Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 24th to 30th, 1957

Click on Photos to EnlargeNew eye-catching sign has just been erected at the western outskirts of Midland on Yonge Street at Seventh. Chamber of Commerce Secretary-Manager R. B. Moffatt, Publicity Chairman Al Perkins and President Frank Bray examine the sign. The Midland Horticultural Society plans to landscape the bank in front of it. 

Some youngster, or youngsters, in this area, will get financial assistance for a holiday at Kitchikewana YMCA Camp this summer, through the efforts of the Adelphi Hi-Y Club of Midland YMCA. Several club members toured Midland homes Wednesday in quest of baskets, bottles and coat hangers, proceeds from the sale of which will be used to send a lad to camp. Sorting out the pile of bottles and coat hangers are Bev Day, left, and Wayne Morrisson. 

Stacking up the big pile of baskets in this photo are Marty Reynolds, left, and Len Wood. 

In the service station business in Midland for the past 20 years, Frank Wilford, left, sold his business last week to Henry Laurin. Mr. Laurin also operates the Midland – Penetang ambulance service. After a few weeks holidays, Mr. Wilford expects to enter a new field of business in Midland. 

Well-known to patrons of Penetang and Midland hotel dining rooms, where she served for many years, Mrs. Garnet Hanes has taken over the operation of the former Wilford snack bar on Midland’s King Street. Mrs. Hanes is seen above admiring some of the flowers sent by well-wishers when she started her new business venture this week. 

Can they repeat again this year? That question will be answered in Collingwood today and tomorrow as these youngsters battle to retain the provincial championship they won in the LHL Junior OHA series at Parry Sound last spring. Kneeling; Bobby Clayton, Earl Scott, Tom Gray, Doug French. Second row; Greg Somers, Jim Tippin, Allan Mostyn, Jon Pettersen, Chester Graham, Bob Weckman, Keith Bath. Back row; Bill Brooks, Wayne Holden, John Swan, Don Pringle, Dave Brooks, Doug Taylor, Dennis Abbott, Randy Small, Rev. Len Self. 

Residents of Port McNicoll for 45 years, Mr. & Mrs. Alphonse Maheu are seen cutting their golden anniversary cake at a reception held for them at the Bourgeois dining room on Tuesday. Both born in Perkinsfield they have also lived in Depot Harbour and Penetang before settling in Port. (A detailed article accompanied the photo) 

Joseph Leeking of Midland is in the hospital with serious chest injuries after the car he was driving was in collision with a car driven by Melvin Ritchie of Elmvale. The accident occurred Tuesday afternoon on Vinden Road. Also involved were Mrs. Melvin Ritchie and James Hawke who was riding in the Leeking car. Mr. Ritchie is seen surveying the damage to the front of his car. 

 Ten years of “friendly business relationship and outstanding service to the motoring public” by Doug Swann, veteran Midland garage man, has been recognized officially by the Shell Oil Co. of Canada Ltd. In addition to this handsome plaque, Mr. Swann also received a gold pin. 

“IN THE DOUGH,” as a baker that is, for 57 of his 71 years, Norman Dunn can recall the days when Hillsdale was one of the most important centres in North Simcoe. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn marked their golden wedding anniversary April 10, in the home in which they have lived for 37 years.

