Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – March 1st to 7th 1957

Click on photos to enlarge  Passenger train derails near Tiffin Elevator Wednesday March 6th, at 2 p.m. Train 603 was backing into Midland after turning on the wye at the Old Fort. Combination car #13747 was derailed and struck a nearby boxcar. There were no injuries to the crew or four passengers. This car was carrying bagged mail that can be seen being unloaded.

  Only a few of the nearly 500 reasons Midland’s Arena Gardens should be jammed to the roof for “Young Canada Night” this Thursday. Ice time and equipment costs are soaring this season for boys from the surrounding area in the league sponsored by the Midland Lions Club and the Penetang Recreation Council. Director of the league Len Self needs a good turnout if they are to come close to balancing the books this year.

  Two year old Charles Morden  of 280 Yonge Street seems to feel he has been the victim of a rather underhanded trick during the Polio vaccination clinic held at the Midland Armory. By the time Mrs. Morden and “Chuck” get to the door of the Armory he has almost forgotten about it.

 Mrs. Martin Robitaille, RR #2 Midland (their farm house stood where the current Midland Power Utilities office is located on Hwy 12 and Les Barber Blvd.), registers Linda and Gary for Polio shots at the clinic held in the Midland Armory. Simcoe County Health Unit nurses are Mrs. Dorothy Carpenter and Mrs. Bets Lemay.

  CSL’s Ashcroft appears to have a king sized smoke stack. The bulk freighter was undergoing a pre-season overhaul at the Midland Shipyard as the yard’s crane lowers a new stack lining into the main funnel.

  Shop work, both metal and wood, is a popular subject among the boys at MPDHS. “Dick” R. C. Moffatt, shop teacher, watches Neil French cut a thread on one of the machine lathes.

  Mr. & Mrs. Tom Gilbert, 143 Sixth Street seemed pleased with the workbook of their son Danny during the recent re-opening of St. Mary’s Separate School following a fire last November.

  Mrs. Frank Bray (Doreen), wife of the chairman of the Midland Public Schools Board, Frank Bray, receives flowers from Mary Yon and Raymond Cote. The presentation was an expression of thanks by St. Mary’s School for the accommodation extended by the public schools following a fire at St. Mary’s last November.

  Five year old Peggy Bray of Midland sits proudly on the bike she won with this six inch perch caught at the junior fishing derby of the Penetang Winter Carnival . Fish was the only one caught within the time limit. Peggy is the daughter of Frank and Doreen Bray.

  Two time winner of the Penetang Winter Carnival trap-shoot is Dr. Jim Fitzgerald, Burlington, son of Mr. & Mrs. A. L. Fitzgerald, Penetang. He is seen here receiving a new shotgun, first prize, from Lorraine Lacroix, carnival queen.

  These nimrods had a gay time banging away at clay pigeons in last year’s trap shooting contest at Penetang’s Winter Carnival. Saturday morning the winter wonderland trap shooting, contest will get under way at the 1957 carnival. Second from right in the  photo is A. L. Fitzgerald, veteran sportsman and one of the key figures behind the organization of the trap shoot. 



  Lorraine Lacroix, chosen queen of the Penetang Winter Carnival last Friday is pictured with her two ladies in waiting. Peggy Couling on the left and Theresa Maurice. They made a triumphant tour of Penetang with a police escort following the crowning at the Pen Theatre.

