridge. Shot fired from another hunter 300 yards away fractured his shoulder, broke three ribs and punctured a lung.
  • Vasey United Church Sunday School superintendent Nathan Edwards reported that 85 children were enrolled last year with average weekly attendance of 64.
  • OBITUARIES – Mrs. Damasse Lalumiere died November 5th at her home, she was in her 91st year. She came to Penetang with her parents at age 15 and married Damasse in 1882. She is survived by Aimer at home, Eugene in Buffalo, Adolph in Galt, Lea (Mrs. Simeon Moreau), Anna (Mrs. Theophile Marchildon), and Melina (Mrs. Isreal Robitaille). – A lifelong resident of Coldwater, Mrs. Sarah Rachel Sallows nee Howell died at home on Nov 7th, she was 66.  She is survived by her husband Reuben, two sons, Henry and Theodore and a daughter Margaret, Mrs. Walter Rose of Fesserton. – Mrs. Septimus Lowes nee Mary Ellen Jackson, died at her home Sunday in her 82nd year. She is survived by her husband, and three sons, Kenneth and Francis of Midland, and Tom of Oshawa. – Mrs. Frederick Norman Carruthers nee Edna Lois MacDonald of Wyebridge died November 11th in St. Andrews Hospital in her 64th year. Predeceased by her husband in 1947 and son Allan in March of this year. Survived by one son, Clayton of Midland. – Mrs. Joseph J. Fallis, nee Mary Tinney, who died in the Beechwood Nursing home on November 11th in her 90th year. Predeceased by her husband 22 years ago and a daughter Rita 30 years ago. Survived by two sons, Harvie and William of R.R. Midland a daughter Hazel, Mrs. William Taylor  of Vasey. – Andrew McLawrence Lovering died on November 23rd at the age of 83. An active participant in his community, he served for eight years on council, telephone commission for 15 years, school board trustee for 18 years and captain of the Coldwater fire brigade for 30 years. He and his wife, the former Maude Hawke, farmed the original Lovering homestead deeded from the Indians. He is survived by his wife, a daughter Ruth, Mrs. Charles Danby and two sons, Walter and Horace.
  • WEDDINGS – Muriel Blondin, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Martial Blondin, Lafontaine and Richard Lesperance, son of Mr. & Mrs. Albert Lesperance, Perkinsfield, at Holy Cross Church. Anatole Charlesbois sang two pieces accompanied by his wife on the organ. – Catharine Ann Reid, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. James F. Reid and Douglas Wm. Fagan, son of Mr. & Mrs. Cecil Fagan, Wyebridge, at St. Mark’s Anglican in Midland, Nov. 10th. – Germaine Bellisle daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Bellisle, Penetang, and OPP Officer John W. Ambeau, son of Mr. & Mrs. George Ambeau, Midland at St. Ann’s, October 29th. 
  • 25 YEARS AGO, 1936 – Following a week of below freezing temperatures the thermometers jumped to 68 and 70 degrees. – An old landmark was destroyed when the Waubaushene Inn owned by Henry Gouett burned to the ground in a midnight fire. – Midland YMCA won the 33 mile marathon race from Midland to Orillia for the second time and established a new record by clipping seven minutes off of their previous years record. Midland runners were Stan Symington, Dudley Tushingham, Horace Scott, Charles Noquet, Harold Hornsby, L. Larmand of Victoria Harbour, Cliff Davis, Capt. Merkley, Borland, Switzer, McKenzie, Bremner, Edwards, Coombs and Vosper. 

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – November 8th to 15th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006-0020-2899 Parkview School held a Remembrance Day service Friday morning directed by teacher Jack Yelland. Grade Eight student Charles Ward stands before the backdrop that was prepared by Mrs. (Joan) Wm. Barnett’s Grade Six class. Bugler Jim Ingram played the last post and Len Wiles, the caretaker and legion member, made the cross.

 1994-0132-0059-bracebridge-pipe-band The Bracebridge Legion Pipe Band led Legion members, Ladies Auxiliary and Penetang Firemen through the rain and sleet to the cenotaph on Monday, November the 12th. Under the guidance of Legionnaire W. H. Hewson, the groups, which included a small number of townspeople, joined in singing hymns, the National Anthem and O Canada. The names of those who fell in all wars were read by Auxiliary president Miss Kathleen Dubeau and G. J. Robillard was the bugler.

 2006-0020-2923 The new safety booklet issued Wednesday to Midland elementary school children by Branch 80, Canadian Legion, receives the serious attention of Chief Robert Cameron, Regent School principal, Morgan Lewis, student Barbara Dalrymple and legionnaire H. A. Wiles, past zone commander.

 2006-0020-2914Winner of the Branch 80, Canadian Legion scholarship, Ross Hindmand receives a cheque for $100.00 from Branch 80 treasurer Howard Henderson, Ivan McConnell, left, Branch 80 publicity director looks on. Ross plans to enter the University of Toronto  when he graduates from MPDHS and later enroll in law school.

 2006-0020-2924 Oratorical contest winner at Regent School Friday night was Winston Schell of Regent. He is receiving his prize from John Dalrymple of the Midland Lions Club. Winston gave a humorous account of his experience as a golf caddy. There were twenty entries this year which resulted in a marathon session lasting over three hours.

 2006-0020-2925 Arm waving is out at public speaking contests but these young contestants had some fun after the contest imitating the days of dramatic elocution. Betty Jean Walkinson of Parkview laughingly admonishes her listeners.

 2006-0020-2916  Diane Peutz of St. Mary’s school confronts the audience with a firm stand.

 2006-0020-1874 A bit of a quiz to see who is up on their barn identification. Clue, located in Tay Township.

  • John Powers reports in his column “Outdoor Diary” that “a few flocks of geese have been seen landing in the Lafontaine area”. Now in 2016 it wouldn’t be unusual to see a flock of geese in your back yard.
  • This week a party from Coldwater including Forester G. R. Lane ad MPP Lloyd Letherby motored up the new section of Trans-Canada Highway from Port Severn to the site of the new Six Mile Lake campsite and park being laid out by the Department of Lands and Forests. Good progress has been made and the park should be ready for visitors next season. Further graveling and other work is still to be done on the new highway before paving can be done.
  • At the Pen, “The Great Waltz” with Louise Rainer and Fernand Gravet. At the Roxy, “High Society” with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra.
  • Midland Curling club members give the rink a fresh coat of paint before the season begins.
  • WEDDINGS, Rita Jean Martin, eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Martin and Andrew Gauthier, son of Mrs. Zed Gauthier at St. Ann’s, October 6th.— Elaine Roselyn Gerow, only daughter of Mr. & Mrs. G. W. Gerow of Midland and David Frederick Milner, only son of Mr. & Mrs. Cam Milner of Midland and Honey Harbour, at St. Mark’s Anglican October 20th.

    — Bernice Florence Leonard, daughter of Mrs. B. MacDonald and the late Lorne Leonard of Wyebridge and Donald Roy Abbott son of Mrs. E. Abbott of Toronto at St. Mary’s Anglican Toronto.

    — Anita Patricia Gravelle, youngest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Albert Gravelle Penetang and Robert F. Lamoureux youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Fred Lamoureux Midland at St. Ann’s October 8th.

    — Helen Margaret Hounsome, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Charles Hounsome Wyebridge and William Crippin son of Mrs. Peter Crippin Penetang at the Church of the Good Shepherd Wyebridge on October 20th.

    — Marie Marchand daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Celestin Marchand and B. Johnson, son of Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Johnson Toronto at St. Ann’s.

    —  Rejeanné Marchildon daughter of Edmond Marchildon and Jean Baptiste Marchand son of Romeo Marchand all of Lafontaine at Holy Cross on October 6th.

    — Joan Stewart daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Stewart Penetang and Marcel Maurice son of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Maurice North West Basin at St. Ann’s October 13th.

    —  Erna Ostertag daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Donald Ostertag Penetang and Lionel Duquette son of Mr. & Mrs. Anthime Duquette Pentang at St. Ann’s October 20th.

    —  Jeanette Ruth Oliver daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Stan Oliver North River and Douglas Hebner son of Mr. & Mrs. Elmer Hebner Midland at Knox Presbyterian October 27th.

  • New 21 inch “big screen” Admiral TV can be seen at Eisenberg’s, 47 Main Street Penetang.
  • At Eplett’s TV and Appliance in Midland it’s a free turkey with every TV purchase.
  • Midland Council changes insurance company and saves $1,600.00 on Arena Gardens insurance. Coverage will be $184,000.00.
  • Barber & Haskill Limited opens their new store at 278 King Street, formerly McKinley Automotive. The store had been located on the east side of King ten years ago then moved to a new location on Yonge Street. The Owen Sound brothers-in-law now have a staff of five, electricians Bruce Spicer, Gordon Duggan and Charlie Spiker, salesman Clint Truax and heating specialist Dave Hudson.
  • TEN YEARS AGO — First new Cadillac to be seen in Midland since the war was on display at Bertrand Motors.  — Mayor Charles Vent unveiled a new memorial plaque at the cenotaph on Remembrance Day. —  Midland and Penetang hospitals recorded 54 births in the month of October.
  • At the Victoria Harbour cenotaph Cpl. John Bernard unveiled a bronze tablet honouring the dead of World War I and Sgt. William Quinlan another honouring those who died in World War II.
  • Three Hannah Street residents request sewers and will have them installed by the town at a cost of $200.00 each.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – November 1st to 7th 1956

2006-0020-2756 Four prominent figures who have been involved with the progress of St. Andrews Hospital since its inception in 1918 are seen following ceremonies to open the new James Playfair wing at the hospital Wednesday night. R. J. Pinchin, president of the board, Mrs. Emma Baker, superintendent for some 30 years and after whom a wing has been named; Stuart Playfair who unveiled a plaque honouring the contributions of his brother the late James Playfair, donor of the original building. Another plaque was unveiled honouring the services of Dr. J. Ross Parrott, right, and his associates, who did much of the planning  for the new building opened last year.

2006-0020-2757 New laundry facilities at St. Andrews are examined by John Burke, building committee chairman, W. A. Robinson, M.P., and former nurse, Mrs. John Burke.

 2006-0020-2921 Ground Observer Corps members Mrs. Don Tuttle and chief observer Alf Tuttle are proud of their new table for plotting aircraft flights over the area. Mr. Tuttle made it himself and it is an exact replica of the one used at the RCAF filter center in Barrie. The fifteen member group report that 48 sighting calls were made to the filter center last month, the largest since the group started. 

2006-0020-2743 Laying the section of the new Trans Canada Highway that runs from Waubaushene to Port Severn is a job that requires big machinery and big material. These large slabs of rock provide excellent fill for the many marshy areas.

 2006-0020-2759 Over 300 delegates attend the annual meeting of District 8, Ontario Secondary School Teacher’s Federation held at MPDHS on Friday. Students helping in the cafeteria to feed all the guests are, Karen Wilcox, Robin Benson, Gerry Geere, Allan Kirkup and Shirley Foster.

 2006-0020-2720 More than seventeen members of the Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers were present at a building bee last weekend at the clubs new site back of the Martyr’s Shrine. Studying plans are president Bill Russell, Jim Duncan and Lloyd Wilson. 

2006-0020-2936Forty years of service as a volunteer fireman on Midland’s fire brigade was honoured Thursday night at the Parkside Inn. Henry Woods, 2nd Liet., watches as  Bill Crawford, center, is presented with a wallet and money by Jack Argue, chairman of the fireman’s finance committee.

In the bottom photo Earl Allsopp, secretary and 1st Lieut., on the left, and Dalton Jennett, captain, on the right, join in on congratulating Bill Crawford and presenting him a certificate.

 2006-0020-28812006-0020-2882S. C. “Bert” Hanly hands over his waterfront crane to Midland Machine Shop operator Lloyd Atkinson, who has purchased the historic equipment from its long-time owner and operator. Bert built the hand operated crane about 1917 at a cost of $1,100.00 but previous to that had performed the same function from an oak bottomed scow equipped with two cranes. There was no set fee, the charge was estimated by the “bigness” of the craft, beam and draft being as variable as length. He averaged about 300 boats per year. Tomorrow he sets off on the annual deer hunt, a tradition since 1896. Bert is 83.

 2006-0020-2909 Delegates to a boys’ rally, sponsored jointly by the Boys’ Work Board and the Christian Education Committee of Simcoe Presbytery of the United Church, register at St. Paul’s United Church, Midland. The rally Saturday afternoon featured games, stunts by the boys and their leaders, talks and films.

[This photo was on the front page of the Free Press on November 7th 1956 but none of the names were included, please comment if you recognize anyone.]

It has been suggested that the the lad in the plaid shirt is Harry DeVries, the one in the leather jacket is Frank Okenka and the one on the extreme left is Winston Schell. Looking at other photos of these young men I would agree except Frank is hard to judge without a better look at his face. (Tom at the museum)

 2006-0020-28872006-0020-28882006-0020-2910 Major damage in the fire at St. Mary’s Separate School early Friday morning occurred in the class room which was occupied by grades 5 and 6. The room was completely destroyed. The students have been accommodated in surplus rooms at Parkview and Sixth Street schools. Four other class rooms were badly damaged by smoke and water. 

2006-0020-2911 Wendy Howard of the MPDHS junior girls volleyball team gets ready for a smashing serve over the net at the high school tournament Saturday morning. Orillia won top place of the four teams entered. 

  • In a letter to the editor a local group seeking liquor outlets in town has turned down any request for beverage rooms, their objective is to have a liquor and beer store only in Midland. They also want organizations to be able to obtain a liquor license for special events so that groups would be less likely to take events outside of Midland.
  • The first two of the Ontario government’s historic site markers were unveiled last week in Toronto. Midland’s W. H. “Bill” Cranston, chairman of the Ontario Archaeological and Historic Sites Board opened the ceremonies with remarks. Premier Frost paid tribute to Midlander J. H. “Herbert” Cranston whom he described as a “great Canadian” in pioneering the preservation of the province’s historical heritage.
  • Every week there is a “gossip column” in the paper called “Did You Hear, The Midland Social Week”. The Penetang column is called “On Dit”. In the County Herald, November 2nd we learn that Mr. & Mrs. Nap Laurendeau will leave Malton by plane Saturday to fly to Winnipeg for a few days. — Mrs. Charles Hardy entertained members of Lady Parkhill Lodge, LOBA (Lodges of the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association) after their meeting of October 19. — Miss Marion Evans, to be married to Arthur Argue tomorrow at Knox Church, has been the guest of honour at several miscellaneous showers. On Oct. 25, thirty five friends and neighbours were present at the home of Mrs. F. E. Lowes, Fifth Street, which had been decorated with pink and white streamers. The previous Monday, 25 employees of Wagg’s Laundry gathered at the home of Mrs. Roy McConnell. — Miss Pat Perrin will be in Toronto until the end of this month. She is working and studying florist work  in the shop of Eunice Denby. — Mrs. Jack White, Mrs. Flora Banting and Mrs. Edward Jeffery Sr. are leaving Tuesday morning for the south. They will spend the next six months in St. Petersburg, Fla. — Miss Joan MacEachern, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Donald MacEachern, who is a nurse in training at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, visited her parents Sunday, prior to leaving for Toronto where she will spend three months affiliation training at the Hospital for Sick Children.
  • Beaver Lumber is advertising everything the handy man needs to create that new room in the house called the “Recreation Room”. They suggest you “Start now in your after supper hours -“
  • Cinema usherette in the dentist chair when asked which tooth was giving her trouble replied, “Second from the left in the balcony” —– “I don’t like the look of your husband” said the doctor gravely. “Neither do I” the wife replied “but he’s kind to the children.” These little bits of humour, used as space fillers are found in most of the Free Press and County Herald papers.
  • Singer Sewing Center, machines rented by the week or by the month.
  • In Penetang police court , 19 year old Leo Patrick Dier, giving his residence as Penetang, pleaded guilty before Magistrate K. A. Cameron on a charge of obtaining liquor while under age. Unable to pay the $25.00 fine he was remanded in County jail for the alternative 10 days. Sometime later in the Penetang police office next to the court, Provincial officer Mervin Robinson noticed a wanted poster on the wall for a Leo Patrick Deir, also 19, of Brockville. Despite the difference in spelling it turned out to be the same person and he was returned to Brockville. [I included this article wondering how often, before we had our sophisticated computer systems, criminals were able to get away from officers undetected.]
  • In the PMCS News column, Judy Quesnelle reported that an election was held on Oct 8th to elect new officers for the Port McNicoll Continuation School for 1957.
  • Alfred Simon, a twenty year old roofer from Toronto, died in Penetang hospital from injuries received when he fell from the roof of the new Simcoe County Home for the Aged in Penetang.
  • A lifetime spent in the lumber business came to an end Monday when Marcel Tessier died following a heart attack. Owner of Tessier Planing Mill in Penetang, which he has managed since the death of his father 25 years ago. The only other sibling, Father Phillip Tessier is returning from Brooks Alberta to attend the funeral.
  • Established in Orangeville 36 years ago by A. J. Grigg, the Grigg Company will open a new branch store in Midland Friday. Termed a junior department store, the new addition to Midland’s downtown will be located in the building formerly occupied by Loblaws Limited.
  • Thirty-eight teams in Midland and Penetang have been organized for Little League and Midget hockey this year.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK — Fire of unknown origin destroyed a boat storage building owned by Gidley Boat Company of Penetang. Thirty-three boats including several launches stored for the winter were lost. Damaged was estimated at $50,000.00. — A football tournament at Beck’s field in Penetang went on despite heavy rain that made the field a sea of mud. Both Midland’s junior and senior teams were defeated by Orillia, but Penetang juniors carried home town honours by defeating Balmy Beach 3-0. Some of the Penetang players were, Trilsbeck, Don & Ed Copeland, O’Hearn, Crippen, Grise and Quigley. Penetang juniors were Ontario semi-finalists in 1930. — Three adjacent cottages in Waubaushene that had just been completed in the summer, were destroyed by fire. The cottages were owned by Toronto residents and had been vacated for the winter. — Exactly one year after the Ontario Cafe and adjoining beauty parlour were destroyed in an early morning fire, flames devoured a two-story frame building on Bay St. near the Canadian Department Store. The blaze was discovered by a Mr. Byrne, who also discovered the fire the year previously. [Is that a coincidence or is his name an even bigger coincidence.] — Nine helpless inmates of the Ontario Hospital in Penetang died when a men’s sleeping cottage was destroyed by fire. The cabin destroyed housed aged cripples, who could do little to help themselves.
  • In 1911 the Roman Catholics of Midland had no church or meeting place large enough for their growing congregation to celebrate Mass. Father Laboreau of Penetanguishene was the priest in charge of a large parish that extended to the Coldwater area. The Reeve of Midland at the time and Master of the Orange Lodge, Lorenzo MacFarlane, offered Father Laboreau the Orange Hall for services. After overcoming his surprise Father Laboureau accepted the offer.
  • Fire destroyed a 30 by 14 foot boathouse on Picnic Island owned by Cecil Shaw of Welland. Two sixteen foot boats and a canoe were lost in the blaze. One was the first of its type built by Alfred H. Gidley of Penetang and the other was the last boat built by Mr. Gidley, who is Mrs. Shaw’s father.
  • Midland Brass Band requires boys 10 years old and up, instruments available.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – October 16th to 31st

Click on photos to enlarge

2006-0020-2684 Apple Day headquarters 1956 is a room in Knox Presbyterian Church. Scouts Gary Blake and Jerry Berriault receive their apples and money cans from Assistant District Commissioner Harvey Boyd and Cubmaster Ida Gardiner. In the back row are Cubmaster Wilf Hamelin, Scoutmaster Tom Gilbert, Assistant Cubmaster Art Richards and District Scoutmaster Charles Roberts look on.

 2006-0020-2685 Saturday was Apple Day for Cubs and Scouts all over Ontario. Billy Cameron and Billy Graham tidy up their baskets before continuing their rounds of Port McNicoll homes. They are members of the 1st Port McNicoll pack.

 2006-0020-2682Yeggs’ strike local IGA store. Manager George MacFarlane points to the tiny hole drilled into the store safe in an unsuccessful attempt to open it. The safe was embedded in concrete at the front of the store. Two display stands had been moved to conceal their activities. Stealing is hard work and the would-be thieves had to take a break, consuming two pops and a large chocolate bar.

 2006-0020-1866 Midland’s new municipal building is taking shape on the old Central School grounds between Second & Third Streets on Dominion Ave. Late in arriving, steel for the new building has been erected this week , which will permit other work to proceed.

 2006-0020-2691 Getting ready to feed the hundreds of guests expected at the opening of the new public school in Coldwater are members of the Home and School Association, Mrs. Mervin Abott, Mrs. Clem Swailes and Mrs. James Emslie, convener of the group.

 2006-0020-1869 This new addition, on the left, to the Waverly United Church was dedicated at services Sunday afternoon. Termed a Christian Education and fellowship room, it will also serve as a general auditorium. Many members of the congregation provided volunteer labour on the addition which cost around $8,000.00.

 2006-0020-2678 Well equipped kitchen is included in the new addition to the Waverly United Church  which will be dedicated Sunday afternoon. Mrs. Elmer French and Mrs. Reg Drinkill examine a storage rack under the serving window which will hold more than 65 pies. First customer at the counter is Rev. Wesley Glazer.

 2006-0020-2724 Homeowners in the new Ingram Subdivision of Tay Township were all smiles Saturday as workmen completed the first layer of pavement  for the new street, a continuation of Hugel Ave. The street is now more than two miles long and runs from William Street in Midland’s east end to Highway 27 in the west.

 2006-0020-2737The girls, members of the Tironae Club of Midland YMCA, are sorting rubber footwear for cleaning and repairing before sending it to the Salvation Army. Elsewhere in the room another group is sorting clothing for the same destination. Carol Fox, Karen Robinson, Mary Ann Nicholson, Sheila Barber and Shirley Ann Silver.

 2006-0020-1782 The young lads are getting a few pointers on how to build up muscles through exercises on the parellel bars. They are one of the many groups who receive weekly instructions on gymnastics at the Midland YMCA. Boys are David Carpenter, Ronnie Gosselin, John Thomas, Randy Jones, Paul Henderson, Jerry Beteau, instructor Alex Owen, Edo Wensveen and Gerald Karch.

 2006-0020-2689 There were seldom any empty seats during the five days that Loblaws held their cooking school in the Capitol Theatre, King Street, Midland, last week.

 2006-0020-2736 In a rustic setting, these white washed stones direct the visitor to the Simcoe County Camp of the Ontario Department of Reform Institutions near Hillsdale. In spite of the open gateway there were no escapes attempted this summer at the experimental project where 50 prisoners worked under a few unarmed guards.

 2006-0020-2730 This sturdy bridge on the conservation farm was built by prisoners in nine days at a cost of about $15.00. With the extensive rockery lining the stream, dammed up when the photo was taken, it will add much to the scenic beauty of the Kiwanis property.

 2006-0020-2754 Caretaker at Parkview School, Len Wiles, boards up another broken window, part of a long string of senseless vandalism occurring in Midland recently. Window to the right has a hole in it as well, just to the left of the pumpkin.

 2006-0020-1873 Good progress is being made on Midland’s newest industrial building, that of Pinecrest Products Limited. Located at the extreme easterly end of Bay Street, the new factory will produce unfinished furniture.

 2006-0020-2680 Dressed for initiation these four students are attending the Collingwood vs. Midland junior football game last week. Members of the HiY Unamotus Club the boys are; Ernie Somers, Ron Parker, Gary Woods and kneeling, Bill Swann.

 2006-0020-2753 Simcoe District teachers inspect a new text book during a meeting at Regent School, Midland. Henry Bergen of Christian Island; Ken Cowan, Midland; Wesley Anderson and Walter Black of Christian Island. 

 2006-0020-2739 Barbershoppers are featured in this week’s “Pot Luck” in the editorial column of Wednesdays paper. Bottom, Glen Campbell, Ray Trew, Lloyd Atkinson and Archie Campbell.

2006-0020-2695MPDHS almost beats Collingwood junior football team, lose 22-16 despite Larry Leroux on the left catching three touchdown passes thrown by John Dubeau on the right.