Article by Ken Somers

Remember when Hillsdale was served by a railway? There aren’t too many people living who were around when the rail service was discontinued. Among them are Mr. and Mrs. Norman Dunn who, on April 10, marked their golden wedding anniversary. Both are well qualified to talk about the early days of Hillsdale. Mr. Dunn was born there, 71 years ago, and his wife came to the then thriving village when she was 12 years old. “It was a much busier place than it is now,” said Mr. Dunn, recalling three saw mills, three shingle mills, a hoop and stave factory and a planing mill which provided employment for a population of around six or seven hundred persons. Things were much livelier then in the business section too, with two hotels, the same number of bake shops and blacksmith shops, and half a dozen stores. Then, as now, there were three churches. There was also a public school, the same one, incidentally, that some of the Dunn’s grandchildren attend even today. “Grandma and grandpa” attended that school together, and it was there they first met.  Norman Dunn didn’t have too long a period to attend school. At the age of 14 he became an apprentice in the bakeshop of the late Louis Roberts. He received, at most, $4 per week. “I had to pay my keep out of that, too,” said Mr. Dunn. He agreed Mr. Roberts couldn’t afford to pay much more, with bread selling at six cents per loaf. Flour, of course, cost only half the price it does today. In any event, Mr. Dunn stuck with the job and is still at it, some 57 years later. He has a small oven right in his home, across the road from Rumble’s Pond, at the easterly edge of  the village.  Although he was a pastry man, too, in his younger days, now he bakes bread only, which he peddles in his car throughout the Medonte side roads.  After their marriage in the parsonage of the old Methodist Church in Penetang April 10, 1907, the Dunn’s lived in a number of places before returning to the village some 37 years ago. Mrs. Dunn, the former Margaret Drennan, was born on a farm near Cookstown, one of four girls and four boys born to the late Mr. and Mrs. James Drennan. Her father built bridges and did other construction work throughout the area, as well as operate a farm. Of the eight children, all the girls are still living and two of the sons, Fred and Norman, both of Toronto. In addition to Mrs. Dunn, the daughters are Mrs. Fred Grigg, Elmvale; Mrs. Tom Fagan, Crossland; and Mrs. William Parker, of R.R. 3, Midland. In her younger days Mrs. Dunn sang in the Presbyterian Church choir with one of her sisters, Mrs. Grigg. She was also an early member of Hillsdale W.I. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn have four children of their own, including three sons, Grant, Hillsdale, Harold, Toronto, and Fred of Barrie; and one daughter, Mrs. George Lockhart (Gladys), who  also lives in Hillsdale. There are eight grandchildren. Norman Dunn was also born on a farm, the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Dunn. A brother, George, still resides in Hillsdale, but their only sister died some years ago. [Normand died in 1959 and Margaret in 1971, they are both buried in Hillsdale] 

 Where’s my prize mister? A study in expression at the Midland Arena Saturday as children line up to exchange their tokens, dropped from an airplane, for candy during the annual Y’s Men’s Club Easter egg hunt. [Most of my favourite photos in the Free Press collection are of children, this unknown little girl is another. I don’t believe it is about the candy, it is that strange man with the huge camera pointed right at her.]

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 Free Press and the Roxy Theatre. Managing editor Wils Harrison on the left and theatre manage Al Perkins. 

Red, white and blue is the colour scheme of children’s playground equipment at Midland Drive-in Theatre this year. Two painters are shown putting finishing touches to swings in the background, while two little girls amuse themselves in the sandbox centre foreground. The drive-in, which opened on the weekend, was undergoing general spring face lifting operations when this photo was taken.

New picture of Queen Elizabeth to replace the one destroyed by fire last fall, was donated to St. Mary’s Separate School by Dominion Stores Limited last Monday. The picture presented by Ross Hart, manager of the Midland store, was accepted by Sister Frances Matthew, the principal. Other staff members in the picture are Mrs. N. Butineau, Sister Mary Imelda, Mrs. N. Tremblay and Miss Margaret Ambeau. 


Still compelling arguments in 2017! 

