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

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlarge.There were “spooks” galore at St. Mark’s parish hall last Saturday afternoon when the Brownie pack held its Halloween party. Costumes ran the gamut from the “spaceman”, centre front to the quaintly dressed miss, extreme right, back row. 

This quartet of masqueraders had a high old time at St. Mark’s parish hall. They are members of the Brownie pack at St. Mark’s who held a Halloween party Saturday afternoon. Girl Guides helped to supervise the program. 

Playing in the street can be fatal as this posed photo demonstrates. Had this boy really fallen in front of the car while he was chasing the football, he could have been seriously injured and perhaps killed. The picture also holds another lesson for drivers — keep the car under control at all times. 

Construction of an addition to the Bell Telephone building in Midland is now underway. The structure will be 47 by 32 1/2 feet and will provide space for equipment needed to expand and improve telephone service in this area. It will house switching equipment for 600 more telephones.

Attracting wide attention and acclaim at the art show in Midland Armory on the weekend was this exhibition of handicrafts by the children of the Ontario Hospital School in Orillia. Miss Claudia Stewart, the nursing instructress, explains some of the work to Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Tweedle of Midland. There was also an exhibit of paintings by the OHS children.

Everybody seems quite happy as Dorothy Stevens, RCA, OSA, checks the entries at the art show in Midland Armory with Louise Colley (left) secretary of Simcoe County Arts and Crafts Association. The show was held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

There isn’t much a fellow can do but wait for the verdict while his daughter casts a critical eye on his painting. Mrs. Frank Hartman (Jean Haig), along with hundreds of other visitors, gave the O. K. to Dave Haig’s “Late Autumn” (top picture). It proved quite a contrast to the impressionistic “Lilliom” by Karen Smith of Barrie, hung immediately below the landscape at the county art show in the Midland Armory. 

Formerly a rendezvous for dancers, this building on Penetang Road is the new home of Harrison Metal Works and is undergoing extensive renovations for the manufacture of aluminum and wrought iron products. William Harrison, the proprietor, hopes to provide work for some 30 employees when the plant is in full production. 

Manufacture of aluminum windows and doors is one of the main operations carried out in the new Harrison Metal Works plant on Penetang Road. William Harrison (left) watches Lionel Maurice assemble one of the window frames. 

Mrs. Ernest Godin (foreground) cuts screen to size while Mrs. Gerard Moreau inserts glass in another frame. 

Two of the proudest budding hockey players in Penetang are Lawrence and Ronald Gregoire, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Urbain Gregoire, Penetang, shown here with hockey sticks autographed by both Rocket and Henri  Richard. They also received good-luck wishes from the stars. 

A rocky barren field just a few months ago, the old Grant farm on Midland’s Wireless Hill is now dotted with new homes like the ones seen above. Even the road, Scott Street, is brand new. Workmen are rushing work on both homes and streets to get as much done as possible before winter sets in. On Halloween night last year, the old Grant home was burned. 

Evidence of growth in Midland can be seen in this photo of the Wireless Hill area, looking northwest toward Regent School and the Ernst Leitz Canada Limited plant. Not too long ago, the land in the foreground, now dotted with fine new homes, was an open field. 

Speaking at the recent reunion of the 157th and 177th Battalions of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters in Midland, Premier Leslie Frost reminded his old comrades that things were pretty primitive at Camp Borden back in their day, 1916. Midland’s George Parr later recalled making a drawing of the camp when he was serving as a scout for the 157th. The 157th and 177th were camped close together near the left-centre of the picture. 

While waiting their turn before the examining officer, these Midlanders are doing some last-minute boning up on their St. John Ambulance bandage procedures. Here, Police Chief George Wainman fixes a “broken wrist” for Const. Arthur Ambeau. Watching, left to right, are Const. Mel Moreau, Const. Tom Currie, Const. Ross Willett, Const. Bill Nicholas and Fire Chief Arnold Tippin. 

Police and firemen from Midland and Port McNicoll get all “bound up” in their work as they tried their St. John Ambulance tests in Midland last Wednesday night. Left to right are Dr. Ike T. Weldon, examining officer, Bruce Duncan, Port McNicoll fireman, Cpl. Ernest Bates of Midland police department, and Don Duncan of the CPR police, one of the instructors for the group. 