 2006-0020-2690 Keri Beteau pulls the winning ticket at the recent cooking school sponsored by Loblaws and H. J. Thompson and Sons Ltd. at Midland’s Capitol Theatre. The winner of a new stove supplied by Thompsons was Mrs. Charles Robb of RR 2 Penetang. With Keri on stage are sponsor Bill Thompson, Mrs. Elsie Clay Rogers, who conducted the school and E. G. Saigle, a promotion official with Loblaws.

 2006-0020-2679 October 17th was a happy day for downtown shoppers in Midland as the public works staff began the job of removing and storing all of the parking meters until spring. Ken Walker, left, smiles as Constable Tom Currie tells him to put his money away. Removing the meter is Sam Butineau.

 2006-0020-2721 St. Andrew’s Hospital board member H. G. W. Paice, left, receives a cheque for $1,000.00 from Lions Club president Bill Jeffery.

 2006-0020-1939 Midland’s newest nonagenarian is Philip Henry Blake who marked his 90th birthday at his Yonge Street home Saturday. A native of Ottawa, Mr. Blake has been a resident of Midland for 51 years, most of which time he was engaged as a lumber inspector. 

 2006-0020-2738 People from all walks of life attend the funeral services at St. Paul’s United Church for A. D. Tushingham, recently curator of Huronia Museum and retired manager of the Bell Telephone Company in Midland. Mr. Tushingham died of a heart attack while on a motor trip with his wife and daughter to the east coast, he was 73. 

 2006-0020-27402006-0020-2742 Big thermometers on the corner of King & Hugel and King & Colborne will indicate the progress of Midland YMCA’s campaign for $8,500.00 with which to operate its many services during the coming year. With the hammer is Jack Courtemarche, Haig Abbott, Alex Owen and Frank Hartman. By Wednesday noon the amount was $2,432.00, eventually $9,500.00 was raised. [Note the Pentecostal Assembly Church in the background on Colborne St., now with a second storey it is an apartment complex.]

 2006-0020-2748 No trouble cleaning this fish as the owner is a butcher by trade. Isadore Arbour of 242 King (now 264) caught this 12 pound, 36 inch Northern Pike off  the Tiffin Elevator last week with a Canadian Wiggler. Guy Hebner and Clarence Cowie were in the party.

 2006-0020-1871 Workmen applying a new “all metal” roof to the Midland Arena Gardens. 

  • Msgr. Castex throws the first ball to open Penetang’s new bowling lanes.
  • Grew Boats receives an order for two, 50 foot RCMP patrol boats. Manager Andy Morrison feels that extra staff will need to be hired and full staff will be needed all winter to supply current orders. The new patrol boats feature twin 350HP gasoline engines and sleeping quarters for the crews.
  • Consumers Gas Company seeks a franchise from Midland Council to provide natural gas to the community. Supply will be available as soon as the Trans-Canada pipeline from Alberta passes east of here, sometime in the spring of 1958. The company is supplying American natural gas from Toronto as far north as Richmond Hill.
  • Two towns plan joint interlocking schedules and administration for the coming Little Hockey League this winter. It is expected that 400 boys will take part in the Penetang league sponsored by the Penetang Boys Club and 450 to 500 in the Midland League sponsored by the Lions Club. Penetang will play in the Arena Gardens until the natural ice is available in Penetang.
  • 1st Battalion The Canadian Guards will be holding a recruitment drive at the Midland Armouries, Thursday October 25th.
  • Injured recently when his overalls became entangled in the shaft of a wood cutting machine, Robert Mosely Jr. awoke Thursday morning to the sound of tractors in his farm yard. By nightfall all of his fall plowing had been finished. While his neighbours worked Mr. Mosley remained in the fields on his crutches and his wife prepared lunch for the men.
  • Resident of Penetang for 51 years, death came unexpectedly to Prosper Beausoliel on Saturday, October 20th at his Robert Street home. Born in Lafontaine he moved to Penetang in 1905 and has been a funeral director for the past 32 years.
  • Sixty students, largest class ever, have enrolled in the Midland Business College.
  • John Henry Reynolds of Penetang marks his 90th birthday, he has been a resident for 74 years. “Everywhere I worked you never got holidays, six days a week, often twelve hours a day, I guess I will take them now that I am retired.” His daughter-in-law with whom he lives says he is up every morning at five and until two years ago cut and split nine cords of hardwood every year for the furnace.
  • The new James Playfair wing of St. Andrew’s Hospital will be officially opened by his brother Stewart Playfair of Toronto on Wednesday evening.
  • Attendance at “Kitchi” hits a 37 year record.
  • Father of three small children, Clarence Cousineau 28, of Honey Harbour, died in St. Andrew’s Hospital early Sunday morning from a gunshot wound received in a hunting accident 15 miles north of Honey Harbour about 4 p.m. Saturday. Mr. Cousineau was sleeping in the front of a fifteen foot boat when the shotgun of one of his two companions discharged.
  • Party of ten ready for deer hunt. Ten members of the Midland Hunt Club will leave this week for their camp at Eagle’s Nest bay on the French River. Madore Latour, Gerrard Berriault, Elmer Contois, Peter Clause, Rex Downer, Charlie Scott, Stan Brooks, Gerry Gammon, Bill Johnson and Stan Sturgeon.
  • Rumour is that a group is planning to petition the town to take a vote on a brewer’s warehouse and liquor store in Midland. Midland has been dry since January 7, 1907. An attempt to repeal the by-law during a municipal election in 1915 was unsuccessful. In order to force a vote the signatures of 25% of eligible electors is needed, that would be 1,155 names. 
  • Believed to be the town’s oldest native citizen, Mrs. S. A. Jelly recalls early days, written by Ken Somers, Free Press, Wednesday, October 24th, 1956.

     “Although she makes no claims to the fact, perhaps the oldest native resident of Midland is Mrs. Simon A. Jelly of 306 Fourth Street (now 352 just off Yonge). Daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. H. S. Ruby, who themselves were among the earliest residents of Midland, Mrs. Jelly was born here 78 years ago, August 30th, 1878.       
      Three years earlier her father, one of Midland’s first bakers, had moved his family to Midland from Barrie. The Ruby’s had eight children, all of them girls but one. Mrs. Jelly is the last survivor of that big family. Born Mabel Louisa Ruby in the home that adjoined her father’s bake shop on Midland Ave., she started her schooling in the old Manly Street School, the only one in the town at that time. The old Central School that burnt a few years ago, was being built then, and Mabel Ruby also attended that school for a few years.
    The Manly Street School was a four room frame building on the site of the brick school built some years later and now occupied as a dress firm. [Glen Mohr Frocks then Fabulous Formals and now a private residence] The Baptist Church was right next to the school. The principal at Manly Street was Tom Truman, who also taught at Central.
     Midland was pretty much a lumber town in Mabel Ruby’s younger days. Most of the buildings and what sidewalks there were had been built of wood. The area around her home on Midland Ave. was one of the busiest in town, with her father’s bake shop on one side and a grist mill and a woolen mill just across the street.
     In addition to his bake shop , where he sold huge loaves at 10 cents each, Mr. Ruby also had an ice cream parlour and china shop in the downtown section at the north end of King Street. Crawford’s Men Shop is located on the same site at present. There was only one flavour, vanilla, which Mrs. Ruby made in her own home. Nearly all of Midland’s stores back in Mrs. Jelly’s childhood were located in the two blocks between Hugel Ave and Bay Street. There was one hotel she remembers away up at the corner of King and Yonge.
    The young people of that day often passed the old hotel, especially to go swimming on a hot summer afternoon after Sunday School. Little Lake, then as now, was a popular spot with the younger set, although getting to it was a different matter than it is now. There was just a trail in from the south end of King Street, with several stiles to climb and a marshy path to thread. The area around the lake was not cleared for some years after it was given to the town by Squire Fraser.
     Mable Ruby was married to Simon Jelly on January 31st, 1917. Although her husband’s employment took him to Toronto for many years, Mrs. Jelly always stayed in Midland. The couple had no children of their own but Mabel has nieces and nephews that visit her frequently. They have no trouble finding her as she has lived at 306 Fourth Street since 1910 and has no intention of moving.”

[Mable Ruby died in Midland on March 13th, 1962 at the age of 84 and her husband Simon “Andrew” Jelly followed her 19 days later.]

  • Midland YMCA’s Camp Kitchikewana received one of only eight citations awarded in the British Commonwealth this year from the Royal Life Saving Society in London for promoting and furthering the aims of the society. The citation was signed by Admiral the Earl of Mountbatten of Burma, K.G., P.C., G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., G.C.V.O., K.C.B., D.S.O.
  • A Barrie man, James Lynn, has purchased the former Bishop Funeral Home in Elmvale from William P. Hutchinson. It will now be known as the Bishop-Lynn Funeral Home. [James and wife Joan eventually moved to Midland and operated the James H. Lynn Funeral Home on First Street]
  • Chris Gardner, Midland’s man of mystery, this year celebrates his 52nd year in magic, 32 of them in Midland.
  • Penetang taxi operators announce a fare increase commencing November 1st. Town trips .50 cents, one stop, .10 cents for additional stops.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – October 1st to 15th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

 2006-0020-2622 Grey and Simcoe Foresters from North Simcoe participated in “Operation Mandible” a training exercise at the Meaford tank range. Pictured is a formidable line of Sherman tanks. Over 700 men from Canadian Army militia units of the Central Command were involved.

 2006-0020-2589Photo of four Free Press newspaper carriers in front of the Free Press office on King Street, Wallace Crawford, Gary Blake, Elizabeth Cowan and Graham Shaw.  Midland Free Press employs 38 carriers, each running their own business. Every publishing day they draw their quota of papers and at the end of the month they are billed for the number they have purchased. Then they collect 35 cents from each customer and out of this monthly amount they average about 14 cents per customer.  

2006-0020-2597Beautiful cheerleaders Elmvale style pictured at the fair last weekend, kneeling, Stephanie Shaw and Betty Marcellus, standing, Bonnie Flotron, Lois Rowntree and Myrna Ingleton.

 2006-0020-2598 Bill Swann is seen winning the heat in the junior 100 yard dash during the MPDHS track and field meet last week. Bill later won the final in the same event and will represent his school at the Tudhope Meet in Orillia.

 2006-0020-26232006-0020-2624 A true Thanksgiving is in store for the family of Pat Arthurs who was killed in a car accident August 30th. His wife and six children were left destitute and have been living in this tar paper shack just off Second Street in Port McNicoll. A fund administered by Rev. Leo Austin reached nearly $1,600.00 and made possible the new home where Father Austin is pictured with five of the children. The house was built with volunteer labour.

 2006-0020-2586 Port McNicoll Parish Priest Rev. Leo J. Austin is seen offering good wishes to his successor on the left, Rev. Frank Sullivan, former chaplain at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Toronto. Father Austin left Saturday to become pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Whitby.

 2006-0020-2708 Adeline Carpenter married Peter Smith at the age of 20 and they farmed most of their lives, over 50 years, on a farm on the 2nd concession of Tiny Twp., moving to Midland 20 years ago. Mrs. Smith is ninety-two.  Several of her nephews still live in the Waverly area, Walter, Jack and Fred Carpenter, Mrs. Frank Reynolds in Waverly, Mrs. Henry Reynolds in Wyebridge and Mrs. Percy Woods in Ebenezer are nieces. It has only been the last 12 years or so that Mrs. Smith has been sightless but continues to knit hundreds of pairs of socks and mittens for local children.

 2006-0020-27112006-0020-27122006-0020-2713 New taxi with 1,300 miles on it ends up in the bay off the town dock. The driver was Dalton Crawford who went down with the car but managed to roll down a window and escape. Owner of the taxi is Bert Martin. Several attempts had to be made by Ken Beatty before the heavily damaged vehicle was salvaged.

 2006-0020-2699 New MPDHS cheer leading squad bolstered by the addition of two boys. Front, Gerald Sibbald, Sheila Barber, Linda Contois, Shirley King, Janice Switzer and Don Biggs, rear, Sylvia White, Marilyn Thompson, Gail Gamna, Gail Marshall, Lucille Duquette and Rosemary Shields.

 2006-0020-2723 Often called the greatest invention of the 20th century and credited with saving hundreds of lives, workers paint the white lines on the newly surfaced highway through Victoria Harbour.

 2006-0020-1944 New choir leader and organist at Knox Presbyterian Church Midland is Stanley Harman seen relaxing in his Manly Street home. Recently retired after serving 30 years as an official with the CNR in Toronto and Montreal.

 2006-0020-2621 Huge boulders and lots of stone were encountered by contractors as they extended the Tiny Township portion of Hugel Ave. out to Highway 27. Many of the larger boulders were re-buried in pits alongside the new road. 

  • Midland Parks Commission crews are removing and cutting into firewood about twenty mature trees in Little Lake Park which have been considered unsafe. Chairman W. J. Murray said that sixty, four year old pine, larch, elm , maple, polar, oak, walnut and butternut trees have been moved from the arboretum at the park’s west end and transplanted. Two photos below from 1953 show the planting of the arboretum.

 2006-0020-0086 Scouting youth and leaders as well as Midland Parks Commission staff are seen examining newly planted seedlings on the North side of Little Lake. Twenty two different varieties have been planted, signs mark Norway Spruce and European Larch. St. Margaret’s Scout group help weed the Midland Parks Board arboretum seed bed. Men in the photo are Scoutmaster Ted Johnstone, Park Board Chairman William Murray , Parks Superintendent Harold (Mac) McAllen. Boys in the group are John Barber, Francis Cadieux, Lloyd Kaus, Bill Deschamp, Larry Deschamps, George Johnstone, Doug Blake, Phillip Charlesbois and Ronnie Dalziel.

 2006-0020-0087 Rover Scouts Bill Lavigne and Guy Johnstone; Scouts, Ross Lavigne and Ronnie Larmand and Cubs Bernie Montgomery and Wayne Lavigne weed seedling trees. Little Lake is in the background. 

  • Courses in basic English and citizenship for new Canadians operated by the Midland – Penetanguishene High School Board will open Tuesday October 9th. Registration begins at the YMCA at 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 5th.
  • The board of the Protestant Separate School in Penetang has found it necessary to open a new classroom this term and has been successful in finding a new teacher. Board chairman Ed Webster said attendance at the school has increased by 42 students during the past three years, from 172 to 214.
  • CKVR TV in Barrie seeks to increase the power of its transmission much to the dislike of many local viewers. While few viewers were happy with the allocation of channel 3 to Barrie because of the virtual block-out of channels two and four from Buffalo, the increase in power will extend that interference to a larger part of the province.
  • Lawrence Fournier of Penetang, while playing cribbage with fellow Beatty employees, was dealt a perfect hand.
  • Wood for sale; 4′ lengths $10.00 per cord, 16″ lengths $12.00 per cord.
  • Perkinsfield farmer fined $25.00 by magistrate K. A. Cameron for not filing his 1952 income tax return. His defense included, “I don’t know whether I made a dollar or spent one, I don’t keep any records. It’s all the same to me, I can’t read or write anyway.”
  • At the Pen, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in “The Long, Long Trailer”. 
  • At the Roxy; Gary Cooper, Charles Bickford, Ralph Bellamy and Rod Steiger in “The Court Marshall of Billy Mitchell”.
  • Advertisements: Hillsdale – Waverly Bus Line to Midland, daily except Sundays. Parkside Pavillion, A Jamboree of Country Rock & Roll starring the fabulous Red Monroe and the Country Mainliners. Bourgeois Motors, see the magnificent 1957 Meteor today at our Vinden Street showroom. Fall Fashion Show accompanied by live models, put on by Edwards and held at the community hall in Wyevale. Mrs. Olive Brunelle wishes to announce that the Chalet Beauty Salon at 248 King Street will no longer be open for business. Thanksgiving Dinner at Bourgeois Lakeshore Dining Room, $1.50 for either turkey, fried chicken, roast beef or pork chops and $1.75 for T-Bone steak. Gammon Tires, 189 Dominion Ave., Don’t wait until the snow falls, winter tires, 670-15’s, $29.00 a pair. Cottage Lots, now available for lease on Christian Island Reserve. Opening October 15th, Major Hairdressing at 215 King Street, Gertrude Major proprietress. G&M Shoppe and Watson’s Ladies Wear , Elmvale, are promoting “Teena – Paige” fashions sizes 7-15 and “Harbrook” English sweaters.
  • Plastics division of Percy Harmant Co. becomes the Plastic Division of Midland Industries Limited, 36,000 square foot addition to Elizabeth Street plant to start immediately. Harmant has been in the plastics business for 20 years operating from a six storey factory on King Street in Toronto.
  • H. J. Payette, son of Mr. & Mrs. Napoleon Payette and a native of Penetang, received papal honours when he was elevated to knight commander of St. Gregory the Great in a ceremony in London Ont. where he now works for the Catholic School Board.
  • Ontario vehicle registrations in 1955 were 1,617,000, forty percent of Canada’s total. In 2015 the total was 7.9 million, thirty six percent of the national total.
  • Doug Strathearn moves his jewellery business from 215 King to 245 King, the former site of Ted McKillens clothing store. The store operated by his grandfather, George Strathearn, was originally located near the Queen’s Hotel at the corner of King and Bay and was advertising in the Free Press in 1872. It then moved to where the Bank of Montreal is located, then to 215 King where it has been for 28 years.
  • Jim O’Hearn is to manage the Knights of Columbus bowling alley that is to be officially opened Friday night.
  • St. Andrew’s Hospital Auxiliary is holding a “Pantry-shelf Pick Up” Thursday and Friday. Includes Jams, Jellies, Juice, Fruit, Vegetables, Pickles, etc. Labelled contributions to be placed in a conspicuous spot on your veranda by 10 a.m. Sealers only will be returned empty, if name and address is on the label.
  • Georgian Bay Propane formerly situated on the town dock has moved to 207 Hugel Ave. E., the Georgian Block.
  • 25 YEARS AGO, 1931 – Foundations for the new $34,900 post office and customs building at Main and Robert Streets in Penetang, had been started. May 1932 was the date set for completion. Stanley Dobson of Midland broke his own junior shot put record in the eight-pound event at the track and field meet at the Barrie Fair. He also won the 12-pound event. In a relay race from Victoria Harbour to Midland, a Victoria Harbour team defeated a Midland aggregation. First lacrosse game in Penetang in 20 years , saw Penetang gain a 3-2 win over a team from Barrie. Midland council, under the direction of Mayor Roebuck, held a special meeting to draft a program of work for the town’s unemployed. Fire which broke out in Lionel Bourgeois’ service station in Victoria Harbour about 9.30 a.m. October 7th, completely destroyed the building. Only the cash register, a desk and chair were saved. A severe electrical storm swept across North Simcoe causing major damage to hydro lines in Midland. Transformers at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland Shipyard, on Queen, Johnston, William and Yonge Streets were in some cases damaged beyond repair.
  • Keith Preston of Midland out-fiddled nine other contestants last week at Elmvale to win the old time fiddlers contest at that community’s fall fair.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  MPDHS Official Opening Oct 3rd 1956

2006-0020-2834 From sugar bush to super school, only a few short months ago George Ingram’s sugar bush occupied the land on which sits this million dollar building, the new Midland Penetanguishene District High School. Pressed into use last January the building will be officially opened Wednesday (Oct 3, 1956) afternoon and evening.


2006-0020-2841The official opening and laying of the cornerstone by former MHS principal J. J. Robins for the new MPDHS high school in Tay Township just west of Midland.  Mr. Robins had been principal of MHS for 32 years prior to his retirement. At an evening function Mr. Robins was presented with a television set in recognition of his long service to the community. Rev. B. G. Brightling of Penetang conducted the dedication service.2006-0020-2842  J. J. Robins speaks at the official opening.

2006-0020-2843J. J. Robins, retiring principal of MPDHS was once a pupil of the Hon. W. J. Dunlop, minister of education for Ontario. The two men and spouses met again during the official opening of the new MPDHS in Tay Township.

2006-0020-2839 Relaxing on the lawn after the serious business of laying the cornerstone of the new MPDHS, officials are Tom M. McCullough, chairman of the board and W. H. Morrisson vice-chairman; Dr. W. J. Dunlop, minister of education for Ontario; board members, Clarke Edwards and Dr. J. R. Parrott. Facing sideways on the right is Rev. B. G. Brightling of Penetang who conducted the dedication service.

  • Program for the official opening was; Laying of the corner stone before the entire student body at 2:45 PM. Rev Arthur J. Lewis of Penetang to perform the dedication. [He was taken ill and replaced by Rev. B. G. Brightly of Penetang] Ex-principal J. J. Robins will lay the cornerstone followed by the presentation of the trowel by trustee Dr. J. R. Parrott. Following a banquet for invited guests, the evening program begins at 8 p.m. with selections by the school glee club, directed by R. C. Ireland. Guests will be introduced by MPDHS board chairman T. M. McCullough. Trustee Clarke Edwards will make a presentation to J. J. Robins. Trustee W. H. Morrison will introduce the guest speaker, Hon. Dr. W. J. Dunlop, Minister of Education for the province of Ontario. Principal L. M. Johnston will address the gathering, after which the public will have an opportunity to inspect the school. Light refreshments will be served in the cafeteria.
  • Clarke Edwards presented the gift of a TV and Tower TV hookup to retired MHS principal J. J. Robins with these words. “As a representative of the board, it is my pleasure to express appreciation to J. J. Robins, who retired as principal of MPDHS 2 years ago, after 33 years in the position. Mr. Robins began teaching in the MHS in September, 1920. In 1923 he received his high school principal certificate and was appointed principal of the school, the youngest high school principal in the province at that time. In the beginning he had 110 pupils and 5 staff and over the years this increased to 18 teachers and 575 pupils. During this time two additions were built on the school. Mr. Robins achieved the amazing record of not missing one day of school for the first 30 years, and then only due to an operation.”
  • The first high school board in Midland consisted of chairman W. J. Parkhill, and members James Playfair, Peter Potvin, F. J. McCallum, F. W. Jeffery, A. A. Osborne, I Freeman and T. I. Trueman. That was in 1904 when E. Simpson was engaged as the first principal of the new four roomed building on Sixth Street south. Midland’s first venture into secondary education. Eighty-five students enrolled in the first school, built by J. M. Wallace and A. Cook. D. Patchell was supervisor of construction and T. J. Campbell installed the heating and ventilation system. Principal Simpson died in 1909 and was succeeded by W. A. Glass who resigned in 1922. Miss E. M. Boyle , who had been in the school for seven years, was the next principal followed a year later by J. J. Robins. Contractors Webb and Cumming built a new wing on the school in 1923. That year also saw the first edition of the year book the “Tattler”. Never to be forgotten, are the 28 young men who gave their lives in World War II and the scores of former members of the school cadet corps who served in time of war.
  • In June, 1953, Midland and Penetang councils first approved the building of a joint high school for the Georgian Bay area in Tay Township. Strong support in promoting the decision to the councils came from W. H. Morrison and Msgr. J. M. Castex in Penetang, and T. M. McCullough in Midland.
  • School cost estimates close. When the MPDHS board met in mid May of this year, it had about $3,500. “leeway” after raising and spending just over one million dollars on the new school building.

 2006-0020-2775 Jane Lippert, young Toronto artist works on the huge mural that will decorate the main hallway of the new Midland Penetanguishene District High School in Tay township. School board members Tom M. McCullough, chairman Clarke Edwards and Karl Bertrand.

2006-0020-2865We have no names for these five. The photo was used in the paper but the boys were not identified. They may be grade eight students on orientation. Please comment if you know any of them.

2006-0020-2858 Serving counter in the new cafeteria at MPDHS.

 2006-0020-1827 Bright sunny classrooms like this one on the west side of the new Midland Penetang District High School are designed with a new type of move-able desks that add to the adaptability of the room. 

2006-0020-1875Midland Penetang District High School new combination gym and auditorium can seat 1,000 people and be divided in two by giant folding doors for various functions. The fine stage area will feature a grand piano and in the future will host many events. (When I attended we used the gym also as a cafeteria and it was informally called the cafatorium)

 2006-0020-1876 Midland Penetang District High School industrial arts wood working room.