  • Another of Midland’s pioneer residents, Mrs. Albert W. Ruby died Feb. 26 at her home on Midland Avenue. She had been ill for about a year. Funeral service was held March 1 at A. Barrie and Sons funeral home with internment in Lakeview Cemetery. Rev. W. R. Auld officiated. Pallbearers were Albert Ruby, John Walter, Frederick White, Edward Parker, Floyd Scovell and George S. Dudley, Q.C. Mrs. Ruby, the former Margaret Selina Jelly, was born Aug. 13, 1873, in Shelburne, Ontario, and lived there until 1898, when she moved to Midland, as milliner for the late Christina MacLeod. In September, 1900, she married A. W. Ruby in Shelburne. A member of St. Paul’s United Church, she was an active  worker in all the church societies and was one of the first members of the Women’s Auxiliary of the YMCA. She also took an interest in the Hospital  Auxiliary until ill health caused her to give it up. With the late Mrs. W. D. Ross, she was in charge of the linens of the hospital for many years. Predeceased by her husband  and one daughter Lois, Mrs. Ruby is survived by two sons, Sargent of Midland and Walling of Toronto; two daughters, Shirley of Midland and Ruth of Little Falls, N.Y.; two brothers, Andrew Jelly of Midland and James of Collingwood; and two sisters, Mrs. Harry White (Matilda) of Shelburne and Mrs. M. J. Muter (Edyth) of Toronto.
  • Funeral service for Adelard Beriault, Penetang, was held Tuesday Feb. 19, at St. Ann’s Memorial Church. The body had rested at his home on Robert Street. Conducting the service was Father J. Marchand, assisted by Father McGough and J. Kelly. Mass was sung by Msgr. J. M. Castex. Internment was made in St. Ann’s Cemetery, and the pallbearers were Edmond Desrochers, Clilfford Moreau, Marcel Quesnelle, Ovila Desroches, Marcel Bellehumeur and Romeo Asselin.   Born in Penetang in 1883, Mr. Beriault had lived in Penetang throughout his whole life. A lumber grader, he married Elizabeth Quesnelle in Holy Cross Church, Lafontaine, 56 years ago.  Surviving besides his wife, are one son, Herman of Penetang and five daughters, Mrs. Robert Hodges (Margaret) Barrie; Mrs. Reaford McDonald (Elsie) Barrie, Mrs. Maurice Gourdeault (Marie) Montreal, Miss Leona Beriault, Montreal, and Miss Ethel Beriault, Camp Borden. There is also one sister, Mrs. Ella Mae Bonnin, Penetang, and 12 grandchildren.
  • The eleventh annual Midland Music Festival has over 600 entries and 1,000 participants.
  • “Anastasia” is playing at the Roxy with Yul Brynner and Ingrid Bergman.
  • Monsignor J. M. Castex blessed the re-modeled St. Mary’s School in Midland, Friday evening.
  • March 14th is the deadline to purchase your new vehicle licence plates and to renew your driver’s licence.
  • Just a matter of minutes after the time of Saturday’s fishing derby at Penetang Winter Carnival had been extended, Don Bulmer, R.R. 5, Barrie; pulled a 26-inch pike through a nine-inch hole in the ice to win a boat and outboard motor. Second prize went to the only other catch of the day, a salamander. [John Power commented on the salamander in his “Outdoor Diary” column saying that many people had never seen a “mud puppy”, his response, “have you looked”.]
  • Eight Goals by Don Wilcox Sets Scoring Pace in Canadiens 12-2 Victory. As close to three hundred fans on deck will readily testify, it certainly has been a long time since a Midland hockey team has packed such a potent scoring punch as Midland Canadiens unleashed at Arena Gardens last Saturday night. John Bourgeois scored two goals and Gord Brand and Al Arbour got singles.
  • Lorne Watson, photographer, is offering demonstrations of the new Polaroid Land cameras, your picture taken and finished in 60 seconds.
  • YMCA Camp “Kitchi” has had to turn away 100 applicants,  already have 1300 campers registered and 453 counselors and staff for the coming season.

March 10th Exhibition and Auction of Dennis Milton works found in storage


Press Release

Last works of Dennis Milton, which were held in storage until now, to be sold at auction at Huronia Museum on Friday, March 10, 2016

Last works of Dennis Milton on exhibit at Huronia Museum from February 24th to March 10th, 2017.

Midland ON, AUCTION March 10, 2017:

Exhibits of Milton’s work have taken place locally and across Ontario.  Trained in graphic design, Dennis is known for his flair for colour and abstract motifs.  He painted with acrylics, latex, liquid tempera and enamels.  His latter work focused more on landscape collages.

Dennis was born in 1950 in New Liskeard.  He travelled extensively throughout Ontario, lived in 30 different cities and towns, and has presented his art in Timmins, North Bay, Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Sault Ste. Marie and Midland.  Dennis found inspiration in life, being positive and seeing the beauty that surrounds us.  He was an avid gardener.  The works of Salvador Dali, Picasso and William Ronald were great influences on his art.