  • Midland Free Press, Wednesday, April 24, 1957, headline; New Provincial Education Grants for Six Municipalities Top $9,000. Six North Simcoe municipalities will receive more than $9,000 in new education grants for elementary schools. The new grants were announced by provincial government officials last week. They amount to $3 per pupil based on the 1956 average daily attendance.
  • County Herald, Friday, April 26, 1957, headline; Epidemic of Break-ins Launches Probe by OPP. Numerous reports of cottage break-ins all over the Tiny, Tay and Medonte Township areas which they patrol have kept provincial police at Victoria Harbour exceptionally busy. In addition to the cottage break-ins, there have also been numerous reports of thefts of tires, batteries, boats and other articles, police said.
  • Immediately following the Easter recess, Simcoe County Health Unit will start to vaccinate more than 8,000 elementary school children throughout the county. According to the program released by director Dr. P. A. Scott, children who received two doses of Salk polio vaccine in 1955 and did not receive the third dose in 1956, will receive a third dose this year.
  • Members of lOOF, No. 274 Midland, hope to start construction on a new Odd Fellows Temple around mid-June. Measuring about 40 by 80 feet, the building will be erected on a newly-purchased lot on Dominion Ave. West, between King and First Streets. For many years the Odd Fellows have used the third floor of the Jeffery Block as their lodge room. Noble Grand Ernie Bates, who is also serving as chairman of the building committee, said the new hall would have two storeys but no basement. A banquet hall will occupy the first floor. In addition to the lodge room on the second floor, there will also be a board room, capable of seating around 20-25 persons and which will be made available to the public on a rental basis.
  • Entering its 21st year of selling automobiles, Gropp Motors Ltd. recently announced the appointment of Lloyd LaPlume to the sales staff, and promotion of Ken Tannahill to sales manager. “Lefty” St. Amant is the third salesman. Gropp’s sales staff has two men who know the automotive business from the ground up, having worked their way up from the maintenance shop. The two, Ken Tannahill and “Lefty” St. Amant have a combined total of 21 years in the business.
  • Lack of bread in Penetang grocery stores Saturday afternoon was one item of evidence pointing to the heavy influx of cottagers into the area for the Easter weekend. Before 5 o’clock Saturday it was virtually impossible to buy bread in grocery stores throughout the town.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Johnson announce the engagement of their daughter Kathryn Alfreda to Mr. Gerald Clair Lalonde, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eudger Lalonde of Penetanguishene, the marriage to take place May 11, 1957, in St. Margaret’s Church, Midland, at 9 a.m.
  • CLARK — Jim and Edythe Clark are pleased to announce the birth of their first son, James Frederick, April 21st, at St. Andrews Hospital, Midland.
  • SWEETING—Tommy Sweeting, son of Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Sweeting, is happy to announce the arrival of a baby brother Timothy, April 22nd, at St Andrews Hospital, Midland.
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK –  Newly-organized Medical Association for Midland and district held its first meeting in St. Andrews Hospital. Doctors and nurses from Midland, Penetang, Victoria Harbour and Port McNicoll attended. * * * Tay Township council approved a motion calling for 24-hour service, seven days a week, on the Tay Telephone System. *** Midland council informed ratepayers that a 10 per cent penalty would be added to all tax arrears, effective May 1. * * * A bakery in Waubaushene, operated by Phillip Thiffault, and two houses adjoining it were totally destroyed by a fire which threatened to spread to other sections of the village. Midland fire brigade was called in to assist the village bucket brigade. *** Houses on Eighth Street, Midland, were threatened by a bush fire which broke out near the Penetang – Waverley highway (Hwy 27). The flames, which were moving along a half-mile front, came within 20 yards of one home before the fire was extinguished by Midland firemen. * * * After a 56-hour battle with windrow ice in Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior, the CPR steamer Keewatin of Port McNicoll docked at Fort William. The Keewatin was the first vessel into the port that year. Her skipper was Capt. Davidson.
  • Obit – Funeral services for Mrs. Leger Marchand were held April 5 from the Beausoleil funeral home, Penetang, to St. Ann’s Memorial Church where Father J . Marchand officiated. Interment was in St. Ann’s Cemetery. Pallbearers, were Clifford, Gerald and George Bellisle, George Lavery and Marcel and Wilfrid Marchand. Born in Lafontaine, Mrs. Marchand was in her 71st year at the time of her death, April 2. She spent her early life in Lafontaine where she went to school and later married Leger Marchand Sept. 31, 1905. Following their marriage, the couple lived in Kitchener for eight years, 20 years in Midland, and the remainder in Penetang.  A Roman Catholic, Mrs. Marchand, besides her church activities, was very fond of horticulture and sewing. Surviving besides her husband are eight daughters, Matilda Bellisle, Irene Lavery, Della Monk, Helen McGaw, Alice Wilson, Bertha Monk, Rose Steffers and Laura Marchand; and four sons, Arthur, Wilfrid, Marcel and Jack. There are 30 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
  • Obit –  John Fralick conducted the funeral service for Mrs. Samuel Ellery who died March 28 at Wyebridge. Service was held at the Church of Good Shepherd, Wyebridge. Interment was in the adjoining cemetery. Mrs. Ellery, the former Mary Celesta Edwards, was born January 26, 1876, at Wyebridge and was educated there. In July 1895, she married Samuel J. Ellery at Wyebridge where she had lived all her life. An Anglican, Mrs. Ellery was an active member of the Ladies’ Guild, and was also a member of the Women’s Institute for many years. Besides her husband she is survived by sons, Cecil of Wyebridge, Calvin of Elmvale; daughter, Mrs. Cecil Townes (Mildred) of Wyebridge; and a sister Mrs. David Douglas of Wyebridge.
  • Obit –  J. McDonagh conducted the funeral service for Mrs. Georgina Arbour, widow of the late Merrille Arbour, April 15 at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, Waubaushene. Interment was made in St. John’s Cemetery. Pallbearers were sons Dorman Arbour, William Arbour, Gilbert Arbour, Bud Arbour, and grandsons Bernard and Raymond Rivers. Born in Waubaushene July 6, 1881, Mrs. Arbour, the former Georgina Bazinet, was educated and lived there all her life. Surviving are six sons, Orval, Waubaushene, Dorman of Port Colborne, William of Hamilton, Gilbert of Niagara Falls, Lenard of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Bud of Orillia; five daughters, Mrs. Ted Rivers (Pamela) of Toronto, Mrs. Ernest Bourdeau (Alda) of Tecumseh, Mrs. Art Sampson (Alma) of Toronto, Mrs. Barney Johnson (Cecilia) of Midland and Mrs. Arnold Pullen (Doris) of Toronto. Also, surviving is one sister, Mrs. Fred St. Amand of Penetang. There are 39  grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Mrs. Arbour’s husband predeceased her in January 1957.
  • Obit –  Miss Annie Burton died in Penetang General Hospital April 8 after several months’ illness. The funeral was held April 10 in Elmvale Presbyterian Church with Rev. J . C. Cooper conducting the service. Pallbearers were W. J. Hill, W. S. Campbell, Dr. D. C. Harvie, A. G. Beardsall, C. L. Copeland and S. L. Anderson. Interment was in Elmvale Cemetery.  Annie Burton was born in Elmvale Feb. 7, 1887, the daughter of the late Charles Stephen Burton and Annie Paterson. She spent all her life in Elmvale with the exception of two years at Collingwood Collegiate. Miss Burton worked in the Bank of Toronto during the first World War. Later she entered her father’s office and succeeded him as clerk-treasurer of the village, a post she held for 26 years. In addition, she carried on her father’s business of insurance and conveyancing, keeping the office in the Burton name for almost 70 years. She was a notary public. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. W. W. Shaw (Jean), Mrs. F. A. Stephenson (Alice), both of Elmvale. A brother, Robert P. Burton, predeceased her.
  • Want Ad –  AN INTERESTING position for a teacher at S.S. No. 15 Tay, on Highway 12 between Midland and Orillia. Duties to commence in September. Minimum salary of $2400 with $200 annual increments. Apply, stating qualifications, to Mrs. Cora Connor, Sec.-Treas., R.R. 1, Waubaushene, Ontario.
  • Want Ad –  HIGH SCHOOL Boy, 17-18, to work Saturday mornings till school closes, full time during summer, in Penetang store. Reply to Box 562, Free Press Herald, Midland.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 16th to 23rd 1957