  • Penetang High School, in fifty years, produced its full share of pupils whose names are heard daily in the professions, on Parliament Hill and in many countries of the globe. Set high on a hill to the East of Church Street, the old school commanded a beautiful view of Penetang Bay and the hills beyond. Today (1956) the old school , now owned by the municipality, is still dispensing education. Since September 1955 it has been used to take the overflow of boys from the Public Schools. A Mr. Allingham opened high school classes in the town hall in 1905 while the new school was being built. Mr. Keoh and Mr. Hutchinson were teachers in the new school with Mr. Allingham the first principal. A short time after the opening R. D. Keefe, father of Midland’s Beverley and Neville Keefe, assumed the duties of principal. In the early thirties Mr. Keefe moved on to the Department of Education and W. H. Bolger became principal. He was followed by Emmett Doris. The last principal was R. C. Gauthier, now assistant principal at the new MPDHS.
  • Many contractors and suppliers placed ads in the newspaper congratulating the school board and community on the completion of the new high school. T. G. Wilcox, of Midland, excavating, grading and sodding. Cuthbert Annand of Midland, roofing and flashing. A. Barrie & Sons of Midland, furniture for the ladies staff room and dining area. Sutherland-Schultz Electric Co. of Kitchener, electrical work. Page & Steele architects. Wood’s Sanitation for the Nation, janitorial equipment. Edwards of Midland, flooring, draperies. Preston – Noelting Co. of Stratford, office furniture. National Show Case Co. Ltd., laboratory desks, teachers desks, all office fixtures. George Price & Co. Ltd. of Coldwater, plumbing and heating. Hospital & Kitchen Equipment Co. of Toronto, kitchen and cafeteria equipment. Ball Bros. Ltd. of Kitchener, general contractors. Gestetner Canada Ltd. of Toronto, duplicators. Terrazzo Mosaic & Tile Co. Ltd. of Toronto, tile and terrazzo.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 24th to 30th, 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006-0020-2639 Busiest men in Elmvale this week were R. W. Bertram, fall fair president and his secretary, J. A. Robertson. The fair was deemed a success despite the weather. Another sour note was the refusal by the musicians union to allow the army band from Camp Borden to participate in the parade.

 2006-0020-2604 Three members of the Elmvale 4-H Calf Club are seen with their prize-winning dairy calves at the Elmvale Fall Fair. Calder Hunter, left, had the best calf and placed second in showmanship, Barbara Strath had the third place calf but placed first in showmanship and Donald Palmer took second with his calf and third on showmanship.

 2006-0020-2606 Judged the best float entered by a one room school at the Elmvale Fall Fair was the one from SS #8, Flos. Taking care of Humpty are Eelke Tjweedsma, Jackie Thurlow and Earl Cooper.

 2006-0020-2846 One of the best school fairs in Simcoe County is the one held in conjunction with the Elmvale Fair. First prize for public school float was won by Elmvale Public School. Melodie Ritchie, 6, was Little Miss Muffet.

 2006-0020-2601 Another fine float entered by Waverly Public School had little Debbie Currie, 5, as queen of the fair.

 2006-0020-26032006-0020-2607 Elmvale main street during fall fair parade, school children, SS #15  Gibson float and marchers.

 2006-0020-2608 Sheaves of golden grain such as this one displayed at the Tiny-Tay Fair are a rarity this year as rain has spoiled many of the field crops in Ontario. Dale Jackson, right,  and Gail Morden of Midland are seen looking at the prize-winning sheave.

 2006-0020-2614 A large group of public school children pictured at the ball diamond during the Midland Fall Fair.

 2006-0020-2871Community Concert Association officials pictured  at their campaign dinner in the YMCA Monday night are, seated, Mrs. (Art) A. H. Tweedle and Mrs. (Bill) W. E. Hannah (Joan), standing, J. Stuart Nall, Mrs. Ken J. Ellis and president Charles E. Onley.

2006-0020-2585Local contractor Tom Laidlaw removes the bell tower from the Salvation Army Citadel on Dominion Ave. The tower was a prominent part of the second Baptist Church in Midland when it was dedicated in 1899. It was acquired by the Salvation Army when a new Baptist church was purchased on Midland Ave. from the Methodist congregation who had moved into their new church on King Street in 1902.

 2006-0020-2595 Held up for nearly a week due to inclement weather, the first track meet on the new MPDHS grounds was held Tuesday. Helping to keep things on schedule and recording the results are Dean Nicholls, Doug Swales and John Dalrymple.

 2006-0020-26372006-0020-2638Diesel locomotives in Port McNicoll to test the trestle. Steam is being replaced by diesel across the CPR, Port will be the last place in Ontario to use regularly assigned steam locomotives. The scene is beside the coal chute in the Port McNicoll yard. Officials were concerned about the weight of the engines affecting the trestle, their combined weight was 518,000 pounds. The first train pulled across the 2,740 foot long trestle by diesels contained 63 loads of grain bound for the East Coast.

 2006-0020-1945T.  A. “Bert” Armstrong is the new man in charge at the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll. Bert takes over from J. B. Winfield who died last July. Well known in sporting circles in Midland and area, Bert has been a local resident since he was eight years old and started his CPR career in 1926. 

  • Marino Construction Co. Ltd. of Toronto has been awarded a town contract to install sewers, water mains and roads in the Ward Four Beauchamp subdivision, work to be completed by November 23rd. The $48,664.00 contract is for the southern section of the subdivision where several homes are already under construction, the land is largely owned by Ernest Leitz Co. and H. J. Beauchamp. Mr. Marino owns considerable property in Midland.
  • Earliest snow in 116 years whitens North Simcoe Thursday evening but the Collingwood – Orangeville area received four to six inches.
  • Huronia Museum, after a successful season with 12,000 visitors, will close on September 30th, announced curator A. D. Tushingham.
  • Thirteen year old Elmvale lad killed in an accident with the family farm tractor he was driving to Wyevale School to pull their fall fair float. Trustees cancelled fair plans and the school was closed until after the funeral.
  • Kiddies pure nylon snow suits, quilted lining, regular $6.00, special sale $3.99, Cross Country Cut Rate Ltd. King Street.
  • Imported Dutch bulbs, .69 cents per dozen or $5.50 per hundred at Mac Perrin’s Flower Shop, King Street opposite the Post Office.
  • PMCL offering Autumn Color Tour to Algonquin Park this Sunday.
  • Public Notice, Town of Midland proposes a by-law to close Lilly and Ella Streets in the town of Midland and those affected will be heard at a council meeting to be held on October 15th. [Ella & Lilly ran parallel between Railway and Center Streets, the current site of Midland’s Water & Waste Water Treatment Center.]
  • More than 100 local residents motored to Toronto on Sunday to attend the mass rally of more than 12,000 Anglicans at Maple Leaf Gardens.
  • Footings were poured for a new curling rink in Elmvale, located west of the Memorial Arena.
  • Captain D’Alton Hudson to bring his 400th cargo into the port of Goderich this week. His first was back in 1918.
  • MPDHS board anticipates a record crowd for the official opening of the new high school on Wednesday evening.
  • Penetang’s population according to the recent census is 5,317 which includes 600 persons at the Ontario Hospital.
  • J. A. Gervais, Department of Transport inspector and son of Mrs. C. W. Gervais of Waubaushene, has been in town recently logging the geographical location of each radio transmitting station. The four stations in Midland not including the Marconi Wireless station are; Georgian Bay Airways, Deluxe Taxi, Wilson Taxi and the Town of Midland.
  • According to Gregory Clark, noted author, the best paddles and oars made anywhere along Georgian Bay, are fashioned in the Penetang workshop of Levi Simon, formerly of Christian Island. “They are worth twice what he asks for them.”
  • Walpole Island, Island 41 in Six Mile Lake, to be sold at public auction to recover tax arrears of $27.90.
  • Wednesday night was moving night for five bowling alleys for the new Knights of Columbus Hall in Penetang. Stored since last winter, the heavy, cumbersome alleys were carried nearly a block by seventy volunteers. A sixth alley is on order from a supplier.
  • Ten shippers were forbidden to ship milk and 15 others warned after a series of tests by Simcoe County Health Unit officials found the milk to be low-grade. Main cause was found to be faulty cooling and improper care of milking machines.
  • Weddings;  Margaret Dundas, daughter of Earl Dundas, Wyebridge and Morley Marchant, son of Mr. & Mrs. George Marchant, RR 1 Midland, at St. Mark’s. Theresa Lalonde, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Herb Lalonde, Perkinsfield and Herman Quesnelle, son of Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Quesnelle at St. Patrick’s. Ida Gillespie, daughter of Mrs. Stella Gillespie and John Evans Gardner Jr., son of Mr. & Mrs. J. E. (Chris) Gardner, Midland, at Knox. Betty Beausoleil, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Clement Beausoleil, Penetang, and Marcel Bidan, adopted son of Mr. & Mrs. Marcel Grenier, Tiny Twp., at St. Ann’s. Rena Merle Wilson of Midland and John Horace Bell of Waubaushene were married in a quiet ceremony at St. Paul’s. Marlene Marie Paradis, second daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Felix Paradis, Penetang and Paul Marson, son of Mr. & Mrs. Ed Marson, Toronto, at St. Ann’s.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 16th to 23rd 1956

2006-0020-2822 Tight semi-final series between Midland & Allenwood softball teams came to a climax when Allenwood took a 4-3 verdict to win the series 3-2. Allenwood will now meet Elmvale for the Georgian Bay title. Midland team members are, front row; Bill Yorke, Jim Johnson, Ted Brady, Jack Toole, Les Scott, George McFarlane. Back row; Connie Adams, Garnet Drinkle, Charlie Spiker, Jerry Borsa, Murray Yorke, Fred Hook and “Buck” Rogers.

 2006-0020-1881 Foundation for Midland’s newest factory, Pinecrest Products, a manufacturer of unfinished furniture. The building is being constructed by Webster Smallwood of Midland and will have 8,000 square feet of space. It is located on the south side of Bay Street between Olive and William and owned by Robert Holt.

2006-0020-2593 Burglary equipment found on the roof of Walker Store Ltd. on King Street  is displayed by chief Constable Robert Cameron Monday after an unsuccessful break in attempt.


2006-0020-2615 Mrs. Annie Ridley is celebrating her 89th birthday at her home on Third Street in Port McNicoll Wednesday. Born at Burton-on-Trent, England, Annie came to Canada as a girl of 12 and has lived in Port for the last 8 years.

2006-0020-2845 Five of the six men connected with boy’s athletics at the new MPDHS are pictured here. Bill Kennedy, assistant coach in charge of junior rugby; Doug Swales, head coach who pilots the senior teams; Bill Setterington, head of the physical education department; Tom Cavanagh, who is assisting the junior football program; Emile Blouin, track and field coach. Absent is Don Kenwell.

 2006-0020-2815 Football season is just around the corner at MPDHS and Doug Swales is seen watching the lads in the backfield during a practice. Bob McIntyre, Joe Huston, Ed Trudeau; back row, Jerome St. Amant, Frank Holmes, Vic Zabzinski. Quarterback is Connie Maurice.

2006-0020-2827Hive of activity is this gravel pit filled with pieces of equipment just north of the overhead railroad bridge in Victoria Harbour. Operated by the Beamish Construction Company the pit is being used to supply the new surface to Highway 12 between Midland and Waubaushene. The work is nearly completed.

 [There were many Fall Fair photos in the Free Press during  this week in 1956, but the negatives are not in our collection. Most of the photos, for which we have negatives, are being shown in this blog each week except for the mangled automobiles and the many fish photos. Below are two more negatives from 1954]

 2006-0020-0465 Bill Barnett handing trophies to three young boys who are also wearing ribbons on their gym shirts. Tom Tushingham center, Central School junior champ in the Midland Public School’s track and field meet. Paul Crawford grade eight at Regent School intermediate champ and John Koeing grade seven at Sixth Street, senior champ.

2006-0020-0466 Champions of the girls division of the Midland Public Schools track & field meet held at the town park. Joan Budarick , grade six at Central School and Elizabeth Swales Grade Six at Regent School tied for junior girls champ. Carol Cowan grade eight at Sixth Street School, intermediate champ and Pat Fraser grade eight at Regent School, senior champ. All holding trophies and wearing award ribbons. 

  • TEN YEARS AGO 1946; The bell of the corvette “Midland” was presented to the town by the Department of Naval Affairs at a ceremony in the Arena Gardens. The bell was to rest in the town hall. —  Henry Laroche, a 24 year old from Dosquit PQ, suffocated when he fell into the grain hold of the Bryn Barge while it was docked at the Simcoe Elevator.   —   Midland’s active service veterans from World War II were to be presented with wallets inscribed with “Presented by the Town of Midland to Veterans of World War II”. Presentation was to be made by mayor C. M. Vent at a civic reception in the Arena Gardens.   —   A valuable diary containing the story of this community and the people in it for a period of forty years was destroyed when the owner accidentally burned it while housecleaning.  —-   A 6400 series  CNR steam engine , one of the most modern and mightiest, arrived from Toronto with an excursion for the Martyr’s Shrine. It was the first time one of the streamlined monarchs had ever been on local lines.   —-   Plans had been completed and tenders called for Midland’s new theatre by Toronto architect H. G. Drurr. The new theatre has been designed to seat 850 patrons and was to be entirely fireproof.
  • Local firm, Allgerow Enterprises owned by George Gerow has been awarded a $41,500.00 plumbing contract for 100 houses being moved by the city of Hamilton from the downtown to a residential area.
  • Ken Williams (May) set a new record for both male and female bowlers when she scored a 412 game in league competition, 12 more than the previous record set by Mrs. Bruce Spicer (Dorothy) last year.  The men’s best is a 407 bowled by Ross Cioe. A perfect game is 450.
  • Tiny Township police chief Raymond Belcourt reports that a cottage was broken into and the only thing stolen was the toilet.
  • Advertisement for Romey’s Grill, 231 King Street.
  • Seventeen schools march in Coldwater’s Huronia Fair parade. Fourteen were one room schools.
  • The Free Press in 1956 is still very much geared to the local farmers. Article in the paper urges growers to watch out for “ring rot” in your potato crops.
  • Simcoe County CAS has 449 wards currently in their care, in boarding homes, on adoption probation, in wage or free homes, at Ontario hospitals, training schools and elsewhere.
  • Canadian Nameplate posts a half page letter explaining its position in the contract negotiations with its unionized work force.
  • Article on the history of the R.C. Church in Honey Harbour states that services dated from 1878 when Jesuit priests came from Manitoulin Island once or twice a year. The first recorded baptism was Christina Lalonde in 1868. The first church ws built in 1909 by Father Cabot, S. J. with organ, prayer books and pews provided by Father Barcelo of Midland.
  • The mayors of Midland & Penetanguishene proclaim the week of September 24, 1956 to September 29, 1956 officially as Community Concert Week.
  • Ontario’s Attorney General’s Office has ordered that sellers of used cars must provide a certificate of mechanical fitness to purchasers.
  • The first Canadian census was taken in 1666 and showed 3,215 inhabitants exclusive of first peoples.
  • D. L. Nicholls Funeral Home announcement that during enlargement and renovation of their facility, funerals will be conducted from the former R. E. Simpson & Sons Funeral Parlour, entrance off Elizabeth Street.
  • Many advertisements in the paper for merchants showing at the Fall Fair, inviting people to visit their booths.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 8th to 15th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

 2006-0020-188890 Ton punch press is used by Canadian Name Plate in its new Midland plant for blanking and forming stove and refrigerator panels and trim. Operated by one of the many female employees at the plant.

 2006-0020-1891 A sample board in the front entrance of the Canadian Name Plate Co. Ltd. plant on Bay Street displays only a few of the hundreds of panels and trim manufactured for the automobile and appliance industry. Adding another item is employee Mrs. Dora Taylor.

 2006-0020-1889Foreman of the polishing department of Canadian Nameplate, Gordon Higgs is seen inspecting a piece of metal that has come out of the automatic polishing machine.

 2006-0020-1890 Electroplating is one of the many operations carried out at the Canadian Name Plate  plant in Midland. Rudolph Pheiffer examines a rack of stove panels that he processed in the nickel tank.

 2006-0020-1887Ferric chloride acid is used for etching copper and brass at the plant. Art Miller, foreman of the etching department is checking a rack of samples.

 2006-0020-1892This big power off-set printing press is used for printing acid resisting ink onto sheet metal. Foreman in the white coat is Tom Boast.

 2006-0020-2821 Bill Edwards displays his first Muskie which he caught off Present Island. Bill and his companion, former Midlander Brian Dunfield, were trolling when Bill caught this 43 inch 20 pound fish.

 2006-0020-2820 Mount St. Louis school marches to the Coldwater Fall Fair, complete with their own clown.

 2006-0020-2613 Pretty girls and pretty flowers at the Coldwater Fair. Miss Glenda Gill and Mrs. Iris Beach , both of Coldwater, admire the display of the Huronia Horticultural Society.

 2006-0020-1928Former Penetang councillor and WW 2 veteran Jack Robbins has been appointed plant superintendent at Canadian Name Plate, Midland.

 2006-0020-2825Near perfect circle formed by two large trees and lower shrubbery is plainly visible to north bound drivers on Highway 27 a mile south of Wyebridge.



 The museum’s Free Press negative collection begins in 1953, we started the blog in November of 1954, so we will include a few images of 1953/54 from time to time.

 March 1954. Midland Shearlings 25,000 square foot plant on Yonge Street E. is destroyed by a fire which started in a drying room, loss valued up to $250,000.00. Ninety people are out of work. Local partner and manger is Henry Bernick. The building was torn down in 1957.

 2006-0020-0326April 1954. Midland Red Wings hockey team pictured on the ice at the Midland Arena Gardens. Back home at 4:00 AM after winning the Junior “C” Championship in Ingersoll Friday night.  Back row, Jack Reid, Ken Webb, Homer Barrett, stick boy Barry Crawford, Murray Yorke, Jack Hendrickson, Ken Simms, Stan Ritchie, Middle row, Larry Reid, secretary Cliff Newburn, Bruce Calvert, Gerry Gerow, Bud Quinn, Don Hudson and Charlie York, kneeling; Mike Belejac team captain, Johnny Lizotte, Mervin James, trainer Harold Jackson. 

  • Parking meters are coming off on October 15th for the winter season.
  • Eight Midland streets got a face lift within the past week. Crushed stone and tar, “chip & tar”, have been applied to Hanley [sic] Street, Donalda, Ruby, William from Ruby to Hanley, Eighth to Dominion, Seventh to Hugel, Montreal to Seventh.
  • Tay Township and Midland agree on sewage charges, Tay to pay for connecting the new MPDHS in Tay and residential lots on Hugel Ave. to the Midland system.
  • CNR petitions the Board of Transportation Commissioners to remove the grade crossing warning device on Robert St. W., scene of a fatal accident last winter. Installed in 1915 when four passenger trains and two freights plus extras used the line daily, now reduced to one freight three times a week. Railway would replace the signal with manual flagging.
  • Yeggs (burglars) steal $800.00 from two vaults in the Waubaushene general store of W.H.F. Russell and Sons.
  • Midland Council opens four bids for sanitary landfill services, lowest bid for a five year contract was $6,495.00 annually. Bidders were Thomas Wilcox, Charles Morden, Herman Latanville and Charles Stewart. The proposed site is the old Letherby mill property. Council deferred action. [The dump eventually went to what is now Tiffin Park. The garbage was collected in trucks and was dumped over the edge of the south facing hill.]
  • Five hundred Lamprey Eels and three thousand suckers were removed from the Sturgeon River this year by Robert Thomson working for the Department of Lands and Forests. Mr. Thomson noted that the eels are most active from sunset until 2 a.m. and when water temperatures are warmer.
  • Toronto bridegroom spent his honeymoon in jail after being charged by Const. Murray Tamblyn with drunk driving. His bride and another couple spent the night in their car at a Fergusonvale garage.
  • Shoe Corp. of America and Monsanto Canada form a new company, United Shoe Plastics Limited. It will lease office and manufacturing space in the planned expansion of the shoe factory on Elizabeth Street and employ a dozen persons initially.
  • Twenty five thousands visitors tour the Huron Indian Village this summer reports the Midland Y’s Men’s Club.
  • MPDHS board will pay the same for milk this year as it has since the school opened. Five tenders opened at Wednesday’s meeting all quoted the same price, 5 cents per half pint and 19 cents per quart. The dairies have been alternating on a monthly basis supplying the school.
  • Midland Drive-In, their Monday – Tuesday special this week is free admission for lady drivers.
  • Argue’s Meat Market, Midland and Victoria Harbour, is selling government inspected baby beef, front quarters .29 cents/lb and hind quarters .39 cents/lb.
  • Effective this Saturday the chartered banks in North Simcoe will be raising the interest rate paid on savings accounts to 2-1/2 %.
  • PUC secretary Stewart Holt tells the inaugural meeting  of the commission that water tests taken from the bay “were very bad” although Little Lake water consistently tested satisfactory. “Without a sewage treatment plant health officials will never allow the town to use bay water.” Staff were instructed to price the enlargment of the current reservoirs.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – September 1st to 7th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

  2006-0020-2501 Ceremonies marking the end of the Ignatian year highlighted events at the Martyr’s Shrine Sunday. St. Ignatius founded the Jesuit Order with which the Martyr’s Shrine and Ste. Marie are linked. The caption talks about the possibility of Russian spies in the crowd due to the majority of those present being Polish.

 2006-0020-2850 Newly inducted to the three point charge of Victoria Harbour, Port McNicoll and Ebenezer is Rev. N. Bruce McLeod seen with his mother, father and wife. Norman McLeod, father of the young minister, is chairman of the board of finance of the United Church in Canada. The event took place in Port McNicoll Thursday night. The Rev. N. Bruce McLeod became the youngest moderator (leader) of the United Church of Canada in 1972.

 2006-0020-2849 Proud of his flower beds is Midland Footwear and Midland Plastics Ltd. caretaker John Hewitt. Admiring his work along the front of the joint plants on Elizabeth Street East are Alice Schmitz and Dana Zapletal, members of the office staff.

 2006-0020-2810 Pamela Leduc, held by Tom McCullough, draws the winning ticket in the Lion’s Club boat raffle. The winner of the $2,500.00 craft was three year old Rickey Cuffe of Hydro Glen. The location is the Midland Curling Club. [I have seen this same ticket tumbler in a Penetang Lion’s Club photo being used at the Penetang arena]

2006-0020-2857Helping to keep the big Simcoe County golf tournament running smoothly at the Midland Golf & Country Club are Les Marsell, “Moe” Beteau and Jack Danby, the home club captain. A total of 91 players took part in the 27 hole event. 

2006-0020-2809 Mrs. Pat Arthurs, right, lost her husband and eldest daughter in a motor crash near Coldwater last week. Shown here with her mother, Mrs. Ida Kent, the Port McNicoll woman said she has been touched by the offers of help from both friends and strangers after she was left destitute with six small children.

2006-0020-2837This unused frame dwelling in Port McNicoll, Rev. L. J. Austin says, may be renovated for the use of Mrs. Arthurs and her six children. A fund has been set up and with donations of money and labour it is hoped the home can be ready soon.

 2006-0020-2811 An area man, 23 year old Ronald Lea of RR# 1 Midland, died from injuries received when this car went out of control and careened into a ditch on the curve just north of Wyebridge early Monday morning. Mr. Lea was unmarried and lived with his mother at Firth’s Corners. 

