Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – December 16th 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.   

    Due to the busy season, we are condensing the final two weeks of 1959 into one post. This post will be short on news but will have all the photos we can find. The staff of the Huronia Museum wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and all the best in the coming year! 

Click on photos to enlarge.This has been a big week in CPR shipping circles at Port McNicoll, with no less than three receptions to honour retiring personnel. Miss Rose Juneau of Victoria Harbour, who spent 47 years in the laundry department, was honoured Tuesday. Taking part in the presentations were, left to right, E. J. Cadeau, R. Young, Miss Juneau, A. A. Bell and S. F. Malin, steamship superintendent. 

Clean-cut lines of this combined boathouse and sun-deck at Thunder Bay Beach are reflected in the freshness of new-fallen snow on a sunny December day. More utilitarian in style, but perhaps just as useful for its prime purpose, is the older boathouse at the right. 

Now 96 and still going strong, Mrs. John Hare of Waubaushene is seen above with two of her daughters, Mrs. R. J. Wilson, left, and Mrs. Arthur Ireland of Alliston. Mrs. Hare, who lived in Coldwater for 15 years and Midland for nearly 50, has lived with her daughter in Waubaushene for the past seven years.

Long one of Midland’s top women trundlers, Mrs. (May) Ken Williams set a new mark for herself, and Midland Bowling Academy, last Monday night when she rolled a 417 single. She fired ten consecutive strikes before running afoul of the headpin. It was the highest single ever rolled here, for men or women. Mrs. Williams also compiled a 919 triple for the night, topped only by Mrs. Spicer’s 959 for the women and Gord Ross’ 1,015 to head the men’s scores. 

Charles O’Dale was appointed a director of Ontario Land Surveyors Association, Northern Region, at a meeting in North Bay Dec. 14.  The Northern Region extends from the north half of Simcoe County to James Bay and west to Thunder Bay. Mr. O’Dale is one of six regional directors and, specifically, is the director for Simcoe County and Muskoka, Parry Sound and Haliburton Districts. 

Midland and district citizens have been sharing their Christmas by contributing their bit to the familiar Salvation Army “pot” on King Street. Lieut. William Johnston of the Midland Citadel said the response with funds to help the less fortunate families so far this season has been good. 

Santa Claus stopped off at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, on his way back to the North Pole Christmas morning long enough to leave a baby girl for Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Herron, 195 Yonge Street, East, Midland. A first child for the Herrons, Suzanne Barbara arrived at 11 a.m. and weighed in at 7 lbs. 2 1/2 ounces. She was the only Christmas arrival at St. Andrews this year. 

James Lenzo of Quebec Street, Midland, holds his home-grown watermelon which he is going to “cut and serve early in the New Year”. The melon, which came out of Mr. Lenzo’s garden Sept. 10, and has been covered in the cellar ever since was 12 inches long, had a circumference of 20 inches and weighed an estimated 15 pounds. 

Happy days are here again for post office employees in Midland, as elsewhere, as they try to cope with the annual Christmas flood of postcards and parcels. Albert Thiffault (left) and Ed Marchand are seen with a small portion of the outgoing mail last Friday. 

By now, these parcels will be under Christmas trees in Midland and out on the rural routes. They represent only a fraction of the number handled by Midland post office in recent days. Left to right are George Thompson, Jim Brechin and Postmaster William Bourrie. 

Putting incoming mail into the correct boxes are, left to right, Armand Marion, “Chuck” Stelter and Howard Smyth. 

Getting ready for the Christmas concert presented by Midland’s Sacred Heart School, Mary Lou Montgrain gets help with her hair from three of her schoolmates. Left to right, standing, they are Dianne Berrube, Peggy Hamelin and Shirley Proulx. 

“Just hold still a minute”, says Mrs. Veronica Lindale, as she helps make up Linda Roach for her part in the Christmas concert presented by pupils of Sacred Heart School, Midland, last Wednesday night. Climaxing the concert was the play “No Room in the Inn”. The concert was held in the auditorium of St. Theresa’s High School.  

Helping to decorate one of the trees used in the Christmas concert staged by pupils of Sacred Heart School last week gave these four girls something to do while waiting their turn on stage. Left to right are Sally Latour, Doreen Caston, Romelda Belanger and Valerie Cosey.

Sightless persons in North Simcoe displayed their handiwork of leathercraft artificial flowers, sewing and knitting at Midland YMCA last week. Purpose of the display, sponsored by the district advisory committee to the CNIB, was to encourage the blind folk to sell their crafts. Here home teacher Miss Emily Philpott, Mrs. D. R. Campbell and Mrs. George Smallwood examine some of the work.