Click on Photos to EnlargeAlmut Bezner of Midland is feeding a sardine h’odoeuvre to Lieut. George Wakeford of Owen Sound at a dance held at the Midland Armoury by the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Saturday night. Public relations officer for the regiment Lieut. Wakeford and other officers from Owen Sound are growing beards for a centenary to be held in that city. 

 Mayors of Midland and Penetang were among the guests of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters at a regimental dinner and dance at the Midland Armory Saturday night. Mayor A. B. Thompson, Penetang; Major and Mrs. D. W. Syer, Owen Sound; Col. And Mrs. D. B. McKee, Owen Sound; Mayor Charles Parker, Midland. In the rear, Capt. J. S. Corcoran, Midland and Major Jack Symons, Penetang. 

 In Midland over the weekend for their annual conference, officers of the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Regiment are seen in this group picture taken beside the armory. Some of the “top brass” are seen seated in the front row; Lieut. George A. Wakeford, Owen Sound; Capt. Dave Witiw, Dundas; Capt. J. S. Corcoran, Midland; Lieut-Col. D. Fearman, Dundas; Col. G. A. Henderson, 17 Militia Group Commander, Hamilton; Lieut. Col. W. A. Prast, officer commanding Grey and Simcoe’s, Owen Sound; Liet.-Col. J. Westhead, Toronto; Major, A. Caldwell, Oakville; Major Jack Symons, Penetang; Major J. Crutcher, Orillia. Regiment has units in Orillia, Meaford, Owen Sound, Durham, Collingwood, Barrie, Parry Sound and Midland. 