  • Two boats collide and sink on the Severn River at 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Severn Fall’s resort operator charged with dangerous operation of a vessel.
  • 65 year old Toronto tourist was struck and killed by a CNR train while taking scenery photos from the railway bridge at Hydro Glen.
  • 18 year old Port McNicoll sailor Bernard Swales injured in Toronto Harbour while operating a steam winch on the freighter Charles L. Huntley. Bernard is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Swales of Port. Andrew Swales is the second mate on the Assinaboia.
  • Body of Roger Gauthier is discovered in a Sudbury Hotel. Mr. Gauthier, aged 43, had left Penetang Saturday for Sudbury where he was to teach in a primary Separate School. The son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Gauthier, Roger had taught all his life, including SS #18 Tiny. Death was the result of coronary thrombosis.
  • While her husband was returning from early Mass Sunday morning Mrs. Adolph Charlesbois barely escaped with her life as their home on Poyntz Street was completely destroyed by fire. Everything was lost and there was very little insurance.
  • Midland Free Press wins Mason Trophy again, emblematic of the best all-round large circulation paper in Canada.
  • Harry Gill of Coldwater, one of a triumvirate of Athletes produced in North Simcoe at the turn of the century, dies in Orillia hospital at the age of 81. Like his compatriot Walter Knox, Gill was a track and field star. He later coached at the University of Iowa, Beloit College and the University of Illinois.
  • TEN YEARS AGO – Workers at the Shipyard signed a new agreement giving them a 44 hour work week instead of 48, for the same take home pay. — Rev. Basil S. Ellard has been appointed to succeed Father McNamara as parish priest at St. Margaret’s. — Prof. T. J. McIlwraith of the ROM announced that he believed archaeologists working near Warminster had discovered Cahiague, the greatest of all Huron villages. — Five Penetang High School students had been awarded scholarships valued at $100.00. Douglas Gendron, Evelyn Gendron, James Chillcott, Clarence Marchand and Doris McLaren.
  • Four hundred and eighty Simcoe County children learned to swim this summer through the Simcoe County Recreation Service, thirty-nine in our region.
  • Entries are now being received for the Old Tyme Fiddlers contest and the Horseshoe Pitching contest at the Tiny Tay Agricultural Fair, contact Jack Blackburn, secretary.
  • Wanted at once, twenty girls and women for fitting room work in Midland and Penetang. Apply to Fern Shoe Co. Ltd. Penetang or Midland Footwear Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Midland.
  • “Baby’s Night” (Age 21 to 101) “She’s in for free if she’s on your knee” when you purchase your ticket to the Midland Drive-In, Monday and Tuesday, September 10 and 11. Monday, blondes only; Tuesday, brunettes; redheads both nights. Free to the ladies every night throughout the week, Rosepoint Dinnerware.
  • Midland Public School teachers for 1956; Regent School, enrolment 545 including 57 Kindergarten pupils. Margaret Marks, Kindergarten, Mrs. Blanche Trew 1A, Mrs. Harold Cleaver 1B, Mrs. Frances Bell 2A, Miss Helen Laidlaw 2B, Mrs. Leona Lukes 3A, Miss B. McGrath 3B, Miss Hazel Healey 4A, Miss Annie Ross 4B, Miss Jessie Carson 5A, Mrs. Eleanor Mahoney combined 5B and 6B, Miss Margaret Duffett 6A, Don Brickett 7B, vice-principal Bill Barnett 8B, principal Morgan Lewis 7A and 8A. —-  Parkview School, enrolment 370 . Miss Margaret Hood, Kindergarten, Miss Genevieve Drysdale grade 1, Mrs. W. Watkinson grade 2, Mrs. Orchard Marshall grade 3, Miss Pauline McMullen grade 4, Jack Lyle grade 5 and 6, W. D. Duncan grade 7, Jack Yelland grades 7 and 8, principal James Robinson grade 8.  — Sixth Street School, enrolment 185. Miss N. G. Mullen grade 1, Miss Alberta Heasman grade 2, Mrs. Ken (Betsy) Cowan grades 3 and 4, Leslie Davidson grade 5, Miss Francis Kerr opportunity class, principal Ken Cowan boy’s promotion class.
  • Liquor vote in Wasaga Beach, wets lose.
  • Well known local man dies, Theodore King, 54, operator of King’s “Bad River” Camp near the mouth of the French River. Survived by his wife, one son Theodore and three daughters, Yvonne, Rebekah and Barbara.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – August 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

 Sorry, August has been a busy month and I have fallen behind with our weekly blog, what follows is a quick review of the month’s happenings, 60 years ago.

2006 0020 5291 Visiting Midland last week, Miss Jill Edward of Sudbury found many things to interest her, especially around the harbour. The deck of the yacht “Captain Ed” proved a good vantage point for Miss Edward and her uncle, Jack Wiggins. Miss Edward was a guest of her grandparents Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Preston, Elizabeth Street, during her visit. 

2006 0020 2503 Ceremonies marking the end of the Ignatian year, highlighted events at the Martyr’s Shrine Sunday. Among the many dignitaries was James Cardinal McCuigan seen in the center of the procession wearing his mitre and carrying the crozier. St. Ignatius founded the Jesuit Order with which the Martyr’s Shrine and Ste. Marie are linked.

 2006 0020 2661This old thread spool dispenser brings back memories for Carson Brown and William J. Edwards of Vasey. For many years it was one of the store fixtures of the 70 year old country store at Vasey purchased by Mr. Brown in 1945. Already replaced by a brand new store the old building is being torn down to clean up the property. The spool dispenser and a few barrels are all that is left. 

2006 0020 1780 Not worried, smiles Camp Kitchikewana kitchen staffer Eva Koenig of Midland, she’s got the dishwasher. But she and six other workers still have a busy time feeding more than 200 campers and counsellors at the Midland YMCA camp on Beausoleil Island.

 2006 0020 2660 New sign erected near the base of the new ski jump hill at County Road 6 proclaims the Midland Ski Club, site of the Canadian Ski Jumping Championship, February 23rd and 24th, 1957. Joan Reid, Diann Flynn and Barbara Allsopp. 

2006 0020 25792006 0020 2580 Many individuals and groups have helped build a new home for Mrs. Amy Moreau in Victoria Harbour, whose husband died several months ago. Mr. Moreau had served the village as a councillor, fireman and village foreman. In this photo Mrs. Moreau tends 3 month old Roberta while cousin Bobby Moreau works on laying new flooring in the new five room home near the sub-station. 

2006 0020 2571 Religious summer schools called “Good News Clubs” were held in Midland and Penetang last week and attracted more than 120 local youngsters. At Midland’s Nameplate Park a band has formed using instruments provided by the Child Evangelism Fellowship. 

2006 0020 2570 Midlander Fred McClung, now 82, captained the fabulous Hillsdale ball team in 1910 and will relive those days tonight when eight of the nine team members meet for a reunion and dinner in the village. 

2006 0020 2581Memories of games of the past came flooding back for these members of Hillsdale’s great ball team of 1910 gathered for a banquet in Hillsdale’s United Church Wednesday night. All but Lance Rumble in the white were regular members of the team. Front row, Joe Hutton, Fred McClung and Mr. Rumble; back row, Ed McClung, Gordon Hough, Ernie Scott, Bill Davenport, Fisher Ganton and Albert McAvoy. Only members missing were Lionel Shortreed and the late Art McDonald.

 2006 0020 2549 Mr. & Mrs. Ben Wright of 11 (now 645) Quebec Street celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. On hand to help celebrate is Judy Lemieux one of their 21 grandchildren. Mr. Wright who came to Midland in 1915, operated one of the province’s largest fish bait businesses for many years.

 2006 0020 25582006 0020 2649Parks commissioners John Burke, Gordon Boyd, Bill Beaton, Al Perkins and secretary Bill Hack watch Chairman William Murray cut the ribbon to open the new tennis courts behind the armory in Little Lake Park.

 2006 0020 2655 Costume prize winners at Legion Carnival Friday night are; front Elaine Onley, second row, Lenny Roach, Joan Ward, Billy Ward and Carol Scott; back row, Roger Parrish and Bjorn Pettersen. Judges were Mr. & Mrs. Bill Barnett, Wm. H. Keller, Charles Onley and J. J. Robins.

 2006 0020 2653 Elaine Onley receives her prize as best costumed 5-7 year old from Legionnaire Len Wiles who represents the sponsors of the Carnival, Midland Branch 80 Royal Canadian Legion.

 2006 0020 2555 Do it yourselfers watch as employees of Midland Reinforced Plastics Ltd. coat an old 14 foot cedar strip boat with the first  coat of resin before applying plastic cloth supplied by Midland’s Bay Mills. How to make an old boat new again? Fiberglas. The Crealock`s “Royal Ann” is in the background as is the “City of Dover”. A pop truck is re-supplying the Dover.

 2006 0020 2667 Both tourists and residents complain there are too few spots and amenities at the government dock in Midland and that this is not encouraging cruising tourists to dock here.

 2006 0020 2562 Ted Pearson, veteran Midland barber greets S. G. Chamberlain of Chatham who is the honorary president of the Canadian Bandmasters Association which held its convention in Midland over the weekend. Now 72, Mr. Chamberlain played in the Midland IOOF band with Ted more than 50 years ago.

Ted Pearson started with the Town Band in 1906, which disbanded after a few years and Midland had no band until the Boys Band was formed after WW2. It has since become the Midland Citizens Band. One of the first bandmasters was Jack Roberts, father of Mrs. Fred French.

 2006 0020 1851 Scaffolding erected around Midland’s Post Office so that re-pointing can be done and removal of some heavy gabling. Local contractor Lloyd Murday expects the work to be done in three to four weeks. The Post Office was on the ground floor, Customs and Inland Revenue were on the second and there were quarters for the caretaker in the attic. The contract for the construction of the building was let to Mr. E. A. Bleakeney of Ganonaque for $47,700.00 and it took 20 months to complete. The building became the Midland Public Library in July of 1967 and was renovated again in the 1980’s and 90’s. An expansion was built in 2012.

 2006 0020 1861 Work on the new municipal building in Midland is right on schedule despite some concerns caused by the shortage of concrete. Alfred Rei of Midland is the general contractor and the building should be ready by early December.

 2006 0020 2572 The experts agree on the winner at the Midland Horticultural Society flower show held Friday at the Knox Presbyterian auditorium. Charles McElroy, society president, Miss Paulene McMullen and judge Harry Stainton. 

  • A. Gibson, 45, of London Ontario takes over as secretary-manager of the Midland Chamber of Commerce.
  • Council and Midland’s police force reach two year agreement on wages and working conditions. It confirms the appointment of Patrol Sgt. George Wainman at an annual salary of $3,400, three officers at $3,300, and wages of two officers at $3,000. The men must purchase their own clothing.
  • R. Y. Eaton, president of the T. Eaton Co. Ltd. for 20 years, died at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, in St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland.
  • Remember the Eastern Star penny sales, the names of the winners were listed in the paper.
  • The recently re-opened Breithaupt Leather plant has shipped 25 tons of pickled hides from Penetang to its Campbellford plant for finishing. The plant employs seven men.
  • 46 year old DeNure and Son Transport has been sold to Haslam Transportation of Hamilton.
  • Peter Brasher, Bristol England, joins the medical practice of Dr. T. J. Johnston.
  • Penetang Fire Brigade wins three first place trophies in the annual Ontario Fireman’s Association tournament in Port Colborne.
  • Ball Bros. of Kitchener, the contractor who built the new MPDHS building, wins the contract to build a 150 cell addition to the Oak Ridges Ontario Hospital in Penetang. Work on the two million dollar addition is to begin in three weeks and will employ 200 men.
  • Work has begun to lengthen and lower the base of the ski jump at the Midland Ski Club’s property. Pete Pettersen expects jump distances to increase by twenty feet.
  • Miss Anna Magnus given highest honour by 38,000 member Federation of Women Teachers Association to be held at the Royal York in Toronto. 45 years of teaching, 34 of them in Penetang, she will be made an Honourary Member.
  • Bay Mills and Textile Worker’s Union employ conciliator to end disputed contract. Main focus is the elimination of the 48 hour work week.
  • New Trans-Canada Highway being built north of Waubaushene has started a boom in the sale of lakefront cottage property.
  • Beausoleil Motors, proprietor J. R. Beausoleil, opens BA gas station at the corner of Bay & Second Streets.
  • Ten Years Ago; Four nurses graduated from St. Andrew’s Hospital school of nursing, Mary Duncan, Phyliss Bernice Jennett, Doris Lapp and Bernice Laidlaw. — Organized in the spring of 1946, the Midland Boy’s Band was preparing for its debut before the public at a concert in Little Lake Park. — Penetang’s Phil Marchildon pitched the Philadelphia Athletics to a 4-1 victory over Detroit. It was his ninth win of the year. — St. Ignace ll, a Huron village of 1,200 was uncovered on the banks of the Sturgeon River about a mile south of Highway 12. — A new record was set at St. Andrew’s Hospital when Dr. D. C. Swan attended at the birth of five babies between the hours of 4 and 5 a. m. July 15th, 1946 — Arena Gardens was crowded to capacity when Canada’s Oscar Peterson and his trio came to town. One of the main attractions was the bass player, former Midlander Bert Brown. — An ex serviceman from Toronto, Bruce Armstrong purchased the “Porter House” hotel in Waubaushene. — Beck’s box factory in Penetang was forced to close due to a shortage of nails arising from a steel strike.
  • Workmen began widening Main Street in Penetang north of Simcoe by removing the boulevards and curbs, new paving will be full width in the business section.
  • Earlier in the month a vacationing woman at Six Mile Lake had been bitten by a rattlesnake she had picked up, mistaking it for a water snake. The paper had several articles declaring rattlesnake bites had never proven lethal, procedures to follow in the event of a bite and statistics showing how most bites were harmless. She died in Orillia hospital eight days after the bite.
  • Brand new look for Parkview School in the fall. $10,000 has been spent on windows, paint, flooring and other repairs and maintenance over the summer.
  • W. L. Weckman has been appointed director and general manager of Pillsbury of Canada Limited with headquarters in Midland. William H. Pinchin, former manager, became vice-president of Pillsbury Canada. The company operates four mills here and in Calgary.
  • Percy Crawford, superintendent of construction at the new Simcoe County Old People’s Home in Penetang has unearthed what he estimates will be two to three hundred pounds of honey in the walls of the old hospital building being demolished. Trick will be to get by the swarm of bees, local keeper has been unsuccessful to date.
  • Giuseppe “Joe” Tersigni retires after 44 years in the retail and wholesale business. Joe is simply closing his 15 Simcoe Street location and saying thank you.
  • Knights of Columbus Hall on Poyntz Street is nearly completed. All summer, volunteers have worked evenings and weekends to complete the structure. The attached bowling alley will be open to the public.
  • Free Press Herald again rated the nation’s best all-round weekly, first or second five times in the last seven competitions. Awarded the 1956 Mason Trophy. Editorial thanks editor Wils Harrison for being a big part of the success.
  • New bridge over the Wye River west of Wyebridge was to be completed August the 15th, first pilings are just being driven now.
  • Marilyn Monroe in the “Seven Year Itch” is playing at the Roxy. The poster shows that famous scene with the skirt.
  • Tay Township police chief William Magnus has his police cruiser stolen.
  • “Church in the Pines” at Cawaja Beach continues to draw one hundred or more worshippers during the summer months as it has for 30 years.
  • New phone exchange overloaded, in operation only a few weeks the new exchange may already be too small. “There have been several occasions when the long distance volume was so great we could not keep up with it on our ten position board” said H. A. Kilroy, manager.
  • Waggs Laundry and Midland Foundry and Machine receive Department of Defence contracts worth $35,000 and $15, 250 respectively.
  • Fred Miller wishes to thank all the customers of his Supertest Station & Grill, Victoria Harbour. As of August 1st Tony Snyder will manage the station and welcomes all former clients.
  • Hearty congratulations to the Toronto Dominion Bank on its 100th birthday.
  • Claiming a traffic survey failed to show they were warranted , Ontario Department of Highways has refused Midland Council permission to erect traffic lights at the King – Yonge intersection.


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – Sunday July 16th to 30th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2543The end of a long ride for Debbie Currie of Wyebridge and Glenda Edwards of Vasey who rode in the Orangeman’s Parade in Midland, Thursday. They are both five years old and their mothers belong to the Waverly LOBA (Ladies Orange Benevolent Association).

2006 0020 2523

2006 0020 2552Portraying “King Billy” upon his spirited charger is Cecil Wood of Waverly, county Marshall of the East Simcoe Orange Lodge. Mr. Wood led the July 12th parade in Midland and has been with the lodge for forty years.

2006 0020 2525Seven and seventy-seven. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to a parade, everyone turns out. Herman Trew, 77, of Waverly LOL 589, or seven-year olds like William L. Black of the Midland lodge juveniles.

2006 0020 2515Pictured with their banner, previous to the July 12th Orangemen’s parade in Midland, are these laughing members of Waverly LOBA 781, all past mistresses of the lodge, Mrs. John Miller, Mrs. Herman Trew and Mrs. Wallace Wood.

[Not to diminish the injustices done over the decades on both sides, but the sentiment of many Canadians about the Twelfth is summed up by Stan Rogers in his song the “House of Orange”, Google the “House of Orange Stan Rogers” ]

2006 0020 2553Parade on King Street, band being led by majorettes in conjunction with the Canadian Bandmasters Association convention being held in Midland. 

2006 0020 2551Looking quite confident that she can master the French Horn with one lesson from Sgt. F. Reidstra of the Royal Canadian Dragoons band is Debra Waiman, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Wainman of 380 (now 496) King Street. Debra went to Little Lake Park Saturday to hear a band concert arranged in conjunction with the Canadian Bandmasters Association’s convention.

2006 0020 2554Allan Rees, 9, of Brantford, doesn’t think he will take up the tuba right away. He is helped by Al Reid who plays for the Orillia Kiltie Band and is here for the concert in the park in connection to the Canadian Bandmasters Association convention being held at the Parkside Inn.

2006 0020 2557Carrying flowers for the decoration of graves of departed members, representatives of the Oddfellows, Rebekah, Orange Lodges, LOBA and the Canadian Legion march to Lakeview Cemetery  for the united memorial and decoration service.

2006 0020 2544Photo related to the one above but not used in the newspaper, no description.

2006 0020 2499Freak twister on Sunday, July 8th, wrecked this 30 by 90 foot frame building on the Green farm in Tiny Township, uprooted trees in the nearby orchard, whirled over the top of Thunder Bay Beach and finally blew itself out over Georgian Bay.

2006 0020 1850Passing tourists stop and stare at the new ultra modern Roman Catholic church, St. John the Baptist,  just outside of Port Severn on the road to Honey Harbour. The one storey structure is situated near the Trans Canada Highway now under construction in that area. [Before the Trans Canada the route to Honey Harbour from Midland passed through Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour, Waubaushene, Coldwater, North River and Port Severn.]

2006 0020 2531Members of the summer school of archaeology working at the Forget Site were lunch guests of Mr. & Mrs. Fred Cook at the Grange in Wyebridge on July 4th. Front row; Leonard Laurin, Penetang; Thelma Sovey, Midland; Ross Channen, Barrie; Bea Ivey, Port Dover; second row, Elizabeth Cook, Wyebridge; Miss Josephine Phelan, Toronto; D. A. MacKenzie, Woodbridge; David Darker, a student at Upper Canada College Toronto; Eleanor Thompson, Cobourg; Lois Jackson, Sarnia; Miss Elizabeth Loosely, Oakville; back row, Wilfred Jury University of Western Ontario archaeologist; Cindy Reid, Toronto; Mrs. Fred Cook, Mr. Cook, Wyebridge; Mrs. Jury; F. C. Jennings and Harry Williams, London.

2006 0020 2509Free Press staff member Barbara Allsopp dons a giant puff-ball as a hat. Fifty inches in circumference it was found at the rear of A. W. Bath’s plumbing shop by Eddie Doyle of Dominion Ave. He found a second one that measured 46 inches in circumference.

2006 0020 2513

2006 0020 2511Demonstration of the sanitary land fill method of garbage disposal on a vacant Vindin Street lot, Midland. Process was being demonstrated by W. L. Ballentine Company Ltd. with a specially fitted bulldozer designed for the job. System is being used in many towns including Orillia.

2006 0020 2519Midland Boat Works president T. M. McCullough signs the navy acceptance form during commissioning ceremonies for the HMCS Cormorant at Midland town dock Monday. The ship’s sponsor Mrs. Murray Wagg can be seen to the left of the microphone stand. Commander Henning, representing naval headquarters, and Lt. Cmd. C. R. Manfield, commanding officer, watch the signing. At right is S/Lt. Don C. Young.

2006 0020 2521Old soldier, George Finley Walmsley, 85, of Port McNicoll shows his World War 1 medals to his 10-year-old grandson Bobby Duncan.

2006 0020 26462006 0020 2647At the Downer family reunion in Tiny Township on July 21st, Rev. A. W. Downer of Duntroon, MLA for Dufferin – Simcoe is surrounded by children. Midland alderman Ossie Downer is also in the picture and is host of the event this year at his home on “The Mountain” west of Midland. All are descendants of two brothers, William and Henry Downer, who came to Canada from County Cavan, Ireland in 1842. The original Downer’s settled near Peterborough but most of Henry’s descendants were born in Tiny Twp.

2006 0020 2648Mrs. Ed Jeffery Sr. presents the trophy to the ladies champ at the Midland Golf & Country Club. L to R; Mrs. H. L. Wilson, Mrs. Jeffery, Mrs. Cecil English, winner of the event and also last year’s club champion; Miss Jean Wallace and Mrs. A. J. Preston.

2006 0020 2527Parkview Public School, graduating class of 1956. Note that this photo was taken in the multipurpose room at Regent School, I wonder why, construction perhaps at the newly acquired Parkview School?

2006 0020 2434Regent Public School graduating class of 1956. I have to point out my sister, Ellen Barber, third from the left, front row. I recognize several others.

2006 0020 2665Amateur archaeologist Gordon Baker of Hamilton puffs on an Indian pipe he found near the Maxwell farm at Port McNicoll. The large soapstone bowl was fitted with a reed stem, three budgie feathers and some modern tobacco. Mr. Baker’s best finds were a pair of French iron scissors and a copper arrow-head. The same paper writes that drivers delayed by bulldozers doing roadwork near the Dutton farm (OSPCA) were unearthing native artifacts that they were collecting as they waited. From the previous paper, Mr. Tushingham, the Huronia Museum curator, informed the paper that Beamish Construction had inadvertently dug up what he believes was a native ossuary on the nearby Maxwell Farm.

Beating the July heat in North Simcoe:

2006 0020 2559These ladies have solved the problem of beating the heat by moving their lawn chairs into the water at Little Lake Park Wednesday afternoon.

2006 0020 2548Within a few short years, Port McNicoll’s Paradise Point has become one of North Simcoe’s major beaches. Once known as Flat Point due to the flat limestone formations, the area had few cottages but a boom began when village council sold many acres to a Toronto developer.

2006 0020 2578Rugged shoreline of flat limestone rocks is preferred by many cottagers and visitors who come to Port McNicoll’s Paradise Point. The rock extends only a few feet into the water before giving way to a fine sand bottom. Enjoying the sun are Mrs. W. A. McLeod, Toronto, in the foreground, and Judy Parliament of Port McNicoll.

2006 0020 1731After a long swim these young campers at YMCA Camp Kitchikewana on Beausoliel Island enjoy some “Loafing’ In The Sun” time.

2006 0020 2582“Flyin Flivver” manufactured by Midland Reinforced Plastics Ltd. of Ellen Street is demonstrated in Midland Harbour by company official Bob Yates, accompanied by Karen Gracie of Toronto.

2006 0020 2560Shuffle board court at Little Lake Park provides some shaded activity for players and spectators.

2006 0020 4336

Moreland Lynn of Penetang, Wendy Large and Beverly Balmer of Toronto and Honey Harbour are riding in the new “Le Capitaine” model Grew boat with fiberglass reinforced hull by Midland Reinforced Plastics Limited. [Moreland told me that as a Grew employee he had the “job” of bringing this boat to a Midland boat show.]