Five of the largest ships on the Great Lakes, carrying more than three million bushels of grain in their holds, are berthed alongside the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll for the winter. Three of them, the Sir James Dunn; John O. McKellar and the T. R. McLagan, are seen above. Hidden from view are the Scott Misener and the Thunder Bay. The stern of CPR’s Keewatin is seen across the slip, under the Dunn’s nose. 

Except for the winter clothes on the people in the foreground and no leaves on the trees, this might be Midland’s King Street on Civic Holiday weekend, with traffic jammed bumper to bumper. Instead, it was the scene Saturday, Dec. 19, as town and district residents went about another day of hectic Christmas shopping. Taken from the marquee of the Roxy Theatre, the picture looks north on King Street to the bay. 

    County Herald headline of December 18, 1959; Report Japanese Imports Hit Local Shoe Factories. Increasing competition from low-wage imports from the Orient and from manufacturers in depressed areas of Canada is dimming the 1960 prospects for footwear factories in Midland and Penetang. “While both Midland Footwear and Fern Shoe, which between them employ nearly 375 persons in the Penetang-Midland district, have remained relatively busy throughout 1959, orders so far booked for the coming year are somewhat lower, Jerry Zabransky explains. 

    Free Press Herald headline of December 21, 1959; Flee Smoke-Filled Home Lads Escape Suffocation. Two young Penetang lads had a close scrape with death by suffocation early Saturday morning when the house in which they were sleeping became filled with smoke from a smouldering fire. Joe Charlebois, 14, and his cousin, Paul Charlebois, 11, were asleep in the home of Joe’s father, Andrew Charlebois. About 1.15 the younger lad awoke, choking from the smoke and, after rousing the other boy, the pair attempted to quell the fire they could see around a hot air register. When smoke forced them out, the one escaped in his underwear and trousers, while the other only his shirt. 

    County Herald headline of December 23, 1959;

    Free Press Herald headline of December 30th, 1959; Worst Storm in 20 Years Coats Area in Ice Armour. A severe ice storm said to be the worst to envelop the central and southern part of this province in the last 20 years, left a trail of disrupted telephone and telegraph services, toppled TV aerials and broke limbs and trees in North Simcoe over the weekend. The freezing rain, which commenced Christmas Day and continued Saturday and Sunday turned roads into skating rinks and left trees and power and communication wires thickly coated in an armour of ice. 