While painting always comprised a significant part of his life, Dennis supported himself working as a truck driver, farming assistant, a lift truck operator and a mechanic.  For the last 13 years of his working life, Dennis was employed by Wendat Community Programs as a van driver, peer support and drop-in centre worker.  He chose this last line of work as it meant something very personal to him.  Dennis suffered from a mental illness which landed him in a psychiatric hospital several times throughout his life.  Being able to give back, let others learn from his mistakes and from his successes was very rewarding for him.

Dennis passed away quietly at his home in Midland on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the age of 62.  He had been suffering from respiratory problems.

The auction of Dennis’ work to benefit Huronia Museum and Kingdom Hall Midland, will be on Friday, March 10th at 7pm at Huronia Museum (549 Little Lake Park Rd. Midland, Ontario) and is sponsored by Ferguson Barristers.

The Art Exhibit began Friday, February 24th and is sponsored by Corporate Solutions Inc.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – February 16th to 28th 1957

Click on photos to enlarge

 2006-0020-3125 Born within a mile of each other on Concession 1 of Flos, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Drinkill marked their golden wedding anniversary Tuesday. The celebration was held on the same farm where Mr. Drinkill was born 76 years ago on New Year’s Day. Mrs. Drinkill is the former Peggy Vollick, daughter of George Vollick. There are still Drinkill descendants living in the Waverly area.

2006-0020-3127 Sponsored by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, Midland branch, nearly 50 entries were received in this year’s poster contest. Three entrants won local honours and one a county award. Mrs. C. McElroy, Christian Reban, Wayne Farqhuar, Mrs. W. Farqhuar and Carolyn Bath.

 2006-0020-3557 2006-0020-3560 Fashions in ski togs will be featured at a showing in the Parkside Inn Saturday afternoon, in conjunction with the Dominion ski jumping championships to be held in Midland Sunday. The free fashion show will be sponsored by Irving’s of Montreal. Grace Edgar, bottom photo, prepares for the event by trying an outfit from the Wool Shop which features a red and black striped gabardine jacket with black wool trim, and navy worsted slacks. Above, Michael Milner chose another Wool Shop outfit with weatherproof all wool slacks and a pale blue gabardine jacket with matching cap.

2006-0020-3144One of these five young ladies will be named “Queen of Hearts” in the 9th annual “Queen” contest at Midland’s Roxy Theatre Thursday night. The winner receives a wrist watch, luggage and a chaperoned trip to Montreal, along with other gifts. All from MPDHS, the girls are, left to right, seated, Marita Lalonde, Judy Mclntyre; standing, Myrna Bannan, Sheila Barber and Peggy Couling. [Marita Lalonde of Penetang was the winner]

 2007-0021-0416 Ten girls still in the running for Penetang Winter Carnival Queen’s crown are shown at the close of the elimination contest Friday night at the Pen Theatre. Left to right, standing, Rosita Robitaille, Albertine Maurice, Peggy Couling, Lorraine Lacroix, Anne Dupuis. Seated, Sheila Barber, Nancy Somers, Sylvia White, Theresa Moreau, Margaret Butson.

 2006-0020-3154 Top honours in the Midland Lions Club oratorical contest held at MPDHS last week were won by the four students pictured. They will join two French speaking winners (Donald D’Aoust and Richard Gignac, photo in last weeks post) from the school in provincial finals next month. Jim Farmer and Sylvia Sylvey both of whom placed second in their class; and Ken Grant and Betty Binkley, judged top boy and top girl orators.

 2007-0021-0417 Tests with a new post-hole digger show that it is capable of drilling holes in the ice of Penetang Bay. Shown are Mil Starkins on the tractor, Bill Belrose, Marcel Bellehumeur, carnival chairman, and Len Zablotny.

 2006-0020-3142 So near and yet so far was the case too often Thursday for MPDHS senior girls’ basketball team. Too many shots hung on the rim, as the one above did, and Orillia claimed a 25-19 victory. Although students have a big new gym at MPDHS, none of the school’s five cage teams qualified for playoff action.

 2006-0020-3161These lads should be “real handy” around the home when they graduate from the woodworking classes at Midland’s Sacred Heart School. Both in grade 9, the boys are, John Doran, left, and Harvey Boyd. Tables and lawn chairs were on display at the school’s “open house”.