  • Midland Parks Commission bans  motors of 5 HP or more on Little Lake to protect swimmers.
  • Midland Press Limited owner of the Midland Free Press and County Herald newspapers and associated printing and publishing business will now be known as Midland Printers Limited. The restructuring involves no changes to employees or operations except the addition of J. Robert Chittick as vice-president in charge of sales and the promotion of James Lennox to vice president in charge of production.
  • James Alan, minister of highways, announces an increase in speed on the 400 highway from 50 to 55 miles per hour for non commercial vehicles only.
  • Value of Midland building permits doubles in the first six months of 1956, $221,100 compared to $101,075 in 1955. But that is well below the first six months of 1954 when permits totalled $690,800 and ended the year at 1,334,725.00.
  • Mayor Charles Parker has moved his 18 hole miniature golf course, which until now had been located on the corner of Yonge and Eighth Streets, to the basement of his Parkside Pavilion.
  • Midland Parks Commission requested that park booth concessionaire John Deakos obtain a paper cup soft drink dispenser. The request was made in view of the number of swimmers who are suffering cut feet on broken soft drink bottles.
  • Members mark the 120th anniversary of the historic St. James on the Lines Church. Only modernization allowed has been the installation of electric lights. A faithful reproduction of the church was built by patients at the Ontario Hospital and is on display in the church.
  • Former Midlander Robert (Bert) Holt has let a contract to Midland construction firm Webster Smallwood for a 6,000 square foot plant on the south side of Centre Street (Bay East of William). The new plant will house Mr. Holt’s Pinecrest Products furniture company that has been operating in Toronto for the past seven years and will employ 20 staff.
  • One of the largest institutions of its kind in the Georgian Bay area, the Iron City Fishing Club, this week marks its 75th anniversary. The club is located in the Sans Souci area and a majority of the club members hail from Pittsburgh PA. Every summer for many years a big express car would arrive at Midland’s CNR dock siding from which personal effects of the members would be loaded onto the “City of Dover” or “Midland City” for transport by water to San Souci.
  • Midland’s telephone exchange conversion to a direct dial system also changes the way our public pay phones work. Previously a caller didn’t put their nickel in until the operator made the connection. Now you put in your nickel to acquire a dial tone and the ingenious device returns it to you if the line is not answered or is busy.
  • From the “Outdoor Column” by John Power, “Remember, snapping turtles destroy an enormous number of fish and should be trapped and killed whenever possible”. [This of course is incorrect as snapping turtles eat mostly vegetation, carrion and slow moving bottom feeding fish.]
  • “Notice” Ken Puddicombe has purchased the M.S. Waterbus and business.
  • At the Pen Theatre, “Rebel Without a Cause” James Dean.
  • House for sale –  Nine room brick home partially furnished, $3,500.00, early possession.
  • Superintendent of Midland’s Aberdeen Elevator, Murray Lattimore, received severe electrical burns while working in the plants sub-station Monday morning. Dr. I. T. Weldon said Mr. Lattimore received first, second and third degree burns to his face, neck, right arm and hand.
  • Guy and Bill Hebner advertising chartered boat trips for all occasions and fishing charters.

TEN YEARS AGO this week 1946;

  • Beatty Brothers (Spencer Division) Penetang was planning an expansion. Two new buildings were built and more than 50 new employees were to be hired.
  • Mr. & Mrs. James Lazonby of Coldwater celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary by taking a canoe trip, as they had done each year since their marriage. [The canoe is in the collection of Huronia Museum.]
  • Victoria Harbour’s newest citizen was Thorbjorn Pettersen of Drammen, Norway, who operates a taxi and service station. A skilful ski jumper, Mr. Pettersen had hopes of organizing a district ski club and training local jumpers.
  • Melville Wilkie, inmate at the Ontario Hospital, Penetang, made his first of several breakouts.
  • Midland’s town dock became a veritable “Times Square” when 200 sea cadets and all their kit struggled their way down the dock while 400 passengers from the S. S. North American were making their way toward the main street. The cadets were boarding the “City of Dover” and the “Midland City” on the last leg of their journey to the island camps. Interested spectators from Midland and many tourists jammed the docks with bicycles, baby carriages and cars, making the congestion worse.
  • St. James on the Lines, Anglican Church, celebrated the 110th anniversary of its founding. Organist for the occasion, Miss Laura Kemp had held the position of organist for 60 years.

25 YEARS AGO this week 1931;

  • Boat trips from Midland to Honey Harbour, Minnicog and return, had a fare of 75 cents. Moonlight excursions were 50 cents and a three-day cruise to Point Au Baril was $121 return fare.
  • For the first time since its purchase in 1921 the Georgian Bay Shipbuilding and Wrecking Company’s floating dry dock was moved from its position at the foot of the company’s yards. The occasion, to make room for the self-unloading coal freighter S. S. J. E. Savage which arrived with 2,000 tons of coal.
  • Simcoe County’s two largest towns, Midland and Orillia, were to be joined by a paved highway. The road was authorized as a King’s highway.
  • A new Gospel Hall building was opened at Midland and Dominion Avenues, to replace the smaller building on Dominion Ave. near First Street.
  • One of the top movie hits of 1931 , “A Connecticut Yankee” starring Will Rogers, was playing at the Bijou Theatre in Penetang.
  • Busiest day in the history of Little Lake Park was recorded when thousands thronged the park to escape the heat wave which had hit the district. Nearly 200 tents dotted the slopes of the camp site.


  • 25 year veteran of the Midland PUC, David Hurrie, 76,  died in St. Andrew’s Hospital July 19th.
  • Former Penetang mayor William Douglas Hunter dies in Barrie on July 19th. Mr. Hunter came to Penetang in 1926 and purchased the drug store that is now known as Hartt’s Drug Store. At one time he also owned a Midland drug store now operated by W. W. Struthers. In 1951 he moved to Barrie to operate a drug store in Allandale.
  • Norman Lyon Playfair an outstanding citizen of this community for 55 years died July 18th at his 338 King Street home (now 414, formerly owned by Clint & Bev Truax) at the age of 85. He was associated for many years with Milton Bray in the Midland Planing Mills and was a half-brother to Midland’s James Playfair. He is survived by two sons John and James of Midland and a brother Stuart B. Playfair of Toronto.
  • Mrs. Phil Blake, nee Marguerite Irene Sharlow, died at her home at 161 Yonge Street (now 389) on July 3rd. Born in Port Huron Michigan, August 4, 1893, she married Phillip Blake on September 17th, 1913 in Penetang. She had lived in Midland for 58 years.
  • Mrs. Wilfred Vaillancourt, nee Philomene Juneau, died on July 1st in Penetang General Hospital. She was born in Lafontaine in 1881, coming to Victoria Harbour at age 13 has resided there for 62 years. She married in Midland in 1901 and is survived by four sons and a daughter.
  • John Bruce Winfield in his 64th year, died July 13th of a coronary occlusion en route to Midland hospital. He was born and educated in Victoria Harbour and married Grace Malcolm there in 1916. He was well known as the superintendent of the CPR elevator on Port McNicoll.


  • Anne Louise Sweeting, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Gerald Sweeting formerly of Midland and Gordon Johnston, son of Mr. & Mrs. Wesley Johnston were married in St. Catherine’s July 7th.
  • Isabel Ellen Woodrow daughter of Mr. & Mrs. James Woodrow, Coulson, and James A. Reynolds, son of Mrs. Thomas Reynolds, Waverly, were married in the Hobart United Church July 7th.
  • Rita Dumais, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Gilbert Dumais, Penetang, and William Leclair, son of Mr. & Mrs. Willard Leclair of Midland were married at St. Ann’s RC Church.
  • Beatrice Bechard, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Andre Bechard, Penetang and John Dusome, son of Mr. & Mrs. Levi Dusome , Penetang, were married in St. Ann’s on July 2nd.
  • Cecile Beausoliel, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Andre Beausoleil, Penetang and Richard Desroches, son of Mr. & Mrs. Constant Desroches, Lafontaine, were married in St. Ann’s.
  • Anita Teresa Robitaille daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Clement Robitaille, RR 2 Midland and Arthur Joseph Beausoliel, son of Mr. & Mrs. Prosper Beausoliel, Penetang, were married at St. Patrick’s Church, July 2nd.
  • Eleanor Marchildon, daughter of Etienne Marchildon and Stan Therrien, son of Mr. & Mrs. Leonard Therrien, Penetang, were married at St. Patrick’s Church.
  • Bernice Lacroix, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Treffle Lacroix, Penetang, and Henry Hamelin Jr., son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Hamelin, Penetang, were married at St. Ann’s Church, July 2nd.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – Sunday July 15th 1956  –  3:01 A.M. Bell Telephone Converts Midland to Direct Dial

[The information in this article was obtained from the Huronia Museum’s Free Press collection, the County Herald newspaper dated July 13, 1956 and the Midland Free Press Herald dated July 18, 1956.]  

   The first manufactured telephone to reach Midland was around 1880, shortly after the incorporation of the Bell Telephone Company of Canada in April of that year. Owner of the first pair of telephones, installed between his bakery and his retail outlet two blocks away, was Henry S. Ruby who had come to Midland in 1875 from Barrie to establish the bakery. Acoustic telephones like Mr. Ruby’s required a straight piece of iron wire stretched between the two stations, no bends. Bells rigged up over the phones were rung by simply shaking one of the units. Ruby’s “acoustic telephone” is in the collection of Huronia Museum and is displayed below by former curator A. D. Tushingham. Mr. Tushingham was telephone manager and later “wire chief” at Midland from 1930 until his retirement in 1949. 2006 0020 2540

   The phone systems that developed at that time were privately or municipally owned. Bell Telephone entered Midland in 1886 when a long distance line was constructed  between Midland and Penetang. John White became the initial Bell agent and the exchange was set up in his grocery store at 243 King Street (now 261). He had six telephone customers. Two years later a long distance telephone line was constructed linking Penetang and Barrie. The line took more than 28 miles of poles and 42 miles of copper wire and linked Midland to the expanding telephone network in other parts of Ontario, Quebec and the United States.

   The November 1889 Midland Telephone Directory  listed 17 customers, all of them businesses. The listings were: Anderson, Jas., Anderson Fish and Tacking Co.; Clarkson House, J. B. McNaughton prop; Coutermanche, N., merchant King Street; Free Press office, P. J. Ryan editor, King Street; Grand Trunk Rwy. elevator; Grand Trunk Rwy. station, Dominion Ave.; Lynett, Rev. John, residence, Hugel Avenue; Midland Manufacturing Co., Third Street; Miscampbell, A., lumberman, mill office; Ontario Lumber Company, mill office; Peters, C.M., hardware merchant, King Street; Queen’s Hotel, William Rogers prop., King Street; Raikes, Dr. R. M. Midland Ave.; Sneath, C. R., drug store, King Street; Steers and Ambrose, barristers, King Street; Western Bank, King Street; White, John, grocer, King Street.

  In January of 1890, Midland was incorporated as a town. The population was getting close to two thousand and the number of telephone customers had risen to 21. In 1892 a fire destroyed Mr. White’s store and the telephone exchange. The salvaged equipment and grocery business was re-established at 234 King (near the Free Press ffice). The exchange was moved twice more before 1920, first to 197 King (now 221) and later to its current (1956) location, 260 King (near Johnstones). Also in 1892 a long distance line connected Lafontaine to Penetang.

  A major changed occurred in May of 1900 when continuous 24 hour service was provided. A total of 70 listings appear in the Midland directory of December 1900. By July 1902 there were 86 subscribers and any remaining iron lines were replaced with copper wire resulting in a general improvement in transmission. In 1903 there were 100 phones in Midland and by 1910  there were 260 in use. A line from Elmvale to Penetang was constructed that year as well as a long distance line linking Midland and Orillia.

  John White was listed as agent for the last time in the April 1912 Midland directory. He had served the company for 26 years and his daughter Lilian, who had been Midland’s first operator, took over as agent. There was very little expansion during the war years. In 1919 the local staff consisted of Miss Lilian White, chief operator, Edward Robitaille, lineman, Frank Harbour, lineman, and operators Ada Smith, Mary Smith, Jean Ayres, Chilina Smith, Zada Molan and Ella Gillbanks.

  On May 5th, 1926, after years of “cranking” their telephones to get the operators attention, the system was updated to battery power and the switchboard enlarged to accommodate up to 1,200 customers. The chief operator was Helen L. McGrath.

   In 1931 there were 1,298 customers, but due to the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression, by 1935 there were only 984 customers. A. D. Tushingham became the local manager in 1931 and retired 19 years later.

  During the second world war resources were in short supply and the number of phones in Midland in December 1945 was 1,301, little changed from 1931. However by December 1949 the number had risen to 2,223. Bell employees in Midland numbered 26 and an average of 785 toll calls together with 9,698 local calls were being placed daily.

   In 1950 the Bell Telephone Co. purchased property on the corner of Hugel and Midland Avenues. In 1951 the business offices were moved to 276 King St. (now 296 Leisure Sports former Midland Beauty Parlour). Before the end of the year, three new switchboards were added to the exchange for a total of seven local positions and nine long distance positions. More than 30 operators were busy placing an average of 900 long distance and 11,500 local calls daily. At present (July 1956) there are 2,870 phones in service.

 2006 0020 1327

 August 1955. 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 traverses the wet ground. This was the site of the former Midland Woolen Mill. Bourgeois Motors can be seen in the background. 

2006 0020 1483

 November 1955. Pouring cement pillars on the upper floor of the new Bell Telephone Co. dial exchange building, southwest corner of Hugel and Midland Avenues. The building incorporates poured cement foundation, floors and roof, which is the reason for all the wooden forming and wooden support pillars. The general contractor for the project was the Emery Engineering and Contracting Company of Barrie.

 2006 0020 2096

 February 8, 1956. Despite the cold weather the brickwork is nearly complete on the new Bell Telephone exchange building on the corner of Hugel and Midland Avenues. The building is scheduled to open early next summer.

 2006 0020 1856

 The building will house the complex dial equipment on the first floor with the wire room and power supply equipment in the basement. The second floor will contain the new long distance exchange. The building is fireproof throughout with brick exterior and was designed to harmonize and add to the attractiveness of the neighbourhood. The 33 by 31 foot business office will be housed in the single storey area to the right.

 2006 0020 2487

  Business office staff were also busy prior to changeover obtaining and checking new listings, writing service orders and so on. Derys Stoodley, Rita Martin and Yvonne LeBlanc.

 2006 0020 2488

 As part of the companies program to make sure all customers are familiar with the equipment employees have been calling customers in recent weeks to demonstrate the various tones heard and asking them to place a test call. Karen Small, pictured here, also visited local schools to demonstrate the dial system to the children. Bell had been installing dial phones or phones that could be converted to dial for quite some time before the actual change over.

 2006 0020 2485

 Training on the new long distance switchboard  board was given to all permanent operators, the system will go into service with the conversion to dial. Operator Ruth Shaubel is seen putting through a test call as chief operator Helen L. McGrath observes. Miss Shaubel is using a set of keys, similar to those on an adding machine, to send out the number of a telephone in a distant city.

 2006 0020 2484

 This crew of installers was busy for many weeks preparing for the cut over by placing new dial phones and services in local homes and businesses. Seen behind the new building with their trucks are; Jim Adlam, Bob Taylor, Ross Smith, Paul Hetherington, installation foreman Gordon Scott, Manfred Leimgardt, Bob Dunlop and Joe Markle.

 2006 0020 2486

 Part of the change over was the splicing of every phone line in Midland to the huge cables leading into the new dial exchange building on Hugel Ave. Stan Gilchrist, Bell splicer, is seen in at work splicing wires in a man hole on King Street. 

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 A Bell tower, two and half miles west of Midland in Tiny Township, was also put on line and will bring public phone service to Cognashene Island, Gloucester Pool, Six Mile Lake and Mclean Lake. Later this summer Go Home Bay will be added to the system. Some 1,000 cottages and several large summer hotels and lodges will be within reach of the new public phones.

 2006 0020 2491

 A check of the dials and indicators on the main power control board in the basement of the new dial telephone exchange reveals all is in readiness for the cutover of the Midland system to dial operation. Sim Panfound, central office expert, makes sure the battery charging equipment is functioning properly as he inspects the voltage regulation controls.

 2006 0020 2495

 Eric Renkl, skilled Northern Electric employee is seen at work on the main distributing frame in the new Midland dial telephone exchange building. The frame provides the link between the cables serving the town and the dial switching equipment. Each pair of wires among the thousands leading from the cables must be matched with the corresponding pair  leading to the dial switches and soldered together.

2006 0020 2494

 Claude Kimball, Bell technician, checks the operation of some of the switches at the new Midland exchange. Normally the switches are covered with metal canisters to protect them from dust and dirt. The floors of this room are never swept, only wet mopped to prevent dust in the air and the room is air conditioned.

 2006 0020 2493

This is the last photo of the manual phone exchange. All permanent employees will still be needed to staff the new long distance, information and assistance switchboards. From the moment it was decided to convert Midland to automatic dialing provisions were made for staff. All permanent staff were guaranteed their employment, staff retiring or leaving were encouraged to stay until the switchover and new operators were hired on the understanding their jobs were only temporary. Standing left is Mrs. Laura Bacon supervisor and Miss Adilene Bell of Collingwood a chief operator who filled in for two weeks before the change.

    With the building complete and all preparations made the day arrived when the familiar “number, please” would be replaced by the hum of a dial tone.  Bell selected a day and time when there would be very little activity on the lines and few people would be inconvenienced for the few moments, less than two minutes, it would take to cutover the new system.

   It took just 35 seconds early Sunday morning for Bell Telephone technicians to take Midland’s manual system out of operation and put more than 3,000 telephones on dial service. When the exchange “went to dial” all telephone numbers were simultaneously changed to the new “LAkeside6”  (526) designation. Shortly before 3 A.M. Sunday morning operators asked customers using their phones to hang up and reconnect in two minutes using the dial. At the command “pull coils” a group of Bell employees standing behind the old main frame pulled on cords attached to hundreds of fuses, two for each line, littering the floor in seconds. With the fuses removed the old common battery switchboards were dead. Using a special phone line word was passed to the new exchange building to activate the dial equipment. Another group of men, stationed in front of the rows of switching equipment, pulled on cords attached to hundreds of blocking tools, little plastic insulators which were keeping the dial equipment from functioning. Direct dial had come to Midland.

2006 0020 1858Five staff  wait for the call to activate the dial system by pulling the cords and removing the blockers. Pictured are Warren Aikin, Grant Morrow and Claude Kimble.

    Practically all those waiting for telephones in Midland will get service with the switch to the new dial system, states H. A. Kilroy, Midland Bell manager. Twenty five additional telephones will be placed in service. Recent upgrades to rural lines will also improve service and reduce party lines to eight or less. The new long distance switchboard on the second floor is the most modern available and is almost noiseless in operation, no bells ring, no telephones jangle. The timing of long distance calls is done by electric calculagraphs at each switchboard position. Similar to punch clocks used in factories, the operator punches a card when the call begins and when it ends. Room lights in this room are connected to an emergency power supply in the event municipal power is interrupted.

  The new system is powered by large storage batteries located in the basement. DC power is supplied and the batteries are charged using AC power. If the AC supply from the local utility is interrupted the system will continue to work for at least eight hours on the storage batteries.

  The new Midland directory, the Blue Book, contains 9,817 new and changed listings, including Barrie, Collingwood, Alliston, Beeton, Bradford, Camp Borden, Cookstown, Penetanguishene, Port McNicoll, Thornbury, Tottenham and Waubaushene. Listing are now in three columns on pages much larger than the previous books. For the second year in a row the directory features a drawing of the county court house in Barrie on its cover.

   The  two editions of the newspaper that covered the conversion to direct dial were also full of advertisements from local merchants that highlighted their new phone numbers. Several that kept their number for many years, Hebners Taxi 526-2217, Midland Free Press  until  2013 when it closed 526-5431, Wagg’s Dry Cleaners number is now used by French’s Dry Cleaners 526-5436, Chalet Blue Motel now the Silverstar still has the same number 526-6571 as does the Midland Drive-In Theatre 526-2411.

  This amazing technical advance took only 80 years from the day in 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell called Watson in the other room. It has been 60 years since direct dial came to Midland and technology has moved on, now we are switching to cell phones that not only let us see and talk to one another but give us access to a world of knowledge and information on the internet. 


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – July 8th to 15th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2528 Five year old Michael Dorion, son of Mr. & Mrs. Alfred Dorion, Tiny Township, comforts his puppy after a freak twister damaged their home and flattened a nearby stable.

 2006 0020 2529 Jean Chretien, Mrs. Alfred Dorion, daughter Theresa, sons Basil and Michael and Captain Mike Chretien were witnesses to a freak tornado that damaged the Dorion home and created a water spout near the boat Captain Chretien was piloting.

 2006 0020 1753 Lloyd Douglas Bowman, known as “LD”, in front with a knife on his belt and Bob Popple of Penetang demonstrate a life saving hold practised on land at Camp Kitchikewana as they work towards their Royal Life Saving Society award.

2006 0020 2879 Midland Y’s Camp Kitchikewana director J. W. Smith, entering his 30th camping season, explains the  camping scene to his three year old grandson Lee Morris.

 2006 0020 2398 Mr. & Mrs. Harvey Archer of Third Street, Port McNicoll, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Wednesday, are seen with their granddaughter Dorothy, 4, and Darlene who is 3.

 2006 0020 2411 Missed death by inches. Harold Copecog, 23, of Honey Harbour was sitting in the front of his boat around midnight Monday night when the stern was completely cut off in a collision with another boat in the South Channel. Driver of the 16 foot outboard Eddie Lizotte, 27, was thrown several feet in the air by the impact and was drowned.

 2006 0020 2532 Displaying luscious strawberries grown in Wyebridge on the farm of R. W. Preston are Molly Swales, a member of the Loblaw’s staff and Merritt McCue of Christian Island, head picker for Mr. Preston. The big berries were developed by Mr. Preston in conjunction with the late Dr. E. A. Smith of Ohio. It has taken five years to get the plants to production stage.  

  • Flash Fire Races Through Kitchen –  Seventy-seven year old man rescues women eighty-six. The presence of mind of her 77 year old neighbour, Joseph Cripps, prevented Mrs. Sarah W. Morris, 86, of 363 Queen Street (now 465) from being burned to death. Mr. Cripps, an employee of the town and the Midland Free Press, was out in his back yard when he noticed smoke pouring from the Morris home. He wrenched open the front door of the burning home and made his way through the smoke to the kitchen and led Mrs. Morris to safety. She suffered first degree burns to her forearms, shoulders and face. Paraffin wax was being melted on the stove to seal the jars of preserves she was making.
  • Summer dig students at the Forget Site native village southeast of Wyebridge have discovered it to be one of the few known double palisaded native communities. The two palisades range from four to seven feet apart. “There was a double palisade across one end of St. Ignace near Sturgeon Bay, but not around the entire village,” explained professor Wilfrid Jury of the University of Western Ontario.
  • Thieves steal more than thirty fur coats from Edwards Specialty Shop, forced rear freight door to gain access.
  • Constable Mike Chapman injured when the police cruiser driven by fellow officer George Winter was struck broadside at Firth’s corner by a westbound car.
  • Midland and district Orangemen prepare for a big parade in Midland on the twelfth. Lodges from Coldwater, Warminster, Uhthoff, Orillia, Seabright, Hawkestone, Craighurst, Vasey, Waverly, Elmvale, Allenwood, Wyevale, Penetang and Gravenhurst are expected to join in. 
  • Two Penetang lads injured in a motorcycle accident on County Road 6 near Perkinsfield Thursday night as their machine went into the ditch. Rene Martin has been unconscious since the accident and was rushed to Toronto General Hospital Sunday for emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. [Local people will remember Rene Martin as the ever friendly ticket seller around Penetang for many years]
  • A fourteen year old Coldwater boy admits to placing a bolt on the CNR track near Coldwater to see if it would be flattened. This was within an hour of the accident that took the life of Darwin Raymond of Waubaushene, when the track car he was riding on struck a bolt in the same area.
  • Charged with drunk driving, a 30 year old soldier from Base Borden is sentenced by Magistrate K. A. Cameron in Penetang court. [I find it interesting that the penalty I believe is more severe than today. There was no other history mentioned and no one else involved when his car left the road and ended up in a farmer’s field, yet he received seven days in jail, lost his licence for a year and had his car impounded for 3 months.]
  • Two new navy ships to be commissioned, the HMCS Mallard built by Grew Boats and the HMCS Cormorant built by the Midland Boat Works were launched several weeks ago and will now be officially commissioned. The participants and dignitaries will attend a joint reception at the Midland Armory.
  • All Midland telephone numbers will change with the cutover to the dial system early Sunday morning. Midland numbers will be LAkeside 6-6123, that is the police number, and calls can be completed by just dialing the last five digits but all seven will be required for long distance calling. To call long distance or obtain assistance, dial the “operator”. Directory information can be reached by dialing 113.
  • Jack Blackburn, special constable in charge at the Midland docks, yesterday issued a warning that Midland Harbour waters are unfit for swimming. He said the Simcoe County Health Unit have posted signs indicating the water is polluted and unsafe. [At this time Midland sewage went directly into the harbour.]
  • During July and August the Brewer’s Retail stores in Penetang and Port Severn will be open until 8PM on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Lucky Friday the 13th at the Midland Drive-In, free admission to all drivers with a “13” on their licence plate, the driver of every 13th car, all families of “13” arriving in one car and the girl friend of any driver with a “13” on his driver’s licence.
  • Thirteen Midland home owners face fines if they fail to immediately take action to connect to the municipal sewer system and install proper toilet facilities.
  • 220 boys attending Camp Kitchikewana as it opens for its 37 the season.
  • The Midland Library is inviting summer cottagers to take out a membership, only .10 cents for the summer with a $5.00 refundable deposit.
  • Singer Sewing Machine Company opens a store in Midland at 203 King Street (now 227).
  • The asking price for even a stoney water front lot on Georgian Bay runs from $10 to $15 per foot and good shore property is selling on average from $20 to $25 per foot.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – July 1st to 7th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

I think the Free Press photographer was on holidays the last week of June and the first week of July 1956, there are very few photos and they come from correspondents, previous news items or Rolfoto and Budd Watson. The Watson photo is a good one of our town band in the band shell at Little Lake Park.