 Captain Edwin Jardine is the first Midland skipper to win the top hat in his home port in many years. He gladly surrendered the top hat for a certificate for a modern top piece after docking the Ashcroft at the Tiffin elevator Monday afternoon. R. J. Moffatt, secretary – manager of the Midland Chamber of Commerce, J. G. Hendrickson, CSL manager in Midland, Capt. and Mrs. Jardine and mayor Charles Parker. 

 Future citizens in training. First Midland (St. Mark’s Anglican Church) Cub Pack with Cub Master Ray Worrell in the back. South Georgian Bay Boy Scouts Association has asked local municipal councils for financial support. (No names are given for this photo) (Our scarves “neckers” were red and blue) 

This Red Tamworth sow gave birth to a litter of twenty piglets on the farm of Jack Toole, R.R. 2 Midland, a couple of weeks ago. All but five survived, one with the help of a baby bottle. Farm officials say the national average is eight pigs in a litter and anything over a dozen is unusual. Her last effort was fourteen. 

Baseball is in the air in Midland again, first organizational meeting held at the YMCA Thursday. Larry Greene, Buzz Deschamp, Joe Faragher, Jack Hendrickson, Murray Yorke, John Power and Harold Jackson. 

 Members of the agricultural science class at MPDHS show off the last of the chicks reared in their incubator. Joanne VanderVoort, Carol VanLuven and Priscilla Quesnelle have observed over 1,000 eggs through the various stages of development. 