  • Free Press Herald headline of November 4, 1959; History Project Tee-Off Slated for Area Schools. Simcoe County will be the pilot project for a new Department of Planning and Development proposal to introduce historical documents into elementary schools. This was revealed at the annual meeting of Huronia Historic Sites and Tourists Association by Deputy Minister of Travel and Publicity Guy Moore. The tourist association met in Orillia Monday. Moore said the archives and public records branch of his department would make available to school inspector copies of all documents pertaining to local history. He added that the travel and publicity department, working in conjunction with the department of education, had asked school inspectors to indicate the material they considered would be the most helpful in social study courses. Copies of documents requested will be made by the archives and public records branch and then returned to the inspectors for classroom use, the deputy minister stated.
  • County Herald headline of November 6, 1959; Six Contest Three Seats on Public School Board. Penetang electors will have an election for school board members only this year. At the 9 p.m. deadline for qualifications last night, the mayoralty, the deputy-reeveship and six council seats were filled by acclamations. Councillor Ray McDonald signed his qualification papers last night. Candidates who qualified were Ken Tannahill, Dr. Henri Marchildon, Charles O. Martin, Mrs. Joyce Hamelin, Gilbert Gignac and Albert Blondin. Eric Ulrichsen also was nominated but did not qualify Wednesday night.
  • “We had a very orderly Hallowe’en. There didn’t seem to be nearly as many children or young people just roaming the streets,” Midland’s Acting Police Chief George Wainman said yesterday. “It was quite orderly and we had no trouble at all, ” continued the chief. He said the lack of people on the streets may have been due to a number of parties and dances that had been planned for that night. Two telephone coin boxes were broken into over the weekend the chief noted, “but that was not the work of the Hallowe’en crowd. We are still investigating that situation.” The phone boxes were located at the town dock and one at the park information booth.
  • Another of Penetang’s large old elm trees fell prey to progress in the business section on the town’s Main Street this week. The big tree, almost four feet thick at the butt, was standing almost directly centre in front of a new store to be opened by Lionel Robitaille, south of Poyntz Street. Permission for cutting the tree was given by council at a meeting held earlier this month.
  • Three weekend accidents resulted in $2,600 damage and one person being sent to hospital, officers of the Victoria Harbour OPP detachment said yesterday. A tractor driven by Robert Wilcox, Midland R.R. 2, and a car driven by Carl Hubbard, Midland R.R. 1, were in collision on Highway 27 about 1 p.m. Saturday. The accident occurred about a mile south of Midland. Both vehicles were proceeding south. Damage to the tractor amounted to $1,200 and to the car $400, police said. Mr. Hubbard has been charged with following another vehicle too closely. Miss Alene Latour, 33, Wyebridge, was seriously hurt when her car skidded and rolled over on Highway 27 about a mile north of Wyebridge. The accident, which caused $600 damage to the car, occurred about 7.45 a.m. Monday. Miss Latour was taken to St. Andrews Hospital. OPP Const. Tom Heels investigated. Dr. C. Swan, who is attending Miss Latour, said she has a fractured pelvis. Louis Howell, 66, of Coldwater caused $400 damage to his truck when it skidded on Highway 27, one mile north of Wyebridge at 3.35 a.m. Nov. The truck hit three guard rails and then turned over, according to OPP Const. Jack Ambeau who investigated. There were no injuries and no charge is being laid.
  • The fact only a light breeze was blowing at the time, was all that saved a large barn and other buildings from catching fire when U. C. School No. 1 on Christian Island fell prey to flames early Thursday morning, according to F. W. Purser, Indian agent. Mr. Purser said the fire was discovered by the janitor, Wilson King, about 2.30 a.m. Thursday. As no firefighting equipment was available, nothing could be done to quell the blaze. The frame building which housed two class rooms and a five-room teacher’s residence was leveled to the ground. Approximately $8,000 had been spent on an addition to the building a year ago. Plans are under way already to start building two classrooms to accommodate the 55 to 60 pupils attending the school.
  • Workmen of A. S. Nicholson and Co., Burlington, started work Tuesday morning to strengthen trusses in Penetang Memorial Community Centre. It is expected that about two weeks will be required to complete the work. Pieces of lumber are being added to the angles of each truss where roof and wall lines meet. Earlier, inspecting engineers had found there was some slight separation at this point. The construction company finally agreed to carry out the work at no cost to the municipality. It is understood a proposal to strengthen the east wall of the building has not yet been submitted. As a result, no announcement has been made yet as to whether or not this work will be carried out. Other improvements; recently completed, at the rink, include elimination of a very dark spot around the east end nets. When lighting was first installed in the rink, the ice surface was laid out farther toward the front than it now is. This left an area of considerable darkness. Two new lights there have brightened up the ice surface comparable to the westerly end. A new public address system is now in use which provides considerable improvement over the echoing system formerly used. The new set consists of speakers over centre ice facing in all directions. Announcements can now be heard quite clearly.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Professor and Mrs. Picard ascended 10 miles into the stratosphere in a balloon. Purpose of the flight was to determine the effects of cosmic rays on equipment and human beings. * * * Flos council at its November meeting approved the payment of $I52 to township farmers who had sheep killed or injured by roving dogs. In all 19 sheep had been killed and 18 had been injured. * * * Twenty one World War I veterans at Coldwater organized a branch of the Canadian Legion. Charter president was Tom Langton. * * * The provincial inspector of public libraries in Ontario reported that Midland library had nearly nine thousand more books than any other library in Simcoe County. His annual report showed Midland library had 22,175 volumes on its shelves compared with 13,321 in Barrie, 13,451 in Collingwood and 13,135 in Orillia. * * * Little in the way of rowdy-ism was noted Hallowe’en night in either Midland or Penetang. Police in the two towns said the masqueraders appeared to be content with treats and refrained from playing tricks. * * * Dr. L. J. Simpson, Ontario Minister of Education, told the annual meeting of the Canadian Education Association that the era of costly schools had ended. He said “the time of great capital outlay on the construction of palatial new buildings has gone, never to return.” * * * Archbishop Derwyn T. Owen, primate of all Canada, confirmed 22 candidates at a special confirmation service in St. Mark’s Church, Midland. * * * A 50-mile-an-hour gale, which whipped huge clouds of dust from summer fallow land in Southern Alberta, caused extensive damage in some sections of the province. Nanton, 75 miles south of Calgary received the heaviest damage.
  • Georgian Bay Hunters and Anglers named a special committee at their October meeting, to complete the interior of the association’s new club house in Tay Township, near Martyrs’ Shrine. Ken Walker was appointed to head up the electrical wiring and line work crew and Smoky Woods was to take charge of interior improvements. The committee was the result of an appeal by President Lloyd Wilson for volunteers to complete the project. Fifty-five members attended the dinner meeting. It was expected that the work would be completed on the weekend.
  • Special Remembrance Day service for citizens of Midland and district will be held in the Roxy Theatre, Midland, Nov. 11. The service, which will commence at 9.45 a.m., will be in charge of Legion chaplain Rev. J. L. Self. He will be assisted by Rev. Ralph Wright, Rev. Wilson Morden, Rev. R. Barker and Rev. L. J. Delaney. Principal speaker will be Lieut. William Johnston of the Midland Salvation Army Corps. Midland Citizens Band will provide musical accompaniment for the hymn singing. Special music will be provided by a choir of public school children under the direction of R. C. Ireland. Piano accompaniment for the choir will be by Stan Harman. Soloist will be Graydon Rodgers. The parade of veterans and Legionnaires will leave the Legion hall at 30 a.m. Service at the cenotaph will commence at 10.55 a.m. Midland ministers will assist at the service and during the laying of the wreaths. Rev. Wilson Morden will be the Remembrance Day dinner speaker. The dinner will be held in Knox Sunday School auditorium.
  • BIRTHS – COTE — To Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cote, 34 Ffth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital. Friday, October 30, 1959, a daughter. DUVAL — To. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Duval, 49 Olive St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, October 31, 1959, a son. FLETCHER — To Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Fletcher, 157 Sixth St., Midland; at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, October ,30, 1959, a son. GENDRON — To Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Gendron, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Sunday, November 1, 1959, a daughter. HOUNSOME — To Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Hounsome, 356 Bay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday. October 30, 1959, a daughter. LIGHT — To Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Light, at the Branson Hospital, Willowdale, Sunday, November 1, 1959, a daughter. MARCHILDON — To Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Marchildon, Perkinsfield, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, November 3, 1950, a son. NEALE — To Dr. and Mrs. William F. Neale, 240 Yonge St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, October 31, 1959, a son. QUESNELLE – To Mr. and Mrs. Regis Quesnelle, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, November 3, 1959, a son. WOLOSKI — To Mr. and Mrs. Adam Woloski, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, November 2, 1959, a daughter.
  • Frank Spence, president of Midland Figure Skating Club told this newspaper yesterday that 250 persons, 70 of them adults, turned out for the afternoon of family skating in the Midland Arena Gardens Sunday afternoon. He said this family recreation activity would be continued, as long as people showed they were interested in it.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – October 23rd to 31st, 1959