 2006-0020-3349 Jacques Charland of Trois-Rivières Quebec, has won his fourth straight Canadian senior men’s ski jumping championship at Midland Sunday. He also set a new hill record of 197 feet, 10 feet more than the previous mark. Freezing rain made things unpleasant for all.

2006-0020-3204This is the season for queens with three being crowned in a two week period. Jutta Keylwerth was chosen to reign over the 1957 Canadian ski jumping championships over the weekend. She is the 17 year old daughter of Mrs. Enya Keylwert of 194 Yonge Street. Jutta received her crown from Mrs. Dave Milner, the former Elaine Gerow, who was last year’s queen.

 2006-0020-3130 2006-0020-3132 Folk dancing is a popular feature of the girl’s physical education program at MPDHS. In the photos girls from 12C and 12 Commercial  are practicing a Jewish dance called the Mechol Ovadya and traditional square dancing.

 2006-0020-3156 The Roxy Theatre Trophy is presented annually to the MPDHS boy showing the highest qualities of fellowship, scholarship and sportsmanship. Joseph Huston received the trophy this year during the Queen of Hearts contest Thursday night. Theatre manager Al Perkins on the right acted as master of ceremonies and Jim Harrison, advertising manager of Odeon Theatres Canada presented the trophy.

 2006-0020-3139 Winners of the spelling competition in Simcoe County public school inspectorate #1 held at Parkview School, Midland, were Sandra Adam from Port McNicoll and Lieb Shulman of Parkview School. They will compete in the provincial finals in Toronto, part of Education Week in Ontario, March 3-9.

 2006-0020-3331 Queen of Hearts, Marita Lalonde of Penetang, receives train tickets and hotel reservations for herself and a chaperone prior to their departure for Montreal Friday. The queen’s trip was jointly sponsored by the Midland Free Press and the Roxy Theatre. Managing editor Wils Harrison on the left and theater manage Al Perkins.

   Brown haired and brown eyed, 17-year-old Marita is the new “Queen of Hearts” of Midland-Penetang District High School. Fifth youngest in a family of 13 children, Marita bested four other contestants in the finals held at Roxy Theatre last night.