  • Due to Good Friday on the 19th the County Herald was not published this week.
  • Free Press Headline, Wednesday, April 14th; “Quartet on Spring Hunt 14 Year Old Youth Shot” A 14-year-old Victoria Harbour lad narrowly missed being instantly killed in the first hunting accident of the 1957 season, Monday afternoon. In St. Andrew’s Hospital, Midland, is Robert LaChappelle son of Mr. and Mrs. Fabian LaChappelle, Victoria Harbour. Robert was hit in the face by a bullet accidentally discharged from a .22 calibre rifle. The bullet struck the lad in the right cheek, finally lodging near his ear.
  • “Ask Six Municipalities To Share In Hospital Obligation, Town Shoulders Major Load” Midland taxpayers and private contributors underwrote nearly 90 percent of the $455,000 which had to be raised outside of government grants to build the new St. Andrews Hospital. “This is at least one-third in excess of our community share,” board chairman R. J. Pinchin told the annual meeting at the YMCA Monday night. “Accordingly, steps are being taken to establish the financial obligations of the municipalities whose citizens are enjoying the benefits of the facilities at St. Andrews.”
  • Boys and girls committee of Midland Y’s Men’s Club is busy completing plans for this year’s monster Easter egg hunt in Midland’s Little Lake Park. The hunt is to get under way Saturday morning at 10.30 a.m. A new twist is to be added to the hunt this year. “Treasure” disks are to be dropped by a Georgian Bay Airways plane. In previous years they were hidden by club members.
  • New Penetang hospital is too small? Dr. R. Lauzon, president of the medical staff, said the doctors required a second “gas” machine for use in the minor operating room. He explained it was impossible under the present set-up to carry on two operations at the same time unless ether was used as an anaesthetic. When he had submitted the request, the superintendent, Sister Mary Camelia, asked where they would put the patients if operations were being performed simultaneously. She intimated the staff was being hard-pressed at the moment to find sufficient beds, and that a point had been reached where, on occasion, it had been found necessary to delay operations until beds were available.
  • Nearly 500 Midland and district citizens accepted an invitation to stroll through the greenhouses and main store of Perrin’s Flower Shop Sunday afternoon. The event was sponsored by Midland ‘Y’ Auxiliary. Most of those present were making their first visit inside the five large sections of greenhouses located behind the store. Visitors entered through the King Street doors where they were greeted by an array of cut flowers in tall standards. Live ducklings added to the effectiveness of the display.
  • TEN YEARS AGO THIS WEEK; Midland took its first step toward the establishment of a local museum when council accepted as a gift the Edgehill residence and surrounding parkland, from the estate of the late Mrs. James Playfair. Among the suggested names for the museum were Midland Museum, Playfair Museum and Huronia House. (Huronia House was selected)* * * Dry forces won out in a Coldwater vote for beer stores, for the second time. The first vote was in 1912. One woman, Mrs. R. Sheppard, travelled all the way from Chicago to cast her ballot. * * * An early morning fire destroyed the Stewart Taxi Co. on Hugel Avenue. Nearly 500 citizens were awakened about 5 a.m. to ringing telephones. Fusing of a telephone cable in front of the burning frame building was the cause. * * * Midland’s unpaid taxes of $180,000 dating from the time the town went bankrupt in 1934, had been reduced to $35,098.60 by the end of 1946. * * * Ships had left Midland and Port McNicoll harbors and were slowly making progress toward Giant’s Tomb and open water. * * * Scholarship winners, at the 1947 Midland Y’s Men’s Music Festival were Ronald Atkinson and Donald Stevens, Midland, George Renton, Waubaushene; Georgina White, Big Chute; Jean Prentice,  Victoria Harbour; and Greta Pearson, Midland. The youngest competitor in the festival was 4-year-old Lois Cowan. She placed second in the six years and under piano solo class, although she had been playing only three months.
  • Province applies a .20 cent per gallon tax on diesel fuel used in transportation as of April 1st. This does not apply to heating oil.
  • The first ship to reach bay ports this season was the CSL steamship T. R. McLagan, which docked at the CPR elevator in Port McNicoll at 11.10 a.m. Monday after what her skipper termed “the worst spring trip I’ve ever seen in my 51 years”. Capt. Alex Wilson of Sarnia, commodore of the CSL fleet, predicted two more weeks will hardly make an impression on the heavy ice the McLagan battled from Port Arthur. His ship left the lakehead April 11 and with the help of no less than four icebreakers made Sault Ste. Marie Sunday. It is expected to take only 15 hours to unload the 650,000 bushels of wheat.
  • Midland’s population now stands at 8,250 and shows an increase of more than 1,000 since 1951 according to the 1956 census. Penetang gained 471 new citizens, bringing its present total to 5,420. Barrie easily retained its lead over Orillia as the largest town in the county, with a population of 16,851. New figures for other North Simcoe municipalities, with the 1951 figure in brackets, are Victoria Harbour 1,012 (953); Port McNicoll 932 (884); Elmvale 897 (808); Coldwater 693 (583). Tiny Township proved to be the most heavily populated North Simcoe township, although its 4,011 figure represents an increase of only 101 from the last census. Figures for other district townships are Tay, 3,105 (2,793); Medonte, 2,388 (2,201); Matchedash, 365 (397); Flos, 2,315 (2,020). Simcoe County’s population rose from 106,482 in 1951 to a present high, of 127,016. There are 1,146 more males than females in the county.
  • S. S. South American will call at Midland on an excursion run June 19, Midland Harbourmaster Dave Hewis told this newspaper. Mr. Hewis said the big cruise ship would arrive on an excursion run sponsored by the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce. She is scheduled to arrive at Midland 8 a.m. June 19 and leave at 11.30 a.m.
  • Want Ads –  BARBARA ANN Beauty Salon, 248 King St., above Jory’s Drug Store; specializing in all lines of beauty culture. Barbara Bell, proprietor. For appointments phone LA. 6-5591.      * * *  MAJOR HAIRDRESSING! Gertrude Major, Prop., 215 King St., phone L A . 6-6242, Midland.  * * * BRICK AND BLOCK Work. Chimneys built and repaired. Phone LA. 6-2464, Earl Black, 286 Queen St., Midland. * * * FOR DECORATING, painting, or paper hanging, samples and estimates free. Earl Asselin, phone 21J, Victoria Harbour 6 to 7 p.m.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years Ago in North Simcoe – April 8th to 15th 1957

Click on Photos to Enlarge  This rare orchid should be a welcome sight to snow-weary Midlanders who tour the greenhouses of Perrin’s Flower Shop Sunday. Tour is being sponsored by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the YMCA. Besides a host of flowers in full bloom, Mr. Perrin has arranged a number of plots, showing growth from seedling to maturity. Examining the orchid above is Patsy Perrin. 

 A heap of wreckage being towed behind a wrecking truck was all that was left of a heavy truck after it had been struck by an outbound CNR passenger train on the William Street level crossing. Climbing out of the coal yard in low gear in a heavy rain storm the driver did not see the train coming.  The driver of the vehicle escaped with only a severe shaking up. 

 A familiar landmark in Midland’s east end is the old Shearlings (Woolen Ware) plant that was destroyed by fire several years ago. The location is the north side of Yonge Street between Princess and William Streets. The top picture was taken during the fire in March of 1954. It is being demolished by the owner and local contractor Henry Bernick. Demolition and salvage are being carried out by Sylvester Sutter of Port McNicoll. All buildings except the former warehouse will be razed. 