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have. 

Click on photos to enlarge.The former skipper of the St Heliers, Capt. J. C. Patchell, who retired two years ago, left, chats with Capt. Basil Dube of Parry Sound in the chart-room of the new Alexander Henry, combined ice-breaker and buoy tender. The Department of Transport ship visited Midland last Wednesday. 

F. K. McKean, left, district agent, Department of Transport, looks on as Neville Keefe, general manager of the Georgian Bay Development Association, right, presents a barometer to Capt. Basil Dube of the Alexander Henry, new ice-breaker and buoy tender. The barometer will hang in the officers’ lounge.  (There was a battle going on at the time to ensure that the “Henry” spent the winter in Georgian Bay not Thunder Bay as had been rumoured. Perhaps the barometer was part of the wooing.)

Our “Red Lady of the Lakes” in Midland, late January of 1960. Note the Christmas tree on top and the fully-loaded CSL freighter at the Town House.

This was the condition of the home of Constant Desroches, Lafontaine, when Penetang Fire Brigade arrived Friday, Oct, 16. Along with Thunder Bay brigade, they concentrated on saving adjoining buildings. Farmers and spectators came from miles around and could only stand by watching as flames consumed the home. A large portion of the furnishings were removed from the house before the heat became too intense. Only a few feet separated Lafontaine Telephone exchange building from the burning home, Penetang and Thunder Bay firemen played hoses on homes on the far side of the burning building to keep the fire from spreading. 

English classes for new Canadians, sponsored by Midland-Penetang District High School Board with the assistance of the Department of Education, are held weekly in Midland YMCA. Here Mrs. J. W. Smith, one of two instructors, explains a point to three students, Mrs. Karl Lehr, Mrs. H. Hildebrand and Mrs. Werner Moos, who attend the lectures. Canadian newcomers and their children also make use of other facilities at the ‘Y’, which this week is conducting its annual fundraising campaign. 

Little league hockey got underway again in Midland Saturday morning, with nearly 400 boys raring for action. Grant Forsyth doles out sweaters and goalies’ equipment to waiting lads. 

Little league hockey got underway again in Midland Saturday morning, with nearly 400 boys signed up. Start of a junior “B” game, finds, left to right, Willard Cadeau, Tigers, referees Mike Duval and Mike Robitaille, and Beehives’ Steve Burton all set for the first face-off of the season. 

Nearly 200 veterans of World War I, all members of the 157th and 177th Battalions of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, checked into Midland Armory Saturday night for their first reunion in 40 years. Handing out identification tags were Bill Bradley of Barrie (with hat) and George Parr of Midland. Two men at the right are Charlie Scott and Joe Martin of Penetang. 

