Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – June 9th to 16th 1955

From the editorial page of the Free Press June 8th 1955 under the topic “Wise and Otherwise”

– Harvey White whose grandfather was Midland’s third settler, brought to Midland in his wagon A. W. Ruby’s father when the latter first arrived in Midland. And the first job which Harvey had, prior to joining the CPR 27 years ago was with A. W. Ruby in his bakery on Midland Ave.

-Of Ontario’s 47 museums, five are located in Simcoe County. Sixteen of the 47 are owned and operated by the provincial or federal government or their agencies. Most popular is the Royal Ontario Museum with 436,000 visitors last year, second is the National Museum in Ottawa with 225,000 visitors last year, old Fort Henry with 162,000, Fort George with 53,000, Fort Erie with 32,000 and the Public Archives in Ottawa with 30,000. The 31 private or municipally owned museums attracted just over 200,000 and five of those are in this area. Fort Penetanguishene, Huronia Museum, Martyr’s Shrine, Huron Institute in Collingwood and the Women’s Institute in Barrie reported just under 80,000, 90 percent of those visitors were at the Penetang and Midland institutions.

 In the “Want Ads”

– McCaskey cash register, good as new, J. W. Bald 274 (now 298) Fourth Street.

– Gill net fishing licence with equipment, boats, A. Brunelle, 138 Robert St. Penetang, after 6 PM.

-Sand, gravel, top soil and fill, Walter McMann, 392 Russell Street (now 346), phone 480R.

– 1954 Chev sedan, practically new, very reasonable, apply Steve’s Service Station, Yonge St. W.

– 20 foot varnished utility runabout, 6 cylinder Buchanan, foam cushions, navy top, lights, electric bilge pump, $1050.00 Box 657 Penetanguishene

– Piano tuning and repairing, free estimates, Ralph Blinkhorn, Phone 1267W, Midland

– Apartment for rent, four large rooms, everything electric, separate entrance, vacant now, King Street S., phone 1983,  $65.00.

– 2 acres, excellent gardening, 7 room house, 3 piece bath, hot water furnace, price reasonable. Urbain Maurice, R. R. 3, Penetang.

– Would the person who was seen taking Gord Brand’s wallet at Little Lake on Thursday evening kindly return same to 175 Yonge St. (now 427) and save further trouble. This was a keepsake.

– Eight little pigs, 8 weeks old. Grant’s, 98 Donalda Street.


– Mr. & Mrs. Claude Boylea, RR #1, Coldwater, wish to announce the birth of their son John Robert, 9 lbs. 1 1/2 oz. on May 31st at Soldiers Memorial Hospital.

– Mr. & Mrs. Bruce May announce the birth of their daughter Brenda Jean, May 30, at St. Andrews Hospital.


– J. R. Phil Latour, after a six month illness, born in Lafontaine on October 24th, 1867 and received his education there. In 1894 he married the former Annie Delorme in Penetang who predeceased him in May of 1937. He has lived in Lafontaine, Penetang, Musquash Mills, Byng Inlet and had spent the last 36 years in Midland. He had worked in the old saw mill and lumber camps and more recently the fibre board plant and the CNR roundhouse. Survived by sons, Ernest, Alfred, Lawrence and Tom, daughters Evelyn, Lavena Mrs. George Ambeau of Midland, Irene Mrs. Leo Fournier, Martyrs Shrine, Delcie and Edna Mrs. Leo Quesnelle of Port McNicoll.

– Charles H. Kaus died suddenly May 19th in his 64th year, he had lived his entire life in Penetang. He was a wood finisher and painter by trade having worked for Gidley Boats for 31 years before taking a position in the liquor store 17 years ago. He was a firefighter for 29 years, a WW1 veteran of the 157th battalion. Survived by his wife Hilda Arbour, two sons Gerald and Charles Jr. and four daughters, Annette, Marion, Carol and Lois.

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Two members of Midland’s intermediate “A” hockey team of last winter, goalie Bruce Hook on the left and forward “Chuck” Edwards are seen with the new jackets the boys received at a dinner in the Georgian Hotel Friday night. Mrs. Hook and Miss Camilla Coyle of Barrie look on.

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Group of Elmvale citizens have a reason to be happy after helping to raise $50,000.00 for a new addition to St. John’s United Church. At a loyalty dinner held in the community center, campaign committee members are, front row, Milt Trace, chairman, Mrs. Mervin Corbett, Mrs. M. Trace, Mrs. Gordon Giffon, historian, W. S. Campbell, back row, Earl Elliot, Fred Griffen, Fred Webster, Rev. A.G. Reynolds D. D., Jack Whitfield and Elmer Fiegehen.

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Members of St. John’s United Church Elmvale have exceeded by $5,000.00 their $45,000.00 objective for an addition to the church. Standing on the steps of the church are Dr. A.G. Reynolds minister of the church and his wife.

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George S. Dudley QC, chairman of the building committee receives the key to the new $100,000.00 addition to St. Paul’s United Church from H. J. Thompson, vice chair of the committee.