 Officials say the water is low all over Ontario this spring, but nowhere is it lower than in this man-made pond in Midland’s reservoir area. In some manner, the dam was weakened under the cement sluice-way in the centre background of the picture. Muskrats are considered the culprits. This is the smaller of two dams built in recent years by Midland PUC in an effort to maintain the town’s artesian well flow. 

 Applying a plaster base coat to the walls of one of the bright, airy offices in Midland’s new municipal building are Monty Lalonde, left, and Ray Boucher. Both are employed by Lloyd Murday, the Midland general contractor. Non-arrival of steel frames for some of the huge windows has caused considerable delay in the progress of the building.  Both men went on to establish their own businesses and were considered locally, the best in their profession. 

 Delay in the delivery of materials has slowed progress on the new Municipal Building in Midland. Looking over the plans are Midland Planing Mills employee Thomas Trew and his son Garnet. 

Cup Cakes lined up and ready for the annual Midland Lions Figure Skating Club carnival on the weekend. From front to back, Nancy Tully, Jane Spiker, Grace Ellen Parker, Valerie Somers, Sharon James and Kathy Brandon.

Three more tasty members of the Cake Land group who performed in the Lions Figure Skating Club revue this weekend. Miss Jelly Roll, Barbara Jean Parish centre is flanked by a pair of lemon chiffon cakes. Susan Harries left and Judy Fitzgerald right. 

Three more members of the Cake Land group who performed in the Lions Figure Skating Club revue this weekend. Angela Magnus, who was Miss Strawberry Shortcake, Geraldine Borsa and Linda Roach. 

 Extending its original field of making boat hulls, Midland Reinforced Plastics Ltd. is now turning out other articles, such as this handsome bucket-type chair. They come in colour combinations of red and onyx, green and shamrock, canary yellow and onyx, and grey and onyx. Examining the finished product is Miss Joyce Bowman. 

 In the Federal political ring for a second try is Dr. P. B. Rynard of Orillia, nominated Progressive Conservative nominee for the Simcoe East riding. Raising Dr. Rynard’s arm in victory at the convention held in Midland Thursday night is Oliver H. Smith, Q. C., vice president of the Simcoe East Conservative Association.

The battle at Vimy Ridge is being commemorated by Canadians both here and at the memorial in France. John Lowes was born in England, emigrated with his family in 1905 and lived at 162 Sixth Street Midland. John enlisted at the age of 20 and was killed on the first day of the battle of Vimy Ridge,  April 9th, 1917. For many years the “In Memoriam” above was posted in the Midland paper during the second week of April. His mother Mary died at the age of 82 in November of 1956 and his father Septimus died on June 14, 1960. He was one of sixty-eight local men who died during the first war.