When the call went out for men to join the 157th and 177th Battalions of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters back in 1915, Penetang was quick to fill its quota. Among the men who “signed up” then and who were present for the reunion at Midland Armory Saturday night were, left to right, Bob Beaulieu, Henry Hamelin, Ed Patenaude, Wilfred K. Smith, Jim Dubeau and “Hec” Adams. 

Not vote gathering, but meeting old army buddies of 40 years ago, Hon. Leslie Frost is seen with Wesley Bolton, Tottenham, Jack Baker, Alliston, and another unidentified man as he attended the 157th and 177th Battalion reunion in Midland Saturday. Premier Frost was all for having the event made an annual affair. 

“We should pledge ourselves to meet every year until our gallant army melts away into the mists of time,” Mr. Frost told the vets who assembled to eat turkey and relive old times. Members of the Ladies Auxiliary of Branch 80, Canadian Legion, who catered for the event, said there were only three empty chairs at the big tables which filled the south end of the drill hall. Premier Leslie Frost, a veteran himself, one of the 200 veterans of World War I that got together Saturday night, thanks the cooks for the meal. 

Some of the many Midland veterans who gathered for the reunion dinner of the 157th and 177th Battalions of World War I at the armoury Saturday night are seen above with Mayor Charles Stevenson. Left to right are, front row, Tom White, Mr. Stevenson, Doug Wilson, Harold Sallows (Coldwater), Norman Leclair, Charlie English; back row — Jim Lediard, Art Balwill, John Noquet, Charlie Paradis and George Shakell. 

Not many calves get the attention this pure-bred Jersey does from the pupils in “ag. science” at MPDHS. Property of Bob Rawson of the Vasey 4-H Calf Club, this one (and a mate inside the barn) are used to give the pupils an idea of the body structure of a cattle beast, its feeding and management, and for pointers in judging classes. Seen with Warren H. Jacklin, head of the agricultural science department, the pupils are, left to right, Louise Bellehumeur, Bonnie Cheetham, Wayne Hutchinson, Jim Ironside, Paul Scott, Bill Snider and Dave Magloughlin. 

“There’s nobody here but us chickens”, says Louise Bellehumeur, a pretty slick chick herself, as she holds one of the sixty birds in the pens at MPDHS. All laying hens of the “Fisher 303” variety, they are used to teach controlled feeding and provide individual tests for egg-laying as well as other special tests by pupils of the agricultural science class at MPDHS. 

If present plans materialize, shoppers using Midland’s King Street may soon be protected from the elements by a canopy over the sidewalk, like the one in the artist’s drawing above. It is part of a big program of changes under consideration by the Chamber of Commerce and town officials, including new, narrower sidewalks and subsequent wider parking spaces for vehicles. 

Midland Guides and Brownies receive tips from Midland florist Ed Fox as they prepare to plant 1,000 golden tulip bulbs near the cenotaph in Town Park. The bulbs are part of a Guide and Brownie project to mark the 50th anniversary of their movement. 

This was a comparatively dull moment around the skate tables as Midland Home and School Association held its annual skate and clothing exchange last Friday afternoon. Earlier in the afternoon, the scene looked more like the bargain basement at Macey’s as Midland mothers tried to find a pair of hockey skates that would fit ‘Johnny’, or a good pair of figure skates for ‘Mary’. About 100 articles were sold. 

In a few weeks, the new addition to the Midland plant of Bausch and Lomb Optical Co. Ltd. will be ready for operation, according to Larry Curran, manager. This is an overall view of the old and new plants. 

 Workmen are tidying up the front of the new addition, which blends with the front of the first plant, erected about ten years ago. 

Every day sees more progress on Midland’s new Scott Street in the Wireless Hill subdivision. Workmen guide the spout of a ready-mix concrete truck as they pour new curbing on the south side of the street. One new and two unfinished homes are visible in the background. 

The new B. Greening Wire Co. plant is rapidly nearing completion. This photo gives an idea of the massive size of the new industry, located on industrial property in Midland’s southeastern outskirts, just off Highway 12.

Now in semi-retirement C.G.S. St. Heliers and crew have spent several days this week removing the floating docks in Midland harbour. Here one of the dock sections, towed to the ship by the two men in the barge, is hoisted out of the water. It was swung over to the main dock at the right and piled on top of others. Two sections seen at lower left are to remain in the water all winter. 

Chief George Wainman and Alderman James Mackie, chairman of Midland council police committee, commended pupils, teachers and the home and school association safety project Monday night. Here they cast an approving eye over some of the winning posters. 