(read more about George Dudley’s contributions to Midland and Canadian hockey at the Midland Sports Hall of Fame web site in the “Builders” section in the year 1996)

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Retiring this week after serving as teacher and principal of Midland District High School for 35 years J. J. Robins was presented with a 400 day clock by the student body last Wednesday. Shirley Wiles made the presentation.

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Pond at Rumble’s Mill in Hillsdale shows affects of hurricane Hazel. Local W. I. is continuing their plan to repair and open the swimming facilities here. John Rumble examines the damage to the women’s dressing room caused by Hurricane Hazel. Swimming classes are planned for July.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – June 1 to June 8

Click on photos to enlarge

 The staff photographer must be on summer holiday!

   Even thought the collections department at Huronia Museum estimates that the Free Press collection contains over fifty thousand negatives, many of them are missing. The first weeks of June 1955 have several “Staff Photos” but none are included in the negative collection. There are submitted photos from other sources such as the Barrie Examiner, Lorne Watson, DND, Rolphoto, Leitz photos by Mrs. Dorothy Buschmann and other private photographers for which we do not have the negatives. We have stated before that all the Penetanguishene negatives are not part of our collection and we are actively searching for them.

 Knowing the photos are an important part of this blog we will go back into 1953 for some memories this week.

 News from the first week of June 1955;

  • John Crawford, son of Mr. & Mrs. Bert Crawford, was taken to Sick Children’s Hospital by Dr. R. J. Cardwell after falling from a boxcar near the Aberdeen Elevator and fracturing his skull
  • Claude Desrochers, a Penetang Scout, 13 year old son of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Desrochers is credited with saving the life of four year old Arthur Brasseur of Poyntz Street who had fallen off the town dock
  • Two local girls graduate from the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing, Caroline Megaw, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. R. A. (Bert) Megaw and Joanne Edwards, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. R. W. (Bill) Edwards
  • Provincial election returns will be broadcast on loudspeakers outside the Free Press office Thursday evening
  • Yvette Grondin donates large double ships wheel salvaged from the Midland City to the Fort Penetanguishene Museum (Naval Establishments)
  • Penetang’s new police chief John W. Power arrived in Penetang this week, coming from Timmins Mr. Power will soon be joined by his wife and nine children
  • New teachers & department heads announced for MPDHS, Ray. C. Gauthier former Penetang principal, named vice-principal; Miss C. H. Mace, presently teaching in Penetang will head the English Department; Miss Reba Young from Tilbury will head History and Social Studies; Miss Grace C. McMullen languages; John M. Dalrymple mathematics; Warren Jacklin from Hanover science and agriculture. Other new teachers include Emile Blouin from Midland teaching French, Robert O. Donovan from Chatsworth teaching social studies and junior science, shop teacher Richard C. Moffatt lately from Chalk River, Emery Nopper from Timmins will be teaching German, from Toronto L. Douglas Palmer will head the Guidance Dept., Isobel Rayner from Owen Sound will teach in the Home Economics Dept., Doug Swales of Midland to teach Phys Ed and mathematics, Miss Mildred K. Walter will teach in the Commercial Dept.
  • Now in full production at the Ernst Leitz plant in Midland, the “Cadillac“ of cameras, the new Leica M III
  • Ronald C. Atkinson, son of Mrs. Roy Atkinson of Midland recommended for the ministry by the board of St. Paul`s United Church, 5th candidate in the last eighteen years from St. Paul`s
  • Provincial Conservative candidate George Johnston speaking in Lafontaine “Liberal platform like ham sandwich without the ham“
  • Holder`s Bake Shop opening today in Penetang in the former Argue Meat Store on Main Street
  • Midland Liberal Association invites you to a free dance at the Parkside Pavilion, dance to Mel Lavigne`s Orchestra and meet the candidate, Smith Campbell
  • Professional Exhibition Wrestling starting at the Arena Garden June 13th, sponsored by Midland Minor Hockey Association, Whipper Billy Watson, British Empire Champion
  • Midland Boat Works Limited advertising “Seaflite“ 15 foot 64 inch beam, weighs 240 pounds, several models to choose from, see them at our plant
  • new plastic garden hoses at Canadian Tire, 50` lengths $2.79

 1953 Photos

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Seabee amphibious aircraft owned by Lloyd Atkinson had crashed near Gawley Beach Midland on Sunday July 12th, 1953. Five people on board plus dozens of bathers at the park escaped injury.

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Women modeling period gowns crafted in Midland for Barrie’s centennial celebrations. Back row, Mrs. Alfred Lowry of Hamilton, Mrs. Elsie MacDonald Midland, Mrs. Ross English Midland; front row, Mrs. Joyce Carson/Snider of Midland maker of the dresses, Mrs. Roy Roberts of Midland, Mrs. Robert Banks of Hamilton and Mrs. Lorne Legree Midland.

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Crane erecting the new bell tower in front of St. Mark’s Anglican Church on Third Street. The parish hall is in the background. (no newspaper found with this photo to verify the year)

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Two day Regatta in Victoria Harbour, a large gathering of children, costume contest, some with their bikes. Some of the contestants are, Susanne Quinlan, Carol Roy, Deanne May, Rosemary Dalton, Gale & Connie Donovan, Mary Klithcombe, Bobbie Strickland, Donald Burns, & Margaret Lockhart. July 1953

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Midland District High School athlete Bill Quinlan sets a new record in the Tudhope Cup event with a vault of 10 feet 1 and 3/4 inches. Midland Arena Gardens in the background.