  • “We hope to have all the new mercury-vapour lights up on Yonge Street from King Street to the town limits by Christmas,” Stewart Holt, secretary-manager of Midland’s Public Utilities Commission said yesterday.
  • In the 10-day period between Dec. 8-17, inclusive, Midland post office has sold more than three miles of two-cent stamps. At least if they were laid end to end the 235,000 stamps sold would reach that far. It would also be pretty hard on the tongue if one customer had to lick them all.
  • “We had 50 students away Friday with mumps and it seems to be approaching epidemic proportions,” M. O. Lewis, principal of Regent Public School, revealed. When the principals of other schools were contacted Friday afternoon they reported no cases of mumps or only a very few.
  • Physician and surgeon in Midland for nearly half a century. Dr. Thomas James Johnston died in St. Andrews Hospital Friday. “He was in his 80th
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Most civic employees, applied for admission to Midland’s first contributory pension plan. All municipal employees were eligible except those of the Public Utilities Commission who had already been “covered” by a pension plan through the HEPC. * * * Mayor O. H. Smith charged that political influence by Rt. Hon. C. D. Howe, federal minister of Trade and Commerce, was responsible for the loss of a contract to build an Imperial Oil tanker at Midland shipyards. * * * High expectations for the future value of the new summer cottage area at Paradise Point were voiced by Reeve Albert G. Calvert at the Port McNicoll nomination meeting. * * * Midland Kiwanis Club celebrated its 25 years of service to the North Simcoe community. * * * Coldwater Memorial Library Board was considering the advisability of changing from an association library to a public library. The estimated per capita cost of the change would be “less than a couple of packages of cigarettes”, it was stated. ** * Midland Flyers hockey club had their troubles, having just completed a four-game losing streak. ** * Dick Simpell of Midland sailed the “S.S. Santa Claus” (Patterson’s S.S. Soreldoc) from Three Rivers to Chicago. Going right into the heart of the Chicago loop and on to the Chicago Daily news plaza, the ship had Santa waving from atop the wheelhouse and a three-ringed circus performing on stages constructed on the hatch covers. * * * Through the efforts of “Pete” Pettersen, two top-ranking provincial ski meets were scheduled for the Midland club and arrangements were being made to enlarge the existing ski jump.
  • Commanding Officer of RCSCC “Huron”, Midland, Lieut. Gordon G. Glover will command a party of 17 Royal Canadian Sea Cadets which will attend the fifth Empire and Commonwealth of Nations sea cadet camp being held in New Zealand in January and February. Lieut. Glover, who attended his last parade of “Huron” cadets Wednesday night, left Midland for Toronto on the first leg of his long journey yesterday morning.
  • Midland Printers Limited commercial printing division today completed the final stage of its shift of equipment to its new quarters, 189 Hugel Ave., E. The move, made necessary because of the growth of business in the newspaper, commercial printing and special publications field, got underway Monday afternoon when bindery equipment was transported to the new location.
  • BIRTHS – BATH — To Mr. and Mrs. David Bath, 190 Fifth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, December 9, 1959, a son. BERGIE — To Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Bergie, Victoria Harbour, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, December 14, 1959, a son. BOWEN — To Mr. and Mrs. George Bowen, 278 William St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, December 2, 1959, a daughter. CADEAU — To Mr. and Mrs. Russell Cadeau, 298 Third St. Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, December 16, 1959, a daughter. CADIEUX — To and Mrs. Walter Cadieux, R.R. 1, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, December 15, 1959, a daughter. CRUISE — To Mr. and Mrs. David Cruise, Wyebridge, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, December 17, 1959, a son. DENHOLM — To Mr. and Mrs. William Denholm, 173 Lindsay St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Monday, December 21, 1959, a son. DIVER — To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Diver, 372 Hugel Ave., Midland, at St Andrews Hospital, Tuesday, December 15, 1959, a son. DUMONT — To Mr. and Mrs. Onesime Dumont, Park St., Penetanguishene at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, December 11, 1959, a son. EVELINE — To Mr. and Mrs. Harold Eveline, King St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, December 10, 1959, a son. HAMELIN — To Mr. and Mrs. John Hamelin, 295 Russell St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, December 3, 1959, a son. HANSFORD — To Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Hansford, 135 Yonge St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, December 2, 1959, a son. JONES — To Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Jones. R.R. 1, Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Saturday, December 5, 1959, a son. KENT — To Mr. and Mrs. John Kent, 4th Avenue, Port McNicoll, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Monday, December 21, 1959, a son. KUHN — To Mr. and Mrs. Antonia Kuhn, 28 Sixth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, December 17, 1959, a son. LACROIX — To Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Lacroix, 138 Yonge St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, December 20, 1959, a daughter. LAWSON — To Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Lawson, 178 Colborne St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Wednesday, December 16, 1959, a son. LEONARD — To Mr. and Mrs. Boyd Leonard, 236 Elizabeth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday, December 20, 1959, a daughter. MERKLEY — To Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Merkley, 111 Elizabeth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Thursday, December 10, 1959, a daughter. MONAGUE — To Mr. and Mrs. Russell Monague, Christian Island, at St. Andrews Hospital Midland, Wednesday, December 16, 1959, a son. O’HARA — To Mr. and Mrs. Thomas O’Hara, Coldwater Road, Waubaushene, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Tuesday, December 1, 1959, a son. PALMER To Mrs. W. J. Palmer, and the late Mr. Palmer, Port Severn, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland, Friday, December 11, 1959, a son. VOLLICK — To Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Vollick. R.R. 3, Elmvale, at St. Andrews Hospital Midland, Sunday, December 6, 1959, a son. WRIGHT — To Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Wright, 104 Elizabeth St., Midland, at St. Andrews Hospital, Sunday,  December 20, 1959, a son.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK – Winter horse racing, dog derbies and skijoring sports were planned for J. T. Payette’s driving park in Penetang. Mr. Payette had developed a roller which he planned to use to pack the snow on the track. In previous years snowploughing had proved unsatisfactory. * * * Several Tay Township farmers complained to the township council that the Department of Highways was putting to much sand on the road, preventing them from hauling their produce on sleighs. * * * Mayor Joseph Hatton of Penetanguishene was elected worshipful preceptor of the local Black Knights Preceptory. Deputy preceptor was Herbert Fleming of Elmvale. * * * Winter tightened its grip on Western Canada Dec. 26. The cold wave, which saw temperatures plunge to 30 degrees below zero, was blamed for the loss of three lives and numerous house fires. * * * S. Black, who had served 31 years as financial secretary for LOL No. 947, was re-elected to that post for 1935. W. J. Ellison, a brother-in-law of Mr. Black who had served a similar period as lodge treasurer, also was re-elected. * * * Wiley Post, round-the-world flier, established a new altitude record for heavier than air craft. He climbed to 48,000 feet and announced he planned to take another flight in which he hoped to go even higher. * * *  The worst blizzard of the season whiplashed its way across  North Simcoe, leaving a trail of heavily drifted highways and stalled motor cars, buses and trucks in its wake.