  • County Herald headline of October 23rd, 1959; Plan Sweeping Changes for Town Business Area. If present plans under consideration by Midland council and the chamber of commerce materialize, the town’s main street will undergo a tremendous transformation within the next year or two. Net results would be to make King Street one of the most unique and outstanding main streets of any Canadian town or city, it was disclosed at a meeting of the merchants’ committee of the chamber Tuesday night. Under consideration by the chamber is the installation of a covered sidewalk, probably of plastic material, on both sides of King Street, from Elizabeth to Bay. This, of course, will require the co-operation of all property owners concerned in the two blocks. At the same time, town officials present said the council is considering the removal of two feet from the sidewalk width on each side of King Street. This, in effect, would widen the travelled portion of King Street by four feet and permit the continuance of angle parking.
  • Midland Free Press headline of October 28th, 1959; Report of Rail Closing Unfounded, Says Agent. Frank E. Whiteman, Canadian National Railways agent at Midland, said consideration is being given to closing a portion of the Midland subdivision of the CNR; but it is not the part of the subdivision between Midland and Orillia. Whiteman said it is the section of the line between Atherley and Lorneville that is now under question. In Midland at present, the CNR employs more than seventy men.
  • County Herald headline of October 30th, 1959; Assessment in Midland up $156,613 for 1960. Midland assessor Ian McLung revealed yesterday that the town’s total taxable assessment for 1960 is $165,613 more than the 1959 figure. Mr. McLung said that, as of Sept. 28 this year, the total taxable assessment amounts to $7,586,995. Included in this figure are the October and November additions to the tax roll for 1959 and assessments for 1960. He explained that in addition there is $45,510 in assessment on which school tax only is paid. This represents the fixed assessment granted Ernst Leitz Canada Limited, which expires in December 1962. Mr. McLung also revealed that the population of Midland had increased. As of Sept. 28 there were 8,402 people in the municipality compared with 8,356 in 1958.
  • Improved lighting for the main highway entrances to Midland came a step closer Tuesday evening when Midland Public Utilities Commission authorized the purchase of 67 mercury vapour lamps complete with ballast, lamp and bracket at a cost of approximately $7,800. The new lamps, which will give approximately five times the amount of light of the present fixtures, are to be placed on King Street south from Yonge Street to the town limits; from King and Yonge Streets west on Yonge to the town limits, and from Bay and King Streets west on Bay and north on Fourth Street to the town limits.
  • Penetang Police Chief  Jack Arbour admits he experienced no difficulty when called to discover the whereabouts of six cartons of popcorn, missing from a freight car at Penetang. The sealed car had been broken into sometime Sunday as it sat on a siding. Chief Arbour said it was quite a simple matter to follow the trail of popcorn from the boxcar to the home of six children where a number of empty boxes were noted lying outside the door. The six children, aged from 6 to 15 years of age, were all members of one family and will appear in juvenile court on charges being laid by the railway.
  • BIRTHS – BAZINET  – Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bazinet, 53 Chatham St. Penetang, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, Sunday, Oct 18, 1959, a daughter, stillborn. BRASHER — To Dr. and Mrs. Peter Brasher 279 Sixth St. Midland at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, Oct 23, 1959, a daughter. BREMNER— To Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Bremner 306 Second St. Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Tuesday, Oct 20, 1959, a daughter. COPECOG— To Mr. and Mrs. Willis Copecog, Christian Island, at St Andrews Hospital, Midland, Sunday, Oct 25, 1959, a son. CRUISE — To Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Cruise, 255 Charles St., Midland, at St Andrew’s Hospital, Tuesday, Oct 20, 1959, a son. DENIS — To Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Denis, Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, Saturday, a daughter. DONALDSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Norman Donaldson, Manley St. Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Tuesday, October 20, 1959, a daughter (Happy Birthday Victoria). EDWARDS—To Mr. and Mrs. Verne Edwards, 107 Elizabeth St., Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital, Friday, October 23, a daughter. FAGAN — To Mr. and Mrs. John Fagan, Midland, at St. Andrew’s Hospital,  Sunday, Oct. 18, 1959, a son, the baby died. GILBANKS—To Mr. and Mrs. John Gilbanks, 268 William St. Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, Oct 18. 1959, a son. HENDERSON — To Mr. and Mrs. William Henderson. Ninth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, October 25, 1959, a daughter.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Midland Chamber of Commerce announced it would make a full-scale industrial survey of the Midland district. The survey was to include a study of employment prospects in each local factory, preparation of a list of available industrial premises for rent or purchase, and a list of possible industrial prospects. * * * The St. Heliers, in command of Capt. J. C. Patchell made a mercy trip to Hope Island with Dr. T. J. Johnston on board. The trip was in response to a distress call that the radio operator at the light station was in severe pain. The radio operator was returned to Midland and St. Andrews Hospital, where he was operated on that same day. * * * Members of Penetang Lions Club announced they planned to organize a band for boys 12 to 18 years of age. The club had asked Penetang council to assist the project financially. * * * The CSL tug Bayport got into difficulties while towing a 90-foot scow from Midland to Wiarton. High seas in the bay off Meaford snapped the tow line three times and several times the scow nearly rammed the tug. The third time the line broke; the scow drifted away and finally ran aground on the shore seven miles west of Meaford. * * * Norman Marchand, Penetang R.R. 3, was awarded the V. G. Edwards trophy as champion potato grower of the Lafontaine senior field crop competition for 1949. * * * A hen owned by a Medonte farmer had hatched a brood of seven chicks in a thicket at the edge of one of his fields. The day the chicks were born was one of the coldest of the fall. * * * Dominion Stores Ltd. had officially opened a new supermarket in Penetanguishene. The shopping area had 2,624 square feet.
  • JAMES PLAYFAIR – A 12-dollar-a-month lumber company employee became head of a lake shipping company. By W. R Williams                      James Playfair was born in Scotland and arrived in Toronto as a boy with his parents. In 1880, at 19, he became a 12-dollar-a-month employee of the Toronto Lumber Co., which had large timber limits in Simcoe County and mills at Collingwood. He began living in Midland in 1883, and in 1888 formed a partnership with his friend, D. L.  White Jr.  Lumbering contracts were the first activity of this partnership, but Mr. Playfair branched out in 1896 by entering the grain trade between Port Arthur and the lower lakes. He bought an 11-year-old wooden freighter, rebuilt and renamed her St. Andrew in honour of the patron saint of his native Scotland. Four years later she became a total loss on Lake Superior.   In 1901 Playfair and White incorporated the Midland Navigation Co., which had the steel canaller Midland Queen built in 1901 at Dundee, Scotland. They had the 366-foot Midland King built at Collingwood in 1903 and the 486-foot Midland Prince built there also, in 1907. With the operational profits from this company, Mr. Playfair in 1912 began buying old American steamers and formed his Great Lakes Transportation Co. The 324-foot Alva (ex Minetonka) which had been built in 1893, was his initial acquisition. She was given a new paint job and renamed Glenfinnan. Operational profits, as before, were used to buy an additional vessel, and so on, each one being given a new name with the prefix ’Glen’. All of them had their hulls repainted light blue-grey with white cabins and rose-red stack with a black top.    A shortage of saltwater shipping existed after World War I and in 1918 Playfair and White established the Midland Shipyard along with D. S. Pratt and W. J. Sheppard. It launched the following four steel steamers to fill government orders: War Fiend, Oct 24, 1918; War Level, May 1, 1919; War Fury, Oct. 16, 1919; Canadian Logger, June 8, 1921. With Midland Shipyard in successful operation, Mr. Playfair decided to build steamers there for his Great Lakes Transportation Co. fleet, instead of buying old American vessels. The following steamers were accordingly launched. Glenclova, Nov. 27, 1920: Glenelg, May 12, 1923; Gleniffer, Nov. 18, 1924: Gleneagles, August 26, 1925: A. M. German (tug), Nov. 4, 1925: Lemoyne, June 23, 1926; T. J. Scott (scow), July 19, 1927; City of Montreal, January 12, 1927.   (There appear to be some vessels missing from this list.) In 1925, Mr. Playfair organized a new company, the Great Lakes Navigation Co., which included all vessels purchased, as well as those built by Midland Shipyard. In 1926 he sold all his vessels to Canada Steamship Lines Limited. All told he had 38. There were nine canallers in Glen Line Ltd., six in Glen Steamship Ltd., and the remainder had been in Great Lakes Transportation Co. Ltd. They were sold with the understanding that one of them, the 582-foot Gleneagles should retain her christened name. For 34 years of busy and trouble-free service her name in vessel passage lists has reminded us of “The Playfair Fleet” and the days when Midland was very busy with grain and coal cargoes.
  • An extension will be added to the Bell Telephone Company’s building at Hugel and Midland Avenues this winter to provide additional space, for equipment needed to expand and improve telephone service here.
  • Two years after their last expansion. Penetang Bottling Co.’s Main Street plant again started bulging at the seams, and another addition has been started. Under construction at the southeast corner of the existing plant, the new structure will be 60 by 32 feet, and the same height as the last section built. It will be used for storage purposes. Mrs. Helen Booth, the proprietor, said the new section will leave for other use, a similar space in the old lower part of the plant. The vacated space will be partitioned off and used as a paint shop for advertising services, she said.
  • In 1957, the most recent year of record, there were 4,076,465 Canadians who paid personal income tax and the average taxable income was $3,834.
  • Although some hunters may be a bit unhappy about it, Tay council’s decision to prohibit the use of firearms in built-up areas in the township, north, west and southwest of Midland’s town limits, is a wise one. The district west of the corporation, especially, and the Sunnyside area have long since past the ‘wilderness’ stage.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – October 16th to 22nd, 1959