 2006 0020 2405 This photo appeared on the bottom right corner of the front page of the Free Press, July 4th, 1956. Unfortunately the corner was torn, taking away 90% of the caption. The heading is “Natural Science Lesson” and the only name we can make out is Clifford Ga?? A Harbour is mentioned so it could be Honey Harbour or Victoria Harbour. We pulled out the original copy of the paper and confirmed that the corner is missing.

Let us know if you can identify this group!!

 2006 0020 2406 Activities for another year wound up at SS #15 Tay, June 29th, with a picnic and open house. Gathered around a social studies project are Alma Galbraith, Ruth Galbraith, Lois Todd and Vernon Morris, teacher of the 16 pupil school at Sturgeon Bay.

 To fill out the photo section we will include some local photos from a collection acquired by the Free Press that relates to a 1956 booklet called “The Story of Simcoe County” published by the County of Simcoe and edited by the Honourable E. C. Drury. The photos depict agriculture, leisure activities, tourist locations, historic sites and the natural beauty of Simcoe County. 

2006 0020017
2006 0020019

2006 0020018Little Lake Park in the winter prior to 1956. The log cabin was a gift from Dr. Garnet Tanner and was used as a post office for the campers. It was removed in the spring of 1956. The second photo shows the old store, also prior to 1956 and the band shell. The third, taken at the west end of the park, shows the small cabins that ended up in back yards all over the area.

 2006 0020070 Row boats for hire, Little Lake Park.

 2006 0020071 The GTR / CNR roundhouse and service facilities at the Tiffin. The roundhouse has been reduced to what appears to be five stalls and by 1956 the steam locomotives had disappeared and these facilities, such as the water tower to the right in the photo, would no longer be needed. The roof of the Aberdeen or Tiffin #1 can be seen on the left as well as the smoke from the town dump. By 1956 the town was looking for a better way to handle its waste. 

2006 0020111 CPR summer station at Port McNicoll with the ice house in the background. For years this was one of the most photographed sites in Simcoe County, not just by the passengers but it was a popular spot to visit by locals on a family outing.

2006 00201432006 0020145 Martyr’s Shrine before the reconstruction of Ste. Marie. Note the passenger shelter used by tourists that arrived by passenger train and the small house behind it. 

2006 0020082 The Parkside Inn on Yonge Street Midland. 

2006 0020079Government dock at Victoria Harbour.

2006 0020037Owl Pen, the home of Kenneth Wells and Lucille Oille in Medonte Township near Creighton. 

2006 0020010 There were many “glamour” shots like this one with women in bathing suits on the beach, in boats and canoes and mostly sitting on rocks, but only this one was used in the book, but with a young man driving. The photographer certainly made an effort to get a good selection. 

  • For the second year in succession the Midland Citizens’ Band has brought home the Canadian championship for Class 1 junior brass bands.
  • A thirteen year old girl from Hamilton was struck and badly injured by a power boat while swimming at Little Lake Park. The Parks Commission is seeking a ban on high horsepower boats on the lake.
  • Midland and district public and Catholic schools published promotion lists
  • Ted McKillen is closing his men’s clothing business at 245 King Street after 38 years. When brother Lloyd returned from overseas they set up shop in the Georgian Coffee Shop under the name McKillen Brothers
  • Lloyd Letherby, MLA for Simcoe East announces a new million dollar super highway to be constructed from Highway 400 to Gravenhurst. The original plan called for a two lane highway paralleling Hwy 93 from Crown Hill to Craighurst then branching off to Coldwater to meet Hwy 12. The new plan calls for an extension from Coldwater through Matchedash and Orillia Twp’s to Hwy 11 at Gravenhurst. (As we know this road was never built. The 400 extension went as far as Coldwater where it joined #12 which joined the Trans Canada Highway #103 at Waubaushene. With the bypass of Coldwater built several years ago and the widening of the 400 extension to four lanes the 400 highway now goes as far as Parry Sound and will soon reach Sudbury.)
  • Two Midlanders, Lionel Bourgeois and Siegfried Appelt, have both been charged after being involved in a traffic accident at Fourth and Quebec Streets.
  • In Canada the poisoning of lakes and re-stocking with game fish has become a proven tool for restoring lakes where coarse fish have taken over. (Really!!)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Amos Mateff wish to announce the arrival of their son, Glen Howard, a brother for Lana and Karen.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Howard Leonard wish to announce the engagement of their daughter Carolyn Maureen, to John Ralph Fagan, son of Mr. & Mrs. Cecil Fagan of Wyebridge.
  • The Roxy is showing “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” with Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones and Frederic March. The Pen Theatre has live stage entertainment as well as their screen performance. The first one hundred patrons receive a free Elvis photo.
  • The areas newest dining spot is the Grange in Wyebridge. Once a community meeting hall, jail, home of group of seven artist Franz Johnston, the new restaurant is owned and operated by Mr. & Mrs. Fred Cook.
  • Midland Parks Superintendent Harold McAllen told this newspaper yesterday that results of a water test by the Simcoe County Health Unit show the water in Little Lake to be satisfactory.
  • Promotion results from Moore’s Corner. Grade 8 to 9, Shirley Holm, Tom Smith –  Grade 7 to 8, Mary Holm, Maizie Mount, Garnet Sallows  – Grade 6 to 7, Eldon Irish, Karen Sallows, Sharon Sallows, Brian Webb  –  Grade 5 to 6, Eleanor Holm, Neal Mount, Shirley Sallows  –  Grade 4 to 5, Wanda Russell  –  Grade 3 to 4, Judy Bumstead, John Holm, Allen Mount  –  Grade 2 to 3, Jennifer Bumstead, Mary Burnie, Sharon Rumney, Rodney Sallows –  Beginners to Grade 1, John Burnie, Bruce Rumney
  • BBQ’d chicken now available at Midland IGA Foodliner, barbequed before your eyes with our new “Sun Valley” Rotis-O-Mat, $1.29 for regular bird and $1.49 for a stuffed bird.
  • 25 YEARS AGO – Port McNicoll Masons, who a few weeks previous had purchased the old Star Theatre in the village, dedicated their new lodge rooms in the second story of the building  –  Increase in postal rates took effect July 1st, letter rates were two cents for local mail and three cents for anywhere else in Canada, the new rate is one cent more.  –  North Simcoe is in the grip of a heat wave, the temperature has been 96 degrees for three days.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – June 24th to 30th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2418 Some of Midland’s “shut-ins” were entertained at the Salvation Army Citadel Thursday night. Front row; Mrs. F. Wadge, Mrs. M. Drinkle, Mrs. A. Edwards, Miss Mae McCallum, back row; Mrs. Emma Fallis, Mrs. D. Prescott, Mrs. E. Walters, Mrs. C. Woods, Mrs. K. Keller. A program of music and song was provided for the ladies.

 2006 0020 2400Getting ready for the wedding are these members of the Elmvale School of Ballet, pictured at a dress rehearsal Saturday morning. The bride at center is Mary Corbett and the attendants are Betty Trace left, and Adele Caesar. Mother of the bride is Nan Roberts, instructor at the school for the last four years. 

2006 0020 2404Elmvale School of Ballet is holding a recital at the Elmvale Community Hall and these two fire flies are in it. Nan Roberts is the instructor for the ten pupil class and mother to Nancy, center, and Carolyn. Piano pupils of Mrs. W. W. Shaw will also be taking part.

2006 0020 2407 This photo, connected to the previous ones regarding the Elmvale School of Ballet was not used in the newspaper leaving us with no description, but with the power of the internet  we were able to contact a relative from Elmvale who was living in Vancouver and discovered an interesting twist to the story.

Adele Caesar is the girl bending down (far left) and Betty Trace is the girl endpoint on the far right. Dad says he thinks the girl next to Adele is Mary Corbett. ( he’s sending it on to his sister Nancy to check,  I’ll let you know). This is where it gets good. The ‘girl’ in the front row with the tambourine is actually my uncle, Bruce Roberts, and the ‘girl’ standing behind him in the back row with the tambourine, is my dad, Douglas Roberts. Apparently gran (Nan Roberts) used to make them join in when they were short on girls! If the photo is from ’56, then dad was 11 and Bruce was 7 or 8. 

2006 0020 2409 Constable Ernie Bates who is parked at the town dock demonstrates the new two way radio system as he communicates with police chief Robert Cameron. Radios have a range of 25 to 30 miles. (The actual photo in the paper included a photo of chief Cameron on the phone, one the paper had used the year before showing the chief working in his temporary office on Bay Street, not on the radio with Ernie.)

 2006 0020 2469 Staff from the provincial fish hatchery in Collingwood perform a census of fish stocks in Little Lake. Lorne “Flash” Hutchinson holds a nice two pound bass while John Hunt at left and Fred Chew, Midland’s conservation officer, look on. Mr. Hunt, manager of the Collingwood hatchery, said bass form 90 percent of the lake’s fish population, only intruders found were gar pike. 

2006 0020 2419 St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Victoria Harbour celebrates its 50th anniversary Sunday. The week-long celebration came to an end Sunday, pictured are local native Rev. J. P. Schissler, guest preacher, soloist Mrs. A. B. MacQuarie of Fergus, wife of former Harbour public school principal MacQuarrie and Miss Bessie Winfield the oldest member of the congregation. Miss Winfield taught Mr. Schissler at Victoria Harbour Public School. 

2006 0020 2428 They were there fifty years ago when the Victoria Harbour Presbyterian Church was opened. Shown at the special anniversary service Sunday are, Mrs. Wm. Hazelton of Vasey, Miss Kate Brown, Mrs. George Cooper, William Moore, Mrs. J. L. Winfield and Miss Laura Gill.

 2006 0020 18302006 0020 2430John Waldie Jr., son of the late John Waldie who was the  owner of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company and who donated St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church to the village, is seen with his daughter after the morning service at the church. Behind are elders, Capt. W. A. Stewart and Douglas McNabb. 

2006 0020 2415Senior pupils of the Christian Island United Church Public School are shown with their teacher F. E. Kempling in front of the YMCA following a tour of the Midland Free Press Friday afternoon. Group also visited a grain elevator, Midland Footwear, Midland Reinforced Plastics,  Canadian Nameplate and played a baseball game with Sixth Street School following a picnic lunch in Little Lake Park.

 2006 0020 2446 Rare blooms for this part of Canada, this rhododendron in the garden of Douglas Grant at 298 Midland Ave.(now 344) is the finest seen north of Windsor, states local florist Mac Perrin. The four year old plant requires heavy protection during the winter months. 

2006 0020 2423 Two veterans of their communities were pictured at the annual CNIB picnic held at Little Lake Park Wednesday. Mrs. George Wyles, 91, of Barrie and William Archer of Elmvale, a healthy 92 year old. Mr. Archer, whose father was one of the first settlers in North Simcoe, comes from a family known for their longevity.

 2006 0020 2424 Loss of sight hasn’t diminished the spirit of this nonagenarian, one of the guests at the CNIB picnic in Little Lake Park Wednesday afternoon. Mrs. Sophia Hart of Craighurst, who marked her 95th birthday December 11th and who looks quite capable of hitting the century mark. Mrs. Hart is a member of one of the pioneer families of the district. 

2006 0020 2432Top students at Midland public schools are receiving awards from Ken Ellis public school inspector for the area. Hugh Gunn, Bill Clause, Lynn Johnson, Ellen Barber and Lois Cowan. Marjorie Bolt was absent. 

2006 0020 2431 Veteran teacher in Midland public schools but now retired, Miss Ethel Wagg presented books on behalf of the Midland branch of the IODE to these two grade eight students from Parkview School at graduation exercises held in the Regent School auditorium Tuesday night. Award is given for the highest marks in social studies and the winners are Gerry Wittig (Mueller) and Wayne Farqhuar.

 2006 0020 2402The highest marks in social studies at Regent School won awards from the Midland branch of the IODE, Mrs. Thomas Brandon presents books to Karen Blair and Ross Hebner during the graduation exercises held at Regent School. (Karen, and Gerry Wittig from the previous photo, married) 

  • Piano pupils present recital – Pupils of Margery Olmstead were heard in recital Thursday night before a capacity audience in the Calvary Baptist School hall. Beginners solos, Barbara Jones, Susan MacFarlane, Judith Rankin, Lorna Lyons, Freddie Hacker, Judith Coughlin, Tamie Morrisson, Brian Clark, Margaret Walker Davis Glazer, Ruth Webster, Susan Schell, Reta Rutherford and Karen Wood. Grade I, II and lll selections were played by Sharon Park, Jerrold Karch, Ardythe Boden, Peggy Krochko, Ruth Blackmere, Allan McElroy, Eden Morrisson, Kenneth Trew, Peggy Robertshaw, John Cranston, Linda Marchand, Mary Louise Parker and Helen Farrow. (I took lessons from Miss Olmsted but she would have agreed that I was better at cutting her lawn.)
  • Grand opening of Farmers Snack Bar in Orr Lake
  • Bill Hack shoots a 33 on the nine hole Midland Golf & Country Club course.
  • Johnstone’s (Music) are advertising beach balls, swim rings, life preservers, swim fins, masks and snorkels. 262 King Street
  • Holiday dancing at Mel’s in Honey Harbour
  • Popular Waubaushene resident Darwin Raymond dies when the “jigger” he was riding on struck a bolt on the CNR tracks east of Coldwater, vandalism is suspected.
  • TEN YEARS AGO JUNE 1946 –  Violence against lake ship operators and non union crews broke out in Midland. Twenty men on the crew of the Altodoc were forcibly removed and their belongings thrown to the dock.  –  Collingwood’s population of 7,027 tops Midland by 147. Barrie has a population of 10, 153.  –  Seven girls and two men were injured when a portion of the dance floor at the Parkside Pavilion collapsed. Forty persons and a telephone booth were catapulted into the basement. Recent basement excavations had weakened the supports.  –  Work had started on the demolition of Dr. Garnet Tanner’s residence on the corner of King and Elizabeth Streets to make way for the new theatre.  –  More than 4,800 pounds of serviceable clothing and bedding was donated by Midland residents for destitute families in Europe.
  • Juveniles, aged 10 and 15, steal a case of beer from a Brewers Retail truck in Dollartown.
  • Veteran of two world wars, islanders elect Riley Root as Chief of the Christian Island Band.
  • Department of Highways releases plans for the new intersection at Firth’s Corner, the scene of many serious accidents. Intersection of Highways 12 and 27, now Hwy 93 and the Balm Beach road. Yonge Street used to go straight through, to the north of Full Line Electronics, Sundowner Road is the remains of it. The curve into Midland from the south on Hwy 27 can still be seen east of the present intersection.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Milton Bray celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Effie Eugenie Sherwin lived in the farming district of Port Hope where she met her husband. When they moved to Midland it was to live in the new two story house on Seventh Street that he had built himself and where they are still living. They have five children.
  • 1,500 buy tickets to midget wrestling at the Arena Gardens, more than the three previous weeks combined.
  • From John Powers column “Outdoor Diary”; Sunday morning Chuck Stelter, Ted Holder and myself arose and shone well before the sun and the chickens – 3:45 a.m. to be exact. With the mist rising off the water of our favourite trout stream we caught trout after trout, keeping 41 fish in all and returning about 50 under eight inches.
  • Huronia Museum’s authentic Indian Village, which hosted 20,000 visitors last year re-opens Saturday afternoon for the new season. A highlight of the opening will be a performance of dances by Indians from the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford. The village will be in charge of curator William Barnett, assisted by Ken Cowan, Carol Cowan and Stewart Guthrie.
  • Kids Saturday Matinee at the Roxy, Gene Autry in “Last of the Pony Riders” plus Three Stooges and 3 cartoons. “Mister Roberts” is playing at the Pen.
  • Midland’s per capita debt is now $150 compared to $390 in Edmonton, $238 in Toronto and $180 in Ottawa.
  • Walkers Store celebrates 31st anniversary. Advertising children’s denim jeans for .88 cents.
  • Lightning destroys the barn of Henry Pauze a mile south of Perkinsfield on the County Road. Family loses calves, chickens, pigs, milking equipment and a large stock of berry baskets needed to harvest the strawberry crop that is now ripe. Milking herd was sold at a loss Wednesday as they have no equipment left to milk with. Their house was struck last summer, a bolt that removed plaster from the walls and splintered wood work.
  • New factory on Highway 12 outside Coldwater is nearly complete and still there is no announcement of what it will produce, latest rumour is metal tubing.
  • Bruce Duncan launches his latest home built cabin cruiser the “Torna B III”. Built in his garage in Port McNicoll over the winter the craft is 23 feet long and 8 feet wide, powered by a 30 hp engine and will sleep four.
  • Veteran marine instructor and chief engineer for CPR steamships, John Moses dies at 70. Long time friend and fellow instructor at the local Marine School, Capt. Robert Mitchell also died within the last year leaving the school without its two veteran instructors. Mr. Moses was working as a night watchman and engineer for Wagg’s Laundry in Midland and that is where he died, being found by arriving staff.
  • Severe electrical storm kills Eli Vaillancourt as he is tying up his boat in Penetang Bay. His son Jack was standing beside him when the lightening bolt struck and threw his father into the water.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – June 16th to 23rd 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2454 Four of more than 200 grade eight pupils who toured the new MPDHS building get their first taste of higher math from Mrs. J. Cardenas. Bernadette Hamelin, Penetang; Claudia Reynolds, Parkview; Donald Daoust, Perkinsfield and Karen Blair, Regent.

  2006 0020 2366 Midland ‘s main street gets a much needed face-lift, new asphalt from the CNR tracks to Yonge Street.

 2006 0020 2479 It Was Only Three Days   –  When the re-surfacing was being done last week several local wags offered odds on how long it would be before the new pavement was torn up again. It was just three days. The work shown is being done by Bell Telephone, installing cable for the new dial exchange coming in July.


2006 0020 2452Last Rites for a War Hero  –  One of the five drowning victims in the Southern Georgian Bay region this year Captain Anthony Van Steeden of Vancouver was accorded military honours at his internment in Lakeview Cemetery Midland. Holder of the OBE, MC and MM, Capt. Van Steeden was engaged in secret service work during World War II. Members of Branch 80 Royal Canadian Legion and the OPP detachment at Victoria Harbour attended the service. Bugler at right is Norman Jackson of Midland.

 2006 0020 2447 Mrs. Walter McMann (Helen) of 392 (516 new) Russell Street shows a white tulip that produced five blossoms on one stem.

 2006 0020 2449 Public School Field Day Champs  –  The girls are, Ellen Barber on the left, intermediate champ; Lynn McAllen junior champ; Carolyn Bath won the senior title but was not present for the photo. Boy’s winners were Gary Carr, intermediate; Gerald Wotherspoon, senior and Tom Jenkinson junior.

 2006 0020 2450 Thirty years ago, Fred Mitchell, an MPDHS student, would have been the envy of all his classmates, for this 1926 Auburn was then an elegant limousine. The Prince Albert suit he is wearing is the one his grandfather, Henry Gouett of Waubaushene, bought  for his wedding in 1900. Fred purchased the car recently, it hadn’t been run for three years but started right up with a fresh battery. Purchased by the late Fred Hill for $3,400.00 back in 1926 when the average price of a car was under $1,000.00. The car has 36,000 miles on it. Fred lives at 338 (402 new) Frederick Street.

2006 0020 2455 Midland Lions Club members attending their annual meeting at the Delawana Inn in Honey Harbour, relax on the front lawn.

(We have no names for this photo, help would be appreciated, I recognize Jean Somers,  Marg and Harold McAllen)

 2006 0020 2464Officials of the Midland Friendship Club check over the program during a picnic held at Little Lake Park Saturday, Jack Moore president and Mrs. James MacLeod are seated, Ted Rivers, Mrs. George Whitaker and Robert Wiles secretary treasurer, standing.

 2006 0020 2457 Four top golfers from each of the four towns competing in the ladies county cup match at the Midland Golf & Country Club Thursday are seen gathered around the big scoreboard. Mrs. Keith Robinson, Collingwood, who had a 91 gross; Mrs. J. A. Hepburn, Orillia, 97; Mrs. John Ough, Barrie, whose 85 was the best score of the day; Mrs. Sandow, representing MG&CC and Mrs. Ken Lewis who headed the Midland contingent with a 90.

 2006 0020 2442 A fine example of the new homes being built in the Ingram Subdivision in Tay Township near the new high school. This one, well advanced towards completion,  is being built for Mr. & Mrs. Jack Argue of Midland.

 2006 0020 2473 The new Loblaws store at the corner of King and Elizabeth Streets is slated to open Thursday, June 21st, 1956. Shelves are being stocked and last minute items completed in the building. Note the H.S. St. Amant & Sons panel truck parked in front, the well known local business provided all of the plumbing and heating for the new building. Other local suppliers included Walker’s Electric, Jeffery’s Hardware and Midland Planing Mills.

 2006 0020 2472 Getting ready for the big opening, Bill Howard, right, manager of Midland’s new Loblaws store, makes last minute checks with his chief superintendent A. R. Wallace of Toronto. All of Mr. Howard’s seventeen years with the company have been in Midland including five as store manager.

 2006 0020 2395 Over one thousand customers attend the grand opening of the new Loblaws market on King Street with hundreds lined up to receive free gifts distributed to the first thousand shoppers. 