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Pete Pettersen once tried ski jumping in the summer by crushing ice for the local ski jump that he operated but fishing was his real summer passion, he is seen here with three large rainbow trout. 

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Six boys in front of Regent School, jeans rolled up, running shoes on, ready for summer. Never published, names unknown.

Huronia Museum – Looking Back 60 Years in North Simcoe – May 24th to the 31st 1955

Click on photos to enlarge

  • Finley MacLachlan Construction Company of Toronto wins $800,000.00 contract to build nine miles of the Trans Canada highway from Port Severn to the McDonald River.
  • Perkinsfield girl, 14, unable to walk her whole life, begins to walk with the aid of a support, parents incredulous
  • Midland Police get new speed trap, offenders have no time to slow down after crossing the wires that are placed 11 feet apart and it works in both directions
  • Indian Nativity Scene will be a feature attraction at Huronia Museum which opens on June 1st. Donated by the National Museum in Ottawa the diorama was over a year in the making
  • Indians (First Nations residents) from Parry Sound, Rama and the Brantford Six Nations gathered at Christian Island over the long weekend to listen to provincial candidate George Johnston, Dr. P. B. Rynard and Progressive Conservative Simcoe Center president W. H. Morrisson speak. This will be the first time native Canadians will be allowed to vote in a provincial election in Ontario
  • Add to North Simcoe’s beauty spots the beautiful tulip beds at Taylor’s garage near the Shrine
  • 25 years ago, 1930; the Penetang Road was closed at Wyebridge due to work on the railway subway, detour through Elmvale; The Woolen Mill on Hugel Ave which had sat idle for 12 years was leased to Otto Channell a European textile engineer, 35 to 40 staff will be needed

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New Residential Area. Two years ago Midland’s Wireless Hill section was covered with thick bush and boulders now replaced by many fine homes. Those seen here were built by Nap Beauchamp Construction of Penetanguishene and are already occupied.

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New Hammond organ sponsored by the congregation of the Wyevale United Church in memory of the late Rev. George Morrison. Mrs. Cecil Blow at the keyboard, her assistant Mrs. Emel Nerpin and current minister Rev. W. A. Glazer.

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Town staff are attempting to pull a stump at the northwest corner of Dominion and Midland Avenues to make way for the widening of Midland Ave. It appears as though the chain has broken as part of it is trailing behind the truck. The Johnson home, residence of Bill Johnson owner of the Advertiser Press, white building in the background. Duplex on the corner is still there.

(Anyone know who the men are. Fellow in the hole might be Mr. Latanville?)

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Every member of the North Simcoe girls 4-H Club made a dress during the past season and had it on display at achievement day at the Elmvale High School Saturday. Mae White RR #1 Elmvale; Joanne Dobson RR #3 Coldwater; Marie Pickering RR #3 Stayner; Harriet Elliot, Allenwood and Pauline Irish, Vasey. Mrs. Joseph Strath is supervising the judging.

 Local Entertainment:

   Show & Dance at The Parkside Inn, featuring Canada’s No. 1 Hillbilly show band, Cliffy Short and the Valley Ranch Boys, stars of Sunshine Jamboree, Toronto.

   Odeon Theatre, Women’s Prison starring “no one I know”, Shotgun starring Sterling Hayden & Yvonne DeCarlo.

   Embassy Theatre in Coldwater, Jesse James vs. The Daltons

   Pen Theatre, The Cruel Sea, with Jack Hawkins, Donald Sinden and The Jungle Gents with Leo Gorcey, Muntz Hall and the Bowering Boys.

   Tennis Exhibition at Penetang tennis courts, Lorne Main, Canada’s number one player and Jim Bentley ranked tenth in Canada, the pair will also give free instruction.

   Second annual Dance Recital by the pupils of Jean Stanway assisted by Glenn Campbell, pianist John Arpin, guest performers Midland Tonettes at Knox Presbyterian Church auditorium.

   Curtain Call Dance Review presented by Audrey MacLeod and pupils at the YMCA

   Jaycee’s Victoria Day event at Little Lake Park includes sea flee racing, Midland Citizens Band concert and giant fireworks display.

  Tribute to Murray G. Yorke (d. May 28, 2015)

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(From October 1955 Free Press) Signing up for a new season with the Midland Intermediate “A” hockey team is Roy “Mutt” Colling of Penetang, Vic Grigg of Penetang and Chuck Woods. Looking on at left is Murray Yorke member of last year’s team and Hec Adams, secretary.


We treasure our history, whether it is our family history, local history or the history of things, we regret the loss of any part of it. They tear down our old school, the field where we flew our kites is now a subdivision, that secluded lane is now paved and the trees are gone.

Murray Yorke was an important part of our history, a participant in it, a family man, a friend to all, Midland has lost part of what makes this a great place to live.

The staff and directors of Huronia Museum join Pat and family in saying thanks Murray for all you gave us.