The photos found in this blog post are the property of Huronia Museum, Midland, Ontario. Any reproduction for commercial use without permission is prohibited.  Any other distribution must credit Huronia Museum.  Please contact the museum with any questions you may have.  

Click on photos to enlarge. Another drive for funds for the operation of Midland YMCA gets underway shortly, and the objective this year has been set at $11,000. Long associated with the Midland ‘Y’ and it’s Camp Kitchikewana, J. “Win” Smith (centre above) goes over some of the details of the canvass with James Tully, left, and Charles Walton. 

Football is in full swing at Midland-Penetang District High School, where the junior and senior teams hope to repeat last year’s fine showing. Above, senior coach Doug Swales goes over some strategy with quarterback Romeo Lalonde, left, and fullback John Bell, right. 

Motorists on Highway 103 were startled to see this light two-seater plane nestling in the ditch, Monday afternoon. Lost en route from Toronto to Muskoka, pilot Lou Roosen of Scarborough decided to come down on the highway and find out where he was. A gust of wind blew the plane off the roadway into the ditch, snapping propeller and undercarriage. 

Strange looking spud held by Aurelie Quesnelle, Penetang, came from one of Edmond Marchildon’s fields near Lafontaine. The Sebago variety, it tipped the scales at three pounds, seven ounces. 

There’s activity for all ages at Midland YMCA, with the accent always on youth. Allan Cornell, left, and Gregory Somers watch Chester Graham perform on the parallel bars. It’s all part of the National YMCA Hi-Lo athletic competitions.