  • Ski resort officials were predicting yesterday that if current fine weather continues through until Sunday, North Simcoe will see a record turn-out at Canadian National Jumping Championships Sunday. Thirty-seven of Canada’s top ski jumpers, including four men who have participated in Olympic competitions in past. (It rained)
  • The Ladies of St. Ann, Penetang, plan to use money earned from catering for a banquet to purchase new pots and pans to add to the modernized kitchen in the church basement. The banquet was served to some 200 members of Knights of Columbus in Laboreau Hall. Tables were decorated with snapdragons and daffodils.
  • (From the editorial page “Wise & Otherwise”) The town council of Orillia is to be heartily commended for its acquisition of the Brewery Bay home of Stephen Leacock, the manuscripts and books therein, and the other valuable artifacts which have linked that famous humorist to Simcoe County. This is outstanding example of civic enterprise in the field of historical conservation. Particular congratulations go to Orillia Alderman Pete McGarvey who has played no small role in this project.
  • Obituaries – MRS. A. BENSON, a resident of Midland for 55 years, Mrs. J . A. Benson died Feb. 2 in St. Andrews Hospital. She was 76. Rev. J. L. Self conducted the funeral service held Feb. 4 at Nicholls’ funeral home. Pallbearers were James Brechin, Doug Strathearn, J. W. Smith, James Playfair, Lorne Richard and Harry Creates. Dr. John McNab conducted, a service in Toronto, and burial was at the Necropolis, Toronto. Mrs. Benson, the former Mary Mabel Bowman, was born April 20, 1880, at Plainville, where she and James Albert Benson were married in 1902. A member of the Presbyterian Church, she was past president and a life member of the Women’s Missionary Society and a member of the Women’s Auxiliary. She was also a member of the YMCA Auxiliary. Surviving are her husband, Orma of Toronto, William of Acton, Harold of Midland, Mrs. H. A. Creates (Donna) of Willowdale. Sisters are Ella (Mrs. O. D. Barlow) and Ethel, (Mrs. M. J. (Brechin), both of Midland and nine grandchildren. —–BENJAMIN HENRY MOREAU died Feb. 5 at St. Andrews Hospital, of a coronary thrombosis. Rev. J . S. Howe officiated at the funeral service held at St. Mary’s Church, Victoria Harbour, Feb. 8. Temporary interment was at St. Ann’s mausoleum, Penetang. Pallbearers were Wilfred Bourgeois, Andrew Larmand, Willard Larmand, Dudley MacPherson Gough, Joseph Rooking and Raymond G. Souch. Born in 1926 at Victoria Harbour, he attended school there. He and Felicia Doherty were married in Toronto In 1947. Mr. Moreau was a member of the Roman Catholic Church. Surviving are his wife and children Nora, Felicia, Dawn and Colleen. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Philip Moreau, also survive, along with seven sisters, Mrs. Wilfred Bourgeois of Victoria Harbour, Mrs. Andrew Larmand of Victoria Harbour, Mrs. A. Belanger of Coniston, Mrs. W. J. Moreau of Victoria Harbour, Mrs. A. Ionish of Toronto and Mrs. Martin Forgie of Toronto; and five brothers, Geoffry, Lawrence and Tony of Victoria Harbour, Raymond of Midland and Thomas of Owen Sound.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK —- New officers for Penetang Kiwanis Club were installed. Officers for 1947 were Edgar Moreau, president; W. D. Duncan, vice-president; Bruce Stephens, treasurer; George Bryant, secretary; Dr. B. A. Blackwell, Douglas Hunter, R. S. Gauthier, Francis Light, W. H. Hewson, W. M. Thompson, Charles Smith, directors. —- Worst storm of the season swept Ontario, blocking roads between Midland and Toronto. Several Midland and Penetang citizens who had spent the weekend in the city were unable to return home Sunday night. Toronto bread trucks did not get through until Tuesday morning, when roads were opened. —— One-quarter of Midland’s primary and secondary school pupils were confined to their homes through an epidemic of influenza. Pupils in Penetang schools were not as severely affected by the epidemic. —– The Ontario government had approved a grant of $5,000 for archaeological excavations and investigations in Huronia. Further studies were to be made by Royal Ontario Museum staff members near Warminster and at the Huron Ossossane ossuary in Tiny Township. —– Exploratory moves were under way to establish a joint district high school for Midland, Penetang, Tiny and Tay Townships, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour and Waubaushene (MPDHS). —— Abe Moses, prominent Penetang businessman died. His first business venture was the old Georgian Bay Hotel, Penetang, which burned in July, 1926. Hunting and horses were his two main interests.
  • From the editorial page “Wise and Otherwise”; The Ottawa Liberal administration spent $900,000 of Canadian taxpayers’ money last year to buy several European paintings, this at a time when $100 million is being set aside to subsidize the arts in this country. Consistency, thy name is not always politics.
  • Those black “harbingers” of spring are making themselves heard around Midland. Harold Benson, service station operator on Highway 12 on the outskirts of Midland, said he saw a crow Monday about 3.25 p.m. Mild weather Monday and Tuesday and accompanying heavy rains have melted most of the snow in the district. The weatherman, however, predicts cold weather will take over again. (Now crows are with us all winter, often robins are seen as well)
  • High School boards, throughout the Georgian Bay area are facing a battle on behalf of ratepayers with a teachers’ organization that is demanding major salary increases for 1957. To the Midland – Penetang District High School Board, the local unit of the Ontario Teachers’ Federation has presented wage demands which call for a boost of $600 a year for non-specialists; $1,000 a year for specialists; and $1,400 a year for department heads. On top of this the teachers have asked that the annual guaranteed increase be boosted from $200 to $300 a year, by 50 per cent. Present annual minimum salaries for the 29 secondary school teachers in this area are as follows: Present and Demanded for Non-specialists $3,400 -$4,000 Specialists … $3,600 – $4,600 Department heads $3,800 – $5,200.
  • 155 more telephones connections in Midland in 1956, current total number of subscribers is 3,100.
  • Simcoe Countie’s population has increased by 20,000 in the last five years, now at 127,000.
  • The late fifties saw the advent of the home freezer and the electric clothes dryer, both are being heavily advertised in the local paper.

There has recently been a discussion thread on the local historical web pages regarding Haugen’s Chicken BBQ that was located on the south side of Highway 12 just before the CNR overpass. We have found a photo of that restaurant in the museum files and include it here.