  • National Cancer Institute of Canada holds its second national conference at the Delawana Inn. One hundred of the finest doctors and research scientists in the world are attending, including guests from Israel, France, England and the United States. The conference discussion has been divided into five categories; the cell, Leukemia, chemotherapy, hormone and cancer immunity.
  • A hole was burned in the wall of a classroom in Elmvale District High School last week when some chemicals exploded.
  • Ernst Leitz Sr. head of Ernst Leitz, Wetzlar, died at Wetzlar Friday in his 86th year. Dr. Leitz was the second generation of his family in the optical company and when his elder brother Ludwig was killed in 1898, he took over at the age of 27 the direction of the firm that now employs more than 6,500. Surviving are three sons, Ernst and Ludwig of Wetzlar and Guenther of Midland.
  • The twice-weekly CPR boat train is back in operation for the summer season, leaving Toronto at 12:01 PM Wednesdays and Saturdays and connecting with the Assinaboia and Keewatin at Port McNicoll.
  • IGA is offering a taxi ride home for with your order if you live in town and your order is $10.00 or more, cost .15 cents.
  • Newest item for building patios, the concrete patio slab is being produced in North Simcoe by Wyevale Concrete Products.
  • $8,462.00 worth of cigarettes stolen from DeNure and Sons Transport warehouse on Easy Street. $5,000.00 worth of cigarettes were stolen from the same warehouse on May 9th.
  • 300 children attend St. Paul’s United Church Sunday School picnic at Little Lake Park Wednesday afternoon.
  • Polio vaccine proving successful, only six cases reported in Ontario so far this year, none in a vaccinated child.
  • Simcoe County council spent Thursday afternoon cruising Georgian Bay on the Penetang Eighty Eight.
  • Wrestling at the Arena Gardens Monday June 25th at 8:445PM. Pat O’Connor vs. Lord Athol Layton. Special midget tag team match, Fuzzy Cupid and Sky Hi Low vs. Little Beaver and Cowboy Bradley.
  • Esteemed wife of United Church pastor, Mrs. W. R. Auld dies. The former Mary Elizabeth Clark was born at Mountain Ont. in 1889.
  • Midland PUC introduces lawn watering restrictions. New hours are 7:30 to 8:30 AM and 6:30 to 7:30 PM.
  • The Dam Busters and The Glenn Miller Story are playing in local movie houses.
  • Leitz constructing another 2,000 square foot addition.
  • Port McNicoll School Board decides not to join MPDHS area, cites full complement of teachers in place and classroom space available. Port McNicoll students who wish to gain their senior matriculation (Grade 13) will continue to enroll for their final year at MPDHS.
  • Every issue of the paper has “gossip” columns from the area’s towns and villages, the “who visited whom” section, submitted by local correspondents. This is the Honey Harbour report from the County Herald, Friday June 22, 1956. As I read it many of the names were very familiar, how many do you recognize? ‘Mr. & Mrs. Henry Gamelin of Victoria Harbour week ended with their son-in-law and daughter Mr. & Mrs. Ed Boucher Jr. – Miss Yvonne Boucher and Ronald Murphy of Toronto were weekend guests of Miss Boucher’s family, Mr. & Mrs. Ed Boucher Jr. – Miss Beatrice Macey and Bob Massey of Toronto  week ended with Mr. & Mrs. Frank Macey. – Floyd Oulette of Peterborough visited his mother, Mrs. Margaret Oulette, over the weekend.  – Jack Gillard and Cal Cook visited Mr. & Mrs. Frank Rourke (O’Rourke) over the weekend.  – Miss Carol White who has been attending Nardin Academy School for girls in Buffalo N.Y. for the past year, and Mrs. Louise Parish will spend this coming weekend with Mr. & Mrs. Art White. – David Jacques of Preston visited his brother and sister-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Jacques during the weekend.  – Mrs. Tom Curry and son have returned from the Bahamas and are residing in Honey Harbour for the summer with Mrs. Curry’s brother-in-law and sister, Mr. & Mrs. Joe Jacques. – Mr. & Mrs. Clifford Paradis, caretakers at Brebeuf lighthouse, and their daughter and son-in-law Mr. & Mrs. Herman Lacroix of Midland, visited Mr. & Mrs. Wilfred Paradis during the weekend.’
  • Basic salaries of municipal employees has nearly doubled in the last eight years, mayor tells local Kiwanis Club. Police Chief $2,370 in 1948 to $3,700 in 1956. Senior constables $1,800 to $3,300. Fire chief $2,100 to $3,200, senior firemen $1,920 to $3,000. Public works labourers .55 cents per hour to $1.05, truck drivers .66 cents to $1.15. Public school teachers $1,870 to $3,350.
  • Over thirteen million trees have now been planted in Simcoe County forests since 1922, 401,000 in 1955. This far sighted project has been a huge success and a great benefit to the residents of Simcoe County. http://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/fbl/about#ui-id-1


Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – June 8th to 15th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2861 While regular MPDHS students stayed home to prepare for exams, 243 public school pupils from the area visited the new school in Tay Township for orientation. Glendola Haliburton of Hillsdale tries her hand at the modern sewing machine in the home economics room while instructor Mrs. I. Rayner looks on. Watching are June Elliot of Parkview School, left, and Gail Brand of S.S. #8 Tay, Port Severn.

 2006 0020 2862 New instructor of instrumental music at MPDHS, W. A. “Bill” Bartlett explains the operation of the euphonium to local grade eight students during the recent orientation day at the new high school. Listening are Lynn Johnston, Regent School, Lois Cowan, Parkview, Yvonne Cheetham, Waubaushene and Ken Copeland, Hillsdale.

 2006 0020 2445 On the same orientation day Perkinsfield twins Lorraine and Ellen Lalonde enjoy lunch from their matching dinner pails. Daughters of Mr. & Mrs. Herb Lalonde.

 2006 0020 2632 Grade eight students visit the shop area of the new MPDHS while on orientation day. R. C. (Dick) Moffatt, instructor, explains the use of a “Brake” to bend metal to Orland French, Waverly, and Maurice Dusome, Penetang Public School, both seated and Tom Smith, Moore’s Corner and Winston Gillespie, Regent School.

 2006 0020 2373 The Martyr’s Shrine has an extensive program to increase the natural beauty of their large property on the Wye River. William Doney, head gardener digs the holes while his assistant George Leduc transplants white lilies along a newly opened path. At 72 Mr. Donley was assistant head gardener at a large Cornwall, England estate before taking up farming in Saskatchewan forty years ago. After one year of retirement he took on the job at the Shrine. The men have 1,500 bedding plants to put out in the next two weeks.

 2006 0020 2368 Eight pound nine ounce pickerel, one of forty caught by Ted Holder,  pictured in the photo, Alex Smith and Harold Fox at the Port Severn lock last week using minnows. The men kept fourteen of the forty.

2006 0020 2436 Jim Stephenson, who this week opened Midland’s newest industry, Bay Meat Packers on William Street, is seen in his large walk-in cooler surrounded by pork carcasses and freshly strung sausage.

 2006 0020 4638

2006 0020 2440 Canadian Tire Store on Bay Street, built only a few years ago, has been completely remodeled to give a wide open effect on the display floor. Dave Finch, proprietor, checks fishing gear with manager Murray McComb.

 2006 0020 2441 Canadian Tire Store on Bay Street (north side of Bay between King and Midland Ave.) has been remodeled including the lawn and garden display. Vic Denise is seen arranging a display of the new style plastic garden hoses.

2006 0020 2439 Eight graduates of the citizenship classes sponsored by the MPDHS School Board and held at the YMCA are seen with two of their teachers. Six achieved marks between 95 and 99 percent in English and civics and the other two were over 90 percent. Front left, Mrs. D. H. Wray instructor, Mrs. Frans Wensven, Mrs. J. W. Smith instructor, Mrs. Paul Wittig, Mrs. Guenther Hille, back row, Horst Befort, Frans Wensven, Frank Van Putte, Paul Wittig and Guenther Hille. 

  • New Bank of Nova Scotia opens in Penetang June 11th on the site of the former Pen Bowling Alley.
  • J. S. Corcoran (Helen) was re-elected president of the Midland Home & School Association. She will be assisted by Mrs. Leonard Reynolds and Mrs. James Cowan.
  • Miss Barbara Hanes receives her nursing diploma from the RVH Nursing School in Barrie with a prize for the highest standard in bedside nursing. Iris Wilson and June Church, both of Midland, also graduated.
  • Eleven Cubs of the First Penetang Pack receive their first star and are considered to have “One eye open to wisdom”. Bill Robbins, Stephen Galt, David Hook, Harry O’Hearn, Donald Caughey, Rex Mason, Bob Binkley, Gary Bryant, Robert Larmand, Terry Lapere and Eddie Svoboda.
  • New vibrated cement blocks available at Penetang Concrete Products, Louis Gignac proprietor.
  • The old North Simcoe Baseball League disappeared from the sports picture at a meeting in Stayner Tuesday night. In its place, a Bruce League grouping will accommodate the Midland Indians, the lone survivor of the North Simcoe.
  • Delawana Center books seven conventions this summer.
  • Retreads by Gammon’s Tire Shop, 189 Dominion Ave, phone 1740.
  • Midlanders to use old phone books until dial system comes on line in July, other areas in the same book such as Barrie and Collingwood have the new book already.
  • The Phys-Ed department at MPDHS announced that participants in their programs will need to refrain from smoking entirely during the playing season. They are prepared to withdraw their teams from competition if needed.
  • Pepsi-Cola Canada has a full page ad thanking Midland and district for making their product the fastest growing beverage in Canada. Ad was placed by the Hinds Beverage Company Orillia.
  • National Employment Service office manager at Midland, Harold Humphries told this newspaper he has 40 unfilled jobs in applications from local employers and doesn’t know how they will be filled.
  • Three and a half year old Stewart Duncan, son of Mr. & Mrs. Russell Duncan, Midland Ave., is listed in satisfactory condition after being run over by a car on King Street and suffering multiple chest and head injuries.
  • Penetang Tourist Information booth moved to a new site at the entrance to town near the Penetang Bottling Company.
  • Expect 1,000 attendees at annual Alcoholics Anonymous picnic to be hosted by the Midland chapter and held for the ninth time at Little Lake Park.
  • Pete Lepage’s Eighty-Eight is almost ready to begin another season among the 30,000 Islands and features many improvements made over the winter.
  • Fifth drowning victim in the area and only the middle of June; 9 year old boys drowns in a pond near Waverly, two boys drowned in the open bay off Tiny Twp, one man drowned at the Musquosh River and another in Orr Lake.
  • Peggy Turcotte, nee Watson, wins award as a top ornamental swimmer in Toronto. Peggy holds swimming instructor certification and a silver medal in lifesaving.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK JUNE 1946 — Mayor William Thompson of Penetang informed council that considerable headway had been made with the Wartime Housing Corporation for the erection of 30 houses in Penetang, each to cost about $4,000.00. — Fuel dealers in Midland & Penetang were stock-piling wood for winter use as coal supplies from the United States appeared uncertain. — Citizens of North Simcoe communities were making a concerted drive for clothing, to be sent to destitute people in Europe.–  An estimated $1,000.00 in cash and postal orders was stolen from the Elmvale Post Office.
  • An incensed gardener in Flos shoots three of his neighbours cattle after months of trying to stop them from entering his property. Fined $100.00.
  • Items from the Midland Public Schools Board monthly meeting; resignation of Alex Docherty accepted with regret, accounts totalling $14, 724.56 were ordered paid, truant officer was called once to Sixth Street School, twice to Parkview and nine times to Regent in the previous month, Parkview principal James Robinson was authorized to purchase two new radio record layers at a cost of $100.00, Fenton’s Welding were contracted to supply three 30 foot flagpoles at a cost of $208.35 and Don Brickett of Parry Sound and Leslie Davidson of RR 2 Midland were officially engaged on the full time teaching staff.
  • Victoria Harbour staff removed two fences along the public beach at Robbins Point Friday morning as directed by council, Friday afternoon they were back up, Sunday afternoon a group of irate citizens again removed them.
  • Embassy Theatre in Coldwater closes.
  • Auto Races every Saturday night under the lights at Wasaga Beach Speedway
  • Harbourmaster D. G. Hewis told this paper that the scheduled visit next Tuesday of the U.S. cruise ship North American had been cancelled.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – June 1st to 7th 1956

Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2364 Lumberman’s Safety Association presents Joe Charlesbois a Turtle Club award certificate. Joe won the exclusive award while employed by Mr. Ed Copeland in forestry operations. A heavy limb fell 20 feet striking him on the head but he was saved by wearing his safety gear, the hard hat.

 2006 0020 23342006 0020 2332Gleaming OPP pennant displayed by Corporal Blake Ball will identify three new craft delivered by Grew Boats, Penetang, for service in Simcoe and Muskoka waters. The boats are the “Seamaster” type, 20 feet long with an 8 foot beam and 105 horsepower Buchanan motor giving speeds of 27 mph. One will be stationed in Midland, one in Baysville and one in Bracebridge.

 2006 0020 2377 Pat Ivey, a University of Western Ontario student holds one of the native masks that will be on display this summer at the Y’s Men’s Club Indian Village in the Little Lake Park. 

 2006 0020 2379 Mrs. D. H. Wray and Mrs. W. H. Cranston arrange Iroquoian masks in preparation for the opening of Huronia House Museum on June 1st for the 1956 season.

 2006 0020 2303 Tom Shaughnessy Sr. caught this seventeen pound, forty inch pike Sunday while fishing with Murray Wagg and Joe Trottier near Fred Hewitt’s Camp in the Minnicog area. Tom Shaughnessy Jr. stands beside his granddad Robert Thompson of Waubaushene who is holding the fish which is almost as long as Tommy is tall.

 2006 0020 2367 Eight pound, twenty seven inch Pickerel caught on Sunday by Bev Day above the locks at Port Severn using a minnow from the dock. His mates Ted Holder and Alex Smith caught three between them.

 2006 0020 2371 Midland Penetang Huronias play in the Simcoe Soccer Association league, team members are; front row, Andy Clapperton, Wolfgang Jaenisch, Ernst Schneider, Eugen Engelsberger, Siegfried Zingel; back row, Karl Lehr, Gerd Dobkowitz, Wilhelm Schwartz, Berhard Baumann, Rudolph Sindermann and Horst Hasenier.

2006 0020 2372 The formal gardens at the CPR passenger dock in Port McNicoll are readied for another season. Mike Tersigni, assistant to head gardener John Bell, does the work. Staff are inspired by Superintendant S. F. Malin’s interest in the gardens.

 2006 0020 2374 Mrs. N. J. Carlson chairman of the CLGU par committee for the Ontario Division has just knocked four strokes off the official ladies par at the Midland Golf & Country Club which now stands at a tough 72. Front row, Mrs. F. H. Bell, Mrs. Carlson, Mrs. Ken Lewis, Miss Jean Wallace, Mrs. Verne Wilson, back row, Bob Sandow, former pro at the club, Mrs. Sandow, Bob Sandow’s father Marc,  Mrs. Charles White and Mrs. Gord Moss. 

  • Mary Ann Charlesbois, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. P. Charlesbois, Penetang, received her degree of Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Toronto last Friday and will practice in Toronto.
  • Penetang merchants find the change from Saturday to Friday night opening has not hurt their trade and in some cases such as the grocery store, business has increased.
  • At the Roxy, “Guys & Dolls” with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine. “Forever Darling” with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.
  • At the Pen, “The Naked Spur” with James Stewart and Janet Leigh. “You’re Never Too Young” with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
  • Kenneth Wells and Lucille Oille return from their 6,000 mile journey in “Moonstruck ll” their 18 foot outboard cruiser. Leaving Toronto last November, the Wells cruised down the Ohio River to the Mississippi, to New Orleans, Gulf of Mexico and Florida. After spending six weeks in the Caribbean they headed up the inland waterway to New York, the Hudson River, Erie Canal, Buffalo, Welland Canal to Toronto. As the Trent-Severn waterway is closed, the boat will be returned to Midland by truck.
  • Pro wrestling returns to the Arena Gardens Monday June 4th and every Monday night. Main event is Pat O’Connor vs. Fred Atkins.
  • Ad rates for the Midland Free Press and the weekend County Herald are .75 cents for the first 15 words and extra words are .03 cents each.
  • Coldwater Dairy ups the price of milk by 2 cents per quart, from 18 to 20 cents, citing increased cost of production.
  • Victoria Harbour council orders cottagers to remove fences obstructing beach front at Point Beach. (Robbins Point)
  • Leo “Lefty” St. Amant has been promoted from parts department manager to salesman at Gropp Motors, joining Ken Tannahill on the sales team.
  • Alex Docherty, for seven years the supervisor of music in Midland’s public schools and high school, and organist and choirmaster at St. Paul’s United Church, has resigned. Mr. Docherty will take up new duties at Simcoe District High School in September. Main reason for moving was the loss of vocal music beyond grade nine in Midland.
  • “Heavy Rains Cut Runnels in Tiny Roads” (In sixty years many words have fallen out of common use in Canada, including runnels. The Free Press often uses the word “yeggs” to describe burglars.)
  • Unable to purchase the final two properties needed to build a road from Hwy 27 to the new high school, Tiny Township has started expropriation procedures.
  • 25 YEARS AGO, June 1931 — The Ralph Budd docked at the Midland Simcoe Elevator with a cargo of wheat from Fort William. She towed the Glen Bogie also loaded with wheat. It was her fourth trip in a month. —  Two softball fields had been constructed in Little Lake Park for the use of campers. —  The Bijou Theatre in Penetang had announced its re-opening date. The renovated theatre had installed sound equipment. Leslie Letherby, brother of owner Arthur E. Letherby of Barrie, was to be manager.  —  A resident of Port McNicoll for nine years, Gabriel Gardy was electrocuted when he attempted to cut power on a switchboard near the docks.  —  The Letherby-Terry-Nicholson mill was to be reopened . Between 140 and 150 men were to be employed for several months.
  • First orientation day set for 240 grade eight students to visit MPDHS. Regular students will be home studying for exams (maybe).
  • Tests made by the Simcoe County Health Unit revealed that the water in Little Lake is in A-1 condition. Tests were taken in eight locations.
  • County Road 6 between Elmvale and Penetang to be paved.
  • Huronia Museum opens June 1st for the season with curator Arthur Douglas Tushingham and Dr. Arthur Douglas Tushingham, director of Archeology at the Royal Ontario Museum, performing the ceremonies.
  • Do you remember “Sunbeam Bread” with Miss Sunbeam on the wrapper.
  • Announcing the opening of a Brewer’s Retail at Port Severn June 1st.
  • Midland Citizens Band will perform in their new uniforms Tuesday evening when they march from the band hall at Dominion and Midland Avenues to the Parkside Inn where they will perform concert.
  • Highways Minister James Allan has let tenders for the grading, culverts and granular base on Highway 103 from Waubaushene to Port Severn. Contractors are now engaged in re-surfacing Highway 12 between Waubaushene and Midland and into Port McNicoll.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – May 24th to 31st 1956

Click on images to enlarge

1994 0132 0069 Msgr Castex 85th Monsignor Castex celebrates his 60th anniversary in the priesthood. Over 100 clergy of the Roman Catholic Church attended. Most Rev. B. I. Webster, D.D. Bishop of Peterborough, Rt. Rev. J. M. Castex, James Cardinal McGuigan of Toronto and Rt. Rev. E. Brennan Toronto, toastmaster.

 1994 0132 0067 Msgr Castex 85 year old Monsignor Castex at a reception for his 60th Anniversary in the priesthood. Chatting with Crown Attorney Wm. Thompson, QC. (Monsignor Castex died in 1971 at age 99.)

1994 0132 0047 Foundry PartyMr. A. L. Fitzgerald’s retirement as superintendent of Beatty Bros. Foundry. Mr. Fitzgerald is speaking to Alf Atkins, on left, one of three men who were working at Beatty Bros. when Mr. Fitzgerald started 32 years ago. The other two were Jack Russell and Archie Cote.

2006 0020 2300 Girl Guide Cookies. Doreen Moreau, 2nd Midland Guides, Mrs. Thomas Shaughnessy district commissioner and Ann Davidson 3rd Midland Brownie Pack get ready for the annual event which takes place in Midland this Saturday.

 2006 0020 1845 Looking deserted because of the unseasonable weather is John Deako’s (Johnny fries) new park store at Little Lake. All cement block construction is a big improvement over the wooden booth that occupied the site for many years. Band shell in the background.

 2006 0020 2288 Seventy year old Mrs. Midas King was found by her son Clifford at Basswood Point on Gloucester Pool Channel early Sunday afternoon. Wet from the rain and wearing only her underclothes and no shoes she was found some eight air miles from her home, she had been missing for over 48 hours.

 2006 0020 2318 Searchers helping to locate Mrs. Midas King, nee Simons, near Honey Harbour over the weekend. Soldiers from Base Borden, local police, neighbours and relatives all tromped the wet bush between Honey Harbour and Gloucester Pool. Mrs. King had been spotted twice over the three days in the area of the new Trans Canada Highway and was finally found by her son Clifford near Gloucester Pool Channel. Andy Simons Mrs. Kings brother, Adam King, Mrs. Dave Tobey (a sister), Mrs. Violet Simons and Larry Simons.

 2006 0020 2285 Sixty-six members of the RCASC  (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps) School at Camp Borden regroup to resume the search for Mrs. Midas King along the route of the new Trans Canada Highway north of Port Severn.

 2006 0020 2279Excavator owned by contractor Thomas G. Wilcox & Sons loads waiting dump trucks as they prepare the site of the new municipal building on Dominion Ave.

 2006 0020 2461 Top athletes at MPDHS honoured at an awards banquet in the new cafeteria Thursday night. Marlene Gouett was the top girls athlete and Mel Windover the most valuable player on the senior boys basketball team.

 2006 0020 2295 Five MPDHS athletes receive their letter at the athletic dinner Thursday night. Letter awards are based on an accumulation of points over your high school career. Carol Cowan, Judy McIntyre, Frank Holmes, Bob Marshall and Bruce Calvert. Not present, Angela Cronin.

 2006 0020 2294 Donna Kinnear (Mrs. Jim Nicholson) receives the J. J. Robins trophy for competition between Georgian Bay Schools junior basketball teams from Mr. Robins the former MDHS principal. Donna is the captain of the Midland team which won this past season. Since first awarded in 1935-36 Midland has won it all but six times.

 2006 0020 2315 Result of a crash on Bay Street early Saturday morning, two identical model cars with near identical damage. Total cost was estimated at $1,400.00 by Midland police. 

  • Midland council OK’s $27,000.00 contract to repave Kings Street from the town limits to the CNR tracks; from King west on Yonge to Fifth; from King west on Bay to Fourth and thence north to the junction of Vinden Street and the county road. Brennan Paving Co. will begin immediately as they are now completing the paving of Highway 27 from Wyebridge to Elmvale.
  • Three seaman’s unions sign new wage agreement with the Lake Carriers Association after a nine day strike. 5,000 men are affected by the new agreement that sees the monthly rate for a deckhand go from $190 to $284.
  • Tourist promotion fizzles, 21 Midland merchants met a week ago and enthusiastically called for a promotion planning meeting Thursday morning but only four members showed up.
  • Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers members plant five thousand Scots Pine and one thousand permanent trees including Larch and White Pine on their new club site below the Martyr’s Shrine.
  • Tomato plants and a good selection of annuals for sale at Vivian Gardens, 365 Hugel Ave. W.
  • Waitresses wanted, both full time and summer help, Totem Pole, Penetang.
  • Last of a series of narratives written by Rev. James Evans, a Methodist missionary, 120 years ago. “Called to Council, the Ottawa’s and Chippewa’s , each of whom claimed the Munnedoolin Island, relinquished the same on condition that the Governor should secure it to both and their heirs forever. It was likewise proposed that the Chippewa’s from Saugeeng should relinquish all title to their extensive territory on Lake Huron, retaining only the peninsula between the said lake and the Georgian Bay, the line to commence at the bottom of Owen’s Sound and to extend directly across the peninsula. Thus the Indians again were removed from the spot to them dearest on earth and constrained to give place to those who, receiving greater encouragement, make consequently greater improvement.” Rev. James Evans took exception to a great many statements in Sir Francis Head’s official reports regarding these transactions and published a series of articles in the April 11 and May 9, 1838 issues of the Christian Guardian.
  • For the first time in the history of organized ski competitions in Canada, one club has been granted the Canadian Championship two years running. Midland Ski Resorts Limited will again host the Canadian ski jumping contests February 23 and 24, 1957.
  • Ten Years Ago – 1946- A Tiger Moth plane, en route from Oshawa to the Muskoka Airport, made a forced landing in the field back of Regent School; The Small Holdings Branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced the purchase of the 43 acre M. J. McCullough farm on Highway 12 (Yonge Street) west of Midland. The land was to sub-divided into 2 acre lots for a veteran’s housing development; Midland High School track star Doug Kettle captured three firsts in an Ontario Athletic Commission meet at Geneva Park, Orillia. With entry limited to three events, Doug chose high jump, running broad and hop step and jump, easily winning all three; The SS Capt. George Hindman ran aground on a sand bar at the entrance to Midland harbour; Henry Gauthier, 34 year old Penetang veteran, was appointed Indian agent at the Christian Island Reserve.
  • Cartoon section of this weeks paper includes Blondie, Muggs and Skeeter, Elsworth and POGO.
  • Over 400 attend the unveiling Sunday afternoon in Bradford the plaque honouring Prof. W. H. Day. originator of the Holland Marsh.
  • Midland Council orders dog catcher Jos. Proulx to crack down on dogs running loose. Any dog unclaimed within 24 hours will be destroyed.
  • Deaths on Simcoe County roads totalled 45 in 1955 and 1,111 provincially. (In 2015 there were 299 deaths on OPP patrolled roads in Ontario. There were 1.5 million vehicles registered in Ontario in 1955, in 2015 there were 11.5 million.)
  • Penetang Bottling Co. Ltd. announces the new “King-Size” bottle. King-Size, 6 bottles for 41 cents and Standard-Size, 6 bottles for 36 cents (plus deposit). Actual volume of the bottles is not given in the ad.
  • Boyce Garage at 190 Dominion Ave E. is advertising the new Studebaker models.
  • 87% of Ontario farms are served by electricity in 1956
  • Anthony Van Steedon, 41, captain of Toronto furrier Jack Creed’s luxury yacht drowns in the Haystack Rapids on the Musquosh River, local Capt. T. O. Light survives as their small boat capsizes.