New members of Midland YMCA’s junior leader corps go over this year’s program with Wynne Gilmore, who has had two years’ previous experience in the work. Girls are, left to right, front row, Glenda Roduck, Wynne Gilmore, Judy Wilson; back row, Carol Launder and Judy Fitzgerald. Glenda Stewart, another junior leader beginner, was absent when the picture was taken.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Girl Guide movement in Canada next year, Guides and Brownies across the country are preparing a “river of gold” in tulip beds for next spring. Above, Mrs. J. E. Lawlor, district commissioner, distributes some of the 1,000 Holland bulbs to Midland Guides and Brownies for planting in a special bed near the cenotaph. Girls are Gail Lethbridge, Melanie Dyer, Vicky Guardhouse, Karen Greisbach, Marie Laughlin, Mary Ellen McCormick, Julia Ann Farewell. 

Modern chiropractic practices utilize many types of highly specialized equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses. At left, K. S. Lewis examines a print taken by the modern X-ray machine. All developing and printing of the pictures are done in laboratory and dark rooms located right in the building. This print is from a case in which the compensation board is interested. 

Big transformation has been effected in the appearance of the old town-owned band hall at the corner of Dominion and Midland Avenues. Now the offices of Kenneth S. Lewis, doctor of chiropractic, it will be the scene of an open house today. Two new apartments have been completed on the second floor. 

While preparing for “open house” today, the daily routine must go on. Here, K. S. Lewis, doctor of chiropractic, and his secretary, Mrs. Jeanne Keitel, go over the list of appointments.