  • The headline, Free Press Herald, Wednesday, April 10th; “CUSTOMS PORT REVENUE HITS POST-WAR RECORD” Indicative of the industrial expansion in the area, customs and excise collections at the Port of Midland have hit a new high since the 1943-44 World War II years. The collector of Customs and Excise A. E. Martin revealed in his report this week that total collections for the 1956-57 fiscal year amounted to $917,745.20, an increase of $165,329.67 over the previous fiscal year.
  • The headline, County Herald, Friday, April 12th; “DISTRICT MUNICIPALITIES RE-ORGANIZE  – BACK DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION PLAN” In a virtually unanimous decision, municipalities of North Simcoe voted Wednesday night to continue the Huronia and Georgian Bay Development Commission program of tourist promotion and conservation.
  • The opening of the navigation season brought an early taste of bad luck to the CSL freighter Coverdale, which left Midland early last week. One of its crew members, Graden McLennan, of Hilton Beach (Algoma) is presumed to have drowned at Toledo, Ohio, Friday. Other members of the crew said McLennan had boarded another freighter, the Hochelaga, which left Port McNicoll the same day as the Coverdale, to visit a friend. He fell from the ship’s ladder as he was leaving. The incident occurred at the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway’s Presque Isle dock.
  • Jerome Gignac, chairman of the board of directors of Penetang General Hospital, in presenting the 1956 auditors’ report at the annual meeting of the board Wednesday night, announced a net deficit for the year of $17,243. In 1955 the hospital had a surplus of $1,021.
  • Annual financial statement of Fort Penetanguishene Museum indicates a healthy balance at the end of the year of $1,222.45. Expenses during 1956 amounted to $3,898. Major expenditure incurred during the year was the replacement of the roof on the Officer’s Quarters building, the cost of which was $1,475. A large part of this had been underwritten through an anonymous donation of $1,000. Salaries for caretaker and curator amounted to $1,056. Admissions during 1956 accounted for $915 of the total revenue received.
  • A citizens committee, organised to oppose the establishment of a liquor store and brewers’ warehouse in Midland, has named J. W. Smith chairman, to head up the committee’s program for the forthcoming liquor vote in Midland. Other officers are vice-chairman Rev. M. A. Beriault; treasurer, James Playfair; campaign manager C. M. Whitcher; finance, V. G. Edwards; and publicity, Rev. Ralph D. Wright.
  • The Bank of Montreal has announced today that H. Gordon Paice, manager of the bank’s Midland branch for the past five years, will be transferred to the Montreal head office as an inspector. Mr. Paice, who has served four years in an executive position on St. Andrews Hospital Board of Directors, several as treasurer, and four years on Midland Chamber of Commerce (president in 1956), will be succeeded as manager at Midland by Wm. A. Child.
  • As of yesterday, at least six new teachers will be required for the MPDHS staff when fall classes begin in September. The MPDHS Board has already placed advertisements for five positions in metropolitan papers. Lorne M. Johnston, the principal, said yesterday that a sixth new teacher will be necessary with the retirement of Robert Donovan. He is a social studies’ teacher who has been at MPDHS several years. The retirement of Mrs. William Bartlett, a home economics, foods, teacher, may cause the board the most trouble in securing a replacement if past experiences hold to form. Wife of instrumental music teacher William Bartlett, Mrs. Bartlett joined the staff last September. Two new teachers will be required for girls’ physical education. Retiring is Mrs. Robert Elliott, who taught other lower school subjects as well. She came to MPDHS in September. Head of the girls “Phys. Ed” department, Miss Barbara Murphy is taking a similar position with Oshawa Collegiate and Vocational Institute. She joined the staff of Midland District High School in 1952.  Another history and social studies teacher will be required with the resignation of Donald Kenwell, who is going to Parry Sound District High School. Although last year was his first at MPDHS, Mr. Kenwell taught for several years in Midland and Penetang public schools. Head of the history department for the past two years, Miss Reba Young is moving on to Tilbury District High School.
  • J. W. Bald celebrated his 89th birthday Sunday, April 7. Until his retirement a few years ago Mr. Bald was Midland’s oldest King Street businessman. He operated a photographic studio in a section of the building now occupied by R. E. Simpson & Sons (Simply Country).
  • 25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK; At the annual meeting of Ontario Educational and Trustees’ Association two resolutions to abolish final examinations for entrance into high schools or continuation schools were rejected. * * * George Marchand and Sons of Lafontaine were selling maple syrup for $2.25 a gallon. * * * Captain Percy Beatty of Midland won the Harbourmaster’s silk hat April 6 for being the first ship to enter Toronto harbour that season. He was captain of S.S. Coalhaven. * * * The question of disbanding the band was before Midland council but no decision was reached. Some councillors had stated the money could be used to alleviate the problem of unemployment. * * * Breakfast bacon, which now ranges from 79 cents to 89 cents per pound, sold for 16 cents at a grocery store in Midland. The Free Press Herald, however, was sold for 5 cents, both then and now. * * * About six inches of snow fell April 13 in Midland and eight in Orillia. It was difficult to estimate the exact amount because of drifting. *** The steamer W. J. Stewart, see photo below, was launched at the Collingwood shipyards. Mrs. J. S. Leitch performed the christening ceremony.

For more than 40 years this vessel, named for the celebrated Canadian Dominion Hydrographer, William J. Stewart, operated on the British Columbia coast collecting data needed to create new marine charts. She was built in Collingwood, Ontario in 1932 and was sailed to the west coast for service as a Dominion Government Ship (D.G.S.) and later as a Canadian Survey Ship (C.S.S.). With her white hull, she was one of the most distinctive and recognisable ships on the Pacific coast. In 2017 she is being broken up for scrap. Attributed to, MacFarlane, John M. (2016) The Canadian Princess ex–C.S.S. William J. 2016.