Click on images to enlarge

1994 0132 0069 Msgr Castex 85th Monsignor Castex celebrates his 60th anniversary in the priesthood. Over 100 clergy of the Roman Catholic Church attended. Most Rev. B. I. Webster, D.D. Bishop of Peterborough, Rt. Rev. J. M. Castex, James Cardinal McGuigan of Toronto and Rt. Rev. E. Brennan Toronto, toastmaster.

 1994 0132 0067 Msgr Castex 85 year old Monsignor Castex at a reception for his 60th Anniversary in the priesthood. Chatting with Crown Attorney Wm. Thompson, QC. (Monsignor Castex died in 1971 at age 99.)

1994 0132 0047 Foundry PartyMr. A. L. Fitzgerald’s retirement as superintendent of Beatty Bros. Foundry. Mr. Fitzgerald is speaking to Alf Atkins, on left, one of three men who were working at Beatty Bros. when Mr. Fitzgerald started 32 years ago. The other two were Jack Russell and Archie Cote.

2006 0020 2300 Girl Guide Cookies. Doreen Moreau, 2nd Midland Guides, Mrs. Thomas Shaughnessy district commissioner and Ann Davidson 3rd Midland Brownie Pack get ready for the annual event which takes place in Midland this Saturday.

 2006 0020 1845 Looking deserted because of the unseasonable weather is John Deako’s (Johnny fries) new park store at Little Lake. All cement block construction is a big improvement over the wooden booth that occupied the site for many years. Band shell in the background.

 2006 0020 2288 Seventy year old Mrs. Midas King was found by her son Clifford at Basswood Point on Gloucester Pool Channel early Sunday afternoon. Wet from the rain and wearing only her underclothes and no shoes she was found some eight air miles from her home, she had been missing for over 48 hours.

 2006 0020 2318 Searchers helping to locate Mrs. Midas King, nee Simons, near Honey Harbour over the weekend. Soldiers from Base Borden, local police, neighbours and relatives all tromped the wet bush between Honey Harbour and Gloucester Pool. Mrs. King had been spotted twice over the three days in the area of the new Trans Canada Highway and was finally found by her son Clifford near Gloucester Pool Channel. Andy Simons Mrs. Kings brother, Adam King, Mrs. Dave Tobey (a sister), Mrs. Violet Simons and Larry Simons.

 2006 0020 2285 Sixty-six members of the RCASC  (Royal Canadian Army Service Corps) School at Camp Borden regroup to resume the search for Mrs. Midas King along the route of the new Trans Canada Highway north of Port Severn.

 2006 0020 2279Excavator owned by contractor Thomas G. Wilcox & Sons loads waiting dump trucks as they prepare the site of the new municipal building on Dominion Ave.

 2006 0020 2461 Top athletes at MPDHS honoured at an awards banquet in the new cafeteria Thursday night. Marlene Gouett was the top girls athlete and Mel Windover the most valuable player on the senior boys basketball team.

 2006 0020 2295 Five MPDHS athletes receive their letter at the athletic dinner Thursday night. Letter awards are based on an accumulation of points over your high school career. Carol Cowan, Judy McIntyre, Frank Holmes, Bob Marshall and Bruce Calvert. Not present, Angela Cronin.

 2006 0020 2294 Donna Kinnear (Mrs. Jim Nicholson) receives the J. J. Robins trophy for competition between Georgian Bay Schools junior basketball teams from Mr. Robins the former MDHS principal. Donna is the captain of the Midland team which won this past season. Since first awarded in 1935-36 Midland has won it all but six times.

 2006 0020 2315 Result of a crash on Bay Street early Saturday morning, two identical model cars with near identical damage. Total cost was estimated at $1,400.00 by Midland police. 

  • Midland council OK’s $27,000.00 contract to repave Kings Street from the town limits to the CNR tracks; from King west on Yonge to Fifth; from King west on Bay to Fourth and thence north to the junction of Vinden Street and the county road. Brennan Paving Co. will begin immediately as they are now completing the paving of Highway 27 from Wyebridge to Elmvale.
  • Three seaman’s unions sign new wage agreement with the Lake Carriers Association after a nine day strike. 5,000 men are affected by the new agreement that sees the monthly rate for a deckhand go from $190 to $284.
  • Tourist promotion fizzles, 21 Midland merchants met a week ago and enthusiastically called for a promotion planning meeting Thursday morning but only four members showed up.
  • Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers members plant five thousand Scots Pine and one thousand permanent trees including Larch and White Pine on their new club site below the Martyr’s Shrine.
  • Tomato plants and a good selection of annuals for sale at Vivian Gardens, 365 Hugel Ave. W.
  • Waitresses wanted, both full time and summer help, Totem Pole, Penetang.
  • Last of a series of narratives written by Rev. James Evans, a Methodist missionary, 120 years ago. “Called to Council, the Ottawa’s and Chippewa’s , each of whom claimed the Munnedoolin Island, relinquished the same on condition that the Governor should secure it to both and their heirs forever. It was likewise proposed that the Chippewa’s from Saugeeng should relinquish all title to their extensive territory on Lake Huron, retaining only the peninsula between the said lake and the Georgian Bay, the line to commence at the bottom of Owen’s Sound and to extend directly across the peninsula. Thus the Indians again were removed from the spot to them dearest on earth and constrained to give place to those who, receiving greater encouragement, make consequently greater improvement.” Rev. James Evans took exception to a great many statements in Sir Francis Head’s official reports regarding these transactions and published a series of articles in the April 11 and May 9, 1838 issues of the Christian Guardian.
  • For the first time in the history of organized ski competitions in Canada, one club has been granted the Canadian Championship two years running. Midland Ski Resorts Limited will again host the Canadian ski jumping contests February 23 and 24, 1957.
  • Ten Years Ago – 1946- A Tiger Moth plane, en route from Oshawa to the Muskoka Airport, made a forced landing in the field back of Regent School; The Small Holdings Branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced the purchase of the 43 acre M. J. McCullough farm on Highway 12 (Yonge Street) west of Midland. The land was to sub-divided into 2 acre lots for a veteran’s housing development; Midland High School track star Doug Kettle captured three firsts in an Ontario Athletic Commission meet at Geneva Park, Orillia. With entry limited to three events, Doug chose high jump, running broad and hop step and jump, easily winning all three; The SS Capt. George Hindman ran aground on a sand bar at the entrance to Midland harbour; Henry Gauthier, 34 year old Penetang veteran, was appointed Indian agent at the Christian Island Reserve.
  • Cartoon section of this weeks paper includes Blondie, Muggs and Skeeter, Elsworth and POGO.
  • Over 400 attend the unveiling Sunday afternoon in Bradford the plaque honouring Prof. W. H. Day. originator of the Holland Marsh.
  • Midland Council orders dog catcher Jos. Proulx to crack down on dogs running loose. Any dog unclaimed within 24 hours will be destroyed.
  • Deaths on Simcoe County roads totalled 45 in 1955 and 1,111 provincially. (In 2015 there were 299 deaths on OPP patrolled roads in Ontario. There were 1.5 million vehicles registered in Ontario in 1955, in 2015 there were 11.5 million.)
  • Penetang Bottling Co. Ltd. announces the new “King-Size” bottle. King-Size, 6 bottles for 41 cents and Standard-Size, 6 bottles for 36 cents (plus deposit). Actual volume of the bottles is not given in the ad.
  • Boyce Garage at 190 Dominion Ave E. is advertising the new Studebaker models.
  • 87% of Ontario farms are served by electricity in 1956
  • Anthony Van Steedon, 41, captain of Toronto furrier Jack Creed’s luxury yacht drowns in the Haystack Rapids on the Musquosh River, local Capt. T. O. Light survives as their small boat capsizes.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – May 8th to 15th 1956


Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2382 Girls Corps at MPDHS marched on the field during the annual cadet inspection on what was a very cold afternoon for shorts and a blouse. Leaders of the corps; front row, Sylvia White, Vera Sibbald, Simone Beauchamp, Betty Binkley, Doris Hyde, Murielle Martin; back row, Marie Lepage, Jean King, Hazel Boucher, Lucille Duquette, Ruth Gibson and Marita Lalonde. (Short hair was in)

 2006 0020 2385 Dancing around the Maypole was one of the highlights featured during a program in the MPDHS gym following the annual cadet inspection Wednesday afternoon. Performers included, Ann Williams, Carol Cowan, Trine Ulrichsen, Kathleen Vincent, Nancy Jardine, Helen Parker, Linda Contois, Pat Fraser, JoAnn Holmes, Diane Ball, Ruth Humphries, Pat Fitzgerald, Dorthea Reynolds, Barbara Piitz, Jackie Jenkinson and Frances Marchant, directed by Miss Barbara Murphy.

 2006 0020 2358Getting bigger every year, the MPDHS Cadet Corps is seen at their annual inspection on the playing field of the school. Some cadets had to appear in partial uniform due to the increase in numbers. At a meeting the same day a motion was approved to increase the size of the corps from 235 to 350. The  Girls Corp can be seen in white sweaters to the right. Also attending was the Midland Citizens Band and a platoon of Sea Cadets. (Many of the houses in the background along Yonge St. were constructed by military veterans of WW 11 under the Veteran’s Land Act of 1942. Over 140,000 ex-servicemen took advantage of the low cost long term loans. Recently a new subdivision was started on the vacant property shown here and the heavy hardwood bush that grew up on this open field over 60 years was cut down. Also note the ski jump towering on the horizon.)

2006 0020 2360 A feature of the annual cadet inspection at MPDHS was a gymnastics display under the direction of instructor Doug Swales. Mel Windover and Gary Baker are seen flying over six of their mates.

 2006 0020 2388 Philip Arbour Post Master at Victoria Harbour for the past 28 years, right, has reached retirement age. A Harbour resident for 60 years Mr. Arbour meets with Ken Pelletier his successor.

 2006 0020 1742 Field secretary for the CNIB, Wm. Murdoch, Mrs. A. H. Tweedle, past president of the Midland Canadian Club and Doug McMillan, president of the Unamous Hi-Y Boys, chat after Mrs. Tweedle had officially opened the boys tea in the YMCA Saturday afternoon. The tea and bake sale funds were donated to the CNIB. ( I suspect this photo is reversed as four people appear to be left handed.)

 2006 0020 1843 A familiar landmark at Midland’s Little Lake Park the old log cabin is being removed completely. A gift from the late Dr. Garnett E. Tanner, it served as the post office for the campers for a number of years and was then made into living quarters.

 2006 0020 2386Mike Dion of the Columbus Jets gets a hit as the season gets underway for Midland Lions Club Little Baseball League. Catcher for the Montreal Royals is Johnny Thomas and the umpire is Fred Scott.

 1994 0132 0032 Coke Plant

1994 0132 0030 Coke Plant

1994 0132 0031 Coke Plant

1994 0132 0029 Coke Plant Huge new bottling machine installed recently at the Penetang Bottling Co. turns out soft drinks at the rate of 240 cases an hour, a 50 percent increase over previous equipment. Process starts with the top photo where Ed Charlesbois is shown putting full cases of bottles onto the endless belt which takes them through the washer. A pneumatic machine lifts all 24 bottles from the case at one time. The delivery end of the washer is shown in the second photo, where bottles travel past an inspection point with Mrs. Phillip Quesnelle (nee Exilda Contois) shown searching for dirty, chipped or broken bottles.  Heart of the whole machine, third photo, is where the bottles receive a charge of syrup, then a charge of water and carbonation and finally the all important cap. The last photo is the delivery line where half way along the mixer turns the bottles over and over to thoroughly mix the contents. At the far end Martin Quigley takes the bottles from a turntable and places them into a case for delivery.

 2006 0020 2393 Official sod turning for Midland’s new municipal building on Dominion Ave, former site of Central Public School. Mayor Charles Parker did the honours about 5:15 PM Monday evening using a gold or was it bronze handled shovel. James Clarkson, H. G. W. Paice, L. R. Diver, Neville Keefe, Mrs. Paice, Mrs. Ross Willett (Pat Carroll), Robert Cripps, alderman Ossie Downer, Charles Onley, Clint Smith, Bill Logan, R.G. Gilles, contractor Alfred Rei and deputy reeve Bill Cranston.

 2006 0020 2391 Seventeen teen aged drivers turned out to take the Midland Jaycee’s Road-e-o course at the town dock. Drivers had to complete various maneuvers and tests during the competition, a large crowd turned out despite the poor weather.  Norm Eisenberg was the overall winner and will advance to the regional finals in Woodstock. 

  • Commencing May 25th Penetang stores will be open late Friday nights instead of Saturday.
  • Workmen’s Compensation premiums to become mandatory for retailers, January 1, 1957.
  • 25 YEARS AGO this week– Canadian Department Stores celebrating its third year of operation in Midland, employed a staff of fourteen under management of Larry Barnum and was located at Bay and King Streets. — Midland Steam Laundry and Bon Marche Manufacturing Company, owned and operated by N. K. Wagg, re-opened with modern equipment following a fire which destroyed the former plants. — The Ontario Government decided to proceed with construction of two buildings for the mentally insane at Penetang at a cost of $500,000.00 and planned removal of all criminally insane from Guelph to Penetang, leaving Guelph to be used as a reformatory for first offenders. — James Hamilton died at Orr Lake at 90 years of age on the farm owned by his father and operated as a wayside inn for travellers in the district’s pioneer days (Penetanguishene Road). — Midland Kiwanis Club provided more than 10,000 bottles of milk to various Midland schools and 30 members undertook supervision of 30 boys as part of their good citizenship training.
  • Excerpt from a narrative written by Methodist missionary Rev. James Evans which first appeared in the Christian Guardian September 28th, 1836 and was re-published in eight parts in the County Herald under the title “Mission Tour on Lake Huron”. Monday August the 8th Munnedoolin Island: This morning the ground, excepting the bark wigwaums and red faces reminded one of a fair in the happiest of lands; — all astir, walking, running and in high glee. But there is one difference which has been a subject of remark among us – that among about 2,000 adults, we have never heard an angry word, or seen an angry look; much less have any of them come to blows, either in anger or diversion. About sixteen hundred men, women and children received their presents from the British Government. In this manner the Indians were annually supplied with clothing and many had spent nearly the whole summer months in journeying to the place of distribution. What was distributed; Deserving Chiefs, 2 1/2 yds woolen cloth, 1/2 yd stroud (a course woolen fabric), 3 yds linen, 1 three point blanket, 1 cotton shawl, 1 oz thread, 4 needles, 1 comb, 1 awl, 1 knife, 4 lbs tobacco, 3 lbs ball, 9 lbs shot, 4 lbs powder, 6 gun flints and if needed a gun. Deserving Warriors: 2 1/2 yds rateen (a course loosely woven cloth), 2 1/2 yds cotton, 1/2 oz thread, 3 lbs tobacco, 2 lbs ball, 7 lbs shot, 3 lbs powder, 4 flints and 1 blanket. Common Warriors: Same as last except 1 lb less tobacco. Deserving Women (being the wives of chiefs or warriors who had been in actual service during the late war): One 2 1/2 point blanket, 2 1/2 yds cloth, 1 1/4 yds molton ( a twill fabric with a velvet like nap on one side) , 2 1/2 yds printed calico, 1 oz thread, 4 needles, 1 awl, 1 knife and 1 comb. The remainder of the women received the same except lesser quantities. Boys from 10 to 15 years of age: One two point blanket, 1/2 yard rateen, 1/2 yd stroud, 2 yds cotton. Boys from 5 to 9 years of age: 3/4 yd caddies (?), 1/4 yd stroud, 1 1/2 yds cotton and one 1 point and a half blanket. Girls 10 to 15 years of age: 3/4 yard caddies, 1 1/4 yd stroud, one 2 point blanket and 2 yds calico. Girls 5 to 9 yers of age: 1/2 yd caddies, 3/4 yd stroud, 1 1/2 yd calico and one point and a half blanket. Children under 5: 1/2 yd stroud, 1 yd calico and one 1 point blanket.  Pork and flour was also distributed to all.
  • Description of Hudson Bay Point Blankets from Wikipedia: The short black lines woven into the blanket just above the bottom set of stripes are referred to as “points.” About four inches in length (except in the case of half points, which are two inches), they indicate the finished overall size (area) of a blanket and allow a blanket’s size to be easily determined while remaining folded. The “point” system was invented by French weavers in the mid-18th-century since then, as now, blankets were shrunk as part of the manufacturing process. The word point derives from the French empointer, meaning “to make threaded stitches on cloth.” Although the company had been selling blankets since its founding in 1670, the first Hudson’s Bay “pointed” blankets appeared in 1780. A four point blanket today is approximately a double bed size.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – April 16th to 30th 1956


Click on photos to enlarge

2006 0020 2202IGA grocery store promotion of fresh Florida oranges comes to Regent Public School. Ruth Newman, Miss Florida Sunshine, distributes oranges to every child in Midland primary classes. Brenda Dalziel and Shirley Hornsby and teachers Bill Barnett and Mac Wilson watch from behind.

 2006 0020 2205 Mrs. M. Adamson celebrating her 85th birthday on April 12. She has been a Midland resident for 20 years.

 2006 0020 2204 Hero of Dieppe where he won the V.C., Major John W. Foote, minister of Reform Institutions for Ontario has agreed to establish a pilot project for a conservation farm in North Simcoe at a meeting in Midland Thursday night. Greeted here in the Midtown Motel by Simcoe North MPP Lloyd Letherby of Coldwater, left, and Reeve Fisher Ganton, center, whose Medonte Township is ideal for the project. This is a reform school for juvenile delinquents, know to us as Camp Hillsdale.

 2006 0020 2225Eugene Ladoucer, left Midland for British Columbia in 1907 and this is his first trip back home since then. He visits with his brother Peter, on the right,  of 173 Lindsay Street. A sister, Jenny,  Mrs. Joe Lefaive of Perkinsfield was surprised to see her brother. The three are the only survivors of 5 boys and four girls of Mr. & Mrs. Eugene Ladoucer Sr., originally from Cedar Point. Eugene has had his own cattle ranch near Kamloops most of his working life.

 2006 0020 2229Young players from MPDHS perform the play “Happy Journey” in the hall at St. Paul’s United Church part of a district high school drama festival. Patsy Perrin greets bride and groom Vera Sibbald and Dennis Murphy and their attendants in the back seat, Anne Shiels and Frank Okenka.

 2006 0020 2264 “Happy Journey” had a happy ending Friday night for these students from MPDHS when their play won the top award in the Georgian Bay Drama Festival staged at St. Paul’s auditorium. Dennis Murphy, Frank Okenka, Anne Shiels, Wayne Parker, Patsy Perrin and Vera Sibbald.

 2006 0020 2230 Three area sightless citizens are seen at the Midland YMCA receiving knitting instruction from Miss Emily Philpott of the Barrie CNIB office. Meetings are held every two weeks. Seated are; Mrs. George Smallwood, Midland; Miss Georgina Robitaille, Penetang; Miss Cassie Campbell, Midland.

 2006 0020 2262 John Fraser, veteran Scottish baker loves living and working in Midland. John came here in 1924 and worked for A. W. Ruby. When Ruby sold to Ontario Bakers John moved to Timmins returning in 1926 when Ruby got back into business. He worked in Toronto during the war returning to Midland he worked for Art Fry, Stoneburghs and finally Burnies on Elizabeth Street.


2006 0020 2268 1950 model car pulled from the bay Sunday at the Simcoe Elevator slip. Owned by Leonard Archer of Elmvale who had parked it 66 feet away from the water while he visited a friend on board a freighter only to be notified it had rolled into the bay. The ship crushed the roof as it moved away from the dock and the car is a right off. The location is behind Boyd’s service station on the south east corner of Yonge and King Streets. Good view of the entrance to Wagg’s Laundry on Yonge Street. 

  • Permanent paving coming for Penetang streets. Province to fund 50% of the five mile project and 80% of the replacement of the bridge over Copeland Creek. Councillor Ray MacDonald explained that doing a larger project reduced the cost and that a 20 year debenture would be used. It currently costs $4,500.00 per year to oil the streets.
  • Shirley Ann Thompson, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Robert Thompson, Midland, marries James Albert Park, son of Mrs. and the late J. H. Park, Midland. The flower girl was the grooms niece Mary Jane Park. March 24th at the Calvary Baptist Church, Midland.
  • $15,000.00 bequest from the estate of Emily A. Bryson gives hope that St. Andrew’s Hospital may break even this year.
  • Public Utilities Commission in Midland studies a proposal to meter water to town residents.
  • Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers plans to proceed with scheduled projects on its 50 acre property below the Shrine, President Bill Russell revealed. Plans include a club house, trout ponds and reforestation.
  • Construction started on Wednesday April 18th of the new County Aged Home by local contractor W. G. How, estimated cost, $275,000.00. Emery Electric will do the electrical, George Price & Co. of Coldwater the plumbing, W. Lalonde of Midland will do the painting and decorating. Percy Crawford of Midland will superintend the project.
  • Polio shots available to all elementary students in the County this year, with parental consent.
  • Mostyn’s advertising two stores to serve you, 234 and 238 King Street.
  • Hay selling for $20 to $25 per ton this spring in North Simcoe.
  • Public Notice – Parking meters will be in operation in Midland, Monday, April 30th. (they still put them away every winter)
  • Door to door peanut canvas by the Midland Y’s Men’s Club to raise money for playground equipment.
  • Public Notice – All putrid and decaying animal or vegetable matter shall be removed from all cellars, buildings, out-buildings and yards on or before the 1st day of May each year. Simcoe County Board of Health
  • Midland Community Concert Association holds last event Monday night, advent of television blamed for declining numbers. Soprano Ethel Barrymore Colt headlined the final event.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back  60 Years ago in North Simcoe – April 8th to 15th 1956


Click on photo to enlarge

2006 0020 2181 With several of her sister ships, CSL’s Stadacona ploughed her way through thick ice fields Thursday and headed for the lakehead. The Georgian Bay cleared Port McNicoll harbour at 5:00 PM Wednesday. One ship is already reported Midland bound with grain for the empty elevators.

 2006 0020 2185 Midland’s only championship winning hockey team this season is seen in the lobby of the Georgian Hotel having just returned from Parry Sound Saturday night. They won the junior OHA section of the provincial Little Hockey League finals. Front row, Bill Argue, Doug Scott, Cecil Merkley, Jim Cleaver, Mike Dubeau; seated on chesterfield, Barry McIlvarey, Willard Perrault, Jim Dubeau, John Swan captain, Dennis Abbott, Wayne Holden, Chester Graham; standing, Jerry Beteau, Morley Bath, Paul Devillers, Herbie Wright and Doug Faint. Men at rear, Rev. Len Self, Jack Doughty, Clare Holden and Jack Gouett. 

2006 0020 2186Joanne Cruise, dressed up as a lady bug for the Midland Figure Skating Club’s annual carnival sponsored by the Midland Lions Club.