  • Man Finds Nitro Cache, Believed Left by Yeggs; County Herald headline of October 16, 1961. Charles Trilsbeck, a labourer, considers himself be the luckiest man in Penetang today, if not in the whole world. Yesterday afternoon, he learned that a bottle he found under the corner of a barn, which he had handled somewhat roughly, contained nitro-glycerin. Trilsbeck was cleaning up around a barn owned by Mrs. W. Marchand, Main Street. S., Penetang, when he dug up the bottle with a pitchfork he was using. The bottle was wrapped in a handkerchief at the time and before he got it unwrapped; he dropped it on the ground. Besides the bottle, he found a cotton work glove in which was stuffed four detonating caps and a quantity of insulated wire. Mr. Trilsbeck took his find to the nearby Marchand Service Station and unscrewed the cap from the bottle in an attempt to discover what the white substance was. It wasn’t until another man saw the detonating caps that they decided it was nitro. The battle held about an ounce and a half of the highly explosive fluid.
  • Transport Board Letter Hints at Rail Closing; A letter, originating in the office of the secretary of the Board of Transport Commissioners for Canada and received by Tay Township council last week, has caused some consternation in North Simcoe municipal and business circles. The letter is the outcome of a request by Tay Township for automatic signals at a crossing between Port McNicoll and Victoria Harbour on Highway 12. Part of the letter read; “Since consideration was being given to the closing of this sub-division, all those present agreed that the matter of providing protection at this crossing should be held in abeyance for the present time.”
  • Son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd H. Kleist, 363 College Street, Midland, John Richard Kleist died in Zweibrucken, Germany, yesterday morning. The young airman, who was serving with No. 3 Fighter Squadron, and a companion were critically injured in a motor accident. They were travelling in a private car. His wife, whose family lives in Edmonton, was in Germany with him. She is expecting a child soon. A brother of the fatally injured man is serving with the RCAF in Ottawa.
  • 25 Years Ago This Week – A doe and two fawns spent a day in Midland munching on produce in gardens in the Yonge Street East and Manley Street area. One of the fawns became entangled in a fence and had to be released by a provincial police officer. * * * Mild temperatures in October brought a fresh crop of strawberries and raspberries and in the Lafontaine area Maurice Marchand reported that a Duchess apple tree on his farm was “loaded with blossoms“. * * * Mrs. Harvey Fallis of Vasey had several king-sized tomatoes in her garden. One of them weighed two pounds, nine ounces and measured 19 inches in circumference. * * * Following a series of serious accidents; the Ontario government had employed a crew of men to cut down and remove trees and other obstructions to vision at Firth’s Corners.* * * Three Midland children whose parents had refused to have them inoculated at public health clinics, had contracted diphtheria. The clinics were held in the district after a severe outbreak of the disease occurred in Penetang. * * * The annual meeting of St. Andrews Hospital was informed that the hospital had incurred a $1,550 operating loss on the year in spite of cuts in insurance, staff salaries and other expenses. * * * Midland women decided to organize a branch of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Canadian Legion. An organizational meeting was held October 17th and the charter and installation of officers was to be held Oct. 30. * * * Deluxe series of new model cars were being offered in Midland at $844, the standard models were being sold at $710. Neither price included tax.
  • A fire drill was held at Port McNicoll Public School, Oct. 16 under the supervision of Lyall Thorpe, principal, and Lloyd Cameron, Port McNicoll Fire Chief. The drill came as a complete surprise to the pupils and teachers and the entire building was cleared in less than 40 seconds, the windows and doors were closed and both basements and washrooms were checked by two older pupils. There were 207 pupils attending school the day the drill was held.
  • by JOSEPH LEA In the early days, the main business around the Orr Lake area was logging. The railway, which had been built to connect Elmvale and Hillsdale, passed through Orr Lake and built up a thriving business, for the little community. Thousands of logs were cut, hauled to the lake and piled on the ice at what was known as Nixon’s dump. It was located on the south side of the lake on Lot 6, Flos Township. With the advent of the sawmills, cottages and shacks were built as fast as the lumber could be cut. Eventually, there were some 40 to 50 buildings, including stores, taverns, and even a schoolroom. The latter was located in Sam Reid’s store. Maggie Carruthers was one of the early teachers, among others. The same room in Sam’s store, was the scene of church meetings, too. One sponsor was Miss Paulin, who later became Mrs. J. L. Archer. Salvation Army also held meetings there. The tramway built in 1879 was actually the North Simcoe branch of the Northern Railway. It stopped first at a large mill on Lot 70 of the old survey of Flos. Later it was extended to include other mills built nearer the Penetang Road. Some of these mills were: Shaw’s Mill, at the west end of Lot 79; Orr’s Mill, near the old Penetang Road; Hayes’ Mill, back of what is now Farmer’s General store; Cook’s Mill, another large and busy mill near the Penetang Road (now Highway 93); and in the 1870’s, a small shingle mill, built by Aaron Sheffield and Jim Gunn of Hillsdale. It ran for only a short time. There was also another mill, just south of the new dam at Orr Lake, which operated for a short time in the 80’s. Principal markets for the products of these mills were Barrie and Stayner. Orr Lake was a sports-minded community in the old days, with horse racing on the ice in winter and the best of fishing in the summer. Thousands of acres of poor, sandy land that once grew the huge, lofty old pines to feed the mills are now growing young trees again for some future crop.
  • PENETANG citizens apparently will have no cause to worry about the structural strength of the roof of the Memorial Community Centre this winter, according to information presented at Tuesday night’s meeting of Penetang council. A communication from Engineered Timber Products, a branch of A. S. Nicholson and Son, manufacturers of the trusses used in the rink, outlined work the firm is prepared to do in connection with deficiencies found in the structure. According to the letter, the company will commence work Nov. 2, which will require approximately two weeks to complete. They will work only during daylight hours so as not to interfere with night use of the ice surface. While the National Building Code today calls for a roof design capable of carrying a snow load of 65 to 70 pounds per square foot, this was not so at the time trusses were built for the Penetang structure, it was stated. Trusses supplied by A. S. Nicholson for the Penetang job were designed for a snow load of 40 pounds per square foot, and in its letter, they stated they are prepared to take all responsibility for the building up to that limit. In addition to the work they have outlined, which they are prepared to carry out at their own expense, the company will make a proposal for reinforcing the blank east wall of the building which has caused considerable concern to inspecting engineers. They said they propose to install a reinforcement framing for the wall.
  • Midland and Canadian National Railway police are investigating the theft of $1,500 worth of cigarettes and tobacco from a CNR boxcar over the weekend. Chief George Wainman said the seal on the car, standing near the CNR freight sheds, was intact at 1 p.m. Sunday. It was not until 9 a.m. Tuesday, following the Thanksgiving holiday, that railway workmen found the seal had been broken. Chief Wainman said that, after unloading the car, CNR officials found 10 cases of cigarettes and one case of tobacco were missing. They were consigned to Nap Laurendeau, a Midland wholesaler.
  • Ronald Gosselin, 13, of Midland escaped serious injury when struck by a car on Hugel Ave. as he was riding his bike home from school at noon Thursday. Police said the driver of the car involved was Langford Truax, 45, of Sunnyside. Mr. Truax had apparently passed Ronald and several other children on bikes as he drove east on Hugel Ave. When the car slowed down to make a right turn on to a side street, Ron’s bike became wedged between the car and the curb.
  • BIRTHS – DELL — To Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dell, 146 Bay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital Sunday, October 11, 1959, a son. FISH —To Mr. and Mrs. Edward Fish, 57 Bay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, October 13, 1951, a son. MARKHAM – To Mr. and Mrs. Howard Markham; 247 Bay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Friday, October 9, 1959, a son.
  • Obituary – MICHELE (MIKE) TERSlGNI Responsible for the beautiful flower gardens at the CPR docks, Port McNicoll since 1948, Michele (Mike) Tersigni died Sept. 30 following a collapse in the company greenhouse. Mass was celebrated at Sacred Heart Church, Port McNicoll, Oct. 3, with Rev. F. Sullivan officiating. Pallbearers were members of the Knights of Columbus, Raymond Belanger, Jos. Connelly, Ernest Cadeau, Gino Difrancesco, John Hartford and Mose Quesnelle. Mr. Tersigni, who was born in Sora, Italy, July 13, 1898, came to Penetang in 1924 and the following year moved to Port McNicoll. On Oct. 19, 1932, at Midland, he married the former Jean Catalano. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, The Third Order of St. Francis, and the Holy Name Society. Besides his widow, he is survived by a son Joseph, attending the University of Toronto, three daughters, Mrs. Pauline Reid, Mrs. Rita Higgs and Mary. He is also survived by two brothers, Joe Tersigni of Penetang and John Bell of Port McNicoll, a half-brother, Tony Sarracini of St. Marys, and a half-sister Madelina, living in Italy. Burial was in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Midland.
  • Hockey gets underway this week for 390 youngsters who so far have signed contracts to play in Midland Lions Club’s Little NHL.
  • by ALEX LAPERE Penetang’s Little NHL League is scheduled to open the season Thursday, Oct. 29 with the first game timed for 6.30 p.m. Juniors and AHL will get underway at 8 a. m. Saturday. Oct. 31. When the committee met Sunday afternoon they were faced with a total of 170 registrations which had to be assigned to teams. Juniors again will have four teams operating on Saturday mornings. Six teams will make up the American League, and heavy registrations in the NHL group will see an increase